'The 100': Sanctum Feels Sheidheda's Wrath & Team Echo Trains for War (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The 100 Season 7 Episode 9, "The Flock."]
To understand the last few seconds of last week’s episode, we have to go back. Back three months, to be exact.
In “The Flock” we learn Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Hope (Shelby Flanery), Diyoza (Ivana Millicevic) and Echo (Tasya Teles) underwent the Disciples’ training, which involved everything from classroom learning to mind-bending tests. They’re successful, mostly — but one group member isn’t willing to give up her emotions for the “good of all mankind.”
In Sanctum in the present, a group rushes to stop Annie and ends up having to involve Sheidheda to get the job done… only to realize too late that if they give an inch of power to The Dark Commander, he’ll take a mile.
For The Good of All Mankind
Through Team Echo’s tests, we learn a little more about Bardo; the original inhabitants of the planet were wiped out by something that’s coming back for “the last war,” the Disciples keep unborn children in test tubes to eliminate their “deformities,” and they’re keeping a biological weapon around that would wipe out all life on Bardo if used.
At first, Echo, O and Diyoza fail because they’re not willing to give up their personal connections for “the good of all mankind” — in one simulation, Diyoza won’t allow the Disciples to take away her infant daughter to raise her — but gradually, Echo, Diyoza and Octavia recognize the necessity of seeing things the Disciples’ way. It’s not clear whether they’re totally brainwashed or just doing what they have to do, but in the end, the trio passes the final simulation in which they have to kill Hope for the good of everyone on Bardo.
The Star Student
Notice how Hope was the one dying in the simulation? Yeah, that’s probably because she’s not willing to follow orders. At all. At every turn she disparages the Disciples and their way of life, and she’s horrified when her friends appear to embrace the Disciples and their culture. Her free-thinking spirit and anger lead her to fail the final test, and in a final twist of the knife, Echo, who’s deemed the “star student,” sentences her to five years on Penance. As she’s taken away, her screams echo through the corridors, and Octavia and Diyoza stare at their warrior friend, appalled.
Meanwhile, on Sanctum, everything is awful (as usual). Nikki's keeping Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) and everyone from the Reunification ceremony as hostages, and Indra (Adina Porter) and Murphy (Richard Harmon) have to make a deal with Sheidheda (J.R. Bourne) to get to them before bloodshed begins. Part One of the plan goes off without a hitch; they make it there and try to de-escalate the situation. But Nikki's not pleased to see Raven (Lindsey Morgan) isn’t with them, as she was one of her demands.
Part Two involved Indra, but she doesn’t arrive right away, so Murphy and Emori have to stall. They’re forced to reveal they’re not Primes, shocking the crowd of Sanctumites. In the end, even Sheidheda steps up and says he’s not Russell and that the Primes are extinct — and then Indra bursts through, ending the uprising before it begins.
She gets Murphy and Emori out of there but locks Sheidheda inside with his followers, believing they’ll tear him apart. Emori’s ready to leave just after Indra orders her guards not to open the door, but Murphy hangs back, concerned about the citizens inside. As it turns out, he has every right to be: he hears screaming and makes the mistake of referring to Sheidheda by his true name in front of the Wonkru guards, letting them know there is a “true Commander” still around… and he doesn’t manage to make it through the door before Sheidheda kills every last Sanctumite in the room.
Covered in blood, he smiles an absolutely psychopathic grin and says, in Trig, “my fight is just beginning.” Indra’s guards bow to him. He’s planned the whole thing — and undoubtedly, he’s planned what’ll come next. Terror is evident on Murphy and Emori’s faces. What an ending for a two-week hiatus!
- I hate to say it, but I think this was the weakest episode of the season so far — unfortunate that it followed one of the best! So much of what was shown here could’ve been sporadic flashbacks or lines of dialogue in a storyline that moved the narrative forward, rather than an entire episode that had nothing to do with the current timeline story of Cadogan (John Pyper-Ferguson), Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and “the key.” I’m getting tired of jumping the story an inch forward, then sliding back to explain how we got there.
- When are characters going to start dying? I don’t want a bloodbath, but the narrative needs something in order for the stakes to feel real. I was predicting either Emori or Diyoza, or both, wouldn’t make it through this episode. I was wrong. But without any major character deaths (we all know Bellamy’s not dead), the stakes feel low and it’s hard to get invested in the conflict.
- Remember what I said about Levittavia? Yeah, unfortunately, I half-rescind it. I know there are only seven episodes left, but I was hoping for more; more bonding between them, more dialogue and more exploration of their bond with a scene like this in the last few episodes. I thought their big scene was rushed: I found myself wishing he’d left after O jokingly said she didn’t feel anything, either, or they’d just talked, letting the tension between them simmer a little longer. O hasn’t let herself feel much of anything for anyone since Lincoln (Ricky Whittle), who’s arguably her “true love,” so this moment could’ve been more meaningful.
- A whole star in this episode’s rating is dedicated to Sheidheda’s speech at the end, which gave me chills. I had no idea how this show was going to keep J.R. Bourne around if Russell was gone, but I’m SO glad they did.
- I’m starting to believe Gaia (Tati Gabrielle)’s disappearance is tied to Bellamy (Bob Morley) somehow, if only because she’s been gone for so many episodes with no hint as to where she ended up. Maybe she’s on that mountain that was mentioned briefly this episode?
- Rating: 2 out of 5 stars — some bright spots in the Sheidheda story, but overall, it’s unfortunate that The 100 is continuing to tread water with so few episodes left to tell its story.
The 100, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW