With Apocalypse 2.0 quickly approaching, there's no room for dilly-dallying, so this week drops us right into the disaster preparations underway in Arkadia. Raven is hardcore, unwilling to let Clarke forget for a moment the heart-wrenching tasks that lie ahead, such as making a list of who gets to stay indoors when Arkadia has to shut out 400 of its people, not to mention the entire rest of the population; Raven also isn't letting Bellamy forget for a moment that it's 100% his fault they're having to make this list at all, because he's the one who sacrificed the hydrogenerator to assuage his guilty conscience.
His guilty conscience isn't quiet, though; he says he should be left outside when they close the doors. Raven might agree, but Clarke is having none of that nonsense.
Arkadia gets a surprise knock at the gate: Nyko's here with some very sick friends, including Luna! Abby doesn't take long to diagnose them with radiation sickness. It turns out they've been ingesting radiation--on the oil rig, they ate a lot of fish, and the currents have brought schools of dying fish into the area. The radiation itself may still be a couple of months away by air or land, but water gives it a much shorter path to travel.
In Polis, Roan pays Octavia a visit and asks her to take care of something for him, like she took care of that ambassador, and Whoa! Mad respect, Roan. You played Echo and used your resources wisely to maintain control of the situation. But not so fast, because you also left the Flame lying around and got it stolen from your quarters like a chump. He'd like Octavia to look into that before anyone finds out it's gone.
Let's check in with Bonnie and Clyde, I mean Emori and Murphy. They're hiding out in a cave and having trouble finding food. She comments that there aren't even any bugs to eat, and we know that's because the radiation is killing off small species first. She's also clearly unhinged with jealousy over Ontari, and Murphy's discomfort in talking about all that stuff makes it clear that he's traumatized, unable to give her the assurance she wants while he's not ready to face his own feelings about what happened to him. To get away from the topic, he goes off to raid Arkadia for food.
Murphy is able to saunter right in and steal some preserved meat right out from under Raven's nose, mostly because she's so distracted with pain, fear, and the burden of bearing all the responsibility while everyone else screws up all the time and then expects her to fix it. He's still lurking when Abby shows up to make Raven's day even worse.
Abby begs Raven to hand over their extremely limited supply of radiation sickness meds to treat Luna et al. Raven refuses to waste the meds on a longshot attempt at saving Grounders who, as she rightly points out, would only be dying again a few months later when they're not invited to live in Arkadia. Abby pulls a total mom guilt trip about this, but Raven is right. She's right to ride Clarke about making the list, she's right to blame Bellamy for wasting the hydrogenerator and costing another 400 lives, and she's right to say that helping these refugees is pointless, because they're not going to keep helping them in the long run. The ultimate result is the same, and the difference is whether you've wasted additional resources along the way.
Bellamy blew up the hydrogenerator because his feelings seemed more important to him than rational evaluation of the facts; Abby is begging Raven to let her use up seven doses from their med supply for essentially the same reason. There's only emotion in Abby's choice, and she's wrong to treat Raven with moral condemnation. Raven is right. She's making the hard choices to earn the best result for the largest number, and everyone else is willing to chip away at her efforts in service of their emotions.
But hey, remember when Pike beat Murphy up in class? He told the story of why Murphy's dad got floated: He'd stolen medicine...for Murphy. So it's not a shock that Murphy snags the radiation meds and hands them over to Abby. It doesn't work, of course, and Abby is way too harsh about snarking at Raven, "We only wasted one dose."
Polis is starting to look like the inner city in a 90's film about gang warfare. Ilian's gang is running around destroying all the tech they can find. Naturally, he eventually makes his way to Titus' basement office, where there's an entire spaceship to waste. Worse, there's currently something even more precious there, because that's where Octavia has tracked down the new self-appointed Flamekeeper, Gaia. And whoa again--Gaia is Indra's estranged daughter! Indra considers Gaia a religious fanatic, and Gaia looks at Indra as an apostate. Thanksgiving dinner must be fun.
Ilian wrenches the Flame box from Gaia, pulls out the Flame, and smashes it all to hell...after the commercial break, we can breathe easily again, because he actually smashed the devotional replica of the Flame that Gaia wears as a necklace. But don't relax too much, because Octavia lets Gaia keep the real Flame, and I'm not sure Gaia's proven herself strong enough or resourceful enough to protect it--after all, swapping out with the necklace just now was O's idea.
Octavia presents Roan with a severed head and the smashed remnants of Gaia's pendant, claiming she was unable to prevent the destruction of the Flame before killing the perpetrator. Octavia is awesome, hardcore, and totally fearless.
Oh yeah, and also Jaha is in this episode. He's apparently obsessed with cult leaders. (That is literally the only explanation I can offer for why he has such an encyclopedic awareness of the lunatic whose secret bunker he's searching for.) He drags Clarke and Bellamy on his quest, confident that they will find a secure, fully stocked hideout in which their people can survive. It is another pointless Jaha pipe dream, of course; they find the crappy bunker that was basically just a hole in the ground with a fancy door. The people inside have been dead for ages, because there's no actual protection from the radiation in there.
After that little field trip, Clarke settles in to finally make the list, as she promised Raven. She hesitates over the final two spots, knowing she can't bring herself to leave Bellamy off, but also knowing he won't take a spot unless she will...and she can't bring herself to choose her life over so many others'. She weeps as she writes his name, and of course, he takes the pen and writes hers too. It's a lovely scene.
But then she casually leaves the list where anyone can find it, and that's obviously going to be Jasper, because of course it is.
Finally, Clarke visits the infirmary and is shocked to note that Luna looks well on the road to recovery. We already know Abby didn't give Luna any medicine...this is a natural healing factor unique to Nightbloods. Let's see what our heroes can do with this discovery.
Overall, I'm giving this episode an 8. Jaha's cult bunker subplot will be something I'm fine forgetting ever happened, and I can't help but feel irritated at the implication that Raven is being too cold, when she's actually the only one making really rational and useful decisions. She's the leader we need, but maybe not the one we deserve.