We're six episodes from the end of The 100, and the many plotlines of Season 7 are finally starting to converge. Still no sign of Bellamy Blake, but at least Clarke's team has reunited with the women stuck in Bardo. As The Last WarTM looms, it honestly doesn't seem like there's much left of humanity to save. Sanctum has fallen to Sheidheda, the Bardoans are as indoctrinated as ever, and Hope makes a devastating error that causes the first major death of the season.
We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we're trying to cling to what we loved about The 100 in the first place. Let's dive into "A Little Sacrifice."
Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for Season 7, Episode 10 of The 100.
Trouble In Bardo
Alyssa: Well, team, things are not going well for anyone this week. Now that Clarke and her crew have shown up in Bardo, the house of cards there is starting to crumble. When confronted with a seemingly indoctrinated Octavia, Echo, and Diyoza, Clarke briefly has to face the possibility that they don't want to return to their friends and family on Sanctum. She negotiates with Bill, who is convinced that she is the key and that she still has the Flame, and demands to talk to them all alone. He complies, but before she goes off to talk to Bardo's most recent recruits, she realizes that they have been playing along with Bill's idea that Clarke still has the Flame despite the fact that they all know that isn't true. That's right: they aren't so brainwashed after all. Of course they aren't on board with taking on another war and of course they aren't ok sending Hope to Penance. Echo goes to free Hope and tells her to get everyone that they care about to safety in less than an hour, because she's planning something big. End of Bardo big.
Jessica: If there's anything we can count on when it comes to this show it's Echo's all-consuming need for revenge and her willingness to commit genocide to get it. Hope doesn't know what she's planning (yet) but there's no love lost on her side for these robotic disciples so she goes along with the mission. Clarke and the others have an all-too-brief reunion with Octavia, Diyoza, and a grown-up Hope while they leave Cadigan in the care of Gabriel, Jordan, and Niylah. I love this trio, but they're not who I would've trusted with my contingency hostage. At least let Miller stay with his AK-47 to keep guard.
Alyssa: Right. These are all characters that I like, but they aren't exactly a crack infiltration team. Cadigan tries to find some common ground with Gabriel because he thinks that a love of science will unite them, but Gabriel doesn't play that game. He knows how bad things can get when you start to think of yourself as a god instead of just a man. Cadigan is absolutely convinced that The Last War will be the end of violence, but Jordan points out that war has literally never caused less violence. Jordan may have been sheltered as hell on that spaceship, but at least Harper and Monty made sure that their son learned some history.
Jessica: And, apparently, Korean? Look, do I love the idea that this old white guy built his cult's entire philosophy around a mistranslation just because the alien text he was interpreting didn't adhere to the universal laws of English? Hell yes. But can we just admit how ridiculously easy this world-ending "solve" will be if Jordan's right and this war to end all wars rests on the shoulders of just one individual? Can we also admit how eye-rollingly annoying it will be if that individual is once again, Clarke Griffin? I know I've been bitching that this season has not centered her the way it should but damn, how many times does homegirl have to save the world before she gets to just rest?
Alyssa: I had the exact same thought! I want more focus on Clarke, but not like this. While Gabriel and Bill have some lunch and trade ideological barbs over some kombucha, Clarke reunites with Octavia and it's great. They embrace and have a moment to mourn Bellamy (HE ISN'T DEAD, COME ON), and Octavia tells her that they kept the flame thing up because she knew that eventually, Clarke would come for them. Don't mind me, it's just raining on my face. I also liked that they acknowledged the complicated bond between Octavia and Miller, who helped enforce her rules in the bunker. They share a dark history, but they've both come so far! Yes! Healing in space! Hope finds them and lets them know that Echo is planning something big and accidentally lets it slip that she may have done something awful to Levitt in the process. Leave Octavia's boy toy alone! She needs something nice!
Jessica: Okay, speaking of needing something nice, I need this show to stop torturing us with this Sanctum storyline. It is so unwatchable, I literally fast-forward through it. I honestly feel terrible for fans watching every week who can't. As much as I love Murphy, Memori, and of course, our queen Indra, I dread coming back to this sh*tshow. Sheidheda is really feeling himself after massacring the faithful so he sneaks into the cafe to threaten a child because ... men's need for dominance knows no age limit. He promises to disembowel everyone she loves and feed their innards to that poor Golden Retriever — keep the innocent fur baby out of this you creep! — so of course, Madi bends the knee. She's left shaken and the crew is grasping for a way to fix this mess. It's a lot of drama and, surprisingly, I'm not here for it.
Alyssa: At least JR Bourne seems to be having a great time screaming about feeding hearts to Madi's dog, because no one else is enjoying this storyline, particularly the people at home. Still, it was nice to see Murphy in Soft Surrogate Dad mode when he found Madi, but I couldn't help but question every single decision that the characters in Bardo were making. You mean to tell me that the fallout from outright killing Sheidheda/Russell would be worse than the havoc that he's causing? How did Indra think this was going to go? The writers are making everyone make stupid, out of character decisions for the sake of plot and that is no way to write a satisfying ending. ANYWAY, Sheidheda makes it to the palace and is broadcasting his message to the people, hoping to sway the remaining grounders to his side by reciting their history. Considering how sh*tty things have been in Sanctum, this isn't a bad track to take.
Jessica: Here's the thing: Sanctum needs someone to take charge because the place is in turmoil. That someone could've been Madi, or Indra, or Clarke, but we've scattered everyone to the winds, we've relegated characters to background props, and we've totally trashed seasons worth of character building by making capable, seasoned warriors look like idiots. And we're doing it just to have something to watch in Sanctum, which comes across as cheap as it is. JR Bourne is a fine actor, but he's not worth this. And maybe I'd consider following Sheidheda just because leadership up until this point has been sh*t, but one look at his new hairdo and intense eye-makeup and I'd be out. No one wears that much black eyeshadow without being a genocidal douchebag. No one.
Alyssa: How did he manage to grow a mohawk overnight? Which Lost Boy did he steal that jacket from? Is he going to drop a make up tutorial? These are questions that need answering. Emori and Murphy are doing their best to help the faithful who somehow survived the massacre, and Indra goes to face off with Sheidheda. When he demands that everyone take a knee to him, Indra verbally bitch-slaps them all and instead challenges Sheidheda to SINGLE COMBAT. This is the kind of plot point that would have thrilled me a couple seasons ago because I love it when Indra kicks ass and takes names, but now I just want a better show for her. Indra has been through too much to be reduced to fighting this peacocking plot complication.
Jessica: Right? This whole "fight to the death" thing is just tired. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed how the crew shot this fight scene. Props to the stunt coordinators, the director, the editors, etc because that shaky-cam vibe really added some much-needed hype to this showdown. I was genuinely terrified for Indra for a second there but thankfully, Madi came flying in to save the day and rob Sheidheda of an eye. Unfortunately, that spurred Indra to bend the knee in order to keep the kid safe so, I guess Sheidheda's our president now? I still don't understand how any of this nonsense inspires people to follow him, tbh.
Alyssa: Listen, none of this makes sense. I get that racism and misogyny are problems even in space, but Indra has done so much to earn these people's trust and devotion AND YET this angry white man screaming about how he's entitled to rule gets the gig? What the hell, too on the nose, I'm going back to bed. I am extremely worried about the group that is locked behind the reactor door with Murphy and Emori because there was A LOT of "don't worry, we're completely safe here" talk, which is basically screenwriting shorthand for "some bad sh*t is about to go down." Something tells me that Sanctum is only going to get bloodier from here.
A Terrible Sacrifice
Jessica: But can it beat the genocidal madness happening in Bardo? Because apparently that's what Echo has planned. Octavia and the crew find Levitt tied up and badly beaten by our grieving Azgeda warrior. She wanted to know how to weaponize the agent that caused the original Bardoians to turn into ice sculptures and he caved after a few broken bones. She plans to release the chemical into the water supply so that it will humidify, become airborne, and basically wipe out everyone on the planet. That's why she gave Hope a countdown for getting their friends through the Stone. Of course, Octavia, Clarke, and the rest have plenty of experience with choosing to massacre people and they're not about to let it happen again, so they go after Echo instead of taking an out. This can't end well, can it?
Alyssa: I was a little bummed that Octavia left Levitt behind, because even if she fully intended to stop Echo, I'm not sure they can come back from that. They find Echo about to put the bioweapon into the water supply, and stop her at the last minute. Clarke begs her to make a different choice. She knows what committing genocide can do to a person (seriously, WHAT is this SHOW?), but Echo isn't having it. Clarke did those things because she was trying to save her people. Echo wants to do it for vengeance. She can't get over the loss of Bellamy, an increasingly relatable feeling, and the only way she knows how to deal is with violence and rage.
Jessica: Yeah, I can't begrudge the girl her need for revenge. I'd want to end entire civilizations too if I thought Bellamy Blake was dead. But he's not. Come on guys! What are we really doing here? It takes Raven, reminding Echo of who Bellamy became on the ring in space, and that she's her sister and no sister of Raven Reyes would kill people this callously for Echo to rethink her plan. It was a heartbreaking scene and I loved that it came down to Raven to convince her this was the wrong way. Felt like a full-circle moment from her earlier dilemma over the nuclear reactor. Diyoza takes the deadly vial while Echo has a mini breakdown and Anders shows up promising to send her to Penance and insinuating that more of Clarke's people will now pay for the deaths Echo caused. Hope ain't about to hear that though, fam.
Alyssa: Listen, Hope has spent the entire season being pretty impulsive, but this TAKES THE CAKE. Despite the team talking Echo out of unleashing hell on the Bardoans, Hope decides that that is her only option, so she slices Anders' throat and heads to the water supply with the vial. However, before a drop can hit the water, Diyoza catches it with her outstretched hand and immediately starts to crystalize. As the group pulls a weeping hope out of the chamber, Diyoza tells her daughter to be better than her before succumbing to the bioweapon. Honestly, this poison is pretty damn cool, so I'm glad that we got to see it in action. I am sad to see the end of Diypza, but that was a pretty badass way to go out. Even if Hope was a dipsh*t who will now be tortured for the rest of her life by the fact that she directly caused her mother's death.
Jessica: Diyoza was a real one and I'm more torn up about her death than I thought I'd be but I agree, it was worth it to see how this chemical works and to put Hope through the emotional wringer. Girl needed a wake up call, though this is a particularly rude one. I wonder where the group goes from here. Anders seemed like Cadigan's number two, so his death probably won't sit well. Nor will the fact that Echo planned to unleash that agent on the population of Bardo. Will they just force Clarke to undergo the memory extraction now? Will they find out she doesn't have the Flame? What happens if they do? Lots of questions to be answered in next week's episode so here's hoping they don't totally suck the excitement this episode built with more Sanctum shenanigans.
Alyssa: Honestly, everything is in shambles both in Bardo and Sanctum. We've got two different homicidal despots trying to run the show, which feels like two too many. I'm glad that two plotlines have officially merged, bringing us closer to having the gang back together. We're on the final stretch to the endgame, and I want as much time with what's left of the original 100 as we can get. And maybe a glimpse of Bellamy Blake? Please?