After a two week break, The 100 is back, and things are still tense as hell on the Ground. While Clarke is still the (sometimes shaky) moral compass of the show, these are becoming increasingly turbulent in the world around her. The tension between the Blake siblings is worse than ever, Nightblood continues to be a kingmaker, and the valley is still the only habitable place on the entire planet. So, business as usual for The 100.
We’re Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we are back at it to break down every ship, conflict, and devastating decision on this week’s episode, “Exit Wounds.”
Octavia's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alyssa: Man, I’m not sure if we’re supposed to see Diyoza or Octavia as the villain this season. The younger Blake’s rule is getting tenuous, and I can’t say that I blame people looking to jump ship.
Jessica: There be a mutiny afoot, fam. No, seriously, if I was offered a place in Eden after watching my leader sacrifice my friends by using them as human shields in a sandstorm, I’d seriously consider defecting too. Octavia had a good thing going in that bunker but the ground changes everything and Diyoza is not only cunning, she’s a seasoned leader used to handling threats to her reign. Octavia, not so much. What did you think of how Bloodreina reacted to this new threat?
Alyssa: I think Octavia is handling things the way that she always has: no compromise, all violence. While the six-year time jump has forced a lot of characters to grow, I feel like the time in the bunker has only magnified the darker aspects of Octavia’s personality. While she did, like you said, keep things going in the bunker, there is no way that she’s going to survive with this mentality that she’s keeping. An iron fist doesn’t work if your people have options. Especially if those other options have fresh veggies.
Jessica: And apples. We cannot underestimate the allure of a ripe apple after a year of being forced to eat human flesh. I know we haven’t had those flashbacks to the “Dark Year” yet, but I’m just going to assume cannibalism because, when in doubt, always assume cannibalism. As warped as Octavia has become though, I did appreciate how shrewd she was when it came to dealing with possible traitors within WonKru. She’s more than willing to make the tough choices and seeing her ruthlessly cut off the head of the snake before it had a chance to slither back to Eden felt oddly satisfying in a way. While our other characters are basically strangers to us at this point, good ol’ Octavia can be counted on to bring us a bloodthirsty kind of comfort.
Alyssa: Oh, for sure. The whole hush-hush mentality around the Dark Year definitely has an Uruguayan rugby team in the Andes feel to it, so I think it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. I’ve said it before, but I just don’t think Octavia can play the long game. She’s been so focused on the day-to-day survival of all these people that she can’t see that they are for sure going to die without that valley, and they don’t have the brute force to beat Diyoza. I mean, everyone’s got to have scurvy at this point, right? WonKru is a wounded beast, at best. The conflict between Octavia and Bellamy is about to get.... bad, don’t you think?
Jessica: I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet. The Blake siblings are known for their bickering but threatening to kill each other, banish girlfriends, and shoot up anyone who thinks of challenging the Red Queen means next year’s family reunion is going to be tense. Honestly, though, I’m having a hard time tapping into Bellamy’s logic more than Octavia’s at that point. I know that she’s gone full Nero on us, but she’s been dealt a tough hand and she’s trying to keep the human race alive. Bellamy wants … well, I’m not sure what Bellamy’s after here. Peace? He kind of threw that out the window when he leveraged hundreds of cryobabies for Clarke’s safe return. Less murdery things? I mean, don’t we all, but be realistic, bro. This is The 100. Where do you think this fighting between the Blakes will lead?
Alyssa: You know, I’m not sure. The Blakes have fought in the past about just about everything, but they always manage to find their way back to each other. The stakes are pretty damn high this time around, so I’m not sure if that’s an option. At this point, I kind of see both sides of the Echo thing. Like, I get it, things changed in space. But at the same time, Octavia hasn’t had that experience, so she just sees a woman who killed a lot of her people, including her last lover (That we know of. What happens in the bunker, stays in the bunker.) and almost herself. That’s not something that one sword fight is going to rectify. Which, yes please to Bellamy with a sword because that awoke something in the cavewoman part of my brain and I would like that aesthetic revisited at a later date, please and thank you. But to be honest, I’m a little frustrated with Bellamy in this episode.
Will The Real Bellamy Blake Please Stand Up?
Jessica: Now we turn to the single most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen on this show, which is saying a lot because I’ve seen radiation kill a mountain full of people, a kid impaled on a spear, two-headed deer, and Clarke sport dyed dreadlocks: a Becho sex scene. I’m convinced someone in the writers' room was having a bad day and decided to take it out on all of us with this topless make-out session. Watching two dead fish suck face would’ve been more erotic, and way less stomach-churning. It’s not that Bellamy has someone else, it’s the relationships he’s sacrificing for that person, and the consistent habit he’s developed of molding his choices around a female that makes me cringe. As a card-carrying vagina owner, I love a good lady-garden as much as the next person, but nothing is worth this, Space Daddy! Wake up, my dude!
Alyssa: Tell us how you really feel, Jess! Also, thank you for reminding me of Clarke’s season three dreads. That was a dark time. But yeah, I think they’re leaning a little too hard into Bellamy as a romantic hero this season, and to the detriment of the character. He doesn’t really seem to have his own motivations anymore, does he? And while yes, the Becho stuff wasn’t my favorite, but I’m mostly frustrated because it feels more and more like filler. The writers are going all in on pining Clarke, with her devastated reaction shot every time she sees them together, so we know that Bellarke is happening. It should have happened seasons ago, but here we are. I am having trouble rooting for this couple that I know has an expiration date. I feel like I’m being jerked around!
Jessica: Preach, girl. No, my issue isn’t with Echo or really even Bellamy and Echo together, though I do think the relationship is all kinds of problematic. My peeve is with how Bellamy was set up at the beginning of the season and how he’s behaved in these later episodes. When we saw Bellamy on the ark, I thought he’d grown, matured, become the leader Clarke always knew he could be. This episode proved to me that Bellamy still sees the small picture first. He saw Echo in danger and jumped to her defense, damn the consequence. He spoke without thinking. He played his hand too soon.
Basically, everything Clarke tried to tell him not to do before she sacrificed herself so he could go to space and sex it up with the enemy, he did. I see growth in Echo, or I’m at least interested in her arc this season and where it goes. Bellamy is devolving more and more into this whining, self-righteous after-thought. A guy who has no real plans but is more than ready to explain how everyone else’s ideas are morally wrong. A man who is supposed to be thinking about his family, a group of people, but who only seems to be fighting for one person at this point. Where is Bellamy Blake and what have you done with him, The 100 writers?
Alyssa: I think that’s a fair criticism. I think both of the Blakes are shortsighted in different ways, proof that Clarke should just run things because the girl is always able to make the tough choices. But I did grow tired of Bellamy this week because you’re right, he isn't offering any solutions. Sorry that you don’t like it, but grown-ups are talking, Bellamy. You can’t just whine that your sister doesn’t like your girlfriend and call it a day. There are more people to think about now. Monty gets it! Speaking of the other space dwellers, I want to talk about Emori for a minute. I really wish she was getting more screen time because her growth in space might be my favorite. When she was explaining to Murphy why she left him and how she felt like she had the opportunity to be a part of something bigger, I cheered. That! Is! Character! Development!
Jessica: All the Italian kisses for that scene. Emori and Murphy are a ship that is working for me right now because they’re finally airing out their issues, getting to the root of their problem, and bettering each other in a way. Murphy’s learning that his feelings of inadequacy are a barrier to his relationship with Emori and Emori is learning the value of communication and being open with what she wants from him. Also, you can have your oysters. The only aphrodisiac I need is watching Emori and Murphy blow up baddies and take McCreary hostage.
Alyssa: I was hoping that McCreary was dead because what a one-note villain. I much prefer the more nuanced threat of Diyoza, but I guess she needs her muscle. But seriously, Emori. Girl. I am here for you. She and Murphy really are turning their issues with each other emotionally into a pretty decent dynamic, so Monty should probably rest a little easier knowing that they’re his inside team. But honestly, with some of the other revelations of the episode, maybe shutting down The Eye isn’t as big of a concern as the power of Nightblood.
99 Problems ... And Nightblood Is One
Jessica: Oh, Nightblood. It’s the little plot device that just won’t quit. In this case, though, having that little secret fuel some of the action this episode and create angst between Clarke and Madi was a refreshing pivot from the Bellamy nonsense. I love my pure little cinnamon rolls but their unconditional love for each other is going to cause problems this season. Let’s talk about Gaia, Niylah, and the big twist of the episode first. What did you think about those flipped loyalties?
Alyssa: Mom Clarke might be my favorite Clarke, so I agree, the relationship between these two was the highlight of the episode for me. This is how to organically grow a relationship with a time jump. I wasn’t that surprised that Gaia was so willing to abandon Octavia’s leadership because the girl is a fanatic, and while she may have been Bloodreina’s right hand, the Flame is her priority first and foremost. If there was an opportunity to return to her original purpose, especially when Octavia is royally screwing up a lot of things, of course Gaia was going to return to the old ways. I was also very excited to see Niylah because while I don’t think they’re endgame, I think she’s a true ally for Clarke and one of the few calming presences in her life. She needs someone like Niylah in her corner. How do you think things will shake out with Madi and Octavia?
Jessica: I’m honestly not sure at this point. Gaia’s readiness to throw all allegiance to Bloodreina out the window for a new Nightblood might foreshadow something. Similarly, Niylah, who is an angel on earth, frightened me this episode. Yes, she was a welcome face and a calming presence but there’s something right beneath the surface of her character. It’d be foolish to think the bunker and her close relationship with Octavia didn’t change her. I don’t know what Octavia’s plans are for Madi but that blood ceremony coupled with her whispered promise to Clarke and that crazy look in her eye -- she looked at Madi like Kathy Bates looked at James Caan in Misery -- just doesn’t bode well. Madi, listen to your mother. Octavia is not your friend.
Alyssa: Hmmmm. You may be right about Niylah. That’s probably a more realistic approach. I just want Clarke to have one solid friend! She deserves that! But you’re right, Nightblood is The 100’s vibranium, and that shit makes people crazy. I think Madi’s heroic visions of Octavia were shattered in this episode, though. She was driven more by her love of Clarke than her admiration of Octavia, but there’s no way that she didn’t pick up on the scary vibe in the pit. Even a kid can’t miss those crazy eyes.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Alyssa: I’m curious to see where the writers are headed this season because honestly, everything feels like it could be thrown off its axis with even the slightest pressure. Classic The 100. I wonder how Diyoza will really treat the defectors because how it turns out for them could mean real trouble for Octavia.
Jessica: Yeah, Diyoza’s willingness to follow through on her benevolent promises will be something to watch out for, as will Abby’s ability to cure whatever’s ailing the Eligius prisoners. The promo for the next episode didn’t look too promising on that front. And it seems like Octavia is well and truly gearing up for war. I’m curious to see how Bellamy and Clarke handle that now that Echo is a bit removed from the situation. What do you think the future holds for WonKru and Eden?
Alyssa: While Diyoza might be willing to offer peace to the former members of WonKru, I think her patience with Abby hinges on whether or not she can heal her people, which is looking more and more like an impossible task. It’s been a while since The 100 had a truly shocking and impactful death, so I’m worried that the doctor’s days are numbered. Do you think that Kane will be an ally to Echo on the inside, or will he see her as a way to prove his loyalty to Diyoza? He clearly recognized her, but I couldn’t read his reaction.
Jessica: Well, the episode’s title is “Acceptable Losses” so I’m thinking you might be onto something with that death theory. I’m not sure it’ll be Abby, at least not yet, but maybe it references Octavia’s battle strategy somehow. She seems fine with sacrificing people for the good of WonKru. As far as Kane goes, he’s always been a clever diplomat but I doubt he’ll hand over Echo to Diyoza just yet. It’d be smarter to bide his time, hold that ace for when he absolutely needs it. He has no loyalty to Echo. If anything, he probably remembers her as an enemy, but ratting her out now doesn’t do a whole lot for him in Diyoza’s eyes. Better to wait and see what Echo has planned, on Octavia’s behalf of course, before offering her up on a platter to the Eligius crew.
Alyssa: Exactly. Kane knows how to keep his mouth shut when necessary. Honestly, I just wish everyone could take a shower, a nap, and eat something of substance, and then try and work things out. I get that it’s after the end of the world, but things might look a little different after a solid 8 hours.
Jessica: And a Snickers bar, the cure to any hangry-inspired turf wars.