Previously on The 100: No more fighting, Clarke. Be at peace; Insertion scar! Who are you? Josephine Lightwood, nice to meet you; What? You don’t recognize your best friend, Leelee? Yours is the last face I saw; STABS; Now we’re even; What’s going on? TEARS; Clarke’s dead; Josephine takes a sedative; Clarke wakes up inside her own mind.
Zoom in on Clarke inside her mind prison, which happens to be the place we first met her: the cell inside the Ark. Only she’s not alone — she’s got the disembodied voices of her friends bouncing around in there with her and cool sketches on every inch of wall surface. Shout out to the artist who drew these sketches of Clarke’s friends and family. They’re really good. See?
Clarke experiences flashes of memory. Her hair is long again. Also, her Dad is alive. Kinda. He’s up in her head too and they’re no longer in the Ark cell, but in the house she occupied with Madi. (With current crimped short hair with red tips hairstyle again. Rain outside.) Dad wants her to revisit the last thing she remembered. It was dying. Girl’s gotta sit down on that one. Anyway, Dad tells her to focus on the sound between the raindrops, and she manages to hear a heartbeat, so hey, she’s alive! You’d think that would be good news, but Clarke doesn’t believe in smiling. She’s bummed, because her Dad isn’t real. Alright, I’ll give her that one. Dad explains Clarke’s making up all the stuff in her head and urges her to go and figure it all out. But don’t worry, he’ll be there if she needs him. A quick kiss and I love you and Clarke is off to figure stuff out while the credits play.
She experiences her mind working and bumps into A.L.I.E., the artificial intelligence villain from season three, who wants Clarke to thank her because she kept the “precious repository of memories” in Clarke’s brain. Ah. So Clarke is special, and that’s why she can go through the insertion process and still maintain her Clarkeness. (Aw. Bad news for Jordan because Delilah ain’t coming out of Priyah7 (HBHN), is she?) AIie confirms that Clarke’s neural interface messed with the insertion drugs/process. “You exist because of me,” she tells her. “But not for long if they figure out how you freed Raven.” Next, we get a refresher on how that happened: they EMP’d the chips in Raven and Abby, but not in Clarke.
Alie physically pulls the sketch of Raven from the wall, forms it into a glowing little memory ball and tells Clarke to tuck it away somewhere safe. (Trust me, it was much cooler looking onscreen than I’m describing now.) They have some more convo about humans needing bad memories so the good ones mean something, and Clarke drops that even though it’s her repository, there are things inside she has never seen before. For example: a door with a Christmas wreath on it and a man screaming, guns being fired.
Clarke opens the door and, oh hello, Josephine! She tells Clarke the body isn’t big enough for both of them.
Josephine is here to give the exposition on Russell’s body snatching/mind capturing game. Turns out the door is there to keep the two minds separate, so they don’t die. And Clarke opened it, so…thanks for the accelerating brain deterioration, babe. She gives a quick rollcall of the bodies she’s inhabited, then the conclusion: two minds, one brain = never ends well. And she is not cool with Clarke being up in there with her. So, Clarke is all: GIVE ME MY BODY BACK AND GET ANOTHER ONE, but Josephine is not about that. Nope. The procedure is too risky, so she’ll just keep Clarke’s body, thankyouverymuch. But, she has a remedy: Cllarke can tell her how she’s still in there, and Josephine will do the science and fix them, with the added bonus of saving all Clarke’s people. Or…they can wait it out until they both die. Josephine, of course, will get reinserted into someone else, wake up, tell Daddy King Russell what happened and he’ll kick all Clarke’s people out. Or worse.
She says all this while she’s twisting a strand of hair. This is going to be an important tell in the future, trust me, kru.
But don’t worry, Clarke’s not giving in. She tells Josephine to float herself.
Josephine, not content to take no for an answer, calmly reminds Clarke they’re in her brain and that she can’t control her thoughts. *Click* A door unlocks somewhere in Clarke’s mind and Josephine literally skips over to find out what’s in her memories. “Sharing is caring” after all. Josephine rifles through the sketches on Clarke’s Ark cell wall and discovers the blank spot left there by Alie. Josephine quickly discovers Clarke acts like a badass, but has insecurities, then surmises her missing glowball memory must be hidden somewhere on Clarke’s person, so she attacks… and finds out that Clarke is pretty much a badass. She takes Josephine D-O-W-N, down.
But not for long. Josephine gets a video game restart and then ups the stakes when she tells Clarke she can’t die inside the mindscape, but Clarke most def can. Yeah, I’d run away too, Clarke.
I’m really glad for a commercial break here. The tension is real, and the stakes are high. I’m clenching as I type. (Also: the new M&M cannibal ad does not make me want M&Ms.)
When we come back, Clarke is running through the underground bunker. On her tail? Octavia! They wind up in the pit, and Octavia pokes at Clarke’s guilt by name-dropping Bellamy. Octavia says Clarke is afraid to confront what she did to Bellamy during the Conclave (leaving him in the pit to die). Though she’s just a subconscious projection, she makes a good point. Soon, Josephine appears, and Octavia refuses to help Clarke fight her. “Even your projections hate you, Clarke!” Ouch. Clarke is going to need therapy if she makes it through this.
Next, we arrive in the blindingly white Mt. Weather room. In the body bag on the bed: Maya. Oooooh. She is burnt to a crisp and wondering why Clarke is trying so hard to stay alive. Ahhhh, she mentions Jasper. JASPER! Clarke is carrying guilt for his suicide.
Maya thinks Clarke likes to play god and isn’t so different from the Primes. She urges Clarke to give Josephine the memory. Clarke pulls it out and…makes it disappear. Josephine arrives, and Maya betrays Clarke and says she hid the memory in the cave. “Thanks melty girl!” LOLZ Josephine goes to the cave, but Maya (now not burnt!) surprises her, putting a shock collar around her neck. Clarke is large and in charge, kru. This. is. Her. Mindspace. The collar is geotagged to the cave and now Josephine ain’t going anywhere. Clarke, it seems, always finds a way to survive. Josephine, for her part, has to bring in reinforcements in the form of Daddy King Russell.
Chasing. Taunting. Scurrying. Clarke runs past an Ark airlock door and there’s a glimpse of someone…wait…is that…? Y’all. I cannot go there. I am just like Clarke. Don’t do this to me. Deep breath. Anyway, Clarke runs away from the door, so naturally, Josephine knows things in here are hurtful to Clarke, so she goes inside. They end up in the forest and I must come to terms with what’s about to happen here. Josephine tries to unlock a chest as we get flashes of what’s inside it: the knife Clarke used to kill Finn.
Flashes of Finn tied to a tree, bloody knife, Clarke crying and tell him, “You’re going to be okay.”
Josephine gives Clarke points for being clever enough to hide the memory in the one place she wouldn’t go: the place where she killed Finn. But memory is funny, and Josephine knows all about it. She sciences Clarke for a bit and then namedrops Lexa. She accuses Clarke of not wanting to save her people. She suggests that Clarke just give in and die so her people can live. Clarke doesn’t believe Bellamy would take a deal to save the people. Josephine proves it and spells out exactly how all the things will go right if she sacrifices herself. After a few moments of contemplation and assurances from Josephine that she’d tell them all Clarke loved them, Clarke agrees to let Josephine win and gives her the combination to the lock.
Josephine opens the locker, pushes the bloody knife, pic of Dad, and Jasper’s goggles (sniff) away to find the memory. She promises that it’ll be over soon for Clarke.
This is the part where I start to really wonder if Clarke is going to survive this thing. I mean, the hero protagonist always finds a way to survive, right?
This is also the part where I remember I’m watching The 100 and worry anew.
As we watch Clarkesphine sleeping, we zoom into Clarke’s head. She’s sketching at the place she lived with Madi. The door opens, and Monty is there! He points out that Clarke is not “doing better” as she’d promised. He doesn’t want her to give up, even though it means their people get to live. He wants them to be the good guys, which means not letting murderers live forever. Clarke doesn’t disagree, but she thinks it’s over. Monty?
Next, Monty helps Clarke into Josephine’s mindspace. Her 230 years of memories are a well-organized library, making what they need easy to pinpoint. The “Special Collections” room is the memories she has locked away, so inside there, they’ll be able to control her physically. Monty monties while Clarke watches Josephine have a Prime fight with, then get killed by, Kaylee. Next comes a screaming baby in the woods and Isaac giving kids to Gabriel. Here we learn Josephine considers “nulls” (without Night Blood) to be inferior and hurting the Primes bloodlines. She’s very racist, y’all. She wants Oblation and Oblation only. Too bad for Isaac, who is now dead.
Monty gets the Special Collections open, and they enter into an old-school diner. (Think “The Peach Pit” from Beverly Hills 90210.) Ah, this is Josephine’s first life, before the bombs destroyed the Earth. There’s some hair twisting with a cute boy, but she turns him down. He accuses her of thinking she’s too good for him. He gets angry and pulls out a gun…and shoots himself! Wow. No wonder she couldn’t face that memory.
Josephine comes running and strangles Clarke for bringing it up again. Next, Clarksephine wakes up and declares Josephine the winner of the Body Bowl.
Meanwhile outside Clarksephine’s head: Bellamy and Miller are hammering out deets for a new compound with King Russell. Josephine arrives on the scene, but Russell ignores her. Bellamy, clearly torn upon seeing Clarke’s body, knowing it’s not Clarke, is distressed. He can’t stop staring at her. But that turns out to be a good thing, kru. Clarksephine is tapping out a Morse Code message via Monty, who’s pulling a Joyce Byers inside the mindspace by tapping on Christmas lights. Bellamy frantically scribbles dashes and dots as Miller throws shade at Clarksephine. Russell dismisses them and Clarksephine drops that Clarke’s still in her head, but she knows how to take care of that problem.
Outside, Miller admits he slept through Pike’s lectures on Morse Code, but Bellamy is there to help him. Clarksephine’s tapping message: A-L-I-V-E
“Clarke’s alive and we’re going to get her back.”
And Michelle can finally breathe again.
What an emotional rollercoaster this was. Even though it proved I’m never going to be over Finn’s traumatic death, it will rank high on my list of favorite episodes. A huge kudos to the writers for pulling off the emotional dialogue, dramatic tension and calling back to some monumental moments from the past. Plus, how awesome was it to see Christoper Larkin again? Monty forever, y’all!
Now that Bellamy knows Clarke’s alive, I am so ready to find out what he’s going to do about it. And what Murphy will do to counteract it so he can live forever. Tune in with me to The 100 next Tuesday on The CW (9/8 central) to find out. Until then, I’ll be grieving about Finn all over again and practicing my Morse Code on Christmas lights.