The 100 “Stealing Fire” Review (Season 3 Episode 9)

On the whole, The 100 has felt a bit scattered this season. It’s a feeling I’ve had for a bit now, but I think “Stealing Fire” finally made it apparent how disconnected the main narratives of this season have become. Whereas last year at midseason, everything was beginning to come together, it still feels like new players and focuses are being added to the mix.

And it’s fine to introduce new characters, but it’s harder to deal with when their importance feels so sudden and out of place. Admittedly, we have met Ontari before, but between the hiatus and how small her role was before, she felt like a new addition, particularly given that her ascension to head of the clans happened so quickly. Obviously, given her loyalty to the dead Azgeda queen, she was always going to have it out for Clarke. However, that she’s only coming to prominence halfway through the season shows how varied this storyline has been, lacking a clear antagonist.

Of course, Arkadia has had a clear antagonist this entire time, they’ve just lacked much personality. Pike is an absolute monster, and while his hatred of the Grounders was established well with the introduction of the Farm Station survivors, he’s failed to develop past that. He’s simply turned into an iron-fisted dictator whose point of view has yet to be properly articulated. Cage was every bit a jerk last season, but we knew where he was coming from; he wanted to free his people from the prison of Mount Weather. Pike’s hatred and xenophobia, meanwhile, serve no purpose but his own prejudices.

So the show didn’t really need to give us another reason to hate the guy. However, we definitely got it with the execution of Lincoln that ended out the hour. It’s tough to see the show lose another main character so soon after Lexa, but at least Lincoln’s death played out in a meaningful way. He sacrificed himself to ensure Kane’s escape and the safety of the Grounders still held in captivity.

His death is also the sort to further push people away from following Pike. It’s a sentiment that already spreading through the camp, with Monty and Bellamy both deciding where their loyalties truly lie this week. We also see it in smaller ways, like the conflicted feelings of Miller’s boyfriend, or the way Miller and Harper freeze Monty and Bellamy out early in the episode. The fracturing in Arkadia is growing, and hopefully, Pike’s actions will continue to bring about the necessary change.

Still, the fact that neither of this arcs have interacted all that much is evident, and even more obvious is how removed the Alie arc is. Those characters are completely absent from the episode, even though they’re all present in Arkadia. With Clarke absconding with the AI chip, it’s clear that all of the disparate arcs will be coming together soon, but it all feels a bit discombobulated at this point, and that makes it harder to fully engage with the narrative.