The 100 made a brief return before going on another hiatus and took the time to tease us about what’s to come while delivering yet another solid instalment.
Now, without any hesitation, let’s begin. Octavia has been a polarizing figure to viewers for the last two seasons (and this season in particular) for her position of power. While she has proven that she isn’t one to shy away from death, her new ways aren’t winning over Clarke or Bellamy - the two who have preferred to make their own questionable decisions. Knowing that Octavia is idolised by hundreds, Diyoza takes the opportunity to send down food supplies and a message that offers an opportunity for those wanting to leave Octavia’s Wonkru. As Echo sees it, Eligius is recruiting and Octavia makes it known that she is ready to end anyone in opposition of her group. Octavia shows signs of leniency at moments, but essentially acts on her gut instincts which involves death.
Octavia might not be the ‘let’s braid your hair’ kind of leader some viewers want, but that’s what makes her so crucial. She sets up rules, giving people a chance (like Echo, but more on that later…) and any betrayal is subjected to her standard ruling. Remember people, this is a world where historically showing vulnerability as a leader results in early retirement. This episode gave her a chance to showcase both sides of her as a leader - including making a sacrifice of sorts to take down an enemy, and showing some semblance of hope to someone who seriously wanted her dead.
Speaking of Echo, the show has really tried to present the character in ways I wouldn’t have expected. Being one of the only remaining cast members of Ice Nation, she has spent six years with people whom she claims changed her way of thinking. Is this possible - sure. Do we trust it entirely - certainly not. In moments I am interested in the potential transformation of Echo, especially knowing she is now a pawn to take down Eligius; then there is that major part of me who feels like Octavia is 100% justified for wanting to banish someone who could try to tear Wonkru down. Regardless of my personal feelings, the actress has brought depth to Echo and her story could be something more unpredictable as the season heads into the second half.
With that being said, Bellamy has shown us he is capable of awful decisions, but at this point he just keeps trucking onward. He is set in his ways and takes the opportunity to state he doesn't know who his sister has become - but when he’s only saying it in defense of the girl who is responsible for his former girlfriend’s death and who tried to kill his sister, his priorities have shifted too. While Octavia tries to be a savior to several individuals, he’s only worried about the safety of his new and improved girlfriend. Do better, Bellamy!
Another interesting dynamic that is explored further this episode comes from the mother-daughter relationship of Clarke and Madi. With Madi joining the mix, Clarke has shifted to doing whatever it takes to keep Madi alive. Knowing that she is a nightblood is something she doesn’t want to disclose, but a few like Niylah and Gaia learn quickly that there is more to the story. Some grow concerned that Octavia could view her as a threat, leading Clarke to question Octavia (she already seemed weary) and planned on the pair escaping with Eligius. Of course, things don't go as planned so Madi decides to act on her own and approach Octavia with the truth. By the time they find Octavia and Madi, she’s officiated as a member of Wonkru and tells her that she doesn't have to hide anymore - just like Octavia when she was younger. Madi has this apparent appreciation for Octavia which makes Clarke even more concerned, but Octavia promises to keep the fact a secret and to protect the young girl. Clarke doesn’t take kindly to the news, making me anxious to see how this conflict with pan out between the pair… But you already know I’m obviously team Octavia.
Overall Grade: 8.5/10
I can acknowledge that my scores for the series are often between an 8-9, but that’s only because it’s such a high caliber series. Between the shifts in dynamics, interactions between an array of distinct characters and non-stop progression, The 100 deserves all the praise it receives. Very rarely can a show take an episode to breathe and still make such progress in the plot like The 100 - but it has managed to do it for five seasons while improving. With top-notch performances, writing and direction, how can you not be watching The 100?
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- Curse the evil hiatus, it’s an enemy of Wonkru!
- This episode gave a little more depth to Echo, but I still don’t entirely trust it.