So The 100 is very much back on its tribal nonsense.
I would have expected this to displease me, but I found myself really enjoying how things played out in this episode. Historically, I have found the show’s community-building, especially with the grounders, somewhat sub par, and I spent like half of season three wondering why there were thirteen clans, how Lexa was the first one to unite them when it seemed as if commanders had been coming from all clans in an unbroken line for a hundred years, and what exactly they were fighting over, since the show didn’t do that well conveying a scarcity of resources or ideological differences. Not that you have to have a great reason to be in a state of perpetual warfare, but it always felt like the show wanted there to be a better reason for it.
And now we have, one, genuine scarcity of resources, and, two, factions that we’ve seen develop. In corner one, we have Eligius (plus Kane and Abby), who currently have all the good stuff, but are also dying of mystery plague and are generally kind of assholes. In corner two, we have Wonkru, who are already thinking the kool-aid is losing its flavor. In several corners, we have Spacekru, who are trying their best to be ride or die buddies but were broken into factions before they even hit the ground. On the bright side, they all seem to actually like each other, which is more than Eligius and Wonkru can say.
And then there’s Clarke and Madi.
I mentioned in last week’s episode that it was interesting to see Clarke and Bellamy take a step back from leadership, but it’s even more striking this week how far removed Clarke is from machinations. Bellamy tries to engage her in some very justified “what the fuck is wrong with my sister,” and it’s hard to tell if Clarke would have been into it even if Madi hadn’t been talking to Gaia. Clarke and Madi are lying to everyone–my fiancée thinks Clarke came up with this plan before Eligius even landed, because Clarke is paranoid–saying that Madi’s nightblood is synthetic, like hers. The concern is that if anyone knows Madi is a true nightblood, she’ll be seen as a threat to Octavia’s power, and given what happens that doesn’t seem unfounded. Niylah shows up to work her feminine wiles, which mostly just involve knowing when Clarke is lying, but to be fair, everyone kinda seems to have realized Clarke was probably lying, so I’m not sure how much credit she deserves there. Case in point: Gaia shows up to protect the last true nightblood, but Clarke won’t let her kill Niylah, and she realizes she and Madi have to get out. It’s a new role for Clarke, and while I’m curious to see where it goes, I can’t help feeling like I want more of her.
The Blakes are taking most of the heavy lifting this week, though, and I do love me some Blakes. As Echo predicted, Bellamy’s optimism about Octavia being totally cool with her was unfounded, and Octavia tells her she’s still banished. Bellamy attempts to argue that she’s changed, or at least likes them now, but Octavia is unmoved until Bellamy beats her in a sword fight that, once it is uploaded to YouTube, will be my new go-to answer if anyone asks my sexual orientation. He also reminds Octavia that Echo is a spy, and Octavia realizes she can use that.
Because Kane, who has Jesus hair and appears to have entirely run out of fucks to give, is telling Diyoza how to recruit Octavia’s people, and some of them want to defect. Echo’s supposed to get names, but everyone she talks to is like, we have seen some shit, and Echo knows from people who have seen shit. She doesn’t really want to give up names and get people killed, so they need another plan. Instead, she’s going to go join Eligius to get into their ship and shut down their “eye in the sky,” which is another one of those phrases that the show is weirdly attached to and I’m like, surely you could just say “ship.” Regardless, she’s going alone, because she’s the one who got banished, which will put our spacekru numbers at two with Eligius, two on the run in the valley, and three in Polis getting increasingly uncomfortable with Octavia.
This is really all plot summary, whatever. It was good plot! I have less to say about this episode, but not because it’s a bad episode, but more because my reactions were largely, ooh, that’s cool. I will say, it feels like everyone gets to be smarter this season. Echo is a good mix of practical and moral and Octavia is being pretty cunning (as well as super ruthless; killing the runaways to make it look like she didn’t want them to go was a nice touch). Admittedly Bellamy mostly seems to want his favorite people to stop leaving and/or trying to murder each other and he should probably know better, but optimism is a nice look for him. And he does get laid, so congrats on the sex.
Also, we get a second reaction shot of Clarke pointedly not congratulating Bellamy on the sex, so if that’s not going anywhere, someone is bad at their job. I’m just saying.
She doesn’t actually have long to be awkward about that, though, because her plan to take Madi and run has been derailed by Madi running without her. Clarke was planning to defect to Eligius to keep Madi safe from Octavia, but Madi pointed out that Clarke would probably get killed. Which, honestly, Diyoza seems pretty smart, I like Clarke’s odds, but whatever. Madi thinks it, so she goes and spills the beans to Octavia. They become girl under the floor blood sisters and Madi is officially a Wonkru initiate.
Which means Clarke is alone in her tribe of one now, and I’m guessing she’s not happy about it.
Oh, also, Murphy and Emori! They get a great little subplot about Emori trying to get Murphy’s shock collar off, and also they get to talk about feelings and blow some people up. They also try to have some sex of their own, but end up with a hostage, which is kind of its own reward! Seriously, I’m rooting for those kids.
- Every time Murphy got shocked, I busted out laughing. Sorry not sorry, Murphy.
- My friend Erin has it from showrunner Jason Rothenberg that he told Lola Flannery, who plays Madi, that Octavia was her One Direction, which I think she nailed.
- Related, Octavia is surprisingly good with kids. Or just good at faking it for political gain, but still.
- I can’t believe the show teased me with my beta OTP, Monty and Miller, going on a mission together and did not deliver.
- Poor Harper really has gotten nothing to do this season.
- Echo shoving that computer thing into that lady’s wound was a baller move.
- Seriously, I cannot stress enough how much I appreciated that everyone had a bunch of logical, coherent plans and motivations this episode. It worked so well.
- We’re still getting references to the dark year; fandom still thinks they went cannibal, which is a pretty good explanation for how everyone is acting.
- Speaking of fandom, in case you were wondering, yes, the Bellarke fandom is a nightmare right now and yes, I am going to start adding notes to every fanfic I write telling people to please not vent their feelings about Echo at me, instead of just doing it in fics that reference Bellamy and Echo being a thing. That’s where we’re at.
- No new episode again next week; we’ll be back on June 19! Also, starting July 10, the show will be on at 8 pm instead of 9, and the season finale is scheduled to air August 7.