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The 100 Discussion: 'Adjustment Protocol' leaves Sanctum in flames

By Alyssa Fikse & Jessica Toomer

In this season's penultimate episode, The 100 decides to light Sanctum on fire. Not quite literal fire (yet), but the very fragile and corrupt ecosystem has been compromised. The primes are on the run now that the secret of the naming day ceremonies has been revealed, sending them up to the spaceship in a last-ditch effort to survive. Luckily for everyone else, Clarke Griffin hasn't met a foe that she can't outsmart (or blow up) yet. Still maintaining her Josephine ruse, Clarke is once again positioned to save her people.

While there is no way that the finale will be without serious loss and frustration, let's take a deep dive into our second-to-last episode of Season 6, "Adjustment Protocol." We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we're here to obsess over every move that Skykru makes.


Infiltrating Sanctum

Alyssa: At this point in The 100, a few things are clear: don’t trust authority figures; Murphy will choose self-preservation every time; the emotional consequences of eating people aren’t worth the survival factor. However, the cardinal rule of The 100 is that things will always go wrong if you split up Bellamy and Clarke, and we’re seeing the fallout of that in this episode. Sure, it was a necessary step to free their people, but truly, what a mess. Clarke is trying to toe the line between convincingly being Josephine and letting the people that she cares about know she’s still her, and honestly, the girl deserves a spot on Orphan Black. Somehow, she manages to keep it together despite Madi screaming death threats at her. 

Jessica: A true queen. But this split personality ruse is wearing thin for our girl. There were so many times where I thought, “Well, this is it. The jig’s up.” But somehow, Clarke managed to compose herself and carry on pretending to be a homicidal maniac with a snarky sense of humor. I know it’s just a cover, but I’m going to miss seeing Eliza Taylor gleefully dress people down as Josephine. It just feels like she’s having so much fun this season. You know who’s not having fun? Russell. All the bathrobes and flower crowns in the world can’t disguise the fact that his godly status is in jeopardy and now, he knows it. I could be wrong, but it seems like a desperate Russell is an even bigger threat than a bored Josephine at this point, right? 

Alyssa: You’re correct. Right now, Russell is a bit like a caged animal, lashing out at everything in an attempt to free himself from the mess that he has made in Sanctum. Because no matter who is throwing wrenches in his design, this is truly a disaster of his own making. They may have been able to keep up the ruse about the Primes for a long time, but that kind of lie was always going to be exposed. Leave it to Clarke Griffin and co. to be the ones to peel back the sheen and show the filthy underbelly. I am glad that Clarke was able to show Abby that she was alive and herself, though, because if those two had been cheated out of another reunion, I would have broken something. This episode really was about Abby making peace with pretty much everyone, right? 

Jessica: Oh, definitely. I too am relieved that the Griffin girls got to see each other again. We’ve been questioning Abby’s maternal instincts this season — for good reason — so it was nice to see her first reacting to the belief that Clarke was dead, then realizing that she wasn’t. It showed Abby’s got her priorities straight once again — and not a moment too soon because sh*t hits the fan fairly quickly in this episode. As much as I appreciate Gabriel’s pacifism and how he values human life, going against Clarke Griffin’s plans never works out for anyone. Bellamy and Octavia should’ve made that clear to the poor guy. But a mass naming day and the return of all the Primes is the old man’s worst nightmare, so here we are. 

Alyssa: Right. As rash as his decision to deviate from the plan was, I understand Gabriel’s choice. He has a lot to atone for, so sitting and waiting on the orders from the new kid in town probably isn’t high on his list of priorities. Plus, he probably has that classic Boomer mentality that the young kids don’t know sh*t. However, even if Gabriel doesn’t want to follow Clarke’s rules, at least the Blake siblings know the drill, and seem to be working their way towards a reconciliation? As with nearly every relationship on The 100, this one has some serious obstacles to overcome, but the cautious friendliness between them in this episode gave me a little hope. 

Jessica: Nothing like a revolution and the threat of mass genocide to bring two feuding siblings back together. If the Blakes love anything, it’s a good fight, but seeing them on the same side once again just felt...I don't know — right? It’s not a feeling we’re used to with this show, so I’m still a bit uneasy about it all. 


Death To Primes

Alyssa: There are certainly plenty of reasons to feel uneasy right now, between the weaponization of the toxin, no idea when the next eclipse is coming, a madman convinced that he’s a god running a cult, oh and Abby made herself a nightblood in order to spare Madi. Abby hasn’t really gotten the opportunity to be much of a grandmother, but this was a pretty moving choice to make. After everything that happened during the Dark Year and the drug-fueled mess after, I think Abby has been looking for the right way to atone. She thought it was saving Marcus, but she was still too ruthless and selfish in that decision. No, her act of atonement is definitely saving Madi.

Jessica: Agreed. Abby’s had a tough road on this show, especially these last two seasons, so to see her unflinchingly judge her own actions and then, take the lessons she’s learned from her mistakes and do better for the next generation, for Madi, was healing for us all. It was bittersweet as well though because this sacrificial act, and her emotional make-up with Raven, felt like the final nail in Abby’s coffin. I know we’ve been equal parts frustrated and disheartened with her arc over the years, and I’m not saying I was a sobbing ball of feels when Russell shoved that syringe in her neck, but I was sad to see the end (?) of Abby Griffin. 

Alyssa: Abby’s characterization has been a bit of a mess for seasons, so I was glad to see that they got her back to her true self in the end — pragmatic, but ultimately heroic. Speaking of pragmatism, I’m honestly a little confused about what was going on with Murphy and Emori planning on joining the Primes. There was a lot of talk about how they needed to save their people, but I’m still not really clear on how they were planning on accomplishing that.

Jessica: You mean besides wearing futuristic haute couture and heavy eyeliner? Yeah, I’m scratching my head over that as well. I suppose, by going along with Russell’s plan, Murphy’s learned a thing or two about how to create Primes and now, by choosing to help the group overtake Sanctum, he could use that knowledge to convince the nulls to join their cause? What I’m worried about is how Clarke is going to handle the news that Abby’s gone and how they’re supposed to save Madi with Shadeheda and the AI working together to control her. There are so many threats coming from so many different directions this episode, it’s hard to guard against them all. 

Alyssa: I’m beginning to wonder if they will even be able to deal with Shadeheda in this season. There’s one episode left, and part of me (a pretty big part at this point) is wondering if they’re setting up Shadeheda Madi as the next season’s big bad. Sure, there’s the possibility of everyone heading back to space, but if they take out the primes and the populace of Sanctum is left without a leader, I can see them latching on to Madi. Add in her bloodthirstiness and their desire for vengeance after a lifetime of being lied to, I foresee a mess.

Jessica: And let’s not forget, she’s got an army in cryo on that ship. I think you’re right Alyssa. Madi’s going to remain a problem for Clarke and the crew and something tells me our Mama Bear will have a different way of wanting to handle it than everyone else. But let’s focus on the bloodshed happening in real-time and save our doomsday theorizing for later because Russell’s weaponized the toxin and used it against his own people. And here we thought Mount Weather was bad. 


The Revolution Will Be Televised

Alyssa: If there was any question that Sanctum was a cult, the leader turning on his followers the second they step out of line is certainly proof. Plus, the group is splintered yet again, in new and terrible ways. Sure, Bellamy and Octavia make it back to Sanctum, but it’s not long before Clarke and Raven are ripped away to space. But before we get into that, I need to talk about something that I really appreciate. I'm glad that they’ve mended the rift between Echo and Clarke. I guess it was more hostile indifference in the past, but it makes sense for these two to get along to me. If anyone can understand Clarke’s decision making, it’s Echo. Sure, I’m hoping that Clarke steals Echo’s man, but I really feel like they could work it out!

Jessica: Ovaries before brovaries, am I right? No, as forced as that reunion was between Bellamy and Echo, the reunion between Clarke and Echo felt earned and, dare I say, emotional? These two get each other on a different level and there’s a connection there. It’s why I need Becho to end so that Bellarke can thrive and Clecho can rise. And yes, I did just make up that sh**ty couple name. Trademark it, y’all. 

Alyssa: Listen, consider me on the Clecho bandwagon. I could watch them fight side by side forever. But we have more pressing problems, namely that Abby is now Simone Prime. That stung. I knew it was coming, and it still stung. It didn’t surprise me that the primes decided that space was their best option now and to just let Sanctum burn either. This is a group of grasping opportunists who will stop at nothing to keep their maniacal dream of eternal life alive, and it seems that space is their only option at this point. Yikes.

Jessica: Abby rolled like she was fixin' to hit the Met Gala and I didn’t even blink an eye. You know things are tense when ya girl can’t even spare a moment to appreciate a strong faux-hawk and off the shoulder look. I hated that we had to go back to space but I’m hoping at least up there, the Primes and their guards will be outnumbered. Raven’s gonna find a way to wake up the others, right? I mean, they know this ship better than Russell and his crew. That’s got to count for something. 


What’s Next

Alyssa: At this point in The 100, I think we all know better than to discount Raven Reyes. Add in the fact that Indra will be back in the mix (I cannot imagine her responding well to the idea of primes), so I think that the Russell has definitely overplayed his hand here and I for one can’t wait to see how it plays out. I’m more worried for our friends stuck in the metal storage unit while the people of Sanctum lose their minds and try to kill them. Here’s hoping Murphy and Emori (and Jordan? Is he still alive because we haven’t seen him in weeks?) are able to think on their feet and pull off some sort of distraction. I’m not quite sure what to expect from the finale next week, but a huge part of me wants to somehow see Diyoza come out of the Anomaly. I refuse to believe that she’s just gone! She’s too badass! She deserved to finally give birth!

Jessica: So many storylines, so little time. Diyoza is priority Number 1 for me. Jordan can just chill — he needs to be put on ice after his stunt with Delilah and the Primes. But you’re right, the group waiting out the toxin-induced madness back at Sanctum is the most vulnerable right now. I get not wanting to kill any more people, but locking yourself in a metal container probably wasn’t the best on-the-fly idea this crew has had. Here’s hoping Clarke can save the day (again) before the nulls really hulk out and Russell realizes his sweet psychopath has already had her chip fried.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors', and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.