The 100 Discussion: Betrayal is the name of the game in Sic Semper Tyrannis

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Jul 11, 2018, 12:00 PM EDT

This season of The 100 has been full of ups and downs, and “Sic Semper Tyrannis” was no exception. Betrayal is the name of the game this week, as allies turn into enemies and everyone is left questioning their loyalties. Can bonds recover after the decisions made? We’re Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer and we’re here to recap all of the feels and thrilling moments from The 100.

Alyssa: I am not sure how to express my emotions after this episode, honestly. It was a twisty and excellent episode, but GEEZ. My crops have died, my skin is full of pimples, night has come, I am bereft. Clarke and Bellamy at odds is my least favorite thing.

Jessica: I was all up in my feels this episode. Not only did we have Bellarke angst, it felt like all of our faves were at each other’s throats. I know this is the way of The 100, and we’ve been building up to war for so long, all of that tension had to release in some way, but my fragile emotional self was just not ready.

Alyssa: It’s true. (*Cues up Drake’s “In My Feelings”) Alright. Let’s do this.


The New Commander

Jessica: I never thought I’d say this but here it goes: I feel bad for Octavia, fam. I know Bloodreina was quickly becoming a murderous tyrant — chick’s soul seems as dark as her eyeshadow at this point — but it can’t be fun knowing your brother and the woman you viewed as a second mother conspired to poison you, snatch your crown, and make peace with your sworn enemy. My version of a bad day is when my coffee shop is out of soy milk so Octavia must really be having a time of it right now.

Alyssa: It really is rough going. Even homicidal dictators have feelings! I must say though, I am growing a little annoyed at how disorganized these coups are. I know that things are fractured, but good lord people need to have backup plans for when things go south. But before we get into that, I think we need to address the elephant in the room: Bellamy sold Clarke out. All of those rosy feelings I was feeling when Octavia called him out on his not so subtle love of WanHeda? Gone. I had hoped that their first scene together would be a harbinger of Bellarke heart eyes to come, but no. NOPE. WE DON’T GET THAT.

Jessica: The 100 writers giveth, The 100 writers taketh away, I suppose. I knew at some point the opposing loyalties of Space Daddy and Earth Mama would pull them apart, but dammit if I wasn’t still ripping my hair out and cursing Jason Rothenberg to the grave while watching these two eventually draw that line in the sand. What’s equally frustrating about seeing Bellarke at odds is that rationally, I understand both sides of the argument. Bellamy has people in Eden he feels bound to, a family he’s built that he has to protect. Clarke has Madi, the only thing keeping her going for the six years of literal hell on Earth she suffered through. They have obligations to the lives they crafted in the time they were apart. My brain gets that. My heart, not so much.

Alyssa: Exactly. As much as we hoped for sunshine, roses, and make outs, they’ve been living very different lives for six years, so obviously their priorities, while similar in the final outcome, are going to be very different. I was glad to see Bellamy acknowledge the importance of SpaceKru, because he’s been outwardly quite chill that his partner is out there in the wilderness doing dangerous shit. But sacrificing Madi, Clarke’s heart of hearts, to do it? Ugh, my boy, my Space Daddy, what are you even doing? Bellamy once again is too impulsive and doesn’t play the long game.

Jessica: I’ve officially reached my limit with Bellamy Blake and his nonsense. I know we have a time jump to contend with here, so obviously characters have evolved. I mean, Miller’s been sippin' on that cult Kool-aid for so long that bro was willing to rush into war without support from a bedridden Octavia just to prove his loyalties. Again, rationally I understand that people change, and given the extreme circumstances, some people have changed more than others. But what the hell, Blake? You were in space, munchin' on algae and hooking up all the time. You weren’t struggling to survive a death wave or resorting to cannibalism to keep your people alive. I just can’t imagine how six years of zero G space life has changed this character so drastically.

Alyssa: Yeah, it’s complicated. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Miller was ride or die for Bloodreina, but I had hoped that Indra would have been afforded more respect than that. When is that queen going to get the respect that she deserves? Indra has busted her ass for everyone for seasons, and how has she been rewarded? Mutiny. Mutiny within her mutiny! Obviously, things were never going to go smoothly, but I was a bit surprised that WonKru was still so fractured beneath the surface. You would think that being deprived of sunlight, fighting in pits, and (possibly) eating people would bond people together and have no repercussions at all! I kid because obviously shit was going to go down, but as we have established, I am often a bit naive about the power dynamics in this show. Why can’t everyone just get along? Pollyanna, table for one.

Jessica: Oh Alyssa, you beautiful, noble land-mermaid. I wish you were involved in the writing of this show. Alas, we have a room full of sadists happy to put us through the emotional wringer every episode in the name of great TV. Damn you, The 100 writers! But seriously, a coup is only as good as its backup plan once said coup eventually goes to shit and Bellamy Blake ain’t got one. As much as I long for the day when Indra takes her rightful place on that makeshift metal throne, there’s just no way these Bloodreina bitches were going down without a fight. Props to the show, though, for keeping this Flame subplot kicking for nearly four seasons now. I knew we hadn’t seen the last of that creepy technological harbinger of doom, but I didn’t know how disgusting it would be to watch Gaia and Bellamy of all people pressure poor Madi into accepting it by using Clarke. There’s dirty and then there’s rolling around with the pigs dirty. Bellamy and Gaia, you nasty.

Alyssa: Yeah, that was a real blow to my Bellarke heart. I mean, Lexa managed to slide into Clarke’s DMs from the grave, and Bellamy does nothing but betray her. YIKES. I never thought I’d say this after all that's happened this season, but thank god Octavia woke up. Sure, she probably will make things worse, but at least Clarke could get Madi out. Temporarily, I’m sure. I for one am not looking forward to Indra and Bellamy facing off in the fighting pits. I know that they won’t kill off Bellamy, but I will be really, really disappointed if they kill of Indra. What a disservice to the character. Speaking of a disservice to a great character, where the hell was Monty this episode?

Jessica: Holed up in his algae farm with Harper I suppose? There are too many characters grappling for screen time this season and we’re seeing the effects of that now when the action is becoming more focused, more purposeful. Personally, I think Monty and Harper are integral to this show. They bring something fresh and different to the group, but when you’ve got to cover failed coups and familial betrayals and an ill-advised ascension ceremony, you’ve got to designate some essential personnel. Honestly, Monty and Harper deserve better, but so do a lot of our faves on this show. Like poor Clarke, who finally stood up for herself for once, deciding to place Madi’s survival above the good of the group. Clarke rarely makes selfish decisions like that so watching her slap Bellamy silly and ride off in the rover with her commander baby was, in a word, satisfying.


Murphy’s Masterpiece

Alyssa: Agreed. You know what else was satisfying? John Murphy being the best. That resilient cockroach has been growing on me all season, and sowing dissension in the Eligius camp with a few words and one (ONE) rock made him first in my heart this week. As much as I get annoyed by The McCreary Factor in his storyline, give me more Murphy. I know, I am as shocked as you to hear those words come out of my mouth.

Jessica: Shocked? Yes. But do I disagree with you? Hell nah. Sis, this drama hoe loves her a messy bench and Murphy is the messiest bench of them all. Watching him inspire chaos amongst the Eligius camp has done something to me. I now dream of the day when I can sow discord and the seeds of betrayal amongst a group of mass-murdering thugs only to stand back and watch the fruits of my dastardly labor while musing, “This is my masterpiece.” Murphy was the embodiment of Big Dick Energy this episode.  

Alyssa: Murphy has BDE for days. I think it may be the haircut. It just works. What also works? Raven and Shaw. DAMN THOSE TWO ARE CUTE. Because they shared a nice moment, I am more certain than ever that Shaw is not long for this world because no one gets to flirt and live on The 100. If they have sex, we’re talking classic horror film rules here: that boy dead. I am not sure what to make of Echo (still), because I worry that she may suffer from the same lack of long game as her boyf, and I think that is going to end up biting her in the ass. You don’t just casually dismiss people like Abby and Kane and expect things to work out well.

Jessica: Oh, no question, Shaw and Raven are the ship I’m now putting all of my hopes and dreams into. They’ll eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean, along with any good, innocent part of my soul that’s still left, but for now, flirt on my precious hacker babies. Start your little book club. Make heart eyes while subtly threatening each other’s lives. Mama is here for it. And I could not agree with you more about Echo. Frustrating, since as a spy, Echo has experience in this arena and yet she’s still making the same mistakes her much greener boyfriend is making back at the bunker. When will these people learn? You can’t underestimate an enemy like Diyoza and I feel that’s exactly what Echo did this episode by believing her planned escape would go as smoothly as she imagined.

Alyssa: God, can I love Diyoza more? I’m over thinking that she’s the villain. I stan one pregnant, gun-toting badass. The deeper we get into the season, the more I think that she deserves a place in the valley, man. She may have been set up early on as the Big Bad, but I will be devastated if she doesn’t make it to next season. I really want her and Abby to find a rhythm and become a team to be reckoned with. I think they’re on the way there if Abby can stay off the pills. But I do think that they’ve shifted the main villain role over to McCreary, which I am not entirely thrilled about. I think he’s a really one-note baddie and indulges in some of the worst tendencies of The 100’s writers. He’s Pike all over again.

Jessica: Oh BDE for days that one. Diyoza, not McCreary. I don’t like to imagine the size of McCreary’s rig, but I think we can all agree it’s small to the point of nonexistence. I feel the writers realized halfway through this season that Diyoza wasn’t the villain they imagined and did a quick rewrite to accommodate that. It can’t be easy to realize your entire audience is rooting for the woman who was supposed to come in and mess shit up this season. McCreary is the more typical villain for the show -- one who is completely uninspired in his rage and lust for blood. On the one hand, ugh. On the other, if it means Diyoza can make it to another season, I guess I can deal with that grunting, alt-right haircut-sporting douchebag a bit longer. I just have one problem with McCreary becoming the new Big Bad, Diyoza aligning with Kane, Clarke heading back to the valley, and Bellamy and Indra fighting in the pits. Just a small grievance. Nothing major … WHERE THE HELL IS ALL OF THIS GOING??!!!!


Where Do We Go From Here?

Alyssa: Dude, I wish I knew. Every single week, the moment I think that the pieces are set, the writers take the board and shake it. Loyalties keep shifting, people keep backstabbing, and we get nowhere closer to peace. Classic move, The 100! Octavia’s tears at the end of the episode make me think that maybe when she has to make real, life and death decisions about Bellamy and Indra, she might be softened, but I am not sure she can make those kinds of concessions. She’s built up this image as an unyielding leader, but this will be the ultimate test for her. If it takes Indra’s lifeless body for her to realize this, I’m rioting.

Jessica: Season five of The 100 reminds me of that New Girl episode when the crew played Sky Knife. The whole premise of the game was just throwing sharp kitchen knives at the ceiling, seeing which ones stuck and which ones eventually fell. Hopefully you weren’t standing directly under one when it dropped. That seems like a good metaphor for where things are at right now. I can’t imagine both Bellamy and Indra will make it out of the pits alive, but I sincerely hope the show has learned its lesson by now and won’t kill off a complex, interesting character and woman of color just to service Octavia’s storyline.

I know it seems like they’ve written themselves into a corner with all of these warring subplots but The 100 writers are crafty, talented folks so I’m putting my faith in their abilities to keep both Bellamy and Indra alive this season. My dream is that Diyoza and Kane take SpaceKru to regroup with Clarke and Madi, Octavia comes to her senses before too much blood is shed in the arena, and together, they all march on Eden to finally give McCreary and his miscreants what they deserve -- while managing to save Abby and get her into a great detox program. That’s totally feasible, right?

Alyssa: I think my naivete might be rubbing off on you, but sure! Good guys always win on The 100, right?

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