The 100 Season 7 Episode 12 Review: The Stranger

Unusual scene partners make for a strong episode that unfortunately still has to contend with Bellamy's status as a true believer

The 100 Season 7 Episode 12 The stranger Bellamy and Echo on Bardo
Photo: The CW

This THE 100 review contains spoilers

The 100 Season 7 Episode 12

Early on, the episode gets down to business and notches up another death with Sheidheda killing Nelson after shooting all of the Children of Gabriel for refusing to kneel. It’s been a relatively bloodless season, which means we’re either poised for a bloodbath or The 100 might actually have a happy ending. At this point I’m not sure which would be the bigger surprise. It’s too bad that Nelson didn’t have more to do, narratively, before he died. All the same, someone needed to defy Sheidheda and it makes sense that it was him, given his values and strong sense of moral duty.

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Tagging up on Nikki and Murphy’s connection with the reactor storyline and her partner’s sacrifice earlier in the season was a satisfying bit of storytelling business. It managed to bridge old Murphy to new Murphy – he twisted the knife a bit, while helping the good guys and actually telling the truth about a guy who did the right thing, who Murphy knew deserved better than what he got. In truth, Murphy has been a better person for many seasons now, but his steps backward last season on Sanctum were major and warranted some real soul searching. His path forward has been played lightly, in a way that feels unforced and natural to the character. As always, Richard Harmon is one of the most fun to watch on screen no matter what he’s doing. And it’s fitting to have Indra, of all people, grudgingly give Murphy respect for his moral transformation and resistance efforts.

Murphy and Emori still worry me as “Sanctum’s Most Likely to Die” because I love them so and in seasons past, The 100 would start the killing there, but perhaps an influx of characters will help. Plus, Murphy seems to have picked up some tactical moves from Sheidheda which he promptly used against him, in another satisfying callback to earlier in the season. It’s good to see that ol’ Sheidy still knows not to underestimate Indra under any circumstances, and a bit entertaining to think he and his people think Gaia and Clarke are in the woods plotting their next move when they’re actually…on other planets thanks to a giant bronze spiral that helped them travel through space and time? Yeah, I would’ve guessed the woods, too.

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One of the biggest strengths of this episode is the choice of scene partners. Madi and Luca from Sanctum, Jordan and Hope, Clarke and Octavia. We’ve never really seen Madi unpack the various traumas of her life, just Clarke worrying on her behalf. It’s nice for her to have peers she can relate to as equals rather than adults she’s trying to convince not to worry about her or to think she’s an invincible warrior. Jordan and Hope’s bonding was such a genuine scene and really well done by the actors. I’m glad the writers and actors played it nice and easy with a light touch – Jordan was such a good choice to let Hope process everything she’s been through, most of which was alone, like him. And while we as an audience have been thinking it all season, it was really lovely to hear O and Clarke bonding over their adopted daughters. There’s often been something of a respectful distance between those two, but after all this time it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t be close.

This episode stumbles, though, on the same issue as the previous one: Bellamy Blake betraying his friends is a tough sell. There are a few concessions, with him testing Cadogan (a man he knows to be a selfish fraud), negotiating a deal to save his friends, and telling them to keep their voices down in the same tone of voice he’d use when playing security guard at Mount Weather. But ultimately, this doesn’t feel like Echo playing along to get along – he volunteered information harmful to his friends, before trying to talk to them alone. It’s hard to imagine a write-around that undoes that, and after his conversation with Echo, it doesn’t seem like one is coming, because Bellamy’s a believer.  

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I can see how no more war or killing would be genuinely appealing to Bellamy Blake, a man who has lost far too many people he loves and is dog tired of all the death. He lost Abby and Kane, his mentor and father figure stand-in, shortly before this, though I wish there were reminders of that in the text of the show. The 100 tried their damnedest to sell us on Bellamy’s transformation to true believe last week, and some of it worked, but it’s still a bit too much to swallow. Endangering his friends when he could have just kept his mouth shut is a bridge too far for this character.

The episode ends with something we desperately need: most of the main players are finally on the same planet! Well, as Echo noted, quite a few of the warriors are all stuck somewhere else, either Sky Ring or somewhere easier to leave with a less obnoxious time dilation. But still, it’s a relief to have most of them in the same place, and I personally cannot wait to watch Bill “I’m searching for a war for no reason” Cadogan wet his fluffy white space pajamas when he meets Sheidheda.

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Other notes…

  • As of now, the only remaining member of the Children of Gabriel is…Gabriel. Pour one out for the resistance, the kids left for the wilds to take them.
  • They lock up Gabriel now, since he didn’t correct the lie of omission about Clarke and the key. Womp womp.
  • Cadogan thinks his daughter killed his son, which tells me that’s the one thing that definitely didn’t happen to him
  • The look on Clarke’s face when she said to Bellamy “you need backup to talk to us now?” just about broke my heart.
  • Fair point from Bell, city of light and mind drives makes no more or less sense than this particular religion, but again, BILL CADOGAN
  • Paging Gaia! Where in the universe is she? Sanctum is low on warriors and could use your help! Also: she’s the only person other than Clarke who actually knows where the flame is and I am therefore worried!

Rating:

4 out of 5