Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: I’m typing the opener to my ep 5.09 review before it airs. The reason I’m doing this is that Jason Rothenberg, The 100‘s showrunner, has tweeted several things in the lead-up to this ep that indicate he’s expecting it’ll cause the fandom to blow up in a bad way. His first tweet on the topic said the ep will “probably start a riot.” Lord. His next tweet about the ep, a few days later, reminded the fans to “keep in mind that [the last 5 eps] are a roller coaster, not a chu-chu train.” And then a couple days after that, he got back on Twitter and was very up in his feelings with some vague tweets about “fandom blindspots” and people being so “convinced in their own rightness that they reject the truth.” Hrrmm. This may be a reaction to Echo hate in his mentions, probably having ramped up over the weekend in response to an ep 5.09 sneak peak he tweeted. Just speculation on my part.
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.
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.
Errgh, o.k. Well, remember last week when I said that with the shockingly long winning streak of season 5 episodes, 5.06 would certainly be the first one to break the streak? It didn’t … I mean, look. It didn’t suck in terms of the quality of the episode itself. It was an interesting ep, reasonably well-written and well-produced. Where the suck factor comes in is purely in terms of the level of enjoyment I got out of it. Why? It was just … rough, storyline wise. And character wise. We had to endure a lot.
This paragraph is something I wrote right after my first watch of the episode: “Even with how strangely buttoned-up Bellamy has been this season, this was the first ep that actually gave me flashbacks of season 3 for him. I mean that in the sense of, I just don’t entirely get what he’s doing. I can’t identify with his motivations. Like, on paper I can kinda get it, but in the execution I’m disconnected with him. I’m totally out of his headspace. This isn’t anything even near the scale of S3 from what I can tell (I hope); as at least he’s not turning into a mass murderer this time. But he does definitely have that similar feel of BizarroBellamy like he did in season 3A.”
<tries to shake off the creepy creeps>
Damn, dude. How long has it been since any of my favorite shows have had a 5-episode winning streak like this? Have they ever? With every episode I go into this season, I’m absolutely certain this is gonna be the one that sucks. We have to get there at some point. We always do. Next week must be the suck week, but for now, we’re still on a roll.
“Shifting Sands” was written by Nick Bragg, who apparently was Jason Rothenberg’s assistant only a couple years ago, and this was his very first ep of television. I was reading Selina Wilken’s review today and she makes a great point that the ep was so good/fun that it was almost annoying (I’d even say obnoxious heheh), not even because Nick is new so much as because he’s apparently already moved onto another job. So I guess we won’t get any more eps from him. Which sucks, because again as Selina points out, I think the gift he really gave to us all here, other than just a fun creepy ep with some hilarious lines, was that he allowed our favorite characters to speak very frankly with each other in a way that rarely happens on most TV shows, let alone this one.
Lulz. I originally had this as a section in my ep 5.04 review, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that I have a ton to say about this. What a shock! So I figured I should give this its own post, and I’ll link to it from my 5.04 review. The thing that’s so ridiculous about this too is that the amount of direct Bellarke interactions in the ep added up to literally like 3 minutes, if that. But a) there is a LOT packed into these few minutes and b) there were just enough teens throwing fits online about what we got in this ep that I think it’s worth comparing this one to the other Bellarke hug moments, because I really feel like this one wins hands down.
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: