The 100 returned to the CW with a bang this week in the ninth episode of the fifth season called “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” The episode dealt with the fallout of Abby’s betrayal of Raven, Murphy and Emori’s arrival in Shadow Valley, Madi’s unique opportunity to be the new Heda, and of course Bellamy, Clarke, and Indra’s betrayal of Octavia at the end of the previous episode.
The phrase the episode is titled after, Sic Semper Tyrannis, is the phrase that John Wilkes Booth allegedly shouted into the theater after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, and means “thus always to tyrants.” This in itself sets the tone pretty clear for the episode.
We got dual storylines in this episode again with the attempt by McCreary (and at the start Raven, Murphy, Echo, and Emori) to overthrow Diyoza in Shadow Valley, and Bellamy and Indra trying to ensure the ascension of Madi in Polis. In Shadow Valley we see Raven, Murphy, Emori, and Echo planning an escape with a distraction caused by McCreary and his people. Raven ensures that they take Shaw with them in a move that serves to eliminate the Army’s pilot and allows for her personal connection to Shaw to continue.
I’ll admit I am not completely sold on the idea of these two, and it for sure seems to be being hinted at, but I do like Shaw as a character, so I guess that is a start. In the end Raven and company find out that Clarke and Bellamy made a deal with Diyoza to coexist in the Valley and that the events they had set in motion with McCreary was no longer in their best interest.
Speaking of Bellamy and Clarke, the previous episode ended with Bellamy poisoning his sister to save Clarke from execution, and in an attempt to stop a war. This episode saw Bellamy aligning with Indra in order to make Madi the new commander by having Gaia give her the flame. Clarke, of course was against this decision, even if it meant stopping the impending war with Diyoza. The downside for Clarke was that she was locked up while Bellamy and Indra were working with Gaia to start the ascension.
And though Clarke did escape with the help of Nylah it was too late to stop the ascension. Madi is now the new home of the flame, and she showed her newfound commander abilities at the end of the episode when she convinced a guard of Octavia’s not to kill her and Clarke. After Clarke and Madi’s escape Octavia took Bellamy, Indra, and Gaia into custody, ending the episode with the three of them in the pit and Octavia on her throne, shedding a tear for those she loves in the privacy of her throne room.
Now, after that brief recap, lets talk about the feels. We had SO many in this episode, we had angst with Bellamy and Clarke, feels with Madi and Clarke, a reminder of the connection that Murphy and Abby shared, and the most heartbreaking of strains on two of my favorite relationships: Bellamy and Octavia, and Octavia and Indra.
Bellarke, after seeming on track last week, was completely derailed this week when Bellamy decided to make sure that Madi was going to get the flame and become the next commander even though he promised to keep the young girl safe. Madi, for her part, agreed to take the flame because she thought that it would save Clarke’s life. Madi just wanted to save the woman who had basically been her salvation after Praimfaya, and to his credit Bellamy just wanted to save the people that had become his family while up in space.
Clarke, also double crossed her friends when she went to Octavia and told her of the ascension, throwing Indra and Bellamy under the bus.
Now, two of my favorite relationships on this show involve Octavia, the first is the relationship between her and her brother Bellamy, which has been strained for basically her entire life. But since coming to the ground it has only grown more so, this six year stretch of separation has done nothing but intensify that.
The fracture in the relationship has never been more evident than in the past two episodes when Bellamy resorted to poisoning Octavia and then she arrested him and essentially sentenced him to death. The two clearly still care deeply for each other despite what the other has done, but I am fearful that they are approaching the point of no return in their relationship. And while I am pleasantly surprised by the way I am liking Bellamy this season, I find myself very disappointed in the way that they are using Octavia’s character this year.
That brings me to the second relationship on this show that has always been one of my favorites: Octavia and Indra. This duo has given us some of the best scenes on the show, one of my favorite character development arcs of all time, and the student/teacher turned mother/daughter dynamic I never knew that I needed. Indra spoke of the Dark Year once again in this episode, and hinted again at how it is the foundation of the way that Octavia is now, and spoke of her own responsibility for making Octavia the way she is now.
I hope that we get more exploration of this time because it is feeling a bit disconnected to me for Octavia “we will all share this bunker” to not want any part of sharing the valley. The episode ended with both of these relationships in tatters and I can only hope that going forward they all live long enough to resolve these issues (if they can be at all).
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 8 on the CW.