Episode Grade: 10
One clan shares the bunker as Praimfaya approaches. They are probably trying to think about anything in the world besides the hundreds of people locked outside. They are probably equally grateful for the bunker's soundproofing as its security, in these final hours while their own exiles may be screaming and pleading for help, for readmittance to the promised land, such as it is.
Octavia is on the radio, saying goodbye to her brother, trying to believe it's not the last time they'll ever speak. She confides in him that she's afraid of so much right now, including the role she's taken on as leader of all these people. He lifts her up with his love and devotion, as ever, but the signal is lost and the moment cut short.
Indra comes to her with a gift: the Commander's symbol, as worn by Lexa. Indra will be the family and the mentor Octavia needs to pull this off (no doubt assisted by Kane, who's earned his place at Indra's side in the leadership council). Octavia steps into the atrium to address her people. We will rise, she tells them.
It's a quiet, beautiful opening to the season finale, giving us a last look into the new ark after we invested so much in building it. But that story is going to carry on without us for now; some of our heroes are still fighting for their lives on Becca's island.
Raven breaks down the 90-minute mission impossible scenario, then assigns tasks to everyone. Monty and Murphy are dispatched to scavenge the CO2 scrubber from the old bunker--Monty because he has the skills to extract the tech safely, Murphy because he used to live in that bunker. They make an awkward team-up at first, and Murphy's blithe attempt at joking about it doesn't help. Things go from bad to worse when Murphy falls back on sarcastic defensiveness, insulting Jasper's memory.
It's clear that Murphy's not trying to be a dick, he just doesn't know how else to be with the old crew. He instantly recognizes his error and wants to bring the mission back on track. They reach the bunker and start working.
Monty determines that the fine motor skills required of him are impossible while he's wearing his radiation suit. No doubt is earning Murphy's respect for all time, Monty takes his gloves off and works through the blinding pain, aware that he's exposing his hands to a potentially lethal amount of radiation.
They get the tech separated from the building and start heading back. Murphy, in both an attempt to keep Monty's mind off the pain and a genuine outreach, starts asking about Harper. He's clearly trying to convey to Monty that he's not the villain Monty remembers, and it's all because he's found, love. Guys, this is the scene when I fell in love with John Murphy once and for all. I've been leaning in that general direction for a while, but now, I'm in.
Monty collapses from the pain, and Murphy struggles with the choice of what to do next. He can try to carry Monty or the CO2 scrubber, but he can't get both. He takes the scrubber.
Meanwhile, Raven's mission impossible is going off the rails as she discovers that two of the space shuttle's critical systems are inoperable. Life support isn't mission-critical for them, technically, because their suits will provide just enough oxygen to get them to the ring (if all goes well), but the communications are down, and there's no way to open the docking bay without comms.
Raven is spiraling, admitting that she doesn't believe in herself anymore. After having the ALIE boost to her brain, she feels inferior, like she's just not smart enough without that enhancement. Bellamy gently reminds her that she saved all their lives a dozen times over, long before anyone ever heard of ALIE.
Bellamy's support and belief in others make all the difference, yet again. He gives Raven the strength to focus and come up with a workaround. They need to reach the satellite tower and use it to signal the ring. Time is running short, though.
On the way to the satellite, they find Murphy, struggling to carry the device back alone. He breathlessly explains that Monty collapsed, and Bellamy joins him for the rescue mission. This leaves Clarke all alone on her satellite operation. They barely get a goodbye...but then, it was never supposed to be goodbye.
Monty regains consciousness and realizes what happened. He lets Murphy know that choosing the tech over him was the right call, and it's a beautiful moment. These two are going to be friends, and no two people need that more.
Clarke reaches the satellite with a heartsick glance at the clock; she needs this task to be easy and to work on the first try, or she won't have a chance at making it back before launch.
Of course, the satellite isn't cooperative in the slightest. She realizes she's going to have to climb the damn thing and make her adjustments up at the top level. With a heartbroken look back in the direction of the lab where her friends are going to launch without her, she says in Trigedasleng, "My fight is over." She begins to climb the tower.
In the lab, they're down to the final launch prep, and Echo is nowhere to be found. Bellamy finds her in the upstairs office, preparing to commit suicide. He very reasonably asks what the hell, considering all she's done to get this shot at surviving, and how close they are to getting out.
She doesn't feel she deserves to survive, though. All she's done to get this shot...that's the problem. She's done terrible things, and he knows it more than anyone. But that's why he's the only person who could talk her down right now. He really does know her darkest truths, and he has plenty of reason to want her dead. But the story of The 100 has always been survival, and Bellamy tells her that now. "You're strong. Our chances are better with you." It really is that simple, in the world of this show. Will you help us survive or hurt our chances?
They get moving again. The launch is imminent. Bellamy starts to realize that Clarke isn't going to make it back. Raven reminds him that Clarke would tell him to get in the damn ship and go without her. He knows that, and he does it, though it kills him.
Emori realizes what's happening and says, "Can't we give her another minute?" And the truth is, no, they can't. The death wave is almost upon them, and once it hits, their remaining systems will be fried. This is the only shot. They launch.
Clarke is still climbing the tower as she watches her friends take off. She knows they're on a short and deadly trip if she can't get this job done. She stands atop the tower and pulls the satellite into a variety of configurations until finally, the signal connects. The console goes dead, but she's done all she can; she hurries back down and runs for the lab. By the time she reaches it, just barely evading the blast of Praimfaya, she's covered in sores. Abby's vision has come to pass after all, but like most stories with a mysterious psychic element, it didn't mean what she thought.
Up in space, Raven is getting her spacewalk, waiting for Clarke's signal to activate the ring so she can access the docking bay controls. It's tight, but she gets it done, and the crew gets inside. Their oxygen is critically low, but there's nothing to breathe on the station yet; they need to hook up the device they brought along. Again, it's a tense scene, but they get it done. Time to settle in for five years in space.
A chyron appears on the screen to let us know that six years and seven days have passed....
Clarke is alive and well, looking like she's ready to ride the Fury Road. She's I-am-Legend it up, talking over a radio every day as if she's talking to Bellamy, though no one ever answers. She tells him that the bunker is still lost, buried in rubble, though there's no reason to doubt its inhabitants are still alive.
Suddenly, a ship breaks through the atmosphere, and she leaps up in anticipation. She goes to awaken her companion, a young Nightblood she met sometime since they became the only people left on Earth. The girl, Madi, points out that the approaching ship is larger than Clarke had described.
Madi's right. This is not the shuttle that left Becca's island 2199 days ago. It's a much more forbidding vessel, marked "Eligius Corporation," "Prison transport." These are the people we heard about once before, presumably...it was said that Nightblood was created to keep prison laborers alive in space as they were shipped off in cryosleep to do hard labor offworld. So we might not even be talking about the descendants of the prisoners, these are very likely the original prisoners, returning to a devastated planet with the intention of ruling it.
Of course, we'll have to wait until 2018 to see what happens next, but man oh man, I am so glad we will definitely see what happens next! Thanks for another amazing season of The 100!
(I hope people don't lose their minds too hard next year when we almost certainly see Bellamy and Echo have been a couple for a long time. Those shipper fans are intense!)