We’ve got some good news and some bad news, which sounds about right for The 100.
Shady didn’t kill Madie, which is good, but he did get her to kneel, which is bad. Clarke believes her friends have been brainwashed, which is bad, but Echo revealed she’s planning on killing everyone, which is good…though, she also said if her people don’t evacuate, that’s their problem!
Tonight’s episode is a doozy so let’s get a move on. As has been the trend this final season, we’ve got two main focal locations: Sanctum and Bardo.
We begin in Bardo (where most of our story takes place) with our friendly cult leader left alone with Clarke and the gang. They realize that their friends haven’t turned (as Bill believes) since they never corrected the outdated information that Clarke has the flame (she did, for one day, but that’s it). The audience learns their friends are still friends when Echo kills the Disciple set to take Hope to Penance and reveals she’s got a plan to murder everyone.
Meanwhile, Bill waxes poetic about his insane plans and how the stone factors in. He reveals there were logs left behind by the previous civilization and it’s why he wants what’s in Clarke’s head – to get the code to unlock the stone. There are some interesting philosophies going on about war, Niylah (Jessica Harmon) makes a good point – “Every war seems like the last one until the next”. Bill leaves his captors alone with the text while he goes to get lunch, Gabriel follows, but Niylah and Jordan stay behind.
Clarke and the gang finally reunite with Octavia and Diyoza (who also haven’t drunk the kool-aide) and meet Hope. It’s a short introduction as Hope informs them they all need to get the fuck off Bardo within 45 mins or…else. Octavia figures out that Echo is getting revenge for Bellamy and, when it is revealed Levitt was involved, she leads the others to find him and get more answers. Hope can’t stop them so she joins them, but Diyoza is disappointed at her daughter’s blind lust for vengeance.
Gabriel sits down with cult daddy Bill (“we weren’t a cult” said the man who believed all people are gods) for a lavish-looking meal (upscale fancy mind you, gorgeous food but tiny portions). It always amuses me how desperate evil leaders are to find kindred spirits while at the same time espousing themselves to be above everyone – uh…how exactly does that work? The self-fulfilling prophecy of being the lone savior, right? No one can ever understand you, because you’re special but that also, conveniently, makes you lonely – ie vulnerable. Anyway, Gabriel and Bill’s conversation is pretty telling. Like all rich people, Bill is more interested in getting answers to what’s next than actually helping people now. It ends in Gabriel losing his leverage and his gun, not surprising.
Levitt is alive! Not great, but breathing. He clues in the gang on Echo’s plan, which Clarke worries is a suicidal one until Raven clarifies that it doesn’t have to be. Echo’s means would allow her a window of escape. Levitt thinks to join the others in stopping Echo, but Octavia re-gags him, apologizing, and they all vamoose (we all knew Lincoln was a soul-mate, sorry boy toy!).
Back at the stone, Jordan is looking over the text and thinks Bill decoded it wrong. Maybe it’s like Korean (apparently Monty taught his son the family language, how sweet!). Jordan is convinced the message isn’t about war or violence, instead is it referencing a test? A test for all mankind??? Gabriel wants to keep the info under wraps – he’s not a fan of Bill being the representative for all mankind if it is a test (good call, Gabe).
Speaking of tests, Echo has the weapon and the water, and it turns out a little hesitation which allows Clarke and the gang to show up and try to talk her out of it. Echo isn’t deluded about her motives though, she knows it’s vengeance. But, where Clarke can’t reach her, Raven stands a chance. This is where that five years in space makes a big difference because even though we never really get to see any kind of relationship form between Raven and Echo one does exist, and it allows Raven to appeal to Echo on a deeper level. It also happens to work! Unfortunately, Anders and reinforcements show up, and Hope’s black and white ideals of right and wrong cost her dearly.
Sanctum’s story is pretty simple. Shady is intent on taking the throne back. He wants his rightful place as Commander to be recognized and respected, and this forces Indra into single combat with him. It sucks because while Indra is certainly a formidable opponent she ultimately loses to Shady, though he does lose an eye in the process thanks to Madi (she intervenes to stop him from killing Indra). He gives the former leader of Wonkru a choice – kneel and he’ll spare Madi, or don’t and he’ll kill both of them. Indra, of course, kneels.
Murphy, having played chess with the Dark Commander, knows he won’t let the faithful life. And in fact, once Shady takes the reins he’s ordering lots of killings (naturally Madi is on the list because we all know bad guy 101 is never keep your word). It’s helpful that Madi escapes when she has the chance, and Murphy and Emori usher the survivors of the massacre away to safety. Though, now that Shady is in charge how long can they stay safe?
This is a fantastic episode filled not so much with unpredictable twists and turns but a lot of heart and promise. It also provides a very cool cultural clash.
Consider that the Disciples have this society-first mentality they’ve adopted, an extreme version of the values many Eastern Asian cultures had for years. The way that Asian names are structured reflects this – your individual name comes after your family name, signifying that the whole is greater than the one. And yet, when Bill decodes the text his mindset is American. He doesn’t see the characters as Jordan does. It is possible he can’t even fathom the option. When he’s talking to Gabriel much of what he says revolves around how important he is. Yes, he’s doing this “for all mankind” but he cryogenically froze himself so he could be there to witness the end. In other words, he values himself above all else.
Another fun aspect of tonight’s show was the fight between Shady and Indra. I loved the camera angles used – as if the audience were in the crowd trying to get around people to see the fight. Shady’s extensions were cute too. I do wish the fight had been closer; I imagined Indra would be a better warrior, but all in all a great scene. I also wonder: why the prevalence of cycloptic villains? Is it just because of The Odyssey?
Finally, spoiler, there’s Diyoza’s demise. It is an unavoidable observation to make that Octavia is Hope’s future. Hope is 25, she’s driven by pain and loss, and so assured of her assumptions of what is right and what is wrong – who is good and who is bad. That was Octavia at the beginning of The 100. We can’t fairly compare Hope to Diyoza because we don’t know Diyoza’s history enough, but we know Octavia’s. We know Octavia has loved and lost and allowed her pride to destroy not only herself but those around her. Hope’s belief that Echo was right, that all the people on Bardo should die, leads her to make a grave mistake. It costs her one of the things she had been working so hard to gain, and I hope (pun inevitable) she learns from this. Granted, when you’re young it takes a long time to look back and realize your faults. How will Hope react? BTW, Diyoza dying couldn’t be helped – she was a war criminal! She did horrible things, like it or not she had to die. Penance isn’t just a planet people.
Lots of questions being raised…lots of answers due…oh, I need to see how this plays out! Also, also, I was right! Bellamy is alive, and we get to see what he’s been dealing with in the next episode. You know I’ll be watching!