Wednesday, July 1, 2020

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Echo Embraces the Darkness of Her Grief While Murphy Plays a Game of Chess in 'The Queen's Gambit'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 7.07 "The Queen's Gambit"

Emori tries to heal Sanctum's old familial wounds while Echo, Octavia and Diyoza struggle with new ones.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Queen's Gambit" was written by Miranda Kwok and directed by Lindsey Morgan

This season has built up the tease that Clarke is the key to the final war. That is a very broad sentiment though. Yes, Clarke is obviously important. She is the main character of the show after all. But the series has been reluctant to explain why she is so crucial to the Disciplines and their ideology for the world at large. Anders explains to Gabriel that it will become obvious to him when he joins the team that studies the wonders of the Orbs. If that is true, then it certainly doesn't happen onscreen. The only thing of actual substance is Gabriel learning that these codebreakers haven't discovered anything new in years. Clarke may change that. But it's mostly important for Gabriel to be there to tell Clarke and company that Bellamy is dead when they first arrive on Bardo. Again, the audience may still have doubts about whether that is true or not. An explosion was seen. He may not have survived. But no one has found a body to confirm that. So, the potential remains for some grand twist. If the audience can see that coming though, then is it really worth it? The show may argue that it is because of the personal emotions that the characters get to display operating under the belief that he is gone. They have fought to save him. He was cruelly take by this mysterious society. And then, he was tossed away because he wasn't important. Instead, Clarke is the key. Instead, the others have to be willing to fight in this war to gain their freedom. That is potentially a smart play because it allows them to have access to this place. They can learn the mysteries of the Disciples. That seemingly connects back to the Second Dawn cult that was introduced several seasons ago. They built the bunker that allowed Wonkru to survive the second apocalypse when the nuclear reactors melted down. There was no evidence that the bunker was ever used prior to the first apocalypse. The discovery of a potential orb on Earth and the presence of these survivors may further showcase just how connected the various conflicts have been. These connections can't be a coincidence. They need to have value. Otherwise, they are simply a connection just to reward devout fans of the show. That clarity needs to be forthcoming as well. Clarke and her friends are on Bardo now. Some are ready for whatever the Disciples want from them. Anders is energized enough to wake their leader, Bill. But the personal conversations mean more than the various plot machinations happening at the moment. Even those vary. Diyoza never wanted to break Hope's heart by sharing the gruesome details of her past. She didn't want her daughter to be just like her. Hope still fights from a place of rage though. Diyoza found clarity and peace. However, she is still asked to fight. She has to ensure that her allies operate with level heads. That is the only way that they may make it out alive. Meanwhile, Echo reverts back to her basic instincts. She presents herself as a warrior. Someone who has been betrayed and beaten by the world because Bellamy was taken from her. Her new scars will serve as a powerful reminder of this loss. But she also pushes away the people whose support she needs to handle all of the complicated emotions of this war. Those developments are incredibly engaging. Back on Sanctum though, Murphy is distracted by Sheidheda in a game of chess. Their conversation absolutely has some meaning as they are trying to provoke each other. But it's obvious early on that Sheidheda is simply trying to distract Murphy. He hopes to stir chaos because of the divergent fractions in this place. Emori hopes to unify this society into one. She fails because the tension is too extreme. She is still alive. That is fortunate. She is simply taken prisoner by Nelson and Nikki. Their goals are aligned for the moment. But this conflict just isn't as interesting as what is happening on Bardo. It proves that society can crumble if it doesn't have careful attention to prop up its ideals. But the distraction has simply been too tantalizing. Everyone had to rush off to explore new worlds. The people left behind are being manipulated by a dark individual though. One that ensures a different society when Clarke and her friends return. That may be engaging at some point. Right now though, it's tangential at best while the show is still just slowly teasing things out in its final season.