The 100: 5×07 “Acceptable Losses” Review

Well, that was a tense as hell hour. This show is finding new ways to define compelling, and drawn-in storytelling with every episode this season, and I’ll be honest, it’s f*cking thrilling. It felt truly like the stage has been set, the match is lit for a lot of craziness to come, which says a lot, given everything that’s ALREADY happened.

We focused on the crew in Polis and those in Eden, which brought to light a lot of character growth, moments and — more than anything — drama. My favorite kind in a television show! It’s honestly impressive how The 100 has honed in so tight on letting the characters, and their relationships, interactions, and clashes drive the story. I say that with the full knowledge and sadness that it’s getting harder and harder to find television shows that do that.

That being said, let’s dive into it, shall we?

Eden: The Paradise of Spies instead of Snakes

The moving parts of a story are best looked at through the lens of the characters. When it comes to Colonel Diyoza and her murderous crew, the differences between our heroes, and “villains” begin to shrink when you look at the motivations of their choices.

Zeke (I refuse to call him Shaw, sue me), and Raven bonded when he revealed a part of the backstory that led 300 prisoners to revolt against the company that sent them to space. It didn’t surprise me that his moral compass led him to treat these prisoners like humans, but I was happy to see Raven recognize his conflict and goodness enough to not want to betray him when Echo suggested it. On Echo’s part, what she did was smart, and perfectly encompassed her spy role to get the mission done, regardless of whose confidence she breaks. I don’t condone it, and I certainly doubt Raven will be happy with her, but I refuse to automatically paint Echo as a villain for this.

Echo has always been a person whose loyalty runs deep. First to Azgeda, and now to her space kru family. I have no doubt she fostered more powerful and better relationships with them over the last six years, but — as it’s quickly proving — time doesn’t change the core of who you are, and how you operate.

Now the mission is complete, and only the aftermath remains. That’s a chilling thought, knowing this show. Choices have consequences, as Abby learned the hard way. I know there’s a lot of people out there railing against Kane and what he said, but when it comes down to it, what else could he have done under the circumstances?

Abby is addicted to pills, and no matter what justification she uses, she’s always going to make the choice to do what’s easier, and that’s continuing to take them. I know Kane loves her, which makes his choice that much harder because, out of everything, this is where they’ve landed. In an enemy camp surrounded by criminals, and trying to find a way to live. My Kabby heart hurt for them, and I am praying they find their way back to each other, but Abby has to tackle her own issue first. God, I hope they both live long enough to do it.

To top it off, Diyoza — the battle ridden, brilliant strategist and former prisoner — gets the reveal of the hour: she’s not sick; she’s PREGNANT. Kudos to the writers’ team choosing to write in the actress’ real life pregnancy. And wow — talk about instant understanding of her choices to take the valley, for her kid, and to find a way to not fight a war.

Talk about upping the danger level, and I haven’t even started talking about Octavia.

Winning the battles does not equal winning the War

I sincerely wish Octavia could learn the lesson of my subtitle. Blodreina may have ruled with an iron fist of terror and vengeance in the bunker, but they are on the ground now. Sticking to what worked before isn’t the smart thing to do, but Octavia has long been the person to listen to her emotions first, and reason later.

She’s fallen so far down the rabbit hole of Blodreina, losing Octavia more and more. The two questions I keep asking are, what will it take for her to see the light of reason, and even if she does, will she choose to climb back out? It hardly took any time at all for Monty, Harper, Clarke, and Bellamy to work together like the old days, problem solving and strategizing, as our delinquents are well experienced at this point. It felt good to see most of the old gang together – a hearkening to the dropship days when all they had to worry about was surviving winter, and grounders.

Nostalgia is a bitch though, and a painful one too, in the form of Jasper’s suicide note to Monty, who I wanted to wrap up in blankets after his breakdown. His question hung out in the air, robbing everyone of the motivation to keep one foot in front of the other, to face a war none of them want to fight. Now I’ll throw down for a good chunk of this ensemble, but at this point they’ve all screwed up, and made choices none of them thought would be in front of them – Bellamy and Clarke especially. Still, despite everything, they find a way to keep breathing, and hopefully one day break the violent cycle none of them want to deal with anymore.

Amid the danger, and tense atmosphere of Wonkru all the little character moments stood out to me, giving it a levity that these characters sorely needed. Clarke being a true mama bear over Madi with her canteen and advice, which I wish Madi has listened to, but that’s preteens for you. Bellamy and Monty laughing over the algae farm issues in space, and Clarke being hilariously blunt in her “diplomacy” earning a wry comment from Bellamy.

The danger however is prominent enough to snoop around, and discover diabolical plans with flesh eating worms, and Madi unofficially being drawn into Octavia’s web. Now I love Madi, but it kills me she has no idea how much danger she’s actually in when it comes to Octavia. It’s the embodiment of keep your friends close, but your enemies closer tactic and Clarke recognized that a mile away. Enough to bring out Wanheda and declare they’ll be taking her out in order to share Shadow Valley.

Through all of this, I couldn’t help but notice the small things about Bellarke. Bellamy and Clarke have a rhythm as easy as breathing, but looking at the surface you’d think there’s nothing happening, which isn’t the case at all. The fact that they trust each other is a miracle when looking at it logically – Bellamy is Octavia’s brother, the woman threatening Madi’s life, and Clarke is someone Bellamy hasn’t seen in six years and time has proven — especially in Niylah’s case — to turn a former comrade into a distrustful “ally.” Their inherent bond to trust, and work together in the face of overwhelming problems overrides everything that would divide anyone else, especially teaming up to deal with Octavia.

Things have been brewing between these two since they reunited, and I can’t help but feel there’s an argument coming where a few secrets will be coming out — i.e. Clarke’s radio calls, and not so subtle pain filled glances at Bellamy and Echo in the last episode. Hang tight, Bellarke fans, we are in for a heck of a ride next week.

How about you guys? What did you think of “Acceptable Losses”?

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

 

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