Review ‘The 100’ Ep 5.12: “Damocles Pt. 1”

The 100 fandom is tired.  Real tired.  Exhausted.  Like, right on the brink of throwing in the towel.  I’ve never seen them in a state like this before.  Granted, I didn’t start watching the show until season 3 (I binged seasons 1 and 2 a couple months before S3).  So I don’t know what things were like with the fandom in the first couple seasons, but it was still early on then and things were still just getting started.  You knew if your favorite storylines weren’t going well, that you still had time for things to improve and progress in a good direction.  You knew if there were a few eps that weren’t your cup of tea, the show would probably get back to business as usual soon.  Things were still new and fresh.  The show had plenty of time to adjust and course-correct as things evolved.  Nothing that happened, good or bad, felt like the be-all-end-all of anything.  Even during the shitstorm of season 3A (err, granted, unless you were a Lexa fan).

But now we’re at the end of season 5 of a show that’s constantly on the brink of potential cancellation every season.  We’ve stuck with the show through years of highs and lows; we’ve come through very painful periods and barely survived, and we’re road-weary.  We’re in what has to be the final stretch of the series now, so we’re expecting important series-long arcs to come to fruition and to provide emotional payoff.  We’re expecting our characters to grow and get their chances to really shine and do what they do best.  We’ve had a 6-year time jump that in some ways felt like a major relief after spending 4 seasons stuck within the same year on the show’s timeline.  I have a major pet peeve with TV show timelines moving far slower than real life because it eventually causes things on the show to stop making sense to the viewer.  Skyler can’t be pregnant forever.  So I personally was mostly thrilled for the time jump (with reservations knowing how a TV showrunner wouldn’t be able to resist fucking it up in certain ways).

The way this time jump was set up, the audience really expected it to reinvigorate the show, to allow our characters to travel through the rocky conflict-filled roads of reconnecting and rebuilding bonds that would hopefully end up stronger than ever, and to allow the story and all the characters to move forward.  The season 4 finale gave such a great set-up that fan excitement coming into season 5 was by far the highest I’d seen it since the pre-season 3 days when the show was getting attention from actual real TV critics from major publications.  We don’t have that type of high profile attention anymore, but the show’s audience was super pumped for season 5 and generating plenty of internet buzz.  This season felt like it would be a major slam dunk based on the amazing way it had set itself up.

Couple that excitement and perfect set-up with all the years of blood sweat tears  and loyal investment everyone has put into it, and you’ve got yourself an audience with extremely high expectations and very low patience for nonsense.  You’ve got an audience that’s expecting a fantastic payoff to all the stories and character arcs we’ve been watching over all these seasons.  Time is of the essence here in season 5; we don’t have any of it to waste on bullshit or lame storylines.  We need to get to the heart of the matter now.  This is it.  This is our time.  The show needs to shit or get off the pot.

And yes, obviously, we all live in reality, we all know how television works, and we all know the writers are still gonna throw in whatever their wildest fantasies are, many of which will will be not at all what the audience wants to see (Cannibalism!  Make the good guys villains!  Make the villains good guys!  Drug addictions!  Obnoxious cock-blocker ships!).  But Jesus Christ, you gotta at least hit the big notes for the audience if you want your show to still be enjoyable, and if you want your audience to actually stick with it.

And for the first 5 eps of season 5, everything seemed promisingly on target.  There were minor annoyances, but the show was hitting most of the big marks everyone was looking for.  As a matter of fact, it all seemed almost too good to be true.  Every review I posted for the first 5 eps ended in super high scores.  I felt like I was jinxing it.  Welp.  It turns out that the reason it seemed to good to be true is that it was.

I’ve become convinced that Jason’s primary goal with this entire time jump and bunker ordeal was to simply make Octavia a villain (and then apparently erase it all by the end of the season but I’ll get to that in a bit).  And then he just worked everything else around it.  Here is my estimation of Jason’s main goals/priorities for season 5:

  • Octavia as a villain
  • Cannibalism
  • The Eligius storyline, which will clearly play a big role in the finale and presumably season 6 as well.  I think this is Jason’s way of expanding the series and its universe to allow it to go on for a couple more seasons.
  • I think I saw at some point that Jason is also working on a spin-off which is basically a prequel to the show.  The Eligius stuff would probably fit into this as well as the Flame mythology, which is probably a major reason why we’ve had to endure so much of the Flame this season.

This is obviously just speculation on my part, but hypothetically if Jason’s priority list when writing season 5 did look like this, it would explain why the Eligius characters and storyline have actually been one of the more effective parts of the season.  It would also explain why almost every other character in the series besides those in this list have suffered and/or been somewhat sidelined.  Bellamy and Kane have fared a bit better than the rest, but only because of their proximity to Octavia and Diyoza.

Anyway.  These are all general season 5 thoughts that came out of my watching this particular ep.  Let’s dig into the episode details now.

Nothing Feels Quite Right: Princess Mechanic and More

A typical symptom of a TV season of that isn’t gelling as well as it should is that eventually, once you get well into the season, you start to feel like you’re in the Twilight Zone.  Everything starts to feel … off.  As a TV fangirl, one of the most common issues I see with uneven seasons of TV shows is that characters will spend much of the season doing stupid nonsensical things for the sake of moving the plot from point A to point B.  Clarke has suffered from this issue in The 100 season 5 probably more than anyone, at least in the second half of the season.

The writers have Clarke making increasingly insane decisions because “not without my daughter!!” while still inexplicably refusing to just destroy the Flame.  In ep 5.10, she tries to take the Flame out of Madi’s neck.  Then when Madi says Clarke needs to destroy it to truly get rid of it, Clarke immediately backs off because Lexa.  Then in this ep, when Abby tells Clarke to take the Flame out of Madi’s head, Clarke says she can’t because she “promised Madi she wouldn’t.”  Huh?  When?  Did I miss something?  The writers can’t even keep their story straight on this, and none of it makes sense.  But it’s happening because the writers need an excuse to get Madi to the point where she’s leading WonKru to battle.  And they also want Lexa to be talking through Madi for some unknown reason, which I’ll touch on in a bit.

Then, tonight, we find out that Clarke has spent these past 3 episodes just assuming that Bellamy is dead.  We never saw her come to this conclusion, and we never even saw her show any regret or remorse or mourning over him or anything.  He’s her best friend and the most important person to her besides Madi (season 3 showed that Bell might be even more important to her than her own mom), yet she’s accepted his death these past 3 eps with no hesitation whatsoever.  It’s just been like, oh well.  It was cool while it lasted.  He was a good bud.  We had some friendly platonic hugs.  Wish we could just have had one last hearty fist bump before he died but no big!  C’est la vie.  Then when Echo tells Clarke Bellamy is still alive in this ep, it’s like, “Wait who??  Oh that guy??  He died episodes ago sweetie, keep up.”

Like o.k. yes, this does explain a lot of Clarke’s “fuck everyone” attitude from the past few eps, because she’s literally had no one left other than Madi/Abby.  But the idea that she’d be so apathetic about Bellamy being dead this whole time is crazy.  And honestly, now that I think about it, none of this is even a decent way for the writers to get the plot from point A to point B (needing Clarke to betray everyone and then having a big reveal that Bellamy is alive after all), because they actually could have completely done this exponentially more effectively had they simply allowed Clarke to have 4 seconds of regret about Bellamy being “dead” in ep 5.10.  It would have a) made it clear to the audience that Clarke has been acting under the certainty that he was dead this entire time, thereby explaining her crazy behavior, and b) allowed Clarke to actually, you know, give a shit about Bellamy.  Because it’s fucking Bellamy.  And Clarke.  Instead, we had to spend the entire time wondering what the hell Clarke was thinking.

This ep is a great example of why this negatively effects the storytelling: Tonight we had to endure 30 full minutes of Clarke acting batshit cuckoo to stop Madi from helping WonKru while seemingly just leaving Bellamy et al. to die.  She even goes so far as to zap Madi with the shock collar, which put a very bad taste in many people’s mouths from the get-go.  Now that I’m watching this again knowing that Clarke thinks Bellamy (and who knows who else) is already dead, her complete disinterest in helping WonKru makes about a thousand times more sense (shocking Madi is still jacked though).  This is exactly the problematic storytelling method they used for Octavia in eps 9/10/11.  Why the hell hold back critical information about character motivations for multiple episodes when its only effect is to make those characters look like dumb assholes for that entire stretch?  Knowing Clarke thought Bellamy was dead as a doornail would have taken nothing whatsoever away from the Clarke/Echo/Madi confrontations tonight.  Quite the opposite.  It’s beyond me why they’d tell the story this way.

And then we have what I actually think is the worst and most WTF Twilight Zone moment of the entire episode: Raven and Clarke’s reunion.  I get that Clarke has betrayed WonKru and SpaceKru in these past couple eps, but Jesus Christ Raven and Clarke have been friends forever and they literally have not spoken to each other once since Raven was thanking Clarke for saving their lives in 5.04.  Yet, when we pick up with Raven here, she’s saying straight-up nasty things about Clarke behind her back (“Safe to say she’s not up for Mother of the Year!”) without even giving her a single chance to explain herself first.  What the hell kind of friendship is that??  It doesn’t make any sense in general or for what we know of this friendship.  But again, the writers need this ep to be SpaceKru vs. Clarke to get to the Clarke/Echo/Madi revelatory scene, so here we are.  Raven is just a total dick because plot.

Nothing Matters Because There Are No Consequences for Anything

Last week I talked about the disappointing seasons of my 3 favorite current TV dramas that all premiered in the late April timeframe this year: The 100, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Westworld.  I talked about the common issue between the 3 of them being stupid plotting and a feeling that the plot is going nowhere and just running in circles.  But that’s not the only common issue – All the issues these shows have run into really have been the same.  Every one of these shows has spent the season forcing their characters to make constant stupid/nonsensical decisions for the sake of plot, which I covered above.  And every one of these shows has decided that there are no longer any consequences for anything.  No one can die (Westworld: They can come back as hosts!  Handmaid’s: Bombs and guns don’t kill any main characters!), and particularly for The 100, no matter how bad anyone is, they can always be redeemed.  Nothing matters anymore!

These issues were present in this ep of The Hundy in a couple ways:

#1: Octavia is quickly redeemed.  Of course.  I touched on a lot of my issues with this in my 5.11 review, but I’ll say a bit more about it here: There are ways to make villainous characters relatable to the point where you kinda sorta like them in some ways.  On this show, Diyoza is a great example.  So was Jaha.  The reason this works for these characters is that the show doesn’t spend a thousand episodes having them do exclusively horrible/evil things only to then spend the timespan of one fucking episode magically redeeming them.  Jaha and Diyoza are simultaneously good and bad at all times.  Jaha was constantly straddling that line, spending long stretches doing terrible things with good intentions and then sometimes he’d manage to hit the mark and actually be more helpful (still with the same type of good intentions).  There was never any switch flipped on and off between “Jaha is a hero” and “Jaha is evil”, it was just, Jaha is Jaha and some of his strategies are good and some are not.  Diyoza is the same way, for the most part.

Another good example of an effective good/bad guy (or bad/good guy) is Jaime Lannister of Game of Thrones.  If I recall, his character was exclusively horrible for a couple seasons, but once he took his long trip with Brienne, he slowly started to soften and allow his conscience to pop up sometimes.  But this was extremely gradual, not instant.  He’s evolved fairly close to Jaha levels at this point but it’s taken several seasons.

Octavia, on the other hand, has been nothing but an absolute monster this entire season, getting worse and worse as it’s gone on.  But because she was a pretty clear-cut Good Guy for 4 full seasons before this, the show doesn’t have the balls to commit to making her a villain.  So instead, they give her some revelatory a-ha moment in this ep “oh my gosh I’m the one who broke WonKru!!”  So that we can quickly start moving her back to the Good Guy zone.  She crossed the line of being able to be redeemed this quickly many episodes ago.  It’s too late.  Way too late.  If she’s gonna start moving back to decent person land, it’s going to have to be far more gradual.  She has to earn it.  She hasn’t even come close yet.

#2: Nobody Dies and Nothing Matters.  You know, I realized in my second watch of this ep that the Octavia/Bellamy/Indra/Gaia sequence would have actually been quite effective had the show actually had the balls to kill O in that final scene.  I talked earlier about O having to earn her redemption; well at this point the only way to even come close to earning it this quickly would be to die for her people to save them (from her own mistakes).  But of course the writers don’t have the balls to do this, and everyone knows it.  So instead, this entire sequence (at least the Octavia portion of it) rings utterly hollow and left me mostly unmoved.  There are no consequences for anything and I rolled my eyes to the back of my head when of course O was saved at the last second instead of actually sacrificing herself.  Yawn.

Then we have Kane, who gets viciously attacked by Vinson in a very strange B-plot, the point of which I’m not entirely sure.  I’ve loved Vinson this entire season and tonight the monster finally came out, as promised, and I didn’t entirely mind it since Kane has been acting like such a little bitch all season.  I like that Vinson calls Kane out on his pious bullshit here.  But then Kane doesn’t even die??  So like, why did this even happen?  The only thing that’s gonna come out of this now is for Kane to be even more obnoxious next week when everyone has to drag his useless injured ass around everywhere while they’re trying to save the planet.  They don’t have time for that shit.  The Kane storyline could have been excluded entirely from this ep and I’d be far happier.

And then we have Gaia.  I don’t want Gaia to die any more than anyone else does!!  I want her to live.  But why give her an entire death arc in this ep if she’s gonna survive anyway?  Honestly the right way to do this would have been to kill Kane, kill Octavia, and injure Gaia (because it did provide some nice moments with Bellamy’s classic pep talk and Indra doing the same) but let her live.  If this is how the ep had gone down, my rating of it would be 10 points higher.

Blake Family Make-Up Hour

I’m sick of the Blake Family Dance.  I mentioned this mind-numbingly continuous loop last week, and sure enough it cycled fully back around this week with “This is YOUR fault!!”  Oh here we go again.  What season are we on now?  The one upside is that Bellamy at least stands up to O now and refuses to take the blame.  Him throwing the blame back at her does give me some enjoyment here.  And why is his “YUS” response to O asking if he wants her to die so weirdly … sexy?  Holy shit, his voice is so low and strange but it also makes me want to jump his bones.  Probably mainly because he’s finally standing up to O after a thousand seasons.  Don’t worry kids, it won’t last.

Beating a Dead Horse

You know, it’s funny – For most of this season, knowing that The Flame would eventually end up back in play because of Madi, I kept telling myself that the only way this storyline would be worth it would be if Lexa came through The Flame and told Clarke to go get Bellamy’s ass (or something to this effect; I didn’t know at the time that Clarke would leave Bell to die).  Then tonight, that’s basically exactly what happened, and yet somehow I still found myself angry and annoyed as hell.

Having rewatched the scene a couple/few times now, I can now get past my fury at the show’s continued refusal to let go of this one long-dead character, and hear the words Lexa is saying to Clarke instead.  When I watch the scene in this way, I almost feel a little bit bad at how horribly the audience took this because I think … I think … maaaayyyybe … I can kinda see what the writers were going for here?  Is it possible that the writers thought they could somehow create peace between the Clexa and Bellarke fandoms with this scene?  Could they really be this naive?  Are they clueless enough to think that any decent chunk of the Clexa fandom is even still watching?  I’m not sure.  But at the very least, it kind of seems like the writers wanted to get some sort of approval for Clarke to “move on” from Lexa.

But then when I think of it this way it infuriates me again, because it’s been 6+ fucking years.  Clarke was friends and then lovers with this girl for what, a couple months total?  And she was only 18 years old!!  Why have we been refusing to allow an 18 year old (and now a ~24 year old) to move on and find new love after this?  Like yes she had Niylah but that was clearly only ever meant to be a rebound and/or non-serious relationship.  They even had Clarke staring at Lexa’s pic while she was in bed with Niylah last season.  I was o.k. with it at that point because Lexa had just recently died, but now it’s been over 6 years.  Let the poor girl be happy again, for the love of god!  She hasn’t even gotten laid at all, not even a one night stand, in 6 years.  It’s inhumane.

Maybe I shouldn’t have put Madi’s pic under “get laid” but then again Lexa’s in her head. Shudder.

And that goes to precisely what I was saying about how the time jump should have reinvigorated this show, allowing it to move forward, but that sadly the writers didn’t use it for this purpose at all.  It’s one of the key reasons why everyone is so exasperated: The show gave itself this amazing set-up to propel itself forward, and then completely ignored it and chose to keep themselves in a continuous loop of seasons-old stories and themes and taglines instead.  “Love is weakness.”  “Life should be about more than just surviving.”  “You may be the Commander, but I’m the Commander of Death.” etc. etc.  When it comes to The Flame too – season 4 was refreshingly free of it, and ended on “The time of the Commanders is over.”  Season 5, six goddamn years later:  PSYCH!  We’re BACK baby!!

I’m still completely of two minds on the Lexa sequence in tonight’s ep:

The positive view: As much as Lexa loved Clarke practically from the moment she met her (when Clarke was still totally clueless), she also recognized immediately that Clarke had a thing, whatever that thing was, for Bellamy.  As much as these ships have always been in competition with each other, it’s easy to forget that Lexa delivered one of the most pivotal Bellarke moments this show has had:

Lexa: You care about him.
Clarke: I care about all of them.
Lexa: Yet you worry about him more.

Lexa had Clarke’s number right away.  She knew she herself loved Clarke but she also knew how Clarke felt about Bellamy.  She wasn’t gonna let that stop her from pursuing Clarke romantically, but she knew.  So in that sense, I can soften myself to see it as kinda touching/poetic that Lexa would then come through again later to tell Clarke – Hey gurl.  Live your life.  Pursue your love.  Don’t just try to survive, try to find happiness.  Don’t fuck this up.  It kinda also parallels O with the “traitor who you love” line to Bellamy in terms of people kinda calling them out.

The negative view: It’s frustrating as hell for the audience that Clarke seemingly will never be allowed to pursue another love interest in her life without Lexa supervising the entire thing.  It happened with Niylah, and now, despite a 6 effing year time jump, the writers won’t just let Bellarke be Bellarke.  The ship developed in the first few eps of season 1, it’s by far the longest-lasting, and it’s clearly the most central ship to this entire series, but the writers refuse to simply let their story BE what it is … to come to fruition on its own, and to rest on all the amazing layers of foundation that has been built with their relationship.  They somehow feel they need to use Clarke’s 6+ year-old past relationship to prop it up.  Which makes no sense whatsoever.  When viewed this way, it’s bizarre.

And it’s also sad (and even more frustrating) that it causes this entire scene to leave the audience confused and arguing over whether Clarke’s feelings in this scene are even in reference to Bellamy at all!  It is totally fucked up that this is the only ship on this show that the writers refuse to allow to just be clear, and fully out there for all to see, and real.  Name one other ship on this show that’s ever been intentionally obscured and encrypted like this for more than a couple/few eps, let alone the entire series.  I dare you.  It’s been 5 fucking seasons of this nonsense and it’s a goddamn travesty that these writers are so terrified of letting this thing take its natural course.  The pretzels they’re willing to continually tie themselves into in order to cock block this story progression is affecting the quality of the entire show at this point.  It’s bonkers.

O.k. let me take a deep breath and now look at this scene without getting so mad about the Flame/Lexa stuff:

Echo and Madi and Lexa vs. Clarke + Bellarke Implications

I don’t need ghosts telling me what I’ve lost to protect you, Madi!”

This season has had so many character disappointments that last week I predicted that this much-anticipated scene between Clarke and Echo would be totally lame.  For a long time I was convinced it wouldn’t even be about Bellamy, but in these past several eps it started to become clear that it would be, at least somewhat.  It turns out that it was about Bellamy, or at least like 90% so.  And it was actually pretty meaty by The 100‘s standards, which of course are always much lower than ours when it comes to character interactions.  But I’m desperate and will take what I can get.  Plus, including the closely intertwined Madi confrontation, the scene was longer than this show usually allows itself on character stuff like this.  I do appreciate that.

Now, despite how obnoxious it is that this show refuses to let itself move on from Lexa’s ghost, when we simply take this entire scene at face value, at what is being conveyed to Clarke and the audience, this is actually quite a good Bellarke sequence.  Bellarke has just been completely dead in the water for two full eps leading into this, so much so that I officially declared them cancelled last week.  But then tonight’s ep showed that all these shenanigans were at least leading to something, despite the issues I have with the shenanigans themselves.  Let’s dig into how this goes down:

  1. First off, look.  There’s a reason the writers made a Clarke vs. Echo sequence one of the the climactic moments of the entire season.  And why it was focused, of course, on Bellamy.  Echo is pissed at Clarke primarily because of Bellamy being in danger, and that’s made very clear by what she says to Murphy earlier in the ep.  Sorry Monty and Harper, but you rate lower on Echo’s priority list.
  2. Clarke is the first one to bring up Bellamy here, when she gives her approval of the Becho relationship, which turns the convo early on to Bellamy specifically.  I also think this approval thing is a pretty classic trope in the love triangle category.  Oh and Clarke cares so much about Bellamy that she spends this entire ep stopping McCreary’s people from killing Echo.
  3. The entire purpose of this long sequence is to (finally, FFS) trigger and play through Clarke realizing she needs to save Bellamy.  It starts with Clarke actually realizing he’s still alive, and in danger.  Immediately, her thought process and emotional state changes completely.  This is the trigger.
  4. We’ve then got Echo questioning how much Clarke cares about Bellamy, with Clarke’s “I’ve always cared!!” retort obviously holding a thousand times more history than this Becho nonsense.
  5. Echo then describes just exactly how Bellamy/Raven/et al. are going to be killed/tortured via McCreary’s current battle plan, and Clarke shits her pants and gets all weepy while trying to explain why she left him.  “He put the flame in Madi’s head!!”  Echo then forces Clarke to process Bell’s POV on why he did this, which Clarke has been refusing to consider until now.
  6. Then we shift to the Clarke/Madi portion of the confrontation.  The entire point of this confrontation is for Lexa to tell Clarke to pull her head out of her ass re: Bellamy.  I mean that’s really what it is at its most basic and straight-forward level.
  7. Lexa does this by directly comparing present day Clarke/Bellamy to S2-3 Lexa/Clarke.  The tables have now flipped and Clarke has taken the Lexa approach to this entire thing (betray everyone for the sake of “her people” i.e. Madi), and Lexa is telling Clarke from her/their experience that it’s a mistake.  And the reason Lexa regrets how she handled it is that she loved Clarke and thus should have prioritized her.
  8. Clarke specifically vocalizes this role reversal when she spells it out for Madi.  Just so there’s no confusion about it.  Imagine that, the show actually being clearer than mud about something that’s at all Bellarke-related!
  9. “I don’t need ghosts telling me what I’ve lost to protect you, Madi.”  That’s Bellamy.  And yeah, the others.  But mainly Bellamy.
  10. Clarke cries when Madi tells her that betraying her was Lexa’s deepest regret, and this is the annoying part, because the audience has to wonder if she’s crying because of Lexa or Bellamy.  I think it’s safe to assume the answer is both.  Plus the fact that she’s scared to endanger Madi to save Bell.
  11. Lexa throwing Clarke’s words back at her: “Life should be about more than just surviving.”  It should also be about stuff like … love.  This is the statement that finally convinces Clarke she needs to save Bellamy and starts busting caps in McCreary men’s asses.
  12. Clarke even takes the additional risk of letting Madi go alone with Echo while Clarke stays back to stop the ship from launching missiles on everyone.
  13. Then Clarke’s parting words to Echo: “Go save him.”  Not them, him.  This is partly because Echo’s focus is Bellamy, but I think it indicates that both of their focus is on Bellamy.

So yeah.  This ep gives us a very strange situation in that it’s actually a pretty good Bellarke ep, but a lot of the other story elements are still having significant issues.

The Bellarke bonus scene in this ep is the weirdly subdued/downtrodden looks Bellamy and Echo give each other in the Rover after the rescue, but the writers released the script for this scene and it indicates nothing whatsoever of these looks.  The script calls for Bellamy to have hope rising in his chest, and that’s about it.  And while the entire scene does indeed have a major feeling of hope due to the fact that our peeps have finally been rescued and things are finally looking up, most of this sentiment is expressed by Murphy and Emori.  It’s far more subdued in everyone else … and the look Bellamy gives Echo looks nothing like hope to me.  It looks like conflict.  But who the fuck knows; the script tells us otherwise.  Either the actors were smoking something while filming this or they/the director decided to change things up while filming.  For now I guess we can’t put any meaning into it because per usual the show didn’t convey anything clearly.

Whether the Bellarke goodness in this ep indicates that the show wants to bring B/C back to being good platonic bros or that it wants to finally let them progress further is beyond me.  But I don’t see how they can get any further than “bros again” next week with Echo fully in the picture still.  All I can see is a complete replay of 4.13.  Zero progress.  Which will be frustrating to the point where people will give up on this show.

Final thoughts before I end this:

  • Ethan’s mostly pointless story arc is kind of a metaphor for this entire season.  I’m going to have to think about what the point of this season was after next week’s finale.
  • How many times does Clarke have to turn away from Madi to leave her plenty of room to escape before she learns her lesson??
  • I’m pretty sure Echo knowing that Clarke left Bellamy to die in the fighting pits is a plot hole.  When and from where did she obtain this info?  She knew Clarke was back in Eden without Bell, but how did she know about a betrayal or fighting pits?  This didn’t come up in her radio call with Bell last week or with Monty this week.
  • Raven annoys me in this ep but her stuff with Shaw is adorable as always.  They really are the ship that all ships should aspire to be.  The preview for next week shows nothing of Clarke’s attempt to save them / stop the ship from taking off.  So I’m very curious how that’ll go down.
  • Miller’s not doing too well here.  I’m having trouble seeing how any major characters will die next week but Miller does at least seem in danger.
  • I thought Echo and Monty speaking English on the radio was stupid, but I guess Monty doesn’t speak Trig.
  • I’m relieved Abby has finally snapped out of her junkie phase even if she’s now just giving Clarke bad advice, I’m just not entirely sure what the point of it all was.

My rating for ep 5.12: 76/100

This ep is unfortunately still bearing the brunt of the issues created by the eps preceding it.  Mercifully, it gives explanations and ties a bow on some of those issues for us, which makes it a much more satisfying ep.  But ultimately it suffers from not having the balls to commit to deaths and consequences, and refusing to let go of played-out themes and storylines.  That’s why I gotta keep it in the 70’s range here for my grade.  I’ve never graded a penultimate ep of any The 100 season so low.  Sigh.  This ep did some of the work, but the finale still basically has to solve world hunger next week.  Can it?  No.  Can it at least feed us a meal or two?  Lord.  I hope so but I’m not holding my breath.  Bracing for disappointment now.

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