I’ve been a fan of The 100 for quite some time now. I’ve rewatched the first few seasons more times than I can count. But, this season, it’s become increasingly frustrating to watch this show turn into something unrecognizable.
It’s not that this episode was entirely bad, but it feels like it’s from a completely different show. The pacing is off, characters’ actions aren’t making sense, and our time is spent with newer characters that the audience hasn’t been given a reason to care about. It’s shaping up to be a very unsatisfying final season.
Lindsey Morgan’s directorial debut “The Queen’s Gambit” was the seventh installment in The 100’s final chapter. Emori hosts a unification ceremony for the Children of Gabriel while Octavia, Echo, Hope, and Diyoza are locked up on Bardo. Once again, an episode barely featuring either of the two leads.
For what she was given to work with, Lindsey did a great job. I particularly liked the way the fight scene between Hope and Diyoza was shot, as well as the zoom-in on Clarke’s face after finding out Bellamy’s “dead.” It was a great way to reinforce the fact that Clarke is going to be the one most affected by Bellamy’s “death.” Raven knew him just as long as Clarke and spent even more time with him on The Ring, but we focus on Clarke’s reaction to the news. The show will probably never delve into this further, considering how many times we’ve been reminded of Bellamy’s importance to Clarke only for nothing to ever come of it. But it was still nice to see.
Octavia and Echo are also shown grieving Bellamy in their shared prison cell. Remind me again why Bellamy’s sister has to comfort his girlfriend instead of dealing with her own grief? Echo and Bellamy’s relationship took place entirely off-screen and was received very poorly by the audience. It didn’t even make narrative sense for either of their characters. So, why would Bob Morley’s “limited filming availability” be used for a flashback scene to their first kiss two seasons too late?
It’s very strange. It would make so much more sense to focus on Octavia’s reaction to the news. A flashback on the bond between the siblings would’ve fit into the show much better. Both Bellamy and Octavia’s narrative arcs have centered around their relationship to each other. Spending time developing a forced romance between characters without chemistry is a waste of the time the show has left. Imagine how powerful it would be to see Octavia actually grieving her brother. She’s spent the past few years changing into a better person because of him. She was inspired to change her ways and stop acting in her own self-interest all of the time.
This new, mature version of Octavia shouldn’t be an emotionless robot comforting the girl who tried to kill her a few years prior. She deserves the chance to react to her brother’s death and figure out what that means for her going forward.
I’m glad the show addressed the abusive behavior she exhibited towards him in season three. It was brushed off at the time because she was mourning Lincoln, but it was a defining moment between the Blakes. Their relationship had never been more clearly imbalanced. Bellamy let himself be a punching bag for Octavia for years before learning to stand up for himself. He’s always been more than just Octavia’s brother, but ignoring their relationship after his “death” in favor of another one felt very off.
Especially considering that Echo reiterated that Octavia is Bellamy’s strength in that flashback. It’s weird that Octavia has to take care of Echo in this moment. They should be taking care of each other, but Echo’s having a hard time even being civil with Octavia.
The more they show us of Echo, the less believable it becomes that Bellamy would be in love with her. If they ever reunite, I’m sure he’s going to want to talk to her about how she ignored everything he said about being loyal to a fault. Hopefully, the series is working towards a break-up between these two because they have become impossible to root for.
Also, shouldn’t Echo be hiding her nightblood? Having nightblood puts a target on your back in two of the previous worlds she lived on, so maybe this time, it would’ve been okay to skip the war ritual!
I really enjoyed the moments between Hope and Diyoza in their shared cell. Shelby Flannery and Ivana Miličević play off each other very well. Their relationship felt very realistic. Diyoza wanted to be the one to save Hope, not the other way around. She wanted to protect her daughter and keep her from turning into a killer. But, Hope just wanted to get her mom back. She didn’t care about the risks. Between all of the new relationship dynamics introduced in this season, this one’s by far my favorite.
Everyone’s favorite theory turned out to be right when Bill Cadogan himself turned out to be the mysterious “Shepherd” of Bardo. How long has this guy been on ice?
It’s a cool way to tie the seasons together, so there’s a lot of potential for this storyline. I’m excited to see how Clarke fits into it. Why is she the key? Is it because she shut down the City of Light? Or because she’s a nightblood? What is she going to do to end the final war?
Back on Sanctum, Emori finally got her fair share of screentime and made me wish she became the new pseudo-lead of the show instead of Echo. Luisa D’Oliveira is such a talented performer, and Emori has a very compelling backstory. The actual plot of the unification party wasn’t super interesting, but I loved the sentiment behind it. Emori wanted to give people what she never had, a chance to reconnect with the parents who left her. But, nothing good can ever happen in Sanctum. Sheidheda and Nikki have turned Emori’s healing process into a hostage situation. Boo.
She should’ve just gone to therapy with Dr. Jackson.
He was able to help Madi work through things without a body count. Good for them! All of our other heroes have been hardened by years war and tough choices, but she’s still young. She deserves a chance at a normal life. Let her play soccer in peace!
What did you think of the episode?
Were you surprised to see Cadogan?
How is Clarke going to save humankind?
Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!
The 100 Series Finale Review- May We Never Meet Again (7×16)
Based on the first fifteen episodes of the season, we knew The 100‘s series finale wasn’t going to be great. But, wow. It was somehow still worse than expected.
If the closing message of the show was meant to be that humanity can be better if they put their minds to it, it should’ve ended with season five. But instead, we watched two more seasons of humanity proving that it will never change and committing more and more atrocious acts of violence. Why should they be allowed to transcend? Because they called a ceasefire one time?
The speech Octavia gave that changed everyone’s minds wasn’t nearly as powerful as the writers intended it to be. Neither was Raven’s plea to the judge. Nothing felt earned in this episode.
The Lexa and Abby cameos felt horribly out of place. If they were going to bring either of these actresses back, it should’ve at least been for something worthwhile. The concept of the judge appearing as your greatest love/teacher/failure/etc. was an interesting idea, but it wasn’t done well. It wasn’t used for any emotional impact. If Clarke or Raven were actually affected by the person they saw standing in front of them and changed what they said because of who they felt they were talking to, it would’ve been worthwhile. But, The 100 always likes to introduce cool ideas and never follow through on them in a meaningful way. This will just be another plot point added to the list of missed opportunities (like the radio calls, M-CAP, etc.)
I have mixed opinions on Clarke failing the test. It makes sense that Clarke would be defensive of her actions, especially this season seven version of Clarke, but it also feels wrong. She didn’t seem remorseful at all. We’ve seen Clarke wracked with guilt over her choices in the past, so it doesn’t fully add up that she would be so defiant at this moment. She’s grappling with what happened to Madi, so that provides some context for the way she acts, but still. It just felt really off. Especially considering it came right after the sequence of Clarke killing several guards and Cadogan without any emotion in her eyes. Who even was that?
And now she never gets to transcend? It’s a bizarre choice to doom your protagonist in that way. The beach scene at the end is presumably intended to be hopeful, but it didn’t feel that way. Especially because of the gaping hole left by Bellamy.
None of that meant anything without him. A peaceful life with everyone together, living happily and falling in love? You can keep it if your male lead isn’t there.
It’s insulting that Levitt gets to be there but Bellamy doesn’t. That Hope and Jordan get to have the happy life together that he didn’t get to have with anyone. Why do the new characters get special treatment when the co-lead is erased from the narrative and denied any semblance of a happy ending? Bellamy was right. He was right about transcendence, and now everyone gets it instead of him. I guess it’s poetic justice that Clarke won’t get it either then.
Why did Emori get to transcend? She was technically dead. It’ll probably be blamed on the mind drive, but it kind of takes away from Murphy’s sacrifice to be with her.
We were given another needlessly gory death of someone who provided great representation when Emori died at the beginning of the finale, only for her mind drive to be put into John’s head so they could have their final moments together. The scene of them dancing in the headspace while Miller and Jackson danced in Sanctum was the only scene that was somewhat enjoyable in this episode.
I wanted to highlight Murphy’s speech to Emori where he talks about how without her he would just be surviving, not living. He then goes on to say that he would choose a few hours with her over forever without. That was a good callback to “life should be about more than just surviving”, and also just a really sweet sentiment. Murphy and Emori were stuck in the pointless Sanctum storyline for most of the season, but I’m glad we got a few good moments in with them at the end.
I don’t buy everyone choosing to live on Earth with Clarke instead of transcendence. Most of them haven’t been friends with her in years. Hope, Jordan, and Levitt barely know her. Why would they give something like that up for her? It genuinely doesn’t make narrative sense, so it doesn’t feel like a good ending.
Sure, maybe it can be argued that they just want to live a normal life, and it’s not necessarily for Clarke. But that’s not a great ending either.
- The Hope and Jordan scene in the bunker was so pointless. This is the finale, come on! Use that time to make your ending more believable.
- The “worse than killed her” line was super off-putting.
- So much of the first half of the season was spent on Echo, Hope, and Gabriel for no reason. Hope got shoehorned into an undeveloped relationship, Gabriel was killed, and Echo got…? Nothing?
- The series couldn’t decide between a nihilistic ending or a hopeful one until it was too late for either option to be well-done.
- Still not a fan of Levitt and Octavia.
- Indra killed Sheidheda way too late.
It’s finally over. What’d you think of the ending? Are you hoping the prequel gets picked up? (I’m not.) Let us know in the comments below!
Coffee Table News
‘The 100’ Showrunner Jason Rothenberg on Fan ‘Expectations’ and ‘Surprise Guests’ Ahead of Series Finale
It all comes to an end this Wednesday, September 30.
This may be a relief for some The 100 fans who have been less-than impressed with the show’s direction in the final season.
Showrunner Jason Rothenberg spoke to TVLine about what he hopes that final hour-long episode accomplishes especially after the penultimate episode left many questions that needed to be addressed and much to be desired.
“We’re going to try and wrap up as many things as we can,” he said. “It’s a finale — and it’s a series finale on top of that — so there will be some surprise guests. Fans can have expectations of a certain scope and scale that I feel we’ve always been able to achieve in these finales.”
The final episode also marks his directional debut.
“This was a difficult season, because we also made a pilot within the season in the middle of everything,” he explained. “And because we shot the pilot so late in the season, I went right from being on the set of the prequel to prepping the finale. … It was definitely a challenge, but I’m glad I did it. I kind of wish I’d done it earlier, so I could have four or five [episodes] under my belt now, but it would have been a regret had I not.”
He even explained that the final scene from the penultimate episode, which saw Clarke deciding to relieve Madi of her pain and suffering, was intended to kickoff the series finale.
“I actually wrote and directed that scene,” he said, adding, “But the finale was too long, so I had to put it at the end of the previous episode. That episode originally ended prior to Clarke making the decision to euthanize her child, so there was going to be a little more time — at least in the audience’s mind — before she got to that decision.”
Rothenberg seems to believe that he’s achieved what he intended for the finale and even promises some “surprise guests.”
“If the finale gets a little trippy, as seems pretty likely if Clarke and Co. are in for a test on top of the war, then all bets could be off and we could see the returns of some dearly (or not-so-dearly) departed characters,” he said.
Here’s the official synopsis for the series finale: “After all the fighting and loss, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her friends have reached the final battle. But is humanity worthy of something greater?”
The 100 Review- Only One More To Go (7×15)
The penultimate episode of a series will tell you everything you need to know about the finale. Will there be enough time to wrap everything up? Are characters headed towards endings that make sense for them? Is the message the show is trying to leave us clear? Based on this week’s episode of The 100, next week’s series finale will likely not meet any of those criteria.
An hour that should’ve been spent on wrapping up relationships arcs and setting up the last big obstacle our characters have to face included a lot of filler moments. Over the years The 100 has introduced way too many new characters that they don’t know what to do with. Any effective character development ended after season four, and we’re now left with a plot that’s too ambitious that we have no emotional connection to.
This Could’ve Been Avoided
And unfortunately, these final episodes are tainted by the loss of male lead Bellamy Blake. It’s not lost on the audience that every other character is getting a death scene surrounded by the people they love and a traveler’s blessing. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s hard not to imagine how Bellamy would’ve been able to save Madi from her fate. The only reason he wasn’t in that room with Cadogan and Levitt is because Clarke wasn’t able to trust him. It would’ve been nice if she could’ve at least tried to understand where he was coming from. She wouldn’t be completely alone if she did.
It’s incredibly frustrating to see Clarke continuously push the blame for Bellamy’s death on anyone but herself. His faith didn’t kill him, she did. His death is not comparable to anyone else she’s lost. This wasn’t a Finn or an Abby situation. He was still himself and she had many other choices. It doesn’t make narrative sense to show us Bellamy crying and begging Clarke to trust him and telling her that all he wants to do is protect everyone only for all of his friends to agree that he was too far gone to be saved. If they wanted to write a brainwashed Bellamy, they should’ve done it. But instead, Clarke seems heartless and out of character. It’s a shame that Bellamy was only worth anything to the people he loved when he agreed with them.
Octavia only wants to honor the memory of the brother that would give up anything for her. She won’t acknowledge the man who developed a sense of agency and found something that brought him comfort and peace. Even in death, he’s still mistreated.
Under The Rubble
The only good parts of the episode were involving Emori. I’m really hoping she pulls through. She’s the hidden gem of The 100, and it would be a shame for her to not get a happy ending.
Murphy and Emori are easy to root for. They’re a great match. It’s been nice seeing Murphy care for someone other than himself. His desperation to find her underneath the rubble was the most in-character thing we’ve seen this season. The conversation they shared while Jackson was cauterizing her wound was adorable.
I especially liked the part where Emori was describing how happy she was in Sanctum and how she finally felt like she mattered, only for Murphy to intercept saying that she always mattered to him. Who would’ve thought John Murphy would end up being apart of the only good couple left?
Raven and Emori’s friendship was a bit more developed than the rest of the relationships built on Skyring, so their moments together also felt meaningful. Everyone’s become so self-sacrificial lately but hopefully Raven continues to be stubborn and Emori & co. travel to Sanctum instead of Bardo.
What’s The Point?
The entire final sequence was sickening to watch. It’s disturbingly written, and the way it’s shot makes your skin crawl. The 100 brands itself as a series that pushes boundaries and isn’t afraid to face the dark sides of humanity. But there comes a point where enough is enough. The show’s become another egregious example of what happens when you become addicted to making your characters suffer and just end up creating torture porn. What’s the message you’re trying to give your audience? That no matter what you do, you can never be happy? That there will always be worse things ahead?
Isolating your protagonist from everyone she’s ever loved isn’t bold storytelling, it’s just bad. It’s exhausting to watch. And to show a child left behind in that kind of state? There’s no shock value or benefit to going to such a dark place. It just upsets your audience without adding anything to the narrative.
There’s not much else to say about it.
- Clarke and Gaia’s scenes felt hollow. Their relationship isn’t developed enough for any of their moments to have meaning. Same can be said for Octavia and Levitt.
- On the other hand, Gaia’s moments with Indra felt well-earned. They’ve fought over faith for a long time, and they’ve come a long way.
- Should we be expecting Clarke to go full Daenerys in the finale? Without Madi, she apparently has nothing left to fight for.
- Jordan always feels out of place. They never really figured out what to do with him.
- I pray I never hear the words “go float yourself” again.
- Clarke humming the same song she hummed to Atom in 1×03 when she mercy killed him would’ve been really powerful in any other instance.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
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