Tuesday, July 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke and Josephine Battle for Control as Gabriel Works to Save Them in 'Matryoshka'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 6.10 "Matryoshka"

Russell seeks justice. Gabriel must make a difficult choice. The Blake siblings reunite.

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.

"Matryoshka" was written by Drew Lindo and directed by Amanda Tapping

When Simone returns to Sanctum here, it is a changed world. She sees the militarization of her people. They have become the same as the newcomers to their world. As such, they need to act quickly in order to restore order and eliminate this threat to their way of life. Of course, this is the way the world has always operated in Sanctum. Its leaders have fooled their followers into worshiping them like gods because they hold the keys to immortality. That meant they were quick to normalize the idea of killing innocent people just so a certain few could live forever. It's important to call that out for the monstrosity that it is. It has created a really compelling conflict this season. But it's also important to accept and realize that the leaders of Sanctum are horrendous and abusive. They will do whatever it takes to survive out of their own selfish interests. It's not the same justification that the protagonists from Earth have always used. Clarke, Bellamy and company have always tried to do what was right for their people. The numbers of those they could save dwindled significantly throughout the seasons. And now, they have aspired to act differently in order to create a new outcome. They want the opportunity to thrive. Survival forced all of these decisions onto them. It has created traumatic and tragic lives throughout centuries now. Russell and Simone normalized it even though Sanctum was a haven of peace for a long time. The newcomers from Earth are the ones who put things into a new context. They do so with the promise that they could create more nightblood. That is once again the reason why the protagonists are saved. They may be tied to stakes with Russell wanting to burn them all alive after Simone is suddenly killed. And yet, the show doesn't pull the trigger on killing any of the main characters. The show is never afraid to go that far though. It was only an episode ago when Kane was eliminated from this world because he chose to take an immediate moral stand in the face of such blatant horror. Everyone is now doing their best in order to survive. But again, that could come at a cost that may create even more brutal people moving forward. And yet, all of this is at its most engaging when it comes to Clarke and Josephine sharing the same brain. They are battling for control over their body. They are dying and need Gabriel's help. The motivations of the community at Sanctum and the Children of Gabriel are largely opaque. They operate with a collective mentality instead of much individuality. That makes it hard to understand what Ryker is thinking in any given moment. But Josephine can explain how she loves Gabriel and that he would never kill her. And yet, that's exactly what he does here. When she is placed on his operating table, he says goodbye in the hopes of creating a new era of humanity on this planet. Octavia has changed. She is now willing to put in the work to achieve redemption. She is compassionate and loving of Bellamy once more. Meanwhile, Bellamy is pleading for Clarke to come back to him. He saw her briefly again. He keeps the hope alive until the last second. Sure, the show is a little manipulative here with the constant back-and-forth regarding the threat that several main characters could die. That is a repetitive and familiar tone. It lessons the impact of those final actions. But it's still a major victory that Clarke is once again in control, with Josephine eliminated as a threat for now. Moving forward, her people will have to figure out how to save themselves from this threat which has gotten increasingly more dangerous because of the inner demons of this world.