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The 100

The 100 Review- The Return of Princess Mechanic (7×06)

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The sixth episode of The 100‘s final season takes us on a journey through three different worlds: Sanctum, Bardo, and Nakara.

As expected, there was sadly no sign of Bellamy on any of the planets. But besides that, “Nakara” was one of the stronger episodes this season.

We get to learn what Diyoza’s been up to, Raven and Clarke have an important conversation, and Indra finally gets her time to shine.

Bardo

First, let’s talk about what happened on Bardo. The beginning sequence showing Diyoza’s time in captivity was really well-done. The pacing was great, the music perfectly built up the tension, and Ivana Milicevic was as talented as ever.

Diyoza’s always been a fighter, so it’s no surprise she escaped. But, what she wasn’t expecting was that the person she was running back to was already there for her. Diyoza reunited with a now 25-year-old Hope right after throwing a knife at her face. The sweet moment is undercut by Echo’s refusal to be happy for anyone else, even if she had just spent five years bonding with them.

First, she compromised the mission by killing someone who could’ve helped them save Diyoza last episode, and now that they were lucky enough to find her anyway, Echo shows no sign of relief or happiness for Hope. And we’re supposed to believe Bellamy would love someone who treats people like that? Come on.

The first time Echo formed a “family” off-screen, she became very attached to them. So, why would this be any different? Why is her so-called “loyalty” selective?

If you’re going to focus the last season of the show on characters who aren’t the leads your audience has grown to care for over the years, at least keep them consistent.

Octavia reunites with Levitt, who’s now a janitor, and helps them find a way to escape. There’s definitely chemistry between the two of them, but I’m not sure if anything will ever come of it. The 100 has a pattern of throwing in love interests for Octavia who end up only lasting for a few episodes (a.k.a. Ilian, Atom). There’s not much time to build something substantial in the final season anyway.

The group ends up not escaping upon hearing that the atmosphere outside the compound isn’t survivable. We’ve heard that one before.

But, Gabriel intervenes, and everyone gets captured. I don’t think he’s doing it just so he can get more answers like Echo said, I think he genuinely thought he was doing what’s best. If not, he could’ve let them go and stayed behind himself. But it’s very telling how quickly Echo’s opinion of him changed as soon as he stood in her way.

I think Gabriel spoke for all of us when he asked what the hell is wrong with her after killing another innocent person without blinking an eye. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Echo never really changed on the Ring.

Sanctum

The Sanctum storyline has been dragging throughout the beginning of the season, but if it was all to get Indra to this moment, it was worth it.

Indra’s always been one of the best characters on the show, but she’s never been in a real position of power before. There was always someone higher up than her. But, everyone’s gone now. She’s the only one who can lead Wonkru and protect Sanctum from itself.

She’s constantly one step ahead of everyone, knows the most about Wonkru of anyone currently in Sanctum, and can beat just about anybody in a fight. When Murphy suggested Indra step up to the plate, the only thing I could think of was why hadn’t it happened sooner?

And now, that responsibility is off Madi’s shoulders. She can just be a kid. She can play soccer and have friends without worrying about how to keep everyone alive all the time. When Clarke gets back, she’ll be thrilled. That’s all she ever wanted for her.

Sidenote: why is Murphy now suddenly the protector of all children? It’s two episodes in a row that he’s actively tried to save kids from harm, which is great, but a bit odd coming from the guy who chased Charlotte off a cliff in season one.

Murphy’s a better villain than he is a hero, but we seem to be getting a pretty watered-down version of him these days.

Nakara

Nakara is a freezing cold planet full of dead bodies being fed to a cave-like living organism. Maybe next time, don’t just pick the planet that looked like fun, Raven.

Clarke, Miller, Niylah, Raven, and Jordan set off to find the next Anomaly stone after realizing their friends aren’t on this planet.

So, they head into a cave that Raven’s helmet leads them to and unwittingly enter into the digestive system of the planet. To make matters worse, spiderlike creatures are crawling around, waiting to attack. Raven’s suit gets damaged, almost trapping them there, which brings up the question of why she’s the only one wearing one. Before they left Sanctum, Raven killed eight more of the disciples. They all should’ve stolen a suit for safety.

Luckily, Raven’s suit isn’t totally destroyed, so she can still lead them to the stone. And then, The 100 invoked one of my favorite television tropes, locking two characters with unresolved issues in a room where they finally have the important conversation they need to.

It was more of a digestive tract than a room, but it still worked the same.

The scene between Clarke and Raven in this episode is already one of my favorite scenes of the entire show.

The 100 hasn’t always been the best with female friendships. Both of Clarke’s relationships with the other two main female characters on the show have been completely sidelined in favor of introducing new character dynamics and relationships.

It’s frustrating as a viewer because the heart of the show has always been the bond between the delinquents, but we’ve lost that over the years. Clarke and Raven’s relationship, in particular, was a big loss.

Clarke and Raven, or “Princess Mechanic” as fans call them, had the potential to form a really strong relationship in the early seasons. It was awesome to watch them subvert the trope that two girls interested in the same guy can’t be friends. After Finn screwed them both over, they eventually formed a genuine friendship or at least a sense of respect for one another towards the end of season one. But shortly afterward, that was lost.

Clarke kept being put in positions of power where she was forced to make difficult choices that Raven didn’t always agree with. So, they grew apart. Raven started harboring resentment towards Clarke, which was only magnified in seasons five and six.

But, now, after her actions in 7×03, she’s dealing with the same trauma and guilt that Clarke has been dealing with for years. I already spoke about how it’s weird that the show acts like Raven has never done anything wrong before in that episode’s review, but at least she’s realizing that things haven’t always been as black and white as she had thought.

It’s interesting how Raven perceives Clarke as an unbreakable, finely-tuned engine. It goes to show how little she actually knows her. All of Clarke’s choices and actions weigh heavily on her. She may be one of the stronger leaders on the show, but she’s never been the heartless “wanheda” everyone thinks she is. Bellamy knows that. Raven’s known Clarke for just as long, so why would she see her that way?

She tells Clarke about how bad she feels about what she’s done, and even though Raven’s spent the past two seasons criticizing Clarke and refusing to make amends, Clarke tells her she might be the best person she knows. She comforts her and forgives her instinctively.

The 100 Nakara Season 7 Episode 6 Review

The 100 Nakara Season 7 Episode 6 Review

Because Clarke’s always cared for Raven, even when she didn’t care for her. She’d pick her first then, and she’d probably pick her first now.

Raven is finally addressing how wrong she was about Clarke. They understand each other now more than ever before, so hopefully, in the episodes we have left, we get more of this friendship before we have to say goodbye.

Stray Thoughts:

  • “Tell Raven I said bang bang.” Seriously?
  • I loved the transition from the shot of the queen chess piece to the shot of Clarke.
  • It seems like everyone’s theory about the Anomaly being connected to the Second Dawn is coming true. We might have to rewatch season four for a refresher!

What did you think of Nakara?

How do you feel about Princess Mechanic?

Do you think Clarke & co. are headed to Bardo next?

Let us know in the comments below!


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The 100

The 100 Review- It Keeps Getting Worse (7×14)

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the 100 season 7 episode 14 a sort of homecoming review

After the disaster that was last week’s episode of The 100, I didn’t think it could get much worse. But it did.

Another pointless episode revolving around side characters with half-assed backstories and a graphic death of another man of color at the end. Every character felt off, relationships were erased, and we had to watch Gabriel “die” not once, not twice, but three times.

Chuku Modu’s performance has been the only bright spot of these past two seasons, and he will be greatly missed. He would’ve been a great candidate to take the test to save mankind. I’m glad he was given the traveler’s blessing, and I know he said he was ready to go, but you would think Clarke would at least attempt to patch him up in some way. She’s been the show’s resident medic since the first season.

However, we’re not dealing with Clarke anymore. Our lead character has been replaced with a shell of what she once was. Any fan of the show knows that Clarke would have never killed Bellamy, let alone defended her decision. When Clarke killed Finn all the way back in season two, it was under very different circumstances. She was saving him by killing him. Even then, she beat herself up about it for quite some time and hallucinated him in the next episode out of guilt. Everyone around her, Raven, in particular, were harsh on her afterward. But this time around, Clarke is coddled.

Clarke doesn’t show any remorse. She cried for a minute, but it felt artificial. She defends her choice, and actively lies that she did everything she could when we all know there were a million other ways she could’ve gone about it. She killed Finn when she was surrounded by an entire Grounder army with no other option, but she killed Bellamy when they were alone. There was one, maybe two other people in that room with them, and the only person who was a danger to him was her. Her hands were not tied. She could’ve shot his arm, shot the book, shot everyone else in the room before even considering killing Bellamy.

I love Clarke Griffin, and this isn’t her. It feels wrong to criticize her actions when it’s clear that the character we once knew doesn’t exist anymore. She’s become a plot device. It’s hard to care about a story when you no longer feel connected to anyone in it. Clarke Griffin died when she shot Bellamy last episode, but unfortunately, this week the rest of the cast went along with her.

We didn’t even see Octavia mourn her brother. She didn’t hesitate for a second before hugging Clarke and telling her it was okay that she killed her brother in cold blood. How is this the reaction of his only blood relative? She had just started to finally understand Bellamy and everything he did for her after her time on Skyring, and then she immediately forgives his murderer? That’s just bad writing.

The Blake sibling relationship has been rocky for a while, but to be comforting the other’s murderer? Yikes. Especially considering Octavia was there when Bellamy was begging Clarke to trust him on this whole transcendence thing. He was so emotional and passionate in that moment and spent the entire time emphasizing how all he wanted to do was save them. How is he a different person now? Just because he doesn’t agree with you? He still fought for you and did his best to ensure you would get the salvation he knows is possible.

None of them ever deserved him.

Miller and Madi’s reactions to his death were the only ones that worked narratively. Miller hasn’t been close with him for a while, but he still expresses remorse over not patching things up with him while they could. It was a nice tribute to one of the original friendships of the show.

Miller’s small moment of mourning felt earned. He really hasn’t spent that much time with Bellamy. But what about his so-called family of Spacekru? Just a few tears and a hug for Clarke? Come on. They spent over half a decade with the man, you would think they’d be more upset about his sudden death. Echo went off the deep end on Skyring and Bardo in pursuit of him but now accepts his death immediately. Bellamy, and what he meant to everyone, has been erased completely.

Madi was completely valid with her anger at Clarke for making such a terrible decision in her name. She should be mad at her for constantly using her as an excuse each time she betrayed her closest friend. Clarke doesn’t let Madi be her own person, just like the series hasn’t let her be her own character.

Madi’s speech after Gabriel died was exactly the same as Charlotte’s speech all the way back in season one. She doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt over her, so she’ll put herself in danger to save the rest of them.

She sends herself to M-CAP, making Bellamy’s death meaningless. It was already a poor narrative choice, but it feels like a kick in the gut that they ended up in the same situation anyway. Two men of color died to keep Madi safe, and she ended up on Bardo regardless. Neither death was necessary, and neither one needed to be so graphic.

Brutally killing off characters of color for shock value (Lincoln, Shaw, Pike, Anya for example) will be the lasting legacy of The 100. It’s shameful.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Echo and Niylah’s backstories served no purpose whatsoever. It was forced and pointless.
  • What was the point of Bellamy and Echo’s relationship? She never even told him her name and then hugged his murderer. They should’ve never been a thing.
  • Hope and Jordan are sweet, but it feels horribly out of place with such little time left.
  • Clarke’s lack of reaction to killing Bellamy is so wildly out of character I need to mention it again because it bothered me so much.
  • If they’re going back to Bardo, what was the point of stopping on Earth? What was the point of Gaia being there alone? Who took her there? Why does this season not make any sense?

What did you think of the episode?

How many characters are you mad at this week? All of them?

Do they even deserve to win the last war?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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The 100

The 100 Review: So Much For Together (7×13)

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The 100 Season 7 Episode 13 Review Blood Giant

Game of Thrones Season 8, congratulations. The 100’s final season has officially taken the throne for the worst television writing we’ve ever seen.

There’s something to be said about killing a character for shock value. Sure, it can surprise your audience, and even occasionally help move along the narrative when done properly. But when it’s done wrong, it can ruin a show’s legacy. Take Veronica Mars as an example. A fan-favorite character was killed off in the final moments of the show’s long-awaited fourth season, and now it’s unlikely to be renewed ever again. The season is widely disliked by both the critics and fans, and now every conversation about the show comes back to that one poor plot choice.

In The 100’s case, there’s been more than one poorly written character death that the creators have had to make statements and apologize for. Most notably, characters Lexa and Lincoln in season three of the show. The latest addition to this pattern is none other than the show’s male lead, Bellamy Blake.

Killing off Bellamy was always going to be a bad choice. He’s one of the most beloved characters by the fanbase. It would’ve always been hard to wrap our heads around what The 100 would be like without Bellamy Blake.

He’s framed as the heart of the series. He would do anything for the people he cares about and has proven time and time again how resilient he can be. When other characters gave up, he kept going. Nearly every single character on the show had a deep emotional bond with him that drove their respective character arcs at one point or the other. He was always going to be a big loss.

But The 100 didn’t treat him like one. After being sidelined for the entire final season, he was killed off in the most gruesome way possible. He was killed off for a notebook. He was killed off by his best friend. Say what you want about the nature of Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship, but they were each other’s person. Platonically or romantically. Both of them have chosen the other over love interests and the safety of mankind before. So, why would it make sense for Clarke to be the one to shoot Bellamy?

We’ve been here before. At the end of season four, Clarke holds Bellamy at gunpoint when he wants to open the bunker to save Octavia. That was literally a choice between Bellamy or her people, a choice between Bellamy or the safety of the human race, and she chose him. Why would she choose the mere possibility of Madi being in danger over him now? He promised he wouldn’t let anyone hurt Madi right before she pulled the trigger. This is a repetitive storyline, and it was done wrong.

Bellamy’s absence in the season has had a considerable impact on the show’s viewership. It’s been hitting series lows in ratings all season. Social media has been filled with questions about Bellamy’s whereabouts ever since he was taken into the Anomaly in the first place. He’s been left out of promotional materials and ignored in behind the scenes extras. It’s clear that this is not just a bold storyline to shake things up in the final season, this is completely done out of spite. In an entire episode about Bellamy’s journey on Etherea, his name was not said once in the five-minute clip discussing the episode. That’s purposeful. There’s no way around it. If you go back and look at actor Bob Morley’s tweets during filming and compare it to past accusations against showrunner Jason Rothenberg, it’s clear that this is a pattern.

Behind the scenes drama has affected the story and the characters suffered for it. Ricky Whittle, who played Lincoln in the earlier seasons of the show, has stated that the show’s creator cut storylines for his character to try and make him as insignificant as possible to the plot. Lincoln’s death was rewritten and moved up earlier in the season and changed to an execution. Fans have complained about how Lincoln’s death was shot, and how out of place it had felt for Pike to kill him in that way.

Bellamy’s character seems to have been given the same treatment. He was killed out of the blue and in a very graphic way. He wasn’t given any final moments with the people he loves to say goodbye. There was no tribute to his death. Finn got an entire episode with flashbacks building up to his death. We only had him for a season and a half. But Bellamy, the male lead for seven seasons, is killed off in the final few minutes of an episode without anyone blinking an eye. Clarke killed Finn while saying she loved him. Lexa died in Clarke’s arms. Jasper died in Monty’s. But Bellamy dies alone.

Screw that. It was a hateful choice. He went out knowing that everyone he loved hated him, and he died by the hands of the person he trusted the most. Did anyone even try to understand where he was coming from? What he went through? Bellamy spent the entire last season trying to bring Clarke back from the dead but she won’t even take a minute to reflect on what must have happened to him to change his beliefs so suddenly? The Clarke Griffin we know and love would have never killed Bellamy, especially for a stupid sketchbook that she didn’t even get. There wasn’t a worse way for him to go out.

If you add in all of the romantic baiting Bellarke fans have dealt with over the years, it’s hard to get past how terribly written this was. We went from writers and cast members tweeting their support for the relationship, to having one kill the other three episodes before the series finale.

Bellamy Blake is a hero. He always has been. But he was written off for the majority of the season, given a complete personality change, and then killed by someone he loved. That’s  The 100’s legacy now. They didn’t “do better”. It only got worse.


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The 100

The 100 Review- The Return of Bellamy Blake (7×11)

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The 100 Season 7 Episode 11 Review

Bellamy Blake is finally back on our screens.

The male lead has been absent throughout most of The 100′s final season and the show’s struggled because of it. The show’s ratings have been steadily declining and fan reactions have been largely negative.

Now that fan-favorite character Bellamy is back, we’re finally picking up speed. I expect there will be a lot of mixed opinions on the episode’s ending, but there’s no denying that this was by far the most interesting episode of the season. And that’s all because of one Bellamy Blake.

We’ve never gotten a Bellamy-centric episode before, and while that doesn’t make up for his prolonged absence, it was really nice to spend so much time following his journey.

We needed all this time so we could wrap our heads around the fact that he became a completely different person.

I’ve sat with this episode for a week and tried to figure out whether or not this narrative choice feels true to the story and the character. And unfortunately, I don’t think it really does.

But first, let’s talk about how we got to this point.

As we guessed Bellamy didn’t die in 7×05 and was instead sent to another planet through the anomaly. Thankfully, he wasn’t alone. The Bardo guard he was holding at knifepoint right before the explosion came through with him. He’s not the ideal companion, but he knows the code to get them back to Bardo.

So, Bellamy nurses him back to health. This beginning sequence was the highlight of the episode for me. Bellamy is a very intelligent man, and it was nice to see that in action again. Often the show likes to just focus on his past transgressions instead of acknowledging how he’s not only a great fighter but a great strategist. He kept most of the delinquents alive in the show’s first season and was the one to come up with the “inside man” plan that helped take down Mount Weather. So, of course, he knows that he has to keep his enemy alive to find a way out of here. And he’s going to help heal his injury while providing food and warmth for the both of them. He was great at Earth skills!

He even takes this time to read all about the mysterious Shepherd of Bardo. The mythology surrounding Cadogan is expanded on in this episode, but the show can’t really seem to pick a side. Is he a god? Is he a cult leader? Are we supposed to be as confused as Bellamy is?

Because so far everything we’ve been shown leans toward the cult leader side. He’s just a guy from Earth who manipulated people into following him. He’s been set up to be another false god. So, what’s with the sudden change? Now he can perform miracles? He can stop storms from another planet and give Bellamy a vision of his deceased mother?

Speaking of, I can’t believe we got to see Aurora Blake again only for it to be in this context. Seven seasons later and this is what we get? A 60-second clip of her telling Bellamy to go into the light? Come on.

Ever since season one, Bellamy’s expressed how afraid he is of what his mother would think of him if she was still alive. His reaction to seeing her again was incredibly emotional. But, instead of any type of heart-to-heart conversation, all we get is her encouraging him to follow Cadogan. Talk about a missed opportunity.

It would’ve been nice for the only Bellamy centric episode ever to be more about Bellamy. He was in every scene, but somewhere around the twenty-minute mark, it stopped feeling like him. It became about the mythology and Cadogan and the ominous last war they have to fight. It all feels like it’s more of a build-up to the prequel series the creators are trying to launch instead of wrapping up the story of the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years.

The most steadfast aspect of Bellamy’s character has always been his loyalty to the people he cares about. So, to have him spend months trying desperately to get back to them only for him to betray them without even thinking doesn’t make sense. Sure, it’s a good twist, but it’s bad writing.

Characters mean nothing if you’re not going to keep their traits consistent. Of course, Bellamy has been through a traumatic experience and Cadogan has “saved” him more than once. It’s reasonable that he would feel loyal to him once he gets back to Bardo. But it just feels off.

I don’t like the concept that Bellamy’s life has just been death and despair because he loved the few instead of the many. This feels like a gross oversimplification of his complexity.

Belief in a higher power can be a great, healing thing. But the way this storyline is done just feels wrong.

Bellamy’s always put other people before himself. He’s as selfless as they come. Now it’s being drilled into his head that all of the sorrow he’s faced is because he still somehow wasn’t being selfless enough. That by loving his family and friends he has hurt mankind.

Haven’t we been through this before? “Love is weakness.” This feels eerily similar to the same debates we were having all the way back in season two.

It feels bizarre. Bellamy’s love for the people he cares about is not a bad thing. His “obsession with his sister” does not create a hole in him. Love has always been his driving force. So no matter what he thinks Cadogan has done for him, it just simply feels out of character for him to betray everyone so easily at the end.

He doesn’t even say anything to the people he was so desperately fighting to get back to. He halfheartedly hugs Clarke and then blows the whistle on them. Clarke’s reaction says it all. She can’t believe he would do such a thing. Bellamy is the only person Clarke has ever canonically said she trusted. She told him immediately what was going on because she never would have expected him to betray them. So, where do we go from here?

Is Bellamy going to serve as an antagonist now? Will Clarke & co. be able to snap him out of it? And more importantly, are they even safe on Bardo anymore?

Stray Thoughts:

  • I loved the callback to the “I’m not afraid” line. It felt very full circle.
  • I also really liked when Bellamy alluded to the myth of Icarus. He’s such a nerd.
  • As we know by now, there’s plenty of throwaway lines the show is never going to actually do anything about. But I did find it interesting how Bellamy listed Octavia, Echo, and Clarke as the ones he needs to get back to. It’s not too damning of a statement, but it’s a bit strange when you think about it. He spent six years away from Clarke, and yet she’s still one of the top three people he cares about? What about Raven, Murphy, or Emori? If there isn’t something more to his relationship with Clarke like we’ve all suspected, then this is a pretty random choice. They’ve had the least time together. It makes sense for Bellamy to be the person Clarke considers her best friend after all of this time because she spent those six years alone (besides Madi). But he had all of this time to bond with other people who he now considers family. Nothing is ever going to come of it, but it still felt validating to hear. Because they really have always been just out of reach like he said.


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