This THE 100 review contains spoilers
The 100 Season 7 Episode 6
While some elements of Nakara were exactly why season 7 is so great – namely, the cold open – there’s no changing the fact that the storyline for which it is named is filler. Why stretch things out on new worlds when there’s so much to fill out about existing worlds we’ve already invested in? We still don’t know much of anything about Nelson or how the Disciples are organized as a society and why they’re the enemy, beyond reacting in the moment. It’s especially tough to get predictable minutes in an episode when we came so close to seeing the outside world of Bardo, only for it to be snatched away. In a season that’s so excellent, it makes anything less stick out.
I love the big, bold opening as a reintroduction to Diyoza and a way to catch up on what she’s been doing during her years on Bardo. It’s similar to the technique used to show Hope’s years alone on Sky Ring, but tonally it reminds me of the Violent Femmes season 3 premiere with the gang in the rover and O on her horse way. It’s a big swing, but the vibe is great and manages to make everything feel a bit more grounded and fun.
In a way the old Diyoza is back, casing the joint and forgetting nothing, yet she still carries with her the new person she’s become. She’s unbreakable, using pain to keep her memories from them as they resort to isolation, light, sound, and other disorienting torture techniques. It’s the thought of protecting her daughter that gives her strength. I can’t wait to see what this new version of Diyoza is like, and to watch her try to resolve who she has been to her daughter and Octavia on Sky Ring with her reputation and the woman she was before.
It feels a little too neat that the exact day Diyoza gets out is the day Echo, Hope, and Gabriel arrive to rescue Diyoza, and that the knife she throws goes right into hopes helmet. The fact we don’t know quite what the time dilation ratios are makes it feel far more likely that they’re playing fast and loose here. It’s a cool reveal and more convenient that they’re all in the same time and place, but it feels more like cheating than when it seemed like Diyoza was rescuing O and it turned out to be adult Hope.
It was great to see Leavitt again, and no surprise that he helped Octavia. Is it just me or does he have something of a crush on her? Or is it just her way of life he longs for? Props to the writers for picking Gabriel to betray them, though this is going to need more backup reasoning on the other side, since we don’t know him as well and it doesn’t feel particularly grounded in anything. Is he so fearful? Or is it simply his respect for human life? Either way, give me more so I get where he’s coming from.
Though promising, the sci-fi horror playing out over on the Ossuarium planet with Clarke, Raven, Miller, Jasper and Niylah ends up being the weakest storyline of the episode. While drawing obvious comparisons to Alien/s, the ~surprise twist~ that they’re in some kind of alien spider’s web to be eaten instead of a cave felt entirely obvious from the jump.
Luckily, we got a great moment between Clarke and Raven that felt long overdue (in the greater context of their relationship) reflecting on Raven’s choice to knowingly endanger the lives of others and deceive them about it. In some ways it feels like an easy out for Raven, but after so many seasons of her giving Clarke a hard time for every tough decision, it’s good to see an acknowledgement that there are hard choices and that making them is a burden. While the show letting Raven off the hook feels a bit cheap, Clarke doing so feels right for their friendship, like she was able to be the person for Raven that she wished she had after Mount Weather or any number of other tough calls. Yet another great and moving scene from Eliza Taylor and Lindsey Morgan.
A much more interesting development is the fact that they found an artefact from the ill-fated Second Dawn cult, also known as the original owners of the bunker, on the planet. This backs up what Gabriel surmised over on Bardo, that these planets are connected to Earth and that the people on them traveled from Earth via Anomaly Stone, not Eligius ship. After all, the Second Dawn folks could never have traveled that far that quickly through conventional means. While a Second Dawn throwback is kind of fun, the writers are going to have to be judicious about how much information they reveal again and again to different groups before the audience loses interest.
Sheidheda going for Nelson is a move that further wins me over to the idea that the guy might actually know what he’s doing when it comes to strategy. Mostly though, I want the show to spend more time on Nelson, and perhaps a few of the other Grounders Indra kept talking to throughout the episode like they’ve been here the whole time, like Otis. Have they been here the whole time? Like the show, Indra’s ignoring Nelson, who feels like the one true and trustworthy ally she might have. Of course, it will be her undoing. It’s unfortunate, because in the past her ability to recognize talent and inner strength has been one of her best qualities.
On the positive side, The 100 finally got with the program and made Indra the Commander. Of course in her way, she still tried not to take it and downplayed what it is. It feels a bit strange for her not to kill her opponent and also not to comment on why – justifying it by saying they’re the last of humanity, a long way from home, and they need to be strong against the other groups would have made sense, but for the people of jus drein, jus draun and children murdering each other in their sleep to select a new leader in a bloodless fashion, without comment, feels downright odd.
There’s a quick quiet moment in the bar between Murphy and Jeremiah, the father of the boy he helped. For once, instead of wallowing in self-pity, Murphy actually seems to connect on a human level, and it sends him on a more positive trajectory for the episode. Later on, he’s part of the small group of concerned extra adults in Madi’s life who intervenes when Indra loses her way and makes the very poor call of trying to make her be Heda again. While lots of people helped to protect her in that moment, Murphy in particular put his body between Madi and Indra. Perhaps Murphy is finding some sense of purpose as a protector of children in Sanctum. After all, he doesn’t have much patience for anyone else, and he certainly knows what it’s like to be a vulnerable kid.
It really feels like such a shame to be ending The 100 now, when the show is hitting its creative stride and pushing itself to do interesting new things. If the spinoff happens, I hope it isn’t a reset, creatively. I hope it carries this energy forward. Given that Earth is coming back into the picture in some way – I suspect time dilation will somehow send a few key characters back to a miraculously survivable Earth – perhaps they’ll even try to stop (one of) the apocalypses from happening. Whatever it is, I hope we see more swinging for the fences like the cold open of this episode, investing in long, character-driven arcs like Octavia and Diyoza’s redemptions, and beautiful, form-breaking storytelling like the two Sky Ring episodes.
- Now we know for sure: Gaia did not end up where Clarke and the gang are. Here’s hoping we see our favorite former Fleimkeepa soon.
- It’s really nice to see their little family close up ranks and envelope Octavia when Diyoza learns that Bellamy is dead
- If the code from the flame was uploaded and mind drives exist, could Raven or someone recreate the flame? If Madi retains the memories, doesn’t that make her a true commander?
- It was pretty great to see Murphy and Emori playfully deciding to eavesdrop on Indra becoming Commander. I miss that side of Murphy, especially. (Emori seems to be handling things a bit better.)
- Madi drew an anomaly stone and didn’t seem to know how she knew it or where from, but add this to the growing list of evidence that she still has the commanders’ memories and that the Anomaly Stones connect(ed) to Earth.
- Madi was about to play soccer with a Null from the woods and a Sanctum kid – hope for the future!
- Aside from the travel logistics, what were Second Dawn people doing there? Did they defect from the cult? Were they trying to colonize? Was this planet part of their mythology? This is too cool and weird to drop a la Lost.