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The 100 - The Face Behind the Glass - Review: "Clarke Transforms"

A slimmed down regular cast in last night's episode of The 100 allowed for the people of Sanctum to develop significantly. After just three days on the ground of the new world, the main characters still have a hell of a lot to learn before they can even begin to understand how this oasis full of nutcases really works. "The Face Behind the Glass" was directed by Tim Scanlan and written by Charmaine DeGrate.

Let's start with the minor plot, which took place outside the shield and focused mostly on Diyoza and Octavia. While Octavia was kicked out by Bellamy last week, Diyoza was kicked out by Russell. The team-up was called by many, and that's exactly what ended up happening. Octavia featured more prominently, however, and after being captured by the Children of Gabriel, managed to make a run for it with Rose, who was abducted in last week's episode. Octavia refused to divulge who among the new arrivals was a Nightblood, but after fleeing with Rose, Rose was shot and killed in the crossfire when Diyoza perfectly timed her arrival to prevent the pair being recaptured.

Improvise, adapt, overcome.
Dioyza's stint before that was rather intriguing. She was found by the search party looking for Rose, and was offered the chance to secure the future of her unborn child if she assisted. Though Russell kicked her outside the shield last week, one thing that was made abundantly clear in this episode is there's a wide variance of loyalty and belief among the population, which is somewhat promising as it creates room for the characters to not be one-dimensional robotic followers. Diyoza and Octavia will likely be on show together for the foreseeable future, which I'm looking forward to watching pan out.

The events inside the shield are very tricky to put into words, and some characters had a much more pleasant outing than others. After the interruption to Jordan's firsts last week, he and Delilah managed to spend the night together and no doubt tick off a few more firsts. I found it bizarre that the couple - who had known each other for under 24 hours - were universally accepted by everyone, with her hanging onto his arm numerous times right up until the naming ceremony. That should have been done differently in my opinion, but their relationship appears to have hit a snag. After the ceremony, she emerged out the doors and seemed to not recognize Jordan at all, instead turning to another man in the official party. It was all very strange, but Delilah's last words to Jordan will no doubt spur him on to reverse whatever happened, and get Delilah back.

Raven is still rather fragile, but talk of a machine shop perked her up, and soon she was talking to a handsome guy who shared many traits and interests with her. Shaw will no doubt be forgotten.

The relationship stuff was far from over, however, and though Jordan and Delilah dented things somewhat, this episode featured the best relationship development we've seen in a long time in this series. We'll get to Clarke in a minute, but Bellamy and Echo warmed my heart in this hour. Things were frosty between them initially, with Bellamy coming to terms with a heartfelt apology from Clarke, and possibly suffering a case of the 'what-ifs' when he watched Clarke enjoying a dance with Cillian at the party. The party also brought back memories of his now banished sister being arrested when he was last at a party, and he also put into perspective that he lost Monty and Harper a mere three days ago, whereas for us as viewers, that's three weeks ago.

Bellamy's tone to Echo was well off what it should have been, and she knew that and rightly walked away. It was when Bellamy came to apologize a while later that things took an unexpected turn. She recounted how her parents died in what were truly awful circumstances, and Bellamy nailed his response. Cold and one-dimensional were valid critiques of the character, but this moment went some way to altering that perception and uniting her and Bellamy. That was really good to see.
I think we deserve a fresh start, don't you?
Where on Sanctum do we start with Clarke? In the early stages she was at the center of the really positive vibe the episode had at that point, with the community jovially preparing for naming day. It wasn't long before a palm-reader caught Clarke's eye, with Madi also switched on to the connection. Pausing for a moment there, Sheidheda was brought up again in the brief conversation Clarke and Madi had. Sheidheda looks to be what Madi will have to battle with this season, which I'm on the fence about to be honest because t involves the Flame and everything that brings with it.

Clarke has been the recipient of a lot of vitriol for her past actions in the last few weeks, and if she could be critiqued on her lack of action to make amends then, she can't be now. She made a heartfelt apology to both Raven and Bellamy, with the latter being particularly nice to watch. Raven will likely never completely forgive Clarke, but Clarke has done all she realistically can, and despite Raven's response to Clarke being very harsh, in reality she was also quite correct.
You're too important to me.
Bellamy was fortunately much more receptive to Clarke, perhaps mostly because they share a lot in common with regard to the decisions they've made. Even though they're not together as an official couple, they're intimately connected in other ways, and given what happened next to Clarke, it could be like the six years they spent apart and out of contact after Praimfaya.

Cillian and Clarke had a one night stand, which came out of the blue, likely meaning a relationship wouldn't blossom if Raven and Shaw and Jordan and Delilah are any indication. Sure enough, Cillian showed his true colors shortly after, revealing he doesn't believe in the Primes, and was instead slowly canvassing the new arrivals to determine if any of them were Nightbloods. Clarke made a run for it, but he paralyzed her and announced that he was essentially an insider working for the Children of Gabriel. When he was confronted by guards he slit his own throat, however that left Clarke at the mercy of Russell in a chilling turn of events.

From how I understood it, the brains of the Primes have been preserved somehow inside chips that are similar to that used for the Flame. These chips can be planted in a host Nightblood, however the host's brain is erased and the Prime inherits their body. This was where we learned Delilah and Rose were also Nightbloods, so there's likely a recessive gene in the Sanctum population which allows the odd person to be born a Nightblood, and so slowly but surely Russell is using these Nightbloods to resurrect the Primes as they come of age.

This is precisely why The 100 is worthy of membership among sci-fi genre. It's scary stuff, but what it also does is massively increases the status of the Children of Gabriel, who appear to be fundamentally against this regime, hence why they abducted Rose, and Cillian tried to rescue Clarke. If you suddenly landed on Sanctum, and you didn't know this information, you'd want to live with the community inside the shield for obvious reasons, but the tables turn if you learn that your leader is hanging out for Nightbloods to turn into Primes.

With The 100's main character now a completely different person, this is a game-changer for the series. I'm picking it's only temporary because this is television we're talking about, but it's an exciting prospect nonetheless. My early prediction is that if Josephine's chip is removed from Clarke's body at some point in an effort to restore Clarke's mind, Madi will have to give up the Flame and plant it into Clarke's body in an effort to restore a cached copy of Clarke's mind back to Clarke's brain.

Time will tell if I'm right or not, but what I'm just as curious about is how Eliza Taylor will rise to the challenge of playing a completely different character within the same body. The final seconds of this episode looked very promising. Tatiana Maslany set the benchmark in her performances across five seasons of the critically acclaimed 'Orphan Black', and while I'm not asking nor expecting Eliza Taylor to reach those heights, this will be a fascinating test for her which I'm sure she will relish.

In all, this episode of The 100 was very impressive. The aspects I didn't like were largely superficial and also few and far between. Diyoza and Octavia are in a position to have their roles transformed if they come to learn exactly why the Children of Gabriel are doing what they're doing. At this stage they're not overly concerned about being banished outside the shield so that will allow them time to reflect and ask questions. Meanwhile, if Clarke (Josephine) is presented to the public by Russell, this will immediately divide the new arrivals and the existing community. Jordan and Bellamy will probably lead the charge for Clarke's return, and Madi will likely need to call upon the past commanders for guidance on ensuring she doesn't meet a similar fate.

Thanks as always for reading! This was a fascinating episode so I'd love to hear your thoughts and theories on it in the comments below. I'll see you right back here next week.


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