The 100 threw out all the expectations tonight with “Exit Wounds,” delivering an episode complete with twists only this series’ writers are brave enough to take. Full disclosure: I really liked this episode, and I say that as a Bellarke shipper. My faith in this ‘ship has not diminished in the slightest, though; so, before I dive, in I’m making that clear.
The action in “Exit Wounds” was mainly situated on the struggles in Wonkru, with a little sprinkling of Eligius. As the differences of the last six years came into greater focus, the story showed that as much as people missed each other, that doesn’t erase how much has changed.
Relationships Are Messy As Hell
When it comes to the characters, “relationships are messy as hell” might as well be the tagline for The 100. A few relationships came to shine in this latest episode, cleverly interwoven with how the divide of six years is a struggle in the united goal to survive.
Octavia is comfortable behind her mask of Blodreina and, when she’s truly afraid, only lets the girl beneath the floor out in glimpses. I was reminded me of that when she called out to her brother; but at the end of the day, her reign is what matters now. Her ruthless attitude and ability to lie as easily as she breathes makes me scared. I know it’s only going to get worse with Madi in the mix now.
Lord, I feel for Clarke right now. She tried so hard to protect Madi, and everything she wanted to keep safe ended up right in the hands of the last person she wanted to know the truth. I also couldn’t miss the blatant stung glances at Bellamy and Echo’s goodbye. Take note: The 100 does not do subtle. But Madi is where Clarke’s focus is right now, and frankly, I wish they had gotten to run. Despite what Octavia did, and I will vote for sharing blood needs to stay symbolic, I don’t trust her with a ten foot pole in regards to Madi.
I can tell Clarke doesn’t trust Octavia either and, in spite of the war for survival swirling around them, isn’t going to take what happened lying down. Diyoza’s strategy to get defectors on their side was smart and alluring. Octavia is up against an enemy she thinks she can defeat, but if she’s willing to “execute traitors” that easily, the enemy she may never be able to overcome is the consequences of her choices as Blodreina.
Romance Amid Survival
In the woods, in scenes I found cathartic as well as thrilling, Emori and Murphy were off unofficially working out their issues and outsmarting McCreepy the torture lover. Their kiss was definitely a moment of fist pumping, despite Emori’s declaration this doesn’t mean they’re back together (which I’m fine with. Take more time to find your way back).
Truthfully, I’m saying bravo to Memori for being honest with each other (hint, hint) and nabbing a hostage in the process. Their snarking back and forth was difficult to watch the first few episodes; but behind the anger, there is still a lot of love that, for far too long, was damaged by a lack of communication. So, if it takes them the rest of the season to keep up that communication, then by all means, have at it because my Memori heart needs happiness for this ‘ship.
Addressing the elephant in the room here, Bellamy and Echo also got some screen time in “Exit Wounds.” Now, I realize how many of fans of The 100 DON’T like that, and I admit that when I watched this episode, my Bellarke-loving heart was disheartened.
However, I’m not worried in the slightest for a few reasons here: First, it’s the middle of the season. Second, The 100‘s creative team loves angst. And third, if I’m feeling disheartened and worried for Bellarke, it’s likely what they’re intending. I’m here for the ride, and it wasn’t exactly subtle that, in an hour packed full of character drama, The 100 took the time for Bellamy to catch Clarke watching him and Echo say goodbye or for her telling Bellamy she was leaving, when she could have easily disappeared without a word.
So Bellarke shippers take heart, and just keep going, I’m with you here.
We Are Who We Choose to Be
If I had to pick a theme for “Exit Wounds,” the above title would be it. There were a lot of choices being made that quickly advanced the plot and revealed how fast the ground is changing the dynamics of the groups who had been together the last six years. Between Octavia, Bellamy, Clarke, and Echo, it’s enough to make your head spin. Throw in Gaia and Niylah, and I was ready to yell, “SLOW DOWN PEOPLE!”
That’s when you know The 100 is in full force here. Octavia, for better or worse, is doing what she thinks will save her people, damn the consequences or what anyone else thinks, and refusing to believe there’s a better way than her way of doing things. I mean, in a matter of hours, she goes from banishing Echo to sending her in as a spy with no backup. Echo, to her credit, rose to the challenge.
Echo, is one character on The 100 who, due to her changes over the last six years, is a stranger; but being back on the ground has made things infinitely more complicated. Straight up, I actually liked seeing the choices she made for the most part, but I also have zero doubt that the beginning of the end of her relationship with Bellamy has already begun. She’s taking a lot of risk becoming a spy, and while it’s a smart idea, 15 minutes into the mission she’s using a dying girl to hide the thumb drive critical to the success of the plan.
Morally gray choices are out in full force, and while I invite them in spades, it makes me curious as to how everything is going to shake out by the time The 100 season 5 is up. Clarke and Bellamy in particular are being torn by the loyalties over their respective groups, versus a need to try and help the war at hand.
Bellamy is struggling with how to accept who his sister has become and juggling worrying about everyone in spacekru, plus Clarke being alive. Clarke, likewise, is still acclimating to being surrounded by people whom, outside of a few, she doesn’t entirely trust — on top of being laser focused on protecting Madi. I don’t imagine how the situation can get more complicated or dangerous (though I’m sure it will), and I’m excited to see how these two handle it while struggling with their feelings.
Diyoza and the Eligius crew didn’t have as much time in this episode, but it’s clear that whatever Kane shared last week, Diyoza is using every advantage she has to make the smartest choices (in her eyes) for human survival. I would agree with a lot of her choices if she hadn’t created such a brutal environment, and that was before I watched her order collars on everyone who defected and made it to the ship unharmed from Wonkru.
The 100 makes all of these people so dynamic that I found myself caring what’s going to happen to even the characters I dislike, and right there is why I’m finding this fifth season fantastic. The plot is crazy, but reconnecting with these characters after a time jump as they’re finding who they are now was one of the best choices the writers could have made.
I can’t wait to see what happens next. Sadly, that’ll take ANOTHER two weeks. The wait will be worth it, but I sure want to skip to June 19 right now.
How about you guys?
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.