The 100 Season 5 Episode 2 Review: Red Queen

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Bloody, conflicted, and violent.

These are the words that floated around in my mind, in between me mourning the cannibalism plot though because I could never forget what could have been.

In general, though, this episode was long awaited because of the praise it managed to gain very early on. You have to admit that this self-contained story of the bunker's progression within the six-year time frame was a successful example of turning the tables on your audience.

Almost everything that was expected of this storyline got delivered in a way that none of us saw coming, in fact, it played out way better and it felt like the observations or worries that the audience had before was taken into consideration when approaching this episode.

Octavia Blake in the Bunker - The 100 Season 5 Episode 2

During The 100 Season 5 Episode 2, the bunker discovered quickly that they were going to have to prepare for more than five years down there. This meant that relationships between different clans grew worse, resources were reconsidered, and people started to put plans into action that would guarantee their survival.

Octavia though had the bulk of the story, someone who wasn't looking to be a leader and yet by the end of the episode embraced her position as the person in charge of everything.

She went from allowing Kane and Abby and Jaha to allow their input, to deciding big picture things like population reduction all by herself. 

Is Octavia taking it too far though?

The bunker wasn't yours to give. Jaha found it, it belonged to us. You had no right.


The Development Octavia Didn't See Coming

It was all Bellamy's fault. 

While Selina Wilken from Hypable makes the case that this was all Niylah's fault, I have to point out that Bellamy Blake is to blame.

Niylah was trying to get the girl; somehow she got the memo that the way to Blake's heart is through a book that held sentimental value when they were younger. 

Instead, though, Octavia decided to take inspiration from something to which I am sure Bellamy never meant for her to pay attention. Using the gladiators to shift her form of punishment and a move to avoid population reduction cannot end well for anyone involved.

It is a far cry from eating people, something that did come up in conversation like Marie mentioned at Unity Days, but that was the exact scenario that Octavia was trying to avoid.

Now people are fighting to the death to be pardoned for their crime, with Octavia finally figuring out what it means to be a leader.

Look what I found. I know Bellamy used to read you the parts about Ancient Rome.


This is where Jaha comes in, or more specifically where the Ark and its forced structure appear. Octavia suffered from the day she was born because the Ark didn't allow her even to exist, and now here she is trying to think of her version of population control that doesn't involve hurting innocent people.

It has to be said though that the issues that Octavia is dealing with have to be traced back to her own decision in the first place.

Octavia decided that she would let everyone in, which created an issue with the bunker being filled up to capacity. Then a problem arose when the door to the bunker got covered by the remains of Polis, which isn't her fault but you can't expect everything to go okay for the next six years.

You have to account for random issues and problems that you thought about lightly but for which you didn't plan. Filling the bunker to the brim, specifically with groups of people who don't like one another and then expecting everything to run smoothly isn't a very good plan.

And that is precisely what happens when the grounders that Octavia chose to let in even though they weren't meant to have any space then turned on her, instead choosing to attack the Sky People and create more tension from within.

The Future of the Bunker - The 100

They weren't the only ones of course, but they set the mood for how relationships between everyone continued down there. 

Octavia and Jaha working together was a wonderful way to bring back this duo one last time. His advice was worth listening to, but I forgot that Jaha was talking to Octavia and her idea of leading involves blood and death.

It was intense when she demanded that everyone be loyal as a group or be an enemy, and it moved toward the tone the show tends. 

Somehow Octavia also made it possible to be covered in even more blood than she usually is.

Regardless, I find myself gravitating more to this Octavia because now it doesn't feel like I have to. She isn't being presented as someone whose choices can't be questioned.

To me at least, there were specific moments where I knew Octavia was making a bad decision and didn't feel like the narrative was going to try to guide me in the other direction.

If anything, this season so far is making Octavia more conflicting to us as the viewer, leaving more room for us to question her and yet at the same time be even more curious about where this leads her next.

Allowing us space to form our own opinion, one that doesn't fall under right or wrong has successfully let Octavia be more interesting again.

Related: The 100: Season 5 Preview: Welcome Back, Nothing is How You Left It

Kane and Abby Trapped Together Yet Apart

So all that happened. 

I didn't see Abby's addiction coming. It was introduced without too much detail yet, and there has to be a reason for it.

Abby was suffering, both because of the guilt that came from her surviving something she didn't plan to live through and now knowing her daughter was up there asking for help but they couldn't save her. 

But she is also a doctor, which for me begged the question of the pain that she was going through and how bad must it have been for her to start to rely on pills. 

On top of that, Ian wasn't lying when he referred to Kane and Abby's relationship as more tragic when the season returned. Kane is trying his best to make Abby see why he couldn't let her die, which was a selfish decision but makes plenty of sense.

Meanwhile, Abby is trying to survive and begins to count on these pills that we don't get a read on yet. Which in this case I am hoping gets touched upon more because this needs to be explained.

Abby Griffin in the Bunker - The 100 Season 5 Episode 2

While this is an arc that will most likely be a steady presence in Abby's life and her relationship with Kane, the detail that we have on it is limited, and that isn't good. 

Right now my feelings about both Kane and Abby include a genuine worry about how they will handle all of this and confusion about where their story may be going.

Maybe once they reunite with everyone else, they will have a role to play with the prisoners and the land that is up for grabs?

Right now though, I want to know what happened with Abby and if this is what created enough of an issue with Octavia to send him into the fighting pits.

Him appearing there, in the end, wasn't shocking because the trailer had our backs, I was honestly waiting for that moment, and yet it felt fresh because I have no idea what caused it. 

All I know is that I have so many questions that I am counting on being answered before I get too worried about the faith of one of our favorite bunker couples. 

Related: The 100: Mental Health and The Necessity of Moving On

Proper Jaha Goodbye

I never really knew how I felt about Jaha, but I knew that his interactions with other characters brought out some of the best scenes of all time.

So knowing that Jaha was dying was a decent way to enter the episode because it almost made me treasure his moments more. 

Jaha was already winning this episode because of the small arc he got to explore, but little moments like helping Niylah with her wheel or trying to protect his people in their quarters became that much more memorable.

It makes sense that Jaha left as this big metaphor for leadership officially transferring over to Octavia.

While Jaha didn't have to die for Octavia to take over, his death takes away the crutch that she may have formed. She can't just go check in with him when she isn't sure or has a question.

Octavia only has their last words together and the memory of what Jaha wanted her to learn from him as advice that she can utilize. 

Take me home, Marcus. Take me to my wife. Take me to Wells.


Still, the idea of Jaha and Ethan living in the bunker and getting a nice break from the constant chaos was a daydream I wish I hadn't indulged in because it made saying goodbye to Jaha that much more difficult. 

The New Characters and Their Future 

Kara Cooper is here, and I am going to cast my curious vote for her. 

When she first appeared I had no idea what to think; it helped that the actress put the character on my radar before I watched the episode. 

While it feels like her story is one we have heard plenty of times before, especially in the scope of Farm Station, it was probably the way that her arc was a twist that first went unnoticed by me that made her stay on my radar.

There is much more I want to know about Kara's relationship with Octavia. Specifically, she appears to be someone of value to her now so what happened during these six years that shifted dynamics this way?

But at the same time, I find myself focused more on Octavia's relationships with people like Gaia and Indra. Gaia, in particular, found herself going against years and years of structure based on the role of the Commander.

While Octavia is a leader that now it seems everyone has accepted regardless of the color of her blood, it can't go unmentioned that Madi, for example, is still a true nightblood.

There has to be a story there that has yet to be told, especially if we consider the destruction that has continued in the bunker all these years and people like Gaia looking to follow the guidelines as the Flamekeeper. 

The blood of our enemies is your armor.


As for Ethan, he was only known to us as the little boy that Jaha was looking after. Their relationship didn't last long, but there is no doubt that Jaha was trying to honor Wells by looking after Ethan and trying to teach him the same values. 

With Jaha out of the picture though, Ethan's future took a turn. Especially with the way that order has been restored in the bunker, Ethan very likely witnessed the brutal fighting pits from a young age and that had to have played a role in how he sees the world.

The end of the episode showed us Ethan watching the chaos, and I hope that wasn't the last we saw of him.

Even just in contrast between Madi's last few years of relative peace and happiness with Clarke compared to Ethan's bloody vision of survival is something worth digging into more. 

Related: The 100: Bellamy and Clarke's Destruction of the Friend Zone

Stray Thoughts

  • Miller and Jackson weren't touched upon too much yet, but it was great to see them regardless. It feels like there is more detail being created around their relationship, specifically Jackson's search for the courage that Miller is fine with being the one to bring to the relationship.

    Although I still wonder how Miller's allegiance to Octavia affects both him and his relationship.
  • We didn't see Niylah during the present time in the bunker, and I am worried. Is she doing okay? Is she getting enough water? More importantly, is she staying safe and out of harm's way? Did she finally get the girl or did Octavia's jokes about her looking like a snack scare her away?
  • Do you think Octavia applies that bloody makeup daily or does she have someone else do it?
  • Kane has a man bun, and it has got to go, it has no place in this new world of cool hairstyles. It looks like even McCreary might be winning the hair game this time around.
  • Fun Fact: I for some reason heard Ethan call Jaha "Theo" and thought it was Ethan being called that. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that his name was Ethan, and I still forget sometimes. 

What did you think of this bunker focused episode? Did Jaha's short arc stand out to you? Will you miss the character or was it his time to leave and for Octavia to take over? What did you think of the choices that Octavia had to make? Will Abby and Kane be okay? Let us know what you think below!

And don't forget that you can watch The 100 online, right here on TV Fanatic!

Red Queen Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (40 Votes)

Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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