Wednesday, September 9, 2020

REVIEW: 'The 100' - Chaos Disrupts Numerous Plans and Friendships Upon Clarke's Return to Sanctum in 'Blood Giant'

The CW's The 100 - Episode 7.13 "Blood Giant"

The red sun derails Clarke's plans.

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.

"Blood Giant" was written by Ross Knight and directed by Michael Cliett

Bellamy has always been an inconsistent character. He has been a beloved figure on the show though. When his story felt off, then the entire series at that particular time felt off. He was that essential to determining the strength of an overall season. That is odd considering how it was much easier to track the motivations for so many other members of this ensemble. This episode is a complete mess of big developments that happen just to shock and surprise the audience. It's twist upon twist meant to highlight action while distracting from the searing emotions that aren't all that present. It has been a significant problem this season. It has struggled to articulate the value of human belief as it pertains to survival. It's perfectly fine for civilizations to have different beliefs. Too often those differences are used to start conflicts. This show isn't any different. Bellamy had an experience that was completely different than anything his friends have seen in this world. He was never able to explain it to his friends in a way where they could understand and respect him for it. Bill actually built an entire society based on the transcendence he believed he received during his time on Etherea. As he notes here though, it's easy to build up a loyal following when they have never been tested in their beliefs. It's not until Clarke, Octavia and their friends have arrived on Bardo that the Disciples have seen another form of life. Bellamy was special from the very beginning of the series. He had a familial relationship on the Ark that no one else had. He had a sister. Bellamy and Octavia have always been tied to each other. They care about each other's redemptions after they've each taken heinous actions. That just makes it ring so false that Bellamy dies in an episode where Octavia doesn't appear at all. That is simply not good storytelling. It frames the entire character struggle as one between him and Clarke. And yes, that relationship is significant as well. Bellamy has become a loyal Disciple. He will share whatever information he receives with Bill. He has quickly been welcomed by the leader who can offer him the guidance he believes he needs to navigate all that he has experienced recently. Bill is the only person who can relate to his struggle. Bill just happens to be a narcissist who believes himself capable of carrying the burden of the entire human race. He believes he is fighting for something larger. Humanity can be saved so long as they forgo any kind of personal relationships. He sees Clarke's love for Madi as a weakness that will only further damn the species. The tribalism on Sanctum is despicable in his eyes. In a few moments, Bill has the strength to completely destroy everything Sheidheda has spent the entire season building. That makes him a daunting final antagonist for the season. One who believes he knows better and can convincingly sway others to his cause. Sheidheda ruled through intimidation. He will remain a complication so long as he is kept alive. The final conflict between Clarke and Bellamy only occurs because of Sheidheda. And yet, it was also important for the decisions made in this hour not be impacted by the presence of the red sun. That could have driven all of them mad. That chaos is effective in certain beats. But Indra needs to have the antitoxin before choosing to spare Sheidheda. Nikki needs to remain in confinement before confronting Raven. Conversely, Gabriel is the only person under the influence when he opts to shoot the Flame. That could destroy that piece of technology forever. These are all emotional moments that should feel earned. They are incredibly rushed though. The hour does build to that final moment and makes it devastating. But again, it just doesn't make sense. It's character destruction in a way that will only puzzle the audience. It's frustrating. Bellamy can't explain himself despite him now having to interact with new friends who see that he has changed. No one really cares to put much nuance into this situation. His time on Etherea was a solid episode. He placed his hopes on Bill because he was led to believe in the greatness of the Disciples. He never got to challenge what he saw. The audience didn't get to feel what he sought out as a result. And so, it's a big moment propped up by emptiness. A conflict was created. Clarke makes a choice. She will have to live with that. She hopes to save her remaining friends. Bellamy is simply another casualty. He stood in the way of survival. That's basically what all of this amounts to. It's unfortunate. It's baffling and ensures this season is one big puzzle that isn't adding up and seems unlikely to do so in a rewarding way anytime soon. That's a bummer.