9:01 pm EDT, May 20, 2020

‘The 100’ season 7, episode 1 review: Losing my religion

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The 100’s seventh and final season just aired its premiere episode, written by showrunner Jason Rothenberg and directed by Ed Fraiman. Here is our review.

Well, here we are, at the end of the beginning of the end.

Picking up directly where the season 6 finale left off, “From the Ashes” diligently packs in setup for the season’s mystery, allows (some of) its characters brief moments of self-reflection, pays its dues to Clarke’s grief and twists the story in ways that should throw at least some fan theories out the window.

For the final time, I bring you my review of a The 100 season premiere. What a wild, bittersweet road it has been, and will continue to be for a little while longer.

I want to preface this final season’s batch of reviews by saying that The 100 means a whole lot to me, both because of how it makes me think and how it makes me feel, and I look forward to dissecting the story and untangling all the many (sometimes conflicting) emotions with you all as the season progresses. There are things I’m going to love, and there are things I’m going to dislike, and I don’t really have a problem with that.

As we prepare ourselves for The 100 becoming a show that used to be, it’s worth remembering that some of the genre shows we now consider all-time greats also delivered some of entertainment history’s biggest disappointments. Not just because the audience had unrealistic expectations for perfection/personal wish fulfilment, but because these shows genuinely made some terrible choices that justifiably made people angry. (Usually without having to wear the Game of Thrones shame bell for the rest of time.)

I count Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Fringe, Buffy and Angel among my favorite shows of all time. I don’t consider them perfect shows. I didn’t feel like they lived up to their potential in every way. They’ve each made me as furious as they’ve delighted me. I wanted more from all of them, because I believed they had the potential to be more. I loved them anyway, for what they were.

The 100 will be the same. How its final season goes is, in many ways, irrelevant to the impact it’s already had on me. I am perfectly happy to just take this final bit of story as it comes and react as positively/negatively as I feel like, with the caveat that I am only doing these reviews because I enjoy doing them. I’m not here to make myself or anyone else miserable, and if I ever feel like that’s what I’m doing, I’ve written my last review for this show.

Whatever happens from now until the finish, The 100 will be remembered. It will be remembered for its bleak nihilism and, perhaps, its underlying hopefulness. It will be remembered for having some of the most (and the most amount) of iconic characters. Bellamy Blake! Clarke Griffin! John Murphy! Octavia Blake! Monty Green! Marcus Kane! Raven Reyes! Lexa! Indra! Emori! Anya! Harper! Diyoza! Rile—uh, nevermind, you get it. It will be remembered for its reinventions, its egregious mistakes, its epic victories, its bizarre pivots. No matter how the final season goes, it will be remembered for making people feel, so very deeply.

The 100 has inspired me more than almost any other work of fiction. I will let it continue to inspire me one last time, and I will let myself feel. I hope you’ll allow me to express not just my analysis but my personal opinions about what happens in season 7, and I hope you’ll share (or at least accept) my ultimate belief that, regardless of how any of us feel about individual story decisions, this story matters. For everything it is, everything it could have been, everything the talented creatives involved wanted it to be along the way, and every thought and feeling it’s inspired in its audience.

Right now, I mainly feel curious. Curious to see how it ends, curious to see how the writers chose to spend the precious time they had left with these characters, curious to see what incredible feats of acting this unbelievably talented cast will undoubtedly knock out of the park.

So let’s all hold hands and step into the unknown together, one last time…

Are you now, or have you ever been?

The 100 season 7 has the herculean task of delivering not only a satisfying ending to this monster of a storyworld, but a satisfying one-last-ride feeling as we race towards the finish.

In terms of the plot, that means a journey into the Anomaly and a Sanctum civil war, plus whatever else the season will throw at us.

In terms of the characters, it seems like a lot of them might be grappling with a similar existential question that I imagine will serve as an overarching theme for the season: who will they choose to be now, after the core of their identity has been stripped away?

As Indra puts it: “We all have to find our new path now.”

So as we enter the final season, it is with questions like: who is Gaia without her faith? Who is Echo without someone to follow? Who is Gabriel without Josephine? Who are the Children of Gabriel without the Primes to oppose? Who are the Eligius prisoners without their prison? Who is Hope without whatever-she-can’t-remember? Who is Madi without the Flame? Who is Murphy when his own survival is no longer his (only) priority? Who is Clarke without her need to make her mother proud?

And what can the human race become, without its leaders and false gods?

It might be too soon to declare ‘reinvention’ an overarching theme of the season, but based on the premiere at least, it seems the season will spend some time letting its characters ponder their own place in the world(s).

I can’t wait to see where everyone ends up.

Welcome to season 7, everything is f–

We open season 7 with none other than Bellamy Blake.

Picking up right where season 6 left off, Octavia’s blood literally still fresh on his hands, Bellamy cries, alone, for his vanished and definitely fatally-stabbed-seeming sister.

He is then promptly knocked out and hauled out of frame by invisible hands… and then he’s gone? I guess?

We don’t see him for the rest of the premiere, at least, which is a bummer. And it’s even more of a bummer that the characters in Sanctum don’t spare him (or Octavia) a single thought for the whole episode, because it makes these two storylines feel very disparate and frankly, creates a big Bellamy-shaped hole in that story that distracts from the rest of it.

I also have to say that the fact that the past few seasons have gone out of their way to establish Bellamy as the “heart” of the show is really unfortunate right now, because when I watched this episode for the first time, it really did feel a little bit like the heart was being wrenched out of the story.

But it’s only the first episode! I’m sure there will be much more to say about Bellamy in the coming weeks as we learn more about what is going on.

As Bellamy disappears into literal thin air, Gabriel is geeking out about Hope, Diyoza’s newly materialized, newly born, newly adult daughter, who appears to have *checks soap opera phrase book* amnesia?

She runs off (hey, she CAN run!), leaving Gabriel and Echo to battle invisible enemies and generally wonder what the hell is going on. “It makes no sense, but it’s incredible,” Gabriel says, which about sums it up.

Lost in the forest, Hope has the brilliant idea that she must dig something out of her arm, which turns out to be a piece of paper, deeply buried and sown together with crude stitches, with Anomaly symbols on one side and the words “TRUST BELLAMY” on the other.

Y’all can forget about impressing anyone with your “May We Meet Again” tattoos. Talk about being a devoted Bellamy fan, am I right?! (PSA: Please do not sow anything into your own arm, no matter how much you like it.)

And speaking of devoted Bellamy fans, Gabriel and Echo soon collide with Hope and, after some kerfuffling and a quick game of Who Here Has Forgotten About That One Time They Stabbed Octavia (Gabriel lost), they join forces against the weird invisible people.

(Sidenote: I was sure that the enemies missed on purpose because they were THEMSELVES from the future, but then Echo just straight up killed them, so, whatever. Would have been cool though.)

The invisible enemy turns out to be some generic bad guys in cool-looking octagonal (hmmm) helmets. Said helmets identify Echo and Gabriel and mark them as “Capture don’t kill, rendition to Bardo*,” while Hope is marked for elimination on sight.

(*See also: the opening credits.)

It’s convenient that Hope can’t remember how and why she earned herself a kill order, because if she did, we wouldn’t have something to wonder about!

But at least part of her fragmented memory includes Octavia, who shows up in the Anomaly mist to shush her and hilariously call herself “Auntie O”. What an interesting self-naming choice. (And that was her only appearance! This episode sure is Blake-light, huh?)

And speaking of haunting memories!!

A Roan of One’s Own

Okay LISTEN. I’m sure Zach McGowan is someone you want to have on your film set if you can, and I’m not saying I personally spoke this into existence or anything, but if I ever had any impact on The 100, let it be that I at least contributed to annoying the writers into finding a way to actually bring Roan back?? (Shhh, let me have this one.)

Roan returns, very fittingly, in Echo’s Anomaly vision to bring about something else I had been hoping for: the promise of forward momentum for Echo’s character arc and, perhaps, an ultimate reckoning with her troubling, self-destructive need to fall in line behind other people.

As I said in my intro, a very premature prediction of what the over-arching theme of season 7 will be – for the characters, if not for the time travel/world-hopping/alternate dimension adventure itself – an exploration of ‘Who You Are Without Your War’, or what you’ll live for if not the thing you’ve been taught you had to die for.

For Echo, obviously, the big character-defining question is: who is she without someone to follow? Roan and the original Echo poke at her the same way Emori did last season under the influence of the red sun: “Without Bellamy, who will you follow?” “Without someone to follow, who are you?”

It’s one of the things I’ve always genuinely found interesting about Echo: why she chose to fall into this dynamic with Bellamy in the first place, and why seasons 5 and 6 made a point to show them not as equal partners, but as a commander and his second (even while Echo continued working independently and taking charge every time they were separated).

It’s not surprising that Echo defaulted to this power structure. Echo was trained from childhood to be an obedient soldier and, like most Grounders we’ve met, her raison d’etre was to serve and die in her master’s wars. She never expected to be a free agent without a people to answer to – she didn’t know what it felt like to choose her family — and clearly, she didn’t know what to do with that opportunity when it fell into her lap.

So rather than using her six years in space as an opportunity to confront her not-so-hidden desire to step up and take charge, she found someone new to fall in line behind. And she has stayed behind him ever since season 5, all the way up till now, where she might just finally be without a master (of her own choosing or otherwise), having to face who she is without a mask of servitude to hide behind.

I always thought Echo had a lot more to offer than being Bellamy’s girlfriend, and if the rest of season 7 takes the time to explore who she will choose to be now that she can be anything (a leader? A lone wolf? A genuine team player?), I expect I’ll end up really appreciating her arc as a whole.

Until we get there, we can look forward to the certainly unexpected team-up of Gabriel, Echo and Hope: having figured out that the Bardo Boys can somehow control the Anomaly, the three of them step into the not-so-good green hand in hand, off on a sure-to-be exciting adventure. (OT3 alert, anyone?! Ugh, why do I even bother?)

This is definitely one of the more ballsy constellations the show has given us in a long while. Two new characters paired with a main who has never led her own storyline before? But I mean, sure! Why not?! YOHALSO! (You Only Have A Last Season Once)

And honestly, the decision to pair up Gabriel and Hope has already proven to be pretty genius. Shelby Flannery brings an amazing chaotic energy to her scenes in this episode, which complements Chuku Modu’s Gabriel (a fellow chaos muppet) perfectly. I would watch THEIR spinoff in a heartbeat!

A picnic at the end of the world

Meanwhile in Sanctum, Clarke’s first scene could not be any more different from Bellamy’s.

Clarke, Raven, Indra and Gaia (aka. Madi’s Four Murder Moms!) are hanging out in a deeply disturbing oversized Barbie dream house that looks like it was lifted straight off the set of The Good Place, being Very Normal and very decidedly not talking about their unimaginable shared trauma.

Clarke is, as ever, obsessed with Madi going to school (ffs woman, find your own school!), her obsession with all things normal having reached a fever pitch in an effort to avoid breaking down over the loss of her mother.

She finds an ally in Gaia – who cemented her loyalty to Team Griffin in the season 6 finale by choosing to destroy the Flame to save Madi – who agrees that Madi should be spared from dealing with Wonkru, who still need to believe she is the Commander.

(By the way, isn’t it sad that it seems like there’s no hope for Wonkru’s unity without a godlike figurehead? You’d think their six years of clan mixing and merging would leave them with at least a little bit of natural affinity for each other that extended beyond their former clans, but I guess uses gotta us and thems gotta them.)

One thing I love about this episode is how naturally Indra has stepped in to fill the void of ‘the adults.’ She has a unique point of view simply for having lived through more leaders and wars, and her council and leadership is clearly deeply necessary. (Frankly, I think Indra should just lead humanity. Problem solved, cycle broken, I did it!)

Indra and Gaia have also, suddenly, become the show’s only mother-daughter duo and the closest thing Clarke has to family*; they are the people she shares the least bad blood with, and clearly also the people she can speak most freely and easily with.

(*I just want to acknowledge that this could only be made true by removing Bellamy from her narrative, which cheapens it a little.)

Indra, Gaia and Clarke respect each other in a mature way that we don’t see very often on this show, and it’s very refreshing. They are also very good at talking shop without getting too personal – in sharp contrast to Raven and Madi, who can’t keep their emotions at bay, and thus cause Clarke to shut down.

As for Clarke and the rest of the group, camaraderie simply comes with too much baggage, if at all. The picnic scene, which might under different circumstances have been a moment of joy and relief for this dysfunctional found family (that include five out of the show’s seven total remaining Ark survivors), is weighed down with all the pain they’ve caused each other.

Notably, nobody in Sanctum is aware yet that they just lost the Blakes – nor do they have any clue that a) Hope exists or b) she, Gabriel and Echo have gone into the mysterious Anomaly. If they had known all this, as weird as it felt that they didn’t, there would have been no picnic scene, and probably much less room for the grief these characters needed to express.

Another version of this premiere might have mirrored season 2’s “The 48,” where almost everyone were together and ‘safe’ inside Mount Weather – and even had a very similar group meal scene — but the knowledge that Finn and Bellamy might still be alive and needed their help drove Clarke to almost immediate action.

“From the Ashes” doesn’t give Clarke the information that would drive her to similar action. Instead, the episode lets her linger uncomfortably among her ‘other friends’, most of whom were never actually her friends and certainly were never friends with each other, their scenes playing out like a melancholy chamber piece; a vibe as alien to the show as the modern yellow house they pretend to live in and the Forever 21 closet they all raided. And maybe the alienness is the point.

This is a group of broken survivors who have endured and caused each other unimaginable pain. Most of them are practically strangers. A picnic and a toast to absent friends is the most unnatural and unearned thing in the world for these people, which is why it is important that they try (and fail) to have it.

Jackson needs space to show that he isn’t just willing to sit down and toast Abby with Murphy, the man who arguably deserves part of the blame for her death. Murphy deserves space to feel that guilt – because guilt has become an increasingly prevalent part of his character – and Clarke needs to put on the carefully constructed front she always uses to force down her emotions, that at this point clearly signals to the audience exactly how traumatized she really is.

It’s such a bummer that a moment of quiet now doesn’t let these characters grow closer, as it would have done in earlier seasons, but instead is used to show how fractured they’ve become. But it’s a bummer because that is the characters’ emotional reality at this stage – it’s bum city all around, really – and as long as season 7 devotes some time to mending these relationships, the misery is worth it.

(HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still super weird that nobody wonders – hey, where did Bellamy, Octavia and Echo go? Should we bake Octavia a red velvet cake to welcome her back to the group? No? Too soon? Anyway, does anyone remember that Diyoza exists? Who else thinks that Gabriel guy is super handsome? And uh, should we feel bad that we basically stole this dog…? You know, normal picnic smalltalk stuff.)

Too many people

If you’ve been following my reviews, you know how much I dislike the crowd scenes on The 100. So you can imagine how well the Sanctum storyline went over with me in this episode.

I’m sorry, but the crowds on this show are all the same! They look the same, they wear the same clothes, they shout the same generic expositional phrases, and I swear they even use that one same angry guy voice actor every time.

In fact, I dislike the crowd scenes so much that I’m always left questioning if we even need humanity at all – if, regardless of all the mass tragedies we endure together, we can continually be condensed into interchangeable angry mobs blindly separated into one ‘us’ or another. It might be accurate, considering the current state of the world, but it is depressing as fuuuuuuuu.

At this point, I think my ideal The 100 ending is just one rando breaking out from the masses going, “I have MY OWN OPINION!”

Anyway, I suppose these crowds do stick out from the rest, simply because there are more of them than usual.

The Eligius prisoners (all 36 of them! I thought there were way more! Did I lose track of the massacres?) have been woken up to do Wonkru’s hard labor, basically making them indentured servants working to earn their place in the new compound, which, yikes; the Children of Gabriel are reclaiming their right to live in the only trailer park city this planet apparently has; there are the Sanctum residents, that may or may not be divided into believers and non-believers; there is Wonkru, and then there is the yellow house people, aka everyone in the main credits and/or the season countdown pictures.

The only faction that seems aware of anything beyond their own immediate agenda are the Eligius prisoners, whose spokespeople are the freshly woken married couple Nikki and Paolo Hatch (played by Alaina Huffman and Chad Rook), who seem to be a second take on Diyoza and McCreary and whose entrance gave me very strong SLAYERFEST ’98! vibes. They seem violent. I wonder if they knew Becca Pramheda.

Jordan finds himself caught in the crosshairs when he steps up as a would-be liaison between Clarke and the Prime devotees; I’m not totally sure if we’re still meant to believe he has been brainwashed or if they decided on a different story direction for him, but I much prefer him on this track.

He has an interesting conversation with Russell where they talk about the spirals so central (haha) to the Anomaly mystery; Jordan asks him what they mean, but even after all the lives he’s lived, Russell doesn’t have an answer.

Knowing this show, it’s probably just one of Dante’s hell circles. (The seventh, by the way, is violence.)

For all his good intentions, Jordan is as bad of a peacemaker as his dad (sorry Monty, but #ripthefarm), and the chaos escalates, with Clarke and her people running out of ways to placate everyone at once.

Again, that’s the thing about humanity: we’re only united when we’re all fighting for the same cause. The minute our interests don’t align with the others’, we become a we and they become a they.

Notably, Clarke and Indra seem to be in silent agreement about how best to handle the faithful and the faithless factions, respectively: while the Children of Gabriel and the Eligius faction both have to be pacified and bartered with, they assume Wonkru and the Prime followers can be ‘controlled’ by their respective gods.

After a string of cults and false gods over the course of the series, it is interesting to me that the final season opens with statements like “belief is more powerful than truth,” “faith is a powerful thing” and “faith is a dangerous thing.” Statements that seem to me to suggest that faith and belief are concepts that The 100 — or at least its characters — are distancing themselves from, when looking ahead to the future of the human race.

It would make sense. In most of the characters’ experience, ‘faith’ is synonymous with the removal of free will, or what we would recognize as false, organized religion: a blind belief in dictators posing as gods; flesh and blood humans with delusions of grandeur and bits of wire in their brains.

At the end of the episode, Clarke declares Sanctum “free” – meaning no self-appointed leaders; no dictators posing as royalty or divinity. It could have been a liberating moment, but it wasn’t, because Clarke isn’t offering actual freedom. She is seizing command and dealing out punishment to those she thinks is owed. It doesn’t feel like a moment of victory, and it doesn’t feel better.

In light of this scene especially, I wonder if this season will continue to do away with its factions’ false gods and ‘free’ humanity that way, or if we will pivot to a discovery of a different kind of faith; something less about dogma and control and more along the lines of what we’ve seen characters like Kane and Monty find peace through.

The kind of faith that Gaia held onto even after finding out the truth about the Flame, which was more of a faith in the power of the symbol to bring peace and unity than it was a faith in the power of the thing itself.

I’m not sure this is a theme the season will necessarily spend a lot of time exploring. But I imagine it would be an interesting thread to pull at a little bit, especially if it allowed Clarke herself to put some words on what she actually believes in; what hopes and faiths drive her forward, other than the raw instinct to keep Madi and her friends alive from one day to the next.

I suspect that the answer is nothing. Clarke’s religion is this: “You take a breath. Then another. That’s it.” To Clarke, as to her Vampire Slayer foremother, Life is just this. It’s living.

But if that is all there is, I wonder if Clarke will have any hope to offer humanity, when all is said and done.

Firestarter

Clarke ends the episode letting her rage and grief and thirst for revenge get the better of her. She lets the castle burn and sentences Russell to death and generally acts extremely un-Clarke-like, in what I suppose is the show’s attempt at giving Abby’s death the gravitas it deserves (idk, maybe they just shouldn’t have killed her).

Ironically, for most of this episode, Clarke has had all her walls up, using all her energy on being Pleasant and Polite and keeping everyone emotionally at arms’ length, not just because she’s trying to hold herself together, but because she believes the future of the human race stands and falls by her civility.

Whether an accurate estimation of her status as a role model or an inflated sense of importance, Clarke Griffin thinks that she holds the fate of the world in her hands, and that if she crumbles and gives into her rage and need for revenge, their fragile peace will fall. And ultimately, she’s right.

For better or worse, Clarke has the power to calm or enrage a crowd; she can turn the tide of a war with silence or a word. A natural leader… if perhaps not the leader the human race needs right now.

Eliza Taylor is always excellent, but I found her careful composure in this episode particularly spellbinding. In my opinion, Eliza’s biggest skill as an actor is that she never overacts – a lesser actress would try to make physical the emotions that the character is fighting so hard to suppress, in order to show the audience what the script doesn’t let her say with words.

Eliza doesn’t let Clarke betray her anguish in any physical way, yet you still feel it, brewing just below the surface, present in every movement and expression she doesn’t make. It’s unnerving. The characters around her are unnerved by it. It brings a tension to the scenes she shares with her castmates, like everyone is walking on live wire.

In the context of what came before, her suppression and withdrawal is right out of the Clarke Griffin Coping Mechanism Handbook.

But it’s still upsetting to see her avoid what might have been genuine moments of connection with both Raven and Madi, particularly the latter, who sees exactly what Clarke is doing and desperately tries to connect with her — sharing a horrific, traumatic memory of losing her own mother in order to help Clarke face her own pain — only for Clarke to (quite coldly) shut her down.

(Sidenote: Wow, is Lola Flanery a talented young actress. The 100 sure knows how to pick them..)

It is another mark in the Wait, Is Clarke A Terrible Mom, Actually? column that not only does Clarke seem uncomfortable with Madi acknowledging her birth mother, she also doesn’t offer Madi even an inch of solidarity and lets her run off in heartbroken rejection.

As much as I love Clarke, I’ve been skeptical of the show positioning her as a ‘good’ parent since the shocklashing incident, and she’s frakly done very little since then to change my mind.

Far be it from me to psycho-analyse these characters (JUST KIDDING! I love it), but it’s really starting to feel like what Clarke wants for Madi has nothing to do with Madi as a person and everything to do with rebuilding the childhood she loved and lost.

As I talked about extensively last season, it has become impossible for Clarke to want things for herself. In “Nevermind,” we learned that she would literally rather die than make what she’d construe as a selfish choice.

So she transposes her wants onto Madi, because only on Madi’s behalf can Clarke permit herself now to want and actively pursue that home, that family, that normalcy she grew up with and considers the epitome of happiness.

Maybe the reason all of the domestic scenes seem so out of place in The 100 is because they are; at the beginning of the show, Clarke’s world was turned upside-down when she was sent to the ground. This is her attempt to flip her world back to what it used to be, and what we’ve never seen it be. Clarke is the only one we know of who had a normal childhood with parents and a television and routines and braided hair, and she’s trying to recreate that for Madi now… because if she can get back to that, the nightmare of the ground will be over.

Doing it all ‘for Madi’, completely disregarding that this wild child of the apocalypse might not be wired for hair braiding or dishwashing routines or having a dog (okay no, that one is all her. Madi and Picasso forever!) and insisting on her going to school – any school, apparently, even one run by brainwashed cultists – might be Clarke’s way of pursuing something she considers right and good without having to admit to herself that she still thinks she deserves good things.

This is also at least part of the reason why Clarke gravitates towards Gaia: the one other person who has been explicitly shown to put Madi’s wellbeing and happiness above all else.

It’s safe for Clarke to open up to Gaia, because they’re talking about Madi, and the connection they’ve formed and continue to deepen is at the end of the day based on a shared love for someone else.

Over the past few seasons, Gaia has had a slow, subtle arc from a devout follower of a faith she found comfort in as a child to an independent thinker with her own moral compass and genuine affection for the people around her.

Without the Flame, Gaia is – like so many characters going into season 7 – left to discover who she is as a person, without a mission… even if we might argue that she has already found a new mission in saving Madi’s childhood.

Like Clarke, Gaia’s childhood abruptly ended with the death of her father. Like Clarke, Gaia was thrust into war and danger by her mother, and like Clarke, Gaia had to put a lid on her own wants and needs and live a life in service of others.

Gaia and Clarke are now firmly united in purpose and would, I’m guessing, probably be quite happy to linger together in this domestic little bubble of peace if they could, keeping Madi safe from the world and giving her the domestic stability they were both robbed of.

RIP Russell, we hardly knew ya

Well, so much for my Russell/Indra endgame, I guess. THANKS A LOT, show.

Russell spends most of this episode asking for death, and he gets it – but fittingly, his stolen body carries on without him, hosting a much more ominous demon.

When Clarke knocks Russell out, it somehow sends him into Commander HQ (in his original body, hi Robin Hood!), where Sheidheda is waiting. Much like how Josephine tried to kill Clarke inside their shared mind chip, Sheidheda kills Russell, which gives him control of his chip.

The million-dollar question, of course, is how exactly data from the Flame chip got into Russell’s Prime chip; last we saw, the Flame data was inside the Eligius ship computer, but since Russell wasn’t hooked up to that, there shouldn’t really be a link between them?

I guess we’re just going to roll with the fact that Sheidheda was able to Airdrop himself and his favorite Zoom background into the nearest hard drive that was set to discoverable.

But if that’s the case, could it maybe be possible that Sheidheda didn’t only download himself into Russell’s chip, but into everyone who currently has a mind drive – so Murphy, Emori, Echo and whoever else I’ve forgotten about? What about the Priya one that Jordan is walking around with? What about Josephine’s?

And what about Madi, who – even sans Flame implant – still has memories of the Commanders swirling around in her mind? (Btw, sorry, but it will never not be gross that she has access to Lexa’s memories of Clarke.) Can we expect multiple Sheidhedas to infiltrate our group somehow, or is he just in Russell’s vessel now?

Either way, clearly Sheidheda being incognito is a Bad Thing, but it’ll be interesting to see how he figures into the Anomaly plot, and what his ultimate agenda will turn out to be. I hope he doesn’t do too much damage, though I won’t shed any tears if he kills some of those annoying crowd people.

I’m gonna miss Russell though. I liked him.

All hail the… incest siblings?

While Murphy tries to drown his grief and guilt over Abby, Emori actually does homework – nobody tell Clarke, she might get too excited – reading up on Daniel and Kaylee Prime, who they are maybe-possibly still kinda pretending to be.

As it turns out, the need for a pair of rogue Primes arises sooner rather than later, as the Prime followers are in dire need of some gods.

Murphy doesn’t want any part of it, but when his friends need him the most, he of course steps up and helps anyway, because that’s who Murphy has become.

It’s Emori who calms the crowd though, being able to imitate Kaylee and rebuffing her ‘brother’s’ advances. (lol. I give it a week until someone catches them in the act.)

In general, Murphy and Emori deliver some of the episode’s lightest moments, Emori continuing to come into her own as someone who relishes having concrete value to offer the group.

I’m just so delighted by these two. They’re gonna break my heart, aren’t they?

For your consideration

  • Roooooaaaaaaannnnnn! Nothing but respect for MY Anomaly King.
  • Does the Anomaly only flare out when people are going through it? And if so, who keeps keep going through it? And why?
  • So Russell did NOT know who Sheidheda was, which might limit the ways in which Cadogan and Eligius III could be connected?
  • Hey, Raven was leaning on Madi! Nice to see them acknowledging her leg injury again.
  • How adorable were those scenes with Madi and Picasso?? I’m not even going to question how Picasso can be the only dog on Sanctum and where they keep her cryo pod, because awwww.
  • What would Madi’s favorite school subject be?
  • Can’t believe Clarke ruined Murphy and Emori’s plan of sleeping in the castle. So rude.
  • Whaever happened to the red sun??? Was that just a seasonal problem or…?
  • Poor Jordan has really been totally alienated by his parents’ friends, hasn’t he? Man I hope they bring him back around.
  • Who’s paying the tab at that tavern?
  • Do we think anyone will remember that Kane existed?
  • The new enemy has ray guns??? What kind of H.G. Wells fanfiction did they fall out of?
  • Listen, I’m not sure what’s going on with Bellamy (or the lack of him). I will hold my judgement until we’ve all seen where his story goes, but I will say this: the first thing I wrote in my notes after the opening scene of this episode was, “if Bellamy eventually reemerges as an old man, I will throw my laptop out the damn window.”

And that’s all for the premiere! What did you think?

Next week, we journey into the unknown for the second episode of The 100 season 7, titled “The Garden.” See you Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW!

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