The 100: Season 7 Episode 16: “The Last War” Review

Clarke, you gots some explaining to do! image c/o imdb.com

Jordan was right, Bill got killed, and Clarke doomed all of her friends!

Finales are tricky. There’s pressure to please the fans yet end the show in a way that maintains the integrity of its themes and setup. The 100 had a very simple setup: find a place to call home. And, in that respect, the finale paid that bill. With regards to the themes we’ve seen throughout the show, I think it made a decent effort though it didn’t entirely hit the mark.

We start off where we left off, with Emori being rushed to Sanctum in hopes of pulling off a miracle. It does not go well, and this plotline ends simply enough with Murphy getting Emori’s mind drive put in his head, waiting for death, while Jackson and Miller dance together in the background.

The next storyline we follow is that of Clarke, Levitt, and Octavia. Clarke is on the warpath, killing everyone in her wake on the way to the stone to stop Cadogan. Octavia is along for the ride, while Levitt is less than thrilled about how things are going down. Bill is in the City of Light (kind of) meeting the proctor of the test – Jordan was right!

Bill’s side of things ends quickly, with Clarke shooting him in the head mid-exam. The proctor seems surprised by this but takes the event in stride, changing forms from Bill’s daughter Cassie to Clarke’s ex-lover Lexa. They get into a heavy debate about how Clarke’s actions are evidence of why the human race should not transcend and instead be crystalized (that’s the consequence of failing the test) like the countless other species deemed unworthy.

Clarke makes some fine points here – mainly that she finds it hypocritical of a “higher” species to pass judgment on a “lower” one, including taking it upon themselves to eradicate that species. After all, if the human race’s greatest flaw is its penchant for violence and the tendency to wipe out other species, is this “higher” species really better? Unfortunately, like most rebels, Clarke’s arguments get her in deep shit and the proctor deems humanity unfit for transcendence. This storyline ends with Clarke being left behind while all the other humans get to transcend (more on that in a minute), mostly because she was the first member of a species to commit murder during the test.

Octavia and Levitt’s storylines collide with Wonkru, Jordan, Hope, Indra, Raven, and Echo who all get tangled up in what the Disciple army thinks is the last war. While Wonkru and the gang are just providing a distraction so Echo and Raven can sneak off to stop Bill, Levitt reminds them that the Bardo army believes their appearance is literally the last war that their Shepard prepared them for.

By the end of this storyline, Octavia has completely redeemed herself managing to stop a massive clash of armies instead of causing one (even with Shady working against her!). Levitt and Echo almost die in the process but are kept alive long enough to see the promised land, because the dead don’t get to transcend. Ultimately, it’s the success of Octavia’s speech, which drives both Wonkru and the Disciples to lay down their arms, which convinces the proctor to save the human race after all.

However, credit for this salvation also goes to Raven, who takes a chance and enters the test after Clarke failed. We get an Abby cameo! Anyway, Raven’s stance is that while humanity might not be worthy of transcendence isn’t it unfair to kill them? Where Clarke rages against the dying of the light, Raven bargains. She makes similar arguments to Clarke – calling out the “higher” species for its cruelty, claiming while humanity has made mistakes it was just trying to survive, but she offers something Clarke doesn’t. She makes the claim for humanity’s ability to change, to grow, and only requests more time.

Clarke seeks acceptance and for the proctor to admit it’s just as fucked up as the species it destroys, no wonder this doesn’t fly. Gods are hardly of the mind to consider themselves “human”. Raven, however, seeks only to be accepted for what she is: human. She doesn’t try to get the god to see humanity in itself, but rather, to realize it is incapable of understanding a species it considers itself so far above. This is a clever strategy and grants our humble species the precious few minutes more it needed to prove itself worthy.

With Levitt, Octavia, Raven, and the armies’ help, humanity is spared. Not given more time, as Raven asked for, but transcendence. Everyone except Clarke…

The final moments of the series are dedicated to revealing how loyal Clarke’s friends are to her. See, everyone gets to transcend, but it turns out it’s a choice. An apparent one-time-no-backsies type choice, but still. The proctor explains no one had ever chosen not to transcend until now, naturally. As Clarke is told the good news we get to see what idiots chose not to evolve. From what I can make out it’s Indra, Octavia, Murphy, Echo, Hope, Jordan, Miller, Jackson, Raven, Gaia, Niylah, and maybe Emori??? To be honest, I didn’t see John’s girl on the beach but I would find it hard to believe she would stay ghosty while he lives on the ground.

Some of the best, but let’s face it, way too quick moments in this finale include:

Indra blowing up Shady! Yes!!! Indra finally gets revenge for her mother and people’s deaths when she takes up a vaporizer and blasts Shady into nothingness. He’s the only linchpin fucking over humanity’s chance at salvation, so it’s a good thing she does it, but man, is it ever satisfying.

Jordan and Hope finally kiss!!! Unfortunately, it doesn’t go much further because the bridge opens and they are off to stop Cadogan, but at least they crossed that line so they’ve got a future of making out ahead of them.

Clarke relieving Madi of her Earthly commitments. The first hint we get of transcendence being a choice – without realizing it – is when Madi refuses to leave her broken body. It’s interesting that, despite believing she failed humanity, Clarke quickly grasps what’s happening and encourages her daughter to let go. At first, I thought that Madi’s locked-in syndrome was preventing her from being able to transcend, but nope!

Clarke’s reunion with her friends on the beach. Seriously, what the fuck? There were plenty of moments in this episode that could have been trimmed to allow us a longer more in-depth look at who exactly rejected everlasting peace for a life with Clarke. It’s a shame but I also wonder if it wasn’t somewhat on purpose.

Things that bothered me in this finale:

So Raven and Nikki are just friends now? I honestly didn’t understand the random united front that the prison miners made when getting recruited, not only to rescue Niylah and Echo, but also to be part of the distraction army sent to Bardo. I get that Raven got to Nikki when she pulled the whole “what would Hatch” do speech on her, but enough to engender a favor this big!? Pfft…that’s some finale bullshit right there.

John’s willingness to die for Emori. Now, understand that anytime this comes up in a show I’m not a fan. I never understood why one half of a supposedly die-hard couple is willing to sacrifice his or herself so the other can live. You do realize the other person has to live without you right? Is it fair to assume that he or she will be just fine without you while you couldn’t possibly live without them??? I get that John and Emori are fan favorites and her death was going to be a heavy blow (which is again why, despite not being sure she was on the beach, I’m pretty sure she was on that beach), but seriously this trend needs to die.

Shady’s last-ditch effort to destroy…humanity? Shady was a great villain this season, absolutely phenomenal at times, but his shift from wanting to rule Sanctum to wanting to fuck everything up for the rest of us seemed like some finale bullshit to me. Also, why did it take so long to take him out!? I get that it allowed Indra to have that all-satisfying moment of blasting him to bits, but seriously…you’re telling me not one member of Wonkru was able to just turn and shoot him? Really?

What the fuck was that overlay at the end? Who was the girl at the very end that got a weird overlay while Clarke and her friends reunited on the beach? Am I the only one who didn’t get that shit at all? Was it Madi? I mean…from what I understand she’s part of a kind of collective, so how would she be sitting on a floor playing with…again, not entirely sure what the fuck was going on with that.

Overall impression:

Again, this wasn’t a bad finale overall. A fairly happy ending – if you consider missing out on eternal peace happy – with most of our starting cast making it to the end. It raises questions, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a finale, and will probably confuse the fuck out of a good chunk of people (::raises hand::). I think being unable to know exactly who was on the beach ruins some of the punch because if there are beloved characters missing that would raise the emotional bar. Ah well. You can’t please everyone, right?

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2 comments

  1. That overlay at the end was of Clarke’s first scene from the pilot episode, when she was sketching a drawing of Earth in her Ark cell. I took this as a final recognition that her “dream” of finding a home on the ground came true after so many trials and turmoils.

    • Norton

      Ah! Thanks so much! I feel like such a bad fan, heh. I thought it was Madi but then the girl looked more like Josephine, but I was wrong on both accounts. That’s cool they did that, and also, for a series finale, not at all surprising.

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