Tuesday, April 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke and Bellamy Lead a Team to Explore Their Mysterious New Home in 'Sanctum'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 6.01 "Sanctum"

Still reeling after receiving Monty's message, a small group goes down to explore the mysterious new planet. Back on the Mothership, several members of Wonkru face the consequences of their decisions.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of The CW's The 100.

"Sanctum" was written by Jason Rothenberg and directed by Ed Fraiman

The 100 has blown up its world literally a number of times now. Each season has centered on some new threat that stands in the way of the human race surviving. But it has also become apparent that the characters believe they must survive because humanity can't die out. And yet, it's their specific actions that led to the complete destruction of Earth, the only habitable planet they have ever known. The world ended so many times because of the failings of humanity. That is something that everyone aboard the ship has to reckon with as they are faced with the greatest prospect that could revitalize the human race. This may not be the end for all civilization. A new planet has been found that can be colonized. It's the gift from the previous remnants of society. Before the world ended the first time, this discovery was made. But now, it is presented as the latest hope for starting over. When Monty made this discovery, he did so with the understanding that the people in cryo-sleep on the ship have to do better to not take this new planet for granted like they did with Earth. The senseless wars and violence led to its total destruction because of tribalism and the need to emerge victorious with power no matter the cost. The dynamics amongst the characters changed dramatically at the start of the fifth season because of the six year time jump that saw them all separated and defined by new groups. The dynamics don't change all that dramatically at the start of the sixth season despite the show now moving ahead 125 years. That is the benefit of cryo-sleep. It puts everyone in stasis. It means that Monty and Harper's grown son can now interact with Clarke and Bellamy as they decide on the best actions to now take regarding this new planet - which has been dubbed Alpha. It's a beautiful and hopeful future for the first time in a long time. But everyone is still letting their past actions and conflicts dictate how they currently behave. Clarke feels the need to apologize to the team that heads to the ground to see if it's viable for human survival. They all understand that it will take actions instead of words to trust her again. But she is immediately presented a situation where she must act quickly to save lives. In doing so though, Shaw dies. He is killed because the ship just happens to arrive on this planet during the worst time of its year. It's fascinating to see all of the parallels between this premiere and the very first episode of the series. In the very beginning, the leaders on the Ark condemned the 100 to the ground to see if the human race could finally survive on the planet humanity once called home. They did so not knowing that there were already communities down there that had formed their own distinct cultures. Clarke, Bellamy and company have no idea what they are potentially walking into considering the original vessel that arrived on Alpha came 200 years ago and its beacon is still active. That's the civilization they are looking for. Along the way, the show makes the audience remember just how dangerous it can be to arrive in a strange new world. But the threat doesn't come from some outside race that opens fire against these mysterious strangers. Instead, the threat mostly comes from within. Octavia lashes out at Kane for his betrayal to the point of him collapsing and possibly not being able to enjoy the new planet until Jordan grows more algae that can save his life. Meanwhile, the ground crew only sees the remnants of a society that has disappeared somehow. It's a sanctum full of hidden meanings. But something sinister lurks throughout all of this. But again, it's not from the people who live here immediately taking aim at the newcomers. Instead, it's the atmosphere during this solar eclipse that causes every biological creature to lose control and lash out. These characters didn't need any more reasons to become violent. As such, it's clear that this world may continue to threaten the peace they have long searched for in order to survive. They will all have to actively make the choice not to be the same people they have always been even when nature is trying to keep them that way. They have to in the hopes that this new life will be better. This season seems poised to address those concerns head-on.