The 100 – “Sleeping Giants” Review and Analysis

If I could summarize the collective reaction of fan reactions from this episode, it would be: barely articulate flailing bags of Jell-O. Rendered helpless by waves of emotions and sheer awesomeness, I’d say that this episode rockets (YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!) to the top of people’s “best of” lists for The 100.

Kinda like last week’s episode…and the premiere before it. You guys see a pattern in season 5? It seems they are going to sandblast our faces off with Awesomenicity and not apologize one bit. And like any good masochist, I say SANDBLAST MY FACE OFF IMMEDIATELY WITH YOUR AWESOME.

my body is ready

“Sleeping Giants,” written by the team of Aaron Ginsberg and Wade McIntyre and directed by Tim Scanlan, grabs you by the eyeballs, punches you in the heart, then leaves you along the side of the road for Kodiak to stomp into dust. Thanks gentlemen, it was a pleasure to witness that episode. These three are relentless in giving us the show at it’s very best.

You know what else? It felt CHOCK FULL of little clues here and there that will lead to much bigger revelations. The Eligius, it’s mission, it’s crew, it’s prisoners, it’s payload…we get a little info that lead to a lot of big questions that I think are going to unfold into one delicious gumbo of interesting conflicts, power struggles, push/pull personalities, and mysteries.

Y’all. GET EXCITE. It was that fuckin’ good. Let’s get into it! 

Clarke’s Parallels to Lincoln

It’s obvious that Clarke has been set up to mirror the experience of a Grounder from season 1, with parallels to Lincoln’s experience – including torture. Except Clarke is far from being a pacifist like Lincoln. In fact, Clarke’s new “kill or be killed” mantra has made her stone cold and hardcore. How stone cold and hardcore? She literally sets up a trap to impale a man so she can snipe those that come to his aid. But to what end?

ru paul

Oh, Mama Ru, there IS more and it’s pretty straight forward:

jr tweet

SHE’S PLANNING TO KILL THEM ALL.

ru paul

Y’ALL. She’s planning to kill them all.

Mama Ru, you good with that?

can't wait to see how this turns out ru paul

This is not the fresh-faced girl that fell to the earth six or so years ago. She’s seen some shit. She’s done some shit. As a protagonist, her story is challenging because we have to be okay with some pretty crazy, ugly, insanely difficult choices and still come out the other side (usually bloody and spent) cheering for Clarke.

What’s interesting to note about Hardcore Clarke is that Madi seems to be at odds with her ruthlessness. The man that Clarke has trapped is dying, obviously suffering, but is only used as bait to lure the other prison ship passengers forward so they can be killed one by one. This is likely to cause some conflict between the two, with Madi almost assuming an Abby-like role, moralizing while Clarke pushes forward making the hard decisions. We thought that Clarke was going to see things from a new perspective, to see what Abby goes through, but maybe, just maybe, Madi is here to pull Clarke back towards a more compassionate version of herself, instead of being focused on the black and white mantra of “kill or be killed.”

In the past, we have watched Clarke outgrow Abby’s sense of morality, much to Abby’s dismay (and finally, some measure of acceptance as hard decisions prompted the “maybe there are no good guys” line). What sort of influence can Madi have to soften Clarke to others who aren’t her surrogate daughter? Just something to ponder as we watch the season unfold…how are these relationships presented as direct parallels and how are they flipped on their head?

thinking

Getting to know more about Madi, I think we are in for watching three “versions” of Clarke this year: Madi is the young Clarke we met in season 1. A lot more naive due to age and lack of experience, but she can see people in pain and be empathetic. We have the current iteration of Clarke, probably more head than heart right now, but certainly has vulnerabilities where the heart is concerned, as we see when she breaks her silence to protect Madi. Then there’s future Clarke, Diyoza. If you think current Clarke doesn’t mess around, Diyoza has a PhD in Don’t Fuck With Me Studies from the University of Tired Of Your Shit.

The Eligius In A Nutshell

eligius is one big sexy problem

I mean, IS SHE WRONG?

No. A resounding no.

Dear Charmaine Diyoza: I Love You Will You Marry Me? This Isn’t Weird, Right?

If there was one thing certain from this season’s trailer, it’s that EVERYONE LOVES DIYOZA. But that love was based on all of 20 seconds of screen time. Now that I’ve gotten to know Diyoza a wee bit more, I’m ready to commit fully. I love her. Full stop. She’s going to fuck us all up something fierce. Remember this love, for it will eventually turn to pain. And we’ll LOVE IT.

so wrong but so right

We learn a little bit about Diyoza this episode. She was a SEAL who turned against a fascist government? Well, only the US has Navy Seals and … well … our current government is in the midst of a crisis, so this all hits a little too close to home. We know that Diyoza may be a murderer, but she’s a murderer with principles, which is just about everyone’s favorite damn thing.

During her interrogation of Clarke, it’s obvious that Clarke is playing checkers while Diyoza is playing 90-dimensional time-travelling chess. It’s odd seeing Clarke unable to outwit (outplay, outlast…SURVIVOR EDEN) Diyoza, but Clarke has the worst poker face in the world. When Diyoza applies pressure in the form of threatening Madi’s life, Clarke breaks down (no shame here, it reminds us that this “it’s us or them” version of Clarke isn’t without a heart). It leads to some of the best dialog of the episode:

Diyoza:
Thank you for telling the truth. As long as you keep doing that, your friend in the woods will stay alive and so will you. Do we understand each other?

Clarke:
Yes.

Diyoza:
Good. Then let’s begin. Start with how the world ended.

Clarke:
Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the survivor of a thing called Praimfaya

fresh prince

I’m playin’. “Which time?” was really a sexy-ass line. I knew the double apocalypse news would have to be dumped on the Eligius crew at some point, but the line and the delivery were just bad ass.

Diyoza is going to be a VERY interesting character moving forward. She’s obviously not without her very dangerous side, threatening death if you disappoint her, but she’s also shown (at least for now) to be willing to extend an olive branch. Just as long as you don’t lie to her. Lie to Diyoza after she shows some mercy and trust, then you gonna get got.

I can respect that because I can understand it. She might be the most straight-forward character of the bunch. The others? Well, them I don’t know about.

Who Are You Zeke Shaw and How Did You Get Messed Up With These Folks?

It’s obvious that we’re meant to like Zeke. It’s almost impossible to not like Zeke, even before finding out he’s part of the ship’s crew, not one of the prisoners. He reminds me very much of a post-douchecanoe-era Bellamy, whose “you don’t have to do this” response to the atrocities of others, while well-meaning, carries only so much weight in a group of murderers lead by Diyoza, who has shown she’s not going to mess around.

April parks and rec dangerous

I have to wonder why Zeke was the only member of the crew that was spared. Certainly there were others to pick from, so did he do something or broker some sort of deal with the prisoners to be spared? Worse thought – did he sell his people out for a promise of safety? We’ll learn more about this guy, but man, stop being so damn likable. He treated Clarke with kindness that felt sincere from a place of empathy. We usually don’t get people that are this good without a little darkness hiding in the background. Tread carefully.

caution

Tread carefully, my friends.

Murder McCreary Has a Beanie and I’m ALL ABOUT IT

Sigh, what is wrong with me? Who am I anymore? I admitted to liking Kane’s man bun in my last review, and now I’m all over McCreary and his dumb beanie. It’s like I’m into  white hipster dudes…but only in context of this show. Please accept my sexy apologies for this weakness.

i'm sorry loki

McCreary is my lowkey fav not named Diyoza. That she barely has any control over what he does yet still keeps him around means he’s useful to her in some respect. I know he’s supposed to be the most black/white bad guy from the prison ship (even though I think Kodiak might take that gold medal), but I still find something compelling about him.

Diyoza turns to McCreary to do the dirty work, including using the shock collar on Clarke. I think this is her way of keeping him somewhat in line by throwing his cute murdery little ass a bone to give him that “juice” from hurting someone. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. He just seems to like it SO MUCH.

(i luv him)

Eligius Mysteries

The Eligius crew might be the most fully-formed group of antagonists the show has given us, and that’s a testament to how the show has grown over the last couple of seasons and how seemingly clear the season 5 vision is. We’re talking a group of people who have 100+ years of history together in some capacity.

There were so many little bits of data dropped about these characters in this episode that I think are going to start coming together to not only add color to this season and give us some backstory for DMZ (that’s Diyoza, McCreary, and Zeke…don’t hate, I’m clever). I think we’re also going to see new strands of danger unravel that will probably reach into season 6.

i have questions

  • What is the Eligius’ payload, how could it be weaponized? (I have a feeling it’s more than just what they mentioned mining)
  • Is Diyoza a domestic terrorist?
  • What the heck is Order 11?
  • Did Zeke barter for his life…did he betray his crew mates?
  • Was Kodiak genetically modified to be a massive brute or just born that way?
  • Why were the bulk of the prisoners left on the Eligius in cryosleep?
  • What other passengers are tucked away on that massive ship that may or may not be human?
  • What happened to Eliguis I-III? WHAT HAPPENED?

Guys…so much going on in this one episode, and just around the Eligius. How did DMZ become the trio of people who seem to be in charge, or at least Diyoza’s left and right hand men? What conflicts do they bring with them, how can those conflicts be exploited by Clarke or Octavia or Bellamy? What is their objective, other than returning home (or colonization, if that’s what you’d call it)?

Those Character Moments…Those Damn Character Moments

There is so much damn fine character work in this episode that it feels impossible to document it all in a way that pays worthy tribute to all these characters displaying traits that are both great and painful. Especially with Spacekru, we’re dealing with six years of interactions we haven’t seen. Six years of bonding. Six years of growth. Six years of emotional baggage.

Murphy and Emori

These two are throwing so much shade at each other and it HURTS MY HEART.

sad

You guys, the animosity between the two belies a ton of pain and a willingness to get petty and try to hurt the other and I don’t like it. Not one bit. Personal insults are a warning sign in any relationship and is very toxic, unhealthy behavior. To be honest, if this is the way they treat each other after a breakup, I don’t know if they are good together, because toxicity like this kills at the roots.

Raven and Murphy

Murphy may have the “healthiest” relationship with Raven because they both know each other’s ghosts and deep, deep hurt.

you get me

They have no stake in each other than just a fraught connection built through time, animosity, and some measure of forgiveness, and somehow it seems a pretty powerful bond. Murphy doesn’t have to be something other than Murphy with Raven, and Raven pretty much is a face-value type of girl, something I really admire about her character, and I think a trait Murphy really appreciates as well.

He was willing to stay behind to keep Raven company, but he was under the impression that they had a way out. I’d still like to believe that he’d be up for tagging along with her even without the promise of an escape pod because there is something very noble at the very heart of Murphy that transcends his own ability to understand himself. Maybe this is the way he makes himself useful after six years of seemingly being THAT GUY in the group project that rides coattails for a good grade.

Raven and Bellamy

Good lord, these two. They both have similar, adjacent personal missions: for Bellamy, it’s to keep everyone safe. For Raven, it’s to get everyone back home. Both can’t be accomplished at the same time this episode, so Raven fibs just enough to make Bellamy think she will be safe while she makes sure they all get home with a little leverage in their back pocket when they run into trouble.

I love how Bellamy and Raven just fall naturally into a nice cadence with one another. A comfortable push and pull of a shared mission, humor, fun little jabs. The things that let us know there’s some well-worn territory here that six years on the Ark has fostered and grown. This dynamic started to gel at the end of last season and has blossomed into two people who are truly good friends.

best friends

Best friends? Maybe. I have absolutely no issue with that.

Echo

Look, I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’, but Echo is the one that suggested using the frozen prisoners for leverage, which in turn Bellamy used to save Clarke. I’m not sayin’…I’m just sayin’.

tea

She’s also the one that reminds them to celebrate when Raven and Murphy are on earth with them, but they need to be careful since anyone could have seen their landing.

Girl is on fire with her thinking ahead in regards to their safety. No one else from Spacekru has her military and combat experience, and using that to ensure her new friends make it all in one piece is making her an invaluable member of this team. Take notice. Also…SHE SAID THEY COULD CELEBRATE ONCE MURPHY AND RAVEN ARE SAFE ON THE GROUND WITH THEM. Hello. My sweet baby Echo, I want to hug you.

Emori

Oh, you have to land a space pod back on earth for the first time ever after failing to dock successfully with the Eligius? No pressure. Girl’s got this.

AND THEN SHE DID IT. BABY GIRL DID IT!

clapping will smith

You guys, I knew she had it, but I recognize the self-doubt that creeps in when you fail at something or perceive a shortcoming. That Raven, then Bellamy, had zero doubts about her ability to get them to the ground says a great deal about Emori’s dedication to learning a skill to be useful to Spacekru for something other than her dry wit. And guys, I was rooting for her 3000%. The smile on her face when the touched down…priceless.

Speaking of which…

Bellamy

bellamy and emori smile the 100

When the characters on this show smile, I feel a burst of confetti in my cold, dead heart. Look at those smiles. I want to bottle up those smiles up and squirt them on people while yelling “fuck you, have some pure, unadulterated happiness!”

Bellamy has really grown into his leadership role. No one balks or questions his decisions. They know him. They’ve seen him grow from Slicked-Back Hair Deuce Nozzle into Heart and Head Leader and it’s GREAT. And he looks for counsel from those around him, recognizing that buy-in often necessitates valuing the opinions of others, even Murphy.

And I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that facial hair. Is it the best beard in the history of beards? No. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s SIMPLY AMAZING and I am in its thrall.

faint

Don’t @ me.

The Only Thing That Could Have Made Madi More of a Badass (sorry Lola’s mom) Is Her Riding to the Rescue Atop Helios (RIP you noble steed)

Guys. GUYS. Madi dead ass killed two guys, including a double (triple?) tap to make sure one was dead. She saved five lives and looked like a damn assassin while doing it.

black widow

(WHEN Marvel does right by Black Widow and gives her a solo movie, I have an idea on who could play a young Natasha Romanova.)

We see that Madi can get the job done when she needs to, even after expressing some very human doubt with Clarke about whether it’s right to let someone suffer. But Clarke was right…this is about their home, about staying safe in a place that they occupy.

We know that Madi is smart and resourceful…we saw it in “Eden” when she lured Clarke into a trap. That Clarke employs the same method to fight back against the prison crew is a little nod to Madi bringing her own skill set to the table. I love the interaction with Clarke and Madi, their bond firmly solidified by Clarke’s “I love you” and Madi’s quickly grabbing Bellamy’s hand to drag him with her to save Clarke. We as the audience are still very new to the Clarke/Madi dynamic, but these early episodes have very poignant moments of connection and emotion that feel authentic. Props to these actors for making us believe and getting us invested so quickly.

These found families, man. I cannot wait to see how everyone, especially Bellamy, Raven, and Murphy(!) interact with Madi. There will be many cockles of my heart warmed…and then probably broken at some point, because, you know, it’s The 100.

eat your feelings jenna marbles

THE BELLARKE OF IT ALL

You wanted it. You dreamed of it. You fanficted…fanficed…fanfictioned???….fuck it….you wrote your fiction of fannery about it.

That REALIZATION, yo.

The look on Bellamy’s face and the disbelief in his voice when he said “Clarke’s alive?” must have set many hearts a’flutter. Y’all know I don’t ship Bellarke, but I damn well know this relationship is integral to the show.

i'm not stupid mad men

That REUNION, yo.

Bellamy, or Captain Daddy, as he shall be heretofore known throughout the annals of time, seems to inherently understand Madi’s importance to Clarke by making her immediately leave in the Rover to keep her out of harm’s way. He also swears that he’ll protect Clarke. Such large emotional work done in such a short amount of time. Captain Daddy is going to live up to his name.

The look on Clarke’s face when she realizes it’s Bellamy is just some great subtle acting by Eliza who quickly clamps down on a lip quiver while staring at him. Look, she hasn’t had a great day and has been shock-collared three times. And it’s probably been awhile since she’s had a berry in her belly. The look of relief and shock and happiness that is about two seconds away from a full-on ugly cry is just great work.

And I think I can guess the collective fan reaction to this dialog:

Diyoza:
…she must be important to you.

Bellamy:
She is.

excited crying critical role

That thud I heard around 8:55pm CST was the collective sound of fandom done fallin’ out. I’m surprised that two hours later, California didn’t tumble into the sea (that’ll be the day I go back to Annandale…sorry…a wild Steely Dan lyric appears).

Was the reunion everything you expected it to be? Are we in for a Bellarke hug in the next episode? Will Tumblr collapse under the sheer weight of more Bellarke hug GIF sets?

I may never ship it, but I appreciate the hell out of it and while what I take away from Bellarke is different than a lot of people, I think we agree…we got our damn money’s worth from “Sleeping Giants.” We may be in for a bit of a rocky season with these two as their objectives may start diverging, but let’s remember the show has a lot of foundation built up in these two. Their dynamic is important. They are important to each other. And I hope no matter what happens, that pairing and how they’ve supported each other throughout the show will remain at the heart of why we love them.

Deathwatch 2018

From week to week, I’m ranking characters by likelihood two die in two buckets: gonna die and long shots. Dead characters of note are in the “May We Meet Again” category.

With the news of renewal, a lot of my death predictions are predicated on social media reactions from the actors, which, to be honest, gives a lot of information away. Those notably celebrating leads me to believe some actors are still around in season 6.

Sure Bets, One of These Peeps Is Dyin’

  1. Abby (+1)
  2. Kane (+1)
  3. Kara
  4. Echo
  5. McCreary (previously unranked, but I get the “it’ll be so gratifying when he dies” vibes from him, though I love him and his damn mohawk and his damn beanie…look, I like what I like)

Previous ranked: Octavia (still on my radar, but she knocked out a ceiling light celebrating the season 6 renewal, sooooooooooo…draw your own conclusions, other than she’s a hater of illumination.)

Loooooooooooooong Shots, Place Yer Bets!

  1. Raven (+1)
  2. Murphy (-1)
  3. Ethan
  4. Monty
  5. Bellamy

May We Meet Again

  1. Jaha – he was number 1 on my Sure Bet to die board, though I take no pleasure in being right…it was a sorta easy read based on social media. Jaha was an interesting, complex, often infuriating figure in this universe, so RIP.

Guys, I grow more and more worried about Raven each week. I don’t like this feeling. Someone talk me down.

nervous

I’ll take even mild clammy hand squeeze as comfort right now.

Raven Reyes Nookie Watch 2018

Welcome back to Raven Reyes Nookie Watch 2018! Along with Deathwatch 2018, this is a recurring feature of upmost importance.

Did you see any nookie been got by Raven this episode? I didn’t see no nookie being got this episode, so I think we all know we’re still in a dry period for our beloved mechanic.

RAVEN REYES NOOKIE ALERT LEVEL: Colder than an Eligius cryopod

I don’t think Murphy is much of a prospect up on the Eligius, but am I here for Murven Snarkfest 2018? You bet I fuckin’ am. Here are the things I want out of life:

  1. A Chicago Cubs World Series Championship – CHECK
  2. A Houston Texans Super Bowl Championship – coming, in Deshaun Watson we trust
  3. Raven Reyes getting some GOD. DAMN. NOOK.

make it happen

Parting Thoughts

  • Slarke is my ride or die ship – that’s Clarke + soap. Will she get a chance to clean up before she talks to Bellamy? I think not…not that cleanliness has ever mattered with those two dirty birds.
  • No really tho, Clarke was gonna kill all them fools.
  • Murphy, feeling useless and being useless are not the same…learn the difference and try to course correct, man.
  • I kinda need my boos Raven and Murphy on the ground NOW. I worry for them.
  • When Bellamy was reading the prisoner manifest and their crimes, I was kinda like “how cute…but have y’all racked hundreds of bodies? No? Amateurs.”
  • Don’t sleep on the Eligius exploring for meteors and HOSPITABLE PLANETS.
  • Meanwhile in Bechoville…
    ronda rousey wwe
    (Counts as a wrestling GIF! Ronda’s in the WWE now!)
  • Lucio from Overwatch called and wants to know where McCreary got his big ol’ sexy sonic gun.
  • Apparently a lot of the behind the scenes creative process involves using a banana for scale – so what your takeaway should be is…everyone is very very tiny and we have been bamboozled into thinking they are regular-sized humans.
  • Madi saves Bellamy and the others. Bellamy and Madi save Clarke. This show never gives into white knight and princess bullshittery and it’s so nice to see The 100 consistently make everyone a hero in equal measure.
  • CONGRATS TO CAST, CREW, AND CREATORS ON A SEASON 6 PICK UP! Hats and horns folks! Such great news for a deserving show.
  • Programming note: some of this review may be wonky due to being written while I’m on muscle relaxants – threw my goddamn back out like an old – and antihistamines because I have pityriasis rosea, a viral rash usually seen in young people. That’s right, bitches, not only do I watch your young people shows, I catch your young people viruses. SUCK IT.
  • TWEET/RETWEET: If you enjoyed this review, please share, retweet, or like it on twitter.
  • SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF THE 100 MUSIC!: Hey people who like sounds entering your ear holes! I have a Spotify playlist, which is music from and inspired by The 100You can find it right here and marvel at my musical tastes. I keep it up to date with anything featured on the show or in promos.

FINAL VERDICT!

“Sleeping Giants”: 9.5 out of 10 shock collars


There are some The 100 reviewers/recaps/writers you should absolutely be reading, and I offer them up for your enjoyment; I have no affiliation with any of them, save for being a fan:


Disclosure: this is my own indie site. This is on my time, my dime. Becho is endgame.

Several months later…

You are Wonkru or you are the enemy of Wonkru. Choose.

chidi the good place

This entry was posted in Review & Analysis, Television, The 100. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The 100 – “Sleeping Giants” Review and Analysis

  1. Jason Brobst says:

    You are the best!!!

  2. spiderhoodlum says:

    I fucking LOVE your write-ups. And I also love Chidi still not reaching a conclusion Re: Wonkru or Enemy of Wonkru…

  3. Pingback: The 100 – “Pandora’s Box” Review and Analysis | Declare Shenanigans!

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