In a season which has largely been meant to set up the end of the season and season 5, this episode is even more guilty of mainly functioning as set up for the events of the rest of the season. Octavia and Ilian try being farmers, but Octavia still manages to kill people. Murphy and Emori try being part of Skaikru, but Emori can’t bring herself to trust them. Raven’s brain has a mind of its own. Roan and Echo outsmart Clarke and Indra, forcing them to give other clans a chance at the bunker. As with the rest of the season up until now, nobody’s plans play out exactly as they expect, and some seem like outright failures.
Murphy, Emori, and Raven are packing up essentials from Becca’s lab to bring to the Polis bunker. Emori doesn’t trust that someone will be back to pick them up. Raven assures her that, while Murphy and Emori are indeed expendable, Skaikru wouldn’t leave Raven herself behind, so Murphy and Emori will get to tag along. That’s not as reassuring to Emori as Raven probably thinks it will be, especially since Raven starts to go into another Grand Mal seizure immediately after she says it. The seizures form a new round of narrative dreamlike hallucinations, starring Becca the aeronautical engineer.
Skyripa as farm wife has arrived! She enjoys it about as much as expected. Ilian’s justification for Octavia’s field work, and the seeds he’s planting, is that the fields will be ready for whoever comes along after Praimfaya. He seems to still be missing some important facts about Praimfaya, like that it will destroy all life on Earth, and the ground will be too radioactive to grow things for years. At least he’s cute.
One of Ilian’s buddies happens by to try to convince him to join her in the call to war that Trishanakru has sent out. They are joining Trikru to fight Azgeda in Polis. Ilian wants nothing to do with it. There’s not any point in spending their last days fighting. Octavia is surprised that Ilian is a warrior.
Jaha rallies Skaikru to go and live in the Polis bunker. Most of them are excited, but a bunch of the teenagers, Jasper and Riley included, are tired of fighting to survive, and tired of participating in Jaha’s deadly plans. They decide to stay behind at the Ark and meet their fate.
Miller and Jackson are on truck driver/mover duty between the island and Polis. Jackson offers to come with Miller to the bunker, rather than waiting with the truck. It requires a long walk in the woods to the tunnel. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. They seem to be flirting with each other. Have we ever had any indication of Jackson’s sexuality before? What about Miller and Brian?
Kane, Abby, Clarke, and Roan are somewhere in the woods outside of Polis, moving cargo around. Abby catches Clarke alone, and tells her that, since Indra helped find the Polis bunker, Skaikru now has a deal to share it with Trikru instead of Azgeda. That smacks of Jaha’s decision making. Clarke is appalled. Abby reassures Clarke that they won’t kill Roan if he comes quietly, they’ll just take him prisoner. He can even take shelter in the bunker with them, if he betrays the rest of his people and leaves them to die. I’m sure that sounded better in her head. Roan is not the kind of king who’ll go for a deal like that.
When Skaikru and Trikru attempt to take Roan prisoner, Echo and her soldiers appear from the woods to stop them. Clarke tries to warn Roan, but it’s not enough. Azgeda takes the Skaikru leaders prisoner.
Back in the tower, Echo explains that she noticed what was happening when Skaikru and Trikru were searching for and taking possession of the bunker. From the outside, it made no sense strategically. She posted Azgeda soldiers at the temple doors and learned what was afoot. Echo is Roan’s greatest asset as King, after himself. Not much gets past her.
Roan has Clarke brought to him. She swears that she just found out about Skaikru’s betrayal of Azgeda. He thanks her for trying to warn him. Clarke tries to convince Roan to force a negotiation over the occupation of the bunker, since he has it surrounded. He agrees, but refuses to let Kane be there. Clarke will represent Skaikru. Roan’s wandering eye is all over her as they talk, appreciating her assets.
Ilian and Octavia lie in bed and do naked philosophy. Ilian has become the Yoda of the apocalypse since they started having sex. All along, while he was trying to murder people and burning up their homes, he just needed some healthy exercise to clear the bad memories from his head. Octavia wants to go help fight the war, because she prefers a warrior’s death. Ilian believes in reincarnation, and doesn’t seem to care how he dies in this life, but he doesn’t want to spend his remaining time fighting. He’s much more interested in making apocalypse porn with Octavia.
Harper’s depression has deepened, and she’s ready to give up. She’s decided to stay behind with Jasper’s death cult in the Ark. Monty is upset with her over this, because Harper and Jasper are the only family he has left. He doesn’t want to lose them because they just gave up. She joins the suicide squad in the bar. Jasper is excited to see her, because he’s over the top nihilistic. Jaha comes to scold them for relaxing instead of preparing to leave.
You have to wonder whose head is worse to be inside at this point, Jasper or Jaha. Jasper’s encouraging teenagers to die instead of living in an enclosed space for five years, and Jaha is telling the people he sentenced to death a few months ago that they have no choice but to follow him now, to stay alive and make babies. Not a lot of sanity between the two of them. On the other hand, I’m sure Bellamy appreciates how mentally healthy and balanced they’re making him look.
HalluciBecca makes her case for Raven going into space and spacewalking as her final act instead of going to the bunker and waiting to die of a stroke. She convinces Raven that they can convert an interior spacesuit to be suitable for a spacewalk.
Emori watches Raven have a conversation with herself from a room above the lab. Murphy tries to get her to come back to bed for another round, but she knows that Miller and Jackson should be back by now. She’s nervous.
Roan and Clarke meet with Indra and the Trikru advisors inside the bunker. Not surprisingly, they choose war as the way to decide who gets the bunker, since no Commander exists to make them play nice. Clarke tries to make them see reason, but that’s not what Grounders or this season are about.
Clarke closes herself in alone with Gaia as everyone is leaving the meeting. She knows the Flame wasn’t destroyed and that Octavia gave it to Gaia. She wants Gaia to make her the Commander since she’s a nightblood now. Clarke can finally have her happily ever after with the Lexa in her head, make everyone do what she says, and maybe save humanity, too. WIn, win, win.
Jasper’s instituted a loud lock-in with the suicide club. Jaha, Monty, Bellamy, and some guards try to force them out. Jaha isn’t going to leave so many potential breeders behind who could repopulate his empire. Both sides start waving guns around. Bellamy and Monty try to talk to them to get them to
surrender come out. Jaha is about to blow the doors open with explosives when Bellamy points out the truth: Jaha sent them all down to the surface to die. He owes them the right to choose to die now if it’s what they want. Jaha acquiesces, but Monty isn’t ready to give up on Harper.
Octavia makes one more attempt at playing farm wife, but Ilian’s warrior friend comes back with a grudge and two more friends to attack Octavia for killing one of her friends. Octavia obliges them with the fight they’re looking for, and kills all three. Ilian’s a little surprised that Octavia can still find people to murder on his farm in the middle of nowhere. Octavia figures it’s a dark gift that she shouldn’t be wasting.
Clarke’s Ascension to Commander is signaled. As the ceremony begins, no one has been told that Clarke is the new nightblood. Roan lets the ceremony proceed until Gaia is about to insert the Flame into Clarke, then stops her. He has Abby brought in to reveal that Clarke isn’t a natural-born nightblood. She was made one through science. This is blasphemous and unacceptable to the Grounders, so the ceremony is left unfinished.
Roan, however, has another idea. All of the clans have representatives in Polis for the Ascension. They should follow through with a Conclave, allowing one champion from each clan to fight to the death against all of the others in a tournament. The clan belonging to last champion standing will own the bunker.
How it makes sense for Roan to suggest this, I have no idea. Clarke wouldn’t be an Azgeda Commander, but she’s shown loyalty to him over and over.The odds of Azgeda having a prominent place in the bunker are much higher with Clarke as Commander than they are with the Conclave rules he’s suggesting. Roan’s had a thing for Clarke from the beginning. Now he’s suddenly over her when they have a chance to rule together and she proved her trustworthiness five minutes ago? This is a classic case of making a character do something they would never do in order for the writers to achieve a plot outcome they’re having trouble getting to. Bad writers, doing that to Roan, who’s been such a consistent and well-written character up until now.
As Skaikru leaves the Ark for the last time, Jaha spouts more inspirational words for the apocalypse. Bellamy says a final goodbye to Harper and Jasper. But Monty stays behind with the suicide squad. He’s going to stay with them as long as possible in case anyone changes their mind.
Back on the island, Murphy and Emori have switched to packing for the island bunker. Miller and Jackson finally show up. They’re sorry they’re late, but there’s been some developments. Brian’s disappeared into the cold place where forgotten characters go to be stored until their actors are available again someday (he’s definitely NOT DEAD, okay?), and Miller and Jackson are having sex now. Miller actually stops Jackson from saying that last part.
Anyway, what with the mass fiery death in five days and time-consuming new love and Grounders having battles every time they turn around, time is of the essence. Miller hurries them along.
Murphy goes to get Raven, but she’s deep into her space fantasy. Given the choice between dying a slow death in the bunker while being unable to use her brain and going back to space for one more spacewalk, she’s choosing the latter. Murphy feels guilty for the part he played in causing her pain and apologizes. She tells him that her brain is worse than her leg. He asks her what to tell the others about why she stayed behind, and she says to tell them she floated herself. They say a tearful goodbye and Raven gets back to work on her spacesuit.
Clarke and Bellamy survey the city, which will be the battlefield for the Conclave. Skaikru is at a disadvantage, because guns aren’t allowed and they don’t have anyone who is trained in Grounder melee styles. Just then, Octavia rides out of the mist, and says she’s there for the war. Skaikru has its champion.
Gotta love all of the mother-daughter pairings in this episode. Becca is the mother of Raven’s brain, even if she isn’t her biological mother.