This The 100 review contains spoilers.
The 100 Season 6 Episode 12
The 100 is back with the showdown at Sanctum, and it’s every bit the emotionally taut, high stakes rescue operation you’d expect from this season, hurtling us toward the finale. It appears this season’s inevitability (if there was one) was that SpaceKru was going to fight with the people of Sanctum. Although it feels less like a fate of our characters’ own making and more like something they were forced into by Russell’s actions, at least so far. But I suppose it’s never too late for Clarke to go full Wanheda!
What really made this episode of sing was all the small character moments that were neatly tucked into what is essentially a forty-minute thriller. Murphy using Prime makeup to give himself a face tattoo like Emori’s, the Blakes goofing around for a second after the shield went down, Bellamy worrying about Echo shouldering too much pain. Even Delilah’s parents, who have been a relatively small part of this season, had a nice little arc in both this episode and the season as a whole.
There were some emotional set pieces as well, and I don’t want to sell those short. Abby and Raven’s moment felt much-needed. Abby has clearly been Raven’s Space Mom for a long time – honestly, the only out of place part of that speech was Abby referring to herself as not Raven’s mother. It was good to hear Raven apologize for judging Abby, and for Abby to realize that the biggest crime was letting Raven down, continuing a theme from the Blakes last week.
Abby and Clarke have never reminded me more of one another than this episode – Abby becoming a nightblood to spare Madi and give Raven more time is the exact move Clarke would have made. Even with Sheidheda in control and no blood connection, this episode made it crystal clear that there’s a lineage from Abby to Clarke to Madi.
Eliza Taylor’s performance this season reminds me of Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black. Eliza is playing fewer iterations of course, but she shows a similar dexterity to switch from one to the next instantly with merely a small gesture or inflection of her voice. It takes an impressive command of one’s performance to not only play a brand new character after so many seasons and make us see the daylight between them while allowing Josephine her humanity, but to play Clarke playing Josie or vice versa.
All of that came to a peak when Clarke-as-Josephine saw her mother’s body – now occupied by Josephine’s mother Simone – and had to process the pain of her mother’s death in front of a deadly audience. Eliza Taylor had to show us Clarke’s largely silent pain as well as the show Clarke put on. Paige Turco (who looked banging and completely regal by the way) had to switch modes and play a character someone else already had, killing Abby for the audience by killing off the chemistry she has with Taylor.
One thing that brought the momentum to a halt, repeatedly, was the logistical confusion around Murphy and Emori’s plot. What exactly was Russell’s plan for those two, and why? Seeing them with sutures on the backs of their necks and referred to as hosts one minute then clearly themselves the next, with no real explanation made it feel like a scene or a few lines of dialogue got left on the cutting room floor.
Eventually it was implied that Murphy and Emori were pretending to be Primes, but why? Didn’t Abby become a nightblood expressly so they could have enough doses? Wasn’t her host-math horrifying solely because they had uploaded the correct number of people? Why suture someone if there’s nothing in there? If it’s their own mind drives (covering for the wipe of the Lees), why allow them to keep them, considering how valuable they’ve been made out to be? This story was the only sore point in an otherwise rapid fire episode that hummed along so smoothly that it made this plot messiness feel more glaring.
On an emotional level, while it’s fun to never quite know where Murphy will wind up, this episode felt like we got short-changed in terms of his development. His moment letting Clarke know he knew it was her was lovely, but his decision to stay back felt unearned. We spent so much time this season watching Murphy hem and haw, brood and debate whose side he was on, how much of a betrayal it was, and under which exact circumstances it was fine to save his own skin.
But in this final moment, we don’t even get to see the choice. Why did he choose to go with Russell for whatever confusing dress-up comprised the first two acts of the episode? Yes, it’s pragmatic – but why does Murphy think so, in that moment? Clearly Emori doesn’t, at first anyway. Why did he change his mind at the very end? Will Emori’s opinion literally ever matter? At some point, Richard Harmon’s endless supply of charisma will be insufficient to propel Murphy’s moral vacillations if they’re not grounded in some form of reasoning.
The final episode of this excellent and truly unique season promises a showdown between Russell and his primes and Indra, Niylah, Clarke, Raven, Gaia, and whoever else they’ve woken up. Back on the moon, Space Kru is trying to stick out the remainder of the protocol while being better, non-lethal people. Hopefully Emori and Murphy – the latter of whom is immune to the red sun toxin – will be able to help. With Diyoza and the enigma still out there and plenty of mysteries about how the moon itself works, I have a feeling we’re hurtling toward more questions than answers for this season’s finale.
Where is Jordan?
It’s interesting to hear Octavia talk about having a little faith
Russell continues the Abrahamic vibes with his “70 years in the wilderness” speech, referencing Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. Is Gabriel meant to be Jesus with all this “man who conquered death” business (and of course, being the 13th Prime, with 12 Apostles er Primes).
There’s a real Les Mis vibe to this revolution, given that they expected the people to join them but wind up with no backup.
I hope Gabriel sticks around – Clarke, Octavia, most of SpaceKru would have killed Russell no problem. Gabriel’s biggest flaw is that he truly values the sanctity of human life, even after 70 years of alleged guerrilla warfare.
“Echo’s strong, she’ll be okay” “Everybody always thinks that. I do too. The truth is, you’re fine, until you’re not.” Bellamy Blake with some wisdom – Bob Morley is also an advocate for mental health and self-care.