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The 100 Discussion: 'The Dying Of The Light' cruelly sets up the last war
Well, it's official. The 100 has unseated Game of Thrones as the show with the worst final season in TV history. Our sincere condolences to all of the fans who spent seven seasons caring about these characters.
There's still some hell to suffer through first though before that "last war" and it involves Madi sacrificing herself for Clarke, Emori slowly dying in Murphy's arms, and oh yeah, more Sheidheda.
We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer and we stopped caring a long time ago. We hope you did too. It'll make all of this hurt a lot less.
Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for Season 7, Episode 15 of The 100.
Sorting Through the Rubble
Alyssa: WELL, the bunker may have been able to withstand several society-ending nuclear events, but that one bomb from Bardo really shook the foundations, leaving our remaining team members in various states of peril. Echo is nowhere to be found (and no one seems that concerned), and poor Emori is found impaled on rebar and bleeding out under a pile of concrete. With some frantic digging from Murphy and gross cauterizing from Jackson, she stabilizes a bit, but our tattooed queen is not doing well. Raven tells them that they have to get her back to Sanctum so that she can be operated on in a full surgical set up instead of some makeshift nonsense in a partially demolished hallway, so they set off to unearth that stone. Meanwhile, Clarke is ready to put it all on the line to save Madi. She and Gaia spar a bit over what is the best option to get their girl back, all the while Clarke is spouting off the nonsense that the belief in Bardo’s bullsh*t is what got Bellamy killed. GIRL, HE IS DEAD BECAUSE YOU SHOT HIM.
Jessica: Right? Like, I’m pretty sure the internal bleeding from that bullet you lodged in his heart is his official cause of death but go off sis. Clarke immediately swallows one of those dimensional travel pills to try to get back to Madi on Bardo — Octavia does too because she’s ride or die — but they don’t work because you have to have someone on the other end of the bridge to actually let you pass through. I love learning convenient time travel mechanics in the second to last episode of a final season, don’t you Alyssa? Anyway, while Gaia tries to teach Clarke how to meditate away her depression — our Commander of Death is really going through it after sacrificing Bellamy only to watch Madi sacrifice herself — Raven isn’t down with just standing around, doing nothing so she’s found where the stone is buried and she’s demolishing the sh*t out of this bunker to get to it. God, I love Raven Reyes, y’all.
Alyssa: While I don’t think anyone is going to get a happy ending here, I hope at the very least Raven gets to hold her head up high at the end of all of this. She hasn’t been given enough to do this season, but honestly, she's the best to the very end. Back in Bardo, Levitt and Cadogan are doing some digging around Madi’s brain in M-Cap, and Cadogan isn’t exactly thrilled with what they’re finding, or rather, what they’re not finding. Despite Bellamy literally giving his life for that dumb sketchbook, Madi doesn’t have a lot of insight into why she drew the things that she did. In order to find anything, they’re going to have to dig even deeper into her brain, and there Levitt draws the line. After Madi tells Cadogan that it isn’t a war, it’s a test and Becca knew it and that his whole worldview is based on fundamentally flawed information, Cadogan doubles down, dismissing Levitt and finding someone who is willing to probe deeper.
Jessica: Wait, is that the whole moral of this story? That old white men don’t like being told they’re wrong? Because that’s the only constant this season and I think I speak for everyone when I say, “We already knew that.” Madi, like Becca, knows that Cadogan isn’t the person who should represent all of humanity if we want a chance at winning this thing, but she also sees what Becca saw when she went through the stone in the bunker and she thinks no one’s prepared for this test so she resists and you just know things aren’t going to end well here. Same for Emori, who’s losing a ton of blood as Raven and Murphy struggle to make a dent in the cement floor hiding the stone. I love the character growth here, but I really wish Emori would just shut up about saving one person not being as important as saving everyone. Girl, if you die, it’s over for Murphy, and that cockroach is worth everyone to me right now.
Alyssa: I’ve been worried about Emori’s longevity all season because her death would definitely cause maximum emotional impact without killing off someone who has been around since the beginning. I want better for her, I want better for Murphy, I want better for everyone. Did I get a little choked up when Murphy told her that she always mattered to him? Of course, I did. I wasn’t sure this show could still elicit a genuine emotional response from me anymore after all the nonsense this season, but here we are. While Jordan and Hope reaffirm that they are indeed very cute together, Clarke and Gaia discuss what it’s like to be Madi’s moms. I feel like the show is pushing them towards endgame, which, fine.
Jessica: I’m not mad at it, but if the only thing connecting them is Madi, what kind of romantic subplot is that really? I’d like better for both of them, but wanting better seems to be the running theme of our recaps this season I guess. While all that’s happening on Earth, in Bardo, Levitt is once again flipping sides because torturing a kid is not kosher, even for one of Cadogan’s disciples. He lies to the guard at the bridge, telling her Cadogan has sent for the two people who took those pills, thinking that they’ll come right through. Unfortunately, a new time-travel plot device has been introduced and it allows for people to come through somewhere other than the stone room — in this case, both Clarke and Octavia are dropped in the middle of the forest enclosure on Bardo where the troops are prepping for their last war. With some laser guns and metal shields? None of it really makes sense, but they’ve got the pair at gunpoint so they have no choice but to surrender and now they’re back in their old holding cell with Sheidheda crooning a lullaby next door. This is hell.
Alyssa: Levitt finds Clarke and Octavia and is willing to help them, but there are a ton of Bardo loyalists between them and Madi. They’re in a tight spot, and Clarke decides that their only option is to unleash Sheidheda and use him to create a distraction. Sure, Bellamy deserves to die without a bit of negotiation or attempts to reason with him, but yeah, let’s ally ourselves with this homicidal maniac. MAKE IT MAKE SENSE. Sheidheda is pissed that Cadogan hasn’t upheld his half of their bargain at all (shocker), so he is ready and willing to rain down hell. It’s a bloodbath, so technically the distraction works, but Sheidheda gives them the slip in the meantime. Levitt is horrified at the violence, but Octavia informs him that this is war and to put his big boy pants on. At least Raven is able to activate the stone back in the bunker and presumably get them all back to Sanctum. Otherwise, things would be looking rather hopeless for everyone right now.
A Cruel Twist
Jessica: Obviously Emori’s worsening condition is the priority right now but I’m worried about what these guys will find in Sanctum once they get there. And how Indra, Gaia, Jackson, and the rest of the group is going to make it out of that bunker. And if Emori will survive. And if the group will reunite on Bardo before this final war. And if all of this can happen in just one episode. Although truthfully, I stopped caring about any of this a while ago. Clarke and Octavia make it to the torture room but Cadogan has peaced out, presumably with that all-important code he’s been dying to get his hands on all season. Sadly, to get it, he had to basically fry Madi’s brain, leaving her in a vegetative state. She’s alive, and she can hear Clarke, but she’s had a massive stroke so she can’t move or speak. It’s truly awful what this show has done to this child. And to her mother.
Alyssa: I agree. The writers have seemingly decided to choose every cynical outcome possible to wrap up this series, which feels like A CHOICE in 2020. The 100 has always been a dark show, but there has always been a seed of hope. Every time. Until this season. Madi finally made a decision for herself and is punished in a cruel way. Clarke finally acknowledges that maybe making unilateral decisions for everyone’s good might not have been the best all these years, and she is punished by losing Madi. Did we need to see Clarke Griffin repeatedly weeping “my baby, my baby” over Madi’s unresponsive body in 2020? I would argue definitely not. We have stuck with this show for seven seasons, and this final run feels like a brutal joke. “Oh? You gave a sh*t? Here’s why that was foolish.”
Jessica: I will say, no matter how sh*tty the material, Eliza Talyor can elevate the hell out of it. I almost shed a tear watching her lose it while rocking Madi’s limp form and being able to elicit any kind of emotional response from me in this final season is pretty miraculous. So well done, her. But yeah, this whole final run is so disappointing, not just for the fans but for these actors who have poured so much of their time and talent into these characters. I hate it for all of us. Another thing I hate? The ableism on display in this scene. Madi’s alive, she has consciousness, she just can’t move and our first thought is to put a gun to her chest and end her “suffering?" What kind of f***ed up form of motherhood is this show trying to pitch us? You got to this planet by taking a pill and being pulled through time and space via a large, levitating stone and you don’t pause to think, “Hey, maybe there’s some technology on Bardo that could reverse this? Maybe we can save Madi?” Or, at the very least, take the time to consider her quality of life, what she would want, before just pulling the trigger? Like that decision was made in the span of five minutes. Who does that?
Alyssa: Yeah, on a show like this with all of the insane tech at their fingertips, jumping immediately to a mercy kill felt off. Clarke is ready to do it, but Octavia tells her that she won’t let her live with that, so she takes the gun. However, before she can pull the trigger, Levitt tells them that Cadogan was able to extract the test code. I’m not sure why this changes the situation with Madi, but I am awfully glad that they didn’t kill her. They have to leave to stop Cadogan before he triggers the Final War/Test, leaving Madi alone in the chair to weep while she’s trapped. Wow, I hate all of this.
Jessica: I don’t really care what’s next as long as it ends our collective suffering. Alyssa?
Alyssa: Agreed. Just bring this all to an end. I suppose we should do some sort of death pool, but who cares at this point?