‘The 100’: Murphy Plays a Deadly Game, Echo Spirals & [SPOILER] Rises from the Grave (RECAP)

The Queen's Gambit
Spoiler Alert
Michael Courtney/The CW

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The 100 Season 7 Episode 7, “The Queen’s Gambit.”]

Fans of The 100, we’re in the endgame now — well, okay, we’re almost in the endgame. The last few minutes of “The Queen’s Gambit” make it clear where The CW show is headed, and it appears it’ll be ending much the same as it began: with a war.

But before Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and friends go to battle one last time, there are other issues to deal with. On Bardo, Echo (Tasya Teles) and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), as well as Hope (Shelby Flannery) and Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic), are trapped, while Gabriel (Chuku Modu) has fully joined the Sheperd.

Back on Sanctum, Murphy (Richard Harmon) ends up being late to Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira)’s reunification ceremony when he plays an alarmingly foreboding game of chess with Sheidheda (JR Bourne). Oh, and Clarke learns a heartbreaking truth(?) that’ll undoubtedly shape her journey for the rest of the season. Let’s break it all down.

Michael Courtney/The CW

Where We Are Now

Perhaps most surprisingly, this episode saw a HUGE shift in the connection between Echo and Octavia. We saw the beginnings of Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Echo’s relationship on Sky Ring, and those memories fuel Echo’s rage. Octavia tries to talk to her about it and gives her a hug, which at first the warrior doesn’t accept… and then, when Octavia doesn’t let her pull away, Echo relents and cries. O even calls her family. From trying to kill each other to considering each other family… yeah, these two have come a long way.

Meanwhile, Diyoza and Hope have some awkward family bonding. Diyoza’s not pleased that Hope’s learned how to fight, whereas Hope insists her mom is just angry that she “turned out to be a killer like [her].” Yikes. They battle verbally and then physically — the latter is a sparring match designed to settle the question of whether they’ll try to fight the Bardo guards — and they, too, end up hugging and crying. There’s a lot of that going around on Bardo this episode.

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The Queen’s Gambit

The most interesting part of the episode (at least in this recapper’s opinion) occurs on Sanctum, when Murphy goes to give Sheidheda his food. Through the promise of giving him a way to be a hero, Sheidheda manages to convince the cockroach to stick around for a game of chess, which becomes increasingly frightening when the metaphors start to connect to real life — namely, that Sheidheda’s threatening Murphy’s “queen.” By the time Murphy puts it all together, Sheidheda’s master plan is well underway.

And that master plan? Well, part of it is Emori’s reunification ceremony; she’s bringing the Children of Gabriel, who were separated from their Sanctum families, back to them. How sweet, right? Wrong. The Eligius group who stole the guns and want to revolt against Team Indra stage a coup with the help of the Children of Gabriel’s leader, and they use the ceremony as a way to hold Emori hostage. As the Sanctum storyline concludes, she’s at gunpoint.

Michael Courtney/The CW

An Unpleasant Truth

Clarke and her friends end up on Bardo, if only toward the end of the episode. Prior to their arrival, Gabriel’s officially inducted into the Disciples; he’s determined to solve the mystery of the anomaly, and he’s happy enough to work with the scientists to do that. So, it’s from that vantage point that he meets up with Clarke, Raven and the rest of the gang when they come through the anomaly… and he tells Clarke that Bellamy’s dead.

Her reaction? She’s too stunned to speak, but her heartbreak is clear in her gaze, on which the camera lingers for a good, long time. Clarke doesn’t go full murderous warrior like Echo, but it’s clear her pain is just as deep. And speaking of Echo’s pain, she ends up mutilating her face in an Azgeda ritual, then she informs Octavia she’s figured it out — the Disciples want them to join the war. That realization and agreement to help gets the whole team let out, which is where things stand for them at the episode’s end.

Finally, in the last few minutes, it’s revealed that Bill Cadogan’s been alive in cryo-sleep this whole time. He’s the Shepherd, he’s awake and he’s determined to win the last war with Clarke as the key. We’re going back to war, folks.

Other Observations

  • The best part of the episode, at least in this recapper’s opinion, was the chess match with Sheidheda and Murphy. JR Bourne and Richard Harmon played off each other so well. Also, kudos to Lindsey Morgan, who directed the episode, for the way those shots were framed. It was impossible to look away, both because of the tension and because it was filmed so beautifully.
  • Sometimes I feel a little like Russell Prime this season in that I’m shouting, “I need death!” But it’s true. It’s odd that we’ve gone almost half a season with no major characters dying, which is why I thought Emori wasn’t going to make it out of this episode — and I’m not 100 percent sure she’s making it out of next week’s. For a final season of a show known for being extremely bloody, I’d expected more non-fakeout deaths by now to raise the stakes.
  • Does anyone else feel like the first half of this season has been spinning its wheels? I understand that it’s all leading somewhere, but at this point last season the main conflicts had been set up and there’d been some incredible, shocking moments (Clarke as Josephine, Murphy betraying his friends, Clarke fighting her way out of her mind space, etc.). I don’t think there’s been a jaw-dropping moment on par with those just yet, and I feel like the plot has been spread too thin between several storylines.
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  • Why would the Bardo scientists trust Team Echo to join the war when they were just fighting against them and killing their people? Do they think they can brainwash them into being good soldiers? I’m kind of confused about that.
  • At first I thought Clarke learning about Bellamy’s death would be a more dramatic scene, but I think it was great as is. Quiet shock and horror made more sense than her breaking down and crying, since we’ve only seen her do that a handful of times and it wouldn’t have made sense under the circumstances. And Eliza Taylor did a ton with no dialogue or action. The emotion was simmering, rather than boiling over.
  • Rating: 3/5. Lindsey Morgan does an excellent job as director and there are some bright sparks here in terms of character development, but the show feels like it’s driving well under the speed limit to get to where it’s going.

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