Razing your best, last hope of avoiding bloodshed to the ground makes quite the statement, setting you on an irreversible path to destruction. It’s a strategy I’ve used my entire career, and boy is it fun!
“The Warriors Will,” written by the Sisters Benson, Shawna and Julie, and directed by purveyor of beardy sexy beards, Henry Ian Cusick, was a great episode that I really enjoyed despite having a quibble or two about certain things that just chap my ass. But from a drama/character perspective it hit all the right notes, brought out some hero moments I didn’t expect, and had a shocking en fuego reveal about Becca Pramheda that HAS to be leading somewhere.
EN FUEGO. GET IT?
My humor IQ is off the charts.
Can I just take a moment here to say I LOVE how Ian Cusick directs this show? There was far less “shaky cam” (I don’t know what it’s called) and just steady shots that were composed beautifully. I find the shaky cam used almost to distraction at times and Cusick’s calmer camera during heavy character scenes let the actors and shot composition tell the story with no artifice to get in the way. Go back and watch Monty and Octavia’s scene, especially when the apple blossom was revealed. And go watch Bell and O’s conversation. Notice the change in focus and how the camera moves and how foreground and background play against each other…I just…I dig it a lot, man. That kid might have a future in this business.
Let’s get into it!
Starting Off With My Issue With the Episode, Sorry to Disappoint
I’m going to get this out of the way, because I believe you knock out the vegetables first so you can enjoy the rest of the meal. So let me dive into some ugly stuff before I let you have some ice cream.
Oh, don’t panic, I still give “The Warriors Will” a 9\10.
This episode, we see Clarke manhandling Madi. I’ve seen multiple people YAS QUEEN over Clarke being in mama bear mode or Madi speaking her mind. And virtually NO ONE is calling this out as problematic. Come. On.
Let me re-contextualize it for you: if a cell phone video popped up on Twitter of a mother at Walmart tackling her kid, angrily pulling that child along, and pushing him/her, we’d spend at least one outrage spin cycle on that video. Or consider an NFL player caught treating his kid like this. Or a parent shoving their kid towards the car after school. It would be news.
Maybe some of you don’t need a re-contextualization. Perhaps this is very familiar – painfully familiar – territory. Enough of us out there suffered abuse at the hands of our parents. My mom had a wooden paddle made specifically to whup child ass. And my ass was whupped plenty. I could say I grew up in a different time, where corporeal punishment was a common thing, wearing seat belts was unheard of, and Jarts existed, but it doesn’t make any of those things okay.
Scenes like this resonate with people who have been harmed by this type of behavior. And while you can argue that Clarke is desperate, I feel there are ALTERNATIVES to using this behavior to portray that desperation.
It’s not fun watching this behavior from an adult towards a child. Madi is a CHILD. Let me remind you of that. A couple people much smarter than me that I harass on social media point out that this show often treats its characters as if they all have an equal amount of power and agency. They don’t. They simply DO. NOT. And no hand-wavy “there are no good guys” is going to get me to cotton to watching a kid treated like this with no self-awareness of what this behavior is portraying.
I’m in “wait and see” mode for the rest of this season. I like Madi A LOT. I think she’s been a great addition to the show. Unfortunately, writing a smart kid seems to have lulled us all into thinking she’s more than just a kid. She’s not. She’s 12. She’s whip smart, but not an adult with autonomy. There has got to be alternatives to the way these power disparities are portrayed and played out when a minor is involved.
So, I hope you enjoyed your broccoli, now here’s your ice cream.
Two scoops and a sugar cone! Don’t come at me with that weak wafer cone shit.
Octavia is Pot Committed
If you were on the fence about Octavia, this episode likely pushed you over. I really like what the show has done with this character this year and I kept thinking that there would be a small crack that either Bellamy or Indra could shimmy into in order to reach the old Octavia. But not only did Octavia commit to her course of action, insisting that Bellamy, Indra, and Gaia fight to the death, she went over the top and torched a possible future of food, sustainability, and no need for war. She crossed a line that I think she can’t un-cross, and I hope she DOESN’T un-cross because I like full-on villain Octavia, a path many shows would ever dare to tread without some contingency plan for redemption.
Why does Octavia go as far as she did when there are real, viable options in front of her? I think she feels that whatever she did during the dark year NEEDS to be justified. Whatever price she paid, it has to have been WORTH it. Wonkru needs to succeed, to thrive, to be the survivors she molded them into through her actions in the dark year. If she waivers or concedes one inch or appears weak, she slowly carved away pieces of herself for nothing.
Simply put, Octavia is pot committed.
In a game of poker, you are pot committed if you’ve invested so many of your chips into the pot that you cannot fold if raised all-in. Even if you feel you have the losing hand, your investment – and the possible return on investment – is too great.
It may come as a surprise, but I’ve played a little no limit hold ’em in my time and know what it’s like to be pot committed, an let me tell you, you can feel pretty trapped. Especially if two or more additional people are involved in the pot and re-raise your raise. At that point, you’re probably staring down a better hand, but you can’t get away from your own hand.
The sinking feeling in your stomach as you call raises that put you all-in let you know you’ve likely lost. I mean, you CAN fold and keep the paltry rest of your stack – poker players say all you need is a “chip and a chair” to make a come back. But it’s not a likely scenario without a double up or three.
Whatever happened in the dark year, we know it must be the primary reason for Octavia becoming Blodreina. She became pot committed in the dark year, putting in most of her chips to get through that situation. The window of time for her to fold her hand, so to speak, officially closed this episode, as she pushed the rest of her chips into the pot and went full-on villain as she forced the arena combat to move forward. And just to splash the pot a little, she then torched the hydrofarm.
Blodreina cannot fail, which means Wonkru cannot fail, even if that means forcing Wonkru to march to war and die. If Wonkru fails, everything Octavia did was for nothing. There was always this whiff of desperation to many of the things Octavia did this season, but as soon as she cut herself and smeared that blood on her face, she became stone cold, and Octavia Blake, for all
intensive intents and purposes, disappeared.
I can’t, at this point, say she hasn’t had a bit of a mental breakdown in conjunction with all the other shit going on in her head. I hesitate to say she’s “crazy” in a clinical sense because I we don’t have enough info to make that judgment, nor do we know if it’s intended.
I do know, however, she’s 1000% an edge lord at this point. The leather, the blood, the attitude. “YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOM! YOU CAN’T KILL SOMETHING THAT’S ALREADY DEAD. GOD!”
I can’t wait to read her dark year poetry…I bet it’s special.
The Compassion Gap
It feels as though the pacing of the season and the dark year episode falling where it does is very necessary to set up Octavia’s arc, leading up to the big dark year reveal. I think it’s very effective to show her go full Blodreina before showing us all WHY she went so off the rails.
Unfortunately, it’s created an issue in Abby’s arc. I think that we’re about to learn that Abby was very involved in whatever happened in the dark year (the previews seem to point that way), but until we know for sure, we have this gap in understanding and compassion for her addiction issues because we don’t know exactly why they exist. Yeah, there has been some lip service given to her pain post-ALIE, but a psychological component for staying an addict is far more compelling. She may have started taking pills for one pain then became deeply addicted to deal with another pain.
The pain of eating people. MAYBE. Just conjecture at this point. But people biscuits and gravy. I have no spoilers from the SDCC screen of “The Dark Year,” so this is all conjecture and I’m probably wrong.
So all we see of Abby is her struggle, her lying to get pills, hurting the people who love her in order to get pills, completely in the thrall of these opiates. She cannot function long without them, and withdrawal will likely hurt or kill her. Unless that’s another lie to get Vinson to procure pills. At this point, anything Abby says is specious.
I know fans have had issues with Abby because she didn’t kick the pills for Kane, and hurt Raven, and dammit we don’t like complicated, messy moms, (while loving complicated, messy dads) but Abby has really stepped it up in the last couple of episodes. She’s shown some massive strength and put herself on the line, both in protecting Diyoza and refusing to heal McCreary, playing a very dangerous game of “who will die first” chicken.
Yet I’m like…her story is massively underdeveloped because the big “why” is missing. Abby spending any time on the big “why” is missing. Any conversation that examines the big “why” is missing. And I suppose that’s the trade off you’re going to make if you pin two people’s psyche’s to a big reveal and yet need to hold off on that big reveal to really delve into once character’s downward spiral. The other character is going to kinda float along on a bed of assumptions where we as fans have to fill in the blanks. It’s not that the show hasn’t asked this chasm-jumping of us before, but it never seems to do any justice to the character we’re trying to understand.
The good thing…Clarke is back. Clarke will help. And Abby will meet her most awesome granddaughter.
I’m hoping that mother-daughter dynamics will open some eyes between those three characters.
Please note that Paige Turco has been so excellent this season. Her physical performance alone is blowing me away. Every bit of pain, physical and mental, is just jumping off the screen.
Indra and Monty Are a Light In the Darkness and Deserve Hugs and Donuts
If you don’t like Monty and/or Indra, what are you even doing here? What are you doing with your life? Go join hop a freight train to Getouttahereville and keep on goin’.
Monty and Indra are two characters who are Officially Sick of This Shit™ and could stand to grab a drink together and just grouse about the idiots around them. “They’re just SO DUMB right now.” “I know right?!” “I KNOW, RIGHT?!”
Indra can no longer provide counsel to Octavia, because when Octavia is asking her for alternatives, Indra knows that Octavia wants to do one thing: march on Shallow Valley. There is no other scenario in Octavia’s pinhole world view. And the only thing to convince her people to march is to basically scare them into doing so, reminding them what happens to enemies of Wonkru.
Indra doesn’t beg for her life, or that of her daughter. She knows that the only option is to go through with this fight, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Gaia survives, including killing Bellamy and offering her own life up to her daughter. That’s a baller selfless move on her part. I mean, that feels pretty much like Peak Indra.
Indra didn’t have to kill Bell or sacrifice herself because our Algae Avenger saved the day.
Monty. Dear sweet Monty. He and his algae might just be the key to saving the earth and jump-starting plant life, if someone would listen to him. Since he’s taken up his position of “do no harm (and if harm happens due to inaction, well, it happens),” he’s refused to involve himself in anything that would cause him to do something bad in service to another person’s agenda. He won’t pass information along to Bellamy to give him an edge up in the arena, knowing it could result in the deaths of Indra and Gaia.
Monty, of course, like the rest of us who have been yelling at our TV screens for weeks now, knows that Octavia could stop all of this with a word. It’s within her power, and her absolute stubborn refusal to do anything rational at this point is maddening. How Monty doesn’t just lose his shit on her is beyond me. I would have screamed myself purple, with just a stream of profanities escaping my lips. It would not be a conversation, but just a monologue of anger and expletives.
Guys, Monty called Octavia a dick…dictator. SOMEONE SAID IT. And watching Octavia squirm under that label was awesome.
Monty gives Octavia a viable alternative to war, one that can sustain her people. One that keeps her far away from a new Commander, yet another threat to her power. At each and every turn, Octavia rejects these alternatives. I understand that hanging around in the bunker and making it your base of operations for the foreseeable future is probably like torture for Octavia. She even says as much, when she says to let the ghosts have the bunker. Me, I’m not one to just completely throw away good land.
I feel like, when faced with a problem, you could just say “Indra and Monty, figure that shit out” and Indra and Monty would figure that shit out. I love that these two were trying to get Octavia to see the light, and risked both of their lives to do so. In a show that doesn’t have clear-cut heroes, I think Monty and Indra are two characters that embody the heart, smarts, and integrity to fill that role.
Speaking of Integrity, Is It Wrong That…
…I would be the person in Shallow Valley taking bets over who wins the war of wills between McCreary or Abby? I mean, a girl’s gotta earn a living.
Clarke and Madi and the Elephant in the Room
Okay, tossing aside my child-manhandling issues I have with Clarke, watching these two kinda work out a small truce over the Flame was interesting. The Flame seems to intentionally be showing Madi certain memories, but for what purpose I don’t know. It’s obviously causing her some mental discomfort, as her sleep seems to just be rife with nightmares…”now let’s show you how Commander number 2 died! Ooooooo, that had to hurt!”
Clarke is rightly worried that an early death just seems to be a Commander’s lot in life, and obviously doesn’t want the same for her.
Oh yes, a Bergman film GIF. I’M FANCY.
I’m less and less uncomfortable with the Flame in Madi’s head. I’m glad that Clarke didn’t just rip it out, as I don’t think that’s a great solution and would completely bulldoze Madi’s wishes. Even if that chip got in her head through some adult coercion, taking it out by force isn’t the right answer.
I really like the cave scene between Clarke and Madi. It establishes with plain English that Clarke considers Madi her daughter and she will die to protect her. This is important for us to hear, as well as Madi.
Plus that scene gave us…
That scene also acknowledged that thing that seems to make so many people uncomfortable because yes, it’s weird…the Lexa of it all. It’s unclear what Madi’s seen of Lexa’s life so far, but she is well aware of why Clarke is so scared of Madi being a Commander. Although I don’t really like how Madi got the flame, I do like that now she’s vocalizing what she wants, even if it means railing against Clarke.
Madi has realized the Flame is NOT all that great and could willingly give it up, but wants to find out what the Commanders are trying to tell her.
This is SUPER interesting to me. The Flame could be trying to tell Madi something based on what’s currently happening in the world. What if there’s info in there about the mysterious Elegius III ship? What if there’s more to the bunker than meets the eye? What information from earth’s past could now be super pertinent now that pieces of earth’s past – Diyoza et al. – have come back?
Plus there’s THAT scene…
HOLY SHIT ERICA CERRA’S BACK AS BECCA PRAMHEDA AND SHE’S GETTING BURNED AT THE STAKE
Did ANYONE foresee a Becca scene coming outta nowhere? I sure didn’t. And I LOVED it because it was completely out of the blue and added a layer of “WHAT THE FUCK??!!” to the show. Why was she killed by the Second Dawn cult? What did they do with the Flame? Did they make a Commander? Did the cult split into factions, one supporting Cadogan, one supporting the Flame? How did the myth of the Flame come to supercede that of the Second Dawn? Think of everything we’ve seen: Polis, the infinity symbol, the reverence for the first Commander, the picture of her in the Flamekeeper’s chambers seemingly surrounded by fire…
How did Becca become legend and Cadogan seemingly fade away into obscurity, even after he killed her? I find this shit fascinating and it is a pay-off of a long-running story we’ve slowly seen unfold over the seasons.
One would think that whatever the Flame is revealing to Madi is going to lead us into season 6. I love revisiting Becca’s story, revealing more about Cadogan and the Second Dawn cult, and wonder what Becca meant by “he can’t save you!” Is her tech (the nightblood serum) the only way to survive, or did she mean something else? What, exactly was her relation to Cadogan and Second Dawn, if any?
Let the speculators speculate!
Octavia and Bellamy, Part 93
We’ve tapped the Blake well quite a bit in this series, right? And while many of the same themes are revisited, we learn new info about their childhood. While playing The Floor is Lava, Octavia cut her lip, and in order to make sure she wasn’t found out, Bellamy cut himself to pretend the blood was his.
Sigh. Of course he did. Bellamy has been SUH GOOD this season. This is my favorite iteration of him, just after season 2. And I feel sorry that whatever relief he felt over Monty basically ruining Octavia’s Pit Party was quickly erased by his sister going full Dark Octavia.
Have you noticed that whenever the Blakes are trying to make a connection to one another RIGHT BEFORE one does something awful to the other, they recall something from their childhood? Something to bring them back to the “purest” form of their bond. I wonder if we’ll see Octavia try one more time to connect with Bell in just such a fashion and get turned away completely. It’s hard to tell if Bellamy is “DONE!” with Octavia or just “done?”, but I’d be super into the Blakes NEVER recovering their relationship. I know a of people probably hate the thought of that, but blood can only stretch so far and it would be interesting to explore.
One thing that really got me at the end of the episode was Bellamy telling Monty “C’mon. Our family’s waiting.”
The notion of “found family” has always, and will forever be, one of my favorite parts of this show. I’m very keen to see where these found families, and the divisions that time and distance have created, come back together…if they do. They may not. Not this season, anyway. I don’t see Family Bellamy Blake and Family Clarke Griffin having a friendly BBQ this season. Maybe they’ll work towards it, but there’s some shit to sort out. A LOT of shit.
Phew, Thank God Clarke Totally Destroyed Those Worm Eggs and We’ll NEVER See Them Again, Right Guys???!!!
Why Do I Love McCreary and Vinson So Much?
There’s got to be a scientific explanation for people loving dangerous, evil, bad people. Why are fascinated by characters like Hannibal Lecter (specifically thinking how audiences reacted to him and love him in the TV series Hannibal).
There are the very opposite of heroes, doing bad things to good people…and sometimes doing bad things to bad people. McCreary is objectively awful most of the time, killing without compunction, yet I dig him.
And we finally got to see Vinson go H.A.M. this episode, much to my delight. He ripped the throats out of two prisoners – WITH HIS TEETH – and told Abby to do her thing, he’d clean up.
I mean…find you a man that will clean up after himself and you’ve hit the jackpot.
Why do I love Vinson so much? Is it because he seems to have a soft spot for Abby? Is it because he’s a fictional character and can push the envelope in ways that would terrify me in the real world? Is it just a blow-off valve that allows me to indulge in a little non-consequential “fun” after being so painful moral and upright all day, every day?
I don’t know. I don’t really care what it says about me. And I know there are other people out there that are totally into these types of characters. Maybe it’s not “normal,” per se, but normal is often painfully stifling.
So go on with your bad self, Vinson. I’m here for it. I’m here for you. And you, McCreary…you best not die. I want my bad boys sticking around for awhile.
I really liked the fight in the pit, and thought it was well-choreographed. It’s ALWAYS awesome to see capable women wield weapons and be strong warriors. I’ve been in exactly one (1) fight in my life, and it went well.
LOL, no it didn’t. I learned very early the definition of ground and pound, back in the 80’s as my neighbor Kathy kicked the crap out of me. I slunk back into my house and cried over my Star Wars toys. I think Kathy and I were friends the next day. Such was the nature of childhood friendships.
I like how everyone comported themselves well, but Indra was right to protect Gaia, who grew up to be a Flamekeeper, not a warrior in her mother’s footsteps. My mom would have been like “if you had just become a warrior LIKE I TOLD YOU TO I wouldn’t have to let you kill me.” Yeah, my mom had her moments and whupped my ass, but she also drove a school bus for 20 years to put me through college.
Back to fighty mcfightytimes, the triple threat match did not disappoint. And Bellamy with a sword is never a visual I will ever grow tired of.
I. Love. Swords. And I love sword fights. Full stop.
I would be remiss to mention that the only reason Bellamy is able to hold his own against a trained, seasoned warrior like Indra is due to Echo teaching him skills. She helped save his life, giving him the ability to acquit himself well and survive long enough against Indra and Gaia until Monty saved them all. Echo helped Bellamy stay alive.
I will now insert a “tea” GIF, so those of you take salt in your tea, please be fore-warned.
I did not expect Gaia to try and assassinate Octavia, but with a new Commander, she really has no need for her anymore, and Octavia poses a very real and present threat to Madi. This is an act above and beyond mere betrayal, and I’m a bit puzzled as to why after all the dust settled, Octavia didn’t run her through with her own sword. In fact, Bellamy, Indra, and Gaia getting off scot-free doesn’t make a ton of sense. I suppose there’s really no need to kill them anymore to make Wonkru march. They are literally out of options, thanks to Octavia. Out of food, out of hope, there’s no other choice for them but to go to Shallow Valley.
Now, what happens when they get there will remain to be seen. The enemy is in Shallow Valley. And so is a new Commander.
Let me call out a couple things that happened after the fighting action that just made my little crinkled-up black heart soar:
- All the hugging. You know, Monty deserves all the hugs. But the hugs! The smiles!
- Indra telling Bellamy “You fought well.” STOP MY HEART ALREADY.
- Indra gently stroking Gaia’s cheek. I WAS ALREADY DEAD FROM POINT #2, BUT THIS DUG MY DEAD ASS UP AND KILLED ME AGAIN. The noise that came out of my mouth at that moment was embarrassing, and I don’t care.
I MEAN LOOK AT THIS:
Small, heart-touching moments in this show play HUGE with me. I won’t ever admit it, but I’m quite a softie.
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.
Last review I was STRESSING OUT that Indra was slated to die this episode. She didn’t. But does that mean I’m not still worried as fuck about her? NO. That was almost a little too easy an escape. I’m feeling baited by relief. They’re trying to lull me to sleep. But I can’t. I must stay alert and awake and pulling for Indra to survive.
I’m keeping Indra at #1 this week due to my paranoia and fear, which is the basis for most of decisions. I’ve reshuffled my long-shots just a wee bit. Just some stuff that seems to be telegraphed, but I hope I’m wrong.
Sure Bets, One of These Peeps Is Dyin’
Loooooooooooooong Shots, Place Yer Bets!
- Octavia (+2)
- Madi (+1)
- Monty (-2)
Raven Reyes Nookie Watch 2018
Welcome back to Raven Reyes Nookie Watch 2018! This is a weekly recurring feature of upmost importance. It’s all about the nookie!
This Nookie-O-Meter has so little movement as to almost be non-existent. When it does happen, it’s going to be very sudden and impulsive, won’t it? That’s so Raven.
RAVEN REYES NOOKIE ALERT LEVEL: Fun fact – no screen time means no nookie. This is science, people.
Rooting for Raven to get some nook is getting old. It’s like being a fan of the Cleveland Browns, a football team so incompetently managed over centuries that being a fan is to be devoid of even a molecule of hope.
But as a fan of the Chicago Cubs, chin up…miracles CAN happen (except for the Browns, let’s face it, failure is their succor).
- Slarke is my ride or die ship – that’s Clarke + soap. You guys remember her getting to take a proper shower in season 4? Yeah, me too. Good times.
- Who the hell is this Kara Cooper wannabe? I can’t even work up any residual hate for her. Get this jabroni off my screen. There is ONE Kara Cooper and she has EARNED my hate. All of it.
- Miller can still fuck right off.
- Next week…the dark year is revealed…gird your loins, find a good pork rub, and decide: mustard or ketchup-based BBQ sauce?
- “Waaaaaaaaaaah they mentioned Lexa again”…fuck right off, people who have a problem with that.
- Who else missed Diyoza? I know I sure did. I hope she’s okay giving someone a slightly exasperated look of “oh, fuck off” during her on-screen absence.
- I want so much more Gaia next season it’s not even funny.
- If Clarke finds Diyoza and they start mommy-bonding, I will splotz.
- I’m very interested to see what happens when Wonkru gets to Shallow Valley…do the believers in the Commander break off from Octavia? Could there be a three-way war, Prisonkru v. Commanderkru v. Wonkru?
- I’m pre-searching “WTF” and “Shocked” GIFs for whatever big reveal/finale twist we get.
- Is it weird that despite Clarke’s desire to protect Madi at all costs, she won’t destroy the Flame? Yes. And I’m nowhere able to unpack that right now. It’s been a WEEK at work, and my job has sucked away most of my unpacking-powers.
- 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 100. You 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.
“The Warrior’s Will”: 9.0 out of 10 apple bottom jeans, boots with the fuuuuur…I mean ghost apple blossoms
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:
- Selina Wilken – a mix of passionate fandom and truly professional journalism.
- Erin Brown – unfairly beautiful writing. Like seriously, stop being so good.
- McKenzie Morrell – recapping her damn face off and great interviews with the cast!
- Toni_watches – piss your goddamn pants hilarious photo recaps and owes me all her Raisinets.
- Jo Garfein – great fandom charity auctions.
Disclosure: this is my own indie site. This is on my time, my dime. Becho is endgame.
You are Wonkru or you are the enemy of Wonkru. Choose.