Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Four: Pandora's Box

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Now that we know how everyone survived primefiyah and all the cast for the season has been situated, it's time to move the puzzle pieces together. Confidant that he has leverage, Bellamy makes a deal with Charmaine to not only release Clarke, but to free the people trapped in the bunker under Polis.  It's Bellamy's plan for them to split the valley in half when this is all over. Charmaine is rather accommodating of the situation and it all comes together so easily, that Bellamy really should have been more cautious, despite his assurance later to Octavia that he doesn't trust Charmaine. Bellamy is finally reunited with Clarke and it's beautiful to watch them hug.  Using the radio, Clarke lets Raven and Murphy know that she is alive and it's all really sweet.  It's a reminder that a lot of time has passed because Clarke actually says that she missed Murphy.

Kane is led into the bunker as Gaia gives a speech about the combatants being enemies of Onekru.  Octavia makes it clear that the fight will be to death and that the sole survivor may once again become part of Onekru.  Abby, who is locked in a room -- bangs on the door -- demanding to see Octavia, screaming that it was she who took the pills.  Kane manages to be the last survivor in the ring but rather than screaming in victory like the gladiator he is supposed be imitating to keep the crowd interested, Kane cries into his bloody hands briefly.  Octavia realises that she can't declare Kane a part of Onekru  because he has lost the support of the crowd and orders him to fight again tomorrow. The look on Indra's face suggests that she isn't pleased with this decision. We know that Indra and Kane have established a kind of trust and grudging respect for each other since their first meeting.

Kane is back in his cell and gets a visit from Octavia and Indra.  Octavia is looking for a reason not to sentence Kane to death and asks him who took the drugs. Octavia promises that Kane will be allowed to live if he simply tells her who took the drugs but Kane refuses to give Abby up. Kane however does tell Octavia that he will not be fighting tomorrow and that as a group they have lost their way. When Kane brings up the dark year, Octavia demands he drop the subject immediately. Okay folks, what was going on in the arena was pretty bad, so how bad was the dark year to get that moniker? Kane reminds Octavia of his own dark past and his culpability in floating Aurora. Octavia is not moved by Kane's plea and orders the fight to go on.  Indra however doesn't see the situation the same way and agrees to give Kane a few moments alone with Abby. The elephant in the room is that everyone knows that Kane is being punished for Abby's crime. 

Abby is of course  pleased to see that Kane survived the ordeal but when she learns that Kane must fight once more, Abby immediately confesses to Indra that it was she who stole the pills.  Indra at this point is clearly disgusted with Abby's weakness and reveals that it's because Kane knew that she would confess the first opportunity she got that Abby was isolated.  Indra makes it clear that Kane must fight for his life the next day and tells Abby to convince Kane not to go through with his plan to refuse to fight as a protest against all of the bloodshed in the bunker. Once alone, Kane reiterates his plan to sacrifice himself in order to show people that the path they are on is wrong and asks Abby not to waste his sacrifice by continuing to take the drugs.  More than anything, Kane wants Abby to be strong enough to be able to withstand the loss of him. Abby promises to stop taking the pills but since we know that she's a junkie, this is not a promise she's going to be able to keep.

Charmaine may be playing docile with Bellamy but she is nowhere near capitulating to his demands. Charmaine has tasked Shaw with breaking into the Eligius's computer system.  Shaw doesn't get far because Raven is one step ahead of him and is quick to shut him down. When Murphy learns what is happening, he suggests that they need to follow through on their word and kill the people in stasis but Raven isn't ready for the situation to go nuclear yet.  Raven won't even inform Bellamy of Charmaine's treachery.  Murphy explains that he stayed behind to be the one to pull the plug because he didn't want Raven to have to take on that burden. It's the most honest Murphy has been in a long time. 

Charmaine, who we learn is a former decorated navy seal, as well as at the time of her capture, the most wanted person in the world, must also deal with the questions of the men who are following her lead. Charmaine is more than happy to free the people in the bunker because she knows that they have a doctor there.  It seems that there's some kind illness that they are concerned about but we don't know the details of it yet. 

Back in the ring, Kane's opponent grabs a weapon but Kane stands still. Kane explains that he refuses to fight. Kane's opponent wounds him twice, but Kane still refuses to defend himself.  Octavia quickly realises that she has to intervene and makes her way down to the ring. Kane says that by not fighting, he is trying to save his people and that they have all lost their way. Octavia announces that Kane that he is either Wankru or Nokru and when Kane again refuses to play Octavia's game, she decides to execute him herself.  Before Octavia can land the killing blow, the ceiling opens up and the people begin to scatter.

Bellamy is the first one to be lowered down and a surprised Octavia rushes to embrace her brother.  Bellamy is then followed by Clarke and it's clear that the people react when they see Wanheada. It's enough to make me wonder if we are going to see a potential Octavia/ Clarke showdown in the future, particularly given the issue of Abby's drug addiction. Clarke and Octavia embrace warmly before Clarke asks to see her mother. Both Bellamy and Clarke look around the ring and it's clear both are curious about what was going on the bunker and suspicious that something has gone terribly wrong in their absence but everyone is content to leave what happened unexplored for now. Charmaine is lowered next and is introduced by Bellamy.  Charmaine says that the people can be lifted out now and when Bellamy says that there are 1200, Octavia corrects him with a figure much closer to 800. What happened to 400 people in the six years since Bellamy and Octavia saw each other? Perhaps this will be explained when the dark year is discussed. What is perhaps even more interesting is that though freedom is being offered, the people don't as much as bat an eyelash until Octavia signals that they may leave the bunker. Octavia's power is clearly absolute at this point, even if she is worried about appearances. 

It's time to move to the surface and for Clarke to be reunited with her mother. The reunion between the two women is sweet.  Abby also learns that  Kane survived his trial by combat and fortunately, Indra promises that she will help Kane get to the surface. Indra does however warn that once they get to the surface, she cannot promise to protect them and suggests that Kane and Abby flee together.  It's all a bit too much for Clarke to absorb at the moment. 

When Octavia and Bellamy get to the surface, Bellamy asks for a few moments in private with his sister.  Octavia is quick to say that she doesn't trust Charmaine but Bellamy asks her to trust him because he's got it handled for now.  Bellamy asks about Octavia's reign as Blood Queen and she explains that a lot has changed over the years and that she is not the same woman that he left behind, adding that she has responsibilities now.  

Unable to free the people in stasis, Charmaine orders that the docking doors of the Eligius be opened. On board the Eligius, Raven and Murphy are quick to figure out that Charmaine is sucking all of the oxygen off of the ship, thereby forcing their hands.  Raven finally concedes that maybe it's time to kill all of the people in stasis and tells Murphy that it's time to pull the lever.  When Murphy hesitates, Raven decides to pull it herself, only to be stopped by Murphy, who now believes that there has to be another option than killing almost 300 people. Rather than killing the people in stasis, they decide to wake them, thus forcing Charmaine to close the cargo bay doors, even though it means that they are now surrounded by nearly 300 murderers and arsonists. 

On earth, Charmaine realises that she now has the upper hand and decides it's time to break the arrangement she made with Bellamy. Charmaine's first demand is that their doctor be handed over but no one knows where Abby is because of course, she's trying to flee with Kane.  Abby however does hear the call for her and steps forward out of her own volition.  Charmaine makes it clear that Abby is coming with her because they need a doctor and Abby agrees but also demands that Kane be allowed to come with her as part of her terms.  Octavia is quick to call Abby a traitor for her willingness to go with Charmaine.  Charmaine makes it clear to the people that they will have no problem unless they venture into the valley, promising to meet them with overwhelming strength if they pass her boundary.  As a show of force, one of Charmaine's men displays the weapons they have access to. Even though he's ordered not to, the man takes a shot at Octavia, who is saved when one of her people jumps in front of her, taking the brunt of the blast and dying in the process. Charmaine realises that the situation has gone critical and orders everyone to get on the ship.

Once on board, Charmaine orders that the people on the ground all be killed, much to Abby's dismay. Shaw points out that there are very few humans left and that it might not be smart to kill so many people but Charmaine believes that they are war and that with the attempt on Octavia, there's no way that the bunker people will not come for the valley.  Shaw shakes his head but moves to comply only to discover that Raven has tampered with the system and he cannot fire off a shot. With no options left, Charmaine orders the ship away from Polis.

On the ground, Octavia is absolutely pissed and is quick to declare war on Charmaine and her people. Octavia also makes it clear that she blames Bellamy for the fiasco that they are in now. I guessed she missed the part of them still being stuck under the ruins of Polis without Bellamy's help. 

It's a no brainer to figure out that there is going to be some conflict between Clarke and Octavia going forward. The people may have a lot of respect for Octavia as the Blood Queen but it's clear that Wanheda still holds some sway.  There's also the issue that Abby has been branded a traitor by Octavia and there's no way that Clarke is going to allow anything to happen to her mother on her watch.  

I think it's cute that Bellamy got to be in charge for a little bit and glow in the whole knight in shining armor coming to the rescue. The truth of the matter is that The 100 has been pretty matriarchal since its inception and the people that hold the real power have been women these past five seasons.  It's not an accident that Bellamy's truce with Charmaine fell apart so quickly. Going forward, it's clear that there's going to be some tension between Bellamy and Octavia. Even though Bellamy knows how capable Octavia is, he's always tried to protect her and at this point, she's far past the point from needing any protection he can offer and in fact, he's the one likely to be in need of her protection.  

I really liked seeing the closeness of Raven and Murphy this episode, even though they have an extremely problematic relationship.  I find it interesting that Murphy didn't stay behind because of Emori but because of a sense of a duty to Raven.  Murphy has always been painted as the bad one since the first season and his character has probably evolved the most. Clarke, even after all she has done, was raised to be a leader aboard the Arc.  One thing is certain, Murphy and Raven are really in a pickle. Murphy may talk a big game about making the tough decisions but he is not the killer that Clarke is. 

I am curious about the dynamics of Octavia's relationship with Indra. Indra tried at the beginning of their captivity to put Octavia into the role of a traditional Commander but Octavia was forced to rule in her own way. It's clear that while Indra isn't ready to turn her back on Octavia, she's not necessarily on side when it comes to Kane and Abby.  I wonder if as the war progresses, we will see further daylight between the two women.  It bothers me that Indra, who should be a formidable leader in her own right, has fallen into second position behind Octavia.  The 100 has never really been good when it comes to race and the racial dynamics of Indra's relationship with Octavia just continue on a troubling trend. 

I am fascinated by Charmaine, even though I am not impressed that they gave Charmaine her own Black side kick.  For a woman to become such a powerful navy seal speaks to a level of social progress that is far beyond where we are now.  What I am most interested in is the fact that Charmaine spoke about fascists taking over her country and this would then imply that the U.S. became a fascist state. Charmaine has yet to share one positive memory of her time on earth prior to being frozen and I think that's pretty telling.  We're starting to get a picture of who she is as a person: a natural leader, pragmatic, and determined.  It does however look like Charmaine may not have the loyalty of all of the men that she controls.  I do however wonder if Charmaine has thought about the fact that she is surrounded by criminals and seems to be the sole woman. Yes, I like her strength but is winning the valley without a way for humanity to continue really all that smart?