From the beginning of the season we knew that humanity would somehow have to find a way to survive praimfaya and that sacrifices would have to be made. This would be the toughest challenge yet and to survive, humanity could no longer afford to engage in tribalism. This means that the Grounders would have to let go of the slights and disagreements between themselves and that Skaikru would have to stop seeing themselves as superior. Everyone is human now and everyone is facing death.
Praimfaya begins with a sad goodbye between Octavia and Bellamy. In the last episode, Octavia asserted herself as a leader of the bunker group. Octavia is the member of Skaikru who learned Grounder traditions and even speaks their language and is clearly meant to function as a bridge between both sides. Unlike rulers before her, Octavia's leadership is based in her championship rather than the flame. It means that while people may trust her for now, her hold on power is tenuous. Because they are going to be separated for five years, this is Bellamy's last chance to give his sister his support. There has been a lot of hurt between these two but with death potentially being imminent, now is no time for grudges. Octavia tells Bellamy that she loves him but doesn't get to hear Bellamy's reply because the connection is lost. It's okay however because after everything, no one doubts how Bellamy feels about his little sister. With Indra by her side, Octavia gives a rousing speech to the residents of the bunker.
The rest of the episode basically focuses on the race to get to space. Just like the bunker, everyone has a role to play. They are at a critical point because they all have to work together in the face of so many things which could possibly go wrong. They must pack enough food to survive until they can start growing their own. They need to gather a machine to create oxygen on the arc. They have a limited amount of air until the oxygnator kicks in and the ship wasn't meant to carry that many people. In many ways the survival of Bellamy, Monty, Clarke, Emori, Echo, and Murphy is all dependent on Raven's ability to problem solve. With each roadblock, Raven is all too aware that she doesn't have the advantage of the tech in her brain anymore.
Monty and Murphy head to grab the oxyginator and to properly ensure that it will work, Monty is forced to take off his gloves and deal with the wiring. Murphy is suitably impressed, as Monty's hands begin to burn immediately but he keeps working. Monty even tries to help carry the oxyginator back. To keep Monty focused on the task at hand, Murphy talks about the redemptive power of love and questions Monty's relationship with Harper. Unfortunately, the pain becomes too much for Monty and he passes out. Murphy chooses to carry the oxyginator back himself and return with Bellamy to get Monty. This earns Murphy a hug from the pragmatic Monty, who is happy that Murphy chose to save the tech over him.
Clarke is off to a satellite dish to send a message to the arc to turn the power on. With the wave bearing down upon them, Clarke doesn't have much time. It becomes apparent quickly that Clarke isn't going to make it back when she discovers that she has to manually override the satellite dish. At this point, Clarke is certain that she's dead and that the only things she can do is give her friends a chance to survive.
As the preparations to leave go on, Echo has separated herself and plans to perform a ritualised suicide. Bellamy intervenes and talks Echo out of it, though he tells her that he will never trust her. It doesn't take long for Echo to choose life. I knew that human cockroach would survive.
Time has run out and it's time to launch the ship but the problem is that Clarke isn't back yet. Raven tells Bellamy that it's now or never. Bellamy hesitates but he boards the ship. As Bellamy watches the door close, it's clear that he's hoping that Clarke will come rushing in at the last minute; however, Clarke watches the ship head into space from the satellite dish. As they leave earth's orbit behind, Emori and Echo are clearly shocked by the lack of gravity and amazed by everything they're seeing. Even though Emori and Echo's actions are funny, they are also exactly what a Grounder in space would experience. When they look over at the arc, they realise that the power is still down, causing Bellamy to say that they left Clarke behind for nothing and that they are still going to die. Raven however is not ready to give up yet and does her little space walk. Clarke has a few false starts but she manages to align the satellite dish, thus turning on the power for people on the ship.
The death wave is making it's way to Clarke and she races to stay ahead of it. Clarke trips and cracks her mask. Clarke manages to make it back to Rebekah's bunker but when she takes off her head gear, her face is burnt and red. Clarke coughs up blood before passing out.
With the power now on, the crew hurries to hook up the oxyginator before they run out of air. Monty talks Bellamy through what to do as everyone begins to share air. Just before Monty passes out, he tells Bellamy to flip the switch. When the air begins to flow, they all regain consciousness. Later, Raven and Bellamy look down at a burning earth. Bellamy realises that they have to make this work otherwise Clarke's sacrifice was for nothing.
Six years later, Clarke is sleeping on a rover. The earth has begun its recovery from Pramfaya and she looks strong and healthy. Each day, Clarke sends a message into space for Bellamy to remind her of who she was. Clarke says that it's been more than a year since the earth was survivable but she still gotten no messages from the arc. Clarke then says that they tried to dig out the bunker in Polis but there's too much debris. Who the hell is this we?
Suddenly a ship comes into view. Clarke's companion is excited because she believes that Bellamy and the rest of Clarke's friends are back. Because this is not the ship that Clarke was expecting, she asks for a gun and tells Madi to back away for now. That's right, Clarke is not alone and it seems that she survived with a group of nightbloods, which is surprising given that I thought all of them were dead. The ship is marked with “Eligius Corp” and “Gargarin Prisoner Transport". Could this be a new group of 100 sent to earth to see if it's survivable? Just how many people have been hanging out in space?
My biggest disappointment is that we didn't get to see Jaha die. Isaiah Washington will not be back for a fifth season and I think the audience is due Jaha's death, given that we had to put up with this character for four damn years. For me, it's a huge let down. I suppose when The 100 returns for season five, they'll explain that he died somehow in the bunker. I wonder who else won't make it out of the bunker? Indra better be alive and breathing.
Praimfaya really gave Raven and Monty the chance to shine. As tech people, they are often in the background tinkering with things rather than being front and center in the action. Because the problem this time was tech related, we got to focus on Monty and Raven and just how awesome they both are. I love that Monty was given the opportunity to show just how tough he is because something like that is normally reserved for Bellamy.
I also love the fact that Monty was incredulous that of all the people to survive Primefaya that one of them would be Murphy. He's got a point given that Murphy has always been about what's best for him. Murphy has widened his concern now that he has fallen in love with Emori, who is also an outsider. The fact that Murphy returned for Monty could evidence change, or it could evidence self interest in that he may not have been allowed on the ship if Monty were simply abandoned. I'm not wholly convinced with the love made me a new man mantra and besides, I like Murphy a little sleazy.
Clarke may not have saved all of humanity this time but she most certainly saved her friends. Though the writers worked hard to make us believe that Clarke was actually in real peril, I didn't believe it for a minute. No matter what scrape Clarke gets into, as the protagonist, she has plot amour and will survive. That being said, I'm interested in her new companions and how she manged to get through so many years given that Rebecca's bunker only had a little bit of food and I cannot imagine much edible would have been around after Primefaya.