‘The 100’ Season Six, Episode Two Review: “Red Sun Rising”
Previously on The 100: “Ladies and gentlemen, meet Planet Alpha.” The two suns are eclipsing; bugs are going crazy; lightning radiation kills Shaw; Raven deserves happiness; where are all the people?; lightborn shrine; it’s not a nursery rhyme, it’s a warning: oh no, they’re stealing our ship; it’s in the air; let’s all attack each other!
We open with a flashback! 236 years earlier: Two suns are almost eclipsing, but there’s a horny young woman distracting her hot scientist boyfriend from doing his scientific work. We’re on day 21 of the OG Eligius mission, and the Lightborn family are there to catalog new species. The basic gist of the scene is this: the planet-that-is-really-a-moon is called Sanctum, which is the Latin root for sanctuary. Also important: eclipsing suns make one go crazy enough to kill their friends and family. RIP Mom and Josie Lightborn. Sanctum is Dad’s. HIS, damnit. *shoots everyone*
I generally don’t like cold open flashbacks, but this one was interesting and effective. It set the tone for an excruciatingly painful time for our kru on the ground. I mean, the guy killed his whole family in cold blood! Plus, it had Sean Maguire in it, so that’s a flashback scene I can support.
236 years later on Sanctum: Bellamy, Clarke, and Murphy secure Echo with Emori and make sure Jackson and Miller are still out before they chain each other up to ride out the eclipse. No one is armed, and there are safeties in place to keep them from getting loose. (Smart move, Bellamy.) The eclipse mixed with the airborne toxins makes people lose their minds! Leader Bellamy decides to keep all of the keys, save for his own. He gives his keys to Clarke. He trusts her the most. She’s definitely less shady than Murphy, but can she really be trusted with this airborne toxin? I don’t know. The three sit and brood, chained up in the classroom while…
…Octavia and Niylah are sparring on the mothership….until the transport ship lock opens. Our kru is expecting their friends on the other side of the door. But that’s not who’s come knocking.
They toss a few canisters, and everyone is down. The hijackers check for red blood and then secure the ship by locking them up. Octavia wakes up and immediately riles James (who?) and the rest of the gang up. They realize Raven hasn’t been captured, so they’re hopeful. For her part, Raven isn’t so sure about a solo-rescue mission, so she makes the hard choice and wakes up Diyoza, who’s still very pregnant, and also very bossy. This is the time to say I miss Indra.
Down on Sanctum: Murphy is bored and antagonistic. He namedrops Lexa to Clarke and gets the expected response — which is to say, looks of extreme rage. He then reminds Bellamy he took bullets for him and forces Clarke to yell-pologize about being the bad guy. At least Clarke is owning it.
She manages to shut Murphy up long enough for them to hear Miller and Jackson screaming. Clarke and Bellamy arrive to find them having a shared hallucination of bugs under their skin. Creepy. Knives are used. People are knocked out. Not Clarke or Bellamy. Just before he goes out cold, Jackson realizes his scalpel is missing.
Oh wait, Murphy took the guns too. Ruh-roh.
Things are looking bleak and scary. The longer they breathe the toxins, the more unstable they become. Exhibit A: Bellamy.
Our kru has faced a lot of turmoil, but they are truly at a loss over how to deal with this threat. I didn’t imagine anything being scarier than a nuclear holocaust, but hey, here ya go!
Back on mothership: Octavia isn’t happy about this captivity business. Abby warns her that the folks she’s captured with pretty much hate her. Octavia knows and doesn’t give two shakes about it. She blames Abby for the mess they’re in and nonchalantly drinks the cup of algae Abby brought her. Abby comments on the gross taste, but Octavia reminds her they’ve eaten worse. And…I had forgotten about Octavia’s “Friends and family: it’s what’s for dinner” campaign down inside the bunker. Probably because I pushed it out of my mind. That was one of the more gruesome story lines of The 100. I mean, what would you do if that was the only way to survive? *shudder*
Moving on, the thing that strikes me about all the characters this season (Octavia, Clarke, Abby, Kane, Diyoza, even Bellamy) is that, last season, they each believed they had acted in the best interest of their people and doing what they had to do to protect them. Here, they all are stuck in dire situations preaching the moral high ground to the others. Octavia, particularly, is not giving up any of her ideals or backing down from her stance that everyone else was wrong and she was right. Octavia is one of my favorites and I’m anxious to see how long she maintains her stance. What/When, I wonder, is her breaking point?
Currently, she’s trying to beat the door down, when Jordan calmly tells her his Dad once told a story about…well, we don’t know because Octavia cut him off and declared his father a coward. Jordan’s reaction? To stand, face her, and preach the truth. “My father saved us all.” I love how Jordan faced scary Octavia in defense of Monty. Honestly, it’s what Monty would have done. *sniff*
Octavia is not changing her mind though. “I made you all into Wonkru…” yada, yada but the group isn’t having it. Declaring “the queen is dead,” the remains of Wonkru attack, beating Octavia like, well, like she was beating the door earlier. It’s Niylah who quickly figures out what Abby knew all along: Octavia is trying to provoke them on purpose, so they’ll kill her and put her out of her misery. Abby finally stops the massacre by saying, “Let her live with what she’s become,” the worst possible fate for a disgraced warrior. And just like that, Octavia is a shriveled broken shell of what she was. The queen really is dead.
I didn’t have to wonder about Octavia long, did I? Two minutes? She went from the top of the heap down to the pit so fast. Well done, writers.
Elsewhere on Mothership, remember how Raven had done the unthinkable and woken up Diyoza? We’re not going to be mad about it, but we’re going to mention Indra again. Anyway, Diyoza gets right to it and takes out a couple of hijackers almost before her feet hit the spaceship floor. Plans are discussed. Raven wants to crawl through the ducts, but since she’d have to be the size of a small child to do it, Diyoza goes for the shoot-first-negotiate-with-dead-bodies-later tactic. I question this reasoning. Raven is tiny. I feel like she could fit inside the ducts, but Diyoza didn’t even let her try. Like, chill woman.
On Sanctum: Miller/Jackson are sharing hallucinations about bugs crawling inside their skin; Emori is blaming Murphy for everything wrong in the world; Echo is having spy flashbacks; and Clarke is hearing her mom over a radio that isn’t turned on. Basically, the toxin is making everyone go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. And now they have weapons!
Hallucination Abby reminds Clarke that no one is safe around her and claims she’s the toxin. She instructs Clarke to use her knife and sever her carotid. (Note: As hallucinations go, this one is spot-on because Abby’s a doctor, so she’d use fancy medical words!) Clarke almost follows through with her self-surgery, but Murphy rushes in to stop her. He talks her out of doing herself in. Of course, he’s holding a gun at her the hold time, but whatever. He doesn’t appear as affected by the toxin and makes some sense in his presentation to her. “As much fun as it’d be to shoot you, Bellamy wouldn’t have it.” John Murphy: voice of reason. Who knew? (Me. I knew.) Together, they go to save Bellamy “before he kills us all.” He could, you know.
Mothership: Diyoza and Raven try a ruse to get rid of the remaining hijackers, but the plan backfires, and they find themselves at gunpoint pretty much about to die. With the rest of our kru locked away, I’m starting to fear that Raven and Diyoza really have been outmaneuvered…until a small lithe body jumps from the air ducts and overtakes them all. It’s Maddie! Ah, that “shrink yourself into the size of a small child” line makes sense now. Maddie’s awake, alive, and kicking ass, but she has questions. Mainly, “what happened to Clarke?”
Sanctum: Bellamy thinks Murphy is about to kill everyone. Murphy denies it, but let’s be honest, any given day, this could be true. Murphy tries to talk Bellamy down. “It’s just you and me, a couple guys stuck on a moon with no one else on it, filled with man-eating bugs and toxic plants that turn people who love each other into homicidal maniacs.” Bellamy’s response: “John Murphy: court jester.” (I wish I’d written that line!) They fight while Clarke tries to disregard her hallucinations. Assuming she’s failing to perform her part of Murphy’s plan, Murphy ends up floating in a pool of water. Satisfied he’s TCB, he goes for Clarke next. There’s a struggle and we just don’t know who is going to live through it. (Hint: Clarke and Bellamy aren’t dying anytime soon.)
Our plots merge when Diyoza, Raven, JORDAN! and others take the hijackers back down to Sanctum. I love the camera pausing on Jordan long enough for him to react to his first encounter with life beyond the mothership. His look of awe was, well, awesome. Some of the group stays on board and the others take Hijacker Lady and move out. There’s still something she’s not sharing. What she’s not sharing is that our kru will probably not be alive when they find them. Ha. She’s not met our kru before.
When they meet up, we find Clarke, Bellamy, and Murphy lying on the ground. Good news: they’re only knocked out. Bellamy isn’t pleased to see Octavia. And wait a hot second — Murphy is not waking up! NO, they better not! Just as we’re pondering Murphy’s fate, groups of village children arrive, bouncing gleefully onto the scene. Murphy is dying, children! Stop giggling!
The children’s gang leader, Rose, asks Clarke, “Are you here to take us home?” Clarke answers what we’re all thinking: “Isn’t this your home?”
And we’re done. We’re leaving Sanctum with: Octavia hating everyone, especially herself; Jordan’s getting his “ground feet”; Raven is grieving Shaw; Bellamy and Clarke are feeling guilty about attacking each other; Murphy’s lying on the ground with black spider veins all over his body; and the merry band of children are looking for their pied piper. I’d say that ominous picture book was right: Heaven has turned to Hell for our kru.
Catch me next week, kru. Until then, I’ll be sippin’ on miracle algae and praying for Murphy to wake up.
Watch The 100 on The CW Tuesdays, 9/8c.