“Doomsday is near; Die all, die merrily,” that’s the full, perfect quote referenced in the episode title from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I. Mankind, The 100 posits, chooses to spend its final days in a bloodbath, pitting the strongest fighters from each clan against each other, so only the best warrior will survive. It’s such an exciting premise for an episode and you have to applaud how expertly the plot lead us exactly where it told us it was going while still delivering a knife twist at the end. I always start with my girl Octavia and this entire episode is about her. So let’s dive in.
The one final conclave means that by the end of the episode, we think, only one of these characters will be alive: Luna, Roan, Octavia, Ilian. Luna’s a last-minute addition and she promised that if she survives, she’s condemning humanity to death. Well, except maybe her and Clarke if that Nightblood test worked. It’d be super different, but I’d watch that show.
As Octavia prepares for battle, her friends come to wish her well. Clarke tells her she’s got this, the kind of pep talk a politician would give. The biggest emotional punch comes from Indra who tells Octavia that she is one of her people, adding “I taught you to fight, but who you fight for is up to you.” Kane acts like a coach, analysing the weaknesses of each of her opponents. Then Bellamy offers some solid advice: Octavia doesn’t have to kill everyone, she just has to kill the last person. She should hide, he says. She was the girl under the floor, she should use that. Now, later he says he feels bad he didn’t tell her he loves her, but this seems like one of the most loving things he could say. He’s telling her to remember when he looked out for her! When she tells him “May we meet again!” he responds, “Damn right we will!” Again, for this show and what it stands for, I think all of this is better than an “I love you.”
The battle begins and Roan instantly kills one big guy by smashing his head. Another, Trikru’s warrior, goes after Octavia, but she quickly hides instead of challenging him. Then Roan kills him. Octavia whispers, “Your battle is over.” All these tribes chose to fight and it is this sacred thing to them, but imagine how devastating it would be for each of the clans to watch their guy go down. In the ritual, they snuff out the candles of the fallen, and Gaia is devastated when she announces that Trikru is no longer in the running to be saved. How amazing is the scene where she hugs Indra? They’ve both lost so much and Indra doesn’t show her emotions in big outbursts, but you can tell she’s really comforting her daughter, just by being there.
Octavia’s still playing defence in battle when Luna shows up behind her. In this scene I wanted to basically write down everything Luna said. “Look around you, this is what mankind chooses to do with his final days. Another battle. More blood.” “Skaikru taught me that people are cruel and violent” (uh, Luna, didn’t you run away from your own people because they made you kill your brother? Seems like people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, you know.”) Anyway, the thing is, Luna may have a point that the world is dark and terrible place. But like last week’s episode was a lot about letting go, this week’s was about Octavia fighting as hard as she could to survive. At the beginning of the show Octavia says, "If I die, I die. At least I go down fighting." Honestly that’s the best possible thesis for this show. So anyway Luna cuts Octavia in the arm, but Octavia drops a bunch of pipes on Luna (not killing her) and escapes.
While she’s bandaging her arm, Ilian finds her and says they should form an alliance. Octavia doesn’t take too well to the idea and promises to kill him the next time she sees him The only problem is, the next time she sees him she’s being surrounded by three other warriors. I mean, I didn’t think this would be our girl’s demise, but I spent the whole episode pretty nervous. Ilian pops out to save her and they both fight and kill the warriors, with Octavia cutting off a guy’s hand. Yikes!
Octavia yells at Ilian, telling him she’s not the girl he wants her to be. These writers are so smart that I assume this was an on-purpose wink at the way women talk in rom-coms sometimes, except told after they both brutally murdered someone, and it was brilliant. Just as she’s pushing him away an arrow punctures his neck and Octavia has to pull him to safety to say goodbye. He asks her to take his life, like she had promised. Nooooooooo! I mean, Ilian is a newer character, but what a heartbreaking final request. She stabs him and tells him not to fear death (we all thought about when Clarke killed Finn during this… right?). After Ilian, it became obvious that they were definitely going to go through with killing everyone but one person.
The arrow that killed Ilian came from a mysterious archer, who Bellamy correctly assumes is Echo, cheating. If any other members of a clan step onto the field and get caught, their warrior gets executed and they get eliminated. Bellamy still takes the risk (Kane tells him to go at night) to try to stop Echo. Classic Bellamy. He attacks the masked archer, takes off her mask, and starts to strangle Echo. Roan catches them, hearing their struggle. He tells Echo she betrayed their people and is no longer Azgeda. Then he lets Bellamy run away too. He says that he’ll tell Octavia she was lucky to have him as a brother as he kills her. LOL that line would’ve been so corny if it weren’t followed by Bellamy saying, “After she guts you, before you die, you tell her I was the lucky one.” Again, this is all better than saying I love you, emotional currency is all about being a good warrior now. Octavia hears all this and is so moved by it, you basically know she’s going to win.
After this, Roan and Octavia team up, his idea. They can’t take Luna alone, but they can together. Then it’s best warrior survives. After hearing screams of death (which, I legit thought were coming from outside my window. Guys, should I move to a new neighbourhood?), they see Luna kill the last remaining person besides our big three. I should say she has a lot of stylised kills throughout. Roan and Octavia working together seem almost evenly matched against Luna, they even get the advantage, with Roan being close to finishing her off. But then the black rain comes. Octavia screams at Roan to run and darts off, but he stays to fight. Luna is less affected (Nightblood). He almost gets her, he has the sword to her neck, but she bests him. Then she drowns him in the probably toxic water (with the rain) in a fountain!! So, this was the most shocking death, right? Because he’s our guy! Remember the happier times!
So, it’s Luna vs. Octavia. Again, there are a lot of great Luna quotables. “You were right when you said 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…” she says as she searches for Octavia in a room. She sees a trail of blood leading to a closet. She’s breathing heavily, but thinks she’s caught Octavia. She confesses that in the conclave with her brother, she wanted to be the one to survive if only one could. Honestly, that makes sense (survival instincts kicking in), but it would obviously be a haunting thing to remember. “I ran because I was afraid of what I am. I’m the darkness. We all are.” She says, stabbing the door. But Octavia’s not in there, and she stabs Luna from behind. Octavia’s kill line: “You’re wrong. There are people worth saving. Just not you.”
Then we get our big hero moment, which may have seemed obvious, but boy was it earned. Octavia walks up to Gaia, all the other warriors’ tags in her hand. She stands and addresses the people. She fought for everyone. They are all one clan. They will survive together. Sobs! They all cheer together! It’s wonderful.
But it’s… not a season finale. So there’s a twist. Earlier as Bellamy was leaving the battleground, he got dragged off and knocked out. I kinda assumed the twist would be that a guard caught him and so the tribes are still mad that Skaikru didn’t respect the ritual. But nope, it’s much bigger. See, Skaikru didn’t want to leave their survival to chance, so they gassed all the guards in the chamber and somehow snuck their people into the bunker. Then they sealed it off. It was Clarke’s idea. So now Octavia and Kane are stuck outside with a bunch of Grounders who feel like Skaikru betrayed them. Ughhhhh!
The one thing to keep in mind is that Kane said that not everyone could actually survive. There was room for like, 1200 in the bunker, so I guess before when they said that everyone could survive, they just meant our three major clans (Skaikru, Trikru, Azegeda) and not the other random ones. Let’s have an episode just about those guys! And it’s pretty eerie when Octavia tells Kane not to worry about that because it’s “unity day” now.
But again, Octavia’s fight is all for nothing for now, because the status quo changed again. I thought Bellamy was going to mess everything up, but it’s Clarke this time! But why, oh why, didn’t they have this bunker better guarded? I guess the grounders all trusted people would respect the ceremony. Well… they got got. IDK, I guess this was another case of Clarke thinking she did what she had to do. I mean, she tried to rally the people like Octavia did before, and they didn’t listen. Even if she knew Octavia was gonna win (and even if she knew that Octavia was gonna say everyone deserves to be saved), she still would’ve had to decide which clans live and which die. Uneasy lies the head. But Skaikru is definitely not as safe in that bunker as they think.
Guys, there are so many episodes left it feels like. I mean, three, but still, what else could happen!?! I live in constant fear. Anyway, would you do what Clarke did? Was it foolish or necessary? Is everyone gonna die? Let me know in the comments. And may we meet again.