Heavy things are going down under…ground that is!
As you may recall from the last episode Clarke murdered Bellamy to save Madi – which completely failed – and her, along with the gang plus Cadogan, went through the bridge to…Earth, it turns out. Yep, we’re back on Earth.
Not a lot happens in the episode action-wise until the second half. The first half concerns itself with reestablishing some long-separated connections (see Gaia and Indra, Jackson and Miller, and Niylah and Echo/Ash), setting up the second half, and providing some moral quandaries. Overall, I would say this episode sucks.
Why? Let’s just say there’s a lot of plot holes and missteps that I feel should not have happened.
See, Clarke arrives on the other side of the bridge to discover they are in the Second Dawn bunker. Cult leader Bill doesn’t stick around, apparently, there’s an ingestible version of the homing device that lets Bardo “beam” Bill up. This is when Gaia shows up. She explains that waaaaay back at the beginning of the season, while she was fighting a Disciple, the bridge opened up and they both fell through it. He tells her a closing bridge defaults to the person’s home planet of origin. And that’s about when my mind started getting bothered, because in the episode where Bellamy is “killed” the first time, he and the Disciple go through an open bridge. Why then, doesn’t the bridge send them to Earth?
Now, doing my best to remember the Gaia incident, the Disciple was trying to turn off the Stone when the bridge was closing – which means, I’m guessing, he didn’t put in a destination. I.E. it defaulted to Earth because of Gaia. So then comes the natural question: why wouldn’t it default to Bardo? And ok, fine, maybe it doesn’t default to Bardo because the guy turned it “off” but still, that doesn’t explain why when Bellamy and Conductor go through it sends them to the burial planet. I mean, sure, you could argue that Earth was “off” at this point (which should also be true for when Gaia and her Disciple go through, right?), but then wouldn’t it just send them back to Bardo? I’m sure that’s where Conductor was born. Le sigh.
Anyway, the second half is dominated by Shady returning as an invisible Disciple to bring Madi back to Bill. Yep, Shady is alive. Bill’s people save him from dying. We see him in a mindcap chair, but Bill isn’t reading his mind. Instead, we finally get the Bill/Shady face-off we’ve been craving – it still doesn’t go down as fantastically as I would have liked, but crazy talking crazy to crazy can be a little…well, crazy. Basically, Shady makes a deal to get Madi for Bill as long as Bill lets Shady have Sanctum. Bill is fine with this because he’s convinced it won’t matter once the last great war is won and all of the human “family” transcends.
Not gonna lie, this wording didn’t sit right with me. Bill makes it a very clear point throughout his run of the series that familial ties are a bad thing, yet here he says that the human race is a “family”??? Ug…Not to mention, why the fuck would Bill trust Shady to get Madi!? Really? You have invisible Disciples, you can literally send a strike team to sneak in, grab her, force the pill down her throat, and then leave. It’s that fucking simple.
And that brings me to my final issue with this episode: the invisibility angle. So, when Shady first arrives through the bridge he’s invisible, but Indra, Gaia, and Octavia witness the bridge opening and when no one appears they all seem weirdly confused. Gaia makes sense, I don’t think she’s actually seen what the Disciple suits can do, but Indra and Octavia have no excuse. This convenient amnesia allows the rest of the plot to unfold, including everyone having candid conversation despite knowing that the Disciples can go invisible, thus be spying, and Gabriel’s tragic demise (which works out for him cause he finally gets to die, but sucks for both Madi and Hope).
Let’s also not forget that Shady lays out the entire plan for Madi, but when he stabs himself with the beacon dagger so Bardo can “beam” him up, she seems as confused as everyone else with how to get back to Bardo – girl, he just showed you the pills he wanted you to swallow. Also, Clarke and crew saw Bill take a pill earlier!!! Ug. This episode pisses me off in so many ways.
It’s not all bad. Some of the quieter moments between characters provide a nice balance. Jackson and Miller finally get to see each other again. Hope and Jordan seem to have a love connection. Even Niylah and Echo get a lovely bonding scene – this is where they both reveal some truths about their names (nice to meet you, Ash). Hell, Indra gets two. She gets to bury the hatchet with her daughter and help Octavia come to terms with her past. And it is funny to see Clarke dealing with her teenage daughter. Anyone with kids has probably heard those famous words: “You ruined my life”. Welcome to parenting, Clarke! Kids never appreciate the murders you commit for them, am I right?
Though, in Madi’s defense Clarke’s decision to break the helmet is undeniably stupid. She must be a fan of The Walking Dead ‘cause that was a move straight out of the Rick Grimes authoritarian leadership handbook. Though, just like Rick, she makes it during a period of extreme grief – never a good time for heavy decisions.
But, seriously, Murphy makes a good point to Raven – some of the people on Sanctum are from Earth too there’s no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to return to their home planet. Watching him manipulate Raven into fixing the helmet is quite satisfying, but now I’m worried Murphy might not make it to the end. A lot of shows don’t really like characters who grow and evolve – The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this (it’s one of the reasons I stopped watching) – though, Octavia could also be on the chopping block by the end for this exact same reason.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a curiosity that itched at my brain. Did Bill save Bellamy? Or is Octavia’s brother really is dead this time? I wouldn’t put it past this show to fake us out twice. Plus, Bill’s not an idiot. Using Bell, “back from the dead” would be a good shock-punch to gain a brief upper hand should your enemies come a calling.
Well shall see, won’t we?