Through the fire and Flame

The 100 5×10 “The Warriors Will” was an enormous episode for Octavia, Clarke and Abby, all of whom have been confronted with large ethical quandaries and all of whom… sort of failed upwards?

“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”
– Robert Frost

The Flame. Burning Becca. A face, coated in deep purple blood. Setting fire to the crops. The visceral imagery of fire on this episode is sharply contrasted to the chilly and blue of the shattered mirror by which Octavia’s equally shattered self is mirrored.

The 100 5×10 was written by Shawna Benson and Julie Benson, an unimaginable writing pair who’re sadly departing the collection after this season. However what an episode to finish on!

The episode was directed by Henry Ian Cusick, who in fact performs Kane. That is his second directing credit score for The 100, with the devastating “The Other Side” (additionally written by the Bensons) being his first.

Whereas Jasper and Monty’s remaining scene collectively will in all probability all the time stand out as my favourite visible of the complete collection, “The Warriors Will” proves definitively that Cusick not solely is a reliable director however has an unimaginable eye for evocative, visceral imagery that brings these characters and the story to life and conveys a lot greater than the phrases they converse.

Octavia, particularly, depends on these sluggish, lingering visuals to deliver out her internal turmoil, a lot of which we’re nonetheless in the darkish about. The mirror scene, clearly, is extremely efficient.

However the one during which she is framed by lifeless branches with the one flower pulling focus is probably much more so: not solely is that flower such a stark callback to the pilot, through which Finn (!) put a flower in her hair, however it’s also the solely tiny life check in a barren world – completely reflecting Octavia herself. She kills that flower, however 100 extra bloom as an alternative. Nothing is ever really lifeless. Not even her.

In Eden, too, the fisheye-y level of view-shots of Abby and Vinson additionally achieve this a lot to make us really feel the world as they do, the fuzzy edges and the distortion of actuality that serving to assist us perceive what a robust maintain their addictions have on them.

“The Warriors Will” is one among The 100’s strongest and most visually fascinating episodes up to now, and I’m really glad that the collection is giving Cusick a car by means of which to discover this subject. Hopefully it’s removed from the final thing he directs.

Let’s talk about The 100 5×10 “The Warriors Will!”

I assume that’s why they name it the ‘Flame’

In just a few seconds, we discovered extra about Becca and Cadogan and the origin of ‘The Flame’ than we ever have earlier than. Particularly, the way it (in all probability) received its identify, being actually burned out of poor Becca Pramheda by Invoice Cadogan and his followers.

Madi’s flashback, a reminiscence granted to her by the Commanders (in all probability the first of many, although whether or not we’ll get extra visible backstory that means stays to be seen), forces her to viscerally stay what look like the final moments of Becca’s life: when she is burned at the stake like a witch by the technology-fearing Cadogan and his Second Daybreak cult.

Whereas we all the time knew there was extra to the story of Becca and Cadogan in the bunker, after she landed on Earth bearing the Nightblood vials in the “Thirteen” flashbacks, I’m unsure anybody actually might have predicted this.

Since Madi sees Becca’s demise, from Becca’s perspective, we now have to imagine the Flame was in her head right now – and that it survived the burning, even when Becca didn’t.

What occurred afterwards? Did Cadogan take possession of the Flame? He may need needed no matter powers it possessed – nevertheless it appears unlikely; being a bit of superior know-how, it appears extra possible that he was making an attempt to destroy it. Did the cult of the Commander spring up underneath his nostril by a subsection of Second Daybreak followers? Who truly did find yourself getting the Nightblood injections – random bunker inhabitants, or those that selected to comply with Becca?

And why did Cadogan really feel so threatened by Becca that he had her burned at the stake (the unique ‘you are Wonkru or the enemy of Wonkru’ worry tactic)? Was it merely that she urged his individuals to make use of know-how, whereas he was making an attempt to get rid of it? Was she threatening his rulership? Did he discover out that her tech ended the world?

Nonetheless, as many questions as we nonetheless have, these few seconds of content material actually successfully (and viscerally) conveyed a lot new details about the Grounders’ origin, and the origin of the Commanders. Clearly, the individuals who believed in the Flame gained management, ultimately, however Cadogan’s hatred of know-how additionally endured in them, turning the Commander ‘tech’ into one thing mystical and spiritual.

I hope this isn’t the remaining piece of the puzzle – however even whether it is, I’m thrilled that we acquired this little flashback in there. And I’m much more thrilled that this scene, and Erica Cerra’s reappearance, was an entire secret! It’s all the time good when fandom is genuinely stunned by one thing.

‘Cast it into the fire!’

For many of this episode, Clarke is determined to get the Flame out of Madi’s head. She’ll drive it if she needed to; she’s seen firsthand the way it shapes an individual’s life and future, and the way it paints a goal on the again of whomever carries it.

Clarke’s desperation and worry isn’t solely due to how a lot she loves Madi. Clearly, the trauma of dropping Lexa continues to be very uncooked (as the trauma of dropping Lincoln is uncooked for Octavia), even in any case her time in Eden. She won’t let one other individual she loves die because of being Commander.

Which in all probability additionally explains her sharp turnaround at the finish of the episode, the place Madi informs Clarke that the solely strategy to cease her from having the Flame in her head is to throw it into Mount Doom destroy it. That’s the one worth Clarke can’t pay (but), as a result of destroying the Flame would kill Lexa yet again.

So she backs off; she lets Madi endure the painful nightmares; she grudgingly lets Madi have a ‘choice’ about whether or not or to not keep chipped solely as a result of destroying the Flame is one other unacceptable loss to herself.

Does she truly select the fragment of Lexa over Madi right here? Is her acceptance of Madi having the Flame in her head in any means an acceptance that Madi has autonomy over her personal physique, or is it as selfishly motivated as most of Clarke’s different actions this season? I’m unsure.

All I do know is that Clarke is just not considering rationally about something. She is appearing purely on (contradictory) intuition, closing the figurative bunker door in the face of anybody who isn’t Madi.

I don’t know if I completely purchase that being a ‘mama bear’ equals being so irrational and unthinking. However I additionally don’t assume that her ‘being a mom now’ is what is definitely motivating her to behave this manner.

I feel it is extremely apparent, particularly from the method Clarke reacted to the risk of destroying the Flame (and her panic when she noticed Abby unconscious), that Clarke continues to be simply as emotionally scarred by the horrific losses she’s endured as she was earlier than the time leap.

Very similar to Octavia, Clarke has not healed from the horrific traumas she endured pre-time leap. She may need thrived throughout these six years in Eden, however being plunged again into the struggle takes all of that away (very similar to it initially did for Monty).

Clarke has misplaced virtually each single individual she’s ever beloved, and the proven fact that she has now thrown all of her love (and therapeutic) into one single individual solely made her ‘better’ whereas that one individual was protected. Clarke can’t survive Madi being harm, identical to Octavia – in her personal approach – was desperately preventing for Bellamy’s life as a result of she is aware of that’s the one demise she gained’t survive.

And very similar to Octavia, Clarke is barreling in the direction of a cliff the place she’ll both should cease brief or plunge over. As a result of The 100 doesn’t deal in linear character arcs, I actually don’t know in the event that they’re planning to loop Clarke’s story again round to management and relative rationality, however I hope so!

In the meantime, Madi is evolving (!), her already pure coronary heart now fused with a mind that accommodates dozens of lifetimes’ value of management expertise. She may appear to be a toddler, however her ‘old soul’ understands a lot extra about this present disaster than Clarke probably might (or a minimum of is prepared to).

I perceive the desperation Clarke feels, not simply to maintain Madi protected however to maintain her a toddler. In so some ways, she is a mum or dad who’s seeing her baby wrestle with a burden she ought to by no means have needed to bear, rising up too quick and dropping her proper to decide on her personal path in life.

And she or he’s proper. We might by no means know if Madi would ever have chosen to take the Flame if Clarke’s life hadn’t been at stake, and we don’t know whether it is certainly Madi who now doesn’t need the Flame eliminated, or whether it is the Flame coercing her to really feel this manner (very similar to Abby’s drugs, and Octavia’s Blodreina, Madi now seems like she wants the Flame).

All of it depends upon whether or not you see the Flame as an enhancer or as a parasite (or a mixture of each). We’ve heard it stated that it doesn’t change who you’re, fairly enhances what’s already there, and makes you a greater chief. And that might be true, from one viewpoint.

However it’s nonetheless an invasive factor, and it’s altering who Madi is. It’s clear from this episode that the Flame definitely has an agenda: it’s displaying Madi what it determines she must see, and in doing so, is shaping her into the chief it needs her to be. She looks like she has a individuals now, and she kills the enemies of that folks. It’s even altering her voice! In fact Clarke needs it out of her.

I’m unsure we will make any concrete judgements about what the Flame does and doesn’t do to an individual’s thoughts, and whether or not or not Madi ‘should’ have it. However we will definitely empathise with Clarke’s panic and sense of helplessness over what is occurring to her youngster, at the similar time as acknowledge that Madi herself ought to have a say in what is occurring to her personal physique.

’You possibly can’t save somebody who’s already lifeless’

It’s clear now that Octavia continues to be dwelling in the Darkish Yr. No matter she did there ‘killed’ the individual she was, and she is going to now do something to justify the decisions she made then.

“I am what is best for my people,” she tells Indra, and you understand she believes it. She has to consider it. Which can also be why she believes that she has to remain in cost, at no matter value.

Indra understands this, even when she not agrees with it. However Indra can also be completed coddling Octavia, even when it means her personal finish. Octavia goes to her former mentor, determined for an additional approach out than the one she is aware of will work – put her household in the area to scare her individuals into following her to warfare – however Indra isn’t going to make it that straightforward.

She is aware of, in addition to Octavia is aware of, there is just one path to the place she feels she must go. The one ‘choice’ Octavia has is to vary instructions, and Indra already is aware of that they’re past such an idea.

Indra sharply distinguishes between Octavia and Blodreina right here, saying that it was Octavia she educated to be her second, however Blodreina that she betrayed. In fact this isn’t truly a Jekyll/Hyde state of affairs, however it’s undoubtedly true that what Octavia did as Blodreina formed an id very totally different from her personal, which she is now clinging on to.

Blodreina is the most excessive instance of “who we are versus who we have to be to survive” that the present has ever given us. Blodreina is the persona she wanted at the time and which she is now unwilling to let go of, as a result of it retains her from feeling all that guilt and ache and heartbreak she is so desperately suppressing. The Flame won’t be, however Blodreina definitely is a parasite, and Octavia is willingly letting it suck the life out of her.

The previous story about the two wolves inside you, and your selection about which one you feed, actually involves thoughts right here. Octavia stopped feeding her good wolf years in the past, and although it isn’t actually utterly lifeless, it’s nowhere close to robust sufficient to battle again.

All issues thought-about, it’s value noting that Octavia was not truly going to place Indra, Bellamy and Gaia in the ring. After ignoring their transgressions for therefore lengthy, she needed to truly arrest them for open treason, however there have been no plans to execute them till new!Cooper steered it. However as soon as her selection was between that and surrendering, it felt like no selection in any respect.

As a result of the factor that finally drives Blodreina is that she has to win that valley for her individuals. If she doesn’t, it was all for nothing, and that’s unacceptable. As I stated final week, ‘The end justifies the means’ solely applies if that finish is achieved.

That is the debt that she nonetheless feels she owes her individuals, and the reward she nonetheless feels she deserves, for no matter occurred in the Darkish Yr. Attending to Eden will make every part okay, one way or the other (funnily sufficient, Bellamy thought the very same factor about poisoning Octavia).

And as a lot as I detest to agree with Octavia in any means, I do assume she has a legitimate level (nevertheless terribly she expresses it) that it’s not truthful to only surrender on the valley and survive on Monty’s algae farm.

Why ought to Diyoza simply be allowed to maintain the valley for herself? Why ought to she get to set the phrases for whether or not or not Wonkru may also reside there? And why ought to Octavia give up to ensure that her individuals to be ‘allowed’ to share it? The land doesn’t belong to Eligius. It doesn’t belong to Wonkru both, however that doesn’t give Diyoza the proper to say it.

However in fact none of this justifies something Octavia does this week. Not placing her household in the preventing pit; not burning the farm; not even refusing to give up when the various means dooming a few of her personal individuals to demise.

I actually, actually thought that Octavia would break when Gaia threw that spear at her, and Bellamy saved her. I actually thought that may be the second. However in fact it wasn’t, as a result of that is The 100, and they knew that we might all expect it.

As an alternative of snapping out of it, as an alternative of reaching her restrict, she barreled proper previous the level of no return for one purpose: she already seems like she handed that time a very long time in the past. The one cause we don’t really feel that’s as a result of we, like Bellamy, didn’t see her cross it (but).

“You turned this place into a story from your childhood” – Bellamy

Killing her household, burning down any viable answer that isn’t the ending to her story she had in thoughts, is suitable. It’s all acceptable now, to succeed in ‘The End’ of this twisted fairy story she has spun round herself in that bunker.

Like I stated final week, there was a quick second of time after Octavia created Wonkru that she may need ascended from the darkish place she was already in, and poured all of her grief and love for Lincoln and her personal horrible upbringing into creating a greater world.

However that didn’t occur. As an alternative she sunk deeper into the darkish, and she let it eat her. What we obtained in season four, when Octavia turned Skairippa and tried to step into the acid rain, was solely a preview of what she would grow to be as Blodreina.

And but I nonetheless keep (perhaps stubbornly at this level) that ache and grief is best than the numbness she is making an attempt to drive onto herself. Octavia shouldn’t be lifeless, Octavia is struggling enormously, and that struggling isn’t going to magically go away — regardless of how exhausting she tries to numb herself to it.

Octavia is making an attempt to suppress her feelings as a result of she has so lots of them, and they’re overwhelming, and all-consuming, and she can’t escape from them and she looks like it’s killing her. However she is just not lifeless.

Perhaps if Bellamy had truly died, that might have been the finish of Octavia too, and she would have achieved that blissful numbness she has striven in the direction of since Lincoln died. However she didn’t.

She additionally didn’t save him, however by divine (ie the writers’) intervention, he additionally didn’t die – none of them did – and whereas she then went and burned down the farm, she nonetheless saved that spark of affection and life that she has tried so arduous to extinguish. That issues. I don’t understand how, however I do know that it issues.

Nevertheless, whereas Octavia didn’t attain her turning level this week, her individuals did. Beginning this episode, she (and probably Miller) is the just one who continues to be mentally trapped beneath the flooring, together with her individuals lastly semi-revolting, following ‘Blodreina’ solely insofar as she may cause them to their true chief Madi.

And Octavia in all probability is aware of this, too. Nonetheless she lets them march, and nonetheless she didn’t kill Indra, Gaia and Bellamy as soon as Monty’s interruption occurred. It doesn’t matter so long as they march on the Valley, and she’s made positive they haven’t any different selection however to take action. However what occurs if/once they get there?

’First one who touches the floor loses’

(I’m not saying I would like Octavia to lose, however I do actually hope that is foreshadowing, as a result of how cool would that be??)

After interesting first to Indra, and then to Monty, Octavia lastly goes to see her brother. As a result of Blodreina might really feel like she doesn’t have a selection in forcing a traitor to battle, however Octavia nonetheless needs her brother to win. Wants him to.

As her flashbacks point out, Bellamy is the one tie she nonetheless has to some sort of happiness, the solely individual alive who she not solely loves, however who isn’t linked to her darkness.

At the danger of being too dramatic, Bellamy is in some ways her lifeline; her blood, as she factors out herself, the similar blood she later smears on her face.

She virtually ends her personal life earlier than ending his, and I feel the solely purpose she doesn’t is due to her lingering perception that she isn’t completed but, that she began one thing with Wonkru that she has to see by means of to the final victory – which isn’t the algae farm.

However Bellamy gained’t play her video games. He gained’t be a personality in her story. He needs Octavia to stay in actuality — and he nonetheless believes that she will. He nonetheless thinks she may be saved. Even in the area, he fights to save lots of her. She condemned him to demise, and he would have died if not for Monty’s heroic act of planting flowers.

And I imply, that’s undoubtedly in the prime 5 record of horrible issues the Blake siblings have accomplished to one another… and but each time Blodreina seems like she is completed, I’ve a sense Bellamy will nonetheless be there, ready for Octavia to let him save her. If she will.

The agricultural revolution


Or, properly, he ALMOST saved the world. However he nonetheless can!

Though it finally fell aside, I LOVE that hope is coming by means of Monty and Harper, the ‘Adam and Eve’ (foreshadowing?) of their very own manufactured Eden, rising apple timber and actively selecting to not take part in the conflict du jour.

Not eager to struggle doesn’t, nevertheless, imply not caring about their pals. I’ve to confess I used to be somewhat skeptical after them actively selecting to disregard the commotion a couple of episodes again, however Monty and Harper are in truth nonetheless prepared to step into the lion’s den to save lots of Bellamy. Not by preventing, however by bringing individuals hope. It’s a very, excellent plan. Too dangerous Octavia is past hope, and past cause.

Nonetheless, Monty’s interruption does a number of good. It saves Bellamy, Indra and Gaia. It exhibits Wonkru that there’s an alternative choice to Blodreina, and to the life she’s pressured them into. It reminds them that such a factor as ‘choice’ exists, even when Octavia isn’t giving them one.

I additionally actually respect the dedication to Monty and Octavia’s previous friendship, comparable to it’s what with the Blodreina parasite taking up management of Octavia’s mind. Beneath the circumstances, it’s at the very least good that their shared historical past is addressed. (I additionally simply love Monty as this cave-dwelling Yoda determine who individuals come to for some sage recommendation.)

“I always really liked you, Monty,” she tells him – a gross understatement, contemplating the whole lot they went by way of and the whole lot he’s accomplished for her – however the proven fact that she trusts him to assist her save Bellamy, and certainly doesn’t lump him in with the ‘traitors’ regardless of of all the traitorous issues he’s doing, perhaps convey greater than her phrases can.

Whereas I might like to see Harper extra actively take part than all the time simply standing by Monty, it looks like a small nitpick in comparison with how highly effective Monty’s story really is.

In the center of all this conflict and destruction is one individual not solely speaking about wanting a greater world, however actively making it a actuality. I solely hope that Octavia didn’t crush his spirit like she’s crushed her personal, as a result of regardless of her phrases to the opposite, the farmers can and will (and have) formed the world.

Addicts unite

I suppose the foundation for Vinson and Abby’s friendship makes a bit of extra sense now that we’ve seen each of their addictions work in tandem.

On this episode, Abby proves that there’s one factor she won’t do for these drugs: save McCreary. Nevertheless a lot she does or doesn’t consider in Diyoza, her understanding of McCreary and the darkness he’ll wring is sufficient to cease her from saving him, even when it prices her her personal life.

However drawing a line doesn’t imply she is fastened, or that she even believes she could be fastened. Correct or not, Abby clearly believes that she is going to die from withdrawal, and will nonetheless do something however save McCreary to feed her habit.

Feed? Get it? Anyway.

Vinson is her unlikely savior: she ‘buzzes him in’ and he agrees to assist her – and she, in flip, lets him give into his personal habit. CANNIBALISM! Yay! (Sure, welcome to The 100 fandom, the place we get very enthusiastic about cannibalism.)

Abby will get her repair, and she additionally doesn’t (but) save McCreary so, from her perspective, it’s a win-win.

However how will all that change when Clarke and Madi are in the combine? We all know they discover her unconscious, and we all know from the promo for subsequent week’s episode that she tells them about the Darkish Yr. However what occurs when McCreary comes again? What occurs if the selection turns into Clarke or the tablets?

I’ve beforehand speculated that Clarke will finally be the one to interrupt Abby out of her habit, however I’ve been incorrect earlier than (Bellamy was not the truth is the one who broke Octavia out of hers), so I suppose something might occur.

On your consideration

  • Contemplating that the season 5 finale known as “Damocles,” it’s veerrryy fascinating certainly that the story of Damocles’ sword was what Diyoza tried to convey in the speech she was writing to the world she thought she was going house to.
  • Did they do one thing to Madi’s voice? I really feel like there’s a reverb or one thing on it that jogs my memory of what they often did to Lexa’s voice, so it’s in all probability a Commander impact.
  • “I can see why she wouldn’t brag about it” lol. I really feel like Abby Griffin’s dry humor isn’t appreciated sufficient.
  • Octavia portray utilizing her personal blood as struggle paint, when beforehand it was the blood of her enemies, is such an ideal visible to precise that she has reworked into her personal worst enemy.
  • I additionally beloved how the ultimate shot pale to black proper on Octavia’s coronary heart.
  • I don’t need Octavia to die. However Gaia wanting to make use of her last moments to kill her to be able to make Madi protected (and in all probability make peace in the course of), quite than preventing Bellamy and her mom to the demise, was in all probability the smartest selection underneath the circumstances.
  • “I LOVE MONTY GREEN!” – Me, on New Caprica, shouting to the moons.

‘The 100’ 5×11 ‘The Dark Year’ airs Tuesday at eight/7c on The CW

The subsequent episode of The 100 screened for audiences at San Diego Comedian-Con this week, so watch out for fandom areas for the subsequent week in case you’re making an attempt to remain spoiler-free!

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