The 100 Season 7 Episode 12 Review: The Stranger

Things are taking a turn, and then there is having no idea where you are going. 

Similiar to the group on Bardo that walked into the Anomaly stone and walked out who knows where it is that point in the show when chaos breaks out in every direction. 

But many of us are just channeling Bellamy Blake, trying to find a way out of here with everyone safe and no more wars in sight. Except everyone is mad at him, and they are scheduling time to all tell him about it.

It really is never easy to wear that white Bardo robe these days, 

During The 100 Season 7 Episode 12, Bellamy’s support of Cadogan is broken down as he tries to find a way to keep his friends from being punished. He pitches trying to find and fix the flame, which becomes him and the others pushing each other further away from one another. This leads them back to Sanctum, where they catch the middle of Sheidheda’s reign.

Meanwhile, Sanctum continues to explore Sheidheda, trying to get everyone to kneel to him. And during this time, Murphy is focused on keeping the survivors alive in the reactor room with Emori. 

“The Stranger,” written by Blythe Ann Johnson, is a defining episode that successfully brings two stories together into one place. Like the speed of Anomaly Stone light, this episode uses many pair-offs to allow for the emotional beats that have long been missing from the season.

There is also concrete movement, finally exploring some of the consequences of the actions that are being made.

Even more so, this episode naturally throws the audience off guard, making us question our expectations and creating new questions for us to ponder along the way. 

It was a refreshing approach after a long-overdue pause in storytelling growth. It didn’t make the aftermath of Bellamy’s choice any easier, but it forced everyone involved (including the audience) to feel the pain and the confusion that comes with this decision.

At the same time, it frames the tough choices that are being made in an intriguing and everchanging way.

Bellamy’s Confused State of Mind (Feat. Cadogan’s Words of Various Wisdom)

This is a reminder that Bellamy was always loved, is currently loved, and will continue to always be loved. 

It is a struggle to navigate the Bellamy that went through a traumatic experience and the version of him that needs to exist to fit the story that the show is telling. His presence doesn’t offer every other character the comfort it once did, and so much of it has to do with the inability to pinpoint him.

Once again, he supports Cadogan, enough that he even acts like a perfect number two for the Bardo leader. But how is he a part of this cult if he doesn’t pay attention to most of it?

Bellamy’s actions are triggered by concern about his friends and their safety.Even his lunch date with Cadogan is about checking how his relationships exist and then turning it around.

Echo: Is it more important than us?
Bellamy: …Yes.

Cadogan gave away to Bellamy the existence of Reese and Callie; it can’t be a coincidence that Bellamy took that one step further by offering him the flame as a bridge.

The only reason they want the flame is because Bellamy saw how it would be leverage to bring everyone back alive. From there, he tries to convince the others to play along, reasoning out that this will keep everyone alive and well get them closer to a more hopeful life.

Ignoring the fact that Hope is actually closer than he knows, he pushes for Cadogan to let him keep everyone safe.

Whether the others believe in him or not right now, Bellamy is motivated by his people. It goes against the phrase “for all man-kind,” but there he is fighting for them before anyone else.

It isn’t clear if the character just isn’t lining up with his new cult, and it shows, or if the show needs Bellamy to exist on both sides. Regardless, Bellamy struggles with his identity just as much as the audience tries to make sense of it.

There is no way Bellamy really knows if the flame can be fixed, but he pushes that idea because it is tied to the safety of his loved ones. He risks everyone in his life turning on him because he thinks he is doing the right thing, but how much of all of this is triggered by his people and how much by his belief in Cadogan?

Following this new cult means supporting its concepts, but Bellamy is tied down to the group of people he protects and not as much to the practices instilled in him. His connection to his people is something that no cult or storyline can replicate, which is why it is a struggle to explore him in that light fully.

Yet there is still a timer over Bellamy’s head, which he isn’t aware of but that the audience is gently preparing himself for. This makes it harder to watch as Bellamy comes back only to be distant with himself and those around him. It is even worse when the possibility of him dying soon grows and grows.

But it is the way there just isn’t time to dedicate to Bellamy that hurts entirely. Once again, there is room for Bellamy to reach the end of the tunnel; he needs to want it.

But this is a story that should have been explored last season, or this season in full. Bellamy could handle it, but it also isn’t fair to throw it at him at the last second, and now he has to tackle it all alone.

Bob Morley is capable of creating that distinction, showing how much this Bellamy isn’t close to the man he used to be. But even he can’t fix that with such a possibly limited time with the character, most of it is spent making everyone around him hate who he has become and him trying to find some common ground.

Still, it is heartbreaking to watch Bellamy try to reason with those around him. He wants to show what he went through, but he can’t, and that leaves him at a loss.

And now I am trying to save you! All of you! Clarke, if you don’t tell me where it is … they will execute all of you. Please let me help.

Bellamy

And even though the audience traveled with him, it still is hard to explain this change in Bellamy. He doesn’t even know how to half the time.

The issue is the way that Bellamy looks out for Cadogan, another man in a position to lead Bellamy and even be his mentor. But Bellamy doesn’t need someone new to follow.

That is his biggest problem. 

So much of Bellamy is looking for someone else to follow and answer, not believing that he has much to offer. But Bellamy is the man that others have learned to rely on. He is the man that every sensible woman would risk her life for.  Bellamy Blake is different, and it is about time that he recognized it in himself, instead of waiting for a leader to lift you. 

Bellamy is the leader, and he is capable of existing without having someone else to lead him. 

Instead, he is lost, thinking he is a version of himself that he isn’t.

This relates to the audience as well, dealing with the expectations they set up themselves. With only a few episodes left until the series wraps itself up, the. onlu 

Sanctum Has A Dilemma (Yet Again)

Before anything else is mentioned, there needs to be a moment dedicated to Nelson.

He went out in a chilling and very unexpected way. His refusal to kneel to Sheidheda felt like a storyline that might end with him in danger or dead; instead, there was no wait in sight.

Lee Majdoub delivered his final journey with remarkable strength and the usual air of potential that has been hanging around the character all season long.

Nelson started his journey refusing to follow false gods, and during all this time, he kept his word. He might not have known exactly where he was meant to end up, but he knew the path he didn’t want to go on.

During this adventure, where he formed a friendship with Indra and Emori, he worked through the past leading to the present. It was startling that he didn’t take Emori’s advice; it was even more startingly the way he faced Sheidheda.

Many people didn’t want to kneel to him, but no one handled it as calmy as Nelson did. He knew his truth, and he knew where he wanted to go from here.

Fascinatingly, it was almost a showdown between two leaders. But while Nelson was a leader because he didn’t set out to be one, but still tried to find a way to guide those around him, Sheidheda is built off fear and intimidation.

It was a sign of a true leader when Nelson chose what was best for them and then succumbed to the aftermath. Nelson’s bravery at the end allowed for his death to define him further. Nelson stuck to his ideals until the very end, and it was the perfect send-off to him from there. 

Clarke: Today, I am standing in front of my best friend, who I thought was dead, and I don’t even recognize him.
Bellamy: Clarke, I am the same person who brought you back from the dead. Who refused to give up on you.

Meanwhile, the rest of Sanctum was grounded again. Their punishment was to fill time once again and yet not at a level that rivals Bardo.

In a way, it makes sense, because time is different on the other planets. So it falls on Sanctum to deliver a story every time to fill in what was happening while the others were elsewhere.

But since the room for exploration in Sanctum is limited, it is almost like the characters are punished to relive the same sequence of events each time. The never ending saga of Sheidheda continued once again, so did the attempts to change things when there really wasn’t room for anyone to go anywhere.

It was engaging, but it doesn’t allow itself to grow beyond what they know already. Sanctum needed to tread water until the others returned from Bardo, sadly it struggled some of the way because it didn’t feel like much was changing. 

It did stick the landing with the power Emori is getting for herself, as well as Murphy driving himself to a better place. It isn’t clear when they became the strongest couple on the show, but here they are. It is domestic but it is also to be expected, so it is exciting to see that for them.

The Bellamy and Clarke Fight That Broke Thousands of Hearts

It hurt in the very best way.

It is ridiculous how Bellamy and Clarke weren’t there this season, and soon as they come back, emotion bursts into the episode. It wasn’t only between them, but their interactions stood out the most.

As soon as Bellamy came to visit the two women that matter so much to him, it was on. 

Clarke and Octavia have connected over the seasons based on their individual relationships with Bellamy. This time around, though, they found their footing when they originally mourned Bellamy, and now they are facing what comes next with him side by side.

It is easy to forget how little The 100 allows for conversations about feelings. Sometimes characters don’t even have time to feel, let alone express it. 

But Bellamy and Clarke have been absent for long enough, so this time around, they really got to air it all out because everything did happen so fast. It was a different experience for each of them, but all three characters came out different than when they went into these Anomaly adventures.

What was fascinating the way that the episode approached Bellamy and Clarke is the value they had. 

Bellamy and Echo talked, but it came off as a scene that needed to happen because her story revolved around him. They don’t see eye to eye, and that is how things are left between them.

Bellamy and Clarke talking didn’t need to happen, but it made effortless sense. The way that Clarke matters to Bellamy 

It is true that the show isn’t itself when Clarke and Bellamy don’t understand one another. The emotion between them is extraordinary as it drips off the screen because it is as heartbreaking for them as it is for us.

They need to fix their relationship before the series ends, or one of them doesn’t make it. But the timing, especially with the upcoming red sun effects, is a worrisome threat. 

They can’t see one another’s point of view, especially since most of Clarke’s anger at Cadogan came from Bellamy. She was mad that he killed her best friend, but then she found out that it didn’t actually happen that way, By then they were already too deep with the lies and the killing, there wasn’t a way for them to walk it all back.

But now neither of them will budge, and it is becoming a bigger problem than it has been before.

The truth is that there is never a time when Bellamy and Clarke talking about their feelings isn’t wonderful. But once again, it comes down to timing and purpose down the line. 

This episode gave us some amazing tension, but the series should have invested more time in this if they wanted it to resonate. One episode shouldn’t be doing the job of an entire season, even if the episode did it incredibly well.

It isn’t fair to the leads of the show that their relationship is being explored when there are four episodes left, and the plot is only starting to head somewhere. It isn’t clear where yet, but there is no way the show won’t continue to expand on that, and what really needs to be the focus is the relationships.

Still, it was a wonderful surprise to watch them release everything that they are struggling with.

The MCAP transition was a little harder to watch, but not spending too much time there could have actually been the best narrative choice. Regardless of how and what we saw during Clarke’s session, it was always going to end with her and Bellamy on different sides.

No matter how much he winces when she is in pain, and no matter how he tries to stop it, it is there. He knows she is hurting, and there is no doubt in my mind that he blames himself.

But if Bellamy wasn’t allowed to break out of that yet, then spending more time with Clarke as she is in pain isn’t all that fun. The torture would have been longer, but the ending would have been the exact same. 

The last thought that sticks out because of the Bellamy and Clarke scenes is how the season writes for itself vs. writes around certain topics or areas. 

It is one thing for the show to explore Bellamy in this lost space and him fighting with Clarke about it as a result. It is another to not consider that there isn’t enough time for the two of them to get any kind of ending that they deserve.

They are the heart and the head of the show. Their passion beats into every scene they are in, and it is what drives the show much of the time.  So it is unfortunate that this wasn’t explored all season long. It is too early to deduct where all of this is going, but Bellamy and Clarke deserve more. They deserve to be the center of the story, especially as their relationship goes through a huge obstacle.

Writing around them won’t work, and it diminishes the hard work created in the episodes. 

The soulmates that run the show deserve enough of a goodbye that the series can spare them now. 

Stray Thoughts

  • It is very strange how little Bellamy and Octavia were allowed to interact, especially since she is his sister.

    Can someone let Octavia mourn and get excited about Bellamy?

  • Why does Cadogan keep trusting Gabriel? He puts that group first and he always helps them. But Cadogan keeps inviting him over. 

  • All the Bellarke angst, all the time. 

  • Sheidheda has great aim for someone who (we can assume) hasn’t used a gun before. His eyesight is also limited to his one eye now, but somehow he manages perfectly.

  • RIP to all the Nelson and Emori scenes that could have happened from here. He was meant to help her raise her unborn child!

  • Cadogan bringing up Reese to Bellamy felt like the best callout of all time. There is so much of Bellamy in the creation of Reese, if only the two of them were actually able to meet.

  • We also learned that Cadogan really never saw his family again, which creates barriers for the prequel if he would never be able to exist there? 

    Cadogan introduced us to the prequel and his family, he needs to be here and not traveling the universe.

  • There really isn’t the time to mourn Diyoza like she deserves, so giving Hope the chance to talk to someone was pretty special. Jordan isn’t being used within the show the way he deserves, which is a separate conversation. 

    And it is scenes like the one he shares with Hope that proves how much of a mistake that is. He gives and takes in every scene he is in and it is worthy of more focus.

    Still, it was strange but comforting to see them connecting this way as the only children within this group. They both grew up to fast and finding one another allows them to connect like never before. 

    Now all they need is Madi there too.

You look good in white.

Gabriel

  • Where do we think the others were sent? Name a planet. Any planet!

  • It it tough the way that Raven can forgive Murphy and Emori for their choices, but there is never any room for Clarke and/or Bellamy to make mistakes. 

  • Gabriel flirted with Bellamy and that is all that requires our attention.

  • This really hurts.

  • Did they have to bring the Anomaly Stone in the room like that? Couldn’t they just roll it in?

  • Gaia continues to be nowhere to be found. Does this mean that perhaps the others being sent to an unknown location might find Gaia wherever they end up?

    Or has she been on Penance all along? Maybe Earth?

  • Cadogan saying he doesn’t consider him close with Anders because they only met twice? An entire comedian in our presence.

  • Gabriel and Raven’s energy set our souls on fire.

  • Did Bellamy’s Etherea friend hear about Gabriel flirting with him? Because he just shows up out of the blue at Bellamy’s side again.

    We get it! You want to date Bellamy too! Get in line.

  • It feels like there were more scenes removed than usual. There were official stills released from scenes that somehow didn’t happen?

  • Murphy was with a child again. Emori and Murphy kept trying to have sex again. Yet somehow there is still no Memori baby reveal, which is the real shame in all of this.

  • If the flame can’t be restored, then is the next step using MCAP to take memories from people like Madi and Sheidheda and placing them in the spare minddrives? And from from there will they try to restore the code to channel Judgement Day? Or activate the final test? Or start the final war? Or let Cadogan check for Callie? Or all the various other forms in which the flame tech will be bent for this. 

  • Echo saying “I scarred myself when I thought you were dead” is a weird thing to accuse Bellamy of. He didn’t ask you to do all that? Literally no one asked you to.

What did you think of the episode? What did you love? What did you like? How shocked were you by Nelson’s death? Was there anyone else you thought would die?

Where does everyone go from here? How much do you need Bellamy and Clarke to make up? How much do you need more scenes between the Blake siblings? How desperate are you to get Bellamy back on Clarke’s side again? 

Let us know what you think below!

Stick around for more interviews, features, slideshows, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online right here on TV Fanatic.

View Slideshow: The 100: 39 Softest Bellamy and Clarke Moments

from Blogger http://samueldpoetry.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-100-season-7-episode-12-review.html


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