Review: ‘The 100’ Ep 5.04: “Pandora’s Box”

Hey, Octavia!  We’re here to resc … uuuuhhhhh ……. what’s ….. why is it so ….. bloody in here?  This place looks a li’l different than we last left it.  6 years ago it was significantly … cleaner.  Nicer.  Less splattered with blood.  Less musty.  Less crusty.  This is honestly all I could think about during this “rescue” scene -what it must smell like down there after having been sealed off for 6 torturous years.

Holy shit you know what I just realized?  As they’re lifting people out of the bunker, literally not one person even bothers to ask where Jaha is.  It’s like Miller’s boyfriend Bryan.  He disappeared into thin air and no one gave a single shite.  There’s no Niylah in this ep either; she must certainly still be alive, but Clarke has no concern whatsoever with why she doesn’t see her anywhere.  She was kinda sorta your girlfriend-ish, right Clarke?  Well, no matter.  She’ll show up again eventually and no one will skip a beat.

This episode can be summed up like so, and if you’re a fan of Netflix documentaries you’ll get what I mean:

Bellamy/Clarke/Diyoza/McCreary: “Octavia, sweety, clearly you’ve found some creative ways to keep your people in line down here, but this incessant chanting all feels just a tad … culty.”

Octavia:

If this gif doesn’t make sense to you, please do yourself a favor and watch this documentary.  From now to eternity I will always picture Octavia as Ma Anand Sheela and Osho all rolled into one.

And in a way, tough titties is right, honestly.  Like, yes, the way the bunker sitch turned out after these 6 years isn’t exactly ideal, but what the hell did you expect??  These people have been all spent 6 years trapped in a basement with no way of getting out, thinking they may be stuck down there forever, slowly descending deeper and deeper into madness from claustrophobia and fear of starving to death.  I would have gone completely bonkers like a week in.

Had Clarke and/or Bellamy been the ones in charge down there, would they have ruled it the same way?  I don’t think so, because the approach Octavia took was very much of her personality and her area of expertise, but trust me when I say that the Clarke/Bellamy version still would have sucked ass.  It just would have been terrible in some other way.  You’ve seen the shit Clarke’s willing to do to ensure the survival of her people!  She’ll microwave a human man to death in a radiation chamber.  She’ll let 250 of her own people get blown up by a missile.  She’ll let her mom hang herself.  She’ll irradiate dozens of people in a mountain.  She’ll steal this exact same bunker from everyone else, letting them die outside, including some of her own peeps.  Who is she to judge Octavia’s leadership methods, honestly?  And while Bellamy might not be quite as hardcore as Clarke, he was still an accomplice in some of those things she did, and he also murdered 300 sleeping people in cold blood once.  So.  Don’t get too high and mighty on us, kiddos.

Now, that said, Octavia’s approach to the Kane/Abby sitch is definitely hard to watch.  It’s personal here, which makes it tougher to swallow.  And I can’t quite figure out O’s strategy here: She has to know it was Abby who stole the dang pills.  I mean come on, this is clearly the worst-kept secret in Polis.  I’m glad O still has enough of a heart to try to help Kane out of this, but the only thing she’s accomplishing by saving Kane is killing Abby.  Abby’s a doctor not a fighter; Kane at least can defend himself in the pit fairly decently.  Would Octavia rather just throw Abby to the wolves?  Even if we look at this from the most selfish perspective, Abby is one of the only two doctors they have, and she is the most experienced.  Is she off limits? It doesn’t seem like it based on how this plays out.  Kane wouldn’t have a need to sacrifice himself to the wolves for her otherwise.  Hmm.

But on the other hand, if you look at it from O’s perspective, she doesn’t have a whole lot of choice here either.  I guess the only viable move for her would be to keep the original crime under wraps entirely, if possible.  Once people know about the crime, then O needs to follow through with the punishment for it, otherwise she’ll be seen as weak and an unfair leader.  People will start to rebel.  So the angle I think they’re going for here is that she’s had no choice over the years but to steel herself and set aside her feelings in these cases.  She’s had to become hardened.  And my assumption is that she hasn’t had to kill any actual friends of hers before now, at least no one that the audience is familiar with.  So this may be the first time she’s being faced with such an impossible choice.

“You lost your way!”  Definitely not the first time Kane has said this to O.  It reminds us that Kane and Indra have always been kind of surrogate parents to Octavia.  And thank god for Indra, which is really an evergreen statement.  This can and should be said about Indra in all situations and all times.  She’s the only one keeping Kane from being totally murdered here, though in the end he does everything in his power to undermine all the help she’s trying to give him by refusing to fight.  Dumbass.  And do we think Abby feels just a tad guilty for putting him in this position?  She’s in full-on junky mode here and it’s hard to watch.  We’re at A&E Intervention levels at this point.

But damn, Clarke, Bell, Diyoza and McCreary rappelling down into the bunker for the first time and taking in the whole scene really is priceless.  They may be judgy here, but wouldn’t you be??  Don’t act like you wouldn’t 100% be this guy.

O and Bell’s initial hug before Bell fully takes in the scene is nice, as O immediately drops all pretense as soon as she realizes her bro is finally back to save her, but then we move immediately to WTF mode on Bell’s part.  And then Clarke’s, which I have something to say about:

I saw a couple reviewers making fun of Clarke and O’s reunion fist-bump (kidding, it was that arm shake deal they always do on this show with their “bros” when they don’t want to be too mushy), but I will argue to my grave that the way they greet each other here makes complete sense.  Is everyone forgetting that the last place these two left off in their relationship was with Clarke trying to steal the bunker for SkaiKru and locking Octavia/Kane/Indra out??  Literally the only thing that happened between them after that was Bellamy opening the door to let everyone in, against Clarke’s will.  Clarke and O didn’t have any direct on-camera interactions after that, other than standing awkwardly in the same room during planning/negotiations.  Clarktavia’s relationship has always been tenuous, but they’ve probably never been on worse terms than they were right around the last time they saw each other.  Of course they didn’t hug!  The writers released the script for this scene after the ep, and it showed that a hug was originally written into the scene.  Clearly they thought better of it when filming, and continuity-wise that was absolutely the right choice.

OMG and then we get to Clarke: “Before we get to that, where’s my mom?”  LMAO.  “Well Clarke, she’s in her … uhh … room … the one with the door that locks from the outside.  Everything’s fine!”  Awwkkwwarrrrrd.  Again.  This entire scene is just full of the best kind of cringe top to bottom.  Including Diyoza’s condescending little quip to Octavia: “Love the war paint by the way.”  This reminded me of that scene in Pretty in Pink (dating myself with this): “Aren’t you the girl from my art class?  Nice pearls – this isn’t a dinner party, honey.”  O is well aware she’s not being complimented here.  If we thought Clarke and Diyoza’s dynamic would be interesting, I expect Diyoza’s dynamic with O will be downright explosive.  Well, it already has been, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

“How many people we bringin’ up?” Bell: “1,200.”  Octavia: “814.”  Bwahaha.  Uhhh.  The hits just keep on coming.

Clarke and Abby’s Reunion

The reunions in this ep start out gloriously (trust that I will get to Bellarke soon) and then kind of slowly turn more and more disturbing from there.  Bell and O’s is really nice at first until he takes a look around the bunker.  Clarke and Abby’s reunion comes next, and it feels both disturbing and sad.  First off, Indra fully seeing Abby with the pills as they walk into the room, after Abby had promised to never touch them again (yeah right), is depressing.  Anyone who’s had a friend or family member who’s struggled with addiction (or if you’ve struggled yourself) can relate to this moment.  It’s unclear how much knowledge Clarke has of Abby’s sitch, probably not a whole lot yet, but she can definitely see something’s not right.  Clarke and Abby’s reunion is muted and feels more sad than it does happy.  Abby is happy Clarke is alive but this isn’t the state she wanted to be in when reuniting with Clarke.  And Clarke looks quite worried while she hugs Abby.

Bellarke

“We grab the doctor, kill the hostage-taker and his girlfriend, go home.”

First off, how hilarious is it that literally none of us gave even one second’s thought to the fact that Diyoza just announced her intent to kill Clarke and Bellamy here?  All any of us could hear in this line was “hostage-taker and his girlfriend.”  The first thing I did when I watched this scene was to start typing the word “hostage” into Twitter search, and it immediately came up with this full phrase.  That was when I knew I wasn’t crazy (or more likely, we all are).  Diyoza KNOWS wassup.  Between this and “She must be pretty important to you,” she is absolutely Team Bellarke.  Diyoza may be a bad guy but thank god for her.  She is a bad guy sent from heaven above.  I’m sure I’ll regret that statement eventually.

So yes, obviously my most anticipated part of this ep was the first few minutes of it.  The writers were smart and started with the bunker to build up anticipation even more, but by minute 7 or so I was getting what I came for.  And guess what?  As it turns out, I have so many thoughts on the couple/few minutes we got of Bellarke in this ep that I wrote an entire blog post on it.  Actually, lmao, I’m realizing that my Bellarke blog post mainly just covers those first two scenes. It doesn’t cover all the little wordless interactions and looks they give each other down in the bunker and towards the end of the ep.  All I can say about that is, I’m glad this power couple is back.

And, I’m just gonna call something here: It seems like we’re getting far more overt romantic forshadowing with these two than we ever have before.  It’s been two eps in a row now of like, a LOT of moments like this.  The 100‘s usual formula is that this will all completely dry up for the next 6 episodes, and then at the end of the season we’ll be lucky if we even get a platonic hug.  I’d say I’ve learned to not get my hopes up, but clearly I haven’t because I’m doing it yet again.  HowEVER, with that said, I feel a much more romantic vibe this season than I ever have before.  The signs we’re getting here are all the classic TV foreshadowing signs that a couple is finally about to get together.  We’ll have to get past Echo first though.  Groan.  I’m currently in denial that she still exists.

And I’ll say this: If the writers skip ahead 6 fucking years post-Lexa and still refuse to put Bellarke together by the end of the season, that’s it.  It’ll be time to throw in the towel, because if this set-up isn’t enough for them to finally do what has been begging to be done for a thousand seasons, then they clearly never had any intention of doing it and have been fucking with us this entire time.  Which would be pretty awful and downright cruel.  You know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me three times, shame on me again, fool me four times, WTF am I still doing here, fool me five times, it’s time to question my sanity and every life decision I’ve ever made.

Becho

I know Echo wasn’t in this episode, but the Bellarke section reminded me – Is it weird that we’ve seen literally nothing of Becho this whole season other than that one scene in the premiere?  There were two Becho-type scenes written into ep 5.03 that were cut out and/or played differently than what was written on the page.  This seems kind of odd to me all around.  It’s been told to us many times that this is going to become a major sticking point with Octavia, so it’s definitely coming back into play soon, but when?  We’re already 4 eps into a 13-ep season.  What worries me about this is that if Bellarke really does happen this season, I don’t want it to be 5 seconds after a Becho break-up.  That wouldn’t be healthy.  They seriously need to get this shit moving by ep 5.05.  Echo is in one promo pic for this ep so she’ll be in it, but will she have any interaction with Bellamy?  Uggh.

Knowing The 100 writers they’ll feel they need yet another 6 year time jump after season 5 in order for Bellamy to get over Echo, like they did with Clarke getting over Lexa.  Maybe by the time they’re both 80 years old and have had 10 more time jumps and traded off finding new people to fall in love with each time, the writers will consider possibly maybe letting Bellarke have a 0.5 second peck on the lips before they both die of old age.  <flips a table over>

Murven

This was a great Murven episode too, with a couple Murphy lines that made me laugh my ass off.  It starts off with them doing research into Diyoza and filling in the audience on her terrifying history: She apparently was a Navy SEAL gone bad and ended up leading a terrorist organization??  Uhh, yeesh.  Then we get Bellamy radioing in to fill them in on the plan to wait for him to check in every hour, and if not, they need to pull the plug on the sleeping psychos.  Murphy gets in a quick sarcastic quip on the radio before Raven grabs it back, which is good for a chuckle.  We spend this entire conversation on the edge of our seats wondering if and when Bellamy will clue them in that Clarke is not dead.

When he finally does, it provides us with a scene that is somehow just as wonderful and heartwarming as the Bellarke reunion scene.  Raven’s initial shock is great, but Murphy grabbing the radio with “Jeeezzz, and they call me the cockroach!” is priceless.  I talked a bit in my review of the season 4 finale about how Clarke and Murphy are actually not that different from each other, and this line pulled together my theory perfectly.  Both of these two are true survivors and it’s good to see that the writers see this too.

The only moment in this scene that veered maybe a tad into cheesy territory was the “But first, Clarke, thank you for saving our lives!” line from Raven.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see Clarke finally getting her due this season when for so many seasons we’ve been so used to her just continually catching the blame from everyone when things don’t go perfectly (and they never do).  I think there was just something in the delivery and the way the moment played on screen that gave me a teeny bit of sweetness overload.  Not too much though; I adored this whole scene overall.  I also touched on a couple more aspects of it in my Bellarke post, heh.

Then we get Raven and Murphy fighting over Zeke Miles trying to hack into the system to regain control of it, and Raven throwing out the barb: “So why don’t you just go play with your ball and I’ll do the rest like always.”  Well, she ain’t wrong.  And we can see that this line stings Murphy.  He makes it up to Raven though, in a scene that starts with him napping in a cryochamber and scaring the shit out of her – another Murphy scene in that made me LMAO.  He throws out a couple mean quips in the heat of the moment before telling Raven he’ll be the one to pull the plug if and when it comes down to it.  He tells her that his staying back on the ship was at least somewhat motivated by the fact that she shouldn’t always have to be the one to sacrifice.  Good boy Murphy.

In the end, we get one much-appreciated moment of pure joy from these two while playing soccer before it all goes to shit when Diyoza and Shaw realize they can open the docking bay doors to the ship and kill Murphy and Raven without killing the sleeping prisoners.  In that moment, Murven’s only play is to wake the prisoners all up, which forces Diyoza/Shaw to close the doors again.  Problem is, it leaves Murphy and Raven with 283 now-awake murderers.  Uh oh.  “Your girlfriend may be smart, but she’s a coward.”  Nah, fuck that.  She’s just smart, period.  Though it’s technically cockroach boy Murphy who suggests this option to her.

Also: This ep is very clearly setting up Maven (his name is apparently Miles Shaw, not Zeke, which is a bummer) to be thing.  And I am sooooooo here for it.  Poor Raven has not had a love interest since effing season 2!!  I thought Wick was such a great partner for her, it’s a bummer the actor turned out to be a dumbass and (I suspect may have) got himself fired from the show.  Granted, it’s possible that they may just not have had enough storyline for him in season 3.  Either way, Raven needs some damn action!!  I can’t wait for this.  These two seem like a great match.

The Blakes

“I trusted you.  This is YOUR FAULT.”

Jesus Fucking Christ.  Can we do something else on this show besides have Octavia go back and forth between loving and hating Bellamy??  I was stupid enough to think that after they finally said they love each other at the end of last season that that would stick.  I mean fine, I knew what was coming this season, but I thought Echo would be the main sticking point, not Octavia blaming Bellamy himself for everything again.  Echo hasn’t even made her big entrance yet.

And by the way O, if not for Bellamy y’alls would still be trapped in that god-forsaken bunker literally eating each other alive for the rest of eternity!  Would you rather be there right now instead of finally above ground with at least the option of fighting for Eden?  Yeah.  That’s what I thought.

So now we go to war.  This episode sets us up for an Octavia vs. Diyoza battle for the rest of the season, or at least for the next few episodes.  And I suspect the others will just be working around these two to try to figure out how to achieve the best outcome.  Should be quite a rollercoaster ride.

Final stray thoughts:

  • Will Octavia still be able to retain her power over WonKru now that they’re out of the bunker?  Seems like this would be a challenge.
  • Did Raven hack the missile launching mechanism on Eligius?
  • What happened on Eligius 3?  Why is its data encrypted?
  • What the frak was The Dark Year??  I have no doubt we’ll hear more about this eventually.
  • McCreary may be a psycho but I don’t blame him one bit for shooting that dumbass guy in the head at the end of the ep.  Dude just started a war over Octavia giving him the stinkeye.  He’s an idiot and a liability.  Good riddance.

My rating of ep 5.04: 91/100

My most anticipated part of this ep was in the first 10 minutes, but the ep’s main storyline – the opening of Pandora’s Box – is very entertaining.  Probably the only points I’m taking off for it are really at the end when we have to endure an “Octavia unfairly blames Bellamy for all her problems yet again” for the 8 millionth time on this series.  Caveat: In season 3 he deserved her blame.  But most of the other times this theme just feels like a broken record.  I really hope this one can give us something a little different as the season goes on.  We shall see.

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