Erica Cerra as A.L.I.E.
I must confess: Until about three minutes into “Nevermore,” I had legitimately forgotten that Jasper hated Clarke for what happened to Maya. When he snarls at her, it all came flooding back. Oh right, Clarke killed Maya. That’s why Jasper is the saddest.
The 100 has a habit of dropping story lines for weeks at a time, only to pick them back up at a moment’s notice, so this added tension was a surprise. To his credit, though, Devon Bostick, has never lost sight of the reason why his character is mourning. Jasper’s anger at Clarke hints at a change within the group dynamic. It’s an interesting moment of foreshadowing, one that pays off as the “Nevermore” continues.
As the episode begins, Jasper radioes Bellamy and the others to report what is happening at Arkadia, explaining quickly that it isn’t safe and that he has Raven. Then, the core Delinquents from the 100 are finally reunited. They work quickly to rid Raven of A.L.I.E., after Jasper fills everyone in on Raven’s idea to use the wristbands from when they were sent to Earth. Sinclair and Monty very easily extrapolate what to do, with a big assist from some pseudo-science speak about using an EMP to shock Raven’s system and kill A.L.I.E. inside her. Clarke remembers Nylah’s wristband, and they head to the trading post to find it. Octavia and Monty go to find a magnet from the dropship, while the rest of the team hangs back, watching over Raven.
“Nevermore” takes place over the course of a single night. Raven, who was sedated, wakes up howling. All the while, Lindsey Morgan does an incredible job. (It almost makes up for my weeks of lamenting that The 100 hasn’t given us enough Raven this season.) Morgan sells the tortured desperation that A.L.I.E. feels, but not without also infusing Raven’s personality into her performance. She’s easily the best part of the episode. When Raven dislocated her shoulder to gnaw off the ropes that tied her down, I almost didn’t want to keep watching. Though Raven seems to be enduring physical pain, none of it is present in her face. It was all a bit too much screaming and writhing for my taste — it may have been wiser to push the scene further into the dark moments where a crazed Raven silently harmed herself — but the end result was still incredible.
Also amazing: The group doesn’t immediately agree to let Clarke be the leader of the group. The idea rankles Jasper, and Bellamy (of all people!) seems a little hesitant to let her take up command. Over the course of the episode, however, it becomes clear that everyone does trust Clarke, and that she is their natural leader. No one else wants the responsibility that comes with the role, or the decisions she has to make. Even Sinclair hesitates about using the EMP on Raven, worrying that it’ll give her permanent brain damage. Clarke is the one who must convince him that it’s their only choice.
Meanwhile, A.L.I.E. insidiously uses every bit of knowledge that Raven has about her friends to remind them of their darkest, most conflicted moments. She reminds Clarke of all the people that had died under her watch, blaming her for Mount Weather, Finn, Wells, and her own father. Clarke, who’s spent the season tortured by the sheer number of people she’s killed, breaks after being reminded of her father’s death. However, it’s all territory that we’ve trod before, and as awful as it is to see Raven saying this to Clarke, it’s hard to forget that Raven found a way to work with Clarke after everything that happened with Finn.
Next, it’s Jasper’s turn. Raven tells him that everyone in the room has lost someone. They’ve all found a way to deal with it. Jasper, however, has not.
The level of Jasper’s grief over a girl he knew for a short time at Mount Weather is one of those details that confuses me if I spend too much time thinking about it. Though Maya was a fully fleshed-out character with agency and background, The 100 never really explained or elaborated on the attraction that Jasper and Maya felt for each other. Like so many other pairings, Maya and Jasper suffered from a sense of inevitability: Because the show needed them to be a couple, they were. It’s particularly hard to empathize with Jasper, and because so much of his character’s development hinges on this specific loss, it’s hard to understand where his motivations come from.
The most cutting remarks, though, are made to Bellamy. He allows Raven to attack him over and over again, while saying nothing. Raven tells him that it’s awful that Clarke gets so much responsibility for what happened at Mount Weather when both of them made the decision to irradiate the building. In trying to save himself, Raven tells him, he allowed hundreds of people to die on the Ark. Unlike Jasper or Clarke, though, Bellamy doesn’t react. He just absorbs the harsh barbs thrown his way. It’s not until Raven reminds him of the massacre he and Pike carried out — how they killed a sleeping army — that there’s any real recourse. Nylah, who lost her father in that massacre, realizes that Bellamy was responsible, and storms into the room to confront him. She gives their location away to Raven, who then alerts A.L.I.E.’s many selves back at Arkadia.
Over at the drop ship, Monty deals with demons of his own. After he finds the magnet, he sees his mother, who tells him that she’s there to protect him from the others at Arkadia, who have turned into a zombie-like army. Monty isn’t convinced. It hasn’t been long since his mother used him as a pawn in an attempt to re-imprison Kane and Sinclair. When he reminds her of this, she pretends that it wasn’t her — a misstep that quickly raises Monty’s suspicions. He asks his mother what his father’s favorite color is. When she’s unable to answer, he knows that she, too, has taken the chip.
And that’s when Hannah attacks her own son for the magnet. Thankfully, Octavia returns just in time to help. The fight scene lasts a few moments, but Hannah eventually gets the upper hand. As she wields the sword against Octavia’s neck, Monty has to make an impossible choice. He shoots twice, killing his mother and saving Octavia. Hannah’s never been my favorite, but it was nice for the show to feature a female character who was so ethically squishy. I’m sad to see her go.
They return with the magnet, and after a few false starts, manage to shock Raven. She passes out, and though she has a pulse, it’s unclear that she’ll actually wake up. Jasper sees the piece of AI that Clarke has been wielding, and attempts to destroy it. Clarke loses it, telling everyone that a part of Lexa is inside that thing. “I’ve seen it,” she says. Jasper realizes that he could have his ultimate revenge, killing the person that Clarke loves just as she killed Maya, but ultimately, he doesn’t destroy the Flame.
After Clarke remembers the incision Titus made on Lexa’s neck, she deduces that the AI would probably work in a similar way, and cuts a similar incision into Raven’s neck. Something goopy leaks out. Raven wakes up, and she has a message. The Flame is the only thing that can stop A.L.I.E.
- Towards the early part of this episode, Octavia makes a big show of leaving her brother and the rest of the Delinquents. When Clarke shows up, she simply yells at Octavia to come back. Clarke didn’t know about any of the tension between Octavia and Bellamy, and it’s a nice detail that Octavia hesitates for a beat before rejoining her friends.
- Last week’s beautiful reflective moment between the Blake siblings comes back in “Nevermore,” as Octavia accuses her brother of only turning against Pike for her. Again, Bellamy doesn’t really respond until later, when he asks Clarke what he’s supposed to do now that he knows he’s not “the good guy.” Glad to see The 100 is restoring Bellamy to the complex character he once was.
- Monty’s response to learning that his father was killed by Ice Nation? He stoically follows his mother and Pike into their anti-Grounder agenda. I’m curious to see the fallout of his mother’s death, especially now that he knows that there’s a way to destroy A.L.I.E.
- Long overdue praise: Erica Cerra’s A.L.I.E. is perfectly creepy. There’s so much to love about her performance: Her deadpan affect, the limited range of facial expressions she employs, her uncanny body language. It’s all terrific, especially since we’ve spent time with her passionate, emotional creator.