Tuesday, June 25, 2019

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Bellamy and Abby Fight to Save Clarke and Kane From Their Grim Fates in 'The Old Man and the Anomaly'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 6.08 "The Old Man and the Anomaly"

Octavia and Diyoza make their way to the mysterious anomaly in search of the Old Man. Murphy has an offer for Emori.

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.

"The Old Man and the Anomaly" was written by Miranda Kwok and directed by April Mullen

The success or failure of any given season of this show is determined by how well the disparate parts of the narrative come together in the ramp up towards the finale. There have certainly been a lot of things going on this season. Some of them have been interesting and some have not. The show gained a huge boost of momentum in the previous hour with the reveal that Clarke was still alive and can be saved from this body snatching horror show. Bellamy and company are now actively plotting how to save her. That has become the immediate priority for them. They can't prepare for the future and their survival on this planet if they just give up on Clarke now. They see the value in saving her. And yes, the most successful parts of this season have been the inner workings of Sanctum and the clashes that creates with the newcomers from Earth. Our characters walked into a completely new society with its own set of mythology. That has only slowly been revealed over the course of these episodes. At this point, the show shouldn't still be explaining how things actually work in this society. And yet, that's exactly what is happening. That means a late episode like this one still feels like it's moving all of the pieces together in a way that may build up to something more but struggles in the short term to actually feel all that exciting. That is most apparent when it comes to the characters who are far isolated from the world of Sanctum. Octavia and Diyoza have seemingly been wandering around the woods of this planet for the entire season. They really haven't done anything. Here, they learn that Xavier is actually the heavily referenced Gabriel. He isn't the old man everyone assumed he would be based on his teachings of immortality not being beneficial to the human race. He has regrets and anger over being given a new host body. He hasn't led his people in a meaningful way in awhile. All of this is important information to have. But this hour mostly just continues enjoying the mystery. Diyoza and Octavia walk into the anomaly that has been calling out to them. Octavia returns healed and Diyoza vanishes. That's mysterious. But the show may quickly send Octavia and Gabriel off a new journey because he may be seen as the only way to save Clarke from Josephine. That may bring some much needed excitement and intensity to this corner of the show. But even that tease doesn't seem all that reassuring. Yes, it's meaningful to see the back-and-forth between Murphy and Emori regarding this deal that has been struck for immortality. Murphy can promise a lasting love forever. That can be so life-changing. He knows that he has many shortcomings. But he wants to spend eternity with Emori. Meanwhile, Emori's loyalty to her friends means that she'll actively plan this rescue mission to save Clarke even though it may ruin everything for their people. Of course, Madi does most of that herself by killing several of the primes. The war continues to escalate. The fresh batch of nightblood hasn't been delivered to the leaders of Sanctum just yet. That will likely turn the tides as well. Our characters still have something they can contribute. After that, the primes may have no remorse over killing all of them. That's precarious. As such, it may be significant that the ultimate peacemaker has returned to the narrative. Kane is brought back to life. He just isn't in the same body. He's bound to be horrified by what Abby has done. But again, this particular story feels like character and story beats the show has hit many times previously with Abby recklessly doing harm to save her loved ones while Raven is self-righteous about the true cost of it all.