‘The 100’ Considers the Ethics of Eternal Life in ‘The Gospel of Josephine’ (RECAP)

The Gospel of Josephine
Spoiler Alert
Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 5 of The 100, “The Gospel of Josephine.”]

No one can be Clarke Griffin but Clarke Griffin.

Josephine Lightbourne discovers as much in the fifth episode of The 100‘s sixth season, “The Gospel of Josephine.” After she’s revived, Josephine’s parents tell her she needs to keep her true identity concealed and pretend to be Clarke, but pretending to be Clarke ends up being far more complicated than she thought… especially when her host’s friends find out Sanctum’s biggest secret.

Meanwhile, Octavia and Diyoza run into trouble — quite literally — in the forest.

Happiness Looks Good on You

The episode opens with a meeting of the Primes, Josephine included. She kills Kailey because it seems Kailey killed her in their previous life. Kailey had gone to the Eligius ship because she was trying to run away from Sanctum. Clearly, there are issues among the Primes.

Josephine dances in her room while painting a self-portrait. Her parents interrupt to ask her to figure out which of Clarke’s people have Nightblood, and they tell her that they have to keep their true identities a secret. That mission ends up being more of a challenge than Josephine anticipated — she, as Clarke, lets Madi go to school. This upsets Gaia. When the Flamekeeper starts speaking Trig, Josephine gets confused. She manages to talk her way out of it, but not without Bellamy noticing a change in her. “Happiness looks good on you,” he says.

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Meanwhile, Jordan’s started to piece together the truth, but he’s not getting far. He tries to demand answers, which he gets in a roundabout way (“blessed be the Primes”) but no one takes him — or his insistence that Priya and Delilah are different — seriously.

Living Forever

Josephine stumbles into a tricky situation with her host’s mom. Abby’s determined to save Kane, but she’s having trouble figuring out how to save his failing kidneys. She asks Clarke to take notes as she talks, which Josephine does… but with the wrong hand. Abby notices and asks her if she’s all right, but Josephine manages to save herself by suggesting a solution to Kane’s problem at the last minute.

When Jordan goes into the chamber where Delilah was taken on Naming Day, Bellamy and Murphy go after him, and Josephine goes after them. Gaia also ends up being there, because she wants to know why Sanctum worships Nightbloods. They find their way into a lab through a secret door and discover that Gabriel and Josephine’s father were experimenting on human subjects by implanting them with chips. They watch as Josephine wakes up in a new body, and Gabriel explains that they spent the past 45 years trying to bring her back.

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Apparently, Gabriel reverse engineered their memory drives to upload their entire minds. Throughout all of this, Josephine defends the Primes and acts incredibly un-Clarke like. Bellamy notices and asks how she can be okay with what Sanctum is doing. Josephine says she doesn’t think the Primes are a threat, and she and Gaia go to find Madi and protect her. When they leave, Murphy says he agrees with “Clarke.” “These people figured out how to live forever,” he says.

Nice to Meet You

As it turns out, Josephine doesn’t stay incognito forever. After a weighty conversation about whether or not they’re “doing better” by staying in Sanctum and looking the other way (Bellamy, Madi and Jordan think it’s wrong to stay, Murphy thinks they should) while they give immortality to their Primes through human subjects, Josephine leaves. Bellamy follows her. He asks how they’re on different sides of the Sanctum debate, and when he starts speaking Trig, Josephine emerges in full. She gives Bellamy a paralytic injection, and, terrified, he asks her who she is. “Josephine Lightbourne,” she says. “Nice to meet you.”

After tranquilizing Bellamy, Josephine goes to see Abby, but she only ends up eavesdropping on a particularly painful conversation between Abby and Jackson. Abby’s determination to save Marcus, she tells him, is because he’s a good person… and she no longer thinks they’re good people, based on what they did and what they allowed to happen in the bunker. “I was just doing my job,” Jackson says. “Said by every war criminal, ever,” Abby responds.

Turning It Around

In the woods, Octavia and Diyoza run after Xavier. He leads them into a bubbly, quicksand-like trap called ‘The Crucible,” which he says will kill them faster the more they struggle. Of course, Octavia struggles. She and Diyoza argue, and Diyoza puts a gun to her head and asks if she wants to die. Realizing Octavia’s consumed by her own self-hatred, Dioyza removes the weapon and tells her, “As long as you draw breath, you can turn it around.” Xavier then comes back for them and asks them how many of their people have blood alteration — Octavia thinks if they tell him he’ll leave them to die, but he doesn’t get the chance.

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A lightning storm crashes into the forest and Xavier pulls Diyoza out, but because Octavia’s sunk so far that she can’t hold onto anything, she tells Diyoza to leave. Octavia submerges herself in the liquid, which should’ve killed her, but Diyoza gets back to her and frees her just in time.

Another Immortal

Josephine decides she needs a better “coach” for the game she’s playing, so she goes to Murphy. With her help, he puts the pieces together and realizes she’s Josephine Lightbourne. He initially panics when Josephine tells him Clarke’s dead, but when she says he could be immortal, too, he calms down. “I’m listening,” he says.

Other Observations

  • Holy moly, how incredible was Eliza Taylor this episode? Though it’s upsetting to see Clarke as anyone other than, well, Clarke, she did an excellent job of portraying another person in Clarke’s body. It’ll be interesting to see where the Josephine storyline goes from here: There are scenes in the trailer of Clarke and a few others seemingly attacking the Primes, so does that mean Clarke returns sooner rather than later?
  • Murphy. Poor Murphy. His fear of going to hell has made him wish for immortality — not that Murphy wouldn’t have wanted immortality before, but it seems that wish has new relevance now. Will he end up doing the right thing? Only time will tell.
  • The actual Gospel of Josephine was terrifying, considering what her plan to create new Nightbloods involved. Someone needs to get that woman’s consciousness out of Clarke, now.
  • The music has been so good this season? Both Tree Adams’ score and the songs have been out of this world.

The 100, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW