'The 100' Unveils Clarke's Plan to Save Her Friends — and Echo's Tragic Backstory (RECAP)

Emily Hannemann
Spoiler Alert Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

[SPOILER ALERT! The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The 100 Season 6, episode 11, "Ashes to Ashes."]

Clarke Griffin, hallowed be her name!

“Ashes to Ashes,” Bob Morley's directorial debut, proves that if anyone's worthy of being worshipped as a god on this show, it’s Clarke (Eliza Taylor). Back and better than ever, she’s devising ways of saving her people without taking innocent lives despite everything that was done to her, which lands her opposing Bellamy (Bob Morley)’s determination to keep their friends safe no matter the cost. Speaking of Bellamy, he’s not sure how he feels about the new Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos)—even if she’s quite apologetic and yearning for his approval—but he’s sure he doesn’t want Clarke in any more danger than she’s already in.

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Meanwhile, in Sanctum, Echo’s set to undergo a terrifying procedure—but before she does so, she comes clean about her dark past. Yes, it’s every bit as horrible as you’d assume, and perhaps even then some.

You’re Not My Biggest Problem

In the woods, Bellamy and Clarke try to devise a plan to save their people. Clarke wants to pretend to be Josephine again, but Bellamy won’t allow it, saying they’ll kill her as soon as they find out. Gabriel, then, says they can put the mind drive back in, but Bellamy doesn’t like that idea either.

They keep brainstorming until the conversation turns less-than-pleasant between the Blakes, and O asks to talk to her brother outside. “No,” Bellamy says. “For once, you’re not my biggest problem.” Octavia goes outside the tent anyway, and she gets cornered by Gabriel’s people. When he steps outside, his people realize he’s not Xavier and beat him as a traitor.

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The mob takes Gabriel inside and gets seconds away from killing him before Bellamy intervenes. He hatches a plan: Gabriel can use his weaponized red sun toxin to cause panic in Sanctum. When Sanctum evacuates, he’ll rescue his people, and the Children of Gabriel can kill the Primes. At first the Children want to kill Clarke, who they still think is Josephine, but Gabriel says he won’t build the weapon if they do. Someone still needs to collect the plants for the toxin-bomb, though, so Octavia volunteers herself and her brother to do so.

My Sister, Not My Responsibility

As they gather toxin-laden mushrooms, Octavia tries to have a heart-to-heart with her brother. She tells him she was lost without him and that she’s done things that’ll haunt her until the day she dies, but she knows she’ll have to earn his forgiveness. For now, she just wants to hear him say she’s his sister. “You’re my sister,” he tells her, “but you’re not my responsibility anymore.” Octavia walks away, and tears form in Bellamy’s eyes.

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Whether they love or hate each other (and throughout the seasons, they've done both), Octavia and Bellamy will always be family.

Back in Gabriel’s tent, Clarke comes up with another plan. She says they can use just enough of the toxin to kill the bugs and trigger an evacuation in Sanctum, thus avoiding toxin-induced massacres. Beforehand, they can turn off the shield. Josephine, she says, would be able to do it. Gabriel’s faith wavers, but Clarke reassures him.

Your Best Interests

Murphy is brought to the palace, where he hears Echo receive her sentence. For the crime of conspiring to kill a Prime, she’ll be the first test subject for the bone marrow treatment and used as a host for Simone. Murphy tells Echo what’s really happening in Trigedasleng, so the guards can’t understand him, and she pretends to hate him after absorbing the information that her friends are trying to save her. “You’ve always been a traitor, Murphy!” she yells.

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After she’s taken out of the hall, Russell gives him a new job. He wants Murphy to bring Josephine back; If he does so successfully, he’ll have earned immortality for himself and Emori. If not, Russell will kill Emori.

I’ve Been Wiped Before

In the holding area, Miller and Gaia break free and head to find Echo, who has already been injected with the Nightblood bone marrow serum. As she waits for them to save her, she tells Ryker her story. When she was young, she was forced to kill her friend for Queen Nia in order to earn survival—then, once her friend was dead, she took the girl’s name: Echo. “I guess you could say I’ve been wiped before,” Echo says. Ryker tries to wipe her mind, but she fights back just long enough for guards to show up at his door… or rather, Miller and Gaia disguised as guards! They free her, and in one fluid motion, she stabs Ryker and kills him.

Being Mortal Sucks

Clarke and Gabriel's plan is put to the test as officials from Sanctum arrive. Murphy and Jade enter Gabriel’s tent, and Clarke pretends to be Josephine. She leaves with Murphy and goes back to Sanctum, leaving Octavia, Bellamy and Gabriel to enact the rest of the plan.

When Clarke gets back to Sanctum, Russell welcomes his daughter with open arms. He takes her to the lab to get her checked out, and Clarke sees Madi in the chair. She awakens and asks Clarke/Josephine if Clarke is gone, and Clarke is forced to say she is: “She put up a good fight, though.” With that, Madi loses it, A tense conversation with Sheidheda earlier in the episode convinced her to listen to his teachings so she can get revenge, and she screams and yells, telling Russell and “Josephine” that she’ll kill everything they love.

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Clarke injects Madi with a sedative, then tells Russell she wants her new mind drive because “being mortal sucks.” Russell turns away, and Clarke—now fully showing her emotions—gives her daughter a heartbroken look.

Other Observations:

  • That Echo backstory was all kinds of yikes (in the best possible way—the kind that makes you understand why Echo is the way she is). I wondered if it would end with one of the children having to kill the other, but I didn’t see the twist of which one was Echo. That’s good ol’ The 100 storytelling for ya.
  • The Blakes! It’s hard to fault either one of them for how they’re acting—Octavia really wants redemption and loves her brother, but Bellamy has every right to not forgive so easily. These two are devastating in the best possible way, and I’m so happy they had a chance to talk this episode.
  • Octavia mentioned Diyoza! Yay! Why do I get the feeling this season is going to end with a non-pregnant Diyoza and her actual, real daughter walking out of the anomaly?
  • Must be pretty lonely being Russell Lightbourne right now. There’s two Primes left, unless I’m counting wrong: Him and Priya/Delilah. I get the feeling neither one of them is going to survive the next two episodes. Also, speaking of Priya, where's Jordan?!
  • Congrats to Bob Morley on an awesome episode! There were plenty of shots I really loved here—especially Bell's reaction to Octavia's insistence that she needs him in her life.

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