The 100 S5E05: “Shifting Sands” Review

Okay, I’m fighting off illness and kind of out of it, so I’m just gonna go through this by plot line and not try to remember what happened in what order, because I 100% do not know.

So let’s dive right in with Raven and Murphy getting tortured! Must be Tuesday. We seem to have off-screened some of the stuff with Eligius, because Murphy and Raven are on the ground for this. I think the other prisoners are also down, but I’m less sure about this? I couldn’t tell if they came to the ground or went back in cryosleep or what.

Anyway, torture! Diyoza wants the missile codes from Raven, Raven says she doesn’t have them, McCreary is happy to torture her forever. Shaw doesn’t seem as down with torture, which seems to be a character trait of his, but there’s more to it than that this time: Raven’s getting tortured because of him. He lied and said she locked him out of the missile system, which saved her people, but she seems to see it as a “cool motive, you still let me get tortured” situation. Which is fair, and Shaw seems to mostly agree with that assessment. He also agrees to let her come up with a better plan than his (which was basically “I got her to talk” and then shooting everyone), which is that Murphy gets to escape. They’re working on the (correct) assumption that the rest of spacekru would be monitoring the situation, and he hooks back up with them. Madi calls him out for not being funnier and horrifies him by saying Octavia is her favorite, so they’re already my new favorite character dynamic, and they head off to try to warn Bellamy and Clarke about the missiles.

Listen, autocorrect, if I meant “middles,” I would type that, please leave me alone.

Anyway, the wrinkle in whether or not Shaw is on their side is Murphy’s shock collar, which keeps him from going too far away. This seems to be a surprise to him, and Shaw suggesting using it as a tracker is what angers Raven, so we’ll see. Either way, Monty still thinks they have an ally in Eligius when he radios, Murphy leaves the rover to let everyone else go, and Emori stays with him, waiting for whatever comes next.

So let’s talk Diyoza! She’s great, I love her. Her busting her people for partying is a great Clarke-esque move, but telling them to at least play something with a beat works to give her her own vibe too. She’s got Abby examining a super creepy dude without the aid of her drugs, but when Abby gives her the diagnosis she wants, she returns the drugs, gives Abby a bunch of biopsies, and tells her to cure their mysterious space illness.

Also she and McCreary used to be a thing and maybe still are? I missed that line but friends tell me it happened.

Anyway, Kane’s trying to convince her that she could use Wonkru, which is valid feedback, but she is understandably wary of allying herself with a terrifying cult. Instead, she has Shaw bomb them, and when McCreary tells her to shoot a second missile for luck, she has a badass but kind of stupid line about how luck isn’t a thing.

It felt too convenient to me, so I was thrilled when she called Kane in for a tequila-and-backstory party and told him she saw how Octavia’s people saved her and could use that kind of loyalty. Into it!

Also I think she and McCreary definitely want to swing with him and Abby. You heard it here first! Unless you go on tumblr or twitter, which I do not recommend.

That brings us to Wonkru, with special guest stars Clarke and Bellamy. It’s interesting to see how powerless the leaders of seasons past have become in this season so far–Kane and Abby are prisoners, and Clarke and Bellamy aren’t necessarily much better off. Bellamy managed to retain power up until this point because he had hostages, but now that the deal is off, he and Clarke are struggling to be listened to. Clarke uses her knowledge of the terrain to get through to Miller, and Bellamy has the leverage of being Octavia’s brother who loves her. All this really seems to get them is going along on the six-day desert trek to the valley, though.

One thing I like about this dynamic is that Clarke and Bellamy don’t seem particularly interested in power specifically, which is keeping with their characters. Bellamy aggressively sought power at the beginning of season one, but his motivation was about protecting himself and his sister from the Ark, and once he was pardoned, he retained power because his sphere of people he wanted to protect had expanded to include all of the delinquents. Clarke, meanwhile, mostly acted like the only person on a group project who actually wants to get any work done while everyone else draws penises on the white board. So it makes sense that they don’t seem interested in leading because they think of it as their rightful role in the group so much as they’re really concerned that Octavia is making terrible decisions that will get them all killed.

Speaking of season-one Bellamy, Octavia is basically early season-one Bellamy right now. She’s like a shark, always going forward, even when Clarke explains that they are walking into a sandstorm of broken glass. And her people are down with that! Indra seems to be the only member of Wonkru who stands up to her, but Bellamy’s here now and is used to being able to talk to his sister pretty plainly, so he’s giving it a try.

The results of that one are mixed, at best. He gets held at gun point, and it’s unclear if anything he or Clarke says ever makes much of a difference to her eventual choices. But hey, at the end, she says she’s glad he’s alive! And then that she’ll kill him if he crosses her ever again. One step forward, two steps back.

Again, Clarke has more expertise to draw on in her arguments, but less of a hope of getting through to Octavia, and she seems pretty fine with going with the flow. Most of her conversations this episode are with Bellamy, and they’re more personal than business (although they’re in agreement that Octavia’s cult is bad news). She tells Octavia she wants to get back to the valley, but I think–and correct me if I’m wrong–she specifically says it’s because it’s her home, without mentioning Madi. Even Bellamy’s attempts to catch up are mixed at best; Clarke admires Octavia’s ability to hold her people together, but when Bellamy tries to bring it back to how Clarke survived her time on Earth, she gracefully shuts him down.

Then the non-Miller scout gets a stomach full of evil worms, so that takes over everyone’s priorities for a while.

While Clarke is saving Octavia from worm infestation, Monty calls Bellamy and lets him know that there are missiles coming at them. I would also like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to autocorrect; I was spelling it “missles,” so I can see why autocorrect was struggling.

Anyway! Octavia’s people make a human shield around her to protect her from the sandstorm. Eleven of them die in the process, and Indra gets glass in her lungs, so Octavia finally agrees that maybe hanging out in the desert is not their best option right now.

But before we leave, we gotta get some reunions in! Madi comes back to Clarke! Echo comes back to Bellamy! Monty waves at Octavia and she waves back because Monty is the most pure and not waving to Monty is a bridge too far, even for Octavia. But then she sees Bellamy and Echo making out and no longer remembers happiness. Look, Octavia, you just told your brother to check himself before he wrecks himself, I feel like you’ve officially lost your right to have opinions on whom he’s dating.

Stray Observations

  • I was genuinely torn on whether or not we’d see Clarke’s reaction to Bellamy and Echo; the showrunner has gone on record that he’s not into love triangles and that the Clarke/Raven/Finn thing in S1 was network-mandated, so I thought they’d go out of their way to avoid any implication Clarke might have opinions on Bellamy and Echo. But if you have seen that moment in gifs on your tumblr dashboard approximately one billion times since the episode aired, you know that she seemed to.
  • Speaking of shipping, between calling Clarke Bellamy’s girlfriend last week and Abby Kane’s wife this week, Diyoza is batting 0/2 on relationship identification, but to be fair, I do think she was fishing with Kane.
  • Murphy calls Madi a hobbit, which means he has either read or watched Lord of the Rings. This is the most important information we have ever received.
  • The scene where Octavia hugs Bellamy and then pulls back to reveal Clarke side-eyeing the hell of them was released as a teaser stills and the fandom thought it was the actual Blake reunion and we were trying to figure out what the hell had happened that would make Clarke so upset they were happy to see each other. I don’t think anyone got it right!
  • Niylah has been missing entirely in the present timeline so far and I hope she’s okay.
  • If you like listening to people yelling about TV shows, my friends Claire and Erin do a podcast called Meta Station, which I have not mentioned before largely because each episode is like three hours long, so you need a certain level of investment. But they’re very smart and engaging ladies, and they’ve gotten to do some great interviews with cast and crew including Mike Beach (Pike), Richard Harmon (Murphy), Sachin Sahel (Jackson), and two with showrunner Jason Rothenberg, so it’s worth it! But I mention it now because the latest episode is a Bellarke discussion roundtable featuring both myself and my fiancee, so you can hear me, specifically, yelling, if that’s something you’re into.
  • No new episode next week, so I’ll see y’all in two weeks!