The 100: Welcome to Bardo

The entire season so far as been designed to establish the characters and the mystery of the Anomaly. While there are some major answers left, we do have a fairly good idea of what the hell happened to Octavia, Diyoza and her daughter Hope and finally we have a hint of what happened to Bellamy.

This was perhaps even more confusing than "The Garden," which at least was somewhat linear. "Welcome to Bardo" jumps around so much that, without those time stamps, uh... with those time stamps, it was still hard to follow. Basically, this ties up Octavia’s journey since she went through the Anomaly to Bardo. She was tortured, and tortured, and then she was tortured some more. Lovely.

I guess towards the end she had Levitt who has (had) a conscience. I’m pretty sure he fell in love with her too, which would give us our Maya character. Yes, I keep seeing Mount Weather parallels with Bardo. Advanced, reclusive super clean society that has bonkers morals and strange technology. Except this time, if Octavia falls for this guy, I doubt they are going to kill him off. She deserves a break.

Hope just got some more back story here, filling in the rest of her journey after coming through the Anomaly the first and second time. I think her stuff was the most confusing, because it wasn’t entirely clear that her scenes were taking place in the past before she stabbed Octavia with that tracker knife. It did help a little separating out her timelines because she has short blonde hair now, but I’m not sure that was enough. Were there time stamps explaining her scenes alone in Bardo were all in the past?

Echo, Gabriel and Current Hope came through and got to listen to a speech by the best person to cast for a villain if you want your villain to be immediately evil, Neal McDonough. He has a charm and a mildly crazy look that gives legitimacy to any bad guy. Although I wonder if he will ultimately be the big bad for this season or is he just a temporary obstacle? Unfortunately, he may have hurt or killed Bellamy, and Echo is not all that stable without him. Let's hope Bellamy was just thrown through the Anomaly.

On Sanctum, things are going south quickly. As Sheidheda starts whatever his plan is, Indra figures him out. Their exchanges were probably the best parts of the episode, and I really liked that Indra was the only one that could’ve spotted him because she was there the first time he was around. The fact that his mind drive was removed gives him some vulnerability too, and means that we’ll likely get a satisfying death after he does the horrible things he is going to do to our characters… which is probably going to start with Indra, unfortunately. I like Indra.

Bits:

I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this but Bardo, while sounding like a strange Ren-faire affectation, is actually tied to early Buddhism and is basically a state between death and rebirth, used by some for enlightenment and the rest as a form of degeneration before the next cycle of life. It can also be used as a shorthand for something in between, like Purgatory.

The entire time Octavia was in that chair, I kept waiting for someone to stab her with it with the giant metal stabby thing above her. Well, leave it to Echo.

This episode finally marks the return of Bellamy this season, although it was brief.

While confusing as hell, that last segment officially brings Octavia into the current timeline.

The rings/Anomaly can lock on to a specific genetic signature.

Okay, so this is interesting, according to The 100 Wiki, this episode marks the first time that Indra interacted with Murphy, Jackson and Emori on screen. Huh.

There were several bits of previous episodes in Octavia’s memories, including Lincoln, Jaha and Pike.

Quotes:

Jackson: "Rack up another one for faith."
Indra: "Faith isn't the problem. Blind faith is."

Indra: "There's a spider on your shoulder."
Sheidheda: "Too bad you can't kill me."

Sheidheda: "You know what happens if you make me a martyr."
Indra: "Yes. The same thing that happens if anyone finds out who you are. Only then, as the people riot for the loss of their god, I can slit your throat."

I'm having a hard time figuring out a rating for this episode. A lot happened and all the emotions were there, but it was so oddly structured that it was difficult to wrap my head around it. Perhaps better on repeats, but for now I'll consider this a bit below average.

2 out 4 Mind reading devices used as convenient stabbings implements.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

3 comments:

Sjusjun said...

I love Indra so much. Every time she was on screen I was glued to her presence. Always there to clean up the messes.

There was so much in this episode, they are putting so much stuff in, it's a bit much.. even for The 100!

Billie Doux said...

Sjusjun, you are so right. They're putting in so much that it's a bit much.

J.D., I'm glad you reviewed this one. I would have had a terrible time pulling all the pieces together.

magritte said...

To me, this was almost the season to date in microcosm. As you put it: "A lot happened and all the emotions were there, but it was so oddly structured..." I'm not sure why they've decided to tell this story in such a strange, non-linear and confusing fashion.