The 100 Season 6 Episode 2 Review: Red Sun Rising

Everyone works out their baggage in a blood-pumping episode that mixes knock-down, drag-out fights with psychological torture

This The 100 review contains spoilers.

The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

The eclipse-induced psychosis brings out something interesting in everyone, while the Eligius III has to fight back against their invaders. If last episode had a lot of last season’s denoument to catch up on, consider this your rock ‘em, sock ‘em The 100 premiere with a psychological twist to get the blood pumping and the mythology of Sanctum going.

Echo is afraid that none of them trust her. Emori, more or less the same. Jackson is afraid he can’t save people. Miller’s afraid of dying due to the random elements of a hostile planet and dude, I get it. Bellamy’s drive to save everyone makes him possessive and violent, intent to do whatever it takes. His Clarke-specific response was that he does! Not! Need! Her! Any! More! Poor Clarke contemplates death by suicide and in a particularly cruel twist, is egged on by the voice of her mother, framing things in medical terms so it all sounds authoritative and inviting. I love Echo for figuring her way out of an escalating trap, and I think it speaks to how smart we’ve always known her to be, though now I’m worried for her that Bellamy’s volatile side is never as far away as one might hope. There’s just something about seeing him being so aggressive to the two women in his life that raises concerns, even with the sci-fi spin.

No one should be surprised that Murphy took the guns, but what is surprising is how clear-eyed he seemed throughout the episode.  I stand by my theory that not everyone is affected, or not equally anyway. While his black veins at the end suggest he may have some worse ailment – or perhaps an asymptomatic one – I don’t think Murphy was ever affected by the psychosis. He never attacked anyone other than when they were an imminent threat to themselves or someone else. And the look on his face when he found Clarke was real and completely grounded.

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This was yet another stunner for Murphy, who has really become a key player in both the group and for the writers. Murphy really kept a very Clarke-specific list of grudges. Interestingly, it elicits a very Murphy-esque little speech from Clarke. I love that he keeps calling her the commander of death – someone has to keep her honest. I can’t wait for the people of sanctum to meet her and o and hear all of their nicknames and be completely confused and terrified by these tiny, deadly women.

I have a feeling that more fallout from Bellamy is incoming, based on that awful look he got on his face when he looked over at Murphy and realized that he’s the one who put him down. The look he gave Clarke was a bit more muddled, though I would hope that Bel could realize without the eclipse haze that she was never a danger to him, regardless of whatever lingering feelings he has about the fighting pits.

The parable of the first eclipse was a nice way to frame the story, and I hope we see more of “the primes” as it were, especially since our would-be hijacker resembles them so strongly. Josephine blinked her eyes at the end, so she’s a clear contender for living beyond that story. The vaguely religious vibe of the shrines and the mother’s joke that the dad is megalomaniacal (yuk yuk!) suggests there’s plenty about modern-day Sanctum that we could learn from their founding counterparts 236 years ago.

I’m looking forward to Ocatvia’s trajectory this season, though I’m still cautious after last season. It had such a great start – for everyone, but O in particular – and then withered on the vine. Marie Avgeropoulous never lets that stop her, and this episode is no exception. She plays so much of her emotion across her face that by the time she goads everyone into beating her, lying on the floor with a punch-drunk look on her face, it feels strangely natural. Seeing her transition into asking for them to end her life makes it clear just how dark things really are, our first true glimpse at what’s going on with Octavia since probably early season five.

While Clarke has Murphy and Bellamy to keep her honest, Abby only really has Octavia – and she’s easy to ignore in her current state. Abby was a big part of what happened in the bunker and I don’t know if Alpha has the 12 Steps but taking responsibility for past actions would be worthwhile here. The 100 has largely let Abby and Kane off the hook for their destructive behavior. Here’s hoping that a time of peace will include taking stock and everyone realized what exactly happened back on Earth.

Abby says the difference between herself and Octavia is that she regrets it, while O says if they had won their sins would have been washed away. What’s less clear is what, exactly, Octavia thinks her sins are. Which parts does she regret? One way of defining who’s a hero in a story like this one (which prides itself on moral ambiguity for all) is to see who gets to explain their side to the audience. Who has interiority? Who walks us through their moral choices and quandaries, making them more sympathetic? Clarke may do awful things, but she is always given the benefit of a many episodes to explain herself, a ton of screen time where we see things from her perspective.

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Last season, Octavia was afforded no such thing. Will she get it this season? This episode was a start, and that’s promising. Even the worst villains are more interesting when we understand their motivations. Octavia will obviously be essential on the ground. But she’s also emotionally essential and she’s one of them. If anyone is ever going to forgive her, we all need to see her perspective, not Abby and Bellamy’s judgment and pity.

Other notes

Say hello to our fun new title sequence!

Josephine is a scientist and speaks Mandarin, but her dad is giving her a hard time about liking a boy and twisting her hair. Why am I not surprised this guy ended up killing a bunch of people?

I like to think Josephine Lightborn’s middle name Ada, is a nod to Ada Lovelace, an amazing scientist in her own right, in keeping with the show’s tradition of naming characters after scientists or science fiction writers.

Bellamy has serious tired dad vibes

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Diyoza joins Wynonna Earp in the league of pregnant ass-kickers. Her entrance is fantastic, and her line-reading was pitch perfect.

The idea that two people have the same hallucination is terrifying. It’s like the planet has intentionality.

The trees CONSUME the bugs?! Excuse you

It’s probably bad that I’m more freaked out by all the happy kids. So suspicious.  

If you or someone you know needs help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support at 1-800-273-8255 or by text.

Read more about Season 6 of The 100 here.

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4 out of 5