Alternate title for this episode: That was way harsh, Tai.
To be fair, as with Cher being a virgin who can’t drive, the harshness is all pretty valid. Everyone’s calling everyone else out, sometimes for things that happened a long time ago, but it’s mostly working for me. Monty is serving as my audience surrogate this week, as he’s on team “can we not do this again,” and, seriously, can we not? And, okay, on this show the answer is probably no, but let’s keep our fingers crossed and dive in.
First off, Abby is still so excited/so scared/so addicted to pills. Diyoza is enabling this because she wants Abby to cure her people, but Kane thinks Abby botched saving the poor wonkru lady who got shot last episode because of her addiction. We only see the aftermath of this, which I like; Kane is probably be right, and the pills were what made her fail, but she could have also failed and then turned to the pills for comfort. Either way, it’s probably a pretty big factor regardless of when she took them, so when his entreaties to Diyoza to cut her off fail, Kane gives Abby a direct ultimatum: me or the pills. Abby tries to argue him out of this, which is basically an indirect way of saying “the pills.” Kane is out.
Two things re: Diyoza: one, I love her. Two, she’s pregnant! I assume it’s McCreary’s. I hope it takes after Diyoza in every possible way. If it was just a clone of her, I would be down for that. I hope she somehow survives the season.
Also in Shallow Valley, which every time makes me think of that Arrested Development bit about Sudden Valley sounding like a salad dressing, Echo and Raven reunite and it’s such a nice scene and I want ten thousand more hours of their friendship, but obviously things must go wrong. All the defectors have been outfitted with shock collars limiting their movements, so they don’t have the computer access they need. Echo wants to use Shaw to do it, but Shaw delivers some good pre-apocalypse backstory to explain his loyalty to Diyoza.
Echo starts our trend of good, logical decisions that put people at odds with their allies. She tells Diyoza that Shaw wasn’t really locked out of the missile system. Unfortunately, she does this without Raven’s consent, so while Raven goes along with it and sells Shaw out so Echo can put her USB drive into the computer, she’s not pleased about it. And Shaw gets thrown in with the prisoners with his own shock collar, so he’s not pleased either.
Basically everything going on in Shallow Valley, including shock collars and disease, is still an improvement on what Octavia is planning for them, though. Man, when Clarke and Monty (sidenote, I’m so glad Clarke and Monty got some actual scenes together) saw Cooper taking that body away, Brit and I were sure it was time for a cannibalism reveal, but “we’ve been breeding these gross worms” is maybe even grosser?? Like damn, guys.
As biological warfare plans go, it’s not a terrible one. Also remember when the Grounders randomly used biological warfare in season one and then it never came up again? That was weird.
Anyway, Clarke and Monty are like, wtf, and they go and tell Bellamy, who’s also like wtf, and Bellamy and Clarke go and tell Indra, who completes the circle of wtf. So everyone is on the same page.
Indra mercy-kills the dude who had worms growing inside his living body (what the fuck) and then confronts Octavia about it in the worm room. Her annoyance seems to be pretty equally divided between “I can’t believe you did this” and “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me,” and I love her so, so much. Octavia throws some way harsh statements about Clarke and Bellamy’s many massacres at them and then leaves, still planning to send a mole full of worms into the Eligius camp as soon as Echo hacks their systems.
This is honestly a pretty solid plan, it’s just also horrific. Which, to be fair, seems to be where everyone is with it. Bellamy comes up with a classic Bellamy non-plan, which is to steal a rover, drive to Shallow Valley, and get their people out, shooting anyone who stops them. This is one of those plans that starts bad and gets worse the more you think about it, but, again, that is basically every plan Bellamy has ever made. He’s my favorite and I love him, but this is not his strong suit.
Monty, spurred on by Jasper’s “humanity was a mistake” suicide note, tries to come up with some alternate plans. He wants the cycle to stop and, again, same. He and Bellamy get a great scene where Monty tries to argue he can make enough algae to support them, but even he seems to know it’s not going to work, and accepts that somehow, no one has a better plan than Bellamy’s.
Except he forgot that Clarke is back, and it’s basically Clarke’s job to have a better plan than Bellamy’s. Clarke started off the episode sending Madi to Wonkru school and telling her to suck at it so no one would want her to be Commander, before going off into the worm plot, and we come back around to that by the end. Madi unfortunately sucks at sucking, so while Ethan does beat her, Gaia knows she let him win. Gaia’s on team nightblood, though, so she just tells Madi to suck more convincingly, and Madi’s like, honestly why won’t anyone let me have any fun.
Obviously this all must come to a head, so Clarke shows up to take Madi to the river and Octavia decides to fuck with her by making Madi fight while she watches (way harsh). Madi fails to suck, Octavia’s like, you’re my murder child now, so Clarke decides it’s time to switch sides, break the cycle of violence, take out Octavia so they can surrender.
Good luck with that.
- Clarke telling Bellamy to be diplomatic, deciding he needs backup, and immediately telling everyone to fuck off was amazing. I’m so glad Bellamy called her out on it too.
- Indra was amazing this episode and I am very worried about her maybe dying, especially with the reveal that Octavia knows she helped Kane. Also she looks real good this season, just saying.
- I think part of the disconnect between Clarke/Bellamy and Octavia in terms of war morality is that Octavia wasn’t a part of the inner circle before. She saw the leaders’ public fronts and was largely outside of their inner struggles, while Clarke and Bellamy tended to do the “let’s talk through rationalizing this war crime until we feel okay about it” in private. Octavia is in full show-no-weakness mode, so they don’t see her agonizing over her choices, and I think that’s as horrifying to them (and to Indra) as what she’s actually doing.
- (The audience doesn’t see that either, so how conflicted she is over what she’s done is still up in the air, but I’m guessing the answer is not “not at all conflicted.” Just a hunch.)
- Bellamy’s expression at the end of the episode is a little hard to read, but he looked more pliable on this plan than he would have been in previous seasons. Presumably because Octavia is terrifying and he still doesn’t have a better plan.
- Per showrunner Jason Rothenberg on Twitter, the sand worms are a mutated version of the river worm that attacked Octavia in season one and also whatever attacked Jaha in the boat in season three, which is honestly so stupid it should be framed and put in some kind of bad idea museum.
- We do have another new episode next week! Then it’s a week off, switch to a new time, and no more breaks before the finale. Excelsior!