Review: ‘The 100’ Ep 5.08: “How We Get to Peace”

Man, this show is exhausting.

Season 5 of The 100 should be called “All Bellamy’s Bitches.”  O.k. that’s probably too misogynist-sounding for 2018 but I’m thinking of it as an early-90’s rap song.  He’s juggling hoes in different area codes.  Like seriously, the entire middle part of the season has been devoted to this.  He’s saving Clarke from Diyoza, he’s saving Octavia from the bunker, he’s holding Octavia off from killing Echo, he’s holding Octavia off from attacking Diyoza, he’s holding Clarke back from killing O, and he’s poisoning O to stop her from killing Clarke.  What’s next for him?  Standing awkwardly in the same room with Clarke and Echo once they’re all back in Eden?  Stopping O from trying to kill both of them again once she gets back on her feet?  No doubt.

This ep had a unique challenge to it: It featured practically every major player prominently.  All main storylines were present; there were none that took a week off this week to give time for the other storylines.  We had the WonKru thread including Clarke/Bell and Monty/Harper and a quick scene of Madi, the Kane/Diyoza storyline, the Memori and McCreary storyline, Echo/Raven/Shaw, Raven/Abby/Vinson, literally every storyline was here.  Is there any other ep this season that’s done this?  I was gonna say 5.04 but I don’t think SpaceRoverMadiKru were in that one.  I think this is it.  This means that the amount of time devoted to everything in this ep didn’t feel entirely satisfying.  It makes me wonder if the rest of the episodes will be shoving in all the storylines like this as well.  I hope not.  But based on the preview 5.09 looks pretty cluttered too.  Hrrm.

Killing Kara

This is a really rough episode when it comes to the question of morality.  Episodes like this make me uncomfortable which tends to make it hard for me to fully enjoy them.  This ep reminded me a lot of the S4 eps where Clarke and them were in Becca’s lab testing (and killing) the dude in the radiation chamber thing.  Oh snaps I just realized Lauren Muir wrote both this ep and God Complex.  No wonder.  The situation here is basically the same, as they tell themselves it’s o.k. because Kara is a bad guy, and she’s about to cause a whole bunch of damage and destruction and death in Eden.  Killing her prevents a couple/few hundred others from dying.

But the ep doesn’t make this easy for us.  And it shouldn’t.  Kara has been the character people love to hate this season, as she’s a complete yes-man who enables all O’s worst impulses.  In S5 though (not counting the flashbacks to the early bunker days), I actually don’t completely hate her.  She’s terrible, but she’s also super smart and good at what she does.  She’s essentially Sarah Sanders to Octavia’s Trump.  I despise Sarah Sanders don’t get me wrong, and I’m glad she got kicked out of that restaurant, but in a sick twisted way it’s kinda impressive how much more effective and effectively evil she’s been in that role as compared to the bumbling men who tried it before her.  And getting kicked out of a restaurant is a hell of a lot different than getting murdered.

Just to make us extra uncomfortable, before Bell and Clarke show up to take care of bidness, Kara has a very human bonding moment with Monty as I think they are both from Farm Station, discussing his suggestion to use the new algae->plants option he’s testing to feed WonKru and allow them to stay in Polis.  Kara is polite about it but she is 100% not going to go for his plan.  Well, shoot.  I guess she doesn’t get a chance to answer Monty on his second try with her.  It definitely feels like she’s just humoring him, but the lack of certainty on that just makes the whole thing even more uncomfy.  If you assume she’s not relenting on her plan, and remove all humanity from this and consider only cold hard logic, B&C killing her is still the most effective way to stop the worm sitch (without the knowledge of the egg thing).  Still, she is a human person and we have to watch her slowly get eaten by worms.  It’s not cute.  It bummed me out on Bellarke in general in this ep, as murdering someone in cold blood is not exactly a charming date.  And Monty is our moral compass here, reminding B&C and the audience that this is a super uncool move.

Monty and Harper

Remember in 5.03 when I thought Harper might get her own storyline this season?  Yeah, it still hasn’t happened, other than some disagreements she has with Monty early in this ep.  She exists in this episode to validate Monty’s decisions and make him feel better.  I’m still frustrated by this.  But Chelsey acts her heart out with the stuff she is given here, and does a great job with it.

“Really??  Then let’s kill Octavia.”

Oh daammnn.  Touché bro, touché.  Monty and Kane are really the true peacemakers of this ep.  And of the entire season, it seems.  Certainly for Monty.  These guys are the only ones attempting to solve the world’s problems without violence, while everyone else is trying to use violence as a means to achieve peace.  The problem with taking the pacifist approach is that you have to decide whether it’s worth it if it means that your friends and loved ones may die.  In Monty’s case remaining peaceful will result in Octavia and WonKru unleashing killer sandworms in Eden and potentially killing Raven, Echo, Abby, etc.  This is why when Bell and Clarke show up to kill Kara, Monty helps them open the door rather than stopping them, because he also doesn’t want his peeps to die.

But he feels like shit afterwards, and makes a vow to stop aiding and abetting in murders, even if it means that friends of his will die.  How long will this last?  Will he be able to stick to it?  Will he ever be able to convince anyone to eat his algae-fed plants?

Kane and Diyoza

And then we’ve got peacemaker #2, Big Daddy Kane.

First off, can I just start by saying, I love Diyoza but her obsession with whipping out her belly and fondling it as her go-to pregnancy reveal move is creeping me the eff out.  It creeped me out last week too if I’m being honest, but it was only strike one so I didn’t mention it.  Now we’re on strike 2 (whipping it out again), and strike 3 (making Kane rub it too).  Can you feel a baby kicking at only 5 months??  Maybe you can; I’m a bad person to ask, I don’t have kids. I guess at least she didn’t lift up her shirt this time.

The pregnancy really is making her soft – I was shocked at how butthurt she was when Kane called her out on her tactics with McCreary, telling her that the way he sees it, it looks like they’ll be trading one dictator for another. This accusation seems to cut her to the core.  And the scene where they are planning for trading posts and schools and playgrounds and peaceful existence is nice, but also feels ominous AF.  When Kane says “Hope, that’s a nice name.”  And then Diyoza agrees and looks up at the sky … I had spent a lot of the season thinking she might survive to see season 6, but this moment suddenly made me feel like this may go the opposite direction.  But she’s pregnant though so what about the baby?  Hrrmm.

Also, I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t make a move on Kane by the time the season is out.  Romantically, I mean.  I hope Kane will be strong enough to turn her down, and in any other circumstance he would be, but Abby is busy driving everyone away and being as unlikable as possible right now.

Diyoza looks honestly terrified when McCreary shows back up again at the end.  “But it’s a pity you haven’t found the cure yet.”  Vinson sees all this go down.  This could come back to bite Diyoza later.  The next however many eps will clearly involve Diyoza vs. McCreary … which will be extra interesting if McCreary is the baby daddy.

Abby and Raven (and Vinson)

Vinson’s back!!  I must’ve been psychic when I wondered about this last week.  I love this guy; he brings up my mood with every scene he’s in.  One of the best scenes in the ep is when he jumps up from the table and you think he’s about to crush Abby’s skull with his bare hands or something, and then he goes and politely grabs the mining blaster thingy and brings it back to Abby.

Abby’s addiction storyline is starting to wear on my nerves, which is typical for a TV storyline like this that lasts over many episodes.  Thing is, addiction in real life is ugly and obnoxious and torturous, and it translates the same way over a season of television.  That’s the risk you take with these storylines.  It reminds me of Gretchen’s depression storyline in season 2 of You’re the Worst – a friend of mine got totally sick of the show because Gretchen spent half the season doing nothing but staring into space and being kind of a dick.  But I’d just had a close family member go through a depression at the time and the portrayal was strikingly accurate.

Abby jacks Raven here and it’s hard to watch, but again it’s also pretty accurate.  Addicts – as much as it’s often completely understandable how they got to this place (it certainly is with Abby) – do some ugly, dishonest, selfish, fucked up shit to keep their addiction going.  At least it seems that Raven has the experience already from her mother’s alcoholism, so she’s better able to deal with it.  Still sucks though.

Raven and Echo and Shaw

I’ll just start this by saying that I do not believe for one second that Raven would give Echo the go ahead to kill Shaw.  I don’t care how bad Abby is effed up on those pills, or how much Raven blames Diyoza for it, she would not sacrifice this beautiful man’s life for this.  Come on.  Like yeah it creates some entertainingly awkward tension when he comes up to her one second later and reminds her how amazing he is, but it just doesn’t ring true at all.

For instance, I must have looked down for a split second or something in my first watch of the ep because I didn’t see Shaw protect Raven from Vinson until my second watch.  The man is an absolute prince!!  There is no way Raven would give an order to kill him.  Do not try this with me.

And I guess Echo really is still Echo – She’s ready to kill Shaw at the drop of a hat.  Even after Raven tells her to eff off at the beginning, you can see the gears in her head still turning, trying to figure out if it’s something she can still make happen.  She ultimately doesn’t do it when given the chance, so that’s good, but also hello, it’s ridiculously obvious when Raven warns Shaw the second after she talks to Echo.  Shaw literally gives Echo the “I know you’re gonna try to kill me” stinkeye.  And yeah you could say that Echo and Clarke are on the same “Why won’t they just let me murder this person” vibe in this ep, but at least Clarke is trying to murder an evil dictator.  Echo is trying to annihilate an adorable fluffy baby bunny.

On the upside for Echo, it seems that Raven forgave her shockingly quickly for screwing over Shaw last week.  And Echo does look kinda sad at the end of this ep when Raven tells her to go ahead and kill Shaw anyway.

The scene with Shaw and Raven at the end is confirmation that they will bone any second now.  I’m honestly shocked it’s taking them this long.  And when Shaw asks Raven “Mom or dad?”  I have to admit I totally thought she was saying “mom” in reference to Abby and I died for a second.  But then I realized she was referring to her actual mom and got a little disappointed.  I guess you can also make the parallel to Abby though.

Memori (and McCreary)

Looks like Emori is really sticking to her guns about not jumping back into a relationship with Murphy.  She makes it quite obvious that she’s still in love with him and still wants to jump his bones, but she’s afraid he’ll follow the same pattern again as before – He functions best in survival scenarios, and then when things are calm and peaceful, he doesn’t know what to do with himself and starts to lose his marbles.  That’s a bummer, but I like that at least these two recognize that they love each other and are being honest with the things that challenge them from having a healthy relationship.  I hope it means they can eventually find a way to make it work.

And where did Murphy get Clarke’s book of drawings??  Did Madi give it to him at some point?  Update: Someone answered this for me.  The cave they’re keeping McCreary in is the same cave that was shown in ep 5.01 to be where Clarke stores her guns and stuff, plus a notebook or two.  She left the stuff in there when she ran from the Eligius people in 501.  This scene with Murphy got me choked up.  I hated God Complex so much, when Clarke was about to microwave Emori in the test chamber.  Luckily she course-corrected before she made that terrible move, but to see that she also reflected back on it all by drawing out that scene warms my cold dead heart.  Looks like it got to Murphy too.  Will anyone else see Clarke’s drawings?  Hmmm??

It’s interesting that they have Murphy and McCreary play off each other in this ep.  McCreary is obviously the worst case scenario of where Murphy could end up if he lets his worst impulses get the better of him.  They seem to make a good team in the short term though; they have an understanding of each other’s motivations.  And I’m assuming the focus on saving just Raven is because Murphy and Emori don’t know yet that Echo is also in Eden.

Octavia and Indra and Miller

The rations are for sure people, right?

And I guess the worm eggs are still a threat right now, but I don’t think the Rover was set to leave for Eden until morning so B&C will have to make sure in 5.09 that this doesn’t happen.  Maybe with O in a coma WonKru will put a hold on that plan anyway.

It’s interesting, the script for this ep says that in the final scene where Bell poisons O, that Indra passes by him and “a subtle hint of collusion between them goes unseen.”  Really??  I took that look she gave him to be, “I’m not sure what you’re up to but I know you don’t have the balls to do anything drastic so I guess I’ll trust you.”  Would Indra really put O’s life in danger like this?  Well, she’s probably desperate at this point after the worm plan blew up in her face, and O certainly knows Indra must’ve been involved.  So yeah maybe.

And Miller is disappointing this season, but not surprising.  He’s always been the good soldier, ever since season 1.  He knows his strengths and he sticks to them.  And he’s never had a problem doing bad stuff in the name of winning whatever battle his army is fighting.  The closest he comes in this ep to giving a shit about his OG DelinquentKru is when he asks O, “What about the girl, Madi?”  I mean, I guess that’s something.

I get into more details of the final scene with The Blakes in the next two sections, but first I’ll say that it’s interesting that Bellamy tells O “I made a deal with Diyoza” when it was obviously Clarke who did this, going against B’s will.  He’s right about to take out Octavia anyway, so there’s not much point in covering for Clarke at this point, but he does.  Which is a good segue to …

Bellarke

I mmeeeaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn ………… uhh … Yay?  I think?  Maybe?  Uggh, I dunno dude.  Octavia spoke out loud that Bellamy loves Clarke … I should be over the moon about … o.k. wait.  I think there is an element to this line that I missed the first 5 times I watched it.  My initial reaction to it was exasperation that this show is so insanely terrified to just fucking commit –  They have O say “who you love,” rather than “who you’re in love with.”  “Who you love” could signify a freaking sister or your grandma or your dog or some shit.  That line could have just as easily been spoken about Bellamy’s feelings towards Octavia.  Why are the writers so terrified to commit to making a clear and unequivocal statement?

Then I looked at Tumblr and realized what the “here we go again” and “traitor” parts of O’s statement signify.  “Here we go again” was throwing me off before because I thought she was referring to previous times when Bell had been trying to protect Clarke against O, which I think has never happened before this.  But duh, she’s talking about Echo.  My brain was too far out of the Becho space in this scene.  But I guess this makes the “who you love” wording a bit more acceptable since Bell’s love for Echo is obviously romantic and O is casting Clarke in the same light for him.

You know, it’s funny, one of the “wish list” scenarios I had for this ep was for O to call out Bell and Clarke’s obvious love for each other.  And then when it happened, I somehow still found myself angry and unsatisfied.  Like, O makes the statement, but it’s still not spelled out clearly enough for me.  I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here though given the show’s penchant for eternal empty Bellarke teases, dangling them like a perpetually-out-of-reach carrot to the huge part of their fanbase that hangs on their every interaction, to keep these fans tuning in.

The Eternal Blueballs of Bellarke is what makes me picture the pessimistic scenario of how this plays out, which is that the writers threw in this one tiny bone to be like “O.k. guys see??  He loves her.  We gave it to you.  Are you satisfied now!?  Can we move on?  And we’re so generous that in the season finale you just may also get a friendly Bellarke fist-bump in between Becho love-making sessions.  You’re welcome.”  And then we’ll all sit around lapping up the tiny crumbs and making grand statements about why this fist bump means that season 6 is finally gonna be the one for Bellarke.  Jesus.  I’m tired.  This show has been on for 5 fucking seasons and could have easily been canceled in at least the last 3 of them.  The logic center of my brain continually reminds me that if the writers gave half a shit about a Bellarke romance/endgame they wouldn’t gamble with them for 5(+?) seasons under bad odds (ratings, renewal chances, etc.).

We didn’t get that angsty hashing out we wanted either.  I was right when I said that Bellamy and Clarke clash in the most infuriatingly polite ways.  The first scene of the ep had them clashing big time, but once again as the ep went on it all ended in a whimper.  Nothing major came out, nothing was revealed, it was just, “Oopsie sorry I was about to kill your sister!”  “Aw shucks that’s o.k. ol’ buddy ol’ pal, if she wasn’t my sister I’d have done it too.”  And I’m kinda unclear at this point what constitutes thinking with your head vs. your heart.  Wasn’t Bellamy thinking with his heart while refusing to kill O??  The “head vs. heart” thing has never been black and white for either of these two by any means, but it all feels extra intertwined this season.  The one thing I will say is that Clarke is definitely more impulsive now because of Madi.  So, that’s what Clarke means when she says she’s the one letting her heart rule her head.  In past seasons Bellamy was more impulsive, and a lot of that was because of O.

I just re-watched the ep and realized that a huge part of the problem with Bellarke here is that the ep is simply too cluttered.  Having all the storylines in one ep leaves very little time to properly get B&C from “How dare you hijack the plan and suggest killing my sister” and “If you say it enough, maybe I’ll believe you” to “Oh it’s o.k. you just did it because you’re a mama bear.  No big.”  I’m too lazy to add it up but I can’t imagine B&C got more than 5-7 minutes of total screentime in the entire ep.  That’s simply not enough to get from one extreme end of a spectrum (fuck you, you murderous monster) to the other (it’s all good I totally get why you did it) in their relationship.  Uggh I really hope the last 5 eps aren’t like this.

At this point I’m pretty sure there’s not gonna be any Bellarke angst in the form of arguments this season.  It could certainly still come out from Madi that Clarke radioed Bellamy every day, and I hope it does.  But at this point the show seems to be committed to Bellarke treating each other with kid gloves regardless of the murderous nature of their disagreements.  On the bright side, it is good that Bellamy’s experience with playing the role of protector over a family member allows him to understand Clarke’s motivations with Madi.  It’s clear that Clarke is very heartwarmed and relieved when he makes this statement.

Bellamy Blake: Man of Action

“My sister, my responsibility.”

When was the last time Bell said this?  Was it season 1?  It’s no wonder Bob’s favorite eps of season 5 are 8 and 13.  Well o.k. we can’t vouch for 13 yet, but this ep, at least when it comes to the bunker/WonKru storyline, really focuses on Bellamy.  It honestly isn’t even Bellamy and Clarke so much as it is Bellamy.  And Monty, really.  Clarke is just there doing her usual Clarke thing; the ep is more about how Bellamy plays off of that and how he reacts to it (and O).  Like, when Clarke gets sentenced to death, it really isn’t about Clarke at all, it’s about how Bellamy will react to her predicament.

I also have a feeling that this ep is when Bob finally started to see the light about what the writers are doing with Bellamy this season.  So what do we think, as an audience?  Are we seeing the light?  I mean, kind of.  I think a lot of this season for Bell has been prep for him to have the strength to make this decision.  In past seasons it wouldn’t have been believable, though a huge part of that has to do with O’s character too.  O was never a villain before this.  She was, at worst, moody with a penchant for solving her problems with fisticuffs and swordplay.  Now she’s a straight-up supervillain.  But I do see where Bell would require some major ‘tude changes too in order to be able to take a step this extreme.  The writers want Bell to be his own man and to start standing up for himself, though in this ep it does still revolve around his … women.  WELL … I partially take that back: The short term problem he’s solving is the O vs. Clarke problem.  The long term problem he’s attempting to solve is “How We Get to Peace”.  I think both are equally important and this scene shows how much Bell’s problem-solving skills have improved by leaps and bounds since the pre-time-jump days.

What I’m also starting to gather about Bellamy’s arc this season is that the writers are having him show his love and intentions through actions rather than statements.  They want him to grow into the “get shit done” guy rather than the “I’m having a mental breakdown and don’t know how to deal” guy that he tended to be pretty regularly in the past.  This is fine with me, I just think that shouldn’t preclude him from occasionally using his words to express himself too.  I don’t even need much, just a quick comment here and there would suffice.  Thank god at least Octavia is there to do it for him.  She may be a supervillain now but she been knew about his googly eyes for Clarke.

The Optimistic Bellarke Outlook

This brings me to the optimistic Bellarke scenario for the last 5 eps: As mentioned above, to a good extent it really feels like the Bellamy weirdness/development this season has all been building towards the moment we saw tonight, with Bellamy having grown the balls to take down O to save Clarke while O exposes Bell for how big his heart-eyes are for Clarke. I’m sure his character development will result in other key moments in the last 5 eps, but tonight feels like the big a-ha moment.  It’s clearly meant as a giant beat in the season, and it’s very focused around Bell taking a stand … for Clarke.  This indicates that the show intends to continue developing on this in the last 5 eps of the season. Whether that is at least in the direction of the obvious romantic endgame these two have always been headed for or a friendly high five in the season finale remains to be seen.  I’m going to eat some newly-grown algae right now and hopefully wake up after this is all over and then y’alls can just tell me which way it went.

Clarke: Angry Bear (Do Not Leave Food Out at Campsite)

Indra: “I will not help you kill my leader.”
Bell: “Neither will I!”
Clarke: Uggh fffiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnneee

Lmao the look on Clarke’s face in this scene is effing hilarious.  She looks like a teenager who keeps being told by her parents that she can’t go to the mall with her friends or something.

While Bell has spent the middle part of the season juggling all his women, Clarke has been busy hanging out on a virtual island of one.  Well, two, some of the time.  Madi is only a part-time resident.  She spends her summers training with WonKru to be a tiny killer.  While I was surprised to see that this episode really wasn’t very focused on Clarke but everyone else’s reactions to Clarke’s actions, she does still manage to get some forward movement here.  I won’t go so far as to say that she spends the ep moving back into the DelinquentKru friend group because Monty now wants out immediately because of all Clarke’s killing in this ep.  Heh.  But, she’s back in sync with Bellamy now.

Echo’s not around, which makes that a hell of a lot easier, but at least Clarke and Bellamy have reached an understanding now of each other’s actions and motivations.  Bellamy recognizes Clarke’s mama bear instincts because he always had the same with Octavia.  Clarke recognizes that Bellamy has matured over the years and is less impulsive and better able to utilize the logic-centers of his brain.  Maybe they’re back on the same page now.  Till Echo comes back into the picture.  Ugh.  “No love triangle this season” my ass.

Final thoughts:

  • <prisoner guy Robert, coughing> “Why don’t you give him something for the pain?”  Nice little snark from Kane here.
  • I wasn’t planning to complain about this because I felt like I was complaining too much in the Bellarke section, but I just saw a convo on Twitter that made me realize I wasn’t crazy – Part of what annoyed me about the tent scene with Clarke and Bellamy was the dialogue.  It was super on-the-nose.  I loved when they said the “heart and head” thing in ep 5.05 because it had never been spoken before, but when it came back up tonight it felt like too much.  Same with the “mama bear” line, and I think that may just be an unfortunate result of both Eliza and Jason using the phrase in a bunch of interviews because they knew the line was here in the dialogue.  But we heard/read all their interviews before we saw the ep so it ended up feeling a bit cheesy.
  • Now that we know Bellamy uses the algae to poison/knock out Octavia, I am incredulous at how many obvious clues I missed in the 2 eps leading up to this.  It’s mentioned at the end of 5.07 with a line about it nearly killing SpaceKru at first.  Then again in 5.08 it’s shown and referenced SO many effing times and in such detail, the episode is basically holding up a giant sign that says “THIS IS THE PERFECT WEAPON GUYS!”  Stupid me.

My rating for ep 5.08: 89/100

This was a good ep that could have been more effective if it either a) had even just 5 extra minutes to shove in all the necessary story beats or b) didn’t have to squeeze every single major storyline into the same episode.  HA I just now looked to see what my rating of “God Complex” was.  89/100.  Not coincidental.  I had all the same uncomfortable feelings about this one.  5.08 involved some big moments for the season and it executed on those pretty well, which helps boost my rating back up, while the “too many storylines” issue (spawning other issues) is the main thing that’s taking points off.  Now we gotta wait 2 goddamn weeks again for 5.09.  I swear watching a TV season this way is a new form of torture.  Should be outlawed.

2 thoughts on “Review: ‘The 100’ Ep 5.08: “How We Get to Peace”

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