Post-apocalyptic drama The 100 is brimming with different kinds of leaders. In Season 4 alone, there’s the fierce but fair King Roan, there’s the battle-worn Indra, and Clarke and Bellamy are back to their old dynamic of co-leading together. But there’s also someone who doesn’t have an official title like King, Commander, Chancellor, or Wanheda. If you asked her people who their figureheads are, they wouldn’t even name her among them — but in “The Four Horsemen” she took command and rose to the occasion: Raven Reyes.
Raven (Lindsey Morgan) has always been in charge of matters involving engineering and technology, and she’s frequently privy to making hard decisions with Clarke and Bellamy. But thanks to an old leg injury with lasting side effects, her limited mobility on the battlefield has made it difficult for her to be as hands-on as Clarke and Bellamy. Season 4, however, has given her a bigger job than ever, as she attempts to engineer the Ark to sustain as many people as possible during the impending nuclear apocalypse. And in “The Four Horsemen,” she showed her unique capacity for adaptation — a quality everyone could stand to learn from.
At the beginning of the episode, Luna and her people come to Arkadia as refugees from a home environment that has turned against them. They’re suffering from Acute Radiation Sickness, and the fish surrounding their rig are dying.
Raven initially meets the situation with a harsh but true outlook: She tells Abby she can’t spare meds because she needs to save the limited supply for their own people.
Later, however, after Murphy steals the meds behind her back, and Abby gives them to Luna’s little girl, Raven stands in a room full of people looking on to a heartbreaking scene. The meds fail to work, and Luna cradles the girl as she dies. Raven watches with tears in her eyes, deeply moved by the scene. Where she previously saw the refugees as problems she couldn’t afford, she now sees them as fellow humans united in suffering.
It isn’t that simple, of course, because nothing on The 100 ever is. But Raven mixes Clarke’s ruthless long term approach with Bellamy’s practicality, making her the best of both worlds. Clarke tends to be too cold under pressure; Bellamy too short-sighted, and Roan needs Octavia to tackle his problems because his guards are constantly watching him.
Although her people might not view her as a leader in an official capacity, Raven is quietly one of the strongest leaders. And in a wise move by the show, where the A.L.I.E. plot sidelined Raven for much of Season 3, Season 4 is enabling her to take center stage.
The 100 is currently airing on Wednesdays on The CW.