Episode grade: 10
Last week left off with Octavia's proclamation to the Skaikru leadership that they had to cull their population to 100 and toss the rest out to die in praimfaya. This week, we get right down to business in true The 100 style.
Grounder warriors are herding Skaikru from all sections of the bunker, bringing them together in the main hall, and shutting the doors behind them. Niylah objects that she is Trikru, but the other Grounders just see someone who was going to live with Skaikru while they all died outside...she's rejected as a traitor.
Kane draws on his strength to address the crowd, and he delivers the crushing news with dignity. The plan is to hold a lottery for the remaining spots, after setting aside the first 20 for essential personnel and children under 16. Jaha snipes to Bellamy that 3 out of 4 of their people are going to die because of the choice he made to save his sister. And again I say, Jaha, you dick.
Despite the looming deadline (less than 24 hours to praimfaya), it's agreed that Raven's brain and skills are crucial to their survival, so a team will make the 10-hour journey to the island and bring her to the bunker. Clarke and Bellamy set off for the trip, accompanied by last-minute tagalongs, Murphy and Emori.
Ever the pragmatists, Murphy and Emori know they're certainly not essential personnel, and Emori's not going to be given a chance in the lottery; they want to hitch a ride to the island and see how long they last in the bunker. "We can't all be 'essential personnel,' or have a sister who's queen of the Grounders," Murphy snarls.
While Murphy explains his plan to ever-suspicious Bellamy, Echo is lurking nearby. She's apparently been waiting by the bunker entrance, probably hoping someone would open the door so she could try to force her way in. Now, she sees another option.
As if to demonstrate the kind of treatment Emori would have gotten from Skaikru once the lottery was announced, one angry dude spots Niylah in the crowd and calls her out as a Grounder who has no right to one of their precious spots. The rage catches like a spark, and she's in physical danger--who knows how bad this could get, and Kane's attempt to calm the situation is not getting far.
Enter Octavia, queen of the Grounders! She rescues Niylah, then disappears again with another dark announcement: For their violence toward Niylah, Octavia is bringing Niylah into the bunker now, awarding her one of the spots Skaikru would have had. Now, they can only draw 79 names in their lottery.
As soon as she's done being fierce in front of the crowd, Octavia turns to Indra to admit she's not at ease with any of this, not sure she can do it all. Indra is strong, calm, and supportive, the best mom Octavia ever had. She keeps Octavia from faltering or doubting herself, and most importantly, from letting anyone else see her start to doubt. Because of Indra, Octavia maintains the role of leader, which she could easily have lost if even one less devoted Grounder had a chance to whisper in her ear during this time.
On the road, the Rover is making fine time...until a band of highwaymen attack. The Rover crashes, and our friends are getting a severe beatdown from a gang with nothing to lose. Time for a heroic entrance--here comes Echo! On a horse!
Echo's expert marksmanship allows her to save the day, but Murphy assumes the worst--that she'd been following with the intent to attack them herself. It's a surprise to everyone when she says that actually, she was hoping she might have just earned a spot with them on the island, because it's her last hope of survival.
Unfortunately, Bellamy confirms that no one is getting to the island anytime soon...the Rover is totaled.
Back in the bunker, it's a time of self-sacrifice for some, as Miller's dad asks Kane to put Nate's name in twice, leaving himself out. Abby tells Kane she's going to leave herself off the essential personnel roster, so there's another spot for someone else.
And then there's Jaha, full of self-righteous indignation at having to sacrifice his people when he was "the one who found the bunker" in the first place. Far from giving up his spot for others, he's plotting to try to take control back from the Grounders. That's Jaha for you, fomenting a pointless rebellion to satisfy his pride.
Right on schedule, Jaha gives a signal, and the riot starts. Jaha...you dick.
Jaha's plan is to gas the Grounders, but Kane gets to him in time to talk some sense...except you can't really talk sense to a fanatic like Jaha; Kane is smart enough to know this, so he instead appeals to Jaha's specific lunacy. He reminds Jaha of the evil and horror of his past, and the path of salvation he's been on...does this plan really seem worthy of that path?
Kane's words make a dent, and Jaha looks lost. He hears the people shouting and says, "They want to fight...how do we stop them now?"
Octavia is preparing to enforce the deadline she'd imposed; if Skaikru hasn't made a list by now, they're all out of the bunker. She leads her new army in to confront Skaikru, expecting a fight, but she just finds Kane and Jaha, ready to make the sacrifice as planned. They've used the gas from Jaha's rebellion to knock out their own people, so they can carry out the unfortunates in their sleep. Since they no longer need to worry about the people's cooperation, they use the list Clarke made earlier in the season, because it was always the most practical option that offered the best chances for their survival. And of course that includes Abby, now that she's not awake to argue with Kane.
Meanwhile, there was no hope of making it to the island and back, even after Monty and Harper arrived with the other Rover. So...our friends aren't going back to the bunker! They're staying with Raven and using their remaining hours before the death wave hits to prep for launch, so they can try to survive in what's left of the Ark, up in space. Echo and Emori are in for quite a lifestyle change.
Next week: the season finale! Too soon...I want more! How about you?