"Wanheda: Part Two" is a near-perfect hour of television.
The episode begins where the season premiere left off: Bellamy, Monty, and Kane are sitting with Indra inside the rover. I braced myself for another confrontation with the Ice Nation, and then gasped out loud when I realized that the Grounders instigating the attack weren't Grounders at all. They're survivors from the Farm Station … and Monty is finally reunited with his mother!
Unfortunately, there's no reunion with Monty's father. After the Farm Station crash-landed in the Ice Nation, members of the Ice Nation mercilessly attacked as children played in the snow. Monty's father was apparently killed while trying to save the kids. With the help of the Ark's former Earth Skills teacher, Charles Pike, the survivors cobbled together a new life as a violent band of scavengers. There's something extremely unnerving about the way they dismiss all Grounders as the enemy, so I'm looking forward to see that idea explored in upcoming episodes. In the meantime, Abby and Kane have been working to maintain calm between the Grounders and Sky People. It seems clear that the tenuous peace will not hold.
Of course, the get-together doesn't last long. (This is The 100, after all.) The people from Farm Station begin to make their way to Arkadia, and the group from the rover, along with Pike and Monty's mother, decide to continue onwards in their search for Clarke.
After being captured by the bounty hunter, Clarke's mind seems to be working overtime. She pretends to pass out, hoping that she'll wrangle her way free, but doesn't manage to escape. Instead, she learns that she's with a member of the Ice Nation named Roan. Soon afterwards, Clarke attempts another escape: She creates a diversion by attracting the attention of other members of the Ice Nation. Roan kills them, but Clarke gets her hands on a dagger and stabs Roan in the abdomen.
Meanwhile, the search group makes their way to the trading post where they find Niylah, who is being beaten for information about Clarke. Bellamy shoots her attacker, then begs Niylah for Clarke's whereabouts. The interaction hints that Niylah may become a more central character this season — and if that's true, I'm a huge fan. I still don't know why she wore that Ark bracelet, but I bet we'll get an answer soon.
Niylah tells the search group that Clarke has been taken by another member of the Ice Nation, so the group heads out to find her. As they're moving through an open field, Bellamy spots Clarke through his rifle scope. Though he's determined to chase after her, there's a group of Ice Nation warriors headed their way. The group decides to wait for them to pass before following her.
Clarke and Roan hide out in what appears to be an old metro station. As he tends to his wounds, Roan explains that he was banished by his people. Clarke is his ticket back. It's an interesting scene, and it leads to larger questions about Roan's identity. What will his character bring to the rest of the season?
While the search group hides in a cave, Bellamy changes into Grounder clothes and leaves to search for Clarke. He finds her in the metro station, then tenderly strokes a finger across her face and takes off her gag. It's a sweet moment — and my heart did lurch with joy — but it's interrupted by Roan's attack. Clarke begs Roan to spare Bellamy's life, promising to come with him and no longer try to escape. Roan agrees not to kill Bellamy, but stabs him in the thigh instead. By the time the rest of the search crew manages to find their wounded comrade, Roan and Clarke are long gone. It's a crushing moment — I was devastated that Bellamy and Clarke's reunion lasted for mere minutes. It's made even worse by Bellamy's plea to Monty, begging him to let him keep searching for Clarke: "We can't lose her."
The most shocking thing in the episode, however, takes place when the bounty hunter finally delivers Clarke to the person he's captured her for — and it's not the Ice Queen. Instead, he's delivering her to Lexa, who's trying to protect herself from the Ice Queen. (She likely wants to protect Clarke, too.) We also learn that Roan is a prince and the Ice Queen is his mother. His banishment isn't lifted, though; Lexa locks him up.
The Lexa twist packs a lot of story into a short period of time, and I'm surprised I managed to retain any of it after seeing the look in Clarke's eyes when she figured out where she was headed. I may be a die-hard Bellarker, but the depth of emotion that Eliza Taylor conveys while kneeling before the Commander made my heart race. I groaned out loud when the episode ended with Clarke yelling, "You bitch!"
Back at Arkadia, Octavia and Lincoln find a severely injured Nyko, then take him back to Abby in the hopes they can save him. They face an interesting dilemma: Should Abby use Mount Weather to save one life? Ultimately, she decides to do it. Jasper comes along for the mission, facing his demons from last season's finale. The raw grief he shows while staring at Maya's favorite painting is one of the episode's most moving scenes.
On the quest for the City of Light, Jaha and Murphy have finally split up. Jaha meditates himself to the City of Light, talking with A.L.I.E. about ways to bring his people to this haven. Emori, however, has other plans. She's supposed to be stealing tech for A.L.I.E., but she decides instead to sell it to another buyer instead. Murphy, who's always been skeptical of Jaha's fanaticism, tells her that it's not a great idea to steal from these people. Of course, she's not convinced.
Their escapade nearly gets Emori choked to death. When Murphy intervenes by beating the man they stole from, he turns towards them and deadpans, "There's no pain in the City of Life." It's a creepy line told by a creepy man, made all the more creepy by the fact that Emori stabs him in the jugular right afterwards. He gushes blood while dying in front of them. Meanwhile, Jaha is convincing Otan of the City of Light's magic. Otan changes his mind about stealing the tech, then attacks his sister. Jaha tries to instill calm within the group: He explains that A.L.I.E. is real, and that he can unburden Murphy of his pain. Murphy then chucks the tech into the water, and takes off with Emori. The scene cuts back into the meditated City of Life. A.L.I.E. explains that there's no death in the City of Life. I'm curious to see where this is all headed.
- In last week's recap, several commenters criticized my dismissal of Clarke's sexuality as offensive and misguided. During my initial viewing, I saw their kiss as a lazy ploy to add tension to a relationship between two young, powerful women. After going back through those scenes again, though, I now agree that my impression of Clarke's sexuality was flat-out wrong. Thanks for encouraging me to take a second look.
- Monty finally has a story line! I'm not yet fully invested, but I'm curious to see how he'll cope with having his mother back in his life. Also, we still don't know the full story behind his father's death.
- Nyko and Lincoln have a lovely chat about the symbolism of Mount Weather as a harbinger of death. Nyko believes that he and Lincoln can change the Grounders' minds about the place, but to me, the scene seems to suggest that more people will die there in the near future.
- This episode is conspicuously void of Raven. Let's never have another episode without Raven. Okay? Okay.