This THE 100 review contains spoilers
The 100 Season 7 Episode 14
Traditionally on television, a character dies as a surprise at the end of one episode, and is memorialized in the following one. The 100 doesn’t have that kind of time. Bellamy gets a few minutes in the beginning and some scattered moments throughout the rest of the episode, but that’s about it. It’s disappointing after the bizarre way The 100 chose to kill off its leading man. Octavia saying a funeral prayer for her brother that Lincoln taught her rings true and was a nice way to tie back in some of the show’s history and honor Lincoln and Ricky Whittle’s contribution. But why isn’t everyone observing some form of funeral for Bellamy? Gabriel’s death was moving, but it also reinforced how strangely emotionally disconnected Bellamy’s was, since it didn’t feel like the character Bellamy was even on the show.
Octavia admitting that the old Bellamy, that one that would do anything for his baby sister and the people he loved, would understand why Clarke shot the person endangering Madi, felt like the first authentic bit of Bellamy on the show in at least a year. It feels strange for Octavia to immediately accept what Clarke tells her because O never immediately accepts anything, but O is right that her brother was already gone. It just feels completely out of step with the Blake sibling code to accept that information. Everything they’ve ever done for each other has been about going against all odds, to bring each other back from the brink – or beyond. It’s hard to imagine a world in which Octavia accepts that her brother cannot be saved, unless she saw what Clarke saw, with her own two eyes. And even then, O would have found a way. Her brother, her responsibility.
Chuku Modu and Gabriel brought so much to The 100. It’s hard for a new character to break into a show with characters as tightly bonded as this, with a fandom so incredibly loyal, but Gabriel played an important part. Beyond the wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey science babble, he brought a genuine curiosity and a real sense of humanity that so few of the characters seemed to have left anymore. In spite of being over 200 years old, he still valued human life and didn’t see his as any more valuable than anyone else’s. That at least makes his death make sense – at a certain point, it ceases to make sense for someone who doesn’t believe in prolonging his life to keep making it out of increasingly improbably scrapes.
As a man of science, longevity, and philosophy, Gabriel held others to account, whether that meant Sanctum and its Primes, Cadogan and his bluster, or even some of our heroes for how jaded they had become. Like another new character, Jordan, his connection to his relatives and his culture was a strength, and made it laughably clear when he was speaking from some place real and they were merely bloviating, like when he shared the story of his grandmother having her water shut off with Cadogan.
I’ll miss both the character and the actor who portrayed him immensely. While Gabriel was an honorable man and a fighter who absolutely would go down swinging to protect someone else, it doesn’t feel great to have two men of color die in two episodes in a row. This episode included a deft mention of Lincoln that nonetheless serves as a reminder of how The 100 treats men of color – on screen and off. Certainly this is the point in the season and series where characters will drop like flies, but especially on a show with a spotty record that purports to do better, it’s worth noting.
One major issue takes away from what could otherwise be a strong episode: how did they not even bother to make any kind of plan for the fact that someone invisible was in their midst? At no point did they try to communicate stealthily, cover him in dust or sand, lock down movement etc. It takes what should be a taut, suspenseful episode and turns it into something cheaper, since the writers didn’t bother to cross all their t’s, leaving the audience with the distraction of the headscratcher. It feels especially ridiculous since after they’ve dealt with invisible foes in previous episodes.
There’s a big question here that no one asked or seems interested in asking: how is this possible? How is earth ok? Are they at a different time in its history? What is going on and why don’t any of the characters seem to care, even Gabriel, who always cares about this?
The relationship between Hope and Jordan is nice enough, and the actors’ charm manages to make it work in spite of how obvious it is for the only two people in that age bracket to get together, Becho shippers be damned. Far more interesting was Echo and Niylah’s interaction, and frankly Niylah’s whole vibe. Niylah went through a lot in the bunker as well, though it’s been far less examined up until now, and even as she drank herself into a stupor at the memories of it, no one seemed all that interested in asking her about it. Echo, meanwhile, finally opened up about her real identity, perhaps only because she was speaking to someone so drunk she could pretend Niylah wouldn’t remember the next day. But it feels like no coincidence that they were scene partners.
Once again, Indra battles Sheidheda and it’s filmed nonsensically, depriving us of the satisfaction of seeing what’s actually happening, focusing instead on Madi’s face and whirling motion. I wish the direction had the confidence in the fight choreo and the stunt work to simply hold the camera still for a few shots and let us actually see this epic battle between this evil and these two fierce women, who lost their forbears and comrades to him long ago and again so recently.
As always, Octavia and Indra, separate but especially together, are the strength of this show. It’s devastating to think it’s really been ten years for O since she’s seen Indra. Indra coming out to keep watch alongside her second, her heda, her adopted daughter, is one of the best scenes The 100 has ever given us. Indra says directly what so few have ever admitted: they were all responsible for what happened in that bunker. Indra has always been a great character, but her growth in the last few seasons has been so lovely to watch, and no episode shows it quite like this one. She tells Octavia they’ll face their demons together, she fights to protect what is essentially her granddaughter, and she finally finds a way to tell Gaia, her seda (teacher), how much she loves and admires her.
- I love unimpressed with Cadogan Sheidheda is and that he knows far more than Cadogan gave him credit for. Sheidheda is evil, but it’s still fun to watch Cadogan be dressed down
- “Now you have to live with that. I don’t want that for you!” Madi sounds more like the parent with this line. Here’s hoping we see this teased out.
- It’s Not Great that Jackson and Miller don’t kiss hello or really get physical on screen. We see them hug and then we see them in bed next to each other, but they don’t just have a real kiss or the sort of slowmo fade away love scene that’s been afforded to basically every other couple on the show.
- The trigedaslang prayer Octavia said for Bellamy is some Second Dawn “from the ashes, we will rise” BS
- I’d like to submit this episode as evidence for why Murphy, Raven and Emori should be in a poly relationship, please and thank you.
- “We are who we choose to be, and we don’t owe anyone our pain” Damn Niylah! I’ve been missing drunk girl real talk since there’s a pandemic on, but this’ll do.
- Flashback to the fighting pits gave us the chance to see Kane, Bellamy and Blodreina
- When did Sheidheda have time to get a tattoo?