‘The 100’ 6×10 Review: “Matryoshka”

May we meet again, Josephine. Well, actually, let’s not.

The practically season-long battle between Clarke and Josephine finally came to a close with Clarke taking back what is rightfully hers. And wow was it a thrilling end.

I swear the last minute of the episode took ten years off my life with how nerve-wracking it was. For a minute there, I began to believe that Josephine had won and that the character I love would be gone forever. But Bellamy goddamn Blake came through and we can rest easy.

But Clarke’s victory was only one part of a pretty loaded episode. So let’s get into it.

Death to Primes 

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At first glance, it can be hard to understand why on earth the people of Sanctum would agree to sacrifice their loved ones in order to prolong another’s life. But when a belief is ingrained in your mind from the moment you walk, it can be a tough thing to break.

So it is no surprise that when the citizens of Sanctum begin to hear the truth surrounding the sacrifices and who the Primes really are, things get a little tense.

Not only does Sanctum go on lockdown, but one of the Primes’ hosts is murder right in front of them. The once peaceful land is spiraling out of control. It makes me think back to the beginning of the season when Clarke and Russell had their discussion about peace. Clarke was so sure that they could move on from their past and not destroy another planet like Earth. Russell disagreed and look at where we are now.

The parallels between Sanctum and Mount Weather are staggering. Both peaceful civilizations ruined due to the arrival of Skaikru. But here is the thing – both civilizations had some skeletons in their closet that helped them survive. Mount Weather held grounders captive and tortured them for their bone marrow. Sanctum fools their citizens into giving their lives so that Primes can live forever. Peaceful societies they are not.

While it may seem like death and destruction follow them, perhaps Skaikru really is the good guys in all of this. They end injustice and cruelty in an effort to achieve peace. It may not turn out that way, but they at least try. I truly think that if Sanctum was as great as they claimed to be, none of this would ever have happened.

We also wouldn’t have a compelling sixth season if it was all sunshine and rainbows.

Morality vs. Immortality

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Those in Skaikru who remain in Sanctum are in a precarious position.

To set an example, the Primes have decided to execute someone from Skaikru. To make matters worse, Skaikru must decide which unfortunate soul it will be. Of course, it doesn’t take long for them to pinpoint Murphy.

He did, after all, agree to side with Josephine despite the fact that she tried to murder Clarke. In Murphy’s defense, he did eventually agree to help Bellamy save Clarke. It only took a few nudges and a stab wound to change his mind, but does that mean he should die?

Between everyone in that room, there are enough bad decisions to go around. Madi murdered someone in cold bold, Abby agreed to let someone sacrifice themselves to save Kane, and Miller was a loyal follower of Blodrenia. It is just hypocritical at this point for them to persecute Murphy for his past actions yet be okay with others.

Also, you would think that now would be the best time for them to band together to fight the Primes. As Raven points out to Murphy, it morality that triumphs. Yet here we are in a room of people wanting to make another immoral decision.

The true irony of it all is that it is Murphy’s fast-talking that saves everyone from being burned at the stake. Promising Russell nightblood, Murphy has managed to give everyone an extra twenty-four hours to come up with another plan that doesn’t end up with them burnt alive. It also gives them more time to help Madi.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

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To pile on the already long list of problems, in the middle of everything, it appears Madi has lost all control under the grasp of Sheidheda. She essentially wants to kill everyone in sight.

Seeing how murderous Madi has become, Gaia begins to fear whether it is even possible to save her because, as Jackson so brilliantly points out, they are all doomed if she wakes their sleeping army.

I have said this before, but I’m not entirely sure what the point of all this Sheidheda nonsense is. It is as though the writers thought that these characters weren’t dealing with enough problems, let’s have a psychotic commander take over the mind of a child and have her turn into a murderer.

With Raven’s plan of hacking the flame to block out the past commanders, it seems as though this problem is going to be solved before the end of the season. While all the other issues make sense with the way the story is progressing, this one just doesn’t add up. My guess is this is going to be a big part of the next season because otherwise, I don’t get it.

Heart and the Head

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I feel as though I have been waiting all season for this episode. Better yet, I have been waiting all season for Clarke to come back.

Clarke, who is just as eager to see Josephine go, is racing against time to find a way to be herself again. Oddly enough, she finds an ally in Josephine as they find new ways to prolong the shelf life of Clarke’s body and mind which they both need to survive.

To do that, they have to get rid of Josephine’s memories trapped in Clarke’s mindspace. How they have time to individually select the memories is beyond me, but it does give us more insight into the love between Gabriel and Josephine.

It’s during that time in which Josephine takes the lead and regains control of Clarke’s body right as Gabriel and Octavia come to the rescue. Making one last effort, Josephine signals for her people but that inadvertently also brings Bellamy.

When Bellamy comes and saves the day, he also reunites with Octavia who embraces him the moment she sees him. It was a cute Blake sibling reunion had it not been for the complete cold should Bellamy gives Octavia. If there is one thing I want in the last few episodes of the season it’s that Bellamy finally gets over his anger with Octavia and they become siblings again. Though, that wish doesn’t look too promising right now.

To be fair, Bellamy is a bit preoccupied trying to get Clarke back. And he gets so close as Gabriel is able to safely remove the mind drive from Clarke. But somehow Josephine manages to hang on and makes one last attempt to kill Clarke.

It is in that moment that for a split-second I thought that Josephine might have actually have defeated Clarke. But while I may have lost hope for a second, Bellamy did not. Remembering the classic Bellarke line, Bellamy linked the heart and the head to bring Clarke back to life. What an incredible performance by both Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley in the last few minutes of the show. My jaw was completely dropped the entire time and don’t even get me started on that Bellarke hug.

Bellamy and Clarke may have solved one problem, but they have plenty of more brewing back in Sanctum. At least now we have our dream team back.

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

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