‘The 100’ Season 7 Episode 5 Review: “Welcome to Bardo”

Octavia, Anders, and Levitt going to check something out image c/o www.imdb.com

In episode 5 of The 100, “Welcome to Bardo,” Octavia learns more about the planet of Bardo and, in turn, about herself.

What happened to Octavia? What will everyone do without Clarke and the gang?? You’re about to find out!

As with most of the episodes this season, “Welcome to Bardo” is split into two storylines: there’s Octavia in Bardo, and Indra in Sanctum.

We start the episode off with Octavia’s plot. After a bit of a scuffle, she winds up strapped to a chair with a neural interface device attached to her head. Why? So the scientists in Bardo can get information from her. One of them – super hunky of course (hi, Levitt, played by Jason Diaz) – helps our girl out. He’s reasonable, allowing Octavia to hide the memory of Hope, in exchange for any other information they want from her. After watching part of her mental movie, Levitt is 100% team Octavia – seeing her for the awesome warrior-woman she’s grown into – even trying to help her see that for herself. Then, Hope shows up, and, I’m not gonna lie, this storyline gets pretty confusing, pretty quickly.

There are two different Hopes here. We’ve got 19 year-old Hope, who succeeded in getting to Bardo after her friend Dev is killed, and we’ve got 24 year-old Hope, who is traveling with Echo and Gabriel.

Hope-19’s storyline gives us the explanation for why Octavia winds up in Gabriel’s arms in Sanctum with a giant back tattoo, a fucked-up arm, and no memory of what happened (this also explains why Diyoza didn’t come back through the Anomaly, but Octavia did). Additionally, this is the Hope that stabs Octavia with a tracker in order to help Bardo pull her back to their Anomaly Stone. Anders, the man in charge (played by Arrow’s Neal McDonough), gives her these instructions before sending her through the bridge – I guess there’s some kind of unspoken agreement that if she does this, they will save Diyoza? Maybe they make the deal off-screen? There’s still some time unaccounted for between when Octavia escapes and Hope goes off to find Diyoza, so you can bet explanations are forthcoming.

Hope-24, along with Echo and Gabriel, arrive in Bardo, intent on finding Octavia and Diyoza. This time, it’s Hope who is kill happy, much to Gabriel’s displeasure. We do learn a little more about the people we’re dealing with – turns out they aren’t from the Eligius mission. There was a stone on Earth! They do sound about as batshit crazy as any of the other factions we’ve met throughout the series. Anders believes Clarke is the key to their success, which is why he’s so hell-bent on getting Octavia back – her memories are chuck full of Clarke.

Despite the temporary distraction, Hope and the gang manage to find Octavia (this would be the Octavia that got pulled back after Hope-19 stabbed her). She’s in a kind of trance following Levitt’s instruction to use a mantra to avoid having her thoughts rifled through again.

Echo forces the current scientist (played by I believe Jonathan Scarfe) to tell her where Bellamy is; this leads to a flashback showing Octavia being informed by Anders that her brother has arrived. Naturally, since this is The 100 and our first reaction to anything is murder, Belmay has…not made a good introduction. He’s holding someone hostage when Octavia shows up, and, though she tries to negotiate for his safe release, one of the Bardo soldiers on the ground has other plans.

The bridge opens up, there’s an explosion, and, by the end of it, Bellamy is gone. Did he explode and all his parts get sucked up into the bridge? Did the explosion merely throw him back into the bridge? It’s important to note that, after the flash-bang goes off, there is NO ONE left behind. Not even the bodies of the soldiers he subdued. Hmm…curiouser and curiouser…Oh yeah, and Echo goes kill crazy and murders the scientist, because…Echo. You know, for a spy, she does not handle her emotions well.

Meanwhile, in Sanctum, things are…well…going poorly. Russel Prime’s followers – lead by Trey (Tom Stevens) – are getting restless, demanding he be freed. Indra, without Clarke around, is left with the burden of running things. Everything’s business as usual until Trey announces the Faithful will commit suicide by self-immolation one-by-one for every hour Russel Prime isn’t released.

Murphy’s response to their threat is probably my favorite just because it’s the one I had – let them burn! I mean, come on, it’s win-win! Not only do you get rid of the crazy cult of Prime lovers, but, without them around, you can kill Russel without any fear of riots! But, of course, when he finds out these nutbags are willing to kill children, he’s less enthusiastic. I guess I’m more of a Sheidheda at heart…It also doesn’t help that, since Indra refuses to send Russell, and Emori is still recovering from radiation poisoning, it’s up to Murphy to play his part as Daniel Prime.

This goes as expected: badly. And, when Russell comes in at the last minute to save Murphy from being set ablaze (after the Faithful realize he’s not the real Daniel Prime), he tips off Indra that he’s no longer Russell Lightbourne VII. She tests him with a bit of native tongue, and, in private, she confronts Sheidheda directly. Unfortunately, both of them know she can’t kill him. Fortunately, both of them know he can’t reveal himself without causing a riot – which would allow Indra to kill him without impunity. Bit of sticky situation, eh?

One of the bright moments to come out of all this is when Indra takes the memory-drive out of Russell. This ensures that, when Sheidheda dies, he dies for good. I also appreciate that she lets him feel it.

Overall, this is another solid episode. Filled with interesting stories told in a fun, if not confusing, structure. The theme of blind faith being generally BAD is heavy here. You see it with the Faithful, and the Bardo bunch.

What exactly is so special about Clarke? What happened to Bellamy? Or, for that matter, Diyoza??? There are a lot of mysteries piling up, and I, for one, am a little worried.

Not that this series can’t handle all of them, but that it might choose not to. Or, worse, it might choose to introduce new mysteries as a cruel series-ending cliffhanger. The time dilation angle really introduces the potential for so much confusion. Hope alone is a good example of that. What kind of explosion did the Bardo soldier set off? It was a bright, white light of some kind, but not a typical flash-bang…it almost looked like a portal. As for Sheidheda and Indra, that’s another fun set up with some heavy backstory to give it merit.

See, Sheidheda conquered the Trikru. In the war, Indra’s father died, but her mother kneeled to the Dark Commander. This made Indra resent her mom, which probably isn’t fair because if his mandate is “kneel or die” then…wouldn’t you kneel to protect your family? This also brings up the main sin of our series: Pride.

Pride is the one thing that seems to run in the veins of every character in The 100, except for maybe Murphy. Which, to me, makes him the most novel of the bunch. I mean, here’s a guy that’s willing to survive no matter the cost. Sure, he’s grown in a lot of ways, but he’s never let a little thing like honor or pride stand in the way of survival. He might be the most reviled character in the series (well, not recently), but to me, he’s the most practical.

Pride is the single most destructive driving force of the human race, and this series is all about showcasing that to the extreme.

Ah…an episode that really makes you think. That’s television I can get into.

As for next week, well, we finally catch up with Clarke and the gang on the Ice planet – which appears to have hostile beings living on it. You may have noticed redemption and karma are about to rear their thematic heads, at least if Raven’s brief words to Clarke are any indication. I’m definitely staying tuned!

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