Welcome to my The 100 review site and food blog! Hey, if you’re looking for some great BBQ sauce recipes to spruce up your next “eat or I’ll kill you” soiree, you’ve come to the right place!
“The Dark Year,” written by Heidi McAdams and directed by Alex Kalymnios, featured the gears of war starting to finally grind, Clarke’s turnstile loyalty tested yet again, Octavia and friends had a nice stroll through the wasteland, and Kane and Diyoza, perhaps taking a page out of Clarke’s book, turned up on McCreary’s doorstep looking to peddle some Thin Mints, aka treachery. MAYBE. Jury’s out on that one.
Oh, and we learned that Wonkru ate people for a year in order to survive. No big.
Let’s get into it!
Clarke Needs a Wake-Up Call and I Need a Goddamn Hero
Clarke is my favorite character, yeah? Y’all know this. I’m ride or die. But I’m getting impatient. I really liked her at the beginning of the season, but I’m starting to be like “do I care about Clarke at this point?” And that’s alarming.
I thought I could deal with Clarke taking a step back from the leadership mantle to concentrate on one person, but I’m ready for Clarke to be that hero that Madi knows she is. Because that’s the Clarke that makes the story go ’round. That’s the Clarke that I thought the show hung its shingle on. But I’m starting to worry that the pacing of the middle part of the season has wandered a bit too much and the time to get Clarke (and others, for that matter) back on track in the two remaining episodes is short.
I get why Clarke is doing what she’s doing…she keeps getting pushed into a corner when it comes to protecting Madi, and now Abby, but the smart, wily Clarke of seasons past would have tried to work an angle, find another solution, or at least have a contingency plan. But now she’s betrayed Octavia (and Bellamy, who she assumes is dead, I guess) twice. Twice? Is it twice? I’ve lost count. And now Spacekru thinks Clarke is on McCreary’s side, which WHAT?!, and it’s all just a fucking mess of teams and sides and “you’re okay but that guy’s givin’ me the stink eye.”
LOOK. I tried creating a mental map of all the betrayals, back-room deals, double-crosses and knick-knack-paddy-whacks and all I came to was this:
This season has been a whirlwind of changing loyalties and priorities and I just…I need resolution already. I can’t keep watching all these plates spinning without the anxiety just getting to me.
While Clarke hasn’t been necessarily lighting my butt on fire this season, I think her recession has been purposeful in order to get Madi to pull her out of her funk, to remind her of who she is. Perhaps the most affecting part of the episode, for me, was Madi revealing to Clarke that she knows about Mount Weather – and more. And that Madi knows Clarke is a hero, despite Clarke never positioning herself as one when telling Madi the stories of her past. The heroes were always everyone else – Octavia, Raven, Bellamy – but Clarke took the backseat.
I mean, that’s 100% Clarke, though, right? Because she doesn’t FEEL like a hero. And I think we need to be careful not to conflate “hero” and “good guy,” because a hero isn’t necessarily also a good guy. And then, within the context of The 100, there are no good guys, but some guys are more gooder than others? Or at least that’s my take on it.
On a show that likes to emphatically tell us there are no good guys, we still have to chose a good guy or a hero or someone to pull for. That’s the deal. Otherwise, why the hell should we watch? “What would you do to survive?” is no longer a pull for me. We’ve answered that question: anything and everything, including eating people now.
So I need characters to root for…and right now, I’m looking around and trying to find a hero to attach myself to and the only person that’s fitting that bill is Bellamy Blake. Clarke’s heroism is associated to deeds writ large, and with her micro-focus on Madi, her heroism has receded to a selfish place. I can understand and agree with it to an extent, but one that doesn’t necessarily fit who Clarke is. She can protect her family and her people at the same time, she just needs to shift her perspective and perhaps regain some confidence in herself to do so.
I think Madi understands this, and for my part, Madi very much vocalizes my thoughts on Clarke’s actions this season. She’s making questionable choices and alliances and playing everything so straight. She doesn’t appear to be confident in any of her decisions right now. She’s only looking at the immediate future, but I don’t see a long-term plan. She’s half-assing it a bit.
You, dear reader, might disagree with me. Call me myopic and sentimental for the good ol’ days of seasons 1 and 2 of Clarke, who even when doubtful, commit to an action without looking like she was flying by the seat of her pants. She had a conviction which this season reads as desperation. Fine, if that’s what’s intended. I’m not going to grouse on Twitter and just vent my spleen, filling my timeline up with “why why why.” Instead, I’ll leave those sentiments here, get over it, and get hyped to watch next week.
As I always do.
But Clarke really needs to lay down her burden. She carries the past around with her with an albatross around her neck. I guess she thinks if she steps up and becomes that old Clarke again, she’ll make some of the same decisions that lead to her emotional turmoil. I think for six years, she was able to put down that burden and just live without those ghosts. But now she has to face facts: the only way she can truly protect Madi is by taking charge and being that resourceful person who has the strength to “bear it so they don’t have to.” But bearing it doesn’t mean carrying it around forever. She has to not feel so guilty all the time for what she’s done.
That’s the biggest flaw of so many characters right now – they’re carrying their sins and guilt around with them. Octavia, Abby, Clarke – to different degrees and different results – are all trying to run away from the consequences of their past…and really, haven’t the consequences already caught up with them? How many times do you have to pay for the same sin or self-flagellate over what you’ve done? I think we’re seeing how those burdens are pushing characters past their no-return points (Octavia), to the brink of death (Abby), and to a decision-point (Clarke).
South Carolina BBQ Sauce
This mustard-based BBQ sauce is perfect for pulled pork. You’re going to need a hazmat suit while this is on the stove so you don’t burn your eyes out, but the end product is delish!
You can put this on everything, it’s that good. And it will keep your mind off the fact you melted your face off making it. It might even be good ON faces, if cheek meat is your thing.
Sass Baby Madi – Spiller of Tea, Thrower of Shade
Clarke, Madi is officially sick of your shit. And I don’t think she’s too impressed with gammy, either. Madi is serving up little baby Commander wisdom, perspective, and sass and it’s giving me all sorts of life.
Madi might just be the ONE person who saves everyone on this goddamn show. Her and Monty could probably stop this war in one fell swoop. And now I’m ready for a Madi and Monti spin-off. Just the two of them saving the world with sass and algae.
I love how Madi doesn’t hesitate to call out both Abby and Clarke. I don’t know if this is an OG Madi move, or Flame-on! Madi, but it feels like someone needs to talk truth to power/authority, and Madi is in the position to do so with these two women.
If you think about it, Madi is getting A LOT of information in a very short time. I imagine life has been pretty tranquil with Clarke, lacking in any real life or death conflict, drug addiction, betrayal, or cannibalism. This is A LOT for Madi to process, and she speaks out to Abby, granted without knowing the full nom nom story, but she, I think calls Abby out when Abby tries to appeal to Madi for help. Abby tries to push Clarke’s “you always decide who lives and who dies” buttons and I think that triggers Madi to defend Clarke. Good on you, Madi. Spill that tea.
Madi again goes into her “all tea, all shade” bucket to call Clarke out for siding with McCreary, which Clarke does 1. to save Madi and herself and Abby, 2. ostensibly to protect them against Octavia. Octavia’s last act towards Madi was an assassination attempt, so Clarke has every reason not to trust her ass.
So throwing in with McCreary seems her only course of action at the moment, but it feels like Clarke is sleep-walking her way through some of these decisions. No choice, no other option, blah blah blah. Little baby Madi knows that there’s a slumbering giant in Clarke that’s a little too comfortable after six years of farm-to-table berry picking and podcasting to Bellamy. Pair that with her rolling suitcase full of guilt, and you have a Clarke that seems to be running out of stream. So when Madi is like “you WERE a hero, but now I’m ashamed of you,” I was like, girl…GET IT. WAKE HER ASS UP. THROW THAT SHADE LIKE A REAL HOUSEWIFE OF ATLANTA.
I do have some questions as to Madi’s mindset. Is Madi naive when she calls Clarke out about working with McCreary? Who, exactly, does Madi see as her “people?” Does she feel a responsibility to the remaining old school Grounders? Does she care at all about the Skaikru contingent of Wonkru? Is a sense of right/wrong/responsibility instilled by Clarke over six years now competing with what the Commanders are trying to tell her?
Sidebar: I’m going to assume that Clarke’s consciousness is in the Flame, along with Lexa’s and the rest of the Commanders since the chip was also in her head, so Madi can “access” Clarke’s memories up until the end of season 3. This is likely how she knows about things that not even Lexa was aware of. Wouldn’t it be great to get a Wells mention from Madi? I would cry.
Man, I hope that Madi shakes something loose within Clarke. Or does her Commander thing, because we need a goddamn hero. Madi is a proto-Clarke right now, stepping up and being what Clarke used to be in early seasons. That’s the Clarke that’s in the Flame, and the person Clarke raised Madi to be. I HOPE we end this season on a high note with both of these characters. I need hope somewhere this season, just like a need a hero.
Kane and Diyoza, What Are You Two Rapscallions Up To With Spacekru and McCreary?
I loved the Kane and Diyoza bits of this episode. But of course I did. It’s Kane and Diyoza. Diyoza keeps softening towards Kane (and her attitude towards Abby) as the season goes on, and I just had a realization.
The more Diyoza hangs around mature, non-murdery adults, the less murdery she becomes! It’s almost as if Diyoza had to be a militant hard ass 24/7 in order to just survive that prison ship, and outside of that environment and all those dangerous prisoners, she’s able to be … more relatable.
It’s hard at this point to know whether or not Kane and Diyoza are completely on Octavia’s side after being on the run from McCreary. Neither option is good for them. The civil war in Prisonkru made everything much more complicated. What happened to those loyal to Diyoza, as I think we only see Spacekru and the defectors from Wonkru in the cave?
Outside of saving Bellamy, Monty, and Harper, does Spacekru have any vested interest in seeing Octavia win? This whole set up may be overly complex at this point, as I’m running out of energy and brain capacity to keep track of competing motives, priorities, and loyalties.
One thing we do know is, Diyoza is smart. And she understands her defense plans – and the way around those plans – much better than McCreary does. I’m not saying McCreary isn’t wily, but he’s not a Navy SEAL.
Now, when Kane and Diyoza show up at McCreary’s doorstep, I have to wonder what game they’re playing. Are they running an end-around Spacekru and Wonkru because Kane has made it known he doesn’t want Octavia in the valley? In the last scene with Diyoza and Raven & Murphy in the cave, Diyoza seemed to have an “ah ha” moment, so my assumption is they are faking this double-cross and will stab McCreary in the back.
Just don’t get too stabby, okay…I want Paxton back in S6.
I’m anxious to see Diyoza and Clarke back together to see what that team up could bring to the table. Maybe Diyoza has to knock a little sense into Clarke as well, as Diyoza needs fellow leaders in times of war, and Kane is not necessarily cut out for that. And how Madi the Commander plays into the whole shindig … well, it’s a lot to consider and I have no clear predictions how this all is going to come to a head.
Texas Dry Rub
In Texas, beef is king. If you’re going to do up a brisket low and slow for 12 hours, you’re going to need a dry rub to get that meat all nice and happy. Everyone has their own secret mix of dry rub, so experiment, but here’s a good base. Add some brown sugar and make it a pork rib rub!
Remember, low and slow is the perfect method of cooking for difficult, low-quality cuts of meat. Like Kara Cooper.
So Yeah, Let’s Talk About That Cannibalism
We FINALLY get to see that the Dark Year refers to the year they had to eat people to get enough protein to survive until the soy crops recovered.
I’ve seen a number of people say this reveal came too late in the season. I tend to agree here. We’re supposed to have these “ah ha” moments to explain Octavia and Abby’s behavior, but I kinda was there already with Octavia early in the season, and Abby’s addiction kept falling flat with me because I didn’t understand it.
That it was Abby, of all people, who suggested cannibalism and then pushed Octavia towards forced compliance to sway Kane was a surprise. Can we pause for a second to recognize the heavy lifting Paige Turco did this episode? It was amazing. She had to deliver her lines while putting in so much physical work and ramp-up emotions and convey physical pain and the detox jitters…all while remaining …
The level of glistening sweat she maintained throughout her whole ordeal this season would make me physically uncomfortable to watch if I didn’t live it in real life here in Houston.
That Abby counseled Octavia and pushed her into killing people and then self-medicated to cope makes sense. I mean, I don’t have to like it and I think compliance could have been reached another way, but this show doesn’t always explore the options we’d Monday morning quarterback them into. This show isn’t about how good decisions yield good results, with people going home happy at the end of the day.
I also cannot say that any other character would have acted differently. I don’t think cannibalism was a choice, but an inevitability, if the science is correct. It’s even morally defensible, to a point, if you’re staring at death and the possible extinction of the human race. If you break it down to very simple terminology, humans are animals. Living organisms like any other. And when we’re dead, we’re dead animals. Our dead bodies serve no purpose other than taking up space. And we’ve seen real-world examples of cannibalism. Remember that soccer time stranded in the Andes after a plane crash? They ate their dead friends to survive. Are we going to damn them for staying alive until rescued?
This is obviously complex moral issue. And the forced compliance…is most likely wrong in 99.9999% of cases. You could almost sit there and try to debate with yourself which act is more egregious: cannibalism or forcing people to eat people under the threat of death. I really can’t hate on anyone for their choices, only be sad that they had to make them. And sad to what transpired since. Octavia and Abby coped in their own ways, but neither method seems sustainable now that they’re out of that bunker.
At least we now know why Octavia is so desperate to “win” Shallow Valley for her people. She has to make everything she did worth it in whatever way she can. That breakdown we witness Abby have as she admitted to Clarke what Wonkru did…one of those has to be around the corner for Octavia at some point.
One parting cannibalism thought…what will Spacekru and Prisonkru think/do when they find out the ugly truth? There is shit flying out there looking for a fan to hit.
Please Take a Moment to Stand Up and Give Paige Turco the Goddamn Respect She Deserves
Paige’s story line and her performance are breaking me. Join me in recognizing the damn work she puts in. Nothing but respect for my president.
It’s a damn shame that TV awards only recognize genre shows from HBO and Netflix, because there are actors on network and cable TV that are DOING WORK. It’s a damn dirty shame.
Eastern North Carolina BBQ Sauce
The Carolinas are known for their vinegar-based BBQ sauces, and this sauce is typical of a very specific region of North Carolina. This is great on pulled pork.
You’re going to want to mix the ingredients together and let the flavors mingle for a couple days before serving, so plan ahead before the next pit fight!
Those Dumb Meat Cubes
Cannibalism wasn’t a huge surprise to me, as it was more of a “when” than “if” considering the hints dropped all season. In my personal opinion, the presentation didn’t do it for me. While it wasn’t exactly underwhelming, it wasn’t overwhelming either. Sad to say, it was just whelming, specifically because of its presentation.
There were a number of creative choices I found I didn’t like, from the weirdly gelatinous and raw-looking meat cubes to the squelching. I would have liked the music to be nothing but a drone without voices, because that drone feels like the sound in your head when you’re about to faint. And it makes me so uneasy. Hannibal used music like that – pressing and claustrophobic – to great effect.
I didn’t need the meat to look gross or sound gross. That’s not the point of exploring cannibalism. The line that you cross to get there is what’s important. Delving into one of humanity’s taboos doesn’t require a gross out on top of the gross out of the act.
It seems so minor to have quibbles with a cannibalism reveal, but I’m coming at you from a perspective of this being the SECOND cannibalism scenario I’ve seen on film this year.
That other show was The Terror, which was a haunting and desolate spiral into madness that it affected me a lot more, to the point of me actively NOT wanting cannibalism on this show at all. The concept of cannibalism is fun and all when joking around, but when you see a main character laying dead and naked, with chunks of him missing, you find Jesus right quick.
The most affecting thing about the cannibalism scenes on The Terror were the creative decisions they made.
“The scene where they’re all around the table for the first time eating human flesh, we didn’t score it,” executive producer and co-showrunner David Kajganich told IndieWire. “And when we got to the mix stage and saw that there were quite a lot of emphatic chewing sounds in the temp mix, we were like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. Take all of that out. We’re not fetishizing this moment. We’re just observing it.’” – source
In comparison to The Terror, I found the trappings that surrounded the “eating” scenes, for lack of a better term, to be lacking. I hated the meat cube, as I didn’t understand the why, what, or how of the substance itself. Meat should look like meat, something close to what we consume daily to drive the horror home through our association. Instead, we got…
And I can’t even talk about the noises it made when bitten into that just took me out of the moment. This was clearly a case where I would have preferred less is more in how the actual meat was presented and, uh, consumed.
If this meat was somehow treated in a processing machine, that should have been mentioned maybe? Instead of trying to mentally process that they resorted to cannibalism, I’m trying to figure out what the hell they’re eating, and it took me out of the shock and horror of the moment. I’m docking this episode on this creative decision, which is petty of me, but I should be thinking “oh my god, this is awful” while watching this taboo be broken, not “oh my god, is that solid meat? is it cooked? is it an aspic? why is it so big?”
Sorry, a very rare swing and a miss from the show for me.
The acting throughout these scenes was spot on, to be clear. That’s never in question. The human meat could have been chocolate pudding and sounded like wet farts, and the acting would have been spot on, that’s how good everyone is, always.
Your Everyday BBQ Sauce
You don’t need a recipe for this one folks, this is easy, just by you a bottle of:
This covers your basic Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri BBQ needs as all three regions are ketchup or tomato-based sauces. Texas will lean less on brown sugar and more on spicy heat, and Tennessee will throw some whiskey into their sauce, but if you need a basic delicious sauce, buy some Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Do you already have a favorite bottled BBQ sauce? Let me make a modest proposal to make a swift trip to the grocery store to give Sweet Baby Ray’s a try … you won’t regret it.
Sass Daddy Bellamy Is GIVING ME LIFE
My favorite character this season is season 2 Clarke, aka season 5 Bellamy. He’s so over Octavia and letting his sass flag fly. He’s sick of Octavia’s shit and is just bidding his time to get back to Spacekru.
When he walks into Octavia’s strategy session and then just shoves past Miller, ignoring his outstretched hand, I knew Bellamy didn’t come to play cutesy war games. Get your weak-ass handshake outta here, Miller!
Bellamy is STILL trying to negotiate for a less bloody resolution to this war, making Octavia promise to accept a surrender from Prisonkru. Given Octavia’s promise-keeping of late, I’d say she’s likely going to renege on her part of the deal.
When she asks Bellamy for the intel learned from Echo, Bellamy brushes her off with a “Indra has the details, smell ya later loser!”. I don’t know what context clues, attitude, and body language telegraphing she’s missing from Bellamy that would suggest to her that she can still try to be all like “you and me bro against the world,” but he’s not having any of it. As he tells her, he’s not there for Octavia, he’s just trying to get back to his family.
Y’all, that line SHOOKETH me.
I LOVE zero-fucks-left-to-give Bellamy Blake.
(I’m also loving Grounder-armor-wearin’ Bellamy Blake, by the by.)
ALSO ALSO ALSO, totally here for a Bellamy and Indra spin-off. I’m loving their weird comradery. Loooooooooooove it.
Bellamy still has plenty of fucks to give when it comes to his Spacekru family. At the end of the episode, he softly touches Echo’s sword (don’t make me write fanfic about this moment) and shares his plans with Monty, including the 80 acres he secured for them in the valley. He’s determined to give Monty a farm and his family a home and it’s all a lot to process.
Team Raven and Echo and Some Other Folks, Oh Whatever, STUFF HAPPENED
Some scouting of the enemy happened. Some fisticuffs happened. Some kissing happened. Some walkie talkie talking happened. Nothing too ground-breaking here, as it was mostly tactical stuff with a little character stuff thrown in, so I’m hard-pressed to really remember anything striking.
Yeah, Raven kissed Shaw, but since they’ve basically gotten zero development, I don’t care about this budding relationship outside of Raven getting some. Also, Echo did some stuff. Sorry guys…the effort to say something about everything in an episode is impossible and I’m tired and people eating people was A LOT.
Also, can I just say…we’re eleven episodes through this season and Clarke and Raven have yet to see one another. And now Raven thinks Clarke is a traitor. I’m EXHAUSTED.
Alabama White BBQ Sauce
What in the ever-lovin’ fuck is this? I’m noping right outta this sauce.
What the hell, Alabama?
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.
Guys, not touching this list this week. Nothing happened to move me off my rankings. But my spider sense…it be tingling a wee bit about Madi. I swear to god, I will hurl a flip flop if they hurt my baby Commander Madi. WORDS WILL BE SAID. FISTICUFFS WILL ENSUE.
Sure Bets, One of These Peeps Is Dyin’
Loooooooooooooong Shots, Place Yer Bets!
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!
RAVEN REYES NOOKIE ALERT LEVEL: Yay! A kiss happened. No nook so far, but cave sex could be right around the corner…avoid that Emori wet spot.
Get down girl, go ‘head, get down.
- Slarke is my ride or die ship – that’s Clarke + soap. Sigh…maybe it’ll rain sometime soon.
- The bunker literally has someone who can smoke meat and make jerky and no one asks Niylah for her protein service suggestions?
- I don’t think the rations that Wonkru eats now are anything other than plant substance. Cannibalism got them through the dark year while they waited for the soy crops to recover.
- The little Emori and Echo hug was nice…I would have liked more interaction between these two all season. Two Grounders in space and nary a word between them about SPACE AND HOW WEIRD/COOL IT WAS.
- Trig used as it was intended…to communicate with allies without enemies understanding, a nice nod to its origins when the Grounders had Mount Weather to deal with.
- Also, Bellamy having a convo in Trig!
- Kara Cooper made a brief flashback appearance, if only to confirm that she is the worst farmer from Farm Station. Do you even mulch, bro?
- I had a twitter exchange in regards to the meat cubes and now I’ll never eat Turkish Delight ever again…and now neither will you.
- McCreary is still sitting on a buttload of combustible fuel, and this WORRIES me.
- Oh, and the worms are still out there, and this WORRIES me. I’m so scared Monty is going to fall into a pile of them.
- If you are “fan” of this show and you insult or abuse the writers or actors, kindly hurl yourself into the sun.
- I keep trying to remember that Monty has that one vial of algae left…he’s going to save the world with that thing.
- There are two things in this review that I’m exceptionally proud of…if you can identify them, you win a prize.
- 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 Dark Year”: Two Michelin Stars
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.