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The 100 Discussion: 'The Old Man and the Anomaly' flirts with death

By Jessica Toomer & Alyssa Fikse

The latest episode of The 100 teases more than one major character death and introduces us to a mysterious figure that's been fueling the action all season long. 

"The Old Man and the Anomaly" focuses on the chaos at Sanctum, as Josephine looks for a way to erase Clarke for good, recruiting some of her friends to do it. While the group looks for a way to save their leader, Diyoza and Octavia finally make their way to the anomaly where they meet the real Gabriel and he's ... well, we won't spoil it here. 

We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer and like Diyoza and Octavia, we're an old married couple who finish each other's ramblings. Come along as we break down the show's newest episode

The Truth About Gabriel

Jessica: I love that we’re starting with Diyoza and Octavia’s trip to meet Gabriel because I stan this old married couple who finish each other’s murderous sentences. This pairing has been such a surprisingly strong one this season and if I were the Children of Gabriel, I’d be seriously concerned that I had earned these two as enemies. Octavia has reached the Alzheimer’s phase of her Benjamin Button cycle — she’s got the wrinkled arm, the matted hair, and the memory loss to prove it — so really, this reveal about Gabriel’s true identity and what the anomaly means couldn’t have come at a better time. And what a reveal it was!

Alyssa: Huge reveal! Diyoza is almost always the smartest person in the room, so she sniffed out Xavier’s deal: he’s actually Gabriel. I should have known that the CW would take a route like this — why have an actual old man when you could go with someone young and hot? — but I did not see this one coming. I like the idea of the morally conflicted primes. Sure, the idea of immortality is tempting, but even when the nulls are willing, I can’t imagine that taking a life like that helps you sleep better at night. So Gabriel fled Sanctum, but he still had the chip in his head, and he was eventually implanted in a new body. However, the shame of the whole situation (rage killing someone after stealing someone else’s body is a double whammy of bad) drove Gabriel to adopt the identity of Xavier and leave his people hanging. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with Octavia and Diyoza. These women have certainly made mistakes, but no one could argue that they wouldn’t sacrifice it all for their people.

Jessica: As much as I feel for Xavier/Gabriel, I have to agree with Octavia: he’s a coward for not stepping up, taking responsibility for his role in all this, and leading his people despite being transplanted into another person’s body against his will. I mean, this dude has spent some amount of time building this resistance, he’s watched his followers struggle to understand why he’s no longer around even as they risk their lives for his cause, and he’s just kept quiet the whole time. I get feeling shame about what happened, but I’d feel even more guilty about how I handled the aftermath if I were him. Still, Dioyza and Octavia need the guy to heal her and figure out why this anomaly seems to be calling them both. I expected Gabriel to see visions of Josephine the closer they got to the green swirl of doom, but I was surprised that Octavia saw Bellamy. I know she still loves him, but after everything, all her Blodreina mistakes and motivations, I didn’t think he’d be the thing she most desired, or feared, anymore. 

Alyssa: I think it will always be complicated with Bellamy and Octavia after all the hell that they’ve been through, but I think Bellamy represents a life that she could have had and maybe still could if she could allow herself to move forward from the Dark Year. I do believe deep down that if Octavia showed signs of changing, Bellamy would welcome her back. He’s stubborn, but he’s still human. Octavia is his sister and he’s risked everything to save her at this point. I just don’t know. All I know is that I like the Blakes better when they’re a team. Diyoza was also tripping pretty hard on visions of Hope, the eternally unborn. Seriously, Diyoza has been pregnant for so long, give the woman a break. Let her have her baby, writers of The 100!

Jessica: Well this anomaly seems to be some kind of time warp. Octavia went in with unkept dreds and a withered arm, she emerged with silky smooth hair and the skin of a newborn baby. Perhaps the show will let Ivana Miličević shed that baby bump and have the anomaly spit her out with a fully-formed pre-teen at some point. It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing to happen on this show after all. As long as Diyoza survives, I don’t care what insane plot point the writers throw at us. I’ll catch it and run with it. 

Chaos In Sanctum

Alyssa: Well, while Octavia and Diyoza are dealing with the green cyclone of imagination, everyone in Sanctum is making increasingly bad decisions. Josephine filled her dad in on everything going down in her head with Clarke and Russel took a shocking stance: take Josephine out and let Clarke have her body back. For someone so desperate to get his daughter back that he was willing to go behind the backs of the other primes and jump the line, this choice threw me a bit. To the surprise of no one, Josephine was not on board. 

Jessica: Here’s my thing, if you’re going to brainwash people into believing you’re gods so they’ll sacrifice their lives for you to attain immortality, grow some cajones and accept the fact you’ve murdered yet another innocent person for your own benefit. Russel has no problem killing off nulls whenever it suits him, but because Clarke wasn’t groomed from birth to welcome her death with open arms, all of a sudden, this whole murder deal is a bit too much for the guy? At least Josephine knows what she is. She doesn't shy away from the messier parts of this whole scheme. 

Alyssa: She doesn’t and she is certainly committed to dragging Murphy along for the ride too. While I was definitely moved by the whole “love me forever” moment, something about Murphy being all in on immortality feels off to me. Part of me thinks that it’s all some convoluted scheme because Emori is more focused on saving Clarke than Murphy is at this point, and she’s still relatively “new.” Murphy has been around the block a few times, and he should know by now that Josephine is not to be trusted. She’s going to throw him aside as soon as he isn’t useful to her anymore. I also want to talk about someone else who isn’t seeing reason: Madi. With the influence of Sheidheda looming large, she is more bloodthirsty than ever. Even Bellamy was a bit put off. 

Jessica: I truly believe Murphy’s near-death experience altered him in a profound way. He’s always been a survivor and this is the ultimate survivor’s move. But I also think that learning Clarke was still alive changed things for him a bit. You can see him struggle more with the decision to help Josephine wipe her for good. It feels like Murphy jumped on this train too soon, now it’s barreling down the tracks and he just can’t get off. Richard Harmon hinted that the partnership might not be what we think, so I’m holding out hope that Murphy can turn (another) corner — and Emori is the only person who can get through to him to do it. Who can get through to our little murderous Heda, that I have no clue about. Madi has seen some sh*t, so I understand her willingness to kill the Primes, liberate these people, and save her mother. What shocked me was her readiness to also kill any innocents who might rise up against the group once they start dusting their “Gods.” I don’t know what SheidHeda’s plan is but if the end goal is to turn Madi into a bloodthirsty psychopath, he’s nearly there.

Alyssa: I think the only one who can get through to Madi will be Clarke. With Bellamy dragging a kicking and screaming Josephine into the woods to find the Children of Gabriel, it’s only a matter of time before Clarke Griffin is back at her body’s controls. I have enjoyed Josephine quite a bit because it has been such a different turn for Eliza Taylor, but I’m ready for our girl to be back. I’m hoping that they run into Gaia in the woods so she can fill Clarke in on all the darkness that Madi is dealing with and then they can work together to bring her back from the brink. I will say that this episode put a lot of major characters into seriously precarious positions. Do you think we’re headed for a death soon? It feels like it’s time.

Jessica: I’m taking the next two weeks to build a wall up around my heart because I just know someone’s going to kick the bucket soon. I sincerely hope it’s not Murphy, who has a nasty gash in his leg — or Diyoza, who’s still swirling around in that green fog — or another character I haven’t even considered yet. Honestly, and this is probably going to earn me some flak because he really is such a sweet cinnamon roll, but if Jordan died, I wouldn’t be too upset at this point. I know he’s supposed to be this pure, sheltered kid who represents a chance for a new beginning for this group, but man is he the worst when it comes to reading a room and choosing where your loyalties lie. 

Alyssa: Yeah, Josephine really went for that femoral artery and Murphy is in a BAD WAY. I would be crushed if we lost him because he’s one of the few originals that we have left at this point and because he’s the best even when he’s the worst. Sign me up for the sacrifice Jordan camp, too. Like you said, pure, sheltered kid, but he is jumping on my last nerve. Monty and Harper sacrificed everything so their son could toss aside all of his loyalty for the first pretty girl he meets? Absolutely not. But yeah, after we return from this brief hiatus, I foretell some major bloodshed. 

Abby’s Choice

Jessica: It’s already begun in a way thanks to Abby’s increasingly disturbing quest to save Kane. It feels like the character has traded one drug for another in a way, making this life-saving quest her obsession this season. What really irks me about the whole thing is that just a few episodes ago, she was musing on how they had a clean slate, a fresh start where they could do better. Suddenly Kane kicks it and we’re back to murdering innocents to avoid the grief of losing people? Also, at this point, how has Abby not clued into the fact that Josephine has done the same thing to Clarke’s body that she’s about to do to this poor, naive hunk of man-meat? (Seriously, they could not have picked a better-looking host for Daddy Kane, am I right?) I know Abby can get single-minded when she’s got a plan to fix sh*t, but she’s really making the case for why she should be voted Worst Mother Of The Year for the second time running. 

Alyssa: I am struggling with Abby’s storyline this season, that’s for sure. I get that she’s desperate and I get that she loves Kane, but there is absolutely no way that Kane would have wanted this, and Abby knows that. She may have gotten him a super hunky new bod, but I can’t see this going well at all. Also, I guess bye, Henry Ian Cusick? This felt like a pretty unceremonious way for one of the mains to officially leave the show, but I guess that happens in the industry. I just wish that there was a bit more focus to Abby’s story beyond “she’s angry and wants to save the love of her life, consequences be damned.” Same with Raven as well. All she has done is prowl around different locations raging against no one in particular (except when she’s raging about Clarke) but not doing anything to change her situation. It’s a real waste of a longtime great character. I think we can add Abby and Raven to the likely death pool, unfortunately.

Jessica: I agree, their characters have become less integral with each passing episode and it feels like the writers have just run out of steam when it comes to their respective storylines. It’s a shame because Lindsey Morgan and Paige Turco are two of the stronger actors on this show, but I hate to see their talents wasted like this, especially Morgan. The show had a real chance to reboot Raven’s arc, to elevate her character which is something this show, and TV in general desperately needs to see in a woman of color with a disability who kicks a** in STEM. It’s such a novel idea for a heroine, to be so many things, to have suffered so much and still have a moral compass. I’m sad we’ve just pushed her to the background this season, and worse, now she’s being forced to help Abby do this thing she absolutely abhors. We’ve said it before, we’ll probably say it again before season six is through, but Raven Reyes deserves better. 

What’s Next

Alyssa: The teaser for the next episode promises that things will get weird in the anomaly, and I’m here for it. A little mind-altering weirdness might be exactly what Octavia needs to deal with her sh*t, and if she can save Diyoza while she’s at it, all the better. I’m ready to see Bellamy and Josephine interacting because part of me thinks (maybe it’s irrational Bellarke hope but it will NEVER DIE) that she could be the one to get real with him about how he feels about Clarke. I feel like I’m always like “Maybe Bellarke will finally happen, guys!!!” in these recap enders and it never happens, but I’m trash and I’ll never change. Shipping drama is much more fun to focus on than impending death.

Jessica: Throw me in the garbage heap with you, sister, because I too think Josephine is the answer to all of our Bellarke prayers. The universe truly works in mysterious ways. Bellamy has complicated feelings towards Josephine — she’s a psychopath wearing the face of the woman he loves, I get it — and now that Josie seems to be aware of his connection with Clarke, their history, maybe even Clarke’s true feelings for Bellamy, I can’t believe she’ll just sit on that information and not weaponize it somehow. I want to see her taunt the hell out of Bellamy, to really push him to admit his lingering feelings for Clarke, and then I want Bellamy to rip that damn chip out of Clarke’s head and end Josie for good. Her work will have been done, Bellarke will be canon, and this show can sell me flying pink hippos or whatever nonsense it comes up with and I’ll buy it. Just make Bellarke happen!

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