Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In “Praimfaya,” Survival is a Precisely Timed Team Sport

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 13 Review, “Praimfaya”

After the tumultuous events of “The Chosen,” “Praimfaya” begins exactly where we left off: preparing for a world-ending radiation death wave . Bellamy, on a heartfelt radio call with Octavia, shares the news of the attempt to return to the Ark. Miles away from her, Bellamy beams, shrugging off her fears and proclaiming her to be a true leader. Octavia tearfully sends him off with “I love you,” but their connection is interrupted before she can hear his reply.

With the radio dead, Bellamy tells Clarke she will be unable to say goodbye to her mom. Cue lots of tears. Octavia still seems ambivalent and afraid about her ability to lead—but after reassurance from Indra, Octavia emerges donning the Commander’s headpiece and shoulderguard. She addresses the uneasy crowd before her:

“We are all that remains of the human race”

Back at the lab, the Ark-return team watch as Polis is overcome by the storm outside. Raven discerns they will need to leave 20 minutes before the radiation wave hits the island, otherwise they’d be dead on departure. But that’s not the hard part, she says, divulging an increasingly narrow window for their arrival based on the oxygen they have available… enough for two people. They have eight. High stakes all around.

Tension erupts between Monty and Murphy after Murphy makes a jab at Jasper’s death, calling him a coward. The impending close quarters for these two may not be the most serene of their kind. Meanwhile, a different one-on-one is going on between Clarke and Bellamy. Clarke, considering the possibility that she could die, takes the moment to express her admiration and gratitude to her co-leader. She urges him, then, to use his head as much as his heart, especially in these trying times. “I’ve got you for that,” he replies.

Raven, Echo, Harper, and Emori work on the spaceship, but diagnostics reveal that they may not be as well equipped as they thought. The damages are extensive enough to mandate a full replacement, which they well know is impossible. With a 53-minute ticking clock, the group finds themselves at a loss. Raven dejectedly tells Clarke she’s not smart enough alone, without ALIE, to come up with a solution. Bellamy, and his big heart, step in—reminding her how many times she’d saved their lives before, telling her they don’t need ALIE on the Ark. Hearing that, something clicks. ALIE was on the Ark, Raven realizes, and used the pod to get herself to the Ark through satellite towers. They have a new way out.

We few, we happy few…

Outside, Monty and Murphy are still struggling with obtaining the oxygen scrubbers. Monty, having removed his gloves in the process, collapses from the pain on the trek back to the lab. With no other choice, Murphy leaves his companion and tries to carry the scrubbers alone.

Spurred to action by a newly invigorated Raven, Clarke and Bellamy venture with her to the satellite towers, on their last string of hope for survival. They run into a breathless Murphy, who explains what happened to Monty. Bellamy decides to go help Monty, and Raven returns to the lab, leaving Clarke to go to the satellite tower alone. She’ll have ten minutes, Raven says, to make it back, or she’ll be left behind.

Monty awakens with 14 minutes on his ticking clock, just as Murphy and Bellamy show up. He greets them both with hugs, earning surprise, and a grin, from Murphy. He’s carried to safety, and that problem is solved. Now for the other million.

Clarke makes it to the satellite tower with a whopping 11 minutes, 43 seconds left. Things go awry and Clarke realizes she has to do this manually–just as her counter quietly, ominously hits 9:59, sealing her fate. Beginning her climb up the tower, we hear her accept whatever may come: “ai gonplei ste odon” (my fight is over).

Monty makes it safely back to the lab—with an ample five minutes to launch. Echo, however, is nowhere to be found. Bellamy scrambles and comes upon her covered in white paint and her own blood, moments from sacrificing herself. Bellamy begins an inspirational talk betrayal, courage and strength, only to be interrupted brusquely by Raven. Pragmatic as ever, she demands they wrap up, as there’s really no time for dramatics. Raven and Bellamy realize they cannot afford to wait for Clarke if they want to make it off the ground. Even Emori asks to wait another minute, but alas, there’s just no more time. With heavy hearts, they prepare for departure.

Clarke, still attempting her ascent up the tower, is spurred on by the sight of the radiation wave far too close to her. She pauses a moment, noticing the ship housing her friends taking off, their lives in her hands more than ever.

The ship makes it to zero-G and separates successfully, but as they approach the Ark’s ring, it’s completely dark. Raven, ready more than ever, gears up for her spacewalk, hoping, of course, that Clarke can turn on the ring in time. Tick tock.

Seemingly moments from being overcome from the storm, Clarke manages to muscle her way to the top and turn the satellite dish with her own two biceps. And it works! Or so it seems. The operating screen appears to malfunction, and Clarke flings it off the tower in apparent frustration.

Back in space, with only minutes left of oxygen, the team seriously considers the very real possibility of their own deaths. But wait! Bellamy looks out the window and the Ark is lit like a Christmas tree.

Clarke has landed rather harshly on the ground and has, in fact, shattered her helmet. She somehow manages a razor-thin escape from possibly the scariest flaming, pulsing cloud in history, collapsing breathless in the lab. She removes her helmet and, not surprisingly, succumbs to the effects of radiation, red faced and coughing blood.


Bellamy, Emori, Monty, Harper, Murphy, and Echo have safely made it to the Ark, but Raven looks to be close to suffocation after running out of air. Bellamy desperately tries to get the oxygen circulating within the Ark, while an oxygen tank is passed around the others as they cling to whatever last breaths they can get. But it seems so little oxygen between so many people is not enough, and they start to pass out, one by one. Before collapsing himself, Bellamy manages to get the air circulating again, pulling the group from the brink of death once more. They breathe a sigh of relief (pun, of course, intended). They’ve cut it incredibly close but appear to be okay, giving death the middle finger a final time. The earth below is perhaps not so lucky, engulfed completely by plumes of grey and red. Bellamy and Raven ponder and vow to remember Clarke’s apparent sacrifice, refusing to let her die in vain.

And, time jump.

6 years and 7 days later exactly, we open to Clarke sporting a new haircut and red streak—again. She survived! Not only that, she seems to be in a forest in full bloom, equipped with two handy companions: a rover and a machine gun. She’s apparently been calling the Ark repeatedly in these 2,199 days, seemingly to no avail. A sound overhead catches her attention: a ship of some kind descending towards the ground. Her friends? Clarke, it turns out, isn’t all alone after all. Excited at the prospect of her returning friends, she runs to the back of the rover to awaken a young girl, Maddie (Madi?), who she affectionately calls her “little natblida.” Seems Clarke has been brushing up on her Trigedasleng.

New apocalypse, new me

The ship approaches, and excitement turns to alarm when Clarke realizes it’s not her friends after all. It’s large, and a bit ominous, with “ELIGIUS CORPORATION” and “PRISONER TRANSPORT” written on the side.

More than anything, looks like it might spell “trouble.” New, possibly criminal arrivals from an unknown location to a near-deserted Earth? A little unnerving, and cleverly familiar. But we won’t find out until next year. Buckle up, Clarke. Looks like the tables have turned.

Images courtesy of the CW

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