It’s time for Culling number 4,652 on The 100. This time, Octavia is in charge, and, while it would be going too far to say she’s enjoying rubbing the irony of it all in to the Arkadians, she’s not pulling her punches, either. Clarke, Bellamy, and most of the rest of the younger generation of (still-living) named characters are on a time-sensitive quest of their own that takes them far from the bunker, as the Death Wave approaches. What could possibly go wrong?
The Grounders are herding the Arkadians out of their dorms and into the central meeting area. The Arkadians are clueless as to why, but Emori, ever the sharp survivor, picks up on the fact that only 100 spots are reserved for them, according to Octavia’s plan. Everyone who overhears her is stunned. Jaha takes a moment to guilt Bellamy about all of the people he’ll be murdering because he opened the door, since Jaha can’t do the math or open his eyes enough to look around and notice how much more crowded the bunker is suddenly. Pretty sure Bellamy just saved a net 800 lives. They just aren’t people who will listen to Jaha when he tries to play God.
Abby reassures Raven over the radio that someone is on their way to get her so that she can have a spot in the bunker. Raven says that her brain is healing, and she’ll use the same method to cure Abby when she gets there. Kane asks Abby what Raven is talking about. Abby doesn’t answer him.
Bellamy, Clarke and Jaha join them to discuss who gets to survive. Essential personnel and children under 16 automatically make the cut. That will leave 80 spots, for which they’ll hold a lottery, just like Jaha suggested when people objected to Clarke’s original list of 100 back before Ilian burned the Ark. Jaha throws yet another hissy fit about this plan, because the Arkadians are now spoiled brats who don’t know how to make sacrifices, in his mind. Has he met his own people?
Bellamy and Clarke volunteer to go get Raven from the island. They have 23 hours until the Death Wave hits. If all goes well, it takes 10 hours to get to the island, then 10 hours to get back. That doesn’t leave much time for things to go wrong. When have things ever not gone wrong on a road trip on this show?
Abby bundles them up in their radiation suits. She’s having a tough time thinking of all of her kids being out there so close to the end. At least Jackson will be with her in the bunker. Other than that time he tortured her into the City of Light, he’s been the most faithful, dependable child she’s got.
Clarke promises to be careful, and that it isn’t goodbye. Abby tells Clarke that she IS a good guy, and that there was no good choice when it came to opening the bunker door. Clarke says there never is. Abby tells Bellamy and Clarke to take care of each other.
Murphy and Emori show up as they’re about to leave and ask to tag along. They just want to be useful, really. Emori is the expert on navigating the boat to the island. Abby can’t promise them a spot in the bunker, or Emori a spot in the lottery. After Abby leaves, Murphy tells Bellamy that they plan to take their chances in the bunker on the island.
Kane officially tells the Arkadians that they only get 100 spots. Hardy, who also complained when it came out that the Ark could only support 100, starts a brawl and attacks Niylah as an outsider. Octavia arrives and takes charge. She tells the Arkadians that Niylah gets one of Skaikru’s spots. They now have 99.
Jaha, with a straight face and no irony, says, “Octavia, please, you can stop this. You’re Skaikru. You’re one of us.”
Octavia manages not to laugh in his face, and replies, “I’m one of you? You made me hide under the floor. You floated my mother. I’m not hiding now. Every other clan has chosen their survivors. Every other clan. Skaikru’s no different. You have until midnight. Choose, or you all die.”
They’re lucky she didn’t have them all killed right then or tossed outside to die in the Death Wave, like Indra wanted. These are the people who made her a criminal for the act of being born, and killed her mother for not killing her before she was born, then sent her and the rest of The Hundred down to the Earth alone to die as involuntary science experiments. She owes them nothing, and she knows it very, very well.
Niylah counsels Octavia to have some patience and understanding. She tells Octavia that she’ll never forget what Octavia did for her. Indra interrupts to plan what they’ll do if Skaikru continues to be uncooperative. Octavia isn’t sure she can go through with her terms. Indra tells her that Onekru looks to her now. When she gives the command, they’ll follow. Octavia confesses how much help she had in winning the Conclave. Indra tells her that all leaders have help.
Emori laments the loss of the feeling of safety and home that she had, for the first time in her life, in the bunker. Murphy tells her that her home is with him. Who would have thought that Murphy would be part of the one unbreakable couple on this show? He’s loyal to Emori, and nothing and no one else.
Bellamy asks Clarke why she came on the mission. She says that Raven is her friend. He calls her on her hypocrisy. They have it out for a minute, then begin to make up, because they’ve been through too much together to stay mad over things like aiming guns at each other and leaving sisters out to die. She didn’t fire the gun straight at him, so they’re good, after she grovels for a minute.
But, Bellamy’s driving. Didn’t we just have a talk a few weeks ago about heroing and driving? Sure enough, he’s busy looking into Clarke’s eyes soulfully when someone jumps out in front of the truck, because of course they do. Grounders would never just go off and die somewhere, like sensible people.
Does Bellamy just keep going straight and plow down the guy who’ll be dead in less than a day anyway? No, he steers around him and straight into a tree. Then they’re accosted by more Grounders who try to steal their suits.
They’re outnumbered and losing the fight when suddenly Echo, the pluckiest spy/assassin left on Earth, rides up on a horse with multiple weapons and takes out most of the attackers singlehandedly. She was spying on the gang as they prepared to leave the big bunker, and knows about the island bunker. She’s hoping they’ll let her share the island bunker, now that she’s saved their lives.
But the truck sustained too much damage to drive, so no one is getting to the island, unless they can get another ride. I’m sure they can flag down the next one that goes by and convince it to pick up some hitchhikers.
The lottery is beginning. Nate Miller’s dad David puts his son’s name in the pot instead of his own. Like I said, they are self-sacrificing when given the chance.
It’s Abby’s turn to realize that math is hard, and Kane’s turn to explain it to her. Kane’s trying to have a romantic moment, but Abby is too overwhelmed with guilt over the lab experiments and her part in opening the bunker door to hear him. She tells him to give her spot in the bunker to someone else. It’s a noble sacrifice, except for the fact that she’s the senior physician and surgeon, which actually makes it irresponsible for her to abandon the population, whoever it’s made up of. They could never have too many trained medical personnel, and there’s always going to be something more she could teach her protegés.
Hardy and Jaha discuss the unfairness of the lottery and begin to form a last minute plan to take the bunker back.
Echo is given the spare radiation suit. She confesses to Clarke that Roan banished her, and asks if it was so wrong for her to try to save her people. It’s a rare moment of vulnerability for her.
Emori starts to show signs of radiation sickness. One of the Grounders tore a hole in her helmet. Clarke gives Emori her helmet, and hopes that the night blood will protect her.
Monty and Harper answer Bellamy’s radio calls, and affirm that they will come pick up the hitchhikers. Everyone watches the countdown clock closely. They don’t have time left to make it to the island and back to Polis.
Clarke also begins to show signs of radiation sickness. The gang decides to continue on to the island, since Clarke has an idea that might save them all, while most of them would be locked out of the Polis bunker.
The lottery continues. Nate Miller is chosen. Kane notices Jaha sneaking out the back door, and hands over the name-drawing to Jackson so that he can follow. Hardy starts a riot as a distraction from whatever Jaha plans.
Kane finds Jaha loading up on gas grenades. He plans to sedate the Grounders, take the food crops hostage, and demand that all of Skaikru be allowed to stay. Jaha is officially a terrorist.
Indra and her people found Skaikru’s armory, and have armed themselves with guns. Now they can make the choice for Skaikru in a very quick, definitive way.
Kane desperately tries to talk Jaha out of his ridiculous plan. He knows Jaha well, and we don’t call him Skaikru Jesus for nothing. He appeals to Jaha’s God Complex and ego, and his need to leave a legacy behind. It works.
They use the gas on Skaikru, so that Octavia and Indra find the rioters unconscious when they arrive with troops. Kane and Jaha, wearing gas masks and looking like monsters, are the only people awake in the room. It once again falls to them to do a Culling. They both keep repeating to themselves, “This is how we save our people.” They both thought they’d never have to do this again, and it’s breaking them both.
They decide to use the list that Clarke made when the Ark would have only held 100 to decide who stays in the bunker. The rest are carried outside to die. Kane makes sure that Abby remains in the bunker. I’m worried that he might end up outside, though. After he’s worked so hard this season to bring Bellamy back from the edge, plus Harper, Octavia, Jaha, and Abby, he might not have enough left for himself. In this season of death, we have yet to have a huge, unexpected death. They’ve saved that for the season finale.
The remnants of the 100 reach Raven on the island and explain Clarke’s idea to her. The ring of the Ark is still up in space and usable. It has a water reclamator and an algae farm. They’ll bring the oxygenator from the island bunker up with them in Becca’s rocket, then live there until it’s safe to return to earth. They’ll have to figure out the problem of how to get back to Earth while they’re up in space. Raven agrees to the plan. We’re going back to the Ark.
There’s still a small chance that Echo stashed a gravely wounded Roan in an out of the way closet or bathroom in the bunker before she left, and it won’t be revealed until next week, so I’ll leave off complaining about Roan’s storyline and exit until then, even though they taunted me with him in the previously again, and Echo mentioned him. Keep the flame alive, Echo.
I understand that the actor who played Brian left for another show, and they didn’t want another Lexa debacle, so they’re just quietly disappearing him, but he deserves at least a gossipy conversation in the car about Nate and Brian breaking up. As it is now, it looks like Nate is enthusiastically and publicly cheating on Brian, with whom he was in a long term, public relationship. And he’s cheating with Jackson, the sweetest teddy bear of a doctor alive.
Only children under 16 get an automatic buy into the bunker. You’d think they’d want healthy young people up to age 20 or 25, who have the ability to work hard to rebuild society and start having children right away, but the Ark society clearly doesn’t like teenagers. After all, it was the 16-18 year olds they sent down to the surface as disposable human experiments to begin with, including Jaha and Abby’s own children.
Octavia could turn out to be the commander they’ve needed all along, since she is truly clanless. None of the clans have to worry that she’ll turn and show favor to her birth clan, since she’s proven, in a very ruthless way, that she won’t. With Indra as her war counsel, Niylah as her diplomatic counsel, and Roan (when he turns up alive) as her rival/consort/administrative counsel, since he’s the one with the royal training and all, this could work out.
Clarke and Bellamy both asked to go get Raven to avoid being present for the lottery. They wanted to avoid being a part of making the terrible decisions, once again, and being blamed and guilty forever, once again. Clarke’s list was used, but it wasn’t her decision to use it. Kane and Jaha may both sacrifice themselves out of guilt over the decision they made, and the decisions they made on the Ark. Clarke and Bellamy were smart to avoid adding another mass death to their list. Maybe they’ll at least avoid the lever of doom this time. Or maybe it’s a happy lever, like to fire up the rockets, or to turn on the Ark’s power supply.
Will all 8 passengers make it up to the Ark alive, or are one or two of the extra women expendables who’ll be dead by the end of the season finale? I’m all for five years on the Ark with Murphy/Emori, Monty/Harper, and Bellamy-Clarke-Echo-Raven rotating around in various boy/girl and girl/girl pairs. Or a permanent foursome. We know Bellamy would be fine with it. He was born to be a stay-at-home husband who takes care of his wives and children. And everyone will be on the Ark, so he won’t have to worry about where they’ve all run off to all the time, like he usually does with Clarke and Octavia.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the girls (other than Clarke) dies while they’re retrieving the oxygenator from the island bunker. They’ll have to contend with whatever mysterious danger lives on the island that had Emori so spooked in earlier episodes, and three of the girls have radiation sickness, while Raven just died and came back to life, in addition to being in recovery from a stroke.
On the other hand, if Roan is alive, we’d have Bellamy taking care of Roan’s little sister Echo up in space, and Roan taking care of Bellamy’s little sister Octavia in the bunker. The warm, fuzzy conversation they had about Octavia during the Conclave, and the banishing of Echo, was most likely foreshadowing and set up for that, since, as it turns out, the entire season was nothing but foreshadowing and set up for the last few episodes and next season.
They will also want to find a reason to test Clarke’s nightblood, so she might be the one who doesn’t make it into space for some reason, has to ride out the death wave in the island bunker, and then make her way back to the Polis bunker thanks to her nightblood and a radiation suit.