Friday, June 1, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Five: Shifting Sands

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Wonkru is in rough shape after their encounter with Charmaine.  Octavia goes full on Blodreina and declares war on the Gagrin crew.  Octavia is quick to create a war council and plan an attack without thinking about whether or not it's smart to be fighting over the last bit of land on earth which can support human life, a point that Bellamy brings up much to Octavia's annoyance. Clarke finds out what's going on when she sees Miller and Jackson kissing goodbye. When Clarke goes to investigate, she learns that Octavia plans to march Wonkru across the now dried out ocean and is quick to point out that  former ocean is now subject to sandstorms. Clarke asks Octavia to recognise that the valley is her home and that no one knows the terrain better than her but Blodreina will not be denied, particularly after it's pointed out that another route would take longer, thus straining their already scarce resources. When Bellamy steps in front of his sister in an attempt to get her to rethink her position, Wonkru warriors actually pulls weapons on him.  In a display of just how much power she has amassed, Octavia calls off the warriors. Because they cannot stop Wonkru's march towards the valley, Bellamy and Clarke decide to come along.

Back in the Valley, Charmaine watches via satellite as Wonkru makes their way towards the Valley. Charmaine is smart enough to know that this means trouble because Wonkru is a group of disciplined warriors while all she has at her back are murderers and rabble rousers. To make matters worse, they cannot afford to fight in the Valley because the Valley is the last piece of habitable land. Charmaine is determined to shoot a missile at Wonkru before they can make their way out to the Valley.  When Charmaine makes her way outside, she finds her people are partying to noise masquerading as music. Charmaine gives them 24 hours to enjoy their time on earth but warns that they will be getting down to work right after that. As a parting shot, Charmaine thankfully commands that they play something with a beat.

Abby and Caine have been placed in Clarke's old home. Abby looks through Clarke's things and her drawings and is clearly saddened by the years of seperation and that their reunion was so short.

Charmaine's next stop is to see Abby and Caine to deliver Abby's first patient. Abby of course asks for her medicine bag and Charmaine is quick to inform Abby that she can have her pills after she proves useful.  It seems that Charmaine is very good at reading people and spotting weakness. Abby's first patient Vincent comes with a collar because it seems that when he gets the demon inside of him, he's prone to serious violence.

Back at Wonkru, it's time to rest for the evening. Bellamy and Clarke sit together eating the meager rations.  Bellamy wonders how Clarke managed to stay so strong all on her own and Clarke gives credit to Maggie.  In another area of the encampment, Octavia sits with Indra. It's a marker of just how far their relationship has come that even though Octavia now views love as a weakness, Indra disagrees and declares her love for Octavia. From Octavia's perspective everyone she has ever loved has either died or left her. Yes, Bellamy is back now but he was gone for years and now so much more than time lies between them.

The moment of love and nurturing doesn't last long because Miller rushes back with an injured Grounder. It turns out that something has invaded the Grounder's body  and is moving around in his abdomen.  It looks like a stolen moment from the movie Aliens. No one has ever seen anything like this before and this puts a serious cramp in the plan to attack the valley but Octavia is adamant that Wonkru does not retreat. Octavia is so sure of herself that she declares that if Clarke cannot cure the wounded Grounder by morning that she will end his life herself.

Charmaine is determined to get the missiles operational in order to put an end to the war before it starts. Because they are locked out of the system, Charmaine blames Raven and so has her tortured by her men.  Raven tells them over and over again that she doesn't know anything and that she didn't shut down the missiles. Not able to get an admission out of Raven, they decide to threaten to kill Murphy. Zeke decides to intervene and has to play tough guy for them to leave Raven and Murphy alone. Paxton is not pleased with Zeke's intervention, particularly because it comes with having a gun pulled on him. Once alone with Murphy and Raven, Zeke admits that it was him that disabled the missiles but at this point he feels that he is out of options. If Zeke releases the missiles, Charmaine will absolutely use them on Wonkru and if he doesn't, Charmaine will order Murphy and possibly Raven killed. Raven isn't impressed that Zeke allowed her to be tortured so that he could have cover for his actions but does suggest that there is a third way. Raven manages to talk Zeke into allowing Murphy to escape.

Having done some testing, Abby determines that whatever the prisoners has looks like cancer but isn't actually cancer. For Charmaine, that means that Abby has proven herself to be valuable and so she hands over the findings of the last doctor who tried to treat them. Paxton arrives, and as predicted decides to narc on Zeke.  The alarm goes off, alerting Charmaine to Murphy's escape, even as Murphy runs frantically through the woods, still wearing the shock collar, trying to get as much distance between him and the Valley, hoping to run into either Bellamy or the rest of the crew. Fortunately for Murphy, it's not long before he runs into Echo and the rest of the crew. They decide to move as quickly as possible to higher ground to get a better radio signal so that they can warn Bellamy about in the incoming missile.

Zeke is way ahead of Paxton and actually admits that Murphy didn't escape but that he let him go, in order to convince Raven to release the missiles. Because he didn't take the collar off of Murphy, they are able to track his movements and so Charmaine is absolutely pleased with this strategy and none the wiser that it was actually Zeke who disabled the missiles in the first place. The crew continues to drive frantically through the woods and suddenly, Murphy starts to scream in pain from the collar.  The team realises that Murphy can only get so far away from the valley. Rather than risking the rest of Wonkru, Murphy decides to get out of the vehicle so that Echo and the rest can warn Murphy. Seeing Murphy being useful for the first time in a long time and willing to sacrifice himself is enough for Emori to stay behind and help him.  It looks like we may just have a rekindling of Murphy's relationship with Emori, which would be a good thing because she brings out the best in him.

Things go from bad to worse for Wonkru when a sandstorm appears on the horizon. Fortunately however, the sandstorm is moving horizontally for now. This of course leads to a fight between Bellamy and Octavia with the siblings tossing accusations about bad leadership back and forth. The sibling battle is cut short when the injured Grounder regains consciousness because the alien species which has invaded his body is ready to exit. Everyone gathers around and watches with equal measures of curiosity and horror as his stomach explodes, releasing the most disgusting parasite like creatures. One lands on Octavia as everyone hurries outside of the tent and then rushes to burn it down before anyone else can become infected. Clarke moves quickly to heal Octavia and removes the parasite placing it in a jar for later. I just know that we haven't seen the last of the creature. I would bet that thing ends up in Charmaine before the end of the season. Monty finally gets through to Wonkru about the incoming missile. Desperate to find a place to hide, Wonkru does the only thing it can do and enters the sandstorm, forming a circle around Octavia and Clarke so that they can be protected. The circle is held together with the force of Indra's will.

Now that they finally have a doctor, Graveyard is determined that he receive a cure and so heads to see Abby.  Back on her drugs, Abby isn't even a little bit intimidated and wonders out loud if Graveyard is even worth saving.

Now that the immediate threat has passed, it's time for the siblings to talk again.  Octavia once again goes full on Blodreina and warns Bellamy that though she loves him, she will not tolerate him challenging her ever again and that she will put an end to him if he steps out of line.  It's clear that Octavia has become drunk on her power and is willing to sacrifice anyone to maintain it. Octavia has become a dictator in the bunker and in the process become the very thing she spent so many years despising.

Surprised to learn that Wonkru survived the missile, Charmaine decides it's finally time to take Kane's offer and learn about Octavia.  Charmaine decides to ply Kane with tequila to see what she can learn. It will be interesting to see these two spar.

Wonkru survived the storm but lost 11 people in the process and Indra is wounded and has glass in her lungs. It reunion time for Clarke and Maddie, Bellamy and Echo who greet each other with great affection and in the case of Bellamy and Echo a kiss, which shocks Clarke and clearly engages Octavia.

I actually think that in this case, Charmaine is actually going to be easier to reason with than Octavia, who is clearly making decisions that don't make any sense. What kind of leader casually marches their soldiers into the kind of danger that Octavia chose to? It's also made worse by the fact that no one feels safe to challenge Octavia in any way. If Bellamy can't hold his sister accountable, what hope is there for anyone else who tries?

At this point, I am really worried for Indra, even though I have long said that Adina Porter is wasted in this role. At this point, Indra is severely injured and given that we've seen how Octavia chooses to deal with illness or weakness, Indra may not be long for this world if she slows Octavia down in any way. It is further problematic that the writers have put Indra and Octavia in a mother daughter relationship and given that Indra lives in close proximity with her actual daughter.  Do the writers even realise that they have chosen to make Indra express more love and affection for her adopted white daughter than the daughter of colour who came from her own body? This is blatantly racist and you can be assured that it won't be addressed anywhere.

I really like the way that The 100 is choosing to deal with Abby's addiction.  Yes, Abby has made promises to Kane time and time again but as we all know, it's not that easy to simply stop doing drugs, even when one knows better and people that care about you want you to stop. It's also worth noting that at this point, Abby needs the drugs just to feel normal.  When Abby had access to her pills, her hands stopped shaking and she was able to perform the work that she was assigned to do by Charmaine.

At this point, I'm not sure what Zeke's game is. Clearly, he is not completely on board with Charmaine's scorched earth policy but that doesn't mean that he will compromise himself to stop her worse impulses, or pay any price that may be required. Zeke clearly out crafted Raven because while he agreed to release Murphy, he did so in a way that would necessarily mean that Murphy could be easily recaptured. At this point, I really feel like Zeke's plan is to cooperate enough with both sides so that no matter who wins, he will end up on top. I don't necessarily see Zeke as a moral person, even if he is the only one on the ship who wasn't a criminal.

The Blakes are clearly headed for a showdown to end all showdowns. There's no way that Octavia is going to be cool with Echo being in a relationship with her brother or joining Wonkru. I would go as far as to say that Octavia is going to see Bellamy's relationship as a betrayal given how many times Echo tried to kill her. Octavia may demand that Bellamy understand that things have changed for her but I would be willing to bet that she won't spend five minutes thinking about how being trapped on the ARC and forced to work together changed Bellamy and Echo. The question is how much of a distraction will this be for Octavia who is determined to go to war and claim the valley for Wonkru?