3x02 is so hard on monty. i mean, on a larger scale the story about his dad is very clearly a plot device to further the arkadia/pike story line. you especially see it in the various reactions it pulls out of the characters involved (kane, bellamy, hannah, monty and pike), but i can’t help and focus on monty and his emotional need to find out what happened to his dad, after his mother revealed to him that he didn’t make it though, because he looks collected, but is actually very broken.
when monty reunites with his mother and he asks her about his dad, hannah tells him that his father is dead. there is a shift in his demeanor after the revelation. monty’s initial shock comes in the form of him being paralyzed about the news. he doesn’t cry. he doesn’t scream. he doesn’t react at all. his mother is the one who draws him into a hug, but he can’t really reicorporate the gesture. all he can do is look ahead and bring up his hand to hold onto her lightly.
then, when bellamy and monty are about to move the tree so they can go on with their mission, bellamy asks him if he is okay, and monty answers
because yes. monty feels the need to keep himself collected (the way he relies on that need is unnerving by the way, because you know he will get to a breaking point, but more about that in the future). if there is one thing a lot of people gloss over it’s the fact that monty feels as responsible for the things that happened at mount weather as bellamy does. he is the reason why clarke and bellamy could pull the lever in the first place, representing the key rather than just a device, so he tries to be there for his friends too (especially jasper, as you know). the fact that both bellamy and monty are involved in this scene says it all.
later in the episode he asks his mother about what happened to his dad
but all his mother can say is “All you father wanted was to find you.
He loved you. That’s what matters”. there is a certain imbalance in his interaction with his mother, one that breaches his walls even further since she denies him the knowledge of what really happened, which in hindsight makes his emotional need to find out the truth grow. the interesting thing about this scene is this: as much as monty throws himself into the position of a person who looks out for his friends and pushes his own feelings down as best as he can, he also feels the need to find out things for himself, because, and i’m saying this in reflection of what i’ve seen of him in the entirety of season 3, he feels plagued when he doesn’t have the information of the full story, since he doesn’t know how to deal with uncertainty. this is actually what makes his character more nuanced.
there is a side of him that bottles everything up, but then there is also a part within him that just wants to be faced with the truth of things. so he asks again.
in the light of his pleas, because he really needs to know what happened, hannah decides to tell him the story about his dad, but only so far as she then breaks and begs “charles” to continue. the line “your father died a hero, monty” is what propels him into a state in which he can finally cry about his loss. the story squeezes him with dramatic effect, because seeing monty cry after trying to look as collected as he did over the course of the episode gives us the chance to mull over this event and think about what else could be happening to him in the future. this moment quite literally opens up a rather dark path for him.
then, because this episode is actually pretty fucking merciless. he talks about the one thing he tried to stand up against so far - mount weather
this line is something you’d expect from someone as pragmatic as monty. it’s the one unique aspect of his personality that makes him incredibly interesting to me (and not a cinnamon roll) as he reflects certain qualities that clarke possesses as well - being logical (think about how clarke says “i did what I had to do, that’s all” in 3x01). the thing about monty’s dad in monty’s case is that the story of his father is what effectivly establishes this moment in which monty talks about the 52 people that survived mount weather, while the rest got irradiated by him, clarke and bellamy. there is no all-consuming reflection on his feelings about what happened 3 months ago (much like we see with clarke when niylah mentions mount weather), but, and this is why this scene is very important, the fact that him opening up about his own story after he found out what happened to his father is what shows us how much he actually still suffers over that decision-making. they had to do it. doesn’t mean he ever wanted, or accepted it.
last but not least, monty represents the one friend everyone can hold onto again, as he quite literally symbolizes the rock of the group. he’s the one to carry bellamy back home after he failed to save clarke and lost her (again).
“For most of its history, Asbury was very small, much like hundreds of other towns in rural Iowa. In the 1960 census, Asbury still had only 71 residents. During this time, the City of Dubuque grew immensely, and thesprawl reached the Asbury area beginning in the 1960s. By 1970, Asbury had 410 residents and had grown fast enough to become the fastest growing city in the state of Iowa.”