Monday, July 15, 2024

Octavia Kills it at the Final Conclave

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The 100 Review Season 4 Episode 10: “Die All, Die Merrily”

Content Warning: This review discusses graphic violence, gore, and named character death, as depicted on the show.

So. Here we are at the conclave. Because despite their being room for 1,200 people, Roan has decided they have to kill each other to see who wins the bunker. And everyone is cool with this idea. Because there are still two more episodes after this and the writers have to kill air time.

The only upside is that for the first time this season, everyone is in one place, so we only have one location: Polis. Have a glass of water ready, because I am salty.

What Happened

Octavia prepares to be Skaikru’s warrior in the conclave. Clarke expresses her belief in Octavia’s prowess, but behind her back confesses to Bellamy that she just said it to make Octavia feel better. Octavia receives her McGuffin of Conclave Inclusion and what’s this? Oh noes, Ilian is Trishanakru’s champion!!!

But wait! There’s another surprise entry: Luna magically escaped from the island and is no longer limping despite only having recovered from the harvesting less than 24 hours ago. Good thing Gaia thought ahead and had a sigil ready for her. Only problem is Luna’s fighting so that everyone else will die. Nihilism must be rubbing off on her. Mentor Indra gives Octavia a few last pieces of advice and her own sword, even if it means that if Octavia wins Trikru dies.

Jaha thinks the conclave is jacked, yo and that the 12 clans won’t accept a Skaiku win. Clarke wants to cheat because she believes Luna has the advantage as a natblida noviate. She talks to Roan about teaming up to beat Luna. He’s all “whatever, we’re not friends anymore” but she says she just wants humanity to survive, even if it isn’t her clan. Echo makes an ‘I have an idea’ face.

Marcus and Bellamy also give Octavia some fighting advice. The Blakes have an emotional-ish parting. The warriors exit the tower and we finally see the scene from the trailer with Octavia in her Lincoln/Lexa warpaint.

The horn blows announcing the start of the conclave. As the warriors run through the streets of Polis (why are they fighting inside the city?), Octavia hides from a dude who wants to take out the famous skairipa and watches Roan fight take out two warriors. Gaia watches through a telescope and cries because Roan took out Trikru. Bellamy feels bad that he couldn’t tell Octavia he loved her.

Luna makes a dramatically backlit entrance and explains to Octavia that Skaikru taught her how evil people are. They fight over who Lincoln would be more ashamed of, then fight with weapons, but Octavia manages to escape. Ilian finds Octavia binding a wound and wants to make an alliance. He looks hurt that she promises to kill him. (He tried so hard to screw the violence away!) Bellamy sees one of the warriors fighting with a bow, which makes him realize Echo is gone. He wants to find her because he thinks she’s cheating to make Azgeda win (Hint: she is). Kane tells him to wait for dark.

Octavia gets cornered by Grounders, and Ilian shows up to help. She’s mad that he helps her, but Ilian is being all Peeta about it until he gets shot through the neck. He tells her to follow through on her promise to kill him, so she does. Emotional music plays. (Why are we invested in their relationship, again?). Oh, and Echo reveals herself as the archer, in case we had any doubts.

It is now nighttime, so Bellamy sneaks onto the battlefield, weaponless, to find Echo. He almost runs into Luna as she dramatically kills a dude, like a Badass™. Bellamy finds Echo just as she’s about to kill Octavia. Roan finds them both and banishes Echo from Azgeda for the ‘dishonor’ of helping him by cheating. Roan decides not to summon a scout to kill Octavia because that wouldn’t be honorable fun.

Gaia announces that only four warriors remain: Luna, Roan, Octavia, and one other we all know will be dead soon. Roan finds Octavia and proposes a truce to take down Luna. Someone takes Bellamy hostage while Roan and Octavia go after Luna, who has just finished killing off Warrior Number 4. Luna channels Lexa by fighting with two swords. Black rain stars falling, so Octavia runs. Roan and Luna continue fighting and she kills him. First by stabbing him through the heart, then by drowning him as she recites the Flokru death litany.

Luna goes all bond villain and gives a speech while Octavia hides. She admits she ran from her true, murderous self at the conclave years ago because all humans are Evuhl. Octavia punctuates the end of Luna’s speech with a sword through her gut, proclaiming that Luna wasn’t worth saving. At least she gives her Trikru’s last rites. That was a nice touch.

Echo looks sad as Gaia announces Roan’s death. Octavia makes a dramatic entrance into the throne room shot in a style reminiscent of Clarke’s entrance as Wanheda in 3.03. She offers Gaia the proof of her victory and announces that everyone will share the bunker equally. They will survive together. Because we needed a lot of death in order to reach a conclusion that could have been reached last episode to kill off some secondary characters for Shock Value™.

Octavia wonders where Bellamy is, and we cut to inside the bunker. Bellamy discovers Clarke and Jaha decided to seal off the bunker, leaving Octavia and everyone outside to die.

Tonight’s Pseudo-Profound Assertion: “You were right when you said that I used to think that people were basically good. If you took them out of this world and showed them the way of peace, the darkness would fade. Just like the darkness in me faded…I ran because I was afraid of what I am. I was darkness, we all are, and this is the end.”—Luna


More Grounders being Savages™, you guys.

We know that this world is awful because even the cool, peaceful Grounders like Luna eventually go full Grimdark™ and have to use violence to solve their problems. Peace is never the answer, especially not if you’re a Grounder. Not even Rothenberg’s Lexa 2.0 can resist the pull of acedia.

In isolation Luna’s choice makes sense. After refusing to let the Griffins use her marrow to kill more Grounders, she was violently assaulted and her marrow harvested by force. She’s got reasons to be angry, resentful even. But full Grimdark nihilism to the point that she wants all humans to die? That’s a bit of a stretch. And that’s ignoring the plot holes of how she got to Polis. She must have done a triathlon to get there, and with two wounded hips that show absolutely no damage from the bone marrow harvesting. Damage that was grossly exaggerated two episodes ago in a manner that now just looks like exploitation.

Then there’s Roan. As we saw in “Tinder Box”, Roan’s ability to be reasonable and pragmatic shifts with the breeze, depending on how necessary Skaikru/Grounder conflict is for plot reasons. Tonight, he ditched all semblance of reason at the beginning of the episode, when Clarke wanted to form an alliance. But then the winds changed, and he decided to form an alliance with Octavia. He felt fully capable of killing Luna on his own, then he didn’t. Maybe he was tired after a full day of fighting. Maybe he hates intermediaries, or just hates Clarke. Or maybe the show just needed a justification for Clarke to seal the bunker, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’m tired of the show ruining or killing off (or both), just about every single ‘good’ Grounder character. It’s verging on narrative sadism at this point. They create interesting, complex, peaceful/diplomatic Grounder characters for us to invest in; only to turn them all Savage™ at the last second and kill them off in graphic ways. What are we even supposed to feel about Roan? That he betrayed Skaikru and deserved to die? How can I care about that when that’s been the same reason for every other Grounder death (sans Lincoln and Lexa) since season 3?

Because why ruin one reasonable Grounder character when you can also ruin the only pacifist as well? Kill two characters/character arcs in one! And so graphically. God. Roan’s death is the literal definition of overkill. Was it supposed to somehow remind us of Luna’s waterboarding in 3.14? Or was it just supposed to hammer home how nihilistic she’s become? Oh wow. She’s so Edgy™ now. Neat.

I’m a little sad about Echo. I thought she might turn out to be helping Octavia out of guilt, but at least she’s still alive. And now she’s factionless, so looks like she has a chance to become one of the Good Grounders™. Dammit, now I have to start worrying about her going full Dark and dying.

Indra and Octavia had good moments together, and I’m glad Gaia and her mom seemed to have made up. The Blake siblings’ dynamic continues to be hit or miss to me, but I’m happy Octavia got a moment to realize how much her brother believes in her. She’s my baby and I want good things for her. Can you tell how desperate I am to appreciate the few touching moments amidst the violent, self-indulgent carnage?

Fine, I guess I need to talk about the end. Okay, so, why? Why would Clarke and Jaha do this? I don’t mean this question philosophically. We all know Jaha is a complete jerk, and Clarke is a Slytherin who likely made this choice because she truly believe it was the only way after Roan rejected her alliance. While it’s a dick move, it feels in character for both of them.

No, what I don’t get is why they did this when they did. Why not wait to see who won and then if another clan came to claim the bunker, then seal it? Clarke and Jaha have no logical reason to preemptively sealed the bunker. That’s what’s out of character to me.

The show could have set up a misunderstanding. Say Clarke and Jaha left a scout in the temple who sees someone leading the group of people coming for the bunker, Indra perhaps, or, hell, Echo. They don’t know Echo has been exiled, so they think Azgeda won. Bellamy finds out Clarke and Jaha are sealing the bunker and asks about Kane, etc. Clarke says it doesn’t matter because Azgeda won. They’re going to die and have to protect themselves by sealing them all in no matter who is on the outside. Better a few survive than they all die.

That would have been more sympathetic. We, the audience, would know it was a misunderstanding but also understand that Clarke and Jaha felt backed into a corner. They made a choice to preserve themselves based on the information they had at the time. The writing decision they went with actually makes Clarke into a bigger jerk than she’s ever been in the past. Either that or did an about-face so rushed it’s giving me whiplash.

She told Roan at the outset she didn’t care who survived so long as humanity did. Was that all talk to get him to help Octavia take out Luna because she actually believed Octavia could then take him out? But if she believed Octavia could take out Roan, why did she propose sealing Skaikru in the bunker as if she expected Octavia to lose? Or did she only decide Octavia would lose when Roan refused to help take down Luna? But then we’re back where we started with Clarke lying about caring that ‘humanity’ survived even if it wasn’t her clan.

I guess we’re meant to assume she expected Luna to win and believed sealing them all in the bunker was the only way to make sure at least some of humanity survived, given that Luna was going to prevent anyone from using the bunker if she won. Though why the Grounders would abide by such a patently ridiculous rule like “whoever wins determines which clan survives” if the winner wanted to kill all humans is beyond me. I guess they really, really care about rules? Even when they’re stupid? And would follow them instead of, like, taking out the person who wanted them all to die and then maybe having another conclave or whatever. Idk. What I’m trying to say is this is all ridiculous and makes no sense.

But we got to witness a lot of gruesome Grounder deaths and character assassinations!

You better believe this is the first gif I thought of for this whole piece.

Bits & Bobs

  • Lexa Count: 0
  • The Flame Count: 1
  • Lincoln count: 4
  • Death Toll: 12, all Grounders, including Ilian, Roan, and Luna
  • Ofc Luna fights with a trident-like three pronged spear, because Flokru.
  • I assume Murphy and Emori made it into the bunker since we saw Miller.
  • Seriously, what was up with the lighting in Luna’s first confrontation with Octavia?

Working Theories

Could Be Cool: Clarke actually ends up shooting Jaha instead of Bellamy, because Jaha’s a jerk.

Wouldn’t Surprise Me: The writers are trying to demonize Clarke to balance out how much everyone hated Bellamy last season.

Total Crack: The promo was a lie and Clarke decides to be reasonable and let everyone in. The end.

Have something other than absurd theories you want to discuss that might take more than a comment? Join us in the forum!

Tune in next week for Clarke waving a gun at Bellamy like she actually might kill him!

Images Courtesy of the CW

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