The 100 Season 6 Episode 2 Review: Red Sun Rising

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Alpha is proving itself to be a more dangerous moon than expected, mostly because of the real danger that our favorite characters are facing. Themselves.

During The 100 Season 6 Episode 2, the eclipse issue becomes a full-fledged problem when the characters on the ground start to turn on one another.

In an attempt to show how the moon may test them, other characters and the audience get a bigger look into everyone's state of mind.

Clarke and Her Hallucinations  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Meanwhile, in space, the big answers about who is in that transport ship are answered. Sort of.

A hostage situation brings back some fan favorites like Diyoza, Madi, and Gaia. But it also starts to bridge a story about the Eliguis people and their history.

Which brings it all back to that intro, a series of flashbacks that serve as a defining background to a new population and their horrors. 

" Red Sun Rising," written by Jeff Vlaming explores the inner turmoil inside many of the main characters, while also providing an action-packed episode that covers both the past and present.

It serves as a vital introduction to the original Eliguis group that shapes how the current population in Sanctum evolved. 

That works well in putting the audience in the headspace of those on the ground, solidifying the pain that Clarke is going through while also teasing what characters like Bellamy may be struggling with without outright saying it. 

At the same time though, clues are thrown out about what Russell Lightbourne, the newer edition, and his people emerge from since that plot is so cloaked in mystery.

We have an exclusive interview with showrunner Jason Rothenberg that will be released tomorrow morning.

In the interview, he touches on what it actually could mean in terms of the future of The 100 Season 6 and maybe poses more questions than answers to the audience about what is yet to come. 

So make sure to check in tomorrow morning, and read the first part of the interview that previews upcoming characters and the conflict that can come with the new moon. 

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

New Flashbacks, Who Dis? 

Ask for flashbacks and flashbacks we shall have. 

In one of the most dynamic introductions to the show, the original Eligius group is building a civilization when that unlucky encounter with the eclipse happens. 

Now the best way to absorb the new information though is to watch it twice because breaking it all down gets so excited.

Clarke Faces Off - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

With the introduction of the new character's also came that little detail about their names.

The family that we saw in the premiere in those photos is the Lightbourne family. 

That Clarke look-alike blonde is Josephine Lightbourne, better known as the author of the book about the hallucinations. 

Her father is Russell Lightbourne, a character who shares the same name with upcoming leader Russell played by JR Bourne who we have yet to meet.

Coincidence? I think not. 

Sanctum is mine!

Russell Lightbourne

Everyone has to be familiar with the theories, especially the use of clones and how these new people in Sanctum might be involved in some version of recreating their own.

But it is all in the details and how that could go down, enter Josephine's boyfriend who survived that attack, clearly visible to the audience for a reason.

It took catching up on casting information, and another rewatch to hear that Josephine's boyfriend is named Dr. Gabriel.

He is a geneticist who vocally mentions embryos, a way into the recreation of people.

Now bear with me, there was a photo released (and then shortly deleted) with the actor who plays Gabriel and original Russell and a blonde actress we still have yet to meet, all of them decked out in those Mount Weather like hospital clothing.

At first, fans were worried that it was all just confirmation of old plot lines, but what if that was a hint of what is yet to come?

Clarke Chained Up - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Both Josephine and her father mention that Gabriel has strong feelings for her, and having to see her presumably get killed in front of his eyes can't be pleasant.

And the camera made sure to focus on Gabriel a few times, confirming that he sees what happens and escapes without an injury.

Now looking ahead, The 100 Season 6 Episode 3 has the title "The Children of Gabriel" and it seems to be all coming together. 

What if it all starts now?

The original Russell ends up harming his family by accident and then realizes what happens.

Gabriel suggests that they can use the embryos to try something new, to recreate the people that they lost by using their genetics and potentially incorporating another body to take on that form. 

Bodies are important, both the dead ones like we heard in the present day and maybe even the future ones that they need to utilize. 

That would explain the photo, with Gabriel and Russell being involved in a medical experiment to prolong Josephine in another body. And if you look at the credits for future episodes, there is an actress who will be playing Josephine VI.

That can't be something random, and it could represent how many trials go into an attempt to create what is gone.

So these recreations of Josephine (and others) are the children that Gabriel creates, and who is to say there isn't a version of him in the present planet?

And who is to say they won't need someone else to allow them to recreate someone again, possibly Josephine, in a new body?

Clarke getting comfortable in Sanctum has never felt so twisted. 

The 100 Season 6 Episode 1 Review: Sanctum

That doesn't all have to be true. The odds are that some of it will fall apart once Russell gets introduced to us, but details are being dropped in that flashback.

And honestly flashbacks don't need to happen unless we learn or pick up some crucial information, which we can go back to later to reassess.

Like that obsession with Josephine's hair twirling, is it a flaw that needs to get removed or a trait that identifies who she is at her core?

At the end of it all though, it is the sign of successful flashback incorporation.

Red Sun Rising as a whole felt like a memory of what The 100 Season 1 was, with the fast action flashbacks and present-day world building danger all morphing together into so many possibilities and unknowns. 

Hallucination Hued Vision 

Is this real life? Is it just fantasy? Or is it the characters facing what they are emotionally struggling with the most?

To be fair, Murphy isn't struggling with anything, which begs the question of how it all works.

In a stunning performance by Eliza Taylor, Clarke Griffin is talked into almost harming herself by the person who she trusts the most right now to love her no matter what she does.

But when Abby "confirms" the dark thoughts that Clarke is struggling with, that gives her permission to fully hate herself and try to slit her own throat.

That chilling scene hit very close to home, both personally and as an objective person watching Eliza Taylor get to dig even deeper into Clarke's emotions. 

She finally gets to feel, but that doesn't mean it will all be positive and romantic.

Instead, it is Clarke digging through the mess of self-hatred and blame that she carries, very much fueled by those around her not giving her any space to think differently of herself.

Bellamy: We're all breathing it in.
Miller: If it's the air out there, then we'll stay in here.

And since technically Clarke's is the only mind we spent much time in with the hallucinations, that gives us the biggest indication of what is to come and what happened with everyone else.

But first, let's do some theorizing about Clarke's state of mind and what it all could mean.

The following two episodes are about Clarke staying in Sanctum, meeting Russell, and dealing with her past.

Her guilt makes her vulnerable, which means it could make her susceptible to whatever Kool-Aid the new characters might want them all to drink.

In a way, Clarke is the weakest in the group, mostly because she doesn't feel firmly part of it.

Her reasoning went out the door as she struggles with her inner demons, and there is nothing like Russell finding out that her wanting to do better is the button to push to make her easy to use. 

It could go in the way of clones again, with Clarke being pushed to deal with her past, and at the same time being used for something more messed up.

Regardless of what the details might be, Clarke is in danger, and the hallucinations showed us that it weighs on her more than the others could even know.

Except for Murphy, he is aware, and he is possibly the only one who didn't struggle with anything. For a character who has no real guilt and lets it all hang out, that seems fair.

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

Then you consider the way that Murphy and Clarke will find themselves teamed up this season, and maybe we all got our reason why. 

Murphy's able to call out Clarke, to ground her as a third party who isn't biased about her.

He doesn't have any real investment in lying to Clarke because it could be argued that he doesn't care for her the way Bellamy does.

So in a way, Murphy works as a bucket of ice, snapping Clarke out of her self loathing before it gets her into danger.

Because if Murphy is telling Clarke not to blame herself, then hell really must have frozen over and Clarke questions her circumstances.

The same could be said further down the line, where if Clarke begins to buy what Russell is selling, Murphy could be there working as a counterweight to that.

His will be an outside opinion calling out Clarke with no personal investment, serving as a rude awakening if Clarke's emotions drown her again. 

Which leads us to Bellamy, whose hallucinations might very well have worked the other way.

Bellamy Blake Rising - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

While Murphy was Clarke's rude awakening, Bellamy was struggling himself and took a lot of his worries out on Clarke. Which to be fair, if his worries were linked to their relationship, then it makes sense for it to emerge that way.

April Morris of Truth Bee Told explores the idea of hallucination triggers much better, and it is through that idea that Bellamy's state of mind is pieced together. 

Bellamy got triggered by the conversation in that school, about how Clarke left him one again.

If he is still working through his understanding of that, wouldn't it be on the forefront of his mind?

At the surface he is looking to keep everyone safe, seeing Murphy as a threat on the loose and aiming to find him.

But when his attention goes to Clarke, it is a different story altogether. 

Some of the phrases he throws her way link back to her leaving him before, which is very much true. And he can't help but mention that he doesn't need her anymore.

Is that the truth? Or is that a mixture of him still struggling with the fighting pits and with the knowledge of the radio calls?

They just discussed them; it is fresh in his mind.

The radio calls validate that Clarke cares about him, more than cares if six years say anything. And yet, it is obvious that maybe Bellamy is still wrapping his mind around it.

Six years of phone calls say one thing, leaving him again is another. 

He wants to believe that Clarke isn't okay with these choices, but you can't exactly rationalize worries and your subconscious questioning what you think you know.

Insecurity for Bellamy might be how much he means to his partner, and taunting her with the idea that he doesn't need her anymore feeds right into that.

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

He thinks that is a way to make her feel the pain he did, and it reveals what is already at the surface for him but that the hallucinations brought out more of. 

It is safe to say that the eclipse is deadly when insecurities and worries are at play. 

Everyone begins to learn more about what they can't escape because of their mind won't let them, and in some cases, it is more about experiences with those close to them. 

The timelines on how the character's work through their issues decide how the season progresses.

Like it was mentioned before, the weakness in that situation is the way that the characters deal with what the moon showed them is at their surface.

If they shove it down, they will hurt themselves and those around them more. 

Don't believe me? Just watch. 

Unwelcome Space Alien Visitors 

Those in space can just come down to the ground, no hostage situation necessary.

But this episode continued to follow that lowkey vibes from both Season 1 and The 100 Season 5, with unexpected visitors conveniently offering what the characters need to get them to the ground.

The 100 Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Damocles – Part Two

There was also some blink, and you will miss it pieces of dialogue, teases of who these people from Sanctum are.

But first, let's take a second to appreciate those pairs that made it all happen.

Diyoza Returns  - The 100

It doesn't make sense why they waited to wake up Diyoza because honestly the second they did, she solved all the problems they managed to end up having.

It shouldn't be possible to love a character more after cryo, but Diyoza is how you write a "villian" the right away.

The strength comes from her skills and her ability to make all of her dialogue sound even more epic than it already is.

And ahead of Raven finding out about Zeke, it was the perfect time to set her up with Diyoza.

What was done well so far is the choice for character pair-ups. It isn't long lasting, in a way it sets it up to experiment who works better alongside which person, while at the same time not chaining anyone up for the rest of the season to one path.

Pun intended.

The element of surprise worked in the way Diyoza and Raven also ended up using Madi, with her save the day entrance reminding us exactly how much we missed her.

And for every fan upset that not many people are in Clarke's corner? Let's add another person to our space now. 

Raven: You can't leverage dead people.
Diyoza: You can, if they don't know they're dead

But it is all about those new people, or the only survivor that was escaping Sanctum in the search for the people that would bring them back.

Did anyone else notice all that talk about bodies?

Not to sound like a broken record, but if that string of a theory that comes from Gabriel and the embryos continues, the bodies are the next logical step.

That concern about keeping the bodies with them means there has to be a use of some kind from them after death.

Maybe it can be used to bring back that person, or maybe it is needed as a general product for simulations. 

They don't have to bring back that specific person that they lost, but they might need to recreate someone else, and there is something about Sanctum crafted humans that makes their bodies a necessity.

There is just no sound logic to be that obsessed over the bodies that got left on that ship, and for Diyoza's safe I hope no one else comes looking for them.

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

Speaking of Diyoza staying behind, for everyone wondering when she will be put out of her misery with that long pregnancy, maybe checking out TV Fanatic's exclusive interview with Jason Rothenberg posting on May 8 will give some hint on that. 

And there are those children, hidden from the eclipse, and then they emerge wearing weird combinations of clothing to say they want to go home.

Yes, the only difference is I regret it. You only regret having lost.


Has Sanctum spent the whole time telling them all to prepare for someone to come back for them?

Supposedly, they left so that Earth could recover from everything, only for them to return after a specific amount of years.

It would breed so much hope those for those children, promising them something that might not happen. 

But that would explain that fixation on Octavia's blood, and on that woman comforting Rose if they all want to get back "home".

The only possibly slow part in all it is wrapping our minds around the importance of that woman.

Is she just someone that got them all down to the ground? Or is she someone that the audience should keep an eye on because she offers some importance to the greater narrative of the story?

Her name wasn't even mentioned often enough for us to remember it, so chances are it was just the path to something bigger.

Enter Russell 2.0

The Bellarke Corner 

There's a commitment problem in the room, and the new season of The 100 isn't doing any better about disproving that fact.

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

Platonic soulmates are all good and fine, but it seems like there is some miscommunication because the narrative yet again didn't receive the message.

Let's just put it this way: Emori and Murphy, Jackson and Miller, Bellamy and Clarke. 

Bellamy and Clarke Hanging Out - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

They are a group who all went through hallucinations, with one half of each couple reacting internally (Murphy, Miller, and Clarke) while their other half reacted externally towards them (Emori, Jackson, and Bellamy).

There can be many ways to go about it, but there is also the obvious parallel where Bellamy and Clarke are compared to canon romantic couples.

There was a deliberate choice in having Bellamy react at Clarke, even if he wasn't struggling with his issues with her.

It could very well be that Emori wasn't angry with Murphy and what came out was due to the hallucinations, same as Jackson and his reactions and how they relate to Miller.

It wasn't about what triggered it for those three, it was about who they then chose to seek out and be paired off against. 

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, and three times is just a straight up pattern. 

Clarke and Bellamy Together  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

It becomes redundant to point out that yet again, Bellamy and Clarke are positioned in situations that match up with actual romantic couples.

That includes all the shots that are directed in ways that make it clear that the audience needs to draws attention to it.

They don't need to get framed the way they are on the show, everything is a choice that represents a bigger picture. 

Then you have their actual scenes together, all of which practically screams romantic potential and has an embarrassing amount of chemistry.

At this point, it is either The 100 dancing around the subject, or it is that the potential grew to the point where you can't see anything but romance.

Or both.

What the hell do you want from me, Murphy? I'm sorry, okay? For all of it. I never meant for you to get hurt, but no matter what I do, someone always does. Is that what you want to hear? That I'm the bad guy? Fine, I'll be the bad guy. When I'm in charge people die, isn't that what you said?


In any case, Bellamy and Clarke are each other's person in a way that nobody else around them is. They seek each other out, whether consciously or unconsciously, anytime they are around one another. 

The issue isn't that the episode didn't deliver on Bellamy and Clarke, in many ways it did, even if it wasn't all flowers and happiness.

But this episode was a rough one because on the one hand them interacting the way they shadowed other couples and yet at what cost?

Knowing that Bellamy would get an injury to help Bob Morley stay off his feet a bit never felt more ominous. 

It is important to note that all the characters harmed each other because of the hallucinations, with no one holding anything against their significant other because they understand it.

Bellamy and Clarke Finally Talk - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2

Clearly Bellamy's choking killer kink had to come back though since he hurt/killed someone in The 100 Season 2, The 100 Season 4, and Season 5 like that. Fair is fair and this is now Bellamy's go to.

Seeing that is a bit uneasy, not only because it is Bellamy and Clarke, but also because his hallucination based anxiety was triggered by what is probably their past.

It isn't clear what everyone is triggered by, especially those reacting externally, but Bellamy's words have a nice way of going back to the pain he might be going through irrationally.

On the rational side, Bellamy knows that he and Clarke worked it out. He gets the reasoning for her actions.

But on the irrational, everything is blown up more.

The pain that comes with Clarke leaving him behind a few times can't counteract the knowledge that she called him every day for six years like a lifeline.

Now the sky is clear, and those two are nothing if not emotion-based in their relationship.

That look that Bellamy gave Clarke is the tip of the iceberg; it says everything for many of us that felt uneasy watching Bellamy and Clarke hurt each other.

It was hard to watch, and for them to live through it couldn't have been any easier.

That doesn't make it hurt any less, with many of us probably channeling Bellamy when he saw his leg and realized what he did to Clarke.

That pain? I felt that.

But there's nothing those two can't figure out with a good old talk, one of their more healthy tradiations. 

In fact, Jason Rothenberg touches on that in the second part of his exclusive interview with TV Fanatic, which will be published the morning after The 100 Season 6 Episode 2 airs. 

So keep your eyes open and your hearts guarded. 

Stray Thoughts 

  • I have to say, having Raven see the grave that was there for Shaw was very brutal in my opinion.

    We already seemingly confirmed that Raven can't have any happiness, so Diyoza unknowingly rubbing salt into that wound and then the first real introduction to the new moon being a grave?

    That's a bold move that for valid reasons was hard to watch, and it is probably safe to assume that Raven is now only going to double down on the anger and pain that she was going through. 

    Let Raven Reyes catch a break 2281.


  • It was really disappointing to see how underutilized Tati Gabrielle was during Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1, especially in the new second part that was recently released.

    It could just be that there is never enough content with Tati Gabrielle on our screen, but the show could have given her so much more to do.

    Which brings us to that reveal that in order to keep Madi awake, they need someone watching over her in the form of Gaia.

    After getting to ask Tati herself at Unity Days 2019 what to expect from the Madi and Gaia relationship in Season 6, it is exciting to know that we will find out sooner rather than later.

    That trailer gave us some indication, but it is always better to get a confirmation that it is coming in a matter of episodes. 
Octavia's Space Issues - The 100 Season 6 Episode 2
  • The show doesn't really mention anything unless there's a big chance that it will come back later on. So those shared halluciations? That's going to be a thing, one way or the other, right?

  • Miller, Echo, and Murphy all tried to stay safe from the air by covering the doors with their clothes. The logic is sound, for some of them at least. But really, air doesn't work like that and you can't divide it to outside air vs. inside air.

    And it isn't a dig at any character, just a reminder that science and all that stuff is important. For audience members like me, who need to get spoon fed some of the science, it is only fair that the characters don't make the situation worse.

    But then that laugh that Miller manages to get out of us with his stone-faced determination that staying inside will protect them from the air? Yeah, that was a highlight.

  • Bob Morley will never play a villain on The 100, which is why these hallucinations were so great. Bob got to stretch his acting muscles a bit as Bellamy, and then in a split second return back to that expression that everyone is so familiar with. 
  • Octavia and violence is a hand in hand interaction, one can't exist without the other right now. And while in some odd way it is refreshing to have Octavia take out her aggression on herself instead of everyone around her (circa Bellamy, Lincoln, and Indra), it is also hard to feel for.

    Octavia is reaching rock bottom but is still refusing to take any responsibility for what she has done, similar to Abby's reception, it is hard to feel bad for someone who still won't accept where they were wrong. 
  • Emori is not a fan of men. She thinks all of them are out to get her and honestly same. Emori would have loved listening to My Favorite Murder podcasts if they were on that little iPod. 

  • Not to get back on that Octavia blame train again, but if you make Jordan upset, then you have to be wrong in everyone's book. You don't just upset Jordan. At the same time, you also don't say bad things about Monty, it is like Octavia can't grasp that farmers won the war.
  • Harper Was Real. Apparently that is the next character we have to work to remember, because no one else is. 
  • About Murphy's sickness, the way attention got drawn repeatedly to his hand has to mean something, right? Maybe he was exposed at the peak of the toxic air spreading, and it went into his skin from the way Emori harmed him?

    He kept complaining and struggling with it, possible signs it was getting worse from there?
  • Octavia isn't right at this point in the story, but honestly neither is Abby. She said sorry, and yet there are valid points about how she still blames Octavia when she did have a role to play in her demise.

    She contributed when it came to the cannibalism and she can't point out that Octavia is in the wrong, without admitting that she was wrong when it came to their interactions throughout the years. 

What did you think of Red Sun Rising? Do you think it picked up momentum from the premiere? Where do you see things going from here?

Which character did you feel bad for the most during those hallucinations?

How much did you cry when Eliza Taylor delivered that heartbreaking performance as Clarke going through her inner turmoil?

Which pair up did you enjoy the most? 

What did you think of those flashbacks? What does it mean that Robin Hood Russell and Teen Wolf Russell share the same name?

Would you like to see more of those flashbacks?

Who is ready for the show to commit to Bellarke already, especially after even more parallels and that parting overhead shot? 

Let us know what you think below!

And don't forget to tune in tomorrow for executive producer Jason Rothenberg's insight on the hallucinations, Bellamy and Clarke's partnership, and more fun facts in an exclusive interview. 

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.

Red Sun Rising 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 2 Quotes

Bellamy: We're all breathing it in.
Miller: If it's the air out there, then we'll stay in here.

Sanctum is mine!

Russell Lightbourne