The march to war is over...now the war starts in earnest. Echo's intel has given Wonkru a false sense of security, and Octavia looks downright confident as she leads her army into battle...but of course, Echo doesn't know she's been betrayed by Kane and Diyoza. Wonkru is ambushed by heavy weapon fire from the ridge, and young Ethan is the first to fall.
The strafing fire continues throughout the episode, and those who led this wave of the attack are all either dead or playing dead. Anytime anyone pops their head up; they get shot. So Bellamy and Octavia wait out the daylight before any attempt at making a move, which gives them plenty of time to air grievances.
Fortunately, Bellamy is officially done listening to Octavia blame him for everything. She's been in full control for quite some time now, and her decisions have brought everyone to this place, to this danger. He quite rightly tells her to own her bad actions once and for all.
Speaking of lousy decision-making, Kane had better be at least starting to realize McCreary is not a good bet, no matter how dark and deep his rage toward Octavia has grown. McCreary cheerfully annihilates Wonkru and then sticks Diyoza in a cell, informing her that she'll be kept alive just long enough to give birth, then executed. Which, while we're on the subject, is another really shitty plan. That kid's best chance at survival is to be breastfed, and McCreary isn't some ruler over a vast kingdom who could just conscript another recent mother as a wetnurse. Seriously, somebody needs to kill McCreary, and I'm hoping it's either Kane, Diyoza, or Clarke (Diyoza deserves to kill him after this, and for Kane or Clarke, it would be a step toward redemption after aligning themselves with him however briefly...Clarke needs a lot more redemption than Kane does, of course).
But at the moment, Kane doesn't even blink at McCreary's behavior; he just asks to see Abby. Man, I wish he could quit her. She's like a black hole, drawing him toward his doom.
Abby has been treating the prisoners, as ordered by McCreary. Clarke and Madi are still with her...until suddenly they notice Madi is gone. Like, of course, Madi's gone! You know she hates what you're doing and doesn't want to be a part of it! You know she has the immortal spirit of the Commander driving her to fight for her people! But Clarke's still trying to be Mommy Dearest and control the kid. Abby tells Clarke that she came up with the plan to send the 100 to the ground in order to save Clarke when she was in the skybox, awaiting execution, so the answer is you do whatever it takes to protect your kid, no matter what...
And Clarke interprets that to mean she should slap a shock collar on Madi and turn on the juice! I was disgusted when Abby pulled this with Raven, but this is even worse--Clarke doesn't have even the lousy excuse of drug addiction for her act of cruelty. What's more, Clarke tries to take the Flame back from Madi! Fortunately, Madi saw that coming (sad when a kid knows they can't trust their parents!), and she's edited the command codes so no one else can control the Flame right now.
Out on the field, where it's finally dark, Bellamy and Octavia start moving, but they don't get far, because Indra's nearby with Gaia, who is gravely injured and can't move on her own. They help get her to a different position for now, where she can be looked at without drawing fire, and Gaia reasonably points out that Octavia was ready to watch her die just a few days ago. Gaia isn't moving on that easily, O, and as the girl who sliced Pike's leg open moments before a battle, you should be able to respect that.
In the cave, spacekru discovers Kane and Diyoza are gone, and they know they've been betrayed. Echo leads a small mission to track down Madi because their last hope is the Commander.
Raven is on the verge of getting Madi's shock collar off when Clarke bursts in and points a gun at everyone! She makes sure to call Shaw by name in the moments to follow, and that's significant because it turns out she's had a walkie-talkie in her back pocket with the channel open the whole time! She just alerted McCreary and his goons to where Echo, Raven, and Shaw were, and she hands over Raven and Shaw without blinking. I'm so over you, Clarke.
McCreary takes Raven and Shaw away, and everyone understands what's about to happen: Raven will be tortured to get Shaw to comply with McCreary's demands. Shaw begs Raven to kill him, but even if she had that in her, their time runs out. The goons arrive to ensure the imminent bombing of Wonkru.
Back in the cabin, Clarke insists it's a mystery why these three were fixated on Madi, and she offers to interrogate Echo to find out. And oh what a shock, the moment Echo clues Clarke in that Bellamy didn't actually die despite Clarke's betrayal, there's sudden remorse over helping annihilate what's left of Wonkru. Clarke, you used to care about people in general, remember that? Now it's just Madi, then Abby, and Bellamy a distant third until he pisses you off.
But Echo does manage to get through to Clarke, with Madi's help. Clarke finally stops trying to keep Madi from her destiny. Madi and Echo go off to fight, and Clarke heads in the other direction to stop the bombing.
On the field, Gaia's bleeding out, Indra's disconsolate, and Octavia finally realizes she has failed her people. She chooses a martyr's death, no doubt hoping to earn redemption and be remembered as a hero rather than a dictator. "My brother, my responsibility" is a genuinely touching moment.
But she is saved at the last minute by Madi and spacekru, riding in on the Rover to gather the wounded, lay down cover fire, and take out as many of the bad guys on the ridge as they can with their rail guns.
I'm not sure I am ready to trust that Octavia really learned anything today. She was ready to die, but she didn't, and it's what she does now that really counts. Will she finally bend the knee to Madi, accepting Wonkru's chosen Commander? Can her pride take that at this point?
But I've left the biggest story (in my view, and hey, it's my recap) for last because I'm devastated by this cliff they've got us hanging on! Kane and Abby have reunited to a degree, though he's rightly keeping his distance (even refuses her hand when she tries to take his). In the middle of the night, Vinson arrives at Abby's cabin.
Kane is a smart man, which means he is deeply frightened of Vinson, and Vinson can see that. Vinson enjoys making people nervous, making them squirm. He notes that Abby had the control switch for his shock collar with her when she left. Kane's eyes dart toward a scalpel on the table; Vinson sees it too. It's not close to one than the other, but Vinson is unburdened by things like conscience or self-doubt. He's come to kill Kane, because the way he sees it, Kane's death will cause Abby to crash back down again and need drugs, which will mean she needs Vinson, who was providing her with those drugs.
They both make their moves, but Vinson is ruthlessly quick. He grabs the scalpel and stabs Kane over and over, then goes for his signature move of biting out the throat.
Abby returns to this horror and turns up the shock collar to the maximum. Adios, Vinson, you scary SOB. She rushes to Kane's side, and he uses what he no doubt believes to be his final breath to absolve her, offering forgiveness for how she helped Octavia break his spirit in the bunker. He says he only blames Octavia, not her. And it's now clear how he was able to choose McCreary; his hatred of Octavia is based on rational, objective actions, but it's informed on a deeper level by his irrational love for Abby. To remain completely objective about Octavia's guilt would require him to fully acknowledge Abby's guilt, so he has chosen to love Abby at some expense to his moral integrity.
I can't bear for this to be the end of Kane, so I'm on pins and needles this week. He deserves better than to die as a result of Abby's addiction. In "Pandora's Box," he nearly died as a direct result, fighting in the arena because she'd been caught stealing and he'd taken the fall. Here, his death would be more indirectly a result of her addiction, with Vinson attacking him specifically to provoke a relapse.
Man, it was fun watching Murphy try and repeatedly fail to wield that big honking space gun.
And it was kind of cathartic watching Echo to kick the crap out of Clarke, who so has it coming.