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The 100 Discussion: Season 6, Episode 2 introduces a new threat

By Jessica Toomer & Alyssa Fikse

Things are not looking good on the ground, or in space, for our favorite delinquents on The 100.

The sixth season's second episode, "Red Sun Rising," poses more questions and hurls more threats our heroes' way. While Clarke and the group on the ground fight off the effects of a mysterious airborne illness causing them all to go just a tad crazy, the crew in space battle a masked enemy even as they reckon with their own sins.

We're Jessica Toomer and Alyssa Fikse, and we have not succumbed to whatever toxins are making everyone else go mad, so you can trust us to lead you through this particular hellscape. 

Surviving Sanctum

Alyssa: Well, this week on The 100 began with a pretty horrifying flashback. We get a glimpse of the first Eligius III crew to reach Sanctum, and as is to be expected, things go south really fast. The whole deal with the Lightborn family was never going to end well after their shrine was discovered in the first episode, but yikes. Call me overly sensitive, but the image of a white man with a gun on a rampage left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Jessica: Yeah, I could’ve done without the mini-massacre too, but I do find it interesting to see who’s affected by this airborne illness and who’s not. Also, the guy’s daughter obviously didn’t die because she’s the author of that children’s book that Clarke’s been consulting in the present so I’m hoping we see more of her. Did you get any Griffin family vibes from watching the Lightborn’s interact? Because I did?

Alyssa: I definitely got shades of the Griffins in the Lightborns, for sure. I’m sure that will be an interesting thing for Clarke to confront as she uncovers more about Sanctum. But right now, she’s busy dealing with the group continuing to crack and being chained to a wall. Not. Ideal. Murphy really knows how to pick at scabs better than anyone, doesn’t he? I get that he’s resentful, but yikes, my dude. Let Clarke live. I really can’t handle this group’s selective amnesia over the fact that every single one of them is a killer multiple times over. It’s not just Clarke!

Jessica: As much as I love a messy Murphy, his hypocrisy is starting to grate on the ol' nerves. Giving Bellamy a pass for nearly hanging him in season one by claiming Clarke “pressured” him into doing it is the biggest stretch. Clarke’s not perfect by any means but it certainly feels like everyone would rather blame her for their poor choices than cop to their own responsibility. One thing that still bugs me about how this season has kicked things off is that, while Clarke is constantly answering for everything she did and didn’t do in season five, we have yet to see anyone take Bellamy to task for his decisions regarding Mady and Octavia. I’m all for the “reckoning with our sins” plot device but it needs to be more evenly spread out amongst the core group because we all have skeletons, y’all. The one good thing about this planet driving them all nuts is that those skeletons, at least in a roundabout way, are being dug up.

Alyssa: Exactly. And I thought the way that the toxins affected everyone a little differently was very interesting. Bellamy exhibited it outwardly, looking to fight everyone that he thought was a threat, while Clarke went inward. The toxin made her want to kill herself, and not others, and girl, that tore me up inside. She is carrying around so much guilt and the fact that her subconscious mind went directly to treating herself as the main threat, not those around her, is so telling. I wish there was therapy on Sanctum because our girl NEEDS IT. I am hoping that the alliance between her and Murphy out of necessity starts to mend things. They are my favorite unexpected team.

Jessica: I’d love an entire episode solely focused on those two. They’re similar in so many ways that I think they could really get sh*t done but also, hash out their personal differences in an exciting, dramatic way. I think Murphy recognizes a bit of himself in this new, self-hating Clarke and he might be the only one who can pull her out of that. He has plenty of practice in that area after all. Of course first, he’s got to survive whatever it is that’s infecting him and turning his veins an ugly shade of black. Is he slowly becoming a Nightblood? Is that what happens if you manage to avoid the madness caused by the toxins in the air? I have So. Many. Questions.

Alyssa: They definitely opened up more questions with that one. I understand that a show needs mythology, but I did slightly roll my eyes at the fact that we’re at a completely different planet and we’re still being brought back to the Nightblood. It might be time to shake things up a bit in that regard. However, if it means that Murphy lives, I can get over it.

The Breakdown of Blodreina

Jessica: Speaking of getting over things, our girl Octavia is having a rough time of it up in space. She’s trying to hold onto a modicum of power even though her old crew would gladly see her dead, she’s struggling to find her place in this new world order, and she’s still trying to get to the ground to find her brother. At first, I saw Octavia’s arrogance and combativeness this episode as proof she’s learned nothing from her mistakes on Earth but I think this is how she copes with all of the horrors she’s caused. She’s so bitter about her loss to Diyoza because she believed if she took that valley, everything she did in the bunker would’ve meant something. It can’t be easy to face the hard truth that maybe you did terrible things (for the right reasons initially) that were ultimately all in vain. Or maybe I’m just too soft where Octavia’s concerned?

Alyssa: I tend to be too soft towards Octavia as well. I don’t think it’s fair that everyone is putting all of the blame on her for the bunker, but at the same time, I do think she has some atoning to do. I think that she realizes that, but she has no idea where to begin (honestly, WHERE DOES SHE BEGIN?), and because no one on this show has been taught healthy trauma coping mechanisms, she falls back on old defenses. Her arrogance, her intelligence, and her resourcefulness. Not the time, but I get it. She has some old habits to unlearn, and that is grueling work, so lashing out makes sense to me.

Jessica: Something that still rubs me the wrong way is how the show is letting Abby off the hook for her choices last season. I understand her character went through something truly harrowing with her addiction, but just because she’s overcome that doesn’t mean she gets a pass on all of the other sh*t she did while completely sober. Abby explaining to Octavia that the difference between them is that Abby regrets her choices was the biggest load of B.S. this show has ever fed us. It’s obvious that Octavia regrets her choices too, she’s just not emotionally equipped to vocalize that right now. And some half-assed apology to Raven and a moment with Kane where they wax poetic about doing better on this new world is not a redemption arc. Again, if we’re going to throw some characters under the bus for their bad decision-making, chuck them all.

Alyssa: Agreed. Abby has been through hell, but I feel like the show’s writers are always on her side, and I don’t think that they are on Octavia’s. I’m very curious to see how the season shakes out for her, and I truly hope that it’s focused on having everyone face what they’ve done, reckon with it, and move on. We’ve been blessed with a renewal for another season after this, and I think it would be much more interesting if the baggage is dealt with and everyone can move on towards healing. Obviously, they will still have all hell thrown at them, but they can do that as relatively emotionally healthy people. A show can still be compelling without everyone being tortured all the time!

Hostile Takeover

Jessica: I have a feeling the torture’s not over just yet but we have been given a gift amidst all the madness of Episode 2 and that gift is the return of (a still heavily pregnant) Diyoza. After hijacking the transport ship last week we finally meet the mysterious masked figures staging a hostile takeover of the ship. They herd everyone not still in cryo into the mess hall and take control of the bridge. Of course, they forget about Raven — bad guys, you’ve got to stop forgetting about our genius mechanic if you want your evil plans to succeed — and she makes the call to wake Diyoza up early which means we get more name-taking, ass-kicking antics from the woman who has to hold the Guinness World Record when it comes to length of pregnancy, no?

Alyssa: Yeah, cryo or not, she should get some kind of award for a centuries-long pregnancy. Diyoza’s addition last season was one of my favorites, so I was so happy to see her back in the action. She’s such a compelling character and is not afraid of making the terrifyingly tough choices. I thought it was a really interesting choice to pair her up with Raven after everything that went down last season, and that is definitely a dynamic that I want to see more of. But honestly, any situation that doesn’t lead to Raven screaming in pain is one that I am on board with. The woman from Sanctum who survived Diyoza’s particular brand of justice also intrigues me. She clearly knows so much more than she’s letting on, and the way that everything went down definitely cemented SkyKru as the enemy in her mind. I’m not sure how I would have done things differently, but completely burning that bridge at the get-go probably would not have been my first choice.

Jessica: To be fair, they’re the ones who stole the transport ship and then launched an attack on the space crew. I know we have non-lethal weapons on that ship, so it would’ve been nice if Diyoza and Raven took a minute to find those instead of using live ammo, but maybe the takeaway lesson is: don’t commandeer a vessel in outer space if you aren’t prepared to make sacrifices. I got the feeling, from how that group went about taking control of the ship and reacted to pushback from Diyoza and Raven, that they were desperate. Something bad is happening on that planet that’s pushing people to escape for one reason or another.

Reunited And It Feels ... Not Good

Alyssa: Yeah, that’s a more than fair assessment. And you’re right, things are absolutely terrible on Sanctum. I am glad that the mains in space are on the ground now because I need Mady to reunite with her mom, but they really are stepping into a world that they do not understand. They get a rude awakening pretty quickly with the discovery of Shaw’s untimely death, once again forcing Raven Reyes to have an absolutely devastating time. Please, I am begging you, writers of The 100: let her have some peace at some point this season. No one deserves it more.

Jessica: Raven Reyes did not spend hours curling her hair for this sh*t. Let her live, you cowards! But no, I think this loss might bond Raven to these new people, who also seem to have suffered and, if anything, Shaw’s death means Raven really doesn’t have too much to lose at this point. Like maybe the writers will take pity on her and give the character a damn break? For some reason, they really love piling trauma onto their female leads but I can’t imagine things getting much worse for our scrappy mechanic at this point. On another note, I’m hella interested to see how everyone reacts to the school field trip they just crashed. All those laughing, happy toddlers running around the village put me on edge.

Alyssa: Yes! Honestly, that final scene was probably my favorite in the episode. Unexpected children is such a tried and true horror trope, so seeing them scamper into the village was weirdly chilling. Also, the way that the Sanctum woman communicated especially with the oldest one, Rose, got me really curious about the dynamic. Is Rose … the leader? Where are these children’s parents? How do they survive the toxins? I have so many questions! That was a real hook.

Jessica: Unaccompanied minors are a real nightmare but kids in charge of governing themselves? Get me off this f*cking planet right now.

What’s Next

Alyssa: For. Real. Everyone is still super mad at each other now that they’re reunited on the ground, so I fully expect things to be VERY tense next week. I understand that a lot of wounds have been dealt over the course of many years, but it’s time to put that aside and work together to survive. Also, they need to save Murphy immediately because I will lose it if he doesn’t survive. I love my dirtbag son.

Jessica: I think next week will be a defining episode in terms of where this story is going this season. We’ve seen Bellamy and Clarke separate here in the trailer, so that’s bound to happen. And we’ve gone long enough without meeting Russell that it feels like the show is setting up his character reveal next week. I think Murphy will be fine, for now, but I hope he’s the reason Clarke stays behind so the two can share some more screen time. We deserve that much at least.

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