Saturday, July 7, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Eight: How We Get To Peace

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Unsurprisingly, the various factions have different ideas about how to achieve peace. It seems however that only Charmaine has any idea of what to do with that peace if and when it actually happens.  For the last few episodes we've seen the planning stages of what is to be an epic show down between Octavia and Charmaine and for me at least, it's starting to drag. 

Madi had been made Octavia's second and Clarke is all too aware of the threat that this represents. After hours of telling Madi about Octavia's adventures and the people hidden in the bunker, Madi views Octavia as a hero and doesn't realise that the power which Octavia welds could be a danger to her. Clarke makes a deal with Charmaine to surrender unequivocally and in exchange, they agree to share the Valley. Bellamy however has one proviso, he won't kill his sister.  It's hardly a surprise that killing Octavia would be the line in the sand for Bellamy, despite how terrible Octavia's rule has been. Indra is drawn into Clarke's plan and together with Bellamy, they decide to kill Cooper using the worms believing that if Octavia's biological weapon is rendered useless that she will have no choice but to abandon her invasion plans. 

The only one to have any kind of reservation about the plan is Monty, who has been hard at work creating algae in the hopes of offering an alternative to raiding the Valley.  At this point, Monty has seen enough blood and death to last him a lifetime and it's become increasingly clear that he is a haunted man.  All Monty needs is some time to perfect the algae because for some reason, the first batch he tried back in space put Murphy into a coma for a month.  Cooper is the first to burst Monty's bubble when she reveals that what he is doing is worthless because the invasion of the Valley is going to happen soon. The second time it happens is when Monty is forced to become complicit in Cooper's murder, despite all of his pleas about how there always seems to be another justifiable murder that needs to be committed. 

At the Valley, a bloody Shaw is brought into the same room as Raven and Echo.  Echo sees betraying and murdering Shaw as an opportunity because he is the only pilot that Charmaine has.  Shaw's death would mean that  Raven would be in a position of power and in the process it would also eliminate some of Charmaine's tactical advantage because without the ship, it would even the playing field. Raven however is nowhere near as ruthless and Echo and so she's not on board with killing Shaw. Raven and Echo don't get to talk about it for long because she's called to assist Abby. 

At first, Raven is absolutely overjoyed to see Abby.  It's a great reminder that these two do have a history and a bond. Abby wants help making some medical equipment to cure Charmaine's people but when Raven learns that they are dying, her position is that it would be better for everyone if Abby did nothing.  Abby tries playing righteous at first, claiming that she made an oath and that as a doctor she has an obligation to heal them. When that doesn't work, Abby says that Charmaine threatened her and that's enough to get Raven moving. 

When Raven finishes the work that Abby needs, she discovers Abby unconscious. The betrayal comes when Raven learns that Abby's real motivation is to feed her drug addiction and that it was the drugs that rendered Abby unconscious. Raven is quick to realise that Charmaine has been feeding Abby drugs and she's mad as hell - mad enough to threaten to destroy the equipment she just finished building. Abby then does the unspeakable and uses the shock collar to stop Raven, while crying and apologising the whole time. 

It cost Abby dearly but she is successful in curing one patient and  given that it's Vinson, whose been given a new lease on life and his seeming fascination with both Abby and Raven, I'm pretty sure that we can expect something creepy.  Charmaine is of course happy with Abby's results but always the strategist, decides to keep the news of the cure to herself and threatens Abby to keep her quiet. 

It's only when Raven is back to her regular holding room in a heart to heart with Shaw, we learn that how personal this whole experience is to Raven. It turns out that Raven's mother was an alcoholic and that the disease ultimately killed her. 

Now that they have a prisoner, Emori and Murphy try to use their leverage. It turns out however that Charmaine isn't interested in getting McCreary back because his faction represents a threat to her hold on power. Rather than agreeing to trade Raven for McCreary, Charmaine tells Emori and Murphy that they are welcome to kill him. This of course shocks Kane, who once again goes into mentor mode and wonders what kind of leadership they are getting from Charmaine. He knows that Octavia is bad but given everything Charmaine has done so far, she may not be much better. For some unknown reason, Charmaine reveals her pregnancy and begins to talk about building the Valley into a home, openly wondering about building a school for her daughter. 

With plan one down the tubes, Murphy isn't ready to give up. Rather than simply killing McCreary, Murphy waits for McCreary to awaken and then reveals that Charmaine was happy to sell him down the river. They concoct a plan where they agree that McCreary will lead both Emori and Murphy into the Valley as his prisoners, giving them the chance to rescue Raven.  Emori isn't exactly down with the idea because for obvious reasons, she doesn't trust McCreary but at this point, they are running out of options. 

It's Indra who reports to Octavia that Cooper is dead and that she was killed by worms. It turns out death by worms is a huge give away because they had only ever planned on using the eggs and not the actual worms themselves. Octavia is quick to deduce that Bellamy and Clarke killed Cooper and of course in her eyes, that makes them traitors. Octavia is not about to allow Cooper's death to stop her attack on the Valley and she orders Clarke arrested; however, Bellamy is spared because of their familial relationship. That night, Bellamy joins Octavia for supper and they share rations with each other. Bellamy reminds Octavia that he and their mother always shared what they had with Octavia, reminding Octavia of how much he loves her. Octavia is skeptical but she takes a bite from the piece of bread Bellamy hands her. Bellamy reveals the deal he and Clarke made with Charmaine, and Octavia is duly unimpressed by how far Bellamy is willing to go for people (read:Echo and Clarke) that she considers traitors. Octavia doesn't get the chance to sound the alarm because she starts choking. It turns out that Bellamy fed her some of Monty's algae which will effectively put her in a coma for a month. 

There are only five more episodes left and I for one will be grateful when this season has come to an end. At this point, I firmly believe that it's time to stick a fork in The 100, because the show is done and has run out of interesting things for the characters to do. It's been five years of war and tough decisions with no end in sight. Sure, we could argue that this is the way a dystopian could be but at some point, shouldn't common sense kick in when there's only a small parcel of livable land left? 

The minute it was revealed that Charmaine is pregnant, I knew that the baby would be used to huamanise her and I must admit that it's a device I'm not at all impressed with. It makes sense to me that Charmaine would reveal to the only doctor on earth that she's pregnant but why would she care enough about what Kane thinks about her to share such an immense secret? My guess is that they are going to change things up and make Charmaine the white knight and Octavia the evil one and then give Octavia some come to Jesus moment to redeem her at the end of it all. 

I'm a little worried about Monty at this point because he is starting to remind me of Jasper. I need the writers to veer away from the very idea that Monty has man pain.  I do however very much like that Harper agreed to stay behind with him rather than to march into battle in the Valley. It's nice to see Monty supported because far too often, no one is concerned with his feelings and he is simply given marching orders for the so-called greater good. I am worried however that this new approach will even further sideline Monty, who we have seen in the past can be a fascinating character when given the chance. 

I should be so excited about the Wanheda/Blodreina/Diyoza throw down. How often do we get to see three strong female characters in charge and at war with each other? How often do we get three strong female characters whose motivations have nothing to do with the men in their lives? The answer to both of those questions is never. The problem for me is that it feels too little too late. The 100 feels like it is treading over ground marched over one thousand times at this point and it doesn't help that the plot just seems to be dragging along. Like I said earlier, I hope that this is the end because enough is enough already. Sometimes, it's better to finish early than finish badly.