'The 100' Discussion: Misery loves company in "The Warriors Will"

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Jul 18, 2018, 11:00 AM EDT

It's safe to say that The 100 is dedicated to being a nuanced character study instead of just an action-packed adventure, and this week drove that mission home in a big way. As our faves grapple with the realities of life on the ground, we're glued to every single devastating minute. "The Warriors Will" is no different, plunging the world of The 100 into war. We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we're here to help you break down every twist of the knife and betrayal on our favorite post-post-apocalyptic hellscape. 

Alyssa: Dear writers of The 100, who hurt you? And why must you insist on hurting us? You know I stan this show until the bitter end, but I feel like I’m being punished. I mean, we didn’t even get a moment of Diyoza kicking ass this week, just unrelenting misery.

Jessica: This was some Kathy Bates-style torture this week. Personally, I think the fans of this show are pretty resilient, all things considered. We’ve been put through the wringer and still come back for more, but tonight’s episode should’ve come with a trigger warning because damn did things get dark.

Alyssa: Seriously, there is not enough wine in the world that could have sufficiently fortified me for this one. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Jessica: Poor choice of words, Alyssa. Now all I can picture is Vinson ripping into that poor guy’s throat. But yes, let’s chew on this episode.


Miserable In The Bunker

Alyssa: You know, in the beginning, I was really hoping that Octavia was going to recover a bit of the humanity that she’s lost in the bunker. She was faltering and it looked like she wasn’t willing to let Bellamy die. I was bummed that she was so willing to sell out Indra, but I thought Octavia just might be willing to put aside the Blodreina persona to keep the people who love her the most alive. BUT ONCE AGAIN, THAT KIND OF OPTIMISM HAS NO PLACE ON THE 100.

Jessica: Oh Alyssa, you rainbow-infused space unicorn. I both admire and pity you for that optimism. I too thought, "Hey, wait a minute. Is Octavia actually going to come to her senses and act like a normal human being?" And the writers, of course, were like, "Nah, she still cray." If anything, this episode proved that redemption for Blodreina is a long way off, if it’s even possible at all. Attempting to save Bellamy was less of a moral decision and more of a selfish one. She couldn’t handle seeing her brother die, which proves she has a heart I guess (a tiny, shriveled up rotting raisin lodged deep inside her chest somewhere) but she quickly followed up with a decision that doomed everyone else, so no, Octavia, I will not feel sorry for you.

Alyssa: I honestly think that we need to consider an endgame for the season that does not include redemption for Octavia. I think that would be a huge bummer as an end of a story arc for her, but I think she’s going to get a noble death at most. I think some bridges were crossed this week that can’t be unburned (literally). Monty, Harper, and Harper’s curling wand did their best, but not even apple blossoms can make Octavia embrace even the semblance of peace. Still, I’m glad that Monty got the chance to make another impassioned speech about plants. Those are always nice, so there are worse character ruts to be stuck in, I guess.

Jessica: Make Algae Not War is a bumper sticker I will be sporting very soon, I can tell you that. I agree though, I think this season can only end with Octavia’s death and it’s looking more and more like it will come from Bellamy’s hand. Dude just seems fed up at this point. Not even reminiscing about innocent lily pads can make him forget the horror and bloodshed his sister has caused. Monty continues to be a gem this season, giving us an alternative to war that, let’s be honest, we knew the writers were never actually serious about. Every finale of this show has had high stakes and watching apple blossoms slowly bloom for an entire episode just isn’t gonna cut it. I don’t know what’s in store for him and Harper -- who got a speaking role tonight, so bless up 100 fam -- but I hope he at least can find peace in Eden. Should we talk about the algae now, or save that for later?

Alyssa: Let’s do it now, so my broken heart can begin to heal. Monty was working so hard! He prefers science to war and that is a precious gift in the wasteland. While I think that the character has been sidelined way too much this season because there is just so much going on, it used to bring me a little peace knowing that Our Favorite Plucky Genius Not Named Raven Reyes was hard at work trying to feed a hungry populace.  

Jessica: I can’t disagree with Octavia’s little farmer’s speech, but a part of me hoped that Monty and Harper would get that way out. Whatever happened in Eden, knowing they were back at Polis, just tilling away the soil, maybe in some makeshift overalls and straw hats … I don’t know, it would’ve helped somehow. Of course, count on Octavia to literally burn that dream to the ground. When you know what you want, you know what you want, and chick wants war.

Alyssa: Yeah, she made that clear with her blood (I NEVER CONSIDERED THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY BLOOD) face paint and ultimate willingness to throw Indra, Bellamy, and Gaia in the pit. The highlight of the episode for me was probably how those three worked together, and while Indra was willing to kill Bellamy to save Gaia, at least she had the decency to be upset about it. Luckily, Monty was there to save them with a flower. Truly, the Monty Way.

Jessica: Monty is just too good for this world. But I’m so glad you were also in the dark about this face paint scene. I thought our queen had just found some berries or something to paint her face with. Knowing she went full Wilson from Castaway with her own blood? That’s a new level of weird. Also, whenever Sephora wants to start carrying the Blodreina palette, I’ll be ready with wallet in hand.

Alyssa: All the looks you need to lead your people into war! Might be timely. So, now that we’ve covered how awful things are in Polis, should we move on to the Eligius camp and how terrible everything is there too?

Jessica: Misery loves company or some nonsense like that, so yeah, let’s just add on to the pain.


Miserable In The Eligius Camp

Alyssa: Abby is in a bad way. Now that she’s left on her own without an ally (aside from a sort of friendly cannibal) and a steady supply of pills, she’s heading into some wicked withdrawal. She’s been through some tough shit over the seasons, but I think this episode is the lowest that we’ve seen the good doctor.

Jessica: Playing spectator while a psychopath rips into the throat of a stranger so you can score a fix has to break the Hippocratic Oath, no? I feel for Abby’s current predicament, but, and this is terrible of me, I’m also completely done with her shit. How many years did Kane spend in that bunker trying to get through to her and now, because she couldn’t give up the drugs, she’s forced into a life or death situation like this? It’s so frustrating to watch and with all the action happening at the bunker and with Diyoza’s mutiny, it just feels like annoying filler anytime we pan to Abby’s arc.

Alyssa: Yeah, Abby scrambling around trying to scrape up pills off of a filthy floor while blood sprays around her was… bleak. I’m a little mystified as to why we’re spending so much time with her instead of with Kane and the rest of the group that left camp. There feels like a lot of unmined stories there -- Raven and Shaw, the redemption of Murphy, Kane and Diyoza and whatever is happening there -- and yet we’re stuck with Abby, Vinson, and McCreary. Why?

Jessica: Agreed. Diyoza has become one of the most interesting characters on this show and her loss was really felt this episode. Aside from time constraints, I’m just not sure what Abby’s addiction storyline is really adding to this season? Where are we going with this? What will it mean for her, for Kane, for Clarke, etc? I’m not sure we have enough real estate left to truly build something from this plotline which is why continuing to waste time with it feels like such a head-scratcher. But, I digress. McCreary sucks at leading (did we expect any different?), Vinson is, in a word, terrifying, and Clarke and Madi are about to land in the middle of a really screwed up situation.

Alyssa: Yeah, all is not well in that adorable little family. It seems like Madi has chosen a different Blake to be her new favorite, and reminding Clarke that Bellamy was quick to save her the second he hit the ground was salt in the wound for this Bellarke fan. I don’t like it when Momma Bear and Space Daddy are fighting! Why can’t they just make out and fight side by side? Question: has the Flame had that kind of effect on a Commander before, with the flashbacks and mental trauma, and we just haven’t seen it before, or is this new and Madi-specific?

Jessica: Who knows? And why would we? This Flame plot device is a real pain in the ass. I’m assuming it affects every Commander this way and we’re just seeing it with Madi, but it also feels like the writers’ scapegoat in a way. Whatever plot hole or catalyst they need to push the story forward, they go to the Flame. I sincerely hope this season ends with that tiny A.I. being smashed under the heel of Clarke’s boot.

Alyssa: Jess, I wish you were writing for this show. I feel like that’s the only way that this can really end. If they’re really going to make things work in the Valley, they’re going to have to put down the old ways -- and the ways that took over in the bunker -- and work to adapt to a new world. Things can’t go back to the way they were, and to destroy the Flame would be the best way to drive that home. Plus, it would be a final way for Clarke to truly move on from Lexa. They’ve been leaning into that bond a lot lately, and I’m just not sure how to feel about it unless it’s pointing towards an emotionally unencumbered future for Clarke.   

Jessica: I agree. I think the time spent on Lexa is setting up some kind of Bellarke moment, but I’m a bit biased when it comes to Clarke’s love life, so make of that what you will. I’m also concerned that this whole Valley plan just won’t work out the way we imagine it will. These flashbacks from the Flame of Becca being burned alive and hinting at “another way” to survive has me thinking that space travel might be in the future for The 100. Again, do I want to see a show where Raven and Shaw just adventure through the cosmos, starting their own little book club, reminiscing about their troubled childhoods, and having Zero-G space sex every episode? Sure. But I’m sticking by this theory regardless of how ridiculous it is.

Alyssa: We deserve Zero-G space sex in every episode at this point. I’m not sure if heading back to space is a sustainable option, but hell, life on Earth might not be either. I know we’ve got another season and who knows how long after that, but I really am curious as to what this show’s endgame is. Peace in the valley? I don’t think so. I really do respect The 100’s commitment to moral ambiguity and forcing their characters into difficult decisions, but I wonder how this all will possibly wrap up in a way that doesn’t throw me into the pits of despair. Speaking of difficult choices: Clarke left behind the worms. Are we done with the creepy crawlies or will they come back to haunt us?

Jessica: My precious little harbingers of a brutal and disgusting death are living their best life, crawling around in the desert waiting to munch on some poor, unsuspecting humans should they stray too far from Eden. Honestly, I don’t know which things to keep track of and which to write off on this show. A lingering shot on a pile of dead worms. Monty juggling a remaining jar of algae. Clarke looking at Madi like she’s some kind of demon-child after slitting that man’s throat. These are all things that make me pause, but then something else terrible happens and I’m forced to move on. The worms may pop up again, but if not, Octavia will make sure to satisfy any bloodlust we still have.


Miserable Marching To War

Alyssa: Yes, the bloody queen has certainly forced everyone’s hand, and Miller is still falling into line. Remember at the beginning of the season when we were happy to see Miller and were all overwhelmed with the cuteness of his love for Jackson? Remember those fun times? Whither art thou, fun times? Miller screaming about rations and the power of Octavia is my least favorite Miller.

Jessica: They’ve really butchered Miller and Jackson this season. I’m hoping next week’s episode might feature them a bit more and show what happened to make them fully indoctrinated members of Blodreina’s cult but until then, keep your damn ration backpacks, Miller. Your stanning of a dictator is a real turn off. Besides an unhealthy obsession with Octavia, the march to war kind of made me excited? I know, I know. Terrible. But we’ve been building up to this for sooooooooo long, at this point, so just rip the band-aid off already. Kill some of our favorites. Wreck the entire 100 universe. Just stop teasing us!

Alyssa: I think this episode really makes a case for the value of shorter seasons. I think I would prefer a tight 10 episode run instead of this misery bog that we’ve found ourselves in. A brief smile from Bellamy doesn’t justify all of the ground that was retread this week. I’m ready for things to actually happen like you said. Outright war is better than this stasis that we’ve been stuck in, and I’m ready for action instead of backstabbing and handwringing. Everyone has a different idea of how to live in the Valley, and they need to actually figure out what to do with it in real life instead of the hypothetical.

Jessica: That’s the dream. But the reality is that next week’s “Dark Year” episode is probably going to pump the brakes on the war march to delve into how we got here. Don’t get me wrong, I am hyped to see Octavia, Kane, Abby, and the rest of WonKru doing terrible things in the name of survival -- read: cannibalism -- but I agree with you. I think this whole season could’ve been shortened by a couple of episodes and been better paced. As it is, we’ve got a bit more time to watch our doomed little 100 family suffer.


Where Do We Go From Here?

Alyssa: Yes, it seems that we will finally get answers about what actually happened during the Dark Year next week. After a season of intense whispers of “We don’t discuss the Dark Year!” we deserve some clarity. Hopefully, this means that we’ll get to see Kane and the rest of the defectors in the present as well because their absence was really felt this week. And I need someone, anyone to make out. Call me shallow, but I want SOMETHING nice to happen next week. I miss talking about ships.  

Jessica: “We Don’t Discuss The Dark Year” will be my new response anytime someone asks me what I was like as a teenager tbh. But in all seriousness, I need make-outs. I need heart eyes. I need a moment of light in this dark, dark world. Murphy and Emori? Raven and Shaw? Even Kane and Diyoza. At this point, I’ll take anything. (Except more Becho. We’re not that desperate, Alyssa.)

Alyssa: I might be, honestly. That’s where I’m at. From the looks of the teaser, Abby is at the center of what went down during the Dark Year, so I expect some past pain and heartbreak for Kabby and maybe some answers for the present. After such an Abby-heavy season, that’s probably where we’re headed.

Jessica: More Becho? Good God, it’s worse than I thought. Take care of yourself this week my friend. Get a massage. Have a spa day. Eat all the chocolate. Next week is going to be rough on us all.

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