Where we left off in the Rover, with Octavia in shock at still being alive after her attempt at going on out in a blaze of glory, I think we were all wondering the same thing: Would she still resist Heda Madi’s ascension, or would she do the right thing this time?
And hey, she does the right thing! In a truly stirring moment, Octavia plunges her sword into the ground and bends the knee to Wonkru’s new Commander.
Heda Madi still isn’t entirely sure how to proceed, though. She goes to her Flamekeeper for counsel, because the Spirit of the Commanders only communicates with her when it wants to, not when she wants it to. Gaia helps her connect to the Flame more deliberately, and Madi can conceive a battle plan.
McCreary has figured out that he has not one, but two pilots. He already has quite a history with Shaw, who was Diyoza’s guy, so he is more personally satisfied torturing Shaw to break Raven, rather than the other way around. It’s a brutal scene, with McCreary’s goons employing mining equipment to crush bones. And it works on Raven, whose own chronic pain from past injuries makes her unable to watch the same future of chronic pain inflicted on someone she cares about.
But before they can force her to get the ship into the sky and fire the missiles, Clarke strides in with a gun on Diyoza! She points the gun straight at Diyoza’s belly, knowing that if it were just about Diyoza, McCreary wouldn’t be keeping her alive; he wants his baby, so that’s the life she directly threatens, saying, “I won’t let my child die. Will you?”
Madi’s plan is proceeding with great success. She has sent Spacekru in the Rover to draw fire from the ridge and take out the big guns. Once they’ve done their part, Madi yells, “Charge!” And Wonkru surges forward to take back the valley.
On the ship, Clarke’s plan is going awry, because she isn’t a crazy person, and McCreary absolutely is. That’s the fundamental problem in some battles, of course. Like they say it’s a mistake to bring a knife to a gun fight, Clarke has brought rational thought to confront a lunatic. McCreary, armed with Diyoza’s notebook (and really, Diyoza, you couldn’t have been a little better about concealing information through some kind of code? It’s not like you were among trustworthy people, or like your diary was locked away in a safe), plugs in the code to launch a giant bomb from Eligius IV.
Diyoza instantly figures out what he’s up to, but she’s not armed. She begs Clarke to shoot him before he can finish what he’s doing, but Clarke doesn’t catch on quite quickly enough. The bomb is falling. “If I can’t have this valley, no one can.”
Amazingly, Clarke gambles that Raven will understand her new plan and trust her at this moment, and it works, because Raven is the best. Raven lunges at McCreary as Clarke activates her shock collar, taking them both down with the electricity. Clarke shoots the goons, then brings her boot down on McCreary’s face with the fierce declaration, “You will never know your daughter.”
So things are mostly great right now, except, you know, that pesky bomb. Which, let’s NEVER FORGET, was Diyoza’s doing ultimately. She set up a bomb and aimed it at the only livable patch on Earth, planning to use it as leverage if other humans were living there who weren’t into the idea of being invaded by a crew of violent criminals. She brought people like Vinson down to the planet, knowing what he was capable of and that a shock collar could barely contain him, and if he happened to be out of sight of someone with a collar control, he could go straight to his favorite pastime, ripping out throats. She brought people like McCreary and put guns in their hands and used them as her foot soldiers, trusting her ability to just barely control them and hoping they’d die off before rising up. What I’m saying is that Diyoza, no matter how much you admire her strength or enjoy the actress’ excellent performance, is a monster who brought doom upon humanity and was never as smart as she thought she was.
Back to the action!
Prisonkru is on their knees as Wonkru takes the valley, and Madi gives the order to kill them all. Bellamy stops her and argues for a new way of doing things. He argues peace and clemency and understanding. It’s absolutely beautiful. He’s come so far, and he’s completely right…but I still reckon this is going to haunt him the same way Clarke’s decision to exile Emerson (the last Mountain Man), instead of killing him, did.
But that’s a problem for another day (or century in fact). For now, Bellamy’s powerful speech is as effective as it is inspiring. Madi rescinds the kill order and agrees to let Prisonkru prove themselves worthy over time.
But time is on no one’s side right now, as Wonkru suddenly learns! They run to reach the ship before the bomb can hit. Madi dispatches a couple of scouts to the village to round up stragglers.
One of those scouts is Octavia, and fatefully, she is the one who finds Abby, still desperately working to save Kane as he bleeds on that table. Octavia confronts Abby, her rage spilling out at being the public face of Abby’s cannibalism policy. But Octavia is trying to get her soul back out of cold storage today, so she ultimately does the right thing, again. She gets Miller to help her carry Kane to the ship. It’s a wonderful conclusion to the Kane/Octavia storyline this season. Blodreina had sentenced him to death a few times, but Octavia still chose to save his life now.
On the way to the ship, Murphy is falling behind, because he was injured during the siege in the Rover. Like, Wonkru, he was injured on the frontlines of your battle, before you were even in it, securing your victory… and yet, because he’s Spacekru, I guess, Niylah’s all, Oh well, he can’t keep up, so we have to leave him to die. I mean, it’s not like Wonkru isn’t carrying any of their own injured people, like Gaia. Niylah has just been the most cold-blooded person.
Even Murphy’s acknowledging he can’t run and will only slow them down, so they should leave him behind. But who’s having none of that? Monty! Also Emori, who declares her love for him again (finally!). But hell yes, Monty, best of us.
Outside the ship, our friends are waiting to help the latecomers aboard. Madi approaches Bellamy to argue for Clarke’s forgiveness. When she describes how Clarke talked to Bellamy daily via the radio for six years, his heart softens.
Even then, there’s a new source of conflict for these two as Clarke starts urging him to give up on the last of the group, because the bomb is less than a minute from detonation, and Murphy, Monty, and Emori are nowhere in sight. Bellamy won’t give up on them, Clarke starts getting an itchy lever-pulling finger, and things are pretty tense.
But of course, here they are, with barely seconds to go! Everyone is aboard, and Clarke pulls her level to close the airlock as the bomb hits. Raven gets the ship in the air, and they head up to Eligius IV.
A small council gathers to plan for the future, with Spacekru, Shaw, Clarke, and Madi in attendance. Diyoza commiserates with Octavia about being left out, noting how similar they are, two strong women who got addicted to power and didn’t want ever to give up even an inch of it. Octavia ruminates, “One garden, two serpents. Eden never stood a chance.”
The council determines that the best option for everyone is cryosleep. The ship has maybe a few weeks’ worths of rations, the algae Monty has with him would take longer than that to develop into a crop capable of sustaining even a small population for any length of time, and most significantly, the only viable patch of land on Earth has been obliterated. Shaw tells them that based on the half-life of the bomb material, it will be at least ten years before there is any chance of returning to the ground.
Bellamy and Octavia share a final moment as he puts her to bed. She begs him not to make her wait ten years to hear him say he loves her. The best he can do is that a part of him loves her and always will. That will have to be enough for now. These two actors are honestly incredible to watch. Their relationship feels so real, so lived in. No matter how we feel about either character at any given time, we still feel the pain and loss of any conflict between them, because their bond is so evident, and their performances are so powerful.
And here we get another of the series’ most epic and extraordinary sci-fi moments, as our heroes go to sleep, and in the blink of an eye awaken to a new, mysterious life.
Clarke and Bellamy find that only their pods have opened, and they turn to discover a stranger has awakened them… only it’s as far from a stranger as you can imagine because this young man is so well cast, the moment you lay eyes on him, you know who he must be, and what must have happened.
Jordan (named for Jasper Jordan, of course) is so perfectly what a child of Monty and Harper would look (and act) like. It’s astonishing how much he reminds us instantly of both his parents. He greets Clarke and Bellamy and invites them to watch the message that’s been left for them.
A trifle sheepishly, video Monty and Harper admit that they just never went into cryosleep with everyone else. Their happiest times (Monty’s in particular) were on the ring, living in peace, their worst complaint the monotonous cuisine. So, probably without a real plan for how long they’d keep it up, they decided to stay awake and live that way again, just the two of them.
But then it was the three of them! They got to have a family and raise their child in a peaceful place where no one was threatening to float anyone or invade anyone’s territory.
Adorably, Jordan is a total fanboy toward them, just as Madi was toward Spacekru and Octavia, and for the same reason. Jordan grew up hearing stories about his parents’ friends. “Murphy’s his favorite,” Monty says disapprovingly, but come on, Monty, we know you love Murphy whether you admit it or not.
But then the videos take a serious turn as Monty and Harper put Jordan into cryosleep, so he can eventually have a life beyond his parents. Monty has determined that there is no hope for Earth at this point. Sure, his algae could theoretically revive some topsoil, but what good is that when there are no seeds to plant there? Octavia burned the hydrofarm, and McCreary destroyed the valley, and now there’s just nothing left to work with.
So Monty makes a brave gamble for his friends’, and his son’s, future. He’s cracked the Eligius III mission files and determined that they were not merely mining, they were colonizing. Somewhere out there is a planet where people can survive, and he has programmed the autopilot to take them there, and the computer to revive them on time. He hopes they can find a way to leave behind the old ways, the cycle of violence and conquest, to see that the old ways already destroyed an entire planet and could do so again. It’s a beautiful dream, but I have concerns. The rest of the people in cryosleep will awaken too, and for them, it’s been the blink of an eye since they were at war. It will be hard for them to conceive of any other way of life, and it may be impossible for them to trust the strangers they will encounter on the ground. For that matter, the strangers on the ground may be as unwelcoming to our people as the Grounders were to the 100.
Monty’s final goodbyes are lovely and sad. He confirms to Clarke that Harper did wind up developing the genetic disease that led Clarke to leave her off the list for the bunker. He admits that he realizes Harper would sometimes have rather been in cryosleep so she could see her friends again, and that she chose to be with him at the expense of that possibility. But he also knows they had a good and peaceful life full of love, and that it may never have been possible anywhere else in the universe.
As Monty offers his last words of wisdom and hope, the ship approaches the planet and its two suns. Clarke and Bellamy lean on each other and shed tears for their friends and begin to feel hope for their future.
A chyron appears: End Book One.
So there’s a lot to talk about, and I’ve already gone on a bit. Starting with “End Book One,” though, I love the implied promise of so much more to come! If Book One lasted five seasons, we might have that much more to look forward to again! We can practically guarantee season six will not be the last, because The CW is so good about making it clear to creators and fans when a finale is imminent.
Also, the Eligius III! We’ve heard their crew was full of nightbloods, so it stands to reason that recessive trait has persisted among this planet’s population just as it did on Earth. What do they think it means? Do they remember its origin and treat it as a scientific fact with little real-world significance? Or has it taken on some kind of mythic status there too? I would guess the former, and that they will treat our people as savages for the way they regard (and historically treat) nightbloods.
I obviously found that to be one of the all-time great season finales. What do you think?