Tuesday, August 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'The 100' - The Primes Attempt to Flee Sanctum Doesn't Go According to Plan in 'The Blood of Sanctum'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 6.13 "The Blood of Sanctum"

Sanctum becomes a battleground between the devout and the non-believers. The mystery of the anomaly deepens. 

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 finale of The CW's The 100.

"The Blood of Sanctum" was written by Jason Rothenberg and directed by Ed Fraiman

The need to do better has been a guiding principle for this season of The 100. It was the mission that was given to the survivors from Earth from Monty. He could look back at the decisions they made in the name of survival and was horrified. They may have been able to justify their murderous actions in the moment because it saved their people. But that wasn't good enough because it still led to so much pain and destruction. The planet died as a result of their actions. And now, they all have the opportunity at a second chance. They could find redemption on this new planet. Sure, it didn't take long before the new community at Sanctum became a murderous, body-snatching threat that wanted to manipulate the newcomers from Earth. That allowed the show to still be as intense and action-packed as all of the previous seasons. It flung the protagonists into a situation in which they were combating an ideology. They understood that the truth should be enough to set the followers of Sanctum free. In most cases though, it wasn't simply because this has been their way of life for generations. To them, the primes have always been gods who are immortal. They never viewed them as humans who selfishly found a way to live forever. That's all that Russell, Simone and Josephine wanted though. Gabriel stood up and acted on his principles. He refused to kill Russell when given the opportunity. But this finale had the weight of the entire season upon it to show whether or not Clarke, Bellamy and company could really do things differently now even when the stakes were so familiar. This isn't the first time they have gone up against an enemy that wishes to kill them. The primes are even willing to abandon their own people in order to colonize a new planet with a new group of worshipers. They see their followers as expendable. They are callous to the world in that way. That's not what Gabriel wanted to be any longer. He may have stolen yet another life in order to be a part of this current conflict. But he is also getting the answers he has long sought out from this world. Sure, it's absolutely ridiculous to see what happens in the concluding moments of this finale. That teases that there is still so much about this new planet that no one truly understands. The technology exists for people to live in cryo-sleep for hundreds of years. And now, the anomaly allows for Diyoza's grown daughter Hope to appear while Octavia turns into dust. This season has shown Octavia striving for redemption. The ending absolutely works for her following a lackluster middle stretch where she, Diyoza and Gabriel were just wandering the forest. But here, Bellamy is able to see the sister he loves once more. She makes the decision to stand up for those being abused by this oppressive world. She knows the value in saving lives instead of just ending them because they stand in her way. She has that consideration and respect once more. That proves that she has learned the central lessons of this season. Meanwhile, Clarke has to sacrifice her mother while Madi has to surrender as the commander in order to survive. Those are painful sacrifices. It's much more painful to see Clarke have to push her mother away knowing that there may be no hope of saving her. She didn't survive the body-snatching procedure like Clarke did. Russell learned from his past mistakes. Clarke could fool the primes for awhile by pretending to be Josephine. Simone couldn't do the same as Abby. That's a tragic, well-earned and emotional twist. It makes more sense than Madi's own consumption by Sheidheda. That threat was mostly just teased as being murderous without a whole lot of nuance to the situation. It's dealt with here. But the show also establishes that the threat still exists somewhere in this world. That ensures that the final season will still be dealing with these grave issues of morality over life-and-death situations. And yet, the audience also has to ask if the protagonists did better like they wanted. They have to believe that they did. People still died though. Russell survived. The rest of the primes did not. This marks the end of their reign over Sanctum. But picking up the pieces of this world while exploring new mysteries is bound to be just as complicated as everything else associated with this planet.