The 100 Season 5 Episode 6 Review-Exit Wounds

From the ashes, two leaders with two completely different philosophies are ruling their respective groups and war is the only possible outcome on this politically minded episode of The 100.

In an episode with very little humor, it’s hard to remember that last episode where sand worms burst out of everyone’s chest, was actually the comedic highlight of the season.  Boy episode six opened with a brilliant, haunting shot of a bomb-ravaged building and it just got grittier from there.  This image perfectly conveyed the desperation Octavia and Wunkru feels.  They have limited shelter and supplies but no shortage of threats.  Environmental and human perils alike they are running out of time and Diyoza knows it.  Looking to take a page from Sun Tzu’s Art of War she is going to capitalize on that fear and lure defectors to the Shallow Valley.  By weakening Wunkru’s moral and numbers she can, one person at a time defeat Octavia without firing even a shot.  Diyoza’s knowledge of Sun Tzu and her cunning belie a bigger mystery.  As a former military mind, she would be privy to some of this information but what caused her to abandon her beliefs and slit her own throat are still left unanswered.  The unknown is a very scary thing for anyone as it makes it hard to predict and prepare for them and this is never truer than with Diyoza.  With the massively aggressive McCreary and resourceful Shaw by her side she’s dangerous enough but add in a legion of mentally ill prisoners with superior advanced weapons and she’s got an army to rival even Wonkru.  Diyoza understands she needs to avoid war though.  Regardless of the fact that she could kill them all without breaking a sweat, they are the future of Shallow Valley.  Her prisoners know nothing of farming, fishing, engineering or really anything beyond violence.  This is the one advantage Octavia has whether she understands it or not.

Things are falling apart for Wonkru.  There is very little food and even fewer options.  The proverbial rock and a hard place is where Octavia finds herself.  What’s worse is the dissension is coming from her own brother and previous friend Clarke.  Octavia is not one for forgiving so pushing Echo and Bellamy’s romance in her face and the constant reminder of Clarke’s past leadership is a huge problem.  It’s tantamount to poking the hornet’s nest.  Something has to give and unfortunately for Wonkru it’s them.  She is still trying to rule with an iron bloody fist and that won’t work with Clarke and Bellamy.  If Bellamy’s challenge of her in the training room was any indication, he has gained far more than just patience in space, he is now an accomplished fighter.  Even better than Octavia which he proved by knocking her to the ground.  The siblings are at odds and unfortunately for Bellamy despite his best effort and his besting Octavia in training she reigns supreme.  Clarke, on the other hand, has her own agenda and it’s all about Madi.  She is a mother through and through and her willingness to commit what amounts to suicide to keep Madi safe is a decision any mother can relate to.  Octavia cannot compete with this love and she had better not get in the way.

Octavia is a cold-blooded killer and Cooper her willing disciple.  There is no kinder, gentler, cooler head to offset Octavia’s bloodthirsty one, and it’s drastically obvious she needs one.  Her willingness to shoot most of the dissenters to “sell” her Echo/Monty plan is proof she is not above sacrificing just about anyone.

That puts Madi in trouble.  There’s no sugar-coating this.  Gaia seems to be Team Nightblood because of some sort of commitment to a religious sect.  Perhaps Gaia isn’t the threat we thought she was, but Clarke is not risking it.  Whether Gaia is a protector of Madi or executioner remains to be seen.  It is safe to say however that no one will protect Madi with the same single-minded drive as Clarke.  With Madi’s reveal to Octavia at the end of the episode, her fate is sealed either way.  Octavia appears to be capable of showing mercy to the child but her training methods are nothing if they aren’t brutal and Madi is Clarke’s child.  That means she will question authority, be stubborn and in general a thorn in Octavia’s side.  How quickly she outstays her welcome will very likely be the deciding factor between Octavia and Clarke working together.   

This was an episode about change.  How six years and extreme conditions change people for the better and worse.  Bellamy is smarter and wiser, Clarke is just as strategically minded but has become even more ruthless in her pursuit to keep Madi safe, Echo is the most changed.  Bellamy’s influence is clearly a good one and her refusal to deliver the defectors to Octavia for execution proves it.  Octavia has changed into a cold, unyielding leader.  The only problem with leadership like hers is eventually the tight manner she holds everything gets pulled too hard and everything breaks.

We saw none of Raven or Abby this week and that was very disappointing.  I’m curious how Abby’s addiction will impact everyone and what Raven is doing to maintain her calm.  What we did get was a Wonkru-centric episode that was tense and paranoid.  This was a fantastic episode ripe with the seeds of war and unrest.  The dynamic pacing of the season as a whole has dealt us action-packed episodes full of as much gore as laughter and then deep, thought-provoking emotional episodes full of intrigue, scheming, and betrayal.  It is just this push and pull that has allowed for complete absorption into this post apocalyptic world.  We care about these characters because we are given the time to.  With Kane still trying to talk his way to freedom, Murphy and Emori gaining a hostage and their security and Madi losing hers there is still plenty of story to tell in season five.  Take a look at next week’s emotional episode.  You can get caught up on all our coverage here.

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