Imagine, if you will, an alternate reality where we got an episode like A Sort of Homecoming, with reunions and hugs and great dialogue and action and a touching death scene (look at that, they DO know how to give a beloved character a good death), and heroism and banter and cute dancing… and it WASN’T preceded by the needless murder of the leading man.
It’s really getting my goat how good this episode could’ve been, if it weren’t for the burning rage festering in our hearts. *sad, defeated sigh* Bellamy all but forgotten, the episode barreled forward with strategy and booze and banter, pretending like his death wouldn’t have completely rocked the foundation of most of the characters on this show.
Octavia struggled more with her Blodreina legacy than she did with her brother’s murder (a struggle that would’ve been SO GOOD in the alternate reality). Echo took a moment to be sad, stoically reminiscing about her own issues rather than the love she lost (again, her alternate-reality struggle with her past would’ve been so compelling), and Murphy, Emori and Raven (the always alluring trio) spent the episode all business, talking about how hot Murphy is while emulating Bellamy, barely acknowledging the death of their ‘family’ member. Even Miller’s one-sentence about Bellamy segued into his father’s sacrifice.
Is it just me, or did this episode seem like it was written BEFORE the decision to kill Bellamy solidified in the writer’s treehouse? Like they just shoehorned in a few Bellamy-related lines, and left the episode the way it was meant to be before all the… you know, stuff.
Ah, what could’ve been.
The episode began in the moments directly after the episode-that-shall-not-be-named, with Clarke a lil’ upset that she just murdered her all-time-best-soulmate-friend. This emotional slightly-ajar-burst (get it? Cause it wasn’t quite an OUTburst… you know what, it’s been a day) had to be put on hold, though, because it was evident that they were back in the bunker, and Call Me Bill just was NOT feeling it. He immediately plopped on out outta there with some science magic, making us wonder what the point of bringing him even was (a running theme).
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat???? Gaia has been on EARTH this WHOLE TIME??? *smug fake look of shock* (Just give me this, I’m so rarely correct in my predictions, or for that matter, anything.)
Turns out the intergalactic anomal-subway gets reeeeeeeeal personal while you travel, and if you don’t have a destination, it just pops you back home, easy peasy. So Gaia swiftly murdered the invisijerk who napped her, and set herself up in the bunker to wait for some end-of-season reunion hugs. And boyyyyyyy did we get ‘em! (You know how much I love hugs)
I love Indra and her whole stoic *every emotion brewing behind the walls of my tough exterior* deal. This reunion was everything it needed to be. And in an alternate universe, it made our not-broken hearts sing.
I mean… at this point, what even is TV? You know? After wandering through FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, Clarke told her pals that she murdered the heart of the show. They insta-forgave her (in their eyes, nothing to forgive, really), because she “really tried” not to do it. Clarke “really tried” not to murder her bestie in cold blood in the same way I “really try” when I ask my mom where something is and she’s all, “just look for it,” and I’m like, “I TRIED,” and then she rolls her eyes and opens the freezer and points to the ice cream, like, “did you, Toni? DID YOU?”
Bellamy’s ladies group-hugged about the fact that he was lost to them ‘a long time ago’, and now they just have to suck it up and get on with
the plot their lives. In fairness to them, he was brainwashed by a cult almost a full week ago, and it’s not like Octavia and Echo are the type to go to extremes for the people they love or anything (in an alternate universe this group hug could’ve been about saving him, but whatever, hahahaha THE FUN WE HAVE).
During a brainstorming sesh about how to proceed with all the plot crap that still needs to be wrapped up, Clarke saw how gross Raven’s hair had become under that helmet and decided her season 3 dreads were embarrassing enough. She smashed the helmet all, “everyone the audience cares about is here, eff everyone else, welcome to our new lives.” I guess she plum forgot that Call Me Bill can ploop back to Earth whenever he so pleases, and it might be good to have an escape route, but hey, WHAT EVEN IS TV, RIGHT?
Sheid told Bill about Madi’s possible key-pabilities and offered to go bring her back. He made it very clear that he wants absolutely nothing to do with the plot, except for this ONE THING, and then he’s outtie. This, for some reason, seemed legit to Call Me Bill, so a plan was hatched.
IMAGINE this scene in an alternate universe. Imagine it without an awkward almost-Bellamy-related segue into Miller’s guilt. Imagine these shirtless hunks supporting and loving each other in a touching scene honouring their beautiful relationship without the death of their friend looming over all the words unsaid. WELP, ANYWAY.
Niylah led them to her party den and busted out some Monty-hooch (how though? You know what, nevermind, WHAT EVEN IS TV). She shared with Jordan and Hope (her first taste of alcohol was very adorable), while Echo went off to be sad, and Gabe tinkered on the piano (LOL).
Madi was pretty peeved at her Clarke-mom for making a unilateral decision about her / all of their futures (and, as an aside, killing Bellamy). She wants to hang out with her friends and pet her dog! Can anyone blame her? Honestly, I was pretty happy Madi got to show her anger / frustration about Clarke always taking her choices away. You go ahead and teen-angst all over your sister-mom, Madi!
Anyway, then we had a super great scene between the Spaceventure trio that undermined Bellamy and Raven’s relationship, as well as Bellamy’s character and Raven’s moral integrity and intelligence. Um. Yay? Like, what did “Six years of watching Bellamy manipulate her on the ring,” mean, exactly? Since when was Bellamy manipulative, and since when did Raven fall for or NEED manipulating to do anything awesome / heroic?
I guess the show figured they ruined the main relationship on the show, why not taint a few others, right?? Because WHAT EVEN IS TV ANYMORE??
My kingdom for the alternate world where this conversation focusing on Octavia’s grief over everything that happened in the bunker wasn’t on the heels of HER BROTHER’S MURDER. It was such a great reunion, and the line, “We were all Blodreina,” was so powerful (especially coming out of the talented lips of Adina Porter), that I feel unforgivably robbed that it didn’t make sense narratively to be focusing on this.
BUT WHAT EVEN IS TV ANYWAY AMMIRIGHT??
After a fun season 5 montage (Kane!), and a SIMPLY OUTSTANDING moment between Indra and Gaia (“My child, don’t you know? You’re my Seda”), Invisi-Sheid came through the intergalactic subway and started following people around like a creepy creepo.
Having an adorable romance out of absolutely nowhere? Like father like son! And just like I was with Monty and Harper, I am 100% on board. Anyway, Madi walked in on this maudlin drunken pre-orgy and was all, “hey Gabe, be cute with me!” And Gabe was like, “That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would narratively lead to my demise. Sure!” So he started teaching her to play the piano.
A for-sure alcohol poisoned Niylah busted in on Echo’s brooding and got a rehash of her (honestly very interesting if this was an alternate universe) backstory. Then, in the most shocking twist of the episode, Niylah told Echo (and us) about HERSELF. Her mom was Azgeda! That’s fun. Anyway, she pep-talked Echo/Ash about her personality in the kind of blunt way that only Niylah can make charming. It was cute, and I wish it happened in an alternate universe.
After some banter between the Spaceventure Trio (HA HA THE FUN THEY HAVE), Murphy tried to cheer up Hope, but then Jordan got in there and they adorabled at each other a bit. I don’t know, guys, it was cute. I’m not mad at it. Do I love that the last few episodes of the series are focusing on the relationship of two characters we sort of relatively just met? I mean… at this point? Fine. WHAT EVEN IS TV?
Invisi-Sheid STABBED OUR SWEET BOY and then went after Madi, explaining his motivations as he did, saying he volunteered just so he could kill her (gasp?). This gave Gabriel enough time to muster the post-stabby strength to jump in and save her, thus making Sheid even stabbier.
He chased Madi to the fighting pit, where Indra and Gaia pulled the ol’ mother-daughter razzle dazzle on him, and he stabbed himself on outta there.
In the alternate world, Gabriel’s death was so damn powerfully heartbreaking. It was played amazingly by everyone, written perfectly, directed perfectly, even the music was perfect. Gabe’s death honestly does feel earned and right. Boy has wanted to die since we met him. He’s lived A LOT. He wanted out. Having Hope sobbing over his body was the right way to send him off. Josephine is gone. The Kids of Gabe are gone. Hope and Echo were his last tethers.
The fact that he got the poignant and narratively satisfying death that Bellamy was denied wouldn’t enrage us in the alternate universe!
Sure. Why not. Let’s have Bellamy and Gabe’s deaths mean absolutely nothing, and have Madi self-sacrifice so that ‘no one will die for her anymore’. Fine. [Can we just for a quick sec recognize that adults writing children sometimes forget that children don’t think like adults? Yes, Madi is awesome and heroic, but children are used to adults taking care of them, and sacrificing for them, and I’m not sure this would’ve been the first move of a newly minted teen.]
Anyway, then the invisijerks sent a bomb through the anomaly and the bunker sort of crumbled, and that’s where we’re at. Everyone is in peril, Madi is on Bardo about to mind-jangled, and who the heck knows what’s going on with Picasso. Has someone fed him yet? Give that good boi some treats.
In case I was too subtle in this recap, let me be clear: I want to live in the alternate universe where behind-the-scenes stuff didn’t mess with this show; where the instant feedback of the internet didn’t interfere with the writing, and where there weren’t massive rewrites that led to poor decision making both on and off screen. I would very much like to ploof into the world where this show honoured its own legacy, and respected the fans.
I know some people are enjoying this season, and that’s super duper for you. For those of you who aren’t… I… I know. I just… I know. Love to all.
- Congrats to Jessica Harmon on an awesome directorial outing!
- Earth is back to normal, proving Monty wrong and making his sacrifice meaningless. Cool cool cool. They could’ve just stayed frozen and woken up a bit later. Awesome.
- Speaking of Monty, seriously, who in the bunker knew his booze recipe? Was he close enough with Miller to share that info? Also – did Harper exist? I seem to remember her existing, but she’s never, ever mentioned, so I’m starting to doubt it. Did I make her up?
- Jackson’s “hey baby”.
- I yelled out loud when Gabe was stabbed. VERY out loud. In a supply closet.
- The Beautiful Creepster’s single tear was great, but imagine if he actually got to grieve one of his closest friends? What a performance that would’ve been.
- Jessica Harmon is super watchable, and I’m very glad Niylah survived until the end. Hopefully we’ll see her in more things in the future!
- Miller being the one to heroically tuck the bomb away for safe-keeping? *tips hat*
- Hope has lost just EEEEEEEEEVERYBODY, eh? Echo and Jordan better survive this series, I swear to the TV Gods.
- Madi listing her friends starting with Picasso felt SO RIGHT. Get that dog to safety!
- Invisi-Sheid knowing where the “Rec Room” is in a giant bunker was pretty impressive! I always need at least 2 tries before I can find the bathroom in someone’s townhouse.
- Will we be seeing Levitt next episode, or was he finally fired?
- Anomalpills? I guess. Okay, fine.
- Let’s get down to logistics, shall we? Transcendence: exclusively for the currently living, or will souls that are already dead be there, too? There’s a lot of talk about Bellamy showing up after Transcendence, but like… does that mean EVERYONE gets to join? Will Lexa be there? Finn? Pike? Wells? RILEY??? Or is it more like, if they’re not alive when the lever is pulled (if it’s not a lever, then what are we even doing here), they won’t make the cut?
- “What was that? Why open the bridge and not use it?” said Octavia, the woman who was a Disciple for 3 months and spent most of that time in an invisi-suit.
- This comment was left on last week’s recap, and it’s a good darn point (Shout-out to John!) so I thought I’d just leave it right here:
‘Breaking the fourth wall’ means including the audience in a performance. Is there an expression for when the writers become part of the performance? ‘Breaking the floor?’ The 100 is a show about the strengths and flaws of humanity. The writers have added themselves to the cast of characters who have strengths and flaws that are observed by viewers (and by reviewers, like you Toni and Selina Wilken and others). Jason is now a character in the show and he is as cynical about human nature as Pike and ALIE. Whoever presses those 7 silent symbols that Becca found in Anaconda, I think they will metaphorically end up in the The 100 writers’ room and will be judged / tested / have a last war with the character Jason. It probably will be a debate about how violent and selfish humans are and whether there is spiritual transcendence. The problem is that the show exists because it has fans who are passionately interested in the development of the complex, flawed, and lovable characters portrayed by great actors. I don’t think fans wanted to see Bellamy, Clarke, Octavia, and Raven disappear into a hole the floor.
- In response to fan disappointment, I’m seeing some tweets / comments defending the show. That’s fine, of course, we can all like different things. What gets my goat, however, are the comments like this:
“Sorry but some of us don’t watch the show to see Bellamy and Clarke screw, so we like the actual PLOT.”
This (and comments like it) assume that if a fan is upset over Bellamy’s nonsensical death, it’s solely because of shipping. Firstly, if it IS because of shipping, that’s perfectly valid, as that potential relationship has been building for years.
Secondly, the majority of complaints aren’t focused on shipping, but rather the assassination of the characters we’ve grown to love, and the heartless way in which the heart of the show was killed off. Shoving all complaints into a neat box titled “Shippers’ Rage” is not only condescending and inaccurate, but it also stunts the conversation. It’s a cheap trick for anyone defending the show who doesn’t actually have a valid argument to stand on.
[Of course, I know these types of comments are unlikely to come from anyone reading these recaps, as you all are generally very nice, very sane people.]
- WHAT EVEN IS TV?
- On a scale of 1 to UUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH how ready are you for this to just be over?
Congratulations to this week’s JOKES FROM THE PAAAAAAST winner myliekinogue, for spotting Bellamy’s criticism of Madi’s art, which was the same as Abby’s in the very first episode (when baby Toni hadn’t quite found her font).
OKAY THAT’S IT FROM ME THANKS FOR COMING EAT SOME ICE CREAM AND STAY SAFE OUT THERE, FRIENDS!