All's Fair in Love and War (and Resurrection) on 'The 100' (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The 100 Season 6 episode 8, "The Old Man and the Anomaly."]
In many ways, "The Old Man and the Anomaly" is a complex episode that boils down to a simple concept: Love.
The eighth episode of the show's sixth season pays tribute to the boundless bonds its characters share. We're given glimpses of familial love through Octavia and Bellamy, Raven and Abby and Diyoza and Hope. We're reminded of romantic connections between Abby and Kane, Emori and Murphy and Jordan and Delilah. We're shown how much the remaining survivors care for Clarke.
Unfortunately, there's a dark side to all this affection. In a pulse-pounding hour of television with a jaw-dropping conclusion, The 100 highlights how damaging strained relationships can be, how far friends and family will go to save the ones they care for, and how love can make demons out of gods.
Darkest Fears, Deepest Desires
At the start of the episode, Octavia, Diyoza and Xavier are making their way toward the anomaly. They make a pit stop at Gabriel's place first, where Diyoza and O discuss their plan—they're going to wait until Gabriel cures her, then Diyoza will kill him. As Octavia's condition worsens, Diyoza realizes Xavier and Gabriel are one and the same: Xavier has had another's consciousness uploaded in his body.
As they make their way toward the anomaly, Gabriel explains how he came to have a host. When he left Sanctum, he had to train someone to remove his mind-drive. That "someone" was a child he raised, named Eduardo. Once it came time for Eduardo to remove the device, he didn't do it; Instead, he re-uploaded Gabriel into Xavier's head, since Xavier was a Nightblood. Gabriel was so enraged at being reborn that when he awoke, he killed Eduardo, then he pretended to be Xavier so people would follow him.
The anomaly affects them in different ways. Gabriel sees Josephine. Octavia panics when she sees Bellamy kneeling with a gag in his mouth, as he did when he was in the arena. Diyoza sees her unborn daughter, Hope, as a child, and she takes her hand and guides her into the anomaly. Octavia follows her, and moments later the anomaly spits her out... completely healed.
Do No Harm
In space, Abby's shown the Sanctumites how to make Nightblood, and they're prepping a man named Gavin to be the first host. This doesn't sit well with Raven, who storms into the lab and demands that Abby at least look at Gavin before she erases his mind. A clearly troubled Abby doesn't turn around, but Gavin reassures her that he wants this "more than anything in the world." Simone injects him with the Nightblood serum, and he collapses."So much for first, do no harm," Raven snaps, then storms away.
When Abby goes to see her later to get her to take a spacewalk (she needs more of Becca's serum, which only combines in zero-G), Raven says Abby can do it herself. "At least you'll have a nice view when you die," she says. Or... maybe not. Raven goes to see Abby as she prepares to do the spacewalk and steps in, saying that since an innocent man is already dead, it'd be worse if she stands by and lets Abby die, too.
Murphy just might be in over his head in Sanctum. He proposes to Emori with a promise of immortality, but Josephine interrupts them with a request to get Clarke out of her head. They need something to channel the EMP they'll use, which Emori obtains via an Eligius shock collar, but she can't leave her friends without telling Bellamy they're planning to wipe Clarke.
As such, Bellamy figures out a way to get Josephine out of Sanctum. Emori escapes with the EMP, and Murphy and Josephine go after her. They corner her in a field, but then Bellamy and Echo emerge.
Emori goes to use the EMP to deactivate the radiation shield, but Josephine puts a knife to Murphy's throat. When Emori doesn't back down, she cuts his femoral artery. Alarms start going off in Sanctum and the plan goes sideways; Bellamy pulls Josephine out of Sanctum before the shield re-activates, Echo stays behind to keep the group safe, and Murphy, bleeding out, waits for the approaching Sanctum officials. "My answer is yes," Emori tells him as she remains by his side. "I'll love you forever, even if we die today."
Madi starts killing the Primes. When she makes it to the palace and tries to kill Priya, Jordan steps in front of her and takes the knife himself, sustaining a perhaps-mortal wound. Apparently he's still alive, because later, at the funeral for the Prime Madi killed, Russell says they'll do what they can to save him. For now, Murphy and Emori are alive, and Russell orders his soldiers to put them with the rest of their people.
But wait, there's more! Russell didn't just bring Josephine back: He jumped the line of resurrection. That seems to be a big no-no in the Prime commandments, so Russell might have some trouble holding onto his leadership position in the days to come.
I Saved You
As the episode ends, Gavin wakes up. Abby sits beside him and waits to hear what he'll say. His first resurrected word is "Abby," meaning for better or worse, the procedure worked: Gavin is now Marcus Kane. They embrace, but it's not long before Marcus notices something is amiss... namely, the fact that the body on the cot beside him has his brand. He peels back the sheet and sees himself, and, horrified, he asks Abby what she did. "I saved you," she says.
- This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I think "The Old Man and the Anomaly" is my favorite episode in Season 6 (and it might have replaced "Nevermind" on my show overall list, too). There's so much to love here. The insights into Diyoza and Octavia's characters! The Murphy and Emori proposal! The "no good choices" conflict with Abby and Raven! The music! It all weaves together so well and furthers the plot and develops the characters.
- Okay... what just happened with Kane? I recognize this was probably done because at the time it seemed like The Passage was going to get a second season. (RIP, The Passage. You deserved better.) But has The 100 just made a change it can't undo? Some had been speculating that the tree sap would come into play with healing Kane, but can that still be done if his consciousness is in a different person?
- If Diyoza dies, I riot. I'm trying not to worry since I'm not confident this show would go dark enough to kill a pregnant lady (would this show kill a pregnant lady?!), but this season developed her in such a way that I've bonded to her and desperately need her to survive. So does Octavia, I would argue—Diyoza's her only friend, and right now, she needs friends.
- Octavia crying when she saw Bellamy was both painful and wholesome. It's been a long time since we've seen emotions from her that aren't "tough," "rage," or "fight!" She does love her brother, and the anomaly revealed that even though she hasn't always shown it, losing him is among her deepest fears.
- I'd support Octavia and Xavier as a couple before I'd support Raven and Ryker, even though I think the latter might be where the show is headed given how obsessed they both are with morality. Octavia's in no place for a relationship right now, but Xavier has a very unique understanding of her given that he, too, seems to have struggled with his anger and was worshipped as a false god. I'm more than okay with it if the show doesn't go there, but if it does, I wouldn't be upset.
The 100, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW