The 100 Season 6 Episode 1 Review: Sanctum

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Turns out being the aliens in a new place has it disadvantages, as does having your past catch up with you so suddenly. 

During The 100 Season 6 Episode 1, the main characters were divided between space and the new moon (!) that need to be explored. There was danger in the form of an eclipse on Alpha, while in space the danger came from people's pasts.

Raven was still not willing to forgive Abby, who at the same time wasn't prepared to deal with Octavia. It put a strain on the group, much like the group on the ground was trying to figure out how everyone fits in together.

That quickly turned Clarke into a public enemy, with an eclipse at the end of the episode distracting from that and setting up for a dangerous encounter on this new moon. 

Raven and Zeke Together - Tall - The 100 Season 6 Episode 1

" Sanctum," written by Jason Rothenberg, served as an introduction to a new era and as a nostalgic view at the past that led all the characters there.

It was a reflective statement on the mistakes that inspired this next chapter in the story, as well as a conversation starter about changes that should be enforced to do better this time. 

At the same time, forgiveness is at the forefront, a topic to keep under consideration for the entire season. Questions are raised about whether characters will be forgiven, but the real question is whether some of them deserve it in the first place.

It feels a good a time as any to bring up that forgiveness isn't a right, it is a privilege.

Characters during Season 6 could be looking for forgiveness, and yet at the same time it doesn't mean that all of them will get it if the person involved doesn't want to offer it. 

There has never been a time when a choice is more important, especially as we head into the season of the unknown.

The 100 Season 6: Jason Rothenberg Previews the New Planet's Inspiration, Potential, and Future

The Rules Are Different on Planet Alpha

They aren't home anymore, not in their own home at least. 

It was fascinating though the way that the premiere played with it, once again acknowledging what The 100 Season 1 Episode 1 was compared to where all the characters are now.

Clarke: For some reason, Monty thought we deserved a second chance.
Murphy: Not for nothing, but this is like your fifth chance.
Clarke: Your's too Murphy.

They might be in a new place, but they know the way the game is set up, and they aren't naive enough to approach it the same way.

There is an awareness that there are other people there, which we have yet to meet. Which makes sense if the eclipse was happening and all of the people on this moon are aware of the protocol. 

It was a nice thing the premiere made sure to establish, the group on the ground isn't going the same route as they might have before, even if there is that request for parallels back to where it all began.

But these changes also means getting used to things like the Clarke situation.

One one level it makes a lot of sense, everything the audience was angry about during Season 5 is something characters like Raven and Murphy are still holding close to them. 

Clarke and Emori - The 100 Season 6 Episode 1

The wounds are fresh, and so Clarke ends up having to shoulder most of the recent events and the repercussions.

But as mentioned before, Season 5 is recent to the characters and almost old news to the audience.

It takes a second to jump back into that Clarke rage because in a way it happened almost a year ago.

Unless you did a binge-watch before this season, chances are you avoid going back to that headspace after everything that Season 5 had going on. 

Also if hallucinations last two days, is it possible that some of that hostility was a sign of early reactions to that? At least when it came to Murphy and Zeke, if they were still upset with Clarke, this could have taken it up a whole other notch.

Regardless of the circumstances, others have made mistakes. The one way that The 100 could even the playing field to make sure that Clarke doesn't spend too much time in the hot seat alone. 

The Gang on a New Planet - The 100

It becomes complicated since the reasoning behind some of Clarke's decisions have been resolved between her and Bellamy specifically, everyone else ended up becoming possible collateral damage.

That is harder to even out, but it is a crack in their foundation on this new planet.

Clarke and the others don't need to be divided because that won't work in their favor when they eventually meet the people who live on this planet.

To not end up in a dangerous or dark place again, this group needs to try at least to be a joint unit.

They don't have to forgive each other, but it feels like some outside factors can use what they are struggling with when it comes to each other against them.

The 100: Expanding On Bellamy Blake's Romantic Life (And Its Value)

The key to surviving on this new planet might include the characters figuring their stuff out, and even if they don't forgive each other, they will be on the same side when necessary for the entire group.

Space Stress Is a Real Mess

Speaking of forgiveness, Raven is not giving any out, and Octavia is not asking for anyone to give her any (for now).

Abby is caught in the middle of those two determined characters, and rightfully so.

There is no way around it, Abby harmed her and Raven is allowed not to accept that everything is good again.

No one knows addiction like Raven does, at least the signs of someone wronging you because of it and then seeking forgiveness as if it will all be different now.

Raven Reyes in Space - The 100 Season 6 Episode 1

It isn't difficult to get to that place that Raven is at because she honestly has been hurt the most.

And like it was mentioned during The 100 Season 5, the second to last episode was an issue because of the way it fixed all the open-ended arcs.

One of them was Abby getting addicted; that was no longer necessary to create conflict, so it was wrapped up in a nice bow, and suddenly she was good again.

It isn't clear if this season will continue with that narrative, but it is in character to have others not buy what Abby is selling right now. There needs to be proof that change is coming, which Abby did offer when it came to those pills.

It takes time, and Raven is one to hold those grudges, especially with the Griffin women this season. 

Am I a monster? Yes, I am. Just like both of you. The cannibal doctor and the man she loves, even after he floated her husband.


And then there is Octavia.

Like Abby, this is a character who struggled with addiction in the previous season only to get a last minute shift so she could reasonably make it into The 100 Season 6

But unlike Abby, Octavia is back and in full force. She isn't looking for forgiveness because she continues to think she was the one in the right and it was everyone around her that messed it up.

That is her opinion, and an interesting one to stand behind but it is her choice to do so. And Octavia does love making those choices. 

It is conflicting though to know how to deal with Octavia as an audience member, is this the story doubling back on the fact that Octavia is in a clear villain role, instead choosing to slightly absolve her by making her decisions have a reason, however wrong.

Sanctum is Here - The 100

Or is Octavia not to learning when to admit defeat and move on from the past?

While The 100 is trying to create change and to promote doing better, we all know that there will always be that one person looking to dwell in the past in an unhealthy way.

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And much of what Octavia's behavior looks like in the early portions of the season can be classified as unhealthy.

She isn't letting it all sink in, and instead, she riles up everyone else around her. It all will come down to Octavia's journey, specifically with the way that the story will view her. 

The real question though, where is the tension higher? Is it in space or is it on the new moon? 

The Big (Zeke) Shaw Loss

Just because you deny and wish for something not to happen doesn't mean it won't.

Zeke dying was on our radar for a while, mostly because the actor was only in Vancouver for a little while in the beginning. Still, the potential that his character had within the show felt too good to lose.

His relationship with Raven was was a bright light during The 100 Season 5, a healthy romantic relationship that appeared when there wasn't much of that in sight. 

Tell Raven, she deserves happiness. She doesn't think she does but she does.


The only place Zeke had to go from here was up; there was a chance for him to fit in throughout these adventures with the main characters and continue his romance with Raven.

And yet instead he ended up dying before he got a chance to live.

Related: The 100 Season 6 Preview: We're Going On An Adventure! 

The showrunner, Jason Rothenberg, mentioned in our interview recently that there is only one way off this show for characters. But yet that doesn't ring true right about now.

There have been instances where an actor had to leave for other opportunities, like Miller's ex-boyfriend Bryan, and there was no need to kill them off on screen graphically.

Then there were those cases where behind the scenes issues forced the show to remove a character from the narrative, like Raven's ex-boyfriend Wick, and once again he disappeared without any reference to death.

This also comes during an episode where ironically another character was in that same predicament, with Kane coming out of cryo, but not for long since Henry Ian Cusick has a role in The Passage that will keep him away from the show for a while. 

It makes it all that more difficult to reason Zeke's death when all he offered was potential, while in the same episode there was a way to save a character who has been straddling death for quite some time now.

The First Arrivals  - The 100

In fact in many ways Season 5 could have been written as a parting arc from Kane, and instead, he will get shelved until further notice, and a new character with much to offer is gone for good. 

Regardless, the choice got made, and the least that Zeke deserves is to get remembered fondly.

Related: The 100 Season 6: Everything We Learned From Conageddon 2019!

There was a slight hiccup there too because while he was right to be upset with Clarke, it never felt like a trait of his before.

Zeke had his moments where he called out characters like Echo when he disagreed with them, and yet something about his interactions with Clarke felt different.

It came off more like an attempt to voice Raven's concerns since she wasn't on the ground, which would have been more effective if his death wasn't in the same episode.

Instead, Zeke was someone else who was airing out his issues with Clarke, and since it felt like she was the only one dealing with backlash, that was the lasting memory for many fans.

Don't have a character double down on upsetting the lead of the show, specifically if he is going to die one scene later.

Raven and Zeke on the new planet - The 100

Because in many ways the loss of Zeke carries more weight than usual. It stripped the character of his potential, it stripped Raven of any current happiness she may have had, and sadly it strips The 100 of a great actor.

Jordan Bolger brought his all to Zeke Shaw, and he made the character a fan favorite before the season even aired.

There was no doubt that the audience will fall in love with him, but that grew into a bigger loyalty to what he represented in the context of the show.

Related: The 100 Season 6: Everything From Unity Days 2019, with a Riverdale Twist!

Zeke was newfound excitement, hope, and happiness for a future besides the one that our main characters knew.

He reintroduced what how to be a good person, and he created peace in a way that many didn't think was possible during a season as dark as the fifth one was.

He had so much to offer, but he slipped through our fingers. That doesn't mean he should slip from our minds though, especially when we consider what he represented. 

Traveling to a New Planet - The 100

A new world with a happy ending was possible with characters like Zeke around, and his memory should contribute to the other character's doing better.

Zeke might not be on our screens anymore, but he is on our minds and in Raven's heart.

He leaves behind him a wonderful history, and all fans can do now is thank the time that we got with such a well-crafted presence within the show.

The Bellarke Corner 

It has been a while, and yet it is like no time has passed since our last campfire gathering to discuss Bellamy and Clarke.

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After watching the first two episodes, it is safe to say that the premiere isn't the one that offers our favorite platonic soulmates the most content, but it does still rank as a good episode to enjoy.

There is something about that scene where they discuss those radio calls, the soft expression that Clarke has when she is completely vulnerable in front of Bellamy, in a way she must not have been ready for. 

Bellamy: I'm sorry I couldn't respond all those years. Madi told me.
Clarke: Of course she did. I know it sounds crazy, Madi certainly thought it was. But talking to you every day, even though you didn't answer, it kept me sane.
Bellamy: That's not crazy. A little pathetic maybe, but it's not crazy.

Then Bellamy picks up as always on how Clarke might be overwhelmed with a conversation that focuses on her 2,199 missed calls that he has to answer for.

He makes a joke and then you have Clarke reacting most unexpectedly yet. It felt like even she was surprised that she could laugh, after quite a while of her having no room for that carefree nature.

It was so them because it touched on a huge topic, and the characters were still approaching this individually.

Clarke isn't one to lay out her emotions this way, and by Bellamy removing some of that attention from those radio calls, she has room to not stress out over it and be a bit more comfortable.

But at the same time, it is obvious that Bellamy understands the extent of it, you see it in the way that he tries to be there for Clarke when no one else is. 

Bellamy Coming Down  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 1

His view of her mistakes has changed, and he allows that knowledge to rework their relationship.

That doesn't mean that talking should disappear, in fact, I have it on good authority that upcoming episodes will double down on that again. 

An observation that wasn't obvious at first but is now though is the way that Bellamy supports Clarke. He is there for her in those private and silent moments, but what about in the group dynamics?

He seems stuck in a place where he understands why others haven't forgave Clarke yet, but he isn't there with them anymore. So he offers her forgiveness, while at the same time watching while those are them don't.

It is a battle that they might have to fight by themselves, but there will come a time when this will weigh down on Clarke.

Because as much as it appears that all the characters will get to talk about their issues, for now, only Clarke is the one having her past reflected at her.

Clarke Coming Down - The 100 Season 6 Episode 1

She deserves a break, and down the line, Bellamy might have to step in.

And now to take a step back from the heaviness of all this, who else found the Bellamy and Clarke conversation partially wonderful became of the lighting and the directing?

The 100: Shipping Culture and the Bellarke Romance of It All

These two were set up to radiate light while they spoke in private, and it was a small but nice detail to add while we wait for the danger to play up what they might have to face in the future.

Just remember, it is all about those parallels. 

Stray Thoughts

  • Fans couldn't help but notice that Kane and Abby didn't share a kiss last season. That was fixed in the premiere, but at what cost?

  • How early is too early to request more Jordan? He fits into some parts of the group very well, and in a way, he is always there when we need him. But after so much intrigue, it would help to blend him even more into the mix of things.

    He's got skills and thoughts that he could offer along the way. 

  • Not to be that person, but that campfire scene had its off moments. Are we still meant to root for a couple when their arguably most relationship focused scene was Echo telling Bellamy to forgive his sister who abused him for quite some time?

    And then the way it was shot, down from above while Bellamy was meant to look back at her made it more awkward than anything else.

  • The conversation wasn't settling well, and Bellamy reflected the way most of us felt. That kind of heavy-handed territory where her views on forgiveness control Bellamy's mental well being is probably not where Echo wants to end up right about now. 
  • After not getting to see Miller's headspace at all, it is interesting to dive right in. There is still some adjustment that might need to take place, but it is satisfying that Miller is better utilized.

Related: The 100: 21 Times Bellamy Blake Won Hearts With The Look™

  • Niylah loves her girlfriend, but there are limits. The fact that Abby trusted Niylah not to wake up her crush was silly, the fact that Niylah did it after everything was even more silly.

    Love does mess with people's minds though, and there's also that small little detail where we have no idea what is going through Niylah's brain most of the time either. 
  • Did anyone else find it strange that Octavia seemed surprised that Bellamy didn't wake her? Yeah, me too. 
Jackson and Miller - The 100
  • The premiere was set up in a way that was leading to something, so if you struggled with how the scenes were connected and the pacing of it all, you aren't alone there. While rushing is never a good thing, the journey they introduce in the following episode helps it make more sense.

    In a way this direct parallel to the pilot isn't necessary and the narrative knows it, there's a place where the characters need to be and they need to get there. It can't be passed over in the story, but it can be shorter.
  • The next episode has a storytelling tactic that takes on a form of its own, one that once again calls back to The 100 Season 1 but uses new ideas to mold it into a different adventure. 

  • So like, who do we think is taking that transport ship back up into space? Is it Picasso the dog?

What did you think of the season premiere? Which group were you more invested in? 

What are your thoughts on forgiveness? Who do you think will be offered it and who do you think might not?

Related: Get Shudder via Prime Video Channels for Spine-Tingling & Provocative Films, TV Series, & Originals!

Are there specific characters that you think should be discussing this?

Are there specific characters who you think shouldn't be involved in these discussions?

How much did you love that cute Bellamy and Clarke radio call scene? 

Who are you worried about most with these hallucinations? How do you think they will manifest for all the different characters?

Will everyone channel their inner Emori, or are there more surprises with this Red Sun edition?

What other songs do you wish Murphy could have considered for his performance? How much will everyone miss Zeke and what level of bitter are we with his death?

Let us know what you think below!

The 100 airs on Tuesdays, at 9/8c on The CW.

Stick around TV Fanatic for more features, slideshows, episode previews, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online if you need to catch up on the adventure.

Sanctum Review

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Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.

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The 100 Season 6 Episode 1 Quotes

Bellamy: I'm sorry I couldn't respond all those years. Madi told me.
Clarke: Of course she did. I know it sounds crazy, Madi certainly thought it was. But talking to you every day, even though you didn't answer, it kept me sane.
Bellamy: That's not crazy. A little pathetic maybe, but it's not crazy.

Am I a monster? Yes, I am. Just like both of you. The cannibal doctor and the man she loves, even after he floated her husband.