Ah, this type of episode. I feel like we have one of these every season, where the fandom is mad and everything is bleak and we all want to cry. But look. Every other season, it’s been for the best, and I absolutely think it will be here too. I wish I possessed this level of unyielding optimism in other facets of life, but here we are. While no one is tickled to see Sheids murdering folks or our favorite females being brainwashed, it’s all part of the bigger plan, right? So let’s get to it!
Just a reminder, spoilers galore!! Like ALL the spoilers- proceed with caution!
30 Days Ago on Bardo…
I had a feeling that we were only going to be in the past on Bardo and in the present in Sanctum this episode. Which, I think is why people are a little “meh” about it, frankly. I absolutely loved watching the women train on Bardo, and I definitely think we got some great insight, but when most of your leads are missing, it’s rough.
The first order of business with our newly released recruits is, of course, for Anders to begin prepping them for the “last war”. Oh Anders, this is going to be epically stupid, isn’t it? He has a plan, of course: To rid them of their wretched “bonds”, namely to each other.
Ironically enough, if you abbreviate this motto, it spells “FAM”. 🤷♀️
First stop on the Bardoan Express is the outside! We’re privy to why exactly it would have been a hell of a mistake to go up there, and why running now will unequivocally not be helpful.
Of course he did, he’s Gabriel.
But the women want to know where Gabriel is, since he was kind of part of the team and they haven’t seen him since he (apparently) saved them. Anywho, Anders neither confirms nor denies that this is what/who they will be fighting. He’s purposely vague about… well, whatever he feels like being vague about, but in this instance it’s because he straight up doesn’t know what or who they’re up against. Because no one, save a very crispy Becca Franko, knows.
None of the women look particularly tickled to be doing this, but they’re playing along, at least partly open-mindedly. Except, that is, for Hope. I can’t help but wonder if this is because Hope is the youngest, or has the least outside world experience. Her world thus far has consisted of a very few key people who she literally lives for. Asking her to relinquish that is probably something she can’t even wrap her mind around. She’s never had to hide her feelings, never actually had to navigate a world in which people are using her as pawns. Meanwhile, it’s pretty much all the other women have ever known.
There is both physical training and mental/emotional training, in the form of some Divergent-esque mindcap exercises where the women have to face fears, and make hypothetical decisions. It’s all part of the “break their emotional bonds” process in order to train them to put the war before their friends/family. And look, I have no idea if it is working. I think there’s a real chance that Diyoza and Octavia are pretending to be drinking the Kool-Aid, but Echo… I don’t know, honestly. Maybe she’s just really awesome at pretending, but I think that isn’t as likely as her having jumped into this cause just like Hope accused her of doing.
Even here, where Echo tases her pals in order to win, I was still thinking she might be playing along. But something in her changes. In the classroom, she comments that the Bardo kids had it better than she ever did. It just seemed like the further along in the process they got, the more her facial expressions looked committed instead of a mask of obedience.
Meanwhile, Levitt comes to explain to Octavia that they all (but she specifically of course) must pass the final exam, which is some kind of mindcap test. If not, he reiterates, Anders will absolutely send them to Penance to die alone, one by one. It does sound completely miserable, so I get wanting to avoid that. But looks like Levitt has come down with a pesky case of The Attachments™.
I ship you, please don’t die.
And eventually, their final exam comes to be. They must decide what to do in a simulation in which one of the four decides to take out the entirety of Bardo. We watch as Echo begrudgingly kills SimHope rather than let her kill the Bardo people.
Or maybe it’s just payback for the bitchy comment from before.
Even Diyoza and Octavia are able to kill Hope in the simulation, if it means saving everyone else. Hope at first is able to attack SimDiyoza when she attempts to firebomb the oxygen farm, but when SimDiyoza tells her that Echo, O, and Gabriel are waiting for them in the Stone room safe as can be, Hope is like “cool, cool, blow it up”. And she fails, the only of the four who is unable to put “mankind” above her loyalty to her people. (Or, at least the only one of the four who isn’t good at faking it.)
During the ceremony where they get their new face tats, Anders basically gives Echo a Star Student award and tells her because of her excellence in training/assimilation, he’s going to give her the “honor” of choosing Hope’s punishment. Okay first of all, this is a complete and total trap, because Echo cannot possibly give Hope a lesser punishment, or Anders will know she’s not assimilated as much as she claims. Echo has no choice here, so she sentences Hope to five years on Skyring.
Here’s the thing: You can see in both Octavia’s and Diyoza’s eyes the sheer horror and regret and revulsion of this. They are using every ounce of strength they have to not do something to stop it. And look, I know Echo is a spy and all, but nothing in her body or face betrays how much she hates this, or regrets it, or wishes she didn’t have to do it. So either Echo is legit the best ever at acting like she is one of them… or she is one of them. And I genuinely am not sure which it is.
Meanwhile, in Sheidyville…
Murphy straight up needs to grab the handful of sensible people left on this hellscape (Emori, Indra, Jackson, Madi, BA, and Jae the Cookie Man, obvs) and head to the Stone, let Sanctum burn down. This place is a disaster and this is coming from a planet with multi-pocalypses. Anyway, things pick up where they left off, with Nikki and her guns commandeering Emori’s reunification party. She makes an announcement that she has some killin’ to do, and Raven, Murphy, and Russheda’s names are on the guest list.
I mean, right though?
Luckily, Indra picks this exact moment to come back from Chez Gabriel, because these fools would have 100% gotten themselves killed.
They come up with some absurd plan that involves tunnels and securing Sheidheda a good chess partner? Idk but I am sure this will all work out perfectly. I feel like Indra should know better, tbh? This guy is not going to let her be in charge because literally the only thing he wants is for him to be in charge, so.
I think he needs some kind of Chessers Anonymous.
Nikki’s first demand is that “Daniel”, “Kaylee”, and “Russell” tell the people of Sanctum who they really are. They do, and it’s kind of hilarious how shocked the Faithful are. The only one wearing a very “told you so” face is Zev, and I won’t lie, I felt a little happy for him. (Sidenote: Why do we have two characters named Zev and Dev? It’s confusing, thanks.) But when Sheidy gets up, he basically laughs at them for ever following Russell, laughs at Russell for existing, and is basically delighting in the fact that these people are now miserable shells and have lost everything they ever lived for.
Only problem, Raven never showed up, on account of her being on a different planet. Regardless, Murphy is not going to let anyone hurt either Raven or Emori, so he goes ahead and does the least Murphy thing ever: Takes the blame himself.
Is that incredible character development leaking from my eyes?
And again, Indra chooses the right moment to pop in. Wonkru is here, and they have guns, woo! Idk where they found them, maybe from the Disciples? Whatever, doesn’t matter, they are able to disarm Nikki before she can do much damage, and Indra orders them to lock Sheidheda in with the Faithful, assuming that they will do her dirty work for her.
Oh Indra, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
That didn’t go great, let’s be real. Emori and Murphy realize what is happening before Indra or Wonkru does, but in the rush to get the Faithful out, Murphy lets it slip that he is in fact Sheidheda. Knight and the other Sangedakru warriors drop to their knee as the door opened, revealing Sheidy’s bloodbath. Penn and those loyal to Indra don’t kneel, but I have a feeling we are in for another hell of a fight.
- Keep mentioning Orlando so I can be even surer he is alive. 🙄 No other “dead” character has been mentioned more than this fool, and that is because he is not dead. Either that or he’s the murder worms of this season, and that would be exhausting.
- Speaking of, maybe Hope will run into him and Gaia on Skyring! The irony of Hope ending up older than Diyoza is…. something.
- Time to acquiesce that Bellamy probably is on Etherea, right? I’mma still lie to myself and pretend we’ll see Earth again though, yeah?
- No seriously, why has no one just SHOT SHEIDHEDA?! It’s starting to be a legit plot hole at this point. No one cares enough about the unity of Wonkru to deal with this special brand of awful. 🤷♀️
- How sad is Murphy going to be that Sheidy killed “Jer”? They never did get that drink. 😭
Episode 7×10: A Little Sacrifice
Time for a hiatus, le sigh. It’s two weeks, and I feel like it’s going to be rough. But can I just say, I adore the episode name?
- The only thing Gabriel should be sacrificing is Cadogan. I said what I said.
- I swear to Indra that I will end whoever hurts Levitt. First, you cannot do Octavia dirty like that again. Like literally every time she finds a lover, dude dies, one faster than the next. Second, Levitt is a precious cinnamon roll, so hands off.
- Has Clarke done anything but hold guns at people this season? She needs a new shtick, guys. It’s getting old.
- What the crap is Indra gonna do now? Another Conclave? Ugh this is going to go swimmingly, eh? Now the factions have factions and I just want her to grab the gang and jump into the Stone, let Sanctum burn at this point, we’re tired.
- Someone should explain to Sheidy that if he kills all the people, there won’t be anyone left for him to lord over. I thought he fancied himself intelligent, but here we are.