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The 100 - The Warriors Will - Review: "Octavia Gets Her Wish"

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The 100's episode count hit double figures in its fifth season last night with another intense and action-packed hour which pushed a single character to her very limit. Henry Ian Cusick didn't feature in this episode as Kane, but he did a sterling job in the directors chair for the second time in the series. Julie Benson & Shawna Benson co-wrote "The Warriors Will".

With last week's hour focused on the disintegration of the leadership in Shadow Valley, and the threat to Octavia's power in Polis, this episode delved even deeper into the latter. Octavia was determined to hold onto power and lead an army into war, and she was prepared to do whatever she possibly could to make that happen.

Her biggest issue, however, was that her brother was destined to fight Indra and Gaia after his attempt to remove Octavia from power were found out. This episode was filled with several memorable scenes, but perhaps the best of them came when Octavia visited Bellamy in his cell in a last-ditch attempt to give him an upper hand by pointing out vulnerabilities in Indra's shoulder, and which weapon he should select.

The episode, and this scene, were further improved by flashbacks, too. What was conveyed beyond any doubt whatsoever is that Bellamy's desire to protect his sister is still as strong as it was when they were growing up. Bellamy's strength of mind is amazingly strong, and he used it to great effect to chip away at Octavia, ensuring there was plenty of doubt within her that she was doing the right thing

There's no coming back from this, O. If you do this, there's no coming back.
Surprisingly, the fight fort survival between Bellamy, Indra and Gaia was largely a non-event. We'd learned of Gaia's intentions to kill Octavia during the fight, but the spear she threw was wide of the mark, and Octavia nonchalantly tossed it back into the arena and ordered the battle to continue, until Monty burst into the arena unannounced to bring the onlookers the news that the hydrofarm was now operational. We knew that half of Wonkru refused to go to war because of rumors of a new commander, but this announcement swayed the other half.

Still determined to go to war, Octavia left the arena and set fire to the hydrofarm, removing the choice for those not planning on marching. The final seconds of the hour depict many hundreds of people leaving Polis for Shadow Valley in the distance, however what irked me was the plot hole between Octavia destroying the farm and the army leaving Polis. Surely there would be some sort of uprising against Octavia for destroying the farm, whether it was related to going to war or not. Actions like that from a leader shouldn't be looked upon lightly at all. With Octavia on thin ice as it is, that should have been the last straw for a sizable chunk of the population.
The farmers won't save the world, Monty. The warriors will.
That aside, Monty was terrific in this episode. The character usage of both him and Harper was on the lighter side, but it was perfectly executed, and added just the right amount of doubt to Octavia's mind, on top of what Bellamy and others had given her. Another clever touch was Octavia looking at her reflection in a badly broken mirror. That's some powerful foreshadowing, one would think.

Other things happened aside from the dramas in Polis, thankfully. For the first time in a while, Madi and Clarke are on their own again, just like they were in the season premiere. The big change this time is that Madi is now the new Heda, and Clarke had to help her deal with the dreams and memories she was experiencing as part of that. This included a terrifying memory of a former Heda being burned at the stake. Clarke notably made a promise to Madi that she wouldn't let Madi die in a horrible fashion like other Hedas have done. One of the lighter moments in all of this was Clarke removing Madi's collar without her knowledge to let her rest, and her treating Madi as a full-blooded daughter.

I have some tentative optimism for Clarke's Plan D (or maybe E or F) to stop the impending war. She and Madi walked through Shadow Valley looking for Diyoza with plans to inform her that her Eye is disabled, with the second part of that plan involving letting Octavia know that Diyoza knows. We only saw the first part in this episode, but remarkably, Madi wasted no time slitting the throat of one of McCreary's men who was burying the bodies of executed defectors in the woods.
Commanders don't run away.
Throughout all this, the showrunners have worked hard to show that Madi is maturing as the season progresses, even if she isn't quite mature enough to be Heda just yet. In the last few episodes she's been taking on more responsibility and making more of her own decisions. Her refusal to remove the Flame at Clarke's insistence also reflects this. It's been good to watch.

Content in Shadow Valley was otherwise rather limited. With no Diyoza, Raven, Murphy, Echo, Emori or Kane in the episode at all, it was up to Abby to carry things forward. Abby's withdrawal scenes featured some excellent cinematography, and an impressive performance from Paige Turco. Vinson also returned for his checkups with Abby following his treatment last week, and in one of the series' most shocking moments he ruthlessly ended the lives of the two guards monitoring Abby by biting them. Color me horrified at the sight of that.

Eventually, Clarke arrived and found Abby unconscious. She had managed to get some more drugs from Vinson, but seemed to have overdosed. The aftermath of that will be explored in the next episode.

A big open end this episode left was the fate of the worms that Octavia had wanted to use to help disable the Eligius army. We saw Clarke dispose of them from the Rover not long after her and Madi fled Polis, but now that they're free of their containers and in the open, they're bound to feature again at some point. The hint was far from subtle.

In all, I don't really think my review does this episode justice for how good it actually was. This was surely the episode where Octavia blinked and chose a different option to war, but even with her brother and and her mentor in Indra about to die, the hydrofarm now productive, a new Heda in play, a superior opponent, and limited support, Octavia still chose war. It's quite incredible really. She's closer than ever to getting her wish, but it's a wish that no one else shares. Despite this, the showrunners have been successful in keeping fans largely on the fence as to what they want to happen, perhaps not so much to avoid the loss of life, but to see how Octavia fares.

Other than that, I really enjoyed seeing Clarke and Madi together again, Monty back in the action, and the flashbacks to when Bellamy and Octavia were growing up. The score in this episode was very well done, as was the cinematography, and the performances from the cast, Paige Turco, Bob Morley and Marie Avgeropoulos in particular, were very good. I'm looking forward to seeing what next week's episode has in store as that will hopefully provide some additional background to what drives Octavia to opt for war when the risks dominate the rewards.

As always, thanks for reading! I'd love to hear what you thought of this episode of The 100 so please do share your thoughts and theories in the comments below. There's just 3 more episodes to go in this season. See you right back here next week.

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