Wednesday, August 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Clarke and Bellamy Offer Different Perspectives on What the Future Holds for Humanity in 'The Stranger'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 7.12 "The Stranger"

It's a new day in Sanctum. Clarke, Octavia, Raven and Echo struggle with a new foe.

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 Stranger" was written by Blythe Ann Johnson and directed by Amanda Row

Throughout this season, two core narratives have been happening concurrently. Clarke led one group of her friends to Bardo in the hopes of saving Octavia and Bellamy but have been at the mercy of the Disciples. Meanwhile, Murphy and Indra have tried their best to lead Sanctum but were outsmarted by Sheidheda. These two narratives had seemingly equal importance. However, the events on Bardo were drastically more interesting. That story presented a new take on what life and survival means for these characters. They were challenged while confronting this new civilization. The Disciples operate with a collective identity all under the belief that the Shepherd will guide them to safety and prosperity. Bellamy fully believes in that now as well. He has been transcended because he touched the light and saw what is potentially on the other side of the coming test. Bill is preparing for war. That is the entire goal and purpose of the Disciples. They have to remain strong because the foe they will face will be absolutely destructive should they fail. They are fighting for all humanity even though they have no fundamental awareness of what is going on elsewhere in the universe. The human race has informed both of these civilizations. Their struggles are connected. Bill's past is directly linked to the end of the world on Earth. He still struggles with his own teachings. He still yearns for answers as to what happened to his children after they left the bunker all those years ago. He had to find a new way to live. He had to move on. He is desperate for this connection to his past that will unlock the future. He was led to believe Clarke could give that to him. Now, he treats her much more harshly. He sees her as a hostile opponent. But they have no idea what they are returning to when they arrive in Sanctum. Sure, it's convenient that the Orb is moved to the palace that way Clarke and Bill can't gather themselves before coming face-to-face with Sheidheda. They are unexpectedly brought into this chaos and destruction where Murphy, Indra and Emori are struggling to survive. Nelson refuses to bend the knee. The Children of Gabriel are all killed as a result. That's devastating. It's what everyone long feared when the threat of Sheidheda being in power was positioned. The show follows through on that threat. Murphy and Emori can't hide the remaining survivors for very long either. Indra does her best to offer support. It still leads to a deadly stalemate. One that will only grow further complicated because of the arrival of the people from Bardo. It's about time that these two stories intersected. It's clear that this hour is building to that conclusion. Some mysteries are still present. The audience still has no clarity on what happened to Gaia. She is teased here. But that just comes from the assumption around Sanctum that Clarke and her friends are out in the woods planning a strike against Sheidheda. They are off on their own turbulent journey though. One where they feel personally destroyed by Bellamy's apparent betrayal. They can't rationalize his actions at all. He proclaims that the Shepherd guided him to the light. Bill wasn't responsible for what he saw though. He was just the delivery mechanism. Bellamy is fighting for that transcendence for everyone. He is committed to the path. His friends see that as a betrayal because they know that Bill is completely misguided in his beliefs. He may be leading all of humanity to damnation. That's terrifying. It comes at a time where they are losing even more of their loved ones. Jordan does his best to be there for Hope after Diyoza's death. Octavia is shaken by just how broken Hope has become as a result of the selfish agendas throughout the universe. Peace seems to evade every segment of humanity. The Disciples are unlikely to find that on Sanctum. They will be in for a major fight. One that Clarke doesn't know is coming either. She tries her best to protect her friends. Bellamy wants to do that as well. They differ wildly. It's fascinating to see the show try to position the final story as a conflict between Clarke and Bellamy over what's best for the future of humanity. For that to work though, Bellamy needs to be less passive in allowing Bill to drive the story forward. Bill has served his purpose. Sheidheda has as well. Their conflicts bring civilization to the brink of war. And yet, hope can still radiate with the proper nurturing. That conversation is just as important and hopefully the show will delve into that. Life is so much more than war and the blatant power grabs to subject as many people as possible to one particular ideology.