And that’s a wrap! Despite the seemingly cheery intro, I am mostly a mess of emotions, so try to bear with me as I do this, one last time.
Just a reminder, spoilers galore!! Like ALL the spoilers- proceed with caution!
So You Wanna Start a War
I mean, no one wants to miss out on the “Last War”, right? So we gotta hightail it to Bardo! Problem is, quite a few of our faves are still stuck in the Rotunda, on Earth. Some of the others are trying desperately to save Emori on Sanctum. And a few more are on Bardo proper, but not quite at the Stone Room yet. So let’s check in!
Raven, Murphy, and Jackson bloop in with Emori in tow, barely alive. Jackson starts to get the defibrillator, as she’s crashing and needs some help. He starts to tell Raven how to use it, but she’s got this, she self-defibrillates on the reg, after all. And yay, Emori is back to the land of the living! But Jackson worries that she’s just not that stable, and he needs to get the large metal rod out of her side. Raven wants to help, but Jackson tells her that she needs to go save everyone, stat. So, she trades places with Miller, sort of. We’ll get to that, but Miller’s been tagged in, and Jackson is understandably thrilled to see him. Murphy would prefer that their reunion wait until Emori does not have pieces of the bunker coming out of her abdomen, which, fair.
So Jackson tells Miller to hold her steady, and he begins the extraction. It goes… well, look, it goes terribly. And Emori doesn’t make it. Jackson tries to restart her heart medically, but she has just been through too much trauma, lost too much blood, and her body just cannot. Murphy is completely and totally devastated, as you’d imagine. So he does what any immortal fellow would do- tries to grab the mind drive out of her head, and throw it into his own. Jackson doesn’t want him to do this, for it shall kill Murphy, too. But Miller calms Jackson down by telling him that if the situation was reversed, he’d do anything for more time with Jackson. It’s brutally sad and beautiful, and Jackson relents, knowing he’d do the same.
Frankly, I concur.
She’s mad when she realizes what he has done, begs and pleads with him to take her mind out of his body, but he won’t. No, he can’t. And this shows us how truly far John Murphy has come. Instead of survival at any cost, he would rather give up the rest of his life, even his chance at immortality, to spend a few more hours alive with Emori. We end in Sanctum with Murphy and Emori dancing in the mindspace as Jackson and Miller dance on Sanctum, while Murphy lies unconscious next to Emori’s lifeless body.
I cried so hard I thought I’d throw up, so that happened.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Raven pops in just in time, with just the right resources to get everyone the heck out of there. Well, everyone but Gaia. She’s hunting, and no one has time to wait. (Read: Tati was filming something else that day and we’re meant to believe Indra would leave her kid alone on an abandoned planet.)
The Resources are here!
They manage to cut through the debris without cutting through Echo and Niylah, which is kind of remarkable considering I assume tons of concrete are tougher than the human body but what do I know? But anyway, they’re free to get to the Stone, and to Bardo to stop (or participate in? I honestly can’t keep track) The War.
But they do need a plan, because a handful of randos fleeing into a live army is probably not going to work out great. And our boy genius has an idea!
And his mom. For the love of god his mom is awesome.
I might have yelled “EMP!” at my TV screen, it’s fine. I knew that would be his idea, and I love it! So sciency, so peaceful! Now, with a halfway decent plan thrown together, they head off to War or Test or whatever.
Clarke is racing to get to the Stone, with Levitt and Octavia flanking her. They all know by now that Bill Cadogan is the last person who should be representing mankind, but when Clarke gets to the Stone… looks like it’s occupied at the moment!
Uh oh! Captain Cult is already taking this particular test, which we have found out is a test, thanks Not-Callie, and Clarke figures that no one really ever said she can’t follow him into the testing room, so… off she goes!
Bang, Shots Fired
Because Clarke killed her bestie and replaced him with her Season 7 bestie, Guns, she doesn’t try to chat with Cadogan or Not-Callie first, she goes right for the murdering. Not-Callie vanishes with Bill’s death, replaced by Not-Lexa. Look, I am no expert, but when you are taking a test to determine the fate of the human race, I am going to go ahead and say that killing other members isn’t going to be a good look. Just a guess.
Or more than a guess, because Not-Lexa clearly agrees with me. Maybe you should have, I don’t know, tried to talk it out first? Clarke is super excited to see Lexa, but Not-Lexa has to remind her that she’s, you know, not Lexa. Clarke says she knows this, but she’s hugging on that alien stranger pretty hard. Not-Lexa wants to continue the test, because apparently the test cannot be stopped once it’s begun. You know, Not-Lexa, when you make the rules, you can change them, just saying.
And Not-Lexa feels some sympathy for Clarke, it’s true. But she also figures that if Clarke’s vengeance-filled motives are representative of humanity, then it’s no bueno. Is it just me, or did this species seem to have already made its mind up long before Clarke or Cadogan entered the scene? Clarke leaves, completely defeated and devastated (but also honestly a little resigned, which is fair). She has to break it to her friends that they’re about to be hit with some Gem-9 and she’s pretty messed up over it.
Clarke goes to be with Madi, while Levitt and O realize that they need to go stop the Wonkru/EIV army that just popped onto the battle field. While they head off, Raven decides she might as well try her hand at saving humanity.
Not-Abby is on the Ark to greet Raven. Not-Abby finds it interesting that this is the form Raven’s mind chose. Cool, we’re not. Anywho, Not-Abby really isn’t feeling giving humans another chance. Apparently not because she can’t but she just doesn’t think humanity has earned it. Raven, like Clarke before her, doesn’t really understand what gives these randomass aliens the right to judge other species, and frankly, hard same. Like, excuse you Judge, who appointed you overlord of the universe?! I mean, humans have done horrible things, it’s true, but also eradicating entire species is also pretty brutal, yet you’re over here flexing morality? Sounds fake.
Not-Abby doesn’t actually care about this absurd
plot hole double standard, and tells Raven that while Raven is trying to save them, they’re over on Bardo ready to annihilate each other. Raven isn’t buying it, because she knows that they had a plan just to distract the Disciples, but Not-Abby shows her how tense the scene is.
This Judge is a bit of a Debbie Downer, yeah?
And why is it so tense, if no one planned on fighting and Jordan EMPed everything? One word: Sheidheda. Indra is trying to calm everyone down after Sheids fires an errant shot, but he is having none of it, and opens fire, even as Levitt runs onto the field in an attempt to stop the Disciples from firing back. But Sheidheda cares not one percent about stopping a war. He probably wants to take over this planet, too.
Talk about dooming humanity.
Unfortunately, Levitt is hit in the crossfire without succeeding in stopping anything. Not-Abby is looking way too smug for my tastes, and O and Echo race out to save Levitt. Echo takes a hit too, and O tries to keep them both alive, on the off-chance they transcend. Hope and Jordan see this go down, and they come to help. Levitt has full faith in O to stop this war, so she tells Jordan and Hope to keep Echo and Levitt alive, and off she goes to stop a war instead of fight in one. Indra has the wherewithal and the cold hard firepower to stop Sheidheda, once and for all. Once this albatross is eliminated, Octavia has the floor.
This is satisfying, I won’t lie.
So You Wanna Be Immortal
Octavia finally has a break in the bullets, and she takes advantage of the stunned silence on both sides to put the kibosh on this once and for all. She tells the Disciples that if they’re trying to fight for all mankind, they are all mankind and they need to cool it with the shooting or no one will transcend.
Wonkru/EIV is already behind Indra and willing to lay their arms down, and it’s up to the Disciples now. Raven is giddy excited, thinking that it might be working. Not-Abby is kind of shocked as the Disciples lay down their weapons, and apparently, it’s good enough to convince her that humans can change, because folks start floating away in little golden bubbles. Meanwhile, Clarke holds Madi, and sees her struggling to let go, to transcend. She begs her to go, tells Madi she’ll be okay, and Madi finally relents.
We see humans all around transcending, and Clarke realizes that no one is left on Bardo. She sees the forms of those who have transcended, and decides to leave Bardo. She heads to look for signs of life on Sanctum, but she comes up empty- mostly.
And that is how Clarke figures she will spend her days. With Picasso, living on Earth. They go to make a home for themselves, but as soon as she gets out of the bunker, Picasso takes off running. Clarke runs as fast as she can after Picasso, begging the feline friend not to leave her alone. My heart truly broke for her, because talk about an awful fate- being the last of your species, totally alone, forever.
But that is when Not-Lexa shows up again. She wants to explain to Clarke, but Clarke needs no explanation. She bears it so they don’t have to. Again. Not-Lexa agrees to an extent. It isn’t that Clarke is somehow a worse human than the others, but she killed someone during the test and they cannot let that go unpunished. I suppose that’s fair, but still. Kind of evil. Clarke says she’d do it again, and Not-Lexa tells Clarke that Madi knew she’d say that. Clarke is so relieved that Madi is safe, and Not-Lexa assures her that Madi is in no pain and will live forever. And that she knew Clarke would never forgive Madi if she left Transcendence to be with Clarke, even if it meant that Clarke would be alone. Not-Lexa then says the decision was probably easier for Madi knowing Clarke would not be alone.
Not-Lexa further explains that they won’t be able to procreate, and that when they die they will not join the Transcendence, but that it was their choice. That no one had ever made that choice before, but that “humans are curious creatures indeed”. Clarke is welcomed by her family with smiles and hugs, and it’s kind of everything.
- Seriously I hope Gaia yelled at some folks for abandoning her on Earth. She’s trapping rabbits in the woods, wondering where everyone is, then suddenly her body starts disappearing, yeah I’d be salty.
- Raven Reyes and Eric Jackson will engineer some babies, I don’t care what Not-Lexa says. Raven will come up with the plan, then she’ll grab Jackson and head to Sanctum, where Gabriel’s tech will help them. Memori and Mackson babies GALORE.
- The thing I like about Bellamy not transcending is that Bellarke will be together one day. I mean look, if Clarke and company transcended, they would never see any of their other family and friends again, right? You’re telling me Jordan and Hope would never be reunited with their parents!? No Blake Family reunion?! Nope, no way, I do not buy that, so in a sense I think that worked out perfectly.
- Transcendence in general is high key dumb though, right? Like… isn’t it just The City of Light, Redux? And didn’t we fight a whole ass war to not go there? I mean- the difference, I guess, is that the aliens did give them a choice, which is good. Still, a little sketch.
- Also, couldn’t the Judge have just done a quick “ask again later”? I think the true explanation for her just not leaving the humans to their own devices and not killing them but not transcending them immediately is “half the cast would have bled out”, and if that was the alternative, okay, golden bubbles it is. 🤷♀️
- Can people decide later to un-transcend? Greg made a good point that he can’t exactly see Nikki playing nice with the Alien Mind Horde, so… can they kick her out? Can she ragequit? I need answers!
- The music for this episode (and the series at large, frankly), was incredible. Between Tree Adams’ always emotive and moving score, to the songs chosen for the big scenes… I shed many a tear, is what I am saying.
I will eventually do some kind of full-series recap/thoughts/whatever. Maybe even a series of them, who knows. But I will be taking some time to process before then.
- Bellamy could have so easily been there. Look, I don’t doubt that some kind of life stuff interfered with the season storyline in general. I get it. But you cannot tell me that Bob wouldn’t have been down for filming one scene, because I know he would have. So it’s extra infuriating. He could have been injured in Sanctum, then back for that last scene, to quickly forgive Clarke or some such thing. One hug, it was all we needed to like, not have this torment hanging over our heads until we transcend.
- I am pretty glad that Cadogan and Sheids didn’t make it. I mean, can you even imagine Sheidheda joining the Collective Mind? Ha! Those aliens would rue the day! And Cadogan… the irony is just fitting, and that’s that.
- I know people are salty about Madi transcending and Clarke staying on Earth but I think it’s good. I mean it’s honestly just too depressing to leave a child there alone, right? Even given my headcanon of Raven engineering babies. This way she gets to be with the people she started to form bonds with in Sanctum, and hopefully be happy.
- No seriously, can we crowdfund Bellamy showing up with the others? I’ll legit pay anything, it’s the one thing that would have made this easier to handle. 🙏
- In general, I loved the end. I think that might be unpopular? And I don’t agree about the Bellamy bit, obviously. And I think transcendence is dumb. But look, I like where the characters we have known and loved ended up, and I love that they came together to support Clarke and each other. It was lovely and hopeful, and considering how Season 7 went down, it’s probably better than I expected. Also, I love the last scene, so please enjoy!