The 100 Episode 7×07: The Queen’s Gambit

This was quite the character-driven episode while still giving us some forward propulsion (including seeing where some missing heroes ended up), so let’s jump in! 

 Just a reminder, spoilers galore!! Like ALL the spoilers- proceed with caution! 

The Queen’s (Psychological) Gambit

There are a few stories happening in Sanctum at once, but they all involve taking some risks, so the title is certainly applicable. Emori is planning a reunification event for the Children of Gabriel to reconnect with their families in Sanctum. Murphy is tasked with tending to Sheidheda, who has plans of his own. And Jackson is trying to counsel Madi, and frankly I’m grateful she has someone like him. We’ll start with them since this is the shortest story.

Paging Dr. Jackson

I am so glad to see a focus on mental health in a really supportive, positive way here. They’d touched on it before with Jasper, but his mental health took a backseat to the end of the world. Here, Jackson is able to actually discuss things with Madi, help her to move past her trauma, and wow I am here for it. He reminds her that all the adults in her life have made terrible choices that have led to this, that it isn’t her fault, and she no longer needs to bear the weight of their wars.

He sees her. Someone finally sees her. That she’s a kid, she wants to make friends and learn and explore the world. He sees that she’s neither helpless nor a savior, and that is everything. When she runs off to play, it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted. Because it has. And Jackson having this wonderful new purpose is equally compelling and important. He needed to figure out who he was to be outside of Abby’s shadow, and here he has found the absolute ideal role for himself. Everything about this was just *chef’s kiss*.

Moves and Countermoves

Murphy thinks he’s popping in to deliver Sheidy’s food, but Sheids has other plans. A chess game, which at this point should surprise no one. Murphy can’t seem to decide if he is annoyed or if he’s game, but I don’t think Sheidy loves giving people choices, so Murphy plays some chess.

Sheidy claims to have answers that Murphy needs, and I suppose that is true. I just don’t trust him to actually hold up his end of the bargain regardless. Also, Sheidheda has been playing this game for at least a solid century, and I know Murphy is smart but… seems like they’re not the best odds. It doesn’t matter, as Murphy doesn’t have much of a choice, and as it turns out, Sheidy was just stalling so that Nikki & Co. could get the guns to the COG party without Daniel Prime’s interference.

Heh. There’s one way to win.

Then the guns go off, and he lets Murphy go I have a feeling there will be more to this relationship than just lopsided chess matches and psychoanalysis, but either way these two are such incredible actors, and work so well together that I’ll accept them on my screen even if it is just for board games.

Reunification Counseling with Kaylee Prime

I mean everyone is trying their hand at psychology today, right? Before he leaves to bring Sheidy breakfast, Murphy tries to talk Emori out of her latest “Kaylee” project of trying to reunite the Children of Gabriel with their Sanctum families. It’s adorable, how are they allowed to be so adorable?

But Murphy’s right, she does relish this new role. And it makes sense! Emori has always been incredible at finding a place to fit and help in virtually any situation. If I got to make an apocalypse team, Emori would be on it. And now she figures that she can help unite the factions of Sanctum through peace and love and family instead of weapons and power struggles. It’s not even a bad plan, it’s just that there are too many folks in the mix who would choose the power, given the choice. And Nikki is banking on the COGs being let down by their families, let’s be real.

Emori is still placing her bets on the side of good, which I would have done too so who can blame her? She thinks she’s convinced Nelson to show up, and so she grabs his DNA on the sly, as one does. And he doesn’t even seem mad when she finally tells him, so I guess she was sort of right that Nelson was into it. And fun surprise, his parents are here!

So at first, it’s the sweetest thing ever. Mrs. Nelson is just full of love. Full. It’s pretty clear that she regrets giving up her “Sachin” (and we’ll talk about the nod to Sachin later), and she’s so happy to be reunited. Mr. Nelson is… less so. Zahir is high key annoyed that his wife is so excited to see their son. He’d already voiced concerns, saying he hoped that Daniel would give his blessing (whoopsie) but I never expected him to be so hateful to his own son.

You can see the actual light leaving Nelson’s eyes. Well done, Lee, because I can see the actual tears streaming from mine.

This is gutting. Not only does Zahir rebuke Nelson, but he goes ahead and tries to choke the life out of him too. Father of the year, right? So Nelson does what he must, and stabs Zahir. I blame him zero percent. But I do blame him for suddenly hating Emori and siding with Nikki, to the point of holding a gun to Emori’s head. He knows that Emori’s heart was in the right place, that she knew firsthand the experience of being thrown away by the people who are supposed to love you most. I get his anger, but I don’t get directing it at Emori, except I guess there really wasn’t anyone else to direct it toward. Things are ugly in the land of Sanctum, friends. Indra will have a hell of a mess to clean up.

Bardo Recruitment Fair

Bardo is all about this war. All. About. It. No one knows what it even is, but these people are locked and loaded and ready for Clarke I guess and Bill Cadogan I don’t know. Their first target to bring into the foray is none other than the Smartest Smartypants this side of Sanctum, Dr. Gabriel Santiago. Anders decides to give Gabe a minute to say adios to “Orlando” before they yeet him over to Nakara. Gabriel also learns about more fun facts that Orlando neglected to mention. He still seems a wee bit sad but that’s just cause he’s not a monster and Orlando was his kind-of friend.

I tried to find the translation for like a solid 20 minutes before I gave up. Sorry.

Anywho, Gabriel joins the Bardo Brainiacs™, and they get to work trying to crack Stone codes. Honestly I don’t blame him! The more he learns about the Stone, the better chance he’ll have when they finally can escape. He’s clearly upset about the fates of his friends too, and continues to worry about them at every turn.

Speaking of, the women are locked into two separate rooms, because clearly the psychological manipulation isn’t just taking place on Sanctum! Nope, over here on Bardo, Anders is hoping he can get some of them to crack enough to join his cause, I guess. We catch up first with Octavia and Echo, who are doing about as well as you’d expect. Which is not at all. Echo is flashing back to the time she spent with Bellamy on the ring, and that hits hard.

It’s a scene of their first kiss which… okay. I mean, I am still not a fan of the relationship, but I do like that it helps us to understand where Echo is coming from a bit. I also don’t think that Bellamy telling her that her loyalty is her weakness is a throwaway line- I think it will absolutely have meaning going forward, and already does by the end of the episode.

I feel like Octavia has made slightly more peace with Bellamy’s “death”, if only because she had already said her goodbye on Skyring and assumed she’d not see him again. Echo had lived and breathed for his return, so for her, it’s positively unthinkable.

So while I was a little irked that O had to comfort Echo, I kind of get it. I just hope that O has a chance to fall apart a little too at some point. This is my favorite version of Octavia, tbh.

Next door, the Diyozas are having a bit of a mom-daughter kerfuffle. Hope wants to burn the place down, which I understand, while Diyoza tries to explain why that is a terrible plan. Hope is in full teen angst mode I guess because she doesn’t want Diyoza to miss out on those years?

Diyoza is kind of gutted. Because she never wanted Hope to know that side of her, and in her mind, Hope is still the ten year old she left alone on Skyring. But she soon understands that Hope can handle it, and she spills all the tea, including her ill-advised McCreary seduction. I am glad she told Hope, really. Then she kind of has to beat the crap out of her so Hope can understand why they can’t just rush a bunch of armed guards, but hey, Mom’s gotta mom.

But there’s a surprise next door! Echo is all covered in her freshly-black blood, because in Azgeda, slashing your face means you are ready for war. Makes total sense to injure yourself before battle, but okay.

I always dig hearing Azgeda lore!

She explains to O that she knows they are using them as soldiers, and she’s down. All the doors unlock, and just like that, the women have become Disciples. Only, it’s not that easy, because on their way, Clarke and the gang pop on to Bardo!

They chill a bit when they see Gabriel, who tells them that Echo and Octavia are okay… but Bellamy is not. This Bellamy being “dead” thing is going to be a real mess, isn’t it?

But Anders could not possibly care less about Bellamy Blake, because he has Clarke, and he can go wake up the other part of whatever his plan is. As he heads to Level 13 and passes all these Polis clues, I knew it was Cadogan time!

I have no idea what is happening, but I am excited!

Random Thoughts:

  • Phew the Sanctum folks finally realized half their team was missing. Clearly Adina needed the week off after all that slaying she’s been doing, so it all worked out quite well. Should be interesting to see what happens when she can’t find them. 
  • How do all these people know how to play chess? Murphy spent his life on the Ark where I assume outside of Jaha, chess supplies were limited, and on the ground where I know they were. Nelson somehow seemed like he knew what was up despite being raised by Gabriel’s buds in the actual forest. I live in a completely chess-accessible world and haven’t played a single move. 🤷‍♀️
  • The writers’ nod to Sachin was beyond lovely. I teared up, I won’t lie. It was such a sweet moment. 
  • “Orlando’s body”, sure Jan 🙄 That body is not Orlando any more than I am Orlando. Orlando is fine. Orlando will return for payback. If he isn’t I am going to feel so silly.
  • Every time Anders says “transcending”, I hear ALIE and Jaha.  This has to be some kind of escapism, a la the City of Light, right? I mean “last war” only works if there’s nothing worth fighting for any longer. I still think that is why they were so interested in O’s Season 3 memories, why Clarke is the key. We’ll see though!
  • If I say “Bellamy is on Earth” enough times, can I will it into existence? Asking for a friend. 
  • Lindsey Morgan absolutely owned directing. Honestly, I was so impressed- you can tell that it was directed by someone with a deep love and understanding of the story. She nailed it at every turn, and I could not be happier for her! 

Episode 7×08: Anaconda

Finally time for the backdoor pilot we’ve been hearing so much about! I for one am giddy excited. I love Grounder lore, I love apocalypses, I love Becca, let’s go! 

  • Cadogan has a family?! Look, Jaha did not find this info on the Second Dawn Wiki. It’s almost jarring to see because they appear to be… normal. Not as you’d expect to see from a cult leader!
  • How does Clarke remember Cadogan from that one iPad look?  I don’t remember what like, half my family members look like after quarantine, but sure, a few hundred years later, Clarke totally recognizes a guy she saw on a Kindle for three seconds while worried about the end of the world. Seems legit.
  • Becca time!  I find Becca’s story so fascinating! (Probably why I played her- and won as her- in Bookish Games!) I mean, she thinks she’s making life better on the reg with all her new technology, and yet… her new technology kills all the people. Her reaction to it was so similar to O’s, to the Faithful’s- they keep going, because to stop believing in the thing would be to realize what they’ve done, how wrong they’ve been. Interesting parallels for sure.
  • I really just want to see Earth now, yeah? It’s been a second, let’s check in!

Surprised to see Cadogan himself? Excited to see the backstory? Think Emori should leave social work to Jackson? Let’s chat! 

Posted July 6, 2020 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in The 100 / 8 Comments


8 responses to “The 100 Episode 7×07: The Queen’s Gambit

  1. This episode rocked. and Jackson and Madi… that was so well done, and nice that they took the time to do that scene. I mean neither of them has a lot to do this season, but they need some character time and this was nice. And yes, she’s finally allowed to be a kid! As much as I love Indra, I was a little alarmed last time to see Indra try to rope Mads back into the commander role, even if it seemed necessary to her at the time.

    Speaking of Indra, I hope she cleans house with these fools. Still, as you know I was dismayed by Nelson. I want him to be a good guy! Maybe there’s still time. and Machine Gun Annie *sigh*

    Poor Clarke. She never gets to know if Bell is alive or not. Still it’s nice that everyone on the away crew is more or less together now. Just in time for war. I’m not hopeful that Echo is gonna make it, and I hope they let her cut loose a little if she does go. I need to see some more ruthless Echo. 🙂

    “I don’t remember what like, half my family members look like after quarantine,” lolol. Right? Still, this looks AWESOME.

    • I agree, I am glad they did that scene. It was so refreshing to have them address mental health, especially with a teen, in such a great way. And YES I am so glad Indra finally realized that Madi was not the answer. And it makes sense why she did initially- Grounders have apparently always seen young, black-blooded kids as the only answer. Ugh.

      NELSON IS FINE. Or he will be. I mean- can you even imagine the jolt to his system!? Did you SEE his hopeful, puppy eyes turn cold!? It was heartbreaking! Lee did such an amazing job making it believable too- for everything to change in an instant. Also, I cannot believe I forgot to put it in the post but WOW did Lindsey kill it directing! She did such an amazing job! I am going to have to edit the post tbh!

      Clarke will figure out he’s alive eventually. I honestly NEED this to be Clarke’s turn to save Bellamy. I think we will DEFINITELY see ruthless Echo! Who knows which side she’ll be on, but I am excited to see how it all plays out!

      YES CADOGAN TIME! I have been needing this dude to come back around since S4, you know this, and I am SO GLAD he’s here!!

  2. Beth W

    Alright, that comparison between Becca and O gave me literal chills. I hadn’t considered that before, but it’s so true! Also, I see O’s journey to date as an all-woman journey (forgive the inherent Paganism here, but this is best metaphor I can think of): O the maiden, the only sister in existence on the ring, who grows up and falls in love; O the warrior, who becomes a leader both for good and for ill, to fill a necessary void; O the mother, co-raising Hope for 10 years as she settles more into her nurturing self. Which means O the crone is next up (wise, centered, and teaching of that wisdom). Her comforting Echo felt, to me, like an extension of that journey. She came to her self-discovery in a lot of hard ways, and now she’s using her wisdom to guide the journey of another (Echo). I didn’t feel like anyone forced her to comfort Echo, and maybe letting her friend fall apart emotionally would be cathartic as a process of grief (or distracting, anyway). But you’re right in that we haven’t seen O grieve for Bellamy. I’m assuming her grief is small and steady- feels like by this point she’d know how to lose someone without losing herself- but I look forward to the moment when O and Bellamy finally reunite.

    My first thought when Murphy sat down to play chess was that Shadheida was gonna get more of an intense game than he reckoned. This may be my brain retconning things, but I seem to recall Murphy having a chess board when he was stuck in the billionaire lighthouse bunker thing. And I just assumed he had a lot of time to play (not that playing solo would help you get better).

    The recruitment of the Hesperides Girl Gang felt a little off to me. Putting Dioyza and Hope in the same room, given how hard they both struggled to get back to each other, felt like an act of kindness and mercy. And the idea that someone you had imprisoned and previously tortured would just sig up to fight a war they know nothing about, for people they know nothing about….are they pumping drugs through the air ducts? Echo is unmoored and looking for her north star, so I know she’s susceptible to believing in anything right now. But why would O and the others agree to it (without getting all the facts and stipulations first)? Hrm. I still feel like this “humanity’s last war” thing is a marketing campaign by the Bardoans. But if it IS the City of Light, and their goal is to upload the consciousness of all people into some database and then kill them or something….surely, one of our 100 would spot that and stop it, after what they all went through. Right? :/

    • AW thanks! And seriously it kind of just hit me when I was thinking of Becca, and how she just kept going. And I absolutely think your analysis of O’s journey is spot on! She DOES want to be that guiding force, the comfort for Echo. I just worry that she needs to process it herself at some point, too. I also think you make a great point- especially when she compared her loss of Lincoln and how she fell apart- that this loss doesn’t have to define her as it may have a decade or two ago. But Bellamy is also her person, you know? He was everything to her for a very long time, so while I absolutely agree with your points, I am a little disappointed in Echo for like, not at least checking in with O? Like “oh hey are YOU okay?” I mean- I know grief isn’t rational and all that, but this version of Echo is a little too selfish for my taste.

      OOOOH good point about Murphy and the bunker, I hadn’t thought of that! Now that you mention it I too am picturing a game there. Maybe he watched old videos of Becca playing against the other geniuses 😂

      They honestly COULD be drugging them. I mean- there;s gotta be a reason EVERYONE is so damn loyal to Anders, right? But I agree that it seemed a little off. Like- I get that under normal circumstances they’d probably trust Echo, but Echo is off her damn rocker, so… maybe not? So what do you think the goal of the Bardoans is, if it’s indeed their ploy? I really have no idea what Anders and Cadogan are after here, but I can’t think of any way this would be the LAST war if they’re not either going to the COL (or an equivalent) OR trying to do some kind of mass human extinction event, which frankly I would NOT put beyond Crazy Cult Guy, so.

      • Beth W

        Oh FOR SURE Echo has lost it. They shouldn’t be following her for anything, but maybe they’re just trying to keep an eye on her in order to mitigate the damage she does, until they can get their pal back? That’s the intriguing drive behind it- we never got enough of Cadogan to understand why he might be invested in this. I doubt it’s just crazy, or just power-hungry….there’s a morality behind whatever the end game (just probably one that involves loss of free will, or life, would be my guess). But the fact that it’s being couched in such dramatic terms and with such finality (“the last war humanity will ever fight”) makes me think it’s one of those “war to end all wars” things (we’re going to cause huge amounts of damage on the thought that no one will mess with us after this). Extinction could work, too- kind of a “war to end humanity”, a la doomsday cultists. Which makes sense with your theory of the City of Light, if that’s the “heaven” they get to escape to after destroying everything again. But also the whole different “levels” of Bardoan faith granting you different information puts me in mind of Scientology or something….obscuring the trust purpose from as many people as possible, while focusing them on the elitism of gaining ranks, as a distraction from their terrible aims. Otherwise, why aren’t more Bardoans questioning things?

        • Yeah I definitely agree with you re: Bardoans following without question. And I think the ranks thing follows what you’re saying- Orlando presumably NEVER questioned them, so he got to Level 12. Dev, however, we can tell wasn’t totally buying into the bullshit, so he was only Level 7. And yeah I absolutely agree that it isn’t a situation like Sheidheda who’s looking to rule the world (ANY world will do hahah), there’s some far more epic endgame. And I have a feeling we;ll see part of it at least when Becca and Cadogan meet tomorrow. Like- there’s a reason he burned her at the stake, that is a clear message, not just an execution. Was he mad that Becca was actively trying to save mankind? Who knows. I think it really could be a Doomsday cult sort of thing, a Jamestown-esque situation but where Cadogan wanted way more than a group of people to die.

          As for Echo… yeah they could be just keeping an eye on her while playing along with Bardo. I mean- I hope they ARE all on the same page and are reallly just PLAYING ALONG with Bardo. Though is it just me, or could you see Echo, thinking Bellamy is dead and she has no clan left to fight for, being cool with the Doomsday thing? 😬

  3. I think Madi’s drawings are going to come into play at some point but Jackson will advocate to keep her out of whatever battle they need to fight. I think Gabriel’s choice last episode was vindicated. Who knows how long they would have been able to last on the surface! I’m surprised Cadogan has a family too!

    Sheidheda is a diabolical genius! He’s controlling every group except for Wonkru and the non-believers right now. They are all being played like chess pieces and don’t know it! Nelson was really hoping the Children of Gabriel and the Faithful could have peace. He did still think of them as his people. It was so sad when his father rejected him. He didn’t let Emori know but he really wanted it to work out. I felt bad for Emori because she really wanted this to work. She was hoping to be the one to bring peace to Sanctum and heal in the COG what she couldn’t heal in herself. Murphy thought it a bad idea but he still really wanted to be there to support her. He loves her so much! I still think he’s going to put himself on the line to save her. There’s an interesting theory going around that Emori is pregnant. I really hope she and Murphy survive!

    After 2 years we finally find out how Becho got together! I don’t mind them but it would have been a lot better if that relationship was set up on screen. Anyway, I think Echo needs something or someone to be loyal to, and without Bellamy, she’s lost that part of herself. Could be why she’s so eager to fight in the last war. She might be plotting her revenge too. I love how Octavia has grown over the past couple of seasons. She had been holding on to so much pain and bitterness since Lincoln died. Now that she’s been able to release that, she’s able to help Echo through it as well as accept her as someone Bellamy loved. Loved the Diyoza/Hope scenes. Diyoza still sees Hope as a 10-year-old and Hope is still that scared little girl. I still feel like Diyoza is going to die.

    I’m so excited for this week’s episode! I think this season is about to really take off!

    • Oh Madi’s drawings will definitely come into play! I think you’re right about Jackson trying to prevent her involvement too- might become pretty rough between him and Indra! And yeah, I still think Gabriel made the right call too. Now he’s had a chance to gather all kinds of info, and now the women will too!

      HA you are SO RIGHT about Sheidheda playing everyone like chess! It’s really such a great allegory, especially since he makes the people he’s playing IRL chess with play his chess game and they don’t even see it! My heart BROKE for Nelson. That was gutting! And for Emori, I feel like a part of her was living vicariously through Nelson’s reunification. I love her hopefulness and yearning to make the place better. Murphy is more cynical (and probably more of a realist) and knows that people are disappointing, but he does love and support her. They somehow have the healthiest relationship on the show, which is hilarious! I did see the pregnancy rumor, and I would be 100% here for that! And yes they NEED to survive! I had always really hoped that Murphy and Raven would end up together, but he and Emori have just become too perfect that I NEED them to stay safe and together.

      I just never felt the chemistry from Becho. I guess it seemed a little forced, because we all kind of saw it coming even though there was no real heat there. I have always felt like Echo cared for Bellamy way more than he cared for her- or that she loved him romantically but he loved her more in a “family” way. But you’re so right that Echo needs something to latch onto, to fight for. I just worry that she’ll throw herself all in with whatever nonsense Bardo is trying to do (because you KNOW it is nonsense hah) because she’s so desperate. I agree about O, her transformation has been STUNNING, and I am so glad we got to see it! I too am afraid that Diyoza isn’t going to make it. I can definitely see her sacrificing herself for Hope and O, without question. Plus all her friends are dead, so it’d be a little hard to give her a true happy ending.

      I am so excited too! And SAD because we are halfway to the end!

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