The 100: Etherea

"Have some faith."

Really?

Seriously. I wanted Bellamy back big time, but not like this.

So as it turned out, and of course we all knew he wasn't dead, Bellamy got blasted through the Anomaly and wound up on yet another planet on the menu. I was worried at first that it was Skyring, until Bellamy saw a lot of immense abstract statues. Or were they just strange rock formations?

At any rate, Bellamy was trapped on Etherea with one of Bill's guys, a tiresome true believer with a compound fracture that got better way too quickly, especially when you're talking about extreme sports like climbing an extremely tall mountain in extremely cold weather with no mountain-climbing equipment except a hand-woven rope. "Conductor Doucette," whose name was conveniently reminiscent of "Douche," had a complete and utter bananacakes faith in the Shepherd. "In the shadow of the Shepherd for all mankind." Whatever.

So Bellamy and Doucette were initially trapped in a cave acting out the plot of Enemy Mine until they trusted each other enough to climb that mountain in tandem. Why was the Anomaly at the top of a very tall mountain? I guess for the same reason that it was at the bottom of a lake on Skyring, intentionally intended to make pilgrims or followers or whatever do something extreme in the way of dying to prove their faith.

The two of them arrived in the transit room in Bardo, and after a too-short reunion with the three women he loved, Bellamy promptly betrayed Clarke. Why? Is the name "Etherea" a clue? Is the atmosphere intoxicating or brain-changing for humans, making them susceptible to brainwashing over a period of time? Was it maybe the tasty lichens or yummy cave bugs? Is that where the hallucination of Bellamy's mother came from – was he just very, very stoned?

What happened to Bellamy was way too much like our heroines being brainwashed, except that it went the other way. Bellamy kneeling before Bill made me gag. Please tell me that Bellamy had a very good secret plan in mind for telling Bill that Clarke doesn't carry the Flame?

Bits:

— Those caves were nice and roomy with flat surfaces. Most caves aren't that nice. The second one even had a name: "The Cave of Ascent." The family photo suggested that Bill had spent some time there.

— The oh-so-white dining room reminds me of Mount Weather. I actually sort of miss Mount Weather at this point. The evil was less confusing.

— Callbacks to Pike and survival training. Fun. It at least reminded me that I really like this show. Or I did.



Quotes, all from pre-brainwashed Bellamy:

"I'd like to get out of here before we find out what these eggs grow into."
I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see the dinosaurs, or whatever.

"Problem is, to get back to the people I care about, I have to nurse my enemy back to health. Sometimes, Bellamy Blake, irony can be funny. This is not one of those times." I agree.

"Never travel to another planet without something to read. Even if it is pocket propaganda from another false god."

I always watch episodes I review a second time. I didn't rewatch this one, because it was infuriating and I didn't want to sit through it twice. Please fix this, people – there are only five more episodes until the end.

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

Samantha M. Quinn said...

Yeah, this was incredibly frustrating and unbelievable. Yet, they did show him eating a clearly poisonous bug, and that cave lichen might've had hallucinogenic properties too. His bizarre vision also didn't quite jive with the propaganda either, sure he would have an emotional response to seeing his mother, and he was clearly affected by the yellow glowy alien things. Also, months of exposure and malnutrition must've played havoc on his mind as well. Yet, how does that translate to Bill's dogma? He advocates the needs of many over the needs of the few, that individual ties are selfish. If the catalyst for Bellamy's conversion was a vision of his mother, that doesn't work.

Regardless of his experiences, it feels like dramatic manipulation to do this to Bellamy after keeping him out of the narrative for over half the season. If he has truly been turned, if he isn't faking it like Echo, Diyoza and Octavia, then they have taken away one of our core characters for story reasons. One of our primary heroes is now the enemy, after a few months on a mountain. Years of love, and family and all the hardships he has endured mean nothing. That's a really shitty thing to do to a character, and to top it off with a betrayal which will lead to Clarke being tortured or killed is just unforgivable.

Panda said...

I hated this one, too. If Bellamy wasn’t absent for so long it would’ve been a slap in the face, considering the circumstances it was a pretty terrible way to reintroduce him.

I’m finding this season’s narrative a bit too confusing at this point. One or two bottle episodes like this are fine, but that approach is totally worn out now and the gaps in the major arcs are starting to kill momentum.

Lamounier said...

Most of this episode was boring. Preachy characters are just not interesting to watch. I barely paid attention to what was going on during the first half. The episode did get my attention when Bellamy's mom appeared, though. I hope that you are right, Billie, that something in Etherea's atmosphere got Bellamy very stoned.

I wish the episode had been better. I wish it had been a successful study on how extreme situations can break a person and make them buy a belief system they otherwise wouldn't care about. But at times it seemed like the episode was condoning Bellamy's transformation. I too hope they fix this.