‘The 100’ Season Six, Episode 10 Review: “Matryoshka”

Image courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Floating in a little late this week, what with San Diego Comic-Con blowing up everywhere, but I’m here with the thoughts on episode 10, “Matryoshka.” Before I even watched this week, I was pumped, because I’ve been obsessed with Russian matryoshka dolls since I was a child. That tells me there’s going to be a lot of Inception-like things going on, and I’m here for it.

Previously on The 100: Madi’s starting her new curriculum: Killing Primes 101, but that may just be Sheidheda up in there screwing with her mind; Josephine’s in Clarke’s brain, but hey, Clarke’s still in there too. They switch off and on depending who’s needed for what so that’s fun; Gabriel, also currently residing in someone else’s body, is off to meet Clarksephine.

And suddenly it becomes clear why this episode is called “Matryoshka.”

Rev up the motorcycle, here we go…

Annnnd, Clarksephine wrecks her bike mere seconds into the episode. It’s hard to drive when someone else is driving your body, y’all. Clarke and her outerbody vision of Jo argue for a bit until they come to a secret hatch. (Can I just say that the word “hatch” pretty much belongs to Lost forever?) Anyway, Clarksephine goes into the hatch, and we learn that Gabriel left and quit the program, because he wanted to be able to die. Josephine did not. Before we can learn too much else, Clarke seizes and Josephine freaks about it.

As she should.

Back in Sanctum, Raven and Abby arrive, and find armed guards everywhere. They’re immediately questioned by King Russell, to whom they give the bad news: can’t make more Night Blood, nanny nanny boo boo. He doesn’t take it well and throws them into custody with the others. Next, the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad news day continues when Queen Simone shares the tidbit that Clarke is dead, so take that. Abby freaks about it.

As she should.

Russell tells Simone that Clarke’s still up in there and also shares the deets about Madi killing Primes. Simone wants to burn them all, save for Madi who has the Night Blood, and Russell wants to play nice. They decide to only kill one. Hey, compromise is the key to marriage, amirite?

Meanwhile, the Sanctum villagers (namely a new guy named Ty) are starting to learn the truth about the Primes and what really happens when they sacrifice themselves. Echo and Gaia learn one of the Earthers will be sacrificed later. Not Madi, for she has the Night Blood. The Earthers will have to choose who dies. But not Madi. They work with Riker on a plan to stop the execution, with which Madi will not be involved.

Across town in the holding room, Murphy makes the obvious assumption that he will be sacrificed. Madi, who will not be sacrificed in any way, calls him a traitor and notes that he deserves to die. Abby is curious as to why. Madi tells her that Murphy worked with Josephine, who commandeered Clarke’s body. In his defense, he thought Clarke was already dead. Emori, standing by her man, tells Abby that Murphy helped Josephine in a deal to save all of them, then he did the right thing when he learned Clarke was still alive.

Abby doesn’t really care.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

After the break, Clarke is still seizing, and Josephine is singing “99 Bottle of Beer” to keep her from going to sleep for forevers. (Yeah, that’s in MY head now, so how many heads does that make? IDK) Anyway, Clarke takes an internal stroll inside her mind and discovers the barriers between the two are crumbling, and Jo’s memories are sneaking onto her side of the wall! (Hey, didn’t Marsha and Jan Brady have this same argument?) Angry, Jo tells Clarke to float herself, so that leads Clarke to the brilliant idea to “float” Jo’s memories, therefore creating another barrier.

Meanwhile, the Earthers are chained to the walls and milling about. Raven reminds Murphy he “really messed up.” Of course, he knows. Raven says everyone’s scared to die, but trying to live forever isn’t the way to avoid hell. “The answer’s not immortality, it’s morality.” I love it. Knit that on a pillow, Grandma. Next, Gaia is brought in, presumably caught, but really, it’s just to tell everyone Echo’s plan.

In prep for the big execution, Riker has lunch with Russell and Simone. He gets an earful when he presumes to question the execution. Priyah7 (HBHN) is there, too, and she’s fine with the execution, but pissed about not being included in the execution decisions. Me? I’m wondering, again, why the hell doesn’t someone tell King and Queen Prime how to fix meals? There’s always about seven hundred times more food than the guests at the table can physically eat in one setting.

A bunch of guards come in (oh, maybe they can eat, too) with Ty in tow. He’s here to share Echo’s location with the King. Riker gets nervous, but Ty doesn’t really out Echo. Instead, he breaks a glass and slashes Queen Simone’s throat, shouting “Death to Primes!” Yeah, he’s just been converted into the Children of Gabriel Church. King Russell is somewhat taken aback, but not really, because, ya know, the whole insertion-into-other-bodies thing.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Something tells me Russell isn’t going to execute just one Earther now. (Still not Madi though).

Inside Clarksephine’s mind, Jo’s reliving memories in order to pick which ones she’s okay with floating. Here, we learn cancer was the catalyst for Gabriel’s first body snatch. She and Clarke bond over having a past full of bad things. The barrier keeps collapsing and Clarke tries to be proactive about things. It ends with Josephine herself, being floated. I think. She disappears, but does that mean she’s gone-gone or she’s gone from inside because she’s in control on the outside? I DO NOT KNOW. My damn matryoshka dolls are. not. fitting. together.

What I do know is that Clarke’s physical body is being consumed by those living vines.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Luckily, Gabriel and Octavia arrive in time to save her, because he knew Josephine would be. When Clarke catches her breath, it becomes clear that Josephine is in charge. She and Gabriel share a tender moment before helmeted guards show up. Josephine orders them to “kill the girl, take Gabriel prisoner, and get me home!” Shots are fired, a scuffle happens, it’s chaos all around. Once the dust settles, the standing guards rip off their helmets. Oh hey, Bellamy! I was wondering where you were. Even Josephine knew you weren’t far away from Clarke with her  “because of course, you’re here” comment.

Happy to see her brother, and still planning to make amends (remember last week in the anomaly mist?), Octavia runs to her brother.

He orders her to be taken.

Harsh, Bellamy. Harsh.

But he’s not done. He tells Jo’s guard to go back to Sanctum and tell Russell if he hurts any one of his people, he’ll never see his daughter again. So. There.

In the Sanctum PD, Gaia realizes she can’t take the flame out, because Madi has changed the password. Seriously. Changed the password. Apparently the folks in the future aren’t too concerned about admin rights. Anyway, there’s a big problem if Madi gets back on board Elgius and wakes up her army for Sheidheda, so Gaia will have to kill Madi before that happens. At least she’s up front about it and says it where Madi can hear. Thank the Primes that Raven’s there, because she figures out that the former commander’s minds are all isolated on the “flame” chip, so therefore she can figure out out to “delete” Sheidheda. All she needs is Becca’s notebook. Gah. Becca must have taken the best notes in the history of all notes taken!

The guards show up and in a valiant effort to show “morality, not immortality,” (also knowing Echo’s plan to kill Russell before the execution goes down) Murphy volunteers to be “executed.” His noble deed isn’t necessary because the guards drop the news that they all gone die. Burned at the stake like it’s 1699.

Except for Madi. Madi will be exempt from all stake-burning activities.

So, our kru is tied up at the stake as Echo looks on with her bow at the ready. Riker is zero help to her, by the way. Damn Russell will not give Echo a clear shot. He keeps speechifying about losing his wife and hiding behind the Earthers. Just when he gets into view, Riker whacks Echo over the head. What? Why? “For his family,” he says. Okay. Whatever. You do not deserve the name of “Riker,” you wishy-washy idiot.

The fires are lit under the pillars. Murphy, ass-saver extraordinaire, suggests the way to save Queen Simone is through bone marrow. Russell nixes the idea, because it failed when they tried it one hundred years ago, but Abby convinces him there’s a formula they didn’t know, so…

He takes them down.

Freed, Raven demands access to a computer. Abby demands Russell’s blood. Two birds: we’re saving Madi from Sheidheda and waking Simone from the dead at one time. Not saved from the dead? Ty. For his betrayal, Russell purifies him through fire.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Meanwhile, Gabriel is prepping to operate on Clarksephine. It requires him to restart her heart. Bellamy is rightfully worried. Josephine tells him that she and Clarke have actually become friends now, but he doesn’t buy it. Gabriel, while he’s willing to help get Clarke back, isn’t so sure he wants to sacrifice another person, so he’s undecided on the resurrection of Josephine again. Jo reminds him that if he lets her keep Clarke’s body, nobody else will have to die. Bellamy is all, nope. Gabriel considers it, then sides with Bellamy. He lets Josephine go, telling her as she slips away, “Death is life.”

The chip is removed, but Clarke’s heart will not restart. On the inside, Josephine slits Clarke’s throat.

Outside, Gabriel tells Bellamy once the head stops telling the heart to beat, it’s over. It looks like it’s over for Clarke.

Head. And Heart.

Flatline.

Bellamy frantically tries to push Clarke’s heart into beating. It’s heartbreaking.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

He cries as he begs her to come back. He needs her. Madi needs her. Wake up. Wake up.

He pounds at her chest. “You’re a fighter. Now get up. And fight!”

Octavia pleads for him to stop.

He pounds.

Inside: Josephine hears Bellamy.

So does Clarke. She takes the knife and stabs Josephine.

Outside: Bellamy gives the breath of life.

He heaves.

Clarke lies dormant.

He heaves.

Clarke gasps.

Bellamy cries.

Head. And Heart.

The end.

And…now my head is spinning and my heart is aching. What an amazing episode. I love that “head and heart” have come to symbolize Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship. They are each other’s head and heart. It’s not about romance or shipping (though maybe it will become that? Or not?). It’s about being two parts of a whole and fully trusting another person with your life. These two have and are, and I appreciate how the writers have cultivated this relationship over the course of six seasons. And I appreciate how Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley have crafted these characters that go beyond making googley heart eyes. They portray them as flawed, raw, and real people, and it makes them even more enjoyable to watch.

Two more shows to go this season, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. Catch The 100 next Tuesday on The CW. Until then, I’ll be playing with my Matryoshka dolls and reading Becca’s Notebook for Dummies.

Michelle

Michelle is Young Adult fiction writer, professional fangirl, and card-carrying nerd. (Her mint collection of Empire Strikes Back collector cards prove it.) She spends her days expanding young minds in a classroom and her nights glued to the television, where you'll find her watching her fave sci-fi/supernatural (lowercase) shows, Supernatural (upper case) or binging an obscure show from another country. In addition to her fictional work, she’s written for a local newspaper, corporate website, and pretty much every one of her husband’s papers in college. You can follow her on Twitter @EmCeeCollins

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