This The 100 review contains spoilers.
The 100 Season 6 Episode 6
This episode brings us not one but two mind palaces and it’s good to see Raven, Echo, and Emori back in play, even if Emori didn’t get enough to do. The 100 may kill a lot of people off, but there always seem to be plenty more of them, usually dispersed geographically until the end of the season, making it tough for non-Clarkes to get decent screen time. Introducing a whole new world – with all the deadly vines and temporal flares that entails – takes up even more time.
Echo had a great balance of the Azgeda spy and the family member from the Ark in tonight’s episode. Mercy-killing the man in the woods felt like the right move, not only for a Grounder but also reminiscent of Clarke with Atom way back in season 1, minus the soothing and the singing. It’s good to see Echo being both a woman of action who looks for Bellamy and figures out what’s going on, and a compassionate person who truly see this group as her family, in her response to Bellamy being taken and Clarke’s death, in particular. It’s no surprise she would be upset if Bellamy were hurt, but everyone’s reaction to Clarke’s apparent death is where the rubber meets the road.
Which brings us to Murphy. Never count this guy out because he’s slippery as hell and constantly changing sides, but I was honestly hoping for more introspection, more of a fraught response to Josephine. It was fun to watch him be an annoyed tutor, but he otherwise jumped on board the Josie train quickly, even if it involved the briefest of not-actually-a-detour breaks to tell her dad on her while still keeping up every part of the bargain. So the guy’s not willing to murder Bellamy, just lie to his and Abby’s faces, not fight back, and overwrite some other people’s personalities, and enable this disturbing murderous regime. Hardly a line in the sand.
The siren song of moral bankruptcy and eugenics calls once again to Josie, this time pulling in her mother as well. Josephine seems rather adept at playing people, knowing to leave her father out of the decision to delete a family of Primes, while her mother agrees rather quickly. It seems to only take one evening of studying with Murphy for her to learn how to work Abby into agreement, although I wouldn’t count her out just yet. Something about her look during that hug says she wasn’t fooled. After all, to our knowledge she’s sober and she even appeared to be sleeping again, and she was already just a comment or two away from finding Josephine out last episode when she was in worse shape.
It’s worth noting that while not discussed, Murphy had two chips, presumably one for himself and another for Emori. She was acting a bit off all episode. Was she merely trying to calm Raven down, or does she know? I’m hoping she doesn’t, if for no other reason than I want to see her rip into Murphy. More likely, though, it will simply be a look of horror. Emori’s a survivor, but this feels more like collaboration. Who knew this was going to be The 100’s take on fascism?
I was looking forward to Octavia cutting off her own hand (and hoping it wouldn’t grow back immediately a la Johnny’s ear on Killjoys) but instead her haunted hand finally brings in this Fibonacci swirl that keeps showing up in Sanctum’s design, Diyoza’s scribbles, and apparently Xavier’s tattoo. Xavier referring to Gabriel’s “moral awakening” and his status as the 13th Prime was a reminder that we’re probably in for more references to Jesus and the Apostles, in case the “hallowed by their name” hadn’t tipped you off yet.
Diyoza and Octavia remain the show’s most compelling duo, and it doesn’t seem like it will take much for Xavier to prove himself worthy of joining our crew. If nothing else, he recognizes when Diyoza is BSing him and he knows she’s incredibly protective of O, wanting a better life for her than she has for herself. From Xavier we also learned a depressing phrase that came up a few times, that people without Royal Blood are referred to as “nulls.” A null set in math is empty, and more contemptuously, in French if you call someone nul they are terrible, completely useless.
The Sheidheda plot intrigues me, but dangling the idea of seeing “all the past commanders” – when you know full well there’s an audience frothing at the mouth to see one in particular – strikes me as needlessly withholding. It’s not like it’s a preexisting expectation of a ritual we already know about that the writers have to work their way around based on current schedules, the expectation was written in for the same episode in which it was thwarted. What was the point, if not to stir up trouble? Barring issues within the fandom, from a purely storytelling perspective, it sets the audience up to see at least one character they love and meet new ones, only to give us nothing of the sort.
Madi’s turn with Gaia, on the other hand, felt completely believable, and like the only reasonable way for her to turn toward the dark side. Through the dramatic irony of Madi’s visions of Sheidheda, we know that she was sending Gaia away for her own protection, to remove the temptation to harm her, while poor Gaia only knows that she’s been banished. It’s too bad that all things Sheidheda are so reliant on Star Wars related imagery, though. It’s hard not to think of the Dark Side, Emperor Palpatine and the much-maligned prequels as Madi makes what would otherwise be a revealing turn toward darkness out of grief and vengeance for her mother’s death.
Raven’s interrogation of Ryker adds an interesting wrinkle, and while I’m putting money on it now that he won’t take another body and will die in this one about five minutes after professing his love to Raven, I’ll certainly enjoy watching him more fully see the error of his ways, aid the resistance, and build stuff while falling for Raven and trying to earn her respect. Here’s hoping something in that storyline surprises me.
This season’s strength so far, other than cramming in more exposition than you can shake a stick at, is how well the season-long arc seems to be broken so far. Each episode leaves you wanting more and things have been moving pretty swiftly – this is no exception. For our final mind palace of the evening, when bougie Josie take a pill and goes to sleep, we get a very season one-esque Clarke in a version of that bedroom that looks a lot like her old cell on the Ark, drab grey and covered in her drawings. I’m looking forward to watching the mental throwdown between these two – or maybe it’s just Clarke against her various selves?
Josie clearly admires Clarke – maybe that can work to her advantage. Eliza Taylor continues to dominate every scene she’s in, whether she’s Josie, Josephine-playing-Clarke, or our first glimpse of Clarke’s mind, in distinctly different performances.
Shouldn’t Murphy be better at teaching all things Grounder – wasn’t he briefly a flame keeper? Hell maybe he can help Madi.
Does the forest need to feed? Or is this merely some kind of Puritanical penance?
Raven, I love you, but you have done some things you aren’t proud of. Remember making bombs, helping spread ALIE, leaving Clarke on earth, and telling her to close the door without everyone inside?
I wonder how Ryker feels about being resurrected as a white dude? How does race play out in Sanctum? How does age affect their relationships? Do they try to keep the couples more or less together? They’re clearly keeping genders lined up, so they’re not beyond external trappings.