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THE 100 “Join or Die” Recap and Commentary

In this recap and commentary of The 100, “Join or Die,” we discuss the Delinquents finding Luna, ALIE’s takeover of Polis, and the flashback to the Ark.

The Delinquents

The episode starts off with Jasper, Octavia, Bellamy, and Clarke in the Rover, driving to find Luna. Jasper points out that they’re looking at a map without any distances, and suggests that they should stop driving. When they get to a road block, Octavia, who’s very impatient to find Luna, jumps out of the car, and Clarke follows. They hear running water, and start running to find it. Bellamy, who at this point looks like a dad who’s been dragged in to doing something that he doesn’t want to, reluctantly follows.

They follow the running water until they find a lake with a circle of stone piles. While the map says that they should’ve found a village, they obviously haven’t. Luna isn’t where they expected her to be, and Octavia screams with frustration and anger.

Realizing that they’re going to have to camp there until they figure things out, Octavia uses her ground training skills (probably) that she learned from Pike to make a fire. Bellamy tries to look at the map, and Octavia yells at him for touching it. Bellamy tries to talk to Octavia, not being able to stand her being mad at him anymore, but she shuts him down pretty quickly.

Octavia tells Bellamy that Lincoln is dead because of him, which is only partially true, but Bellamy tells Octavia that he tried to help her stop what was happening. When Octavia stops talking to him, Bellamy walks off, down the beach, because he’s upset. This scene absolutely killed us. Bellamy and Octavia mean everything to each other. A lot of the time, it feels like they’re all that they have left. So, for them to still be at ends with each other is so freaking sad. We hate seeing either Bellamy or Octavia in pain.

Jasper, Octavia, and Clarke realize that, after Jasper’s been throwing leaves in the fire that have been making it turn bright green, the changing color of the fire is a signal fire. They think that the signal fire is how they’ll contact Luna.

Later, Bellamy is standing by the water when Clarke walks up to him. Bellamy accuses her of wanting to fix everything, including him, and calls her Wanheda. He tells her that he doesn’t need her help, which is an obvious lie. Clarke, of course, doesn’t walk away from him.

After a moment of silence, Bellamy confesses to Clarke that he thinks that he’s lost Octavia, but Clarke tells him that she just needs time. Additionally, she tells him that Lincoln’s death wasn’t his fault. Bellamy, who obviously doesn’t believe this, looks at Clarke, and she asks him if he’ll ever forgive himself. Bellamy tells her that forgiveness is hard for him.

Right after he confesses that forgiveness is hard for him, Bellamy tells Clarke how angry he was when she left, and that he doesn’t want to feel that way. Finally, he forgives Clarke. After he forgives her, Clarke and Bellamy both realize that they need each other.

Clarke hugs Bellamy, and they’re themselves again. After all that they’ve been through this season, Clarke and Bellamy have finally forgiven each other.

Before they’ve broken up their hug, a bunch of Grounders come up from under the water and capture Bellamy and Clarke.

When the Grounders get to Jasper and Octavia (with Bellamy and Clarke in tow), Jasper is still throwing leaves into the fire, making a signal. The Grounders tell them that they saw their signal fire, and before they have a chance to kill them, Octavia tells the Grounders that Lincoln sent them. The Grounders offer them vials of liquid, and tell them that it’s their offer for safe passage.

Octavia drinks the liquid, and tells Jasper, Bellamy, and Clarke that she trusts Lincoln. Jasper drinks the liquid right after her. Both of them go unconscious, and Bellamy questions whether or not they should drink it.

Clarke tells Bellamy that they’ll do this like they do everything, together. Bellamy and Clarke drink the liquid and lay down on the ground, getting ready to go unconscious. Bellamy goes unconscious looking at Clarke’s face. If the hug wasn’t enough of an indicator that Bellamy is in love with Clarke, when Bellamy and Clarke drink the liquid, Bellamy makes sure that the last thing that he sees before going unconscious is Clarke’s face. It really says something about his feelings for Clarke that he wanted the last thing he saw before getting knocked out to be her face.

When Jasper, Octavia, Bellamy, and Clarke wake up, they’re in a huge shipping box. Everyone’s weapons are gone, but, luckily, Clarke still has the chip.

The doors to the shipping box open, and Luna walks in. She asks where Lincoln is, and Octavia tells her that he’s dead. Then, Clarke tells her that Lincoln said that she would help them. Clarke gives Luna the flame/AI and tells her that it holds the spirit of all the commanders. Clarke asks Luna if she’ll take the flame and become the next commander, but, interestingly, Luna says that she’ll never kill again.

The music builds up, and you can see the hope building up in Octavia and Clarke’s eyes, but Luna declines Clarke’s offer.

Luna and the Delinquents walk out of the shipping box, and we realize that this Grounder society lives in the middle of the ocean on an oil rig.


At the beginning of this plot line, the Grounders are transporting their prisoner, Pike, and Kane to Polis. Walking through the city, Kane and Pike see huge puddles of blood and grotesque crucifixions of Grounders. Once they get closer to the huge tower, Jackson greets Pike, Kane, and al the Grounders. Jackson tries to tell the Grounders that he can take charge, but they tell him that Pike and Kane belong to the/need to see the Commander.

Jaha and Ontari come out, and Ontari commands her soldiers to take the chip, so that they can join the City of Light. Pike tells Jaha that he’s crazy (the only thing that Pike’s said that has made any sense), and then he grabs for Ontari and holds a knife to her throat.

Pike tries to call for backup from his friends, but they attack him and hold him back. When Jaha offers Pike the chip, he, obviously, rejects the request, and the soldiers put a sack over his head and take him to the prison.

Then, Jaha turns to Kane (with ALIE in the background) and offers him the chip. ALIE tells Jaha that they need to make Kane take the chip because he has information on where Clarke, The Delinquents, and ALIE 2.0 are. When Kane says no to the chip, they take him as prisoner. After Kane has left, Abby appears and tells Jaha and ALIE to leave Kane to her.

The Grounder soldiers bring Pike to the prison and chain him up to the wall. Murphy, who’s also in the prison, sees Pike and basically thinks, “Oh, great. That bastard is here.” Before the guards leave, they ask the prisoner’s if any of them are ready to take the chip, and no one says anything.

After the guards leave, Pike finally notices Murphy sitting in the prison, and is obviously surprised that Murphy is still alive. This references back to the scene that we’d seen earlier in the episode on the Ark, with Pike basically telling Murphy that he wouldn’t survive on the ground.

Indra, who’s also in the prison, gets her chains out of the wall, and walks toward Pike, determined to get revenge on the man who’s responsible for killing 300 of her people. Indra tells Pike that she’s going to take 300 cuts for the 300 lives that he took, and, when she starts, it’s pretty damn painful to watch.

In the Polis tower, Kane stares out a window when the guards throw a dissolved Abby into the room. Abby tells Kane that she escaped from Arkadia after he and The Delinquents left, and then hid in the woods until she was captured by Grounders and taken to Polis.

Then, Abby tells Kane that the Grounders are after Clarke because she has something that they want. ALIE, who’s there with Abby, trying to get her to do what she wants, tells her that “we don’t have time for this.” ALIE tells Abby to try harder to get the information that she wants. So, Abby starts to make out with Kane, and, automatically, Kane knows that Abby has taken the chip.

The guards walk into the room that Abby and Kane are in and take him outside to the courtyard area. There, Jaha commands the soldiers to put Kane on a cross. Right before they put the nail through his wrist, Abby tries, one more time, to tell her where Clarke and the others are. When he refuses, the soldiers hammer the nails through his wrists, crucifying him. This scene in the episode, though extremely graphic, is full of Biblical imagery that paints Kane as a Jesus figure. How this will play into the future of the plot, we don’t know. This moment is such an amazing and dramatic scene that was filmed with deliberate and specific care.

Back in the prison, Indra is still cutting Pike with the huge nail. Murphy tells everyone that they need Pike if they want to get out because he’s strong. He reminds them that, when they escape, they’ll be facing an army that cannot feel anything. Murphy asks Indra if she would rather have her revenge or her people, and she stops cutting Pike, temporarily setting aside her need for revenge.

Pike looks at him for a moment, and Murphy tells him that he can go float himself.

In the courtyard area, Kane is nailed to the cross, bleeding out of his wounds. While he’s in mass amounts of pain, Jaha presents him the chip, offering Kane a chance to stop the pain and requesting information on where the “resistance” is. Kane, obviously, doesn’t want to take the chip, but when he threatens to shoot Abby, Kane submits. He would do anything to save Abby.

Jaha offers him the chip again, and, finally, Kane takes it.

The Ark – Flashback

It feels so incredibly GOOD to be back on The Ark again, even if it is just with a flashback. We’ve missed this place.

In the flashback, Kane brings Pike to Abby and Chancellor Jaha. When all the doors are closed and they’re sure that no one is listening, Jaha tells Pike that he needs to teach a crash course to The 100 (minus Clarke and Wells) about how to survive on the ground. When Pike questions Jaha on why he needs to do this, Abby, Kane, and Jaha tell Pike that they’ve decided to send The 100 to the ground.

While Pike is surprised that the Council has decided to send the kids to the ground, he agrees to teach the lessons under the 2 week time restraint that Jaha has given him.

After Pike agrees, part (at least, it didn’t look like 99 kids) of The 100 come in to the room for their lesson in ground survival skills. As soon as all of the kids come in, we got really emotional because they all look so pure and clean and happy. In the room, we see Miller, Harper, Jasper (who looks freaking adorable), Murphy, and Octavia (who’s incredibly shy and nothing like the Octavia we know now), and it makes us remember how far all of these characters have come. They’ve been hardened and screwed over by this life, but, somehow, in essence, they’re still the same characters.

When Pike starts teaching, he asks all of the kids what they think the key to survival on Earth is. Octavia cheekily says that it’s not dying, and the rest of the class laughs. Pike, however, says that the key to surviving is to make sure that you fight against all odds.

During a break in the lesson, Pike goes to Jaha to express sympathy over Wells being arrested and assigned to solitary. With being so far in this series, it’s so nice to get mentions for characters from season 1. When Jaha doesn’t show hardly any remorse about his son being arrested, Pike asks him if he even cares if The 100 live or die. Then, Pike tells Jaha that, because the kid’s don’t know that they’re being sent to the ground, they don’t care about the lessons, and, therefore, will not listen to what Pike is trying to teach them. He asks Jaha to let him tell the kids that they’re being sent to the ground, but Jaha refuses his request.

Pike goes back to the classroom, and tells the class that they’re officially done talking about Earth skills. When Pike tells this to the class, Murphy gets up from his chair and begins to walk towards the door, ready to leave. However, Pike stops him and asks Murphy to help him with teaching the rest of the class. Murphy, of course, being the stubborn and sassy guy that he is, blatantly rejects Pike’s request.

Suddenly, Pike slaps Murphy hard against the face, and he sits back down. In front of the rest of the kids, Pike talks about Murphy’s backstory and how he “wasted” the second chance that his father died to give him. When Murphy tries to shrug off everything that Pike’s saying, Pike starts to beat the shit out of him in order to get a rise out of both Murphy and the rest of the class. When Pike tries to choke Murphy, the rest of the class band together  in order to hit Pike in the head with a pipe and pull him off of Murphy.

When the kids succeed in getting Pike off of Murphy, Pike announces, in front of the kids, Jaha, and Kane, that what they’ve done is a sort of messed up graduation. Although a little weird (and a lot harsh) , we can assume that Pike did this in order to get the kids to unite against a common enemy, a very important skill that they would all need on the ground.

This episode ends right before where the beginning of this series starts. We see all of The 100, including Clarke and Bellamy, being taken into the dropship to be taken to earth. The combination of the music in this scene, Radioactive (cover by Boyce Avenue), and seeing all of The Delinquents clean and completely unharmed, made us into a huge emotional mess.

There have been some really great episodes this season, but this one, by far, has been the most emotional and well done one.

The next episode of The 100, “Red Sky at Morning,” comes on Thursday, May 5 at 9/8c.

What did you think of “Join or Die?”

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.