Tuesday, May 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke and the Team on the Ground Battle Each Other to Survive in 'Red Sun Rising'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 6.02 "Red Sun Rising"

The team on the ground fights to survive the threat they face on the new planet. Raven must join forces with an unlikely ally to save everyone onboard the Mothership.

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 next episode of The CW's The 100.

"Red Sun Rising" was written by Jeff Vlaming and directed by Alex Kalymnios

Clarke and the other humans from Earth look to Alpha with redemption. They see this as a chance to start over and make better choices that won't lead to humanity almost being killed off. They found a planet that was habitable once more. They didn't have to wait for Earth to be revived. They could make a new home now. That's what made it so terrifying when it was revealed Alpha was even more dangerous than Earth. It has its own unique environment. It's a very delicate ecosystem that is frequently thrown into chaos. That's how it reacts to the two suns eclipsing each other. It creates a chemical toxin in the plants that causes humans to rage out in these big and massive ways. It's a fascinating concept to frame the episode's story around as well. The landing party arrived on Alpha not knowing what they would find. They discovered the Sanctum but didn't really question where all the people went. They saw the clues that this too was a society born out of the last days on Earth before the first apocalypse. But it was an eerie setting that provided no easy answers about how to best move forward. And then, there was the reveal that the threat may extend out of the characters' internal fears and rage. So, the people on the planet aren't fighting for their lives against some unknown threat. Instead, they are confronting their own true selves. It may all be with a murderous intent. But it also packs a punch because of the history with their characters. But it's also fascinating to see how all of this manifests itself in different ways. Emori, Echo, Miller and Jackson are all enraged from personal relationships. Bellamy and Murphy are turned volatile over personal conflicts that have come up in the past. But then, Clarke is consumed with these dark and depressing thoughts about how she may be responsible for the world ending so many times. She has long thought she was doing whatever it took in order to protect her people. That list kept growing smaller and smaller until it was just her and Maddie. And now, Maddie is the commander. Wonkru follows her now even though she's kept in stasis until Ravin and Diyoza need her for their plan. On the ground, Clarke is reckoning with these thoughts that she's to blame for the constant suffering. It doesn't lead to disaster right now. But it's very illuminating as well. That's what this planet brings out of her. As such, the fear that this is a place where they can restart society is much more complicated. Moreover, the people who have lived on Alpha for over 200 years have done so without any sense that it would be home forever. They still view Earth as the planet where humanity survives and thrives. They endure the hardships of Alpha just waiting to one day be rescued. It's a society with a ton of children who are so innocent and hopeful through all of this. And yet, the first introduction to the leaders comes through some taking the drop ship back up to space and knocking everyone there unconscious except Raven. They do so with no intention of killing them. It's not until Diyoza is awoken that people start dying. That too is likely to create tension between these new communities. It's a fraught relationship built around distrust and death. That may prove that this planet isn't the salvation everyone hoped it would be. It may be more of the same. That too should force everyone to reckon with the actions they have made to get to this point. Octavia still sees herself as the strong leader who must be respected. But she has lost the faith of her people. So instead, she is lashing out not knowing how to survive with everything she has done. But she continues to explore this world as well. That is a very significant development even though it should be terrifying when children see her with the rest of the newcomers to their world.