Review: ‘The 100’ Ep 5.07: “Acceptable Losses”

Welp, I guess those worms from 5.05 turned out to be more than just a cheap one-ep thrill, eh?  More than we can say for our dear Vinson, who I miss already.  Maybe he’ll show up again later, when we’re least expecting it.  Fingers crossed.

If there’s any one statement that perfectly describes where I’m at with The 100 right now, it’s this:

Panic-watching is precisely what I’m doing right now.  Because while I am finding our unprecedented lack of knowledge on what’s ahead in the second half of the season kind of exhilarating, this situation also makes for very nerve-racking episode-viewing experiences.  I’m so anxious about where this is all gonna go that I’m over analyzing every scene, every interaction, and every minute detail.  I’m constantly calculating how things may get from point A to point B in the remaining eps, and whether they will even be headed to point B at all, or if they might go to an unexpected point C.

This all makes it hard to judge each ep on its own of course, because I’m spending too much of my time worrying and reading into everything.  This is a classic midseason issue with any and all TV shows I’ve ever been obsessed with, so not a big deal, but I bring this up just to say that when I rant about things here you can take them with a slight grain of salt.  Because it’s hard to know right now which rants will end up being justified and which won’t by the time the season is over.  Here’s hoping that at least some of them will be rendered moot or irrelevant by then.  <laughs nervously>  Let’s dig into it.

Kabby

“I dunno what happened to [Kane] in that bunker, but … he’s different.”

You know, for someone with an opioid addiction, Abby sure does have some lightning-quick reflexes when Kane tries to grab that pill bottle from her.  Suddenly she’s floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.  I get why Kane is pissed in this ep and why he’s hard on her about the girl who got shot, but it’s not as if this girl came in to see Abby with a paper cut.  That is a whole ass bullet in her back, so she could have died even under the best circumstances.  Even in a real hospital with nice medical equipment, and even if no one was using her bullet wound as a USB port.

I saw someone on Twitter say they think Kane is being a little bitch this season, and, he kinda is.  But I can also see why – The bunker made him compulsively determined to achieve a peaceful existence, and it’s hard to blame him for selling out Octavia in his quest for that, given that O is so dead set on eternally punishing him for Abby’s pill-stealing habits.  And given the fact that O is trying to wage war right now.  He’s got no reason to have any allegiance to her at this point.  Now, that said, this all does in turn make Kane Diyoza’s bitch instead.  He has to finesse that angle as smartly as possible to not only help stop Octavia but to stay in Diyoza’s good graces once all is said and done.  All he wants right now is a good future for him and Abby in Eden.

And Abby is kinda inadvertently working both for and against Kane as he’s doing this.  On the plus side, Abby is essential – Kane wouldn’t even be in this cushy position at all if not for Abby being a doctor.  He’d be out there in the desert cowering under Octavia’s iron fist.  On the downside, Octavia wouldn’t be trying to kill him if not for Abby’s addiction, and her addiction may also jeopardize her ability to be useful to the Eligius people.  So I get why Kane is stressed out, but I don’t think telling Abby “choose me or the pills” is a great approach either.  Still, there’s no one fool proof tactic out there to get through to a drug addict, so I can’t say what the right answer is.

I’ve personally had one family member die from drug addiction, another family friend die from drug addiction, another family friend with a debilitating opioid addiction who ended up committing suicide, a brother-in-law who died from an Oxy overdose, and another family member who is a very active alcoholic right now.  So, uhh … I don’t have the magic answer, obviously.  Clearly we weren’t successful with any of these friends & family members.  No amount of interventions or attempts at reasoning or begging or pleading with them worked.  So while I don’t think Kane’s current strategy with Abby is a good one, it’s hard for me to judge too harshly either because you tend to try anything and every desperate tactic you possibly can in these situations.

And in Abby’s defense, at least she’s generous with her pills?  She seems to be dolling them out to Eligius’s patients to control their pain.  I’m not sure where these two are headed this season, but then again I’m not sure where anyone’s headed.  I’m a bit more worried for these two though.  Someone besides Jaha has to die before the season is out and either of these two could be likely candidates.

Diyoza

So … the actress who plays Diyoza found out she was pregnant right before they started shooting, if I recall.  Which means Diyoza herself being pregnant would not have been part of the original plot; it was clearly written in to make it easier to shoot the show without having to hide her baby belly.  Whose baby is it!?  McCreary?  Talk about a deadbeat dad.  Can a person be a serial killer and a good father?  And is Diyoza pregnant and sick with the lung thing or is she just pregnant?  Will her pregnancy make her less willing to risk her life and more willing to compromise?  Diyoza feels a lot like a future version of Clarke, and now they’ll have another thing in common – the responsibility of raising and protecting a kid.  Could they come to an understanding by the end of the season?

One thing we do know about Diyoza in this ep is that she is sassy AF.  Then again so is Abby in their scene together:

Abby: “I’m still working on a treatment. But with your antiquated equipment, you’re basically screwed.”
Diyoza: “Is that your professional diagnosis?”

Oh and also, bwahha I did not think about this at all but someone on Tumblr pointed out that Diyoza was literally just doing tequila shots with Kane 2 episodes ago.  Dafuq!  Did the writers make a split-second decision in 5.07 to throw the pregnancy in there (I would hope not), or were they just smoking crack when they wrote 5.05?

Clarke & Monty

“Ye of little faith …”

Probably the best random gift this ep gives us is some quality Clarke and Monty time.  I think we all hoped that Clarke would eventually deliver Jasper’s goggles and letter to Monty, and this episode gives that to us.  With the letter, at least.  And this ep’s description, “Clarke and Bellamy make a startling discovery about WonKru’s battle plans,” is not exactly correct.  It’s actually Clarke and Monty who make this discovery.  Which seems fitting really, given the biological nature of the secret weapon.

I’m glad Monty finally gets more of a storyline in this ep.  The scene where he reads Jasper’s suicide note definitely gets me a bit misty.  Monty’s role this season is clearly as the pacifist, which I guess he kinda always has been anyway.  Harper is given a bit more to do here too, but she still doesn’t have her own storyline.  I think we all still want more for her.  I need her and Emori to be promoted to series regulars.

Side note: It’s a bummer that the show seems to have dropped any consideration for the bond Octavia and Jasper always shared.  That was a major thread for the first 3 seasons.  There’s no scene this season where Octavia asks, “Hey, what ever ended up happening to Jasper, anyway?”  Pfft.

Ethan v. Madi

First off, Madi is such a teenager in this ep.  With all the sarcastic quips and eye-rolling in her first scene with Clarke it almost feels like she’s aged several years since 5.06. Then again, so have we, waiting a thousand years between each damn ep this season.  Clarke really has her hands full with this girl right now.  It’s storylines like this that normally push things into the “introduction of a new kid character ruins a TV show” zone, but I don’t think it does here, because it actually serves to propel Clarke into a mode that we love: Take-No-Shit-Badass Clarke.  I’ll get to that a bit more in the Clarke section.

And finally, Ethan has a purpose.  We’ve only seen him once before this, in 5.02 (and as a younger kid in 4.12).  I wondered then what his role would be this season, and once we saw the preview for 5.07 I think it became likely that he’d be an antagonist to Madi.  Little punk!!  As much as we want to keep Madi safe, it was satisfying to watch her kick his ass at the end.  I do wonder if Ethan will remain a bully to her or if their relationship will improve at some point now that he knows he can’t push her around.  Or maybe the show won’t need him after this and he’ll just disappear, Bryan-style.

Maven (Pilot Mechanic?)

I’m going over this in my head and I’m pretty sure that the only thing we really know for a fact about the rest of this season is that Raven and Shaw are gonna be a thing.  For whatever reason, the actors and I think even Jason himself have been quite forthcoming with this spoiler.  We got good Maven … err, Pilot Mechanic in this episode, though their interactions weren’t exactly warm or fuzzy.  I’m ready for them to get those romantic sparks flying.  This episode moves in exactly the opposite direction though, ending with Shaw getting the shit beat out of him because Raven snitched on him (against her will, but Shaw doesn’t know that).  This seems like a low point, so it’s gonna be quite an uphill battle from here.  Raven better be able to talk her way out of this one quick because we’ve only got 6 eps left to get things rolling in the sexy direction.

Btw, as a Bay Area native, “The Battle of San Francisco” made me laugh, but in the Year of Our Lord 2018 it really shouldn’t.  We live in Trumpistan now, anything can happen.  Real life has been headed directly towards The 100 since 2016.

Gaia

This week drove home the fact that Gaia is useful to Clarke as an ally only in the short term.  In the long term, she’s gonna try to get Madi to stick that flame in her neck.  The scene with the flame here was creepy AF.  And look, maybe when Madi is an adult and can make her own decisions, she’ll decide she wants to be a leader and can flame it on up.  If so there’s really no issue with that as long as she’s a good leader.  You just don’t want it to be forced on her before she’s plenty old enough to make choices like this.

p.s. I maintain my previous statement that the sacred Flame box looks something they found in the ruins of a shopping mall Ed Hardy store.  Or maybe a Hot Topic.

Echo (and Raven)

Hmm.  This went … I mean it went one of the only couple directions it could have gone, and it wasn’t the one I expected.  Last week I speculated about whether Echo shoving that flash drive into the chick’s gunshot wound was an indication that she might slip back into her classic shady spy tactics.  It turns out that was true, even more so than I had predicted.  When Echo sold out Shaw I kept expecting there to be some twist, where it would just seem like she was selling him out and then suddenly we’d realize that there was an extra layer of her plan that would save him.  But there wasn’t.  She just straight up fucked him over.  And Raven is rightfully livid about it.

And like I said last week, letting Echo be Echo – to at least retain some semblance of her former self, rather than forcing her to suddenly be a vanilla girl scout cookie (if that cookie doesn’t exist then I just made it up) – is the right move here.  It just feels jarring because she spends literally zero time whatsoever grappling with whether she should stab her SpaceKru bestie in the back like this.  Zip.  Zilch.  There is no moral quandary whatsoever, it’s just like, well duh, obviously I’m doing this.  I can only assume this is an unfortunate result of having to shove a bazillion storylines into a 42 minute ep as part of an only 13 episode season.  Which is frustrating.  I can’t imagine Raven would quickly forgive Echo for this but who knows.  Will Bellamy find out?  Will it cause Becho problems?  Time will tell.

Bloodreina and Indra

“Be careful of the dark, Octavia.  Too easy to lose your way.”

I hate seeing these two fight, but Octavia continues to be delightfully villainous while Indra continues to be delightfully pure.  I don’t even know that I have that much to say about them here other than the fact that I love the scene where Octavia goes ham on Indra and throws the skull and breaks the mirror.  I mean I hate that Indra is starting to lose her grip on O.  But Jesus, O is way beyond saving right now and I think we all accepted that several eps ago.  Will Indra continue to remain loyal to O as she continues to descend into madness?  Again this goes back to a lot of this tyrannical leadership approach no longer being necessary outside the bunker.  In the bunker she had to do what she had to do to keep her people alive, but now she could make a choice to be a more ethical/morally just leader, but she doesn’t.  Now she’s basically just doing whatever she can to hold onto the power that she’s developed an addiction to over the past 6 years.

I’m very curious to see what Indra will be doing next week when Clarke and Bellamy are trying to subvert Octavia.  Hmm.  Oh and I almost forgot, I loved this exchange too:

Octavia: “When were YOU going to tell ME, you helped Kane escape?? If we lose, that’ll be why, how does that make you feel!?”
Indra: “Awful. And I’d do it again.”

Bellarke

Definitely the best Bellarke moment in the ep.

The ep left me pretty cold from the Bellarke perspective, which seems weird to say since these two worked together throughout most of it.  I know 5.08 will be the more dramatic ep in general, as that’s what these last couple eps have been building towards, but I’d hoped that more Bellarke clashes/flare-ups would happen here leading into it.  The conflicts are definitely here, with each of Clarke/Bell’s competing priorities and with Clarke literally saying she’s gonna “take out” Bellamy’s sister at the end of the ep.  Heh.  Whatever that means.  But it all comes mainly in the form of each of these two performing their own opposing actions without necessarily communicating back and forth a lot.  There are no moments where either of them snap – no Kabby-style knock-down-drag-outs.  Nothing even on the level of the “No, YOU don’t understand” moment in last week’s … Actually wait I take that back – I guess that’s what the end is, when Bellamy snips at Clarke that he doesn’t have time to deal with her stupid Madi problems.  The eff!!  And then Clarke’s like, “Oh yeah, bitch?  I’m gonna off your sister.  How bow dah?”

So yeah, the conflict is here throughout the ep, it’s just much more subtle that I was hoping for.

Side note: In defense of Bellamy’s Madi comment here, on my second watch I paid more attention to context and realized he doesn’t mean it the way it sounds.  In the previous scene, Bellamy instructs Clarke to get Madi so they can get the hell out of dodge.  Then when Clarke shows up in this last scene, she doesn’t have Madi with her, so Bell is like, WTF why don’t you have her?  We don’t have time for Madi to be playing games with O when we need to GTFOutta here.  So he’s not saying eff Madi or eff your problems, he’s saying, get Madi now so we can go.

Anywho.  The thing about Clarke and Bellamy, for better or for worse, is that they generally tend to clash in the most infuriatingly friendly manner.  It’s always like, “Oh, we’re buddies, we’ve both done some terrible things and we may not always agree, but we always forgive each other!  For instance, I’m planning to kill your sister in next weeks’ ep.  You’ll help me, right?”  “Aww golly gee whiz Clarke, sure, if you say so!  I do feel slightly uncomfortable with it, but I trust you’ve got your reasons, just like Echo did.  Should I grab Kara first?”

I know this isn’t always true – the two moments that come to mind are Hakeldama (3.05) and the fallout from Clarke trying to steal the bunker last season and nearly letting Octavia die outside of it (4.11).  Hakeldama was great … ep 4.11 not so much.  In 4.11 Clarke & Bell barely even communicate with each other at all; it’s frustrating as hell.  In 4.12 they finally make up with each other, but it’s like a quick convo in the Rover and then Bellamy, “Ohhh kaayyy, I still love ya, pal.”  A Hakeldama moment is what we want in 5.08 – Heated arguing with cathartic levels of passion and emotion, because after all this, 6 goddamn years, one really seriously needs to happen.  Without one of them handcuffing the other at the end of it, preferably.  Unless it’s in a sexy way.  I kid.

What’s freaking me out is that the preview for 5.08 has me afraid that this isn’t gonna happen … that instead Bell’s just gonna go along with Clarke’s plan to “take out” Octavia.  It gives me this awful feeling like Clarke “putting Bellamy in an impossible position” (the ep description which seems to promise great conflict) is going to amount to Bellamy just furrowing his brow for like a split second before he falls in line.  I know the previews are like 15 seconds long and they mean nothing; this is mainly just me going on the way this show usually rolls when it’s disappointing the shit out of me a la 4.11.  It’s fine.  I’m fine.  It’ll be fine.  Or the whole season Bellarke will just keep chugging along in this silently dysfunctional manner till Bellamy finally blows a gasket right at the end and this winds up in a Teddy & Dolores sitch.  Kidding again, I swear.  If you don’t watch Westworld then trust me, you don’t want to know what that means.

And let’s be real here, they’re obviously not going to kill Octavia next week.  But in order to get some passionate Bellarke flare-ups, we have to spend some chunk of the ep with Clarke at least threatening to do something drastic like this, even if Bell talks her out of it in the end.  My nightmare scenario here is that Clarke will just immediately from the get-go be like “Oh by ‘take her out’ I didn’t mean kill her, I just meant to do XYZ to undermine her authority” or some shiz.  Snooze.  And then Bell will be like “O.k. cool let’s do that.  So anyway how do you think Echo’s doing in Eden?”  Clarke, gritting her teeth: “Oh I’m sure she’s having fun, there’s some yummy berries there she can eat.” Bellamy: “Kewl, have I mentioned she’s super nice now?”  Clarke: “Uh huh.”  <roll credits>  Lmao.  Fucking nightmare.

I’ll end the Bellarke section on an upnote: The scene in this ep with Indra really is priceless all-around.  Eliza’s delivery of the line “Yeah I’ll go with him” is hilaaaaarious, as is the way Bellamy & Clarke’s attempts at diplomacy unfold and crash and burn.  Also Bellamy looks super cute with his hands in his pockets like a nervous schoolkid.  And Clarke makes a sassy face after Bell busts her balls.  Adorbs.

Bellamy

He is rly so adorable tho

Is it just me or is Bellamy kinda playing the lovable fool lately?  Like, seriously sweetie, what part of your sister mowing down her own people last episode was it that made you think she’d have any problem whatsoever using a biological weapon to kill her enemies??  If she’s willing to shoot her own goddamn people in the backs just to put on a show for Diyoza then why the hell would using them as lab rats be an issue for her?  It’s scenes like Bellamy’s shock face when he finds out the worms were all O’s plan that just get me exasperated to the point of putting a hammer through my TV, right in Bellamy’s beautiful face.  Christ, I wish I had never made that Dolores and Teddy comparison earlier because I’m starting to realize he may be Teddy this season.  The simple pure-hearted rube.

Part of what drove me nuts in this ep is that literally the Bell/O scene that happens just prior to this is Bell finally standing up to O and telling her to eff off!  He totally reams her, telling her he wishes he’d never opened the bunker to find her new terrible self, and then 5 minutes later he’s like “Well hey guys wait a minute she might be a murderous maniacal dictator now but she would never do that.”  Can’t the writers just let him stick to his guns rather than being so wishy washy?  I would have been totally fine with his reaction to O’s possible human testing being slightly adjusted to something like, “I don’t want to believe she’d do something that terrible but I’d probably be kidding myself.”  So that way he can acknowledge his good-natured habit of always wanting to see the best in O, while still being realistic and not coming off so foolish.

I feel bad because this season is so reminiscent of how exasperated we all were with Bellamy in S3, though I will reiterate that S3 was 1,000x worse.  This is a faaarrr less serious and more easily-fixable sitch.  But the reason I bring it up is that I feel like somehow poor Bellamy is always the one who ends up being the guinea pig for the writers to play around and experiment with his character.  I’m not sure why Bell is the one they always hone in on for this stuff.  We all have extremely high expectations of him, maybe even more so than we do for Clarke, because with Bellamy being the heart of the show and Clarke being the head, we expect to always have that very emotional connection to Bell.  So when that gets even slightly messed with we’re like wait WTF WHERE IS MY PRECIOUS BOY!?  It’s a delicate balance, but man, the writers really do love to play fast and loose with his character.  They don’t seem to treat him delicately.

I’m not sure if this is true so take it with a major grain of salt, but I’ve seen on the internets that Bob supposedly said at a con this year that when filming, he was having a lot of trouble trying to figure out who Bellamy is this season and how to play him.  According to what I saw, he said that he eventually saw where the writers were going with it, what they were building to, and it allowed him to understand it and basically get back in the zone.  I need 5.08 to start putting the audience on that similar path to enlightenment.

p.s. I love Teddy on Westworld.  I’ve just always seen Bellamy as being a bit more savvy and less naive.

Random Rant Related to S3 Bellamy

Speaking of S3 Bellamy, here’s a rant I started to write after watching 5.07 the first time, which then wound up in a weird twist after the script pages were released on Weds.  My rant was about this ep’s two references to Bellamy’s participation in Pike’s mass murdering in season 3A.  This is how it went:

Monty: “Clarke, [Bellamy] was there when Pike shot [Indra] … and killed 300 of her people.” Oh so he was just “there” when Pike did all the murdering?  This makes it sound as if when this all went down, Bellamy just stood off to the side, shuffling his feet and softly whimpering while Pike (and the others) murdered everyone.  I’m pretty damn sure the show was quite clear that Bellamy was an active participant in this and only stopped Pike from killing Indra.  That’s why we were all so livid at the writers in S3 for jacking his character like that.  And then later in 5.07, Octavia picks up on this thread: “How many innocent lives have you (Bellamy) sacrificed?”  She must be referring to S3 here as well, but she’s vague.  The reason this all annoys me is that the writers were the ones dumb enough to make Bellamy do this off-the-wall shit in season 3A, and now in season 5 it feels like they’re trying to weasel out of it.

BUT!  Then on Weds we got the script pages, and this is how the Monty quote was written in the script:  “[Bellamy] shot her and killed 300 of her people.”

LMAO.  It turns out this line as originally written actually did the exact opposite of what I had thought: It placed too much of the blame on Bellamy (at least he didn’t do the Indra part of the murdering).  The writer of this episode is new, so it totally makes me picture Jason and the OG writers seeing this line and being like, “Aaaaacctuuallyyy ….. maybe we should dial this back just a tad.  Sore subject.”  Lulz.  If you want my original thoughts on this just look at my S3 reviews.

Clarke

If there’s any one scene that sums up season 5 Clarke, it’s the scene right after these guys gain access to Eligius’ eye in the sky, and Bellamy gives Clarke his instructions: “We gotta get there first.  We take the Rover, we get our people out, then we worry about stopping the war.  Mmkay?  Good.  I’ll get Monty and Harper, you get Madi, and we leave tonight.”  Bwahaha I just watched this scene a couple times in a row and first off, the look on Clarke’s face even while Bellamy is giving her his pure-hearted earnest instructions is priceless.  She hasn’t even encountered the ep’s Climactic Madi Problem yet and she’s already like, “Uggh I just have to nod my way through this so I can figure what my actual game plan is gonna be here once he leaves the room.”  And then the way she flips around the second he walks out, like “Finally all these fuckers are gone now so I can get to business.”  She clearly never had any intention whatsoever of going along with any of this Rover nonsense.  And who can blame her?  It’s a weak-ass plan.  “Just drive fast and try to get them k let’s go!”

I mentioned The Madi Effect earlier: The problem with adding kids to shows is usually that it drags the beloved main characters down with problems no one in the audience gives a shit about.  Remember what a lame-ass Luke became in the last couple seasons of Gilmore Girls?  Uggh.  But so far the addition of Madi has managed to do the opposite for Clarke: It’s made her a warmer more sympathetic character and also turned her into more of a badass because she’s not gonna waste time dealing with shenanigans that could harm the kid.

This just made me realize something too: If Bellamy wasn’t with Echo this season, he’d definitely be devoting way more attention and googly eyes to Clarke, and if that were the case, I bet it would be Clarke we’d be more annoyed with this season, because she’d be neglecting Bell for Madi.  But since Bellamy is busy with Echo and we the audience feel vicariously butthurt about this for Clarke, it makes us more like, “Yeah Clarke you go girl, don’t let him think he can just use you for complaining about his Octavia drama all the time, just take care of yourself and Madi!  Forget him!!”  Lol.  And then if neither of them had a new person they were preoccupied with this season, we’d probably complain there wasn’t enough dramatic lead up to Bellarke romance.  Maybe we’re all damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  Then again I’m sure we’d choose that last option in a heartbeat over the torture we’re going through now, lmao.  Sigh.

Couple final thoughts before I end this:

  • A lot of people were annoyed by Monty & Bellamy pining for space towards the end of the ep.  I felt annoyed on first watch too.  But I think Bellamy’s “yup” is meant more as an acknowledgement of how Monty feels and that he gets it, even though his feelings on it are surely more complicated.
  • When Raven says to Shaw, “You deactivated the shock collars!” I have no effing clue what she’s talking about. How does that relate to leaving the prisoners to die? What did I miss?

My rating for ep 5.07: 86/100

This was a good ep that I’ll definitely be able to go back and enjoy more if S5 doesn’t disappoint me in the end.  Now, I’m not gonna lie, there is A LOT riding on 5.08.  This ep is going to be a turning point for the season for me.  It’s going to let us know where the second half of the season is headed with Bellamy, Bellarke, the Madi/Octavia problem, etc.  If the ep ends up being just more of the same (5.06-7), then that will be indicative that where we are right now is it.  This is what the season will be.  That is not the situation I want, obviously.  I want it to pivot.  The song playing towards the end of the ep tonight said, “This is the calm before the storm, this is the sea between the isles.”  I need 5.08 to be the storm.  I need the sea and the isles to get shook.  5.08, no pressure, just don’t disappoint me.

One thought on “Review: ‘The 100’ Ep 5.07: “Acceptable Losses”

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