Whew, the antepenultimate episode, okay. Look, let’s get something straight: Because Bellamy’s death was absurd- narratively, emotionally, logically- it stands to reason that the aftermath will be equally absurd. So I need to try to separate it from the rest of the episode, for the sake of both this post and my own sanity.
Just a reminder, spoilers galore!! Like ALL the spoilers- proceed with caution!
We’re Back, Bitches?
When Clarke bloops through the Anomaly and reaches Earth… well, it’s anticlimactic because A) We know, and B) Bellamy is dead so nothing matters. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. As we recall, some of the gang has been there for a few hours, some just arrived before Clarke, and poor Gaia has spent the past week figuring she was doomed to live alone on a ghost planet for the next 80 years. Cadogan pops a pill and gets the hell out of there, and who could blame him. The fighting pits are… well, exactly as they were left over a century ago.
Clarke has a case of the sads because she just killed her soulmate over… well, nonsense that ends up being completely irrelevant by the end of the episode, and she knows she needs to confess her sins. Especially to Octavia and Echo, who she assumes are going to want her dead too.
“Get in line”– Assumingly everyone.
Oh cool, cool, they don’t care about their dead brother and lover either, olé! I know, I am being more glib than necessary, but look. While I do think Echo and Octavia probably both would have come to terms with the way things went down, I also think they’d need more than a beat to get there. But since we killed the male lead in the preantepenultimate episode, guess there’s no time for that pesky mourning and character development and such. (Sorry but I am never going to not be bitter about this, and you will all have to deal with it.)
So now that everyone is totally copacetic regarding Bellamy’s demise and hanging out in the bunker, Murphy and Raven are ready to head back to Sanctum and bring everyone with them. But Clarke doesn’t feel like it. So she smashes the helmet, in a real Abby-in-the-Apocalypse move. She claims that everyone they care about (read: everyone Clarke cares about) is on Earth, so let’s let sleeping dogs lie. Ugh, this is just not the Clarke we know and love, and I don’t think there is enough time to rehabilitate her. What a mess.
Madi is rightfully pissed and wow Team Madi all the way. Clarke keeps telling this poor child that she is making these awful choices in Madi’s name. Like, why you trying to give this kid a complex? You cannot act shitty, then put the blame on the child! This is the worst parenting I’ve seen since Jaha, and wow.
It would be “angsty teen” if she wasn’t so completely right.
The Bunker Diaries
While Clarke and Madi are fighting, there are all kinds of other developments happening in and around the bunker! I enjoyed this peek into everyone’s psyches so close to the end, especially some of the characters we haven’t spent much time with.
Niylah’s Rec Room
This is very much my favorite bunker discovery. Niylah has Monty’s moonshine, and Gabriel plays piano. I love this. Jordan and Hope start to dance, and this is all too much for Echo, who shockingly gives a crap that Bellamy is dead. She runs out, and Gabriel was going to give chase (and as it turns out, probably should have) but Niylah said she needed space. Eventually, Madi wanders in, fresh off her fight with Clarke, and sits down to play some piano with Gabriel. But at that moment, Hope and Jordan’s dancing becomes too much for Hope, and she abruptly runs off.
Gabriel tells Jordan that this is his cue to run after her, which is adorable, and off he goes. This leaves Gabriel and Madi with Niylah, who comes crawling out of an air vent, drunk as a skunk. She throws up and excuses herself, and this is the moment that we know Gabriel’s fate is sealed. My heart dropped, because Gabriel (and Chuku, who I positively adore) has been such an amazingly delightful breath of fresh air. Gabriel has the common sense that is often lacking, the insight to see beyond himself. And the old soul of someone who’s been around the sun(s) a few hundred times, obviously.
Finally, Miller and Jackson are reunited! And they’re feeling like some alone time, which good call guys. You don’t need to deal with the nonsense happening elsewhere! They share a lovely moment, one that is frankly long overdue, where they discuss what happened the last time they were in this bunker. Miller is terrified that his father wouldn’t approve of the man he’d become, and I say to that, Miller, you’re fine! Jackson reassures him too, of course, but let’s look at the facts.
David Miller spent his life protecting his people, and his son. He was no stranger to doing what he thought had to be done to save his people, like disobeying Kane and arming a bunch of kids to get his kid back from Mt Weather. Like shock-lashing Kane when Octavia (and everyone else) wanted to kill Ilian (this is, admittedly, not David’s best move, but the point stands). And this is what Miller has done since the moment the bunker doors closed. He followed and elevated Blodreina because his people needed that to make it out alive. And he has gone above and beyond since the bunker to keep protecting them. He has a loving partner, and friends who care deeply about him. He’s made a life. Yes, Miller, your father would be so, so proud.
From your mouth to god’s ear, Jackson.
Nou Blodreina Nowe
Indra and Octavia finally reunite, and it is everything I hoped for. Indra can tell that Octavia has made some real changes in her life, that the time apart has done her a world of good. And while all that is true, being back to the literal scene of the crime has sent Octavia reeling. (Nevermind the fact that her beloved brother just died, because why would we acknowledge that, but alas.)
They finally have this overdue talk, where instead of throwing blame, both women have come to accept their roles in the evolution of Blodreina. More importantly, they have come to accept that the time of Blodreina is over, and perhaps the healing can really begin as they face their demons head on.
One of the most moving moments of the whole series, frankly.
And now, their little family seems to have come full circle. From the days where they never quite understood how they fit together, they now get that each of them plays a vital role, and it’s freaking beautiful.
Fixing People and Helmets
Murphy basically throws the broken helmet in Raven’s face like “where’s your fix-it wand?” and she has to break it to him that things do not work that way. It’s kind of funny, watching Emori and Raven be the exact same amount of exasperated with Murphy
But while they’re fixing (or rather, trying to fix) a helmet with technology Raven’s barely encountered, Murphy finds another problem to solve. Her name is Hope, and he hilariously has no idea how to talk to her, but he tries, oh how he tries! Hero Murphy is in the fixing game himself, and he so desperately wants to make it better. And because he’s Murphy, he figures his glowing personality will do the trick.
Please, he’s everyone’s favorite.
I mean, he’s wrong, but it’s adorable. Anyway, Jordan takes over, and he understands Hope’s pain, after she explains that it wasn’t his rad dance moves that sent her running. She’s guilty, and he obviously understands that guilt. Perhaps not as much as Hope, since he didn’t actively kill his own mom, but the guilt of finding happiness when your parents are gone. Hope responds to that, and seems resolved to let herself feel something other than guilt again.
I thought I’d hate it but I don’t because wow someone deserves a second of happy on this hellshow.
Ashes to Nias
Poor Echo. Honestly she’s had quite a rough go of things, not even just this season but in life. Niylah comes in post-puke, wanting to know why she’s still awake if she claims to be so tired.
But Echo finally tells someone, someone alive for more than five seconds, the story of her real name. And in that moment, is devastated that she now can never tell this story to Bellamy. That she wanted to, tried to, for years, but was too scared of shattering the image of her that she’d tried to build. Niylah explains that they all have secrets and pain, and that she herself was named for Queen Nia, as her mother was Azgeda. That they lived so far into the woods so no one would ever see her mother’s scars. This was a nice bonding moment, and I was glad that Echo had someone to help hold this burden for her
The Key to Everything
Cadogan has had like, 43 “keys to everything” so far, right? Well, Madi is number 44 I guess, because she… drew a picture that is maybe Callie? I don’t quite get why anyone is so sure she has this code in her head anyway. I mean, she probably does, because this show, but why would they assume she does? She can’t have all the memories of every commander in her perfectly human brain. That is silly. And scientifically implausible. But girl draws a stone and a dead Fleimkepa and suddenly, she’s the only way to transcend. Bill brings in his new rookie for info, because Sheidheda is in the know. Honestly Bill, do you think they’re friends? Sheidheda cares zero percent about transcending, but he does want to kill Madi a lot, so he volunteers as tribute.
Sheidheda is a whole mood, frankly.
And Bill just sends him alone, fully trusting of this literal stranger who makes chairs out of skulls. Sure, sounds legit. So he lands back on Earth, invisible and such, in the rotunda. Indra, O, and Gaia are there waiting, and Indra can… feel him. Okay then. O takes off to warn Clarke, and Indra and Gaia stand there while he follows her. I get that they assumed there would be more disciples (or you know, any disciples) following him, but come on. You could have gotten a few rounds off, at least tried to kill him?
He follows a panicked Clarke and O around until Hope tells Clarke that she’s in the Rec Room. Well, that is all Sheidy needs to hear, and he locks them in the workshop to go
kill an innocent supercentenarian find Madi. Sheidheda explains to Madi, after stabbing Gabriel and tossing Mads around the room a bit, that he gives not one single fuck about Cadogan or transcending anything, he just wants to reign. But Madi has irritated him so now he just wants to stab her lots, then reign I guess.
But our beautiful hero fights Sheidheda off long enough to give Madi the chance to run to the rotunda. My heart was in pieces, but of course this is what he would do. He’d never let a child die while he had breath in his body. And Madi makes it, and Indra and Gaia are able to fend off Sheidheda. Of course, just when Indra is just about to strike the death blow (you know, for the 40th time), he stabs himself with the Magic Knife™ and flies back to Bardo.
Seriously is this guy some kind of cat?
La Muerte Es La Vida
Madi then rushes everyone back to Gabriel, who is still alive, but barely. Everyone locked in the workshop are now arriving (thanks to Murphy breaking the window and unlocking it), and Jackson and Miller are on the scene, med bag in tow. Hope, seeing as one of her oldest (and only) friends lay dying, begs Jackson to help him. But, in true Gabriel fashion, he declines.
Look Gabriel, maybe you are, but my heart sure as shit isn’t.?
And he is, truly. He has done everything he set out to do. He found his answers, he saved a little girl in his dying moments, saved the human race, as best as he could, from Bill Cadogan. Octavia understands, and begins the Traveler’s Blessing, much to Hope’s devastation. And after so much love and loss and fighting, Dr. Gabriel Santiago is finally at peace.
Cyborg Griffin over here is eerily nonplussed by any of this.
Madi is done, after witnessing yet another friend die to protect her. And she figures if Cadogan wants these memories so desperately, she’s just going to give them to him. And frankly, who could blame her? Watching these sacrifices in her name has to be gutting, to say the least. Clarke, of course, “refuses”, as though it is Clarke’s decision to make, so Madi cannot get the Magic Pills™. She opts, instead, for the Magic Knife™ to the gut. Does it have to be the gut? I feel like I’d probably try to stab something less traumatic, but alas.
Then, as soon as she’s gone, the Stone opens yet again. Only this time, it’s a bomb. Miller has the wherewithal to yeet the thing behind some locked door, so everyone in the rotunda is fine. Not fine, however? Murphy and Emori, who happen to be wandering the halls for reasons.
- I had a terrible realization. If Monty just left everyone in cryo, including himself and Harper, and checked it out every few decades, everyone would still be alive and just… that is something I don’t really want to think more about. Greg made the point that it “cheapens Marper’s death”, and I think that’s it- this amazing gift that they gave their friends suddenly seems less so, and wow, that is rude.
- Not to negate the beauty of Gabriel’s death in any way, but… this was the sort of death Bellamy deserved. And so did Gabriel, please don’t misunderstand! I am so, so grateful for it, frankly. It was so true to who he was, it felt honest and narratively appropriate… I just wish Bellamy had gotten the same. Or, you know, stayed alive.
- How many “fatal” wounds is Sheidheda going to survive, exactly? I mean. You can’t save Bellamy, Gabriel, Diyoza, Nelson… but we can keep on saving Sheids, eh? ?
- Guess Orlando really is dead. Look, at least I was right about Earth, can’t win ’em all, I suppose. I still think it’s weird that they talked so much about it, but maybe that is because everyone mourned Orlando, a one-episode character, more than Bellamy Freaking Blake. Wonder why I’d be skeptical… ?
- WHY is Bill so sure he needs to “fight for all mankind” and why does everyone agree with him? Like you know what happens if they don’t bother with this weirdass war? LITERALLY NOTHING. Why has no one said “Or, Bill, hear me out, what if we just… don’t”?! Like he has not offered us any actual reason, only… because Becca told him not to? That is, quite frankly, a terrible reason. ?♀️
Episode 7×15: The Dying of the Light
Emori needs to be okay, we’ve lost too much already. And for the love of god, can we please not have two big bads left going into the finale? I’m tired.
- Honestly I am with Jordan, this war is stupid. Like what is wrong with you people? Just… stop it.
- At least they let us know that Murphy and Emori are alive? I mean, thank goodness for small favors at this point, I didn’t need that cliffhanger hanging over me all week. Obviously, we know this can change at a moment’s notice, but I will take what I can get.
- If Cadogan starts hurting little girls, wow he is just a stereotypical villain. I hope someone mentions Callie, and how pissed he’d be if someone was tapping her memories.
- Seriously who the hell is going to join Clarke in this absurd fight? I wouldn’t! I get that certain fights needed to happen, but wow this is not one of those times. I’d have backed her at Mount Weather, stood by her in the battle against ALIE, helped her head-stomp McCreary, but this just seems foolish.