A Mind Drive Is a Terrible Thing to Waste in a Heart-Shattering 'The 100' (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The 100 Season 6 Episode 12, “Adjustment Protocol.”]
Well, OK. Holy moly. Wow. Yikes.
I didn't see that coming.
The sixth season of The 100 has been full of heartbreaking twists, but until tonight, it had seen just one death of a character that'd been with the show since the beginning: Marcus Kane (Henry Ian Cusick). The writing for that one was somewhat on the wall, what with Cusick's departure for The Passage and his casting as a series regular on a new show.
Tonight's episode saw another Season 1 character "death" (there's a reason that's in quotes, but don't worry, it's still devastating) that could've perhaps been predicted, but was far less certain. Meanwhile, in things that aren't death-related but are deadly, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) 's trying to maintain her cover in Sanctum and Gabriel goes against the plan.
A New Nightblood
The episode opens with Russell (JR Bourne) putting a chip back in Clarke’s head. As he does so, Madi (Lola Flanery) awakens and threatens him, saying she should’ve killed him first. Her outburst spurs Russell to call for the doctors, one of whom is Abby (Paige Turco). Upon seeing her daughter and thinking she’s dead, she tells the leader of the Primes that she’ll kill him for what he’s done.
Abby’s determination for revenge also leads her to inject herself with the Nightblood serum, and she says that if Russell needs more bone marrow, he can take it from her. Later, while she discusses the logistics with Jackson (Sachin Sahel), Clarke walks in and embraces her mom, and they both cry—then Clarke says she needs Raven (Lindsey Morgan)’s help lowering the shields. Raven says she can’t make that trip, because if she leaves Madi, Sheidheda will kill her. As such, Clarke decides she’ll need Ryker’s help.
There’s one huge problem with that: Ryker’s dead. When Clarke finds him dead, she takes out his chip and says, “If you won’t help me, maybe your mom will.” Soon after, Russell arrives in the shop and puts “Josephine” in charge of finding Ryker’s chip, since he thinks Echo and her friends took it. Clarke gets Priya away from the rest of the Primes with the help of Echo (Tasya Teles), Gaia (Tati Gabrielle) and Miller (Jarod Joseph), and she tells Priya that if she doesn't help, she'll kill her son.
After Clarke leaves, Russell enters the lab. He realizes Abby disobeyed him by taking the marrow from herself, but decides he doesn't care—he needs to make more hosts. He has Raven, Abby and Jackson placed in holding, and while they wait, Abby apologizes to Raven for what she did to her. "You may not be my daughter, but you are my family," she says. When Russell comes in, Emori and Murphy have already been made hosts, but Russell asks for Abby's help with something... and promptly injects her with the serum, wiping her mind.
Saving the Many
In the forest, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and the Children of Gabriel wait for their people on the inside to lower the shield. When the guards mention “namings,” Gabriel sprints through and incapacitates them, knowingly defying the plan. Now, he says he has to save these people before the Primes take more innocent lives. “Unlike you,” he tells Bellamy, “I can’t sacrifice the few to save the many.”
Gabriel enters Sanctum and plants something in the water, then gets captured and meets Russell. He tries to convince Russell not to go through with the Namings, but he refuses. He gets Russell cornered with a gun to his head, but he can't pull the trigger. "You never had the stomach to be a god," Russell tells him. As he's taken into custody, Russell brings out Murphy (Richard Harmon) and Emori (Luisa D'Oliveira), dressed in full Prime regalia.
At Russell's ceremony, all hell breaks loose. Clarke and her pals—along with Bellamy, Octavia and the rest, once the shield is down—manage to get Priya to tell the people of Sanctum that their gods are not real, and that the hosts die. Then, Russell pulls a truly heartless move: He yells "non-believers must be purified!" and throws a bomb of Red Sun gas into the crowd. In the ensuing chaos, Priya is killed, Octavia, Bellamy and the rest of the Children of Gabriel put on their antitoxin masks, and Clarke takes Gaia as Josephine's bodyguard up to the palace.
When they get there, Russell unveils his plan. Sanctum is lost to them, so they're going into space—along with Abby, now Simone. Clarke, as Josephine, cries when she sees her mother, but she doesn't have long to mourn before Simone does something truly horrifying. She holds a gun on Madi in order to get Raven to take them to space, and, because it's Madi, the tactic works. Murphy and Emori choose to stay behind and save their friends while Clarke must go to space, and she tells the cockroach she's proud of him. As the episode ends, Clarke and the Primes make it to the ship, holding weapons on their prisoners.
- I'm having trouble finding words to write about Abby Griffin's death. I hoped the show was playing a long game with her and slowly bringing her back to the character she was in Season 1 and Season 2: The strong, efficient leader who didn't take bull**** and always had a plan. Tonight's episode somewhat proved they weren't plotting a return to form for her. As heartbreaking as it is to lose a character that's been on the show since Season 1, it's even more tragic to mourn her lost potential. And the fact that her death came midway through an episode instead of at the end, as we'd seen with characters like Lexa, Lincoln, Jasper, Jaha and Kane feels odd and, unfortunately, a little cheap.
- Now, all of this said... the fact that we haven't heard about Paige Turco being cast as a regular on any other shows—like we did with Alycia Debnam-Carey and Cusick, and I think Ricky Whittle, with American Gods, though that announcement might have come later—makes me wonder what's happening here and if we've seen the last of Doctor Griffin or if Simone is sticking around, and thus, so is Turco. Yes, Abby's mind should be gone based on the rules the show has set, but they've still got Raven, who tends to function as a cure for the rules. Could it be possible part of next season revolves around trying to get Abby back, or trying to find a way to reverse what the serum did? It's hard to believe the show would get rid of Cusick and Turco in a single season, unless one, or both, didn't renew their contracts.
- So, uh... where is Jordan? Seriously, where is he? It's been several episodes since we've seen him, which means he can't be dead, because it'd be silly writing to kill him offscreen and not mention that for this amount of time. Is he coming back at the last minute with a solution to everyone's problems? Is he just chillin' somewhere in the castle?
- Eliza Taylor's acting when she realized Simone was in her mother's body was truly incredible. She's been a powerhouse this season, and this storyline has proved just how well she can act when she's given complex, emotional material.
- Did anyone else think Gabriel's sudden inability to kill Russell was a little out of character? Granted he's never been championing "death to Primes" in the way most of his people have, but still. He thought the only way to stop more death was to kill him, he fully well knew how bad of a person Russell is, and yet he didn't pull the trigger. Not sure I buy it.
- This is just my weekly bullet point about missing Diyoza and wondering where she is.
The 100, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW