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The 100 Discussion: 'Pandora's Box' brings everything to the surface

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May 15, 2018

If you thought that things would get easier on The 100 once everyone was reunited, you would be incorrect. In "Pandora's Box," while friends and family may have found their way back to one another, dynamic shifts and survival instincts make life on the ground as frustrating as ever. We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we're back at it breaking down the latest episode of The 100 and all of the tears and swooning that it inspires. 

Alyssa: Well, everyone is finally out of the bunker, but things don’t seem any less grim in the sunlight. At least the Clarke and Bellamy dream team is back in action? A small silver lining?

Jessica: I’m still having trouble breathing after that Bellarke reunion. No one gives emotionally-charged, “I radioed you for six years” hugs like these two. They should patent them or something. Also, I like that even though the dynamic has shifted between them with Bellamy seeming to be the more level-headed and Clarke outwardly displaying her emotions, they’re still clinging to that bond. What did you think of their reunion?

Alyssa: It’s true. This show has built a ship based almost entirely on a couple of embraces and some meaningful looks (don’t all the best ones begin this way?), and this one did not disappoint. I think for me the most satisfying aspect is that Clarke gets to breathe for a minute. Above all, she trusts Bellamy, and you can tell that she is glad to have her partner back. These two kill me. At least Bellamy had the good sense to mention Echo in passing without getting into all that.

Jessica: I know “She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named” is eventually going to burst my happy little Bellarke bubble, but I’d like to thank The 100 writers now for giving me something to sustain my poor shipping heart for the next few episodes. Plus, did you hear Diyoza call Clarke Bellamy’s girlfriend? Not a good enough word for these two, but still, if Diyoza can see it, it’s real. Another emotional reunion that I was not expecting to love as much as Bellarke was Raven and Clarke’s chat over the radio. 

Alyssa: I am living for the renewal of Clarke and Raven’s friendship. These two have had a TOUGH go of it since the beginning, but to see where they’ve come and where they could go warms my girl-power loving heart. Now, if only they could talk some sense into Octavia.

Jessica: You mean Bloodraina. Octavia has slowly been morphing into this warrior queen for the past few seasons. If the girl-under-the-floor is still in there, she’s covered up in lots of war-paint and bloodlust.

Alyssa: I’m not sure there’s a lot of the old Octavia left. Bloodraina has held onto power for six years, and that’s not the kind of thing you just give up, even when the circumstances change drastically. But Octavia was willing to kill Kane despite knowing that he was innocent in order to maintain the violent status quo, and that is a bridge too far for me.

Jessica: You can have pretty much anyone, but don’t you dare come for Daddy Kane. He’s been through too much. Let’s talk about the Blake sibling reunion though, because honestly, as tore up from the floor up as I was about Bellamy and Clarke interacting again, that sibling bond has got me feeling some kind of way. How are your feels after seeing the pair back together again?

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Opening the Bunker

Alyssa: I mean, there was the initial rush of Bellamy swooping in at the last minute and accidentally saving Kane. Good timing! The bond between the Blakes is honestly one of my very favorite parts of this show, but that was remarkably short-lived. While the bunker may have become familiar and “normal” to those trapped in it, from the outside, it’s pretty f*cked up. Between the fighting pits and how people react to Octavia’s commands, Bellamy has reason to be alarmed.

Jessica: Bellamy coming down from the ceiling shrouded in the light like the bearded Henley-wearing savior he is. Who needs God, am I right? But seriously, even our baby Blake isn’t ready to take on his sister and the horde that follows her now. I feel torn over the bunker situation. Obviously having people fight to the death for their freedom and modeling your society off of something as barbaric as a gladiator arena is just not a good look. On the other hand, they started out with 1,200 in that bunker and somewhere along the way, Octavia was forced to make hard decisions to cut that number down to 814. Sis can’t even hear the words “dark year” without experiencing some form of PTSD. I want to cut Octavia some slack because we’ve seen how hellish it was down there, but Bellamy and Clarke are clueless about all of that. What did you think of their reaction to the fighting pits and the kind of leader Octavia has become?

Alyssa: I think you’re right that Octavia was put in an almost impossible situation in the bunker. Someone had to keep the people alive and in line, and while she may have picked the most brutal way to go about that, she did keep a majority of the population alive. Bellamy and Clarke have done their fair share of awful things (how quick we are to forget genocide) to keep their people alive, so I do think that if anyone would be sympathetic to Octavia’s situation, they would. But geez, the fighting pits are just awful.

Jessica: Yeah, Bellamy and Clarke share one of their trademark “WTF” looks after being dropped down into the pits and honestly same, guys. Same. I think that Bellamy, being the protective big brother that he is, wants something better for and from Octavia than what he’s done. Both he and Clarke know the toll that leadership can take, and they’re both haunted by the lives they’ve sacrificed. I can't imagine Bellamy being okay with his sister going down that same path, not if he feels he can influence her to choose a more peaceful route. But unfortunately, there are outside forces at play that won’t let our little family figure their sh*t out. These Eligius guys are the worst, right?

Alyssa: Just as a quick aside: I would like it on the record that Bellamy talking about Ovid is something that I am very into. However, I think the biggest issue between the Blakes is always that Bellamy isn’t great at seeing Octavia as her own woman. She will always be the little sister under the floor to him, and as much as that protective instinct has value, Octavia is the Red Queen. She can handle her sh*t, even if he doesn’t like how she does it. Bellamy’s inability to see Octavia as an adult is an issue. He has to look at her as an equal now, even a superior.

Jessica: Bellamy’s grown so much over these six years, but you’re right, he’s got a long way to go when it comes to Octavia and how he approaches that relationship. He’s her brother, not her parent, and the more he tries to exert his will for her life, the more she’s going to rebel and probably build more fighting pits to just piss him off. Your typical teenage angst. I know this isn’t relevant, but I like to imagine Octavia as the kind of emo high schooler that would blast My Chemical Romance from her room as she read Ovid. Anyway, back to Eligius, aka the mass murderers who refuse to let us enjoy these long-awaited family reunions.

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War, Again

Alyssa: Well, I am not at all surprised that these mass murderers cannot be trusted! Diyoza is definitely pragmatic in the extreme, and I wish circumstances were different because I feel like in a different life she could have been an ally and a mentor to Clarke. This woman is tough as nails. Like, I know she’s bad news, but I kind of admire her. But there’s the whole issue of being pretty willing to kill anyone who gets in her way. That’s less great. However, what I really want to know is what Shaw did to get on the prison ship, because he seems like a pretty good egg. I hope that Raven finds another ally there.

Jessica: Okay so Shaw and Raven flirting through code while he tries to hack the spaceship to wake up hundreds of criminally insane sleeping beauties? Be still my beating nerd heart. I don’t know why that sweet cinnamon roll is throwing his lot in with Diyoza and her murderous motley crew, but I have a feeling he’ll be switching sides soon. There’s a lot of jockeying for power going on amongst the Eligius prisoners and while I don’t think Diyoza is the kind to lay down belly up and let these guys take over, I do think the in-fighting will bring some people to Clarke and Bellamy’s side.

Alyssa: Agreed. But will Bellamy’s side and Octavia’s side be one and the same? Her unwillingness to relinquish her people’s weapons (probably smart considering) was a trigger that blew up the tenuous peace that they had with the Eligius crew, who proved that the guns and swords held by the people in the bunker are no match for the body eviscerating weapons that they have on hand. Outside of the obvious, why do you think Diyoza was so focused on getting a doctor? What is Abby going to have to do to those prisoners?  

Jessica: My first thought was some kind of nightblood procedure, the same as what Clarke went through. When Diyoza saw Clarke bleeding after the group took her hostage, she made a comment that the color of Clarke’s blood is the same as the people on board another ship in deep space. Also, there’s been a lot of subtle hinting about nightblood in general, with Octavia’s speech about her blood running red and all that. But maybe I’m wrong? Maybe nightblood has finally run its course and the prisoners need Abby to cure some other terrible disease. Either way, the doctor is not in the most mentally stable of places to really be of help.

Alyssa: While you’re probably right because it always comes down to nightblood, I’m kind of over it being the catch-all survival method. We get it, it’s important, but let’s move on. I’m hoping that maybe knowing that Clarke is alive will help Abby find a little stability, but she is still in a rough place. Abby has always rallied in the past and gotten done what needs to be done, but geez, being on her way to a prison ship full of murderers would send anyone reaching for the pill bottle. And while it will be great to see her reunited with Raven, I imagine that reunion will be short-lived. It isn’t going to go well for anyone when the Eligius crew gets back to their ship. But back to the Blakes: do you think it’s fair for Octavia to already be turning on Bellamy and blaming him for the violence from Eligius? I mean, they didn’t have a lot of options for getting them out of that bunker.

Jessica: I don’t believe “fair” is a word that exists in the universe of The 100. Just like happy endings aren’t real and there aren’t any good guys left. No, it definitely wasn’t fair of Octavia to turn on her brother so quickly, especially after he just saved her ass. I think that was the show’s way of preparing us for a rift between the two. They’ve had their ups and downs as siblings, but like you said, in many ways she’s Bellamy’s superior now. Her people come first and she views him as someone who endangered her carefully cultivated society. I don’t think she’ll throw him into the fighting pits right away, but I do think she’ll value his input less and do whatever the hell she wants for a change. Oh, how the tables have turned.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Alyssa: As nervous as I am for Raven and Murphy in space, I think if anyone can deal with the Eligius crew, it’s them. Raven is brilliant and Murphy is above all else a cockroach, so I think if anyone can survive a ship full of criminals, it’s them. However, I am not looking forward to the requisite shot of Raven screaming in pain for some reason. Please don’t do this, The 100. I’m begging you. Also, the rest of Spacekru has to rejoin Bellamy at some point, right? We can’t ignore that Echo exists forever.

Jessica: Damnit, Alyssa! Quit saying her name. Just give me one episode without this Becho bullsh*t, please. No, jk. But seriously, as excited as I am to see Madi and Clarke reunite and proper introductions made, I’m not looking forward to the Bellamy and Echo situation playing out. As tough as it is to picture Bellamy explaining that relationship to Clarke, now more than ever I think that Echo is going to be another obstacle for the Blake siblings. Octavia’s not in the most forgiving mood right now, you know?

Alyssa: I can’t imagine it will help with the already strained relationship. I think the passage of six years is really going to be apparent when these people have to work together again. Echo has been able to pay her dues and build relationships with Spacekru, but she will really have to prove herself to Octavia and Clarke on the ground. As much as I am not in favor of the Echo/Bellamy pairing, I really hope that it doesn’t devolve into women pitted against women. No. Love. Triangles.

Jessica: Exactly. If Octavia and Echo or Echo and Clarke are going to have beef because Echo tried to kill them and harm their people back in the day, that’s one thing, but I do not want to see any women fighting over a man. Even a man as perfect as Captain Space Daddy. So, where do you think we go from here? What’s the next move for Octavia, Bellamy, and Clarke?

Alyssa: I guess the big thing will be if Octavia can work with another leader again. While the dictator routine may have worked in the bunker, things will have to change back on the ground. I think whether they want it or not, those three are going to have a real power clash.

Jessica: Is there a word for that feeling of wanting all of your faves to just be happy again but also really living for the drama and angst of them at each other’s throats?

Alyssa: Jess, I think you just defined fandom.

Jessica: I guess my work here is done.