What’s a penultimate episode without a few real stakes?
Welcome to the second to last The 100 episode. Things are heating up, understandably, so let’s get down to business. There are essentially three storylines here and they are all very simplistic.
We start off following the mysterious cave-in that occurred at the end of the last episode. While Murphy, Raven, and Jackson are all revealed to be fine (no news on Echo and Niylah yet), Emori is decidedly not. She got impaled by a piece of rebar and (later when they pull her out) has a nasty leg injury to boot. Their storyline revolves around the race to dig up the stone in order to get Emori to Sanctum so Jackson can treat her properly. By the end, Emori has passed out, and Jackson climbs on top of her to perform chest compressions in an effort to keep her alive while Raven and Murphy push the stretcher into the bridge.
The second storyline follows Clarke, Octavia, Indra, Hope, Jordan, and Gaia with Clarke and Octavia breaking off into their own storyline later. Initially, Clarke is desperate to get to Madi and rescue her, however, when she and Octavia (who volunteers to help) take the nano-tag pills nothing happens. You may have also noticed they aren’t glowing green anymore – I think this indicates that they’ve been deactivated and in fact we learn they have been. Hope comes to a similar conclusion, and Clarke winds up pacing and ranting to fill her time. Eventually, the pills get reactivated (thanks Levitt! We’ll get to him in a minute) and Clarke and Octavia are off to Bardo. This leaves Hope and Jordan to bond, and Indra and Gaia to bond, all while waiting for the bridge to open so they can go and help.
The third storyline resides on Bardo where Bill Cadogan and Levitt are trying to get the secrets from Madi’s mind. Levitt reveals that Madi’s “memories” aren’t in the usual places where memories reside, so Bill pushes him to search for them even if it is dangerous. Madi is willing to go along until she sees Cassie’s memory of Becca – who warns Bill’s daughter that her father must never get the key. It’s at this point that Madi stops being complacent and Levitt warns that probing her now could do permanent damage. Bill naturally doesn’t care and dismisses Levitt, telling him to bring in someone who will do what needs to be done.
This is where the third storyline interacts with the second with Levitt bluffing his way into getting the Earth nano-tags reactivated in order to bring over Clarke and Octavia. Unfortunately, Bill had the bridge moved to the oxygen farm where the rest of the army is preparing so our heroes are immediately captured and jailed. Levitt must realize this and goes to break them out of their cell, taking a page out of their book and subduing the guards in order to gain access. We hear singing – and discover that Shady is still alive (of course). This turns out to be a blessing in disguise as Clarke and Octavia recruit the former commander to provide a distraction. At first he denies them, but when faced with the prospect of staying in his cell, he concedes to their request.
Shady’s moment in the sun proves effective, though he disappears once he’s completed his task. Levitt is surprised by the grisly reality of war, which Octavia then reminds him is very different from watching a holographic playback of it. All of this effort proves for naught when they arrive in the mindcap room to find Madi catatonic. Levitt also reveals that Bill got the code. All is not well.
This is a fine second to last episode – it sets up the finale really well in terms of stakes and of course, villains. You’ve got Shady running free, Bill who might doom the entire human race, and then our old pal Death who wants to make sure your favorite show doesn’t end with a few familiar faces getting left behind. Will Madi ever recover from her stroke induced locked in syndrome??? Will Emori get to Sanctum’s surgery theatre in time for Jackson to save her life???
I have to say I don’t have high hopes. The 100 has never been one of those shows where a happy outcome is more likely over a tragic one. However, lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of show finales having insanely happy endings despite their overall tone. See I-Zombie or Agents of Shield, as good examples. You’d think either one of these shows, which had a good record of balancing dark themes with humor and pathos, would have had at least some bad things happen in their finales, but nope. Both of them ended relatively happy for all the main characters. I can’t see that happening for The 100, at least not sincerely. I like the idea of Madi getting mercy killed, I like the idea of John Murphy having to be a good person following the death of the one person he felt was worth being good for. These consequences are real, and for all its sci-fi trappings, The 100 has always been a show about the reality of humanity.
However, we are in dire times right now, and maybe happy endings are what people need. I could definitely see Madi getting her mind uploaded to a drive and downloaded into a body that works – perhaps even a clone of her actual body given the technology available on Bardo. It would explain why they held off killing her in this episode. I could see Emori losing her leg – giving her yet another point to bond with Raven over – and maybe winding up if not fully crippled then just hobbled in the end. If I remember right, Emori and John both have mind drives, so again, even if she dies there’s a chance she could be downloaded into another body. It’s a very interesting work around for death, and one that a series called Altered Carbon explores with some success. Though The 100 mind drives are slightly different than Carbon’s stacks.
Either way, however this shakes out, I’m on the edge of my seat. Will we see Becca again? Is Bellamy actually alive OR will he show up in this place of light that Becca saw when she went into the stone? Was that the vision he had in the cave? I’m not gonna lie, I’ll be a little pissed if at least one important person doesn’t die, but given the technology they’ve constructed it also wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibilities. A happy 100 season finale? Now that’s a change of pace! Though, now that I think about it, wouldn’t it be hilarious if they default to the old nuclear option again?