The days when things were calm no longer exist, with even more chaos descending not only regarding plot but in terms of characters and their relationships as well.
"Sic Semper Tyrannis," written by Miranda Kwok, was a fast-paced episode that explored how far some relationships can get divided when peace is so close for the taking.
Choices are no longer given any time to be discussed. Instead, the execution becomes a ticking time bomb that chips away at even the most stable relationships on the show.
It is painful because now it is even more clear which priorities weigh on which person more, and the betrayal that each character experiences personal from that is hard to recover from.
The biggest hit was the core relationship of the show, with the six-year distance that managed to take a back seat now driving huge wedges and putting people in a position they never thought they would find themselves in.
Rest assured that the pain is at the forefront, and everyone's heart is bleeding right about now.
Through all this, choices were made that are still hard to comprehend, especially when they are at such odds with one another.
With Bellamy supporting Madi taking the flame and Clarke leaving the others behind for Octavia to deal with, it is hard to find the bright spot in any of this when everyone feels so alone.
"Sic Semper Tyrannis" ventured into emotional places that will be very hard to recover from, in fact, there is a big worry that with so few episodes left that time isn't on our side. Trying to get peace while at the same time trying to work out a six-year distance is a math problem that even Raven couldn't solve too easily.
The question becomes, where does everyone go from here?
During The 100 Season 5 Episode 9, Bellamy decided that Madi taking the flame was the only way to get Octavia's power stripped from her in the name of peace. Meanwhile, Clarke had to figure out how to stop that from happening and ended up leaving with Madi while the others were arrested.
Over in Shallow Valley, Murphy starts a riot that then gets turned on him when they all find out that the others at the bunker were trying to score them peace and now that isn't as easy to execute.
Clarke's Mismatched Place Without A Family
What is it that they say about nothing going to bed angry? Maybe they need a new version of that that covers not leaving everyone behind when you're angry.
To be fair, it isn't like Clarke had anyone there to listen to her while she struggled for half the episode in that room.
Walking through all that happened means thinking about the fact that Clarke was locked up, and had two check-ins about the state of Madi's life while most decisions were being made without her.
Getting peace is essential at a time when everything is about to fall apart but is it fair for everyone to fixate on a child to solve their problems and only remembering Clarke when they made their decisions already?
This was the state that Clarke was in the whole time, she was trying to do anything when she was at a complete disadvantage chained away and left to wait around for the next update.
Bringing the fight to Octavia when she had the chance seemed confusing, if only because going directly to the source made sense in terms of Madi not having that flame inside her.
Octavia still offered Clarke something that no one else was willing, there was a genuine attempt at a compromise that took both people's plans into account.
Genuine doesn't feel like the best word considering Octavia was already one step ahead waiting to kill Clarke when she got what she wanted, but still, there is something to be said about the fact that Clarke felt like there was no one there to listen to her that she chose to hear Octavia's plan out.
Leaving everyone behind to get to Eden was the predictable decision in all this, it allowed for Madi to not be used as a pawn by everyone else, mainly since that flame was already inside her head.
Yet Clarke's decision to leave them all behind is the real sign that she has reached that point where only her heart is at play.
Choosing to leave Indra, Gaia, and Bellamy to figure it out is an all around revenge plan. Clarke doesn't see it that way, but it is a choice that she made in response to them leaving her in that room without a choice of her own.
Bellamy if I do this, she’ll never forgive you.Madi
It validates her feelings of anger, and yet it is also stupid.
Clarke is hurt, there is no question about that, and there shouldn't be. But choosing to leave them there when a second ago she saw how little Octavia cared even in a situation when a deal was struck should have been a sign for Clarke.
In fact, Clarke is one of the multiple examples of how getting to peace creates divisions amongst groups that go too far. In the heat of the moment leaving with Madi before things escalate even more makes complete sense.
And yet, it isn't fair to the group of people that went about it a harsh way, but that they were still trying to figure out how to get peace and keep Clarke safe.
Leaving with Madi was a very Clarke thing to do because this season so far has consistently been exactly that. Threatening Madi's safety was the way to make Clarke snap and yet there is no way to avoid the frustration that comes with Clarke's decision.
It isn't difficult to examine why Clarke chose the situation that she did. This was her breaking point, and this was the hard boundary line that she set up with everyone.
And yet she left them.
It is like a sign in space that Clarke left them all to die and that can't be avoided.
She was angry but did that warrant putting all of their lives on the line in a way that none of them were looking to do for her? As much as it hurt what they decided to do against her better judgment, Clarke was in the same position, and Bellamy specifically was looking to make sure she was going to be free.
It would make sense to bring up Bellamy poisoning Clarke for Octavia, but it is still shocking to consider that she didn't grasp the lengths that were explored there for her.
And because she didn't know, she seemed to have thrown it all away because she decided that no one was looking out for her. It hurts more considering how much time she was thinking of Bellamy and what pushed her to a point where she left him.
It is difficult considering he never left her and yet now there is this lack of understanding from both of them on all fronts.
They are truly stuck.
Keeping Madi safe, specifically in the way that Clarke identified as safe, was all that she was trying to do while stuck in the bunker. Now, she feels like no one thought about what they were doing and Madi took the fall for that, which is actually questionable but in Clarke's mind makes sense.
Leaving the others was her way of refusing to wait around for the others like she first did when she was chained thinking they had her back. Clarke is at a point where her trust has become closed up, and it is something to worry about.
There is uneasiness on all sides that have to be confronted. But will it?
Bellamy's Unwavering Search For Peace
Bellamy made choices that were simply hard to follow. Once again it felt like he was in his head to a point where relationships paid the price for that, and yet there is a reason for his decision.
As much as it may feel like Bellamy forced this on Madi, the choice was all hers.
He may have forced this plan of action, not leaving room for anything else to be explored when they could go straight to the source and see if Madi is willing to help at a time when there isn't any time to sit around and think of something else.
It wasn't that time was running out. There wasn't any left before Octavia unleashed her wrath and prevented even the smallest possibility of peace being negotiated. So instead, Bellamy was in crisis and he focused on the next best way to make sure Octavia didn't put into place the plan she was so desperately pushing before that Miller himself was going to make happen too.
Madi agreed to it, even though she reminded Bellamy of what this decision on their parts would do to Clarke. She would understand that Madi was doing what she felt would keep Clarke safe from Octavia's dark intentions.
But Bellamy was the one who was the adult that allowed for this when Clarke clearly wouldn't. He gave that approval stamp, and this is the only boundary that Clarke wasn't going to let happen.
And in fact, there is that contrast of Clarke pulling back harming Octavia when Bellamy wouldn't do the same with Madi.
But was he?
The reaction right away is to worry that Madi was forced to do something without consent and Bellamy had no thought of it at all.
But Bellamy didn't manipulate Madi in a way that forced the issue. She was made aware of all the facts, and she was told precisely what Clarke's stance was on this as well.
The difference is that Clarke's life was still at stake and everyone knew that the flame presented that chance to save Clarke in a way that she wouldn't want.
There is the question of how much a teenage girl can speak for a decision this big. She isn't a small kid, but she also isn't an adult, so there has to be some awareness that she needs guidance still.
At the end of it all, Bellamy was aware of the position that this was putting everyone in. This was never his first choice and frankly even when it happened his worry was still there for Madi.
She wasn't a pawn for him to get to what he wanted and he had some trust in this being something that could help instead of harm as his sister was doing.
Still, that doesn't absolve the issue at hand with Clarke or the way that she was left out of it.
You said that you would protect her! You said that you would keep her safe! No! Bellamy!Clarke
It also doesn't erase the priorities that he very clearly laid out for Clarke; he wrote out in the sand precisely who mattered to him, and in that point, it was clear what he was willing to risk for those people.
And it can't go unsaid that full functioning adults may be his family, but Madi is still younger and the threat pointed at each one doesn't have the same weight.
He may be doing this to save "his family", but the risk comes in the form of Madi who is innocent in all of this. She is a young teenager who is asked to make a sacrifice that goes beyond lying, she has to take on the responsibility that she never wanted and risk her life for the sake of Clarke's.
There is no question that Madi would do it, but was this the moment where her opinion wasn't the one that should matter?
The adults in the room had an obligation to think about what this will mean because Madi doesn't have past examples to look back on to know how much she is signing up for.
But much like with Clarke, there is a reason beyond Bellamy firmly planting his feet in his mind and not letting his heart control things that need to be discussed.
Bellamy isn't all at fault here, and in fact, most of what Clarke thinks happened didn't happen exactly that way. Clarke didn't even want to hear about Madi taking the flame, but in some way, this wasn't her choice either.
Whose choice in all of this was the one that mattered more?
As much as both sides of this can be addressed and even understood, there was a reason that prevented it from landing the way it could have.
There doesn't need to be constant understanding and happiness for things to work, but this angst stood out because of the lack of time.
Maybe beneath all of this speed to get Bellamy in those pits and Clarke on her journey to Eden -- if they had actual full-length conversations -- this would have landed better on screen.
Much like with The 100 Season 5 Episode 6, there was a place both physically and emotionally that these characters needed to be and there wasn't enough time to get them there without putting valuable character development at stake.
Bellamy took more of the fall for that because he was the one making these decisions, and in this case, he should shoulder some of that.
As much of a motivation that he may have had, that scene with Clarke said it all. Bellamy is aware of what he chose and what he risked to make this happen; he made it clear to Clarke that their relationship was worth pulling apart and now they are both paying the price for that.
And now, Bellamy is stuck in a situation that The 100 Season 5 Episode 9 Preview didn't prepare me for at all, he is about to have his very own conclave.
Was it all worth it?
Murphy's Rock Hard Power Move
So Murphy didn't start a fire, and that is only a little bit of a disappointment.
He still managed to do a lot of damage that didn't exactly need to happen if they all had the updated information of what was going on. But when were things ever that easy on The 100?
Instead, Charmaine and McCreary ended up almost destroying one another, with Hope being the only literally thing to save them both. Charmaine's ability to fight like that while pregnant is astounding, and McCreary was in for the shock of his life.
If only having a child pushed at McCreary's decision-making process the same way that it did for Charmaine who was only trying to make a better future.
Now, the land is as divided as ever, and Abby is stuck in the middle with a new crisis. Besides the fact that she is stuck with some scary prisoners, she also doesn't have the drugs that she was being supplied with which means she is going to go through a withdrawal whether she wants to or not.
Meanwhile, the space group and Not-Zeke are stick knowing that this chaos is doing the opposite of what everyone over at the bunker was trying to do for them.
Division is the word of the episode when you consider how much more conflict between all these people has popped up compared to previous installments.
Things are only getting worse before anyone can even try to come together.
Octavia's Tough Decision That No One Can Stop.
But really, how will Octavia deal with the fact that she has to watch all of her family in that pit fighting to the death? It is her worst nightmare, and there is no way to stop it.
Unless of course, she stops it herself.
Look, Octavia was betrayed, and she is angry which is understandable even considering how much trouble Octavia was consistently causing for herself and her people.
Had she agreed to share the land instead of refusing to budge on a subject that the other side was trying to be accommodating of, all of this mess wouldn't have been what it was.
This is what pushed Bellamy to take her out of commision for a while, and yet she returned as angry as ever. It is shocking how much she refuses to grasp the fact that this anger is tearing away at her; it extends towards her leadership choices and the faith of those around her.
I'm their only pilot, they will never stop looking for me. Raven, that means you will never be safe. I don't know why I care about that. Maybe it's your easy going charm.Zeke
No one could stop Indra, Bellamy, and Gaia from fighting to the death except the one person who ordered it and who is struggling with the position she created.
Where does it end?
At what point does it become too much in Octavia's eyes because right now she is causing even more chaos and more importantly even more pain.
It may be difficult to figure out where to stand with everyone else's rush to peace, but Octavia's choices are the only ones that don't need to be picked apart.
She isn't searching for peace; in fact, she isn't even trying to consider it. That's why it's been a lot to deal with her being upset about this situation.
Octavia has all the power, and she could stop this at any point. By choosing not to, and by choosing to bring them into that arena Octavia has made her choice.
Maybe she is struggling with it now, but how far will it have to go before she finally breaks? Someone's life is at stake and Octavia, much like all the other characters, doesn't have the time to put lives at risk that she will then regret when she has the option right now to stop all of this.
The bunker is now the part of the story that is going to be at a standstill, with Clarke and Madi heading for Eden and the people there struggling to piece everything back together.
Meanwhile, Octavia is stuck in a loop that she wanted to get out of, and yet it is like that bunker never opened, and she is still enforcing the same rule.
It is worrisome and terrifying real because there is no way to know when this will end for her.
Madi, is that you? Nope.
Remember the request to leave the flame in the past? Yeah.
Trying to reason the point seems a bit useless because it was a plot that didn't need to be addressed.
It does more harm than good; in fact, this episode was the direct definition of all the harm the flame continues to do to everyone involved.
Madi being the one who had to take it is removing the whole purpose of her parents not wanting her to go to that conclave when she was young.
The flame brings nothing but division, and while Wonkru isn't exactly in a better place, this was only going to tear more people apart and risk a girl's life in the process.
Charmaine: You could have been a miner doc.
Abby: Miners don’t care about destroying the ground they’re digging in. If I did that my patient would die so don’t ask me to do it intentionally because I won’t.
In the heat of the moment, it felt like there were no other choices but to have Madi become a leader that could overthrow Octavia. Honestly, maybe there wasn't any better or any other choice, but that can't make this the right one by default.
Default plans don't mean good plans.
Gaia was a gem in this situation; she may have wanted this, but she knew that it had to be a choice made by the future commander.
The pressure was all on Madi to solve everything, and now it is quite possible that nothing but new problems will come from this.
There is now a Commander out there, which puts a threat on Madi's head that she didn't ask for and didn't deserve.
There is also now Madi with a flame in her head that connects her back to memories that she shouldn't have, and I am not even going to go into what memories do or don't get passed down.
But if Clarke's ex is going to be mentioned in connection to the flame, then it needs to be thrown out there that her daughter now has her ex in her mind? To what extent? Does that even matter considering how strange the situation is?
Madi got roped into a plot that should have disappeared with the time jump, and yet it now feels like everything that The 100 Season 4 was working against is back in full force.
Nothing has changed when at the core of things, the same plot device is showing up and putting at risk people like Madi who don't deserve the responsibility that was given to her.
She can't take that thing out and now that she fled with Clarke, what good will come of this?
It may have mattered what Madi thought about this, but Clarke had a point when she didn't want this to happen, and we saw exactly why.
Even when Clarke had to kill that guard once Madi addressed him; he was someone who now knew the existence of the flame, and he was a new risk to Madi.
He may not have wanted to kill her, but there will always be someone who does. A leader will never have everyone's support so putting someone who is only thirteen into that situation is a mess beyond anyone's control.
The Bellarke Corner
Here we are.
The first reaction here is to be worried; the way this all played out doesn't lead us to feel anything else.
It may be easy to pick sides right now, but the truth is that this is a tough position all around. Bellamy and Clarke are both at a point where recognizing each other is difficult, and in some cases, impossible.
To lay it all out on the table, Bellamy is all head, and Clarke is all heart, which creates tension that weighs on them both because there is this inability to figure out how to work together when six years ago it was as easy as breathing.
Now, every choice comes down to the other people that have now been placed between them, and it hurts for everyone involved.
Bellamy made his family clear to Clarke, and it was like having cold water thrown at you because it is that easy to get caught up in the seamless way that they seem to find their way back to each other.
There is still no doubt left that Clarke was expecting things to stay the same when her people returned, and her relationship with Bellamy was no exception.
Watching him with the others was a very clear reminder of how foolish it was to think that, and yet she still had hope while working together with Bellamy in the past few episodes.
It wasn't the same. Their priorities and the way they approached attaining peace was different, yet they still found a rhythm even if the stakes ended up higher than they ever were before.
Clarke may have wanted to kill Octavia, but there was no avoiding what that would mean for Bellamy, and it was a hard decision, but it was one that they were doing together.
From there, Bellamy's decision to poison his sister was one he had to make alone, but it was for the good of the people who were in danger of Octavia's inability to see the wreckage that was being created.
Now, much like during The 100 Season 4 Episode 11, one of them is chained and unable to get on the same page with the other person simply. It is complicated, but above all, it is difficult to process how they are getting to this point again.
This may seem like a tangent, but let's take a few steps back to The 100 Season 5 Episode 1 and the trauma Clarke went through for the sake of her people. Being up in space isn't as fresh in our minds, but it is clear as anything in Clarke's.
She isn't looking to share that with anyone, and it makes sense considering the guilt that comes with it. It is heartbreaking, yet from that came six years of peace for the people in space. Pushing it aside for the sake of knowing that something good came out of it seems to be the way that things have gone so far.
Clarke had that chance to tell Bellamy exactly what she went through during The 100 Season 5 Episode 5, but she didn't because diving back into that is pressing on wounds that she was selflessly trying to prevent him from discovering.
At this rate, there is no doubt left that Clarke has to do precisely the thing that she has been trying to avoid.
Her rationalizing that it would put a lot on Bellamy's shoulders calls into question the change that he went through from space to the ground. Up there, Bellamy allowed the memory of what Clarke did shape his decision-making process. Now, Clarke is his life again, and Bellamy consistently doesn't know how to do exactly what he has been doing all along.
It isn't like Bellamy isn't taking her into account; he is, very much. He still has a lot of love for her, but it is as if he thinks he needs to hold onto a memory of her.
The communication between them has fallen away, or at least on Bellamy's side it has.
Clarke spent six years speaking to Bellamy as if he were with her. His memory wasn't this absent presence to her; she was reinforcing the idea that her partner was still there and she could talk to him about things important to her. He may not have responded, but in her mind, they were handling everything together.
So it wasn't as much of an adjustment at first for Clarke to return right back to where it all started for them. She was willing to fall back on her partner, to solve all the problems as they did back then.
The eye contact and the consistent awareness of where the other was in the room were like second nature for them.
But then Clarke realized how Bellamy's priorities changed and how difficult it was now even to engage on the level they were on so freely before.
This is why as much as Bellamy and Clarke both had decisions that could be explained and explored; it wasn't right.
Let's be honest, Clarke was still fully expecting a discussion. When Bellamy came in there, Clarke wanted them to talk and to break apart the option based on how they both felt.
But the power dynamic didn't measure up considering Clarke was in cuffs and literally couldn't do anything when Bellamy made his decision.
That is where the problem of time begins.
This show and this core couple desperately need time to allow for angst like this to make sense. This rush may benefit the many, many plots that are explored but is it worth it to risk characters and relationships?
It is a question that follows the story all season, but it was ridiculously obvious when Bellamy and Clarke's scenes were cut too short when they were at the center of everything.
Their relationship, their understanding of each other is what was at stake, and it suffered tremendously because there was a specific place that the story had to end up and digging too much into Bellamy and Clarke's sides would have taken away from that.
But that is the glaring problem right now.
Clarke and Bellamy needed to talk four episodes ago. Now, Clarke and Bellamy are being crushed under the weight of the fact that they aren't talking about anything.
This journeys and more importantly their relationship as a whole is suffering because there is too much going on to take a beat and give them an uninterrupted extended conversation?
That isn't okay.
Bellamy and Clarke are the centers of the show, and specifically, in this episode, their connection to one another was what drove the plot almost entirely.
It was necessary, before any shocking twists or big discussions, for Clarke and Bellamy to share their positions about each other with each other.
The disconnect between them has been growing since they reunited and now is when it became their greatest enemy.
Plot-wise there is something to be said for information that the audience knows not being information that is given to every character. And yet this episode was the perfect example of when that becomes a problem, it all falls apart and there conveniently isn't much time in this season to fix it back up.
This divide would have made sense earlier on, but with four episodes left it is like a glaring worry that can't come together in one simple scene. There is so much that has to be rebuilt for them, and with the way that Clarke left them there, a lot of who they are to each other is in danger.
Honestly, both of them were wrong, and both of them were right.
Clarke slapping Bellamy like she did had connotations that shouldn't be ignored. The violence on this show never made its way to Bellamy and Clarke, so the fact that in the end there is still this issue where a white woman slapped a man of color is worrisome.
There is also the way that Bellamy cut into Clarke with his words. His placement of his family was a clear division between what Clarke thought about them and where Bellamy stands.
It doesn't mean he doesn't care about Clarke, but her value as his partner allowed for there to be more space for them to work on things together.
Now if she doesn't have the space group in mind, there is that line that Bellamy draws between them.
Clarke pushing for Madi reminds me that she probably envisioned it all working out with Madi being an addition to the people that would come back. She and Bellamy would add Madi into the group of people that they looked out for together.
Now, Bellamy has made it clear to her that Clarke is in addition to the others. It hurts, it is obvious how much it hurts Clarke because it starts to hit her how much time she spent thinking of a future that Bellamy planned out without her.
And again, this isn't his fault, but it still rings true that Bellamy's priorities are changing and Clarke has to play catch up figuring out if there is even space for her in there somewhere.
What a time for Clarke to find out what happened when Bellamy poisoned Octavia. Time is funny like that; when you don't have it, there is a lot that suffers.
And yet there is no way that their relationship won't get explored, that is not where the fear should be.
Bellamy and Clarke have value in the context of the series that goes beyond a quick wrap up, them working together is when everything makes sense.
That doesn't mean they won't return to one another; they have to. But something huge needs to happen because this is a breaking point for their relationship, a big reminder of what a time jump can create and what desperately needs to be explored if a time jump will be done this way.
Where to go from here is a weird issue that mostly has to do with their positions.
Bellamy and Clarke are broken because they aren't working together. It is as simple as that.
Everything makes more sense in the story and for them when they are spending time talking it out and relying on the other to make that work.
Clarke has become all heart and Bellamy is all head, which isn't a problem unless the heart and the head are working independently.
It isn't that Bellamy doesn't care about Clarke and her worries, it is just that there was no time given for her to know this. Something a long conversation could fix.
It isn't that Clarke doesn't care about Bellamy, it is that without any context she has become completely unaware of where he stands and has convinced herself that she doesn't matter to him in any way. So she made the stupid choice to leave him. Something a long conversation could fix.
There is no right or wrong here; there is a mess based on a lack of communication. Both Clarke and Bellamy are suffering, and their relationship is in a horrible place because there doesn't seem to be the time for them to address six year's worth of pain and trauma that they both need to get off their chest.
They also haven't managed to define what they mean to one another, so in situations like this when they are at odds, it is even more heartbreaking when they put themselves in positions where they don't think they matter to one another in the long run.
Which couldn't be further from the truth but how would they even know this? If only they had some time ...
- Who invited Miller to this party? It is fascinating how strong his loyalty is to Octavia. He really will do and support whatever she is up to. It is admirable but above all else, does Miller have any sort of thoughts of his own right now? It is hard to even get a read on what he himself wants for their people and their future.
- Pilot Mechanic flirting is the true happiness of this episode. They are so close to being together and this is giving me such life. They are both completely gone for each other, and it is nice to know that there is someone out there for both of them who cares about their wellbeing. Let it sink in that Not-Zeke wanted to stay back because he knew that by going, it would put Raven in danger, and he wasn't about to do that.
- This is the most stray of all thoughts but I continue not to agree with Echo. There isn't always much to go on with her, but this time around it felt like there is really no way for me to understand some of what she does. There is that sense of self-preservation that I guess looks worse when compared to the others in the group looking for other options.
- So Niylah helped Clarke out. It is easier to understand the struggle for some to comprehend who Niylah is as a character when she only really keeps popping up to influence someone else's trajectory and she doesn't have one of her own.
- Kane is really at fault though. All this time he was building a nursery for Charmaine's baby or something when he could have clued the others in on what was going on? A thought?
- Gaia and Indra continue to blow me away, both in scenes with one another and in their own, they are such a commanding presence on screen, and it is a real blessing right about now.
- McCreary is the slasher movie villain that won't die, and I really need him to.
What did you think of Bellamy's decision? What did you think of Clarke's decision? Did you see it coming or were you blown away? What do you see coming next for those two?
Who is safe in these pits and who are you really worried about now? Did Octavia make the right choice in circling back to the idea of the pits when there is a war stirring? Did you expect her to turn on Clarke that easily?
Who else was shocked that Murphy didn't start a fire? Where do they all go from here? How is Abby going to go forward now that she was taken?
Which part did you love the most? Which part did you like the least? How hard are you shipping Pilot Mechanic?
And don't forget that you can watch The 100 online, right here on TV Fanatic!
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.