The 100: False Gods

“We keep ending up in the same place, and every time, people die.”

At this point in the game, The 100 has tried and tested what feels like a thousand different variations on warring factions with starkly opposing views. What makes this type of recycled story still work is the fact that the writers manage to inject these trials with humanity and nuance, irrespective of the group each character might be part of.

This season, we finally see the faceless convicts take another turn in the spotlight, something that hasn’t happened since Diyoza was front and centre during the fifth season. In ‘False Gods’, we meet Nikki and Hatch, a couple that are very much aware of their position at the bottom of the Sanctum food chain. Though the hardest part of watching Nikki lose her husband is down to the gut-punch of Raven making the darkest call she’s had to make in her entire Wonkru life, and less so the loss of Hatch himself, the fact that there’s time taken to flesh out even the most short-lived of characters is to this show’s benefit.

I did question why Raven made the call to openly lie to the prisoners when she recruited them on an admittedly dangerous job to repair Sanctum’s rapidly deteriorating nuclear core. Time and time again she’s been the moral compass of The 100, talking many a character off many a dark ledge – she even gave Abby the chance to redeem herself in her final moments last season. Here, she makes the choice to coax Hatch and “X, Y & Z” into conditions that were, at best, dodgy, without telling them that they might be taking a big risk in the process.

It's not that it’s incomprehensible that Raven would make a sacrifice to save the wider group of humans on the compound; it’s the type of call that Clarke has made almost every season to date, so it makes sense that Raven would now see the benefit of making sacrifices for greater good of what's left of the human race. It’s Raven’s dishonesty to those that she put on the chopping-block that hits home. Clearly Raven feels just as torn about her decision as we viewers might, as she took a beating from a mourning Nikki without a single swing back against her attacker. I worry about where the writers might take this story over the next few episodes. As we’re in the final season, every card is on the table and nobody is safe. Raven’s time could potentially be up.

Are Emori and Murphy also at risk? They didn’t look to be in great condition after their own brush with radiation as part of Raven’s operation to repair the core. It’s very clear that Murphy’s story is very quickly coming full circle, as he made several choices for the good of Emori, and everyone else as he threw himself into harm's way this week. The fact that he and Emori are a voice of reason for Raven speaks volumes about the people they’ve become, and how all that’s happened has changed their beliefs massively. I'd like to see happy endings for both of them, but anything could happen at this point, and the fact that anyone is at risk means the stakes feel very real.

Much like Raven, Clarke is also at a bit of a crossroads. As she attempts to keep the peace amongst the powder keg that Sanctum has become, she slowly starts to believe that fighting may be all that her people are. Her attempts to quell the fires amongst the different groups were a failure, as the masquerading Sheidheda used his new guise as Russell to cancel his impending execution and throw Sanctum further into chaos. If Clarke knew this I’m sure she’d still believe the same thing she now believes; that these people may no longer have the choice to find their humanity again, as her mother once tried to tell her.

Plus

No Bellamy or Octavia this week.

I like where Gaia has been taken this season. I hope she finds more purpose now that her role as Flamekeeper is defunct.

Also, did I detect some sparkage between her and Clarke?

He Said, She Said

Indra: “Suddenly, a nuclear meltdown doesn't seem so bad.”

Gaia: “I had my faith. Now I don't know what I have.”

Clarke: “I realized no matter what we do to help it always ends the same. I used to think fighting is what we do. Now I worry that fighting is what we are.”

Now that Gaia has finally revealed the destruction of the flame to an increasingly discouraged Wonkru, and Russell/Sheidheda continues to pit those loyal to the Royals against the Children of Gabriel, there’s a palpable sense that this new planet the survivors have found might not be the saving grace they once thought it was. Like many other elements of this final season, it's a familiar place to find this series in, but it's one that remains fresh and exciting even at this late stage thanks to the layered characters at the heart of it all.

8 out of 10 broken flames.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

Excellent review, Panda, and I agree -- it feels like Raven is reaching the breaking point and (pun intended) headed toward meltdown. She just did something Clarke would have done, but I think Clarke has a steel core. Or maybe a steelier core.