The 100 Discussion: Bonds are broken in 'Acceptable Losses'

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Jun 20, 2018

As lines are crossed and bonds are shattered, The 100 keeps running full speed ahead to disaster. The conflict between WonKru and the Eligius team shows no signs of resolving, with the power struggles flourishing instead of peace. We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we are more than ready to break down every heartbreak, betrayal, and plot twist on this week's episode, "Acceptable Losses."

Alyssa: Well, we’re back from our brief hiatus and everything is still in shambles! No one will ever catch a break on The 100 — ever.

Jessica: I’ve got a confession to make: I was not excited about this episode. Shameful, I know, but the characterization issues with Bellamy last episode have really traumatized me. I’m still conflicted about his arc so far, but I’m happy to report that “Acceptable Losses” has me fully onboard again. Bring on the post-apocalyptic shenanigans.

Alyssa: That’s fair. I love this show, but sometimes it takes a lot out of me. War and betrayal and worms bursting out of stomachs is too much sometimes.

Jessica: Especially in this political climate. But what I loved about this episode is how much screen time the supporting cast got. Sometimes we get so caught up in the Bellarke drama that we forget this show is more than just an angst-filled will-they-won’t-they romance. My favorite scenes had nothing to do with Space Daddy and Earth Mama and it felt refreshing.

Alyssa: I 100% agree. I was so happy that Monty got so much time to shine in this episode after being sidelined for most of the season so far. He really did a lot of the emotional heavy lifting in this episode and I am HERE FOR IT. Alright, let’s get into it.


Spy games

Jessica: So Echo went full Mission: Impossible this episode and I can’t believe I’m going to utter this out loud, but I kinda loved it?

Alyssa: It’s OK. This is a safe space. You can express your admiration for a badass when it’s warranted. I like Echo in survival mode like this more than as a romantic obstacle. Give the woman something to do and she delivers, even if it makes her relationship with Raven more complicated. Imagine how much better this conflict would have been, though, if she had been involved with Raven in space instead of Bellamy. Alas! What could have been!   

Jessica: I refuse to believe that things stayed platonic between Raven and Echo up on the Ark. All that space algae and sexual tension had to culminate in some way. But you’re right about Echo’s development. She’s shown so much growth since returning to Earth and she’s thriving right now with her spy games in Eden. Unlike Bellamy, whose solo scenes seem to be him just whining and pining, Echo is taking action. Do I like that she betrayed Shaw in order to score a win for her side? Hell no. But I understand the logic and, more importantly, because the writers have done such a good job of molding this character, that decision makes complete sense when you remember how Echo used to be. She’s changed, but that lone wolf mentality is hard to shake sometimes.

Alyssa: Yeah, that’s the thing. As hard as things were initially in space back in season one, life on the ground was harder. Echo has had to fight to survive every second of her life, so I understand why she’s willing to make some extra difficult choices in order to protect that life that she’s built. I mean, this is a woman we met for the first time when she was in a cage being drained of her blood in order to keep some other leader’s people alive. That would make me wary of authority under a mountain (or in a bunker) too. I can see her coming to understand Diyoza better than the others in the coming weeks. But she really did do Shaw dirty. He may claim to not be as good as Raven believes, but he’s still one of the good ones. Here’s hoping they haven’t permanently lost an ally there.

Jessica: Shaven lives! After chatting with Lindsey Morgan recently about this pairing, I knew we’d be in for some angst, but I didn’t think our favorite Pilot Mechanic couple would be on the outs so soon. Count on Echo to crash the honeymoon. I doubt this is the end of the road for these two, because Morgan made it seem like a big part of Raven’s development this season will be tied to Shaw and how the two work together, but damn did it hurt to see the betrayal in his eyes when Raven eventually snitched on him to Diyoza. Well, eye. Dude’s face was beaten to a pulp. Minute Maid style.

Alyssa: Speaking of couples in the valley on the outs, things are looking FRAUGHT for Kane and Abby. The fresh air has not done them good. I think Diyoza (and to some extent Kane) has really put Abby in an impossible situation here. Even without the crippling pill addiction, she really is not equipped to handle whatever is plaguing the Eligius crew. I can’t help but feel like she’s being set up for failure.

Jessica: As with Clarke, I think we put too much pressure on Abby sometimes. Save for Jackson, she’s the only trained doctor on Earth right now and she doesn’t have the mental and emotional bandwidth to deal with curing a mysterious illness on her own. Kane forcing her to choose between him and the pills isn’t helping, and neither is this impending war between WonKru and the Eligius prisoners. Abby’s drowning this season and it’s heartbreaking to watch.

Alyssa: You’re right. The Griffin women really carry too much on their backs, and I desperately wish that they were together right now. On top of the trauma of being separated for years, I just feel like they need each other as allies right now. Unfortunately, an army of prisoners, one fertile valley, and BODIES FULL OF KILLER WORMS stand between them.


Hold onto your stomachs

Jessica: Things are getting nasty in the battle for Eden. We’ve got killer worms being bred in the bunker. We’ve got Diyoza calling for a full surrender. Look, I know Monty’s right. Humanity does not deserve to survive on Earth at this point, but damn is it fun watching these two women go up against each other. Right now we’re still in the planning phases of war and we’re getting to see just how cunning and ruthless each leader can be. It’s all kinds of juicy.

Alyssa: Can I quick give a shout out to the writers and thank them for giving us such complicated women in power on this show? I know a lot of ink has been spilled about the “Strong Female Character,” but this is the kind of representation that I want. Human, complicated, realistic. We have two women leading their people, and the conflict is like oxygen to me. We’ve seen how many morally compromised men on television, and I always love to see women dealing with these conflicts as well. This is real life! This is what we want!

Jessica: Give me more “unlikable” women please! No but really, this episode's biggest moments were centered on women making questionable decisions in order to get things done. I love to see women behaving badly on TV but, more than that, I love to see women portrayed realistically. We’re living in a post-post-apocalyptic world, fighting for one patch of green and the survival of our people. It’d be foolish to think that things could be resolved with just an apology and a handshake.

Alyssa: Exactly. However, I feel like there has to be something between a handshake and raising flesh-eating worms on a living host in order to unleash them on your enemies. Call me naive, but I feel like there are a couple of steps in between these two options.

Jessica: Alyssa, you sweet summer child. This is The 100. Of course there’s no step between peaceful negotiations and worm warfare. But, to be honest, one of my favorite episodes this season was the Alien-esque road trip WonKru went on a few weeks ago. The 100 doesn’t play up its sci-fi horror roots enough in my opinion, so seeing these squirmy little harbingers of death make another appearance was a real treat. Not to my stomach though, because that sh*t was gross. I’m interested to see what kind of havoc these babies will wreak, either on WonKru or Eden. More importantly, I’m interested to see how this battle strategy will affect Octavia and her already frayed relationships with Bellamy and Indra.

Alyssa: Not to tap into my English major roots too much, but I feel like those worms are going to end up being some sort of metaphor for Octavia’s rule. Like, there’s all this power, but I think she’s foolish to think that she can harness it. Even if they know how to grow them, there’s no way that they’ll be able to control them in order to effectively use them against the Eligius crew. Octavia needs to spend a little less time crafting her fierce eyebrows and focus a bit more on sustainable options. She’s losing all of her allies with her stubbornness and bloodlust, and her people are going to be the ones to pay the price if things go even more south than they already have.

Jessica: Speaking of losing friends, can we take a second to recognize how catty everyone’s become since the world ended? Someone get a bucket and a mop. Tea was spilled all over this damn episode. First Bellamy throwing some shade at Octavia, then Octavia tossing it right back to her brother and Clarke. And let’s not forget Diyoza’s little “drug addict” quip to Kane. I guess the world ending twice makes it hard to care about things like feelings and right now. Bellamy and Indra seem to be fully in theirs. What did you think of that quasi-team-up?

Alyssa: Well, Bellamy and Indra are two of my faves, so I’m living for it. But, to be fair, Octavia does have a point about everyone making tough and destructive choices for the greater good. Sometimes we do forget that both Clarke and Bellamy have, well, committed genocide.

Jessica: Really, it’s such an easy thing to forget isn’t it? Especially when we get a precious glimpse of these two actually working together for a common cause like in the good ol’ days.

Alyssa: As much as I love Bellamy and Clarke, especially when they’re working as The Best Team Ever I Will Accept No Substitutes, they do have a heavy streak of the self-righteous in them. They justify their own tough decisions but expect others to toe a much more morally strict line. That’s something that needs to change.

Jessica: Yeah, I’m about done with seeing these two shocked at the lengths Octavia’s willing to go to in order to protect her people one second, then the next, planning how they can betray her, possibly kill her, in order to achieve their own goals. I think Clarke is a bit more aware of her dubious nature than Bellamy is right now. Space has really warped his ability to self-reflect, but their moral superiority complex is going to bite them both in the ass at some point.

Alyssa: For all of Clarke’s talk about there being no good guys, she really does view herself as one of the only ones left. I can’t imagine that the conflict with Octavia is going to end well for any of them, but I really do wonder how far they are willing to go to stop her. I think Clarke would have had more reservations than Bellamy does, but now that Octavia has her hooks into Madi, Clarke is in Red Mommy mode.

Jessica: I knew Madi would eventually be an obstacle on the road to Bellarke if only because she represents how much the pair’s priorities have changed. It broke my heart a bit to see Clarke worrying over Madi while Bellamy was fully-focused on Echo, completely dismissing Clarke’s feelings. That scene more than anything proved that eventually, their paths are going to split. I could see Clarke teaming up with Diyoza in order to keep Madi safe while Bellamy, for all his talk, probably won’t commit to killing or even usurping his sister. It’s going to be a long, painful season.


A clan divided

Alyssa: Well, even if Bellamy might not have the stones to stop Octavia, I think Gaia just might. She’s been such a volatile character ever since she was introduced, but I can really see the cracks starting to form in her partnership with Octavia. Honestly, I hope this rift brings her back into sync with her mother because Indra deserves a win, y’all. A little reconciliation with her daughter would be a boost. But I thought Gaia’s interactions with Madi were really intriguing. While I know that she’s ultimately looking out for the Flame and the Flame alone, it’s nice for Madi to maybe have an ally on the inside because Octavia and her crazy eyes certainly aren’t.

Jessica: The way Octavia’s looking at Madi lately, that level of creepiness is enough to give me nightmares. It’s one of the more interesting developments in Octavia’s personality. She’s always been a warrior so even something like the chestbursters doesn’t really surprise me, but watching her worm her way in with Madi (see what I did there) while practically taunting Clarke is a new level of cunning from the youngest Blake. I’m truly worried for our sweet nightblood being stuck between these two fanatical women.

Alyssa: Yeah, the theme of the episode really was former partners finding themselves at odds, wasn’t it? Abby and Kane. Raven and Echo. Octavia and Indra. Octavia and Bellamy. Octavia and Gaia… I am sensing a common thread. I think everything is so explosive right now that major casualties are coming any day. This kind of conflict doesn’t last long in a holding pattern. I feel like Monty is the only one who understands that right now.

Jessica: Poor Monty. There’s something tragic about being the only person to see things clearly but having little power to change the outcome of a situation like this. After that ominous promo, where do you think we go from here?


Where do we go from here?

Alyssa: I really think we’re due for a major death, Jess. There has been so much build up to something devastating occurring, and I wish they would just do it. The dread is killing me.  

Jessica: Yeah, let’s just rip the band-aid off, or infect someone with worms already. I can’t take this buildup. Also, Diyoza is pregnant?! I feel like that’s going to be a thing. I can’t be the only one who immediately thought it might be the anti-Christ in her belly right? I mean, we’ve got so much Biblical symbolism this season already, it just makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is whose baby is that? McCreary’s? How long ago did they bone? I need a detailed timeline ASAP or my anxiety-fueled OCD is going to become unmanageable.

Alyssa: Ugh, yes, I almost forgot about that. I could see that baby being some sort of catalyst to a cure. I’m curious as to why she’s keeping it a secret, though, outside of the usual reasons (cough cough men don’t respect women enough and would see that as a weakness cough cough). But I’m worried about OG Space Daddy, Jess. Kane is making me nervous with his hushed, proselytizing tones in the promo.

Jessica: Those flower fields could very well be his final resting place, I’m afraid. I’m also nervous for Indra, whose time feels short, and the eventual Bellamy-Clarke-Octavia showdown that will no doubt test my faves and my emotional stability. I honestly don’t know why we do this to ourselves.

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