9:03 pm EDT, June 3, 2020

‘The 100’ season 7, episode 3 review: Cockroach protocol

The 100 season 7, episode 3 ”False Gods” puts Raven in a moral pickle while Clarke and Gaia have some heart-to-hearts and Jordan tries to put out his people’s fires. This is our review.

An important disclaimer before we start:

Fiction has always served the dual purpose of making us think and helping us escape. But right now, it is very important that we all stay awake and pay attention to reality. Most readers, whether domestic or abroad, will be engaged in the all-important fight for Black lives, as we all should be. Protesting the racist acts of violence and murder by police against Black people, and amplifying Black voices, is what matters.

If watching an episode of TV and reading a review like this can offer a brief respite to anyone who needs it, please, allow yourself that respite before getting back in the fight.

But I don’t want this review to distract from the Black Lives Matter movement in any way. So before I start doing my job, I want to point everyone’s attention to resources on how you can help. There is a list of how you can donate to Black victims of police brutality, including the brave young Darnella Frazier, who witnessed and filmed George Floyd’s murder and now needs help and support in order to heal and Brad Levi Ayala, a 16-year-old protester who was shot in the head on May 30, and whose family is now struggling to pay his hospital bills.

Both of these fundraisers are currently a long way off from reaching their goals, and I hope you will join me in supporting them and as many victims and their families as you can, or giving in any other way you are able. Another resource that desperately needs your support is the community bail funds that help free the arrested protesters: you can split your donation to more than 70+ bail funds across the country here.

Consider giving even just a little and supporting the Black community, if you have the means. Register to vote, sign petitions, support Black businesses (check out this comprehensive list for inspiration, compiled by Twitter user Jellz), and please take care of yourselves and each other if you are participating in protests.

If you need to indulge in some emotions about a television show, something that matters far less than any of the above, let’s dive into “False Gods.”

She is become death

“False Gods” was written by The 100 vet Kim Shumway and directed by Tim Scanlan.

While last week’s episode was spent entirely on Planet Beta, this week we stay in Sanctum for what is essentially a monster-of-the-week story, complete with a redshirt cold open, which is very unusual for The 100.

The A-story belongs to Raven, which is a nice change of pace, as we haven’t had a big storyline focused on her since the last time she faced the dilemma of having to kill innocents in order to save her friends (a weird missed opportunity to not bring up that it was the Eligius prisoners both times, hm?).

We also have great Big Damn Hero moments for Emori and Murphy, the latter of whom gets to meet his shadow-self Hatch and watch him sacrifice himself to atone for his sins (not ominous or anything), some frustrating but promising scenes where Jordan takes charge in an attempt to figure out how he fits into the show’s puzzle, and a few Clarke and Gaia inserts, lovely in isolation, but decidedly isolated.

On its own, this is a good episode. Contrived as the core meltdown twist is, if this is how we Raven on the same morally grey page as everyone else – and Clarke specifically – I’m fine with it. This is a long overdue and necessary development if we want the two of them connecting and working together before the end.

Murphy and Emori not dying is always a win in my book, the increased use of Indra this season continues to positively surprise me, and I am absolutely loving Nikki and Hatch (RIP, gone too soon, forever in our hearts). Clarke and Gaia is a very sweet pair-up, on paper at least, and while I am reaching my absolute limit with the writers going to so much trouble to bring Jordan into the show only to let him flounder around aimlessly, it seems like his story is finally going somewhere.

Lindsey Morgan delivers a spectacular performance and totally sells Raven’s determination and ultimate devastation as she realizes the extent of the danger they’re all in and steps into the leadership role she was born for – which she now understands includes sacrificing the few to save the many.

I’m happy that a conscious effort is being made here to reintegrate Raven into the leadership circle, primarily by building a bridge of understanding between her and Clarke by literally putting Raven in her shoes.

For viewers who aren’t as familiar with Raven’s history and early development, her decision to sacrifice the innocent in this episode will probably seem like the big game-changing moment it was intended to be. For the rest of us, Murphy’s “welcome to the world of grey” would probably have been better received as a “welcome to no longer being able to deny that you were always living in it.”

For most of this review, I’ve made a conscious decision to take Raven’s storyline at face value, in an acknowledgment of the fact that the episode itself can still be good, even if it perpetuates some much bigger, glaring issues. Ultimately it gets Raven back on track for the finish, and I suppose that’s what matters.

But if I have any function as a reviewer, it is to point out patterns that the show doesn’t (seem to remember).

In this case, this would be the fact that this isn’t in any way, shape of form Raven’s first venture into the ‘world of grey’. Acting like she hasn’t made this kind of decision before, when the interesting thing about Raven was never whether or not she’d ever sacrificed innocent lives for what she believed was the greater good, but how she chose to justify her own actions while condemning characters like Clarke and Bellamy for making similar choices, is doing her a disservice.

Raven was always brave, selfless, and tireless in her work to save the world and the people she loved. Her frustration with what she saw as injustice was key to who she was, and an interesting way to avoid making her ‘perfect’ despite how good she ultimately is. (The best of them, I think, in many ways.)

The shallow moral superiority complex Raven has been bogged down with for the past few seasons, and which this episode ultimately makes her reckon with, was always a gross simplification of an otherwise fantastically rich, layered character, whose complicated history with Clarke and physical disability so carefully and thoughtfully informed why she felt like she was in a position to make moral judgements about other people’s impossible choices.

(Sidenote: why the writers veered from the strong implication in the season 4 finale that Raven and Bellamy would become a close-knit leadership duo, which would have served as a very interesting shake-up in the loyalty dynamics between all the main characters, I will never understand, but there’s no use crying about it now.)

Feel free to skip the below dive into Raven’s history if you’d rather just read my commentary on the events of this episode. Otherwise, strap in for a little Raven Reyes deep dive.

Raven is very familiar with the world of grey — gunpowder grey, to be more precise.

Not only has she been implicit in killing before, she literally built the bomb that allowed the delinquents to commit their first mass murder, in the season 1 episode “I Am Become Death.”

It was Raven’s bomb that caused Clarke to utter her infamous Oppenheimer reference; what would be the start of Clarke’s rep as ‘Wanheda’ among the Grounders was as much on Raven (and Jasper!), even if she never got or took credit for it.

Raven was in the thick of the fighting until her incapacitation in the season 1 finale, an unexpected twist that opened up a whole new emotional arc for her. She was never again able to be the boots on the ground, which meant that while Raven was still very much involved with rigging the bombs, she had to leave it to others to set them off, and to make the impossible choices that accompanied the explosions.

That left her in a position to judge in hindsight, with much more information than the characters making the decisions at the time, almost like the voice of the audience – and she judged nobody more than Clarke, I always thought, because Clarke made the ultimate ‘wrong’ choice when Raven could do nothing to stop her.

The moment that forever tainted Raven and Clarke’s relationship was when the Grounders sentenced Finn to die, and Raven handed Clarke a knife to kill Lexa, only to be forced to stand back and watch Clarke make the tactical (and merciful) decision to kill Finn with that very knife.

It was the right thing to do — it spared Finn pain and it stopped the attack on Camp Jaha — and Raven eventually, intellectually understood that. But emotionally, it broke her. It was the ultimate manifestation of the powerlessness she felt after becoming physically disabled; since she couldn’t do it herself, she gave the power of death to Clarke, and then had to stand back and watch as Clarke chose how to wield it. And she’s resented practically every decision Clarke has made since.

Because despite what this episode makes it seem, Raven’s feeling of moral superiority has had nothing to do with the act of killing. It was about getting to be in the position when your choice meant the life or death of one people over another and (understandably, due to her trauma and disability) forgetting what that felt like. It was, maybe, about coming to understand that nobody should have the power to make such choices in the first place, without accounting for the fact that leaders like Clarke never wanted or asked to be in that position.

It was a fantastic, complicated, morally grey dichotomy that the show let develop naturally between Clarke and Raven, stemming from their early history and shared trauma and evolving due to their different personalities and physical capabilities. The show has never put enough focus on Clarke and Raven’s dynamic, but there was always enough weaved into their separate arcs to insinuate that their relationship would come to a head one day.

And then, in season 6, it almost did – when Raven, in the show’s first attempt at engineering this episode’s exact in-her-shoes scenario, chose to stay behind on the Eligius III ship to kill the prisoners if things went badly on the ground.

In that (should have been) game-changing moment, Raven, having (presumably) spent the past six years chewing over Clarke’s impossible choices and coming to understand that Clarke’s ability to sacrifice for the greater good was a selfless thing (she would take on all the moral responsibility, and when it came down to the wire, she would give her own life for her friends’), decided that it was her turn to sacrifice, both her illusion of a moral high ground and her life. She would pull the lever of death, and she would leave herself behind, just like Clarke.

And even though she didn’t end up going through with it, the storyline was still about Raven coming to the realization that she would have. And it seemed like such a perfect moment to have Raven finally re-align with Clarke; upon reuniting, they finally be on the same team and same page, after all this time, as the story had consistently alluded to them eventually being.

And then the second half of season 5 happened. The general consensus is that this is where the writers dropped some significant balls, one of them Raven’s, who ended up in a romantic (unintentionally dead-end) side-story with Shaw and Echo, and was forced to de-evolve to the point where she could go back to simply hating Clarke for making yet another impossible choice (that Clarke herself had to de-evolve to make).

That it took them another season and a half to get Raven back to the exact same place she was in at the top of season 5 is, I think, emblematic of the bigger, structural issue the show has had for the past few seasons that has caused character evolutions to halter or change course, generally simplifying arcs and relationships to the detriment of the show as a whole.

It’s no more or less than how we’ve seen other cult favorite genre shows dilute themselves in later seasons (I still maintain that Buffy is the only 5+-season long genre series that never once compromised the emotional integrity of its main characters – and I’ve stopped expecting that any other series will ever manage it), but it’s still a shame.

Having said that, and taking Raven’s story in this episode at face value, there is a lot of good to say about it, and however crudely The 100 got here, I am DELIGHTED that Raven and Clarke finally, at long last, will be able to see eye to eye as they embark on their final adventure. #PrincessMechanic forever.

So… end of rant, let’s move forward.

Cockroaches? More like Rad Scorpions, amiright?

After what we have to assume were hundreds of years of working just fine, suddenly the core that powers Sanctum begins malfunctioning, leaking radiation, and setting itself up to eradicate the city in a matter of hours. What are the chances?!

Unaware of hell boiling over below them, Murphy and Emori luxuriate in the castle ruins, until Raven walks in on them (when will all these couples she attempts to infiltrate realize that she’s plainly just waiting for an invitation?) to borrow Emori for some science. I do love it when they science.

They quickly discover the problem, along with the irradiated corpses of that whatshisname Ark guy and his Sanctum girlfriend. How interesting that a little illicit inter-planetary romance developed right under everyone’s noses… and how fortunate that we didn’t have to waste too much time on it. RIP Romeo & Juliet of the Apocalypse, I guess.

It’s now a classic race against time before the radiation reaches that magic degree number, where it flips from ‘no lasting consequences’ to ‘instant death’. We’ve been here before, we know how it goes.

Raven quickly does the math and calls in the A-team to recruit a Nightblood to close the leak. Clarke volunteers herself, as always, but it actually ends up being fellow Nightblood Emori who takes her place. Fun, subtle little role reversal from season 4, where Clarke was on the edge of sacrificing Emori to test the Nightblood on her but ended up doing it to herself.

Raven also needs a team of Wonkru welders, for what she – at this point – is still fairly confident will be a routine job. This provides a nice opportunity to propel the Wonkru storyline forward, when a Sangedakru member demands to see their wayward Heda.

Indra tries to get Wonkru volunteers in Heda’s name (some beautiful lighting there), but nobody believes them. They aren’t buying Madi as Commander anymore. They aren’t just blindly following orders.

Indra wants to bring in Madi to continue the charade, but Clarke and Gaia absolutely refuse putting her in that position (again).

It’s an interesting dilemma that I’m sure audiences will have mixed opinions about. On one hand, Clarke is absolutely right that placing such a burden on Madi isn’t fair. On the other, Madi wants to help. She wanted to help when she took the chip (from Gaia) to save Clarke; and I’m sure she wants to help keep Sanctum, including herself and her dog, from exploding.

Trying to force her back into a box Madi has long ago grown out of doesn’t seem to ring quite true for this situation, and it again makes me wonder what exactly it is Clarke is trying to do here, or what the show is using Madi to say.

Unlike Indra, Gaia believes that Wonkru will stay together even knowing the truth. They were united into Wonkru because of the lack of a true Commander, after all, and she has faith in what they’ve become. But Indra knows their people – she knows people – and perfectly predicts the reaction the truth will get them.

“Faith may be blind, but loyalty isn’t,” says Indra, proving for the millionth time that they should just leave the future of humanity in her hands.

Raven has no choice now but to ask the Eligius prisoners who tortured her for help. She approaches the two characters who have names (very self-aware moment, referring to the extras as X, Y and Z) – and we finally get properly acquainted with Nikki and Hatch.

Alaina Huffman and Chad Rook are super interesting to watch, and I’m digging the care paid to establishing a power dynamic between them, despite the fact that it was only for an episode; Hatch was clearly the more reasonable, peace-seeking of the two, while Nikki instigated the violence at their robbery and was more sympathetic to McCreary.

Without Hatch’s calming presence, Nikki is clearly going to be a loose cannon, our next Anya/Indra/Luna/Cooper/Diyoza-shaped piece of the ensemble puzzle.

It still feels a bit like the show just wanted a second pass at introducing Diyoza and McCreary, this time without the pregnancy element, so I’ll be curious to see how Nikki actually ends up diverging from that path. Alaina Huffman is of course always great, and she plays the character with that trademark brutal rawness that The 100 lets its female characters express, so I’ll enjoy watching her regardless.

Hatch, meanwhile, is one of the show’s rare reasonable voices, and he actually believes that they’ll have a place in the new world once they do the hard work building it.

But The 100 has no use for people who speak reason, so obviously, he has to die. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In the next dungeon, Raven, Murphy and Emori unleash their power of OT3 and defeat the first radiation boss, even though it severely depletes Emori’s Health!

After uttering the episode’s best line, “can we not fight now?” (when is the threeway wedding, anyway?!), Emori goes into the chamber to close the leak, Murphy standing by to count her down.

Emori just continues to thrill me. What an unflinchingly brave team player she has evolved into; just look at the stark difference between this moment and the last time she was locked to a similar device, in Becca’s lab, making the (at the time) great leap towards selflessness when she told Murphy not to fight for her and save himself.

It feels like forever ago now, but that was the first time I realized that the show had bigger, more long-term plans for Emori than using her as motivation for Murphy’s growth.

The season 5 time jump wasn’t ultimately very useful for the story, but it was incredibly useful for Emori, who got to skip straight to the part where her ‘people’ expanded from Murphy to SpaceKru; it has now seamlessly expanded again, her heart growing size after size (or just finally being unlocked and becoming the size it always was) and her agency within the story growing with it.

Unfortunately, while Emori saved like, half the day, the other half is dependent on our beloved Hatch, X, Y and Z fixing the leaking pipes.

The next sequence is really excellently crafted, as Raven realizes (before the audience) that she’s sent them in there to die, and makes the silent decision to lie because she doesn’t believe that the Eligius prisoners would willingly keep fighting for a future that they won’t get to experience.

I’ve seen this episode twice, and the second time, it’s very obvious exactly when she realizes and makes these choices, but the first time, I couldn’t figure it out at all. Well done!

In a defining moment for Raven, she sends Murphy in there with nitrogen and locks him in, because “you’ll do anything to save your own ass.”

At the end of the day, Raven is operating with the knowledge that either everyone (including Murphy) dies, or Murphy saves them all and has to endure radiation sickness for a few days. It’s not really a choice. Except of course it is, and it says a lot about Raven that she’s got the guts to make it.

There are so many moments it could remind us of. What initially comes to mind for me are two: Abby, Jaha and Kane sending 100 kids to the ground for a chance at survival, when the alternative was the certain death of everyone on the Ark; and Clarke being willing to put Emori into a radiation test chamber to see if the Nightblood solution could save everyone (including Emori). Guess Raven really is a Griffin after all.

While this is a big episode for Raven, this moment in particular is hugely significant for Murphy.

Even though the timer is literally ticking down to zero, Murphy and Hatch have a little welding break (LOLFOREVER, WHY DID THEY STOP WELDING??? Anyway,) where Hatch gets to share his backstory.

Hatch reveals that he and Nikki were originally just robbing a bank – such a petty crime now, in the big scheme of things – but they both became murderers when Nikki shot at the cops and they ended up executing the hostages as well.

Murphy realizes in that moment that they’re not that dissimilar; both ‘criminals’ who never had true bad intentions, and who got swept up in events that had fatal consequences, and now have to live with the knowledge that they can never take it back. Another Bonnie and Clyde for another lifetime.

This is another way in which Hatch echoes McCreary: this is Murphy once again seeing himself through a funhouse mirror, only it’s not the demonic worst-timeline version of himself this time, but his best-case scenario for redemption. And the sad conclusion that he (Hatch) comes to is that whatever good he does, it will never feel like enough.

“Maybe this’ll make up for it,” Murphy offers hopefully, speaking for them both.

“There’s no making up for it,” Hatch replies, voicing Murphy’s worst fear.

The realization that dawns on Murphy’s face is chilling, in light of him seeing himself going to “hell” for his crimes at the beginning of season 6 and going on to become implicit in the events that led to Abby’s death.

Because if Hatch can give his life in the service of the greater good, but still die with a burdened conscience, what hope does Murphy have?

Ultimately Raven saves the day, as Raven often does, but this time she doesn’t have Clarke to pull the lever for her.

Finding Hatch dead, Nikki goes absolutely ballistic on Raven, before she is pulled off by her “traitorous” own people.

I’m curious to see how Nikki will ultimately fit into this season; she seems primed to become an antagonist and maybe ultimately an ally of Sheidheda’s, but I hope her role is ultimately more nuanced than that.

We leave poor Raven bleeding and broken and wrecked by guilt, another person who now has to live with the memory of the faces of the people she got killed, maybe proving Clarke’s fear that fighting is ultimately what we are.

Taking a break from all your worries

In the second instalment of Clarke and Gaia’s speed-dating shenanigans, Madi’s two designated moms bury symbols of their past lives together.

Clarke of course buries her mother’s wedding ring while Gaia buries the Flame, serving the neat double-purpose of signalling to the audience that Gaia is making peace with her loss of faith and that Clarke is finally letting Lexa go, too.

When Clarke buries Abby’s ring, she tells her mother than she wants to make her proud. A bit later, Gaia tells her, “You are what’s left of [your parents].” It is a very symbolic moment for Clarke, who is left to figure out both what would make Abby proud and just how she can carry on the work of a generation that operated in a different world, under different values.

Clarke has clearly romanticized her childhood life on the Ark — the school, the family hangouts, the nuclear family — and is trying to impose it onto Madi in their quaint little yellow house. But is that ultimately what her happy ending looks like? A reproduction of her parents’ lives? Or is Clarke, like humanity, moving towards a new way of being?

Later, on the porch, Clarke and Gaia continue to wax poetic about the nature of man and their own purpose now that the path is no longer drawn out in front of them.

Gaia once again expresses how lost she is without her faith, and Clarke seems ready to offer her a new family to belong to. Their fireside chats about how to come together and make the world a better place feel a bit heavy-handed, but ultimately well-intentioned, and I adore this budding connection between them.

There are two ways to approach the Clarke and Gaia scenes, just as there are two sides to Raven’s arc and, I imagine, two sides to most of what will be going on in season 7.

On one hand, out of context, this is a beautiful little mini-show within a show about two women who have both been through hell, been on opposite sides of the war for humanity’s soul and, ultimately, impossibly finding their way to unity through their shared love for a child that represents both of their own losses of innocence.

There is something almost inevitable about Clarke and Gaia gravitating towards each other, like the calm after the storm (even if they are inexplicably both ignoring that the storm is very much still raging). A soft, quiet, beautiful thing, whatever its nature.

I don’t know if it’s going to turn romantic. It might. Right now, it sure seems to be written that way. Their conversations in this episode and the premiere certainly brought to mind the Eowyn/Faramir dynamic in Tolkien’s Return of the King for me: a romance intentionally neither epic nor star-crossed but comfortingly circumstantial. Two lost souls who happen to find peace through each other and whose raging hearts grow quieter together.

Epic romances are called ‘epic’ for a reason and I do still think Clarke deserves (another) one, but I like the softer kinds, too. I love Gaia. I understand the desire to give Tati Gabrielle a more substantial role, and I also understand that even if they had wanted to set up Clarke/Gaia earlier, they wouldn’t have been able to commit to it until they knew if Gabrielle was available for season 7.

(In another reality, the show wouldn’t have let its main characters’ happiness depend on guest star availability in the first place, and would instead have built up and fleshed out some more lasting friendships and relationships between the characters whose names are in the opening credits. Ah well, maybe next time.)

I do however think it is way too late to give Clarke a brand new love interest. It denies the audience the ability to properly root for them, and it makes what might otherwise have been really moving moments of connection feel like tonally dissonant, floating scenes that don’t connect to the show’s reality.

It’s telling that these Clarke-Gaia scenes are vague enough that they could have been inserted anywhere into any episode; almost like they were written and filmed (and edited and scored) in a vacuum from everything else, to be inserted wherever a few minutes could be set aside for them.

The most glaring example of this is Clarke’s “I don’t want to lose anyone else” line, which is just a completely nonsensical thing for her to say, considering that this is the third episode of the season and Clarke still hasn’t noticed that Bellamy, Octavia, Diyoza, Gabriel and Echo have all vanished into thin air.

It’s even more nonsensical when you remember that, as far as she knows, Raven, Murphy and Emori are still racing against time to stop Sanctum from exploding and a) Clarke takes a tea break rather than help them out and b) she has made no attempt to, I don’t know, evacuate all those people she claims she doesn’t want to lose? It’s just really hard to believe that Clarke and Gaia were meant to have these conversations in this episode, under these circumstances.

And the frustrating thing is that it’s not like it would have been hard to make Clarke and Gaia’s dynamic fit into the show’s existing structure; they have a rich and complicated history that they could dive into any time they wanted and build something powerful and more substantial than ‘around, passably cute.’

I think it’s fine. But it could have been great. Maybe it still can be.

If Clarke and Gaia is the designated endgame — even if that decision was made as a reaction to audiences recognizing Clarke’s canonical desire for romance — the relationship still deserves some care and effort to give it the gravitas and buildup it deserves, rather than being treated as an afterthought.

(They also might have taken a bit more care to avoid the obvious Willow/Kennedy comparison, and found a way to get here without erasing Bellamy from Clarke’s memory in order to make this relationship even remotely plausible.)

I’m left wishing the show had enough faith in its own narrative to stand by its choices — or even just to make concrete choices in the first place — so that we didn’t have to deal with these 11th-hour retcons.

Because even if it’s not ultimately romantic thing, why is the narrative not being more transparent about it, with so little time left? Viewers are always going to want a million different things from a story as rich with potential as this one, but all we ever needed was some emotional honesty from Clarke to align our expectations with, and we still don’t have it.

The last thing I’ll say on this topic is that, if Gaia does end up with Clarke, I hope it is made very clear that Clarke isn’t only choosing her because she thinks it’s what’s best for Madi. Gaia has already given up everything she believed in for Madi, and has confessed to feeling purposeless. It’s implied that her purpose will now be Madi, but she shouldn’t have to erase her individual purpose or identity to become a means to Clarke’s Madi-shaped happy ending.

Jordan and Sheidheda and… Jackson? oh my!

A highlight of this episode for me is that Jordan is finally, tentatively, beginning to take control of his own narrative, even as he heartbreakingly continues to be manipulated by everyone he interacts with.

The episode really nails Jordan’s naivety and almost feverish desire to find somewhere to belong, letting him ride on the memory of his father — the one thing that gives him even the faintest connection to his supposed people — and staunchly trying to uphold his legacy when nobody slse will.

Whatever was going on with Jordan and Trey, who – lest we forget – brainwashed him and induced him into the Sanctum cult and gave him Priya’s chip to carry around, it seems to have ended. Trey considers him a traitor to the cause (does anyone know what their cause actually is at this point?), but Jordan insists that he can still help.

He goes to see ‘Russell’ again and tries to reason with him, heartbreakingly believing that as Monty’s son, he must be able to carry forward the ‘do better’ message when nobody else will.

Sheidheda is obviously playing Jordan like a fiddle and using his reactions to what he says to learn how to talk like Russell, and learning a whole lot about Jordan and his people in the process.

I really liked Russell and would have liked to see him continue to play a role in the story (a bit like how I’d have liked to see Pike stick around after season 3), but J.R. Bourne is deliciously evil as Sheidheda, and a joy to watch.

Everything that comes out of Sheidheda’s mouth is fascinating, because we have no idea if he is trying to speak as Russell or if he is using Russell’s voice to speak for himself. For example: “My list of regrets is long.” Is that Russell’s truth, or Sheidheda’s?

Similarly, when he tells Clarke that “we want the same thing: peace,” I wonder if that is, on some level, what Sheidheda wants. I suppose we’ll find out.

For now, it seems he wants a riot: Sheidheda gives a speech to the masses that seems, for all intents and purposes, to be one of peace; revealing himself as a Lost stan, he rips off the “Live together die alone” speech, and for a moment, it seems like it’s working.

(It is ironic that while Indra and Gaia failed to bring Wonkru together with a fake Heda, the actual last ‘real’ Heda is speaking to everyone, including Wonkru, in disguise.)

But of course it’s just a ploy; Sheidheda lets himself get shot as part of his secret master plan to inspire chaos, using some of Russell’s followers, who appear to still think he’s Russell.

The deception is revealed at the end of the episode, as one of his followers brings him a cookie… which better just coincidentally be Russell’s favorite snack, and not a hint that Cookie Man is in on it!!!

Possibly my favorite scene of the episode is Jackson fixing up Sheidheda, his Do No Harm oath being put to the same test as Clarke and Abby’s before him.

It’s a short scene, but it really encapsulates the rage growing inside Jackson, which is an interesting change for him. Whatever else we can say about the decision to kill off Abby, it has clearly kickstarted some significant character development in her mentee, and I’m crossing my fingers that this final season will actually give Jackson some space to explore his newfound thirst for vengeance.

Jackson’s bloodlust is certainly causing trouble in paradise for Mackson, as Jackson admits to Miller that he’s looking forward to Russell’s execution and then adds this uncomfortable dig: “of course you’re fine with it, but I’m a doctor, I should be better.”

Was this a throwaway line or an allusion to the fact that Jackson fundamentally considers himself better than Miller, after everything he’s seen him do as a Wonkru soldier?

If it’s the latter, I hope they eventually have a real confrontation about it. For all that The 100 is great at building up a rich and layered ensemble cast, it isn’t always good at letting side characters step up and dominate the narrative (they’d rather introduce brand new characters to serve a story function that easily could have been given to an existing character).

Jackson and Miller have both been given scraps for years – and made a hell of an impact with those scraps, in my opinion – and I’d love to see them get something more substantial, before the end.

For your consideration

  • Cookie Man and Cookie Woman forever!!!
  • Did anyone get really strong Slayerfest ’98 vampire couple vibes from Nikki and Hatch? No? Just me?
  • So Sheidheda was Sangedakru. I guess that means he was just some random Grounder and not Cadogan’s son?
  • The 100 pretty consistently avoids the male gaze, including in the Murphy/Emori bedroom scene in this episode. Kudos!
  • Yay for the Sinclair mention!
  • Raven being so repeatedly brutalized on tortured on this show was already a problem. They could have done without squeezing in one more instance of it. ‘Do better’ goes both ways.
  • I don’t know why I didn’t realise that Sanctum on a mesa? Has it always been on a mesa?
  • IDK guys, I feel like they should have just let Sanctum explode and focus on the Anomaly story already. I’m tired of Sanctum.
  • Where did all the kids go??? “Home”?

The 100 returns next Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW for 7×04 “Hesperides.”

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