Just as things are getting interesting, suddenly everything is slowing down once more.
The storylines on The 100 can be strong, but they have to have room to grow. Instead, the show hits the accelerator only to hit the brake once the story starts to head somewhere important.
During The 100 Season 7 Episode 6, the group on Nakara had to find the stone to get them to Bardo. But their journey got complicated when they end up in a creature that wasn't exactly friendly.
Meanwhile, Sanctum is falling apart, with everyone looking for a way to tear it apart. Nelson wants justice for what happened to his people. Nikki wants revenge for Hatch getting killed by Raven's lies. And Sheiheda just wants to find someone to play chess with while in Sanctum.
There was a shake-up in Bardo when the group got more significant, but their motivations get scattered. Gabriel was forced to knock everyone out for their safety, surrendering to Bardo in the process.
"Nakara," written by Erica Meredith, was a quicksand approach to stretching a story that The 100 is not rushing to tell. The strength of the episode, though, was how it highlighted the men talking about taking power, all while the women around them actually got that power.
It also highlighted that more episodes in a season don't mean there should be more filler episodes in-between. There is more room to ramp things up, but it keeps coming at a standstill at the worst moments in the narrative.
Each episode proves the potential that exists in all these scattered stories that The 100 wants to tell, but they then have to effortlessly follow those threads for the interest to stay the same.
The 100 doesn't seem to be clear on what story they are trying to tell, which doesn't work this deep into a final season.
The Bardo Bummer
Diyoza is the only one allowed to decide things. Her power, her skill, her persistence.
We really lucked out with Diyoza in our lives and, we should just be grateful that we are allowed to keep spending time with her.
There was nothing more predictable than the fact that Diyoza wouldn't just give Bardo everything they wanted, but she went above and beyond to prove that they had no idea who they were dealing with when they captured her.
That opening with her fighting torture and picking up on every little detail that would set her free was remarkable. It was an honor to go on that adventure with her as an observer.
Much like Indra, Diyoza didn't wait around for power to come her way. She took it not because she wanted it but because no one else could get the job done as she could.
But it also made me wish that this was what we had more of on the show. Diyoza is used, but she isn't used nearly enough. Just like Indra, she screams power, and yet she doesn't have the chance to lead.
It is also strange that this final season gave Diyoza's daughter the reigns when they never invested the same amount of time in Diyoza. Why?
Murphy: Can we at least watch?
Murphy: I'ma watch ...
It isn't to say that Shelby Flannery doesn't offer something truly unique with Hope.
She is one of the scene-stealing characters that are worth investing time and energy in.
But why can't Hope and Diyoza be afforded more screentime?
If The 100 can find time to throw out more villains than there are scenes to spend with all of them, it would make sense to instead trade that time in for more focus on the many, many characters they have introduced so far.
A character can't just be good; they have to be used and not put in the corner when a new shiny character is written in. How about making sure you have a good handle on your existing characters before more are added?
Regardless, Diyoza appeared, and so did the energy the Bardo group needed to find a way out.
Except things are never easy, and that quickly became dead ends mixed with dead weights pulling it all apart.
We knew it was going to end up this way, and yet there was still that tiny bit of hope that maybe it will be different.
But the happy trio had to come to this, especially since Echo is killing people left and right.
She really couldn't wait to prove everyone right about her true nature; she isn't even waiting for the Bellamy dust to settle.
Instead, she doesn't take the win when they find Diyoza by accident; she keeps stirring the pot and keeps breaking the trust.
Everything is working against them; suddenly, they are out of options.
Levitt, who is somehow very conveniently around whenever Octavia needs him, gave them advice that would have only gotten them so far.
They can't survive on the outer part of Bardo for long, so it would only last until they had the next piece to their plan.
Gabriel saw that Echo killing everyone she came across wasn't going to get them anywhere.
They needed to make a smart choice. Gabriel probably made the smartest choice out of all of them when he surrendered them to Bardo.
It's really rich for Echo to accuse Gabriel of not being on their side because of his motivation to learn more about Bardo as if she didn't spend this entire ride searching for her only defining quality.
Anyway, while we wait for Echo to get off her high horse, Gabriel did what he knew he had to do and paused their little adventure.
The dynamic just wasn't what it was because priorities were changing for everyone.
And frankly, Echo was becoming more of a problem than any solution she pretended she could offer.
What is it about Echo that stops her from actually becoming a better person? From The 100 Season 5, we know how different she has become. But she hasn't.
She changed to be more like the people around her, like the person she was basing her entire self worth around.
Then the second he isn't around or he "dies"; gone is every single moral part of her went out the window.
Before Bellamy was even dead, Echo was already proving that she was precisely that same villain from Azgeda that we initially saw betray Bellamy.
How is there development happening if it is just a topcoat covering up the same traits that she had before all this? It isn't surprising, but it is tiring.
Echo's grieving process, in general, is so difficult to get on board with right now. Bellamy's actual sister isn't acting this extra, so why is she?
You would think the new female character that The 100 deemed worthy enough to have the most lines would have something meaningful to offer with those extra lines.
But instead, Echo is channeling her inner emo self, and we are just forced to deal with it. Just like Gabriel.
Speaking of Gabriel, it isn't clear where all of this ends for everyone just yet.
But plots are coming together, so Gabriel and the others only have to survive long enough for their other group of friends to arrive.
And so many people will owe Gabriel an apology for not thinking of him when they went on this mission; he is why all of them got as far as they did.
Not Everyone Can Be Jesus in Sanctum (and Beyond)
There isn't a bandage big enough to cover all the issues and wounds created in Sanctum.
One issue wraps up, so suddenly, another one has to start elsewhere. Sanctum needs to keep things exciting, and it seems to love that drama.
Now Nikki is another character that is on a very high horse right about now. She is blaming Raven for killing Hatch, and she isn't wrong about that. But when Hatch decided to help Raven, it was Nikki who told him to go.
She opted out of going with him because she knew there were risks. She could have told him to stay behind, but she chose not to tell him her worries. It was at that moment that Nikki risked Hatch's life just as much as Raven did with those pipes.
If you don't want to go into a dangerous situation yourself because you don't trust your odds, why would you tell your partner to go?
But that logic didn't seem to hit Nikki, instead she is fueled by revenge and probably boredom. We are also going to ignore that corny "bang-bang" line because that shouldn't be taken seriously.
Nikki does open an opportunity for Nelson, though.
He thought that after his team-up with Indra during The 100 Season 7 Episode 5 that he was part of the group. But Indra had bigger issues and less time to define that friendship.
Murphy: Can we at least watch?
Murphy: I'ma watch ...
Nelson couldn't sit down like Indra told him to, so instead, he went from Gabriel teaching him about how to wear cardigans to "Russell" using chess to manipulate the situation in Sanctum.
It was hard to believe that after everything Nelson has been through, he wouldn't even ask "Russell" who he is?
He believes that it isn't his enemy, but at the same time, he doesn't question Sheidheda any further. Is this an oversight? Or is Nelson just looking for someone to listen to right now?
Nelson's relationship with Gabriel is broken, even if he still lives on the values he learned during his time with him. And he might come off as someone who has his plan; it is apparent that he wants a group dynamic.
Indra allowed him some of that when they were on the same page, but now she has other worries, and Nelson just felt lost.
Sheidheda couldn't have been isolated and looking for fun at a better time. He preys on weakness, and Nelson's weakness is his hunger for justice. He wants it, but at the same time, he doesn't know how to get it.
Nelson teams up with the people he thinks line up with his agenda; the issue is that he is only focused on that.
He isn't allowing himself to exist until he accomplishes his goal organically, but when will he achieve it?
He doesn't know what justice looks like, so he doesn't know when he accomplishes it.
So Nelson and Sheidheda have their little pow-wow about power.
Meanwhile, in another part of Sanctum, Indra doesn't waste time talking about it, and instead, she is just looking at a way to have it.
It was about time that Indra and Madi got some time to interact. Indra has such a rich history with Commanders' mythology, and yet she never properly spent that time with Madi.
Madi's connection with Gaia meant that, in a way, she was stuck in the middle.
Gaia and Indra see their faith in very different ways, and Indra never got the chance to share her view of things with Madi.
But while Indra thought that she had to keep finding someone to follow, she was the only one holding everything together.
No one deserves to lead the way that Indra has.
All this time, she was right behind the person she had to prepare to take power, and yet she was still the one that was keeping everything in check.
Giving her that chance to do what she deserved to do finally was everything.
Indra has been single-handedly carrying Sanctum's worth on her back. She was the only one who truly cared about the dynamics and about trying to settle things.
Indra is just as tired of how stagnant and dramatic things are in Sanctum; the least the narrative could do is let her handle things because no one else would.
Speaking of tired aspects of the story that aren't adding up for now, is anyone else writing down any mention of the Bible?
The 100 is leaning on that this season, and yet it feels like not all of those hints have the value we think it does.
To be fair, not everyone can be Jesus, even if everyone is trying to be.
The sequence of Diyoza chained up in Bardo reminded me of Jesus on the cross. But then Sheidheda talked of resurrection, an act that happens over and over again in Sanctum.
But the Dark Commander has been the most successful; he always finds a way to come back.
Then Murphy spoke with Jeremiah; this is a character in the Bible who, from my understanding, was connected to false hopes and calling that out.
The irony that this person finds hope from an actual false god? More likely than you think.
Regardless of all that, something is brewing in Sanctum, but it is taking years to get to that boiling point.
With the grounders more or less one again, the groups that are left are Nelson's people and Trey's faithful bunch. They are all looking for someone else to follow, and yet none of them know who they will be answering to soon.
The Shepherd loves his sheep, and Sanctum has a whole field for the picking.
There's also no way all of this drama is happening in Sanctum just to stay in Sanctum. The least valuable storyline has to become a supplement to something bigger, or else what has this all been about all this time?
Nakara's Horror Movie Off-Road Adventure
Not every planet can be a winner, but sometimes it is all about the journey instead of the destination.
And although this didn't actually feel like one of those times, Nakara did give us something significant; actual screentime for Clarke, more than we have gotten in what feels like forever.
But more screentime means more discussions about what we are exploring, and the answer to that seems to be anything but Clarke's agency.
It is one thing to have Niylah, Miller, and even Jordan come off as not as driven within this narrative.
Niylah and Miller exist, but their stories never inspired the show.
And at this point, it is safe to assume that The 100 decided not to give Jordan more to do within the narrative. They seem to think he doesn't have enough to offer, but that is one of their many misconceptions this season.
The biggest misconception is their belief that they can continue to table their lead character in the long run.
Raven: When does it end?
Clarke: It doesn't end here. I don't believe in karma, Raven. And if we have souls, yours isn't cracked. You're a good person, maybe the best I know.
Clarke Griffin is no longer the lead on a show that doesn't seem to know who is leading anymore.
It isn't possible to engage or enjoy anything the last season has to offer when it expresses that it doesn't find value in its leads anymore.
This misguided view that The 100 is perpetuating further proves that The 100 Season 7 doesn't know how to do right by the essence of the show.
If you don't think that Clarke (and Bellamy) offers everything that made The 100 what it is, you aren't paying attention.
The fact that Clarke hasn't had the most lines this season, she doesn't even come in close, is cause for concern. The show doesn't care about what mattered to the audience and the narrative all this time.
Especially in the last season, it is disrespectful to think this will be taken at face value and not questioned.
Clarke Griffin deserves more than she is getting. So much more.
But she does get to support someone else once again, and while it still stings that The 100 doesn't see her as worthy of her own story, it was refreshing to explore her relationship with Raven.
It wasn't enough to just have Abby dying to be why Raven and Clarke reach an understanding.
They haven't seen eye to eye in years, and one of those reasons had to do with their view on survival.
Survival comes with tough choices, and it wasn't until they reached the same point in time that they had room for this conversation.
While it could have and should have, been longer, it is still a start.
Lindsey Morgan was phenomenal as she explored Raven's guilt when it came to the most relatable emotion of all; being selfish when it came to saving yourself.
There wasn't anything wrong with Raven not wanting to risk her life; it would have been strange if she had.
Everyone wants to survive, and sometimes you end up sacrificing a part of yourself to make that happen.
Lindsey acted out Raven's internal struggle with so much emotion and pain; it isn't possible to not feel for someone who just wanted to save everyone but couldn't.
Much like Clarke. It is a tale as old as time for her. She always tries her best, but there will always be someone who doesn't see it that way.
Raven and Clarke haven't been allowed to really speak to one another, so there is hope that maybe Raven's arc is opening the door for more human connection.
The 100 is starving without it, and that connection is what gives the final season any weight these days.
The Bellarke Abyss
Clarke calling for Bellamy as if he would appear from behind one of those "rocks" in Nakara was such a mood.
I miss him too, Clarke. You don't even know.
I miss both Bellamy and Clarke, to be honest.
We spoke with Eli Goree about his time on the show, as well as Michael Beach about the journey he had, and we even took a walk down memory lane with Christopher Larkin and Aaron Ginsburg. We even checked in with Zach McGowan about that surprise return to the show.
Keep checking TV Fanatic for more upcoming interviews with surprise cast members from seasons past!
During a post-apocalyptic visit to a graveyard planet which Team Jump hero are you? Tag yourself if you are Niylah, someone who just wants to get down to business.
Tag yourself if you are Jordan, someone who is in it for the adventure and the aliens. Tag yourself if you are Miller; someone who just wants to get out of there and refuses to be the one to die first.
- Why is Raven always so sharp with Jordan? He couldn't be any more helpful, but each time she is somehow taking her frustrations out on him.
Everyone is getting a boyfriend on The 100 it seems. Madi is flirting with a guy from Sanctum because she finally gets to be a girl her age.
Now, if only her mom could follow her lead and get a boyfriend right there. We could make it super easy for her by choosing the boy ourselves.
Gabriel Santiago is our gentle giant that deserves all the love and support in the world.
I don't want to be That Person, but this has to be mentioned before Octavia and Levitt take their relationship any farther. Levitt is now a janitor because he did everything he could to help Octavia and keep her safe. The way that mirrors Bellamy becoming a janitor on the Ark after he tried to make Octavia happy is a bit much.
What is it that people say about some women seeking out a partner who reminds them of their father? Say it isn't so, Octavia.
Speaking of Levitt, he might be the perfect boyfriend for Octavia. The way that he saw her memories and supported every choice she made is one thing.
But now this dude is openly enjoying Octavia punching him? Maybe it saw Octavia's memories, or perhaps he really likes her, but Levitt is Octavia's favorite now.
So at this point, Murphy now cares about all kids? That is just something we have to take as canon? Sure. Okay.
RIP to the bindi. You have spent too long representing cultural appropriation, and it is about time the show stops pretending that Grounder "culture" is entitled to it.
I'm not sure if anyone is still wondering about those symbols in the promotional photos for the show. But the first symbol that Raven puts into the stone to get to Bardo is exactly the same one that Clarke (and Echo) has.
Is this a sign? A coincidence? A useless piece of information that I spent too much time trying to validate? The world may never know.
Sanctum might be struggling to find common ground, but there seems to be hope on the horizon. You may have missed Madi's new friend being a null who usually isn't friends with the kids in Sanctum.
But as things are changing in Sanctum, so are the preconceived notions that kids heard from their parents.
Changing is happening, but it is coming from the younger generation. The kids have a mess to deal with, and they are coming out better than people that came before them.
Did anyone else find Jackson to be too much this time around? He had all this rage about losing Abby, and now he is trying to coddle Madi as a replacement? Is Madi the new Abby?
I don't think Clarke asked Jackson to babysit Madi, and I am worried about where this is going.
Raven using the metric system made me appreciate the faith she had in the American viewers to understand. I may not have, but I felt smarter for it anyway.
Sheidheda might think he is the king on the board, but that transition made it clear who our real royalty was.
Clarke Griffin: Queen of Every Single World
Thank you to J.R Bourne, Adina Porter, and Luisa D'Oliveira for being the reason Sanctum is even worth investing anything in. They all make it worth it.
It would be nice for The 100 actually to use more of Lola Flanery, and not just when it comes to her being or not being the Commander. She could just exist in that world as someone looking to heal, and the audience gets to follow that.
It isn't as trendy or edgy as a new war every single season, but it is worth the investment.
The directing for this episode was incredible because of how it focused on the dynamics growing in all the different storylines. It highlighted the balance (and sometimes imbalance) that existed between each interaction.
It also gave more strength to each conversation because it built up the characters building off one another instead of off the plot.
So is there any chance that we won't return to Nakara to see someone we love being buried there?
What did you think of this episode? What do you think about that Second Dawn sign at Nakara?
How much are you missing Bellamy Blake already? How much do you wish Clarke Griffin mattered more to her own show?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how extra is Echo being so far? How much are you shipping Levitt and Octavia after that cheek touch? Is cheek stroking our new form of love on the show? If so, like brother, like sister.
Which storyline are you most excited about going forward? Who else just wants to meet the Shepherd already? And when do we think Gabriel will get to have his hot cup of tea and his cardigan again?
Let us know what you think below!
Stick around for more interviews, features, slideshows, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online right here on TV Fanatic.
Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.