This THE 100 review contains spoilers
The 100 Season 7 Episode 9
This episode backfills Octavia, Diyoza, Hope, and Echo’s experience with the Disciples that led to their dramatic entrance/reveal in the stone room with Clarke in the previous episode. It turns out that the reason Hope was missing is that she didn’t pass the training and was unable to sever her “selfish bonds” to fight for “all of humanity.”
Echo buying into the Bardo BS makes a certain amount of sense. She’s loyal, but her problem has always been the question of who she considers “her people.” Echo brings up an interesting point when she first becomes invested: the Disciple kids have it better than she ever did. Who’s to say Azgeda didn’t brainwash her, to an extent? She’s still very Azgeda in her approach, shooting everyone else so she could win, though that seems to win Anders over. How strong is the ethos of the Disciples if she could change it with one tidy moment as an Azgeda tactician? Surely Levitt’s response represented the typical Disciple, while Anders has his eyes on the prize of winning the war, at all costs.
Speaking of that ethos, Anders can take his philosophy and shove it. It’s pretty hard to swallow the idea of motherly love as selfish. The simulation where Anders stops someone from killing baby Hope only to declare that she belongs to everyone feels manipulative in the extreme. The idea that no one carries pregnancies on Bardo is fascinating. While there are obvious upsides – one appeal of their family arrangement on Sky Ring is that Octavia seemed to love being a parent but also seems completely uninterested in getting pregnant – the mandate that no one carry children seems just as bad as a mandate that no one carry children. And while a world without birth defects might sound good, there’s a real ableist angle to the idea about making people “perfect.”
Diyoza merely played along while O adopted a serene, Zen-like posture. The look they gave when Echo gave Hope’s punishment made it clear that they’re still not fully bought in. After all, Hope is their child. This might finally be the thing that drives Echo fully away from Bellamy and everyone else on Spacekru. There’s still room for Echo to be in on it; maybe she was getting out in front of Anders so he wouldn’t dole out some harsher punishment? Either way, five years on Penance alone sounds particularly harsh for Hope. But it doesn’t sound like something that will break her bonds, considering it’s where she was raised and created her bonds with all of them. She’s going to become a very dark person.
It’s also worth noting that while Hope’s person in the final test was her mother, for everyone else, their person was Hope. Presumably it’s the person they feel closest to, the person they would have the hardest time killing. That’s a brutal final test and it’s likely Octavia and Diyoza sniffed out that it was one, given their experience and the head’s up from Levitt, whereas Hope’s youthful anger and inexperience kept her from seeing the truth. But a real mixed bah for team Hecho. Usually episodes with secret fears and most important people are a bit more revealing (this was largely a no-brainer), but it seems The 100 wanted to use the time outside the simulations to open up the characters moreso than the time within.
I’m not sure how I feel about Levitt for Octavia. In a way their hooking up feels inevitable, given his fascination with her and how long she’s gone without a love interest, thought at one point it seemed like Gabriel or Diyoza could have been contenders. But Levitt feels like a worse fit than either. He’s a bit square. I suppose he’s more suited to who Octavia is now than who she used to be. On the plus side he’s seen O “at her worst” and is still obsessed with her (aren’t we all). But he didn’t watch her story until the end. Won’t that come up? Is this going to be anther Maia situation? I’m not sold. I need to see his rebellious side.
Most episodes this season have had some sort of timey-wimey nonsense, with varying degrees of success. This episode it was extremely subtle, which is probably why it worked so well. While over on Bardo they were working through three months’ time, starting in the past, Sanctum was working in the present tense. I’m assuming Sanctum is around the same time or just after Clarke arrived in the stone room on Bardo, but we don’t know for sure since Clarke has been planet hopping. It didn’t mess with this episode much, other than not having a good sense of how long Raven, Gaia and everyone have been gone, but it would still be nice to know how the dilation between Clarke and Sanctum for sure. Just a little signposting from the writers on the time differentials between worlds would be nice.
I hope we get a check-in with Murphy’s emotional state soon, other than his general fear that something might happen to Emori. He has a moment of real heroism this episode, saying it was his idea to use Hatch and the guys to repair the reactor instead of Raven’s. That’s meant to help everyone in the moment, but in a way it’s also still paying back that unrepayable debt that is permanently disably her when he shot into the drop ship without seeing her during the hostage situation so many seasons ago. He also told Nikki that Hatch was a hero, which is true – Hatch figured it out and kept working, saved everyone. If either Murphy or Emori really is going to die, as the writing seems to keep broadcasting, it would be good to spend some more meaningful emotional time with them that was more character-forward.
Once again, John Murphy quietly tries to be Sanctum’s patron saint of children. While it’s obviously upsetting to be deceived by a literal false god, for the man whose child was saved, you’d think he’d at least be equally happy, since his kid is still alive, and perhaps even more grateful, since a regular person doesn’t technically have “grace” to save anyone with (thought I suppose Murphy wielded the social concept of that grace nonetheless). Either way, your kid is alive so just be happy!
Poor Indra thought she left the people to massacre Sheidheda, but it was the other way around. Murphy accidentally letting the Sheidheda cat out of the bag will only make him feel more damned to hell. It’s a bit terrifying that the Wonkru soldiers immediately opened the door for his command. It might have been the shock at hearing Trigadeslang, but seeing a few of them bow to him, bloodsoaked, it seems like something far more sinister. The only thing scarier than Sheidheda congratulating Indra on her plan working was him saying, “My fight is just beginning.” So much for peace in Sanctum! It looks like Nikki, Nelson, Indra, and SpaceKru are going to need to work it out if they want to live.
- The logo on their Disciple Under Armour looks like a 90s-era lower back tattoo, but it seems more like a phoenix. This is pretty late in the season to finally learn what the Disciples are all about, and we still don’t know why everyone’s rocking this logo.
- It’s nice to see some Gabriel redemption here, but I’m still not sold on how deadly the surface is to them – Levitt doesn’t want them dead and Anders has every reason to want them not to run.
- I enjoy The 100 (via Echo or Diyoza, I can’t remember) lampshading how many jobs Levitt has had on Bardo.
- Sanctum has a sound system? I knew they had the alarms, but I’m digging the old-timey looking mic.
- I am very stressed every time a gun is trained on Emori or Murphy!
- It’s always good to see Octavia back in braids, and I normally love when characters get new tattoos, but seeing them get Bardoan face tattoos really rankled.