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The 100 - The Gospel of Josephine - Review: "Skeletons in the Closet"

Last week, in a surprising turn of events, Clarke became Josephine. In this week's episode of The 100, the fallout from this began to evolve quite rapidly, and to great effect. Sanctum has more than a few skeletons in the closet. "The Gospel of Josephine" was directed by Ian Samoil and written by first-time The 100 writer, Georgia Lee.

This hour was one of the most narrowly focused episodes this series has produced. Josephine in Clarke's body was the only primary plot explored, with Diyoza and Octavia offering the only secondary plot which was largely designed to create a brief intermission and the sense of a time jump for the primary plot. The decision by the creative team to tackle the episode in this fashion deserves to be applauded, because had any extra plots been tacked on, the episode would have been more difficult to follow.

Things kicked off in surprising fashion, with Josephine killing Kaylee, who, from what I could understand in the dialog, was responsible for killing Josephine at one point. As the episode progressed, this detail seemed more superficial than I thought it should have been, though it gave Russell and Simone some potential leverage that may be used later. Perhaps most importantly, though, Kaylee's death was a vehicle to show that Clarke has no presence at all inside her former body, with Josephine in complete control.

Did this Ferrari I'm wearing consent to giving up her body?
What followed next was Josephine attempting to infiltrate Clarke's peers and find out whether any more Nightbloods existed among the new arrivals. Because Josephine knew nothing at all about Clarke prior to inheriting her body, Josephine had absolutely nothing to base her actions around when interacting with Bellamy, Jordan, Madi, Gaia, Abby and Murphy. The mistakes came thick and fast, with Madi suddenly being allowed to go to school, Josephine's viewpoints being significantly different to Clarke's and perhaps most cleverly, writing with her right hand. Josephine's painting at the start of the hour also telegraphed this.

The episode's most important scene came in the lab, which Jordan and Gaia discovered first, followed by Bellamy and Murphy. Gaia came to the conclusion that the skeletons belonged to the Primes at one point, with the infinity emblem clearly visible on the back of their skulls. One thing led to another, and suddenly the group were fully informed on what the leaders on Sanctum were doing, and how they were doing it thanks to a graphic video on the adjoining lab's computer showing how the procedure was carried out.

The trouble for the group was that Josephine was right there with them, and she did surprisingly well to keep her mouth shut - a little too well in my opinion. What was clear to me during the entirety of this scene was that despite telegraphing the aforementioned physical errors quite well, the writing team made the rookie mistake of leaving the character herself out of the many important discoveries. Clarke was very rarely asked to share her opinion because otherwise Josephine would be found out, but the four other characters - in any other situation involving Clarke - would be looking to Clarke for direction and an opinion, with the facts that Clarke is a Nightblood, a medical expert, and a former Commander also adding to the obviousness of the error. Instead, in order to leave the big reveal for later on with Bellamy and then Murphy, the scene was written as if Clarke effectively wasn't there. Given that Clarke was in fact there, the other characters should have naturally demanded more interaction from her on these significant discoveries.

I could go into more detail with this error, and there's numerous ways this could have been handled better had the writers realized they were in over their heads with this aspect of the story, but it seems to me to be a simple rookie mistake. I just hope it doesn't impact the plot too significantly going forward.

Fortunately, Josephine revealed herself to both Bellamy and Murphy a short while later. Bellamy was growing the most suspicious of Clarke's behavior, and after one final attempt to convince him that her opinions were fair, Josephine had to act, paralyzing Bellamy when he laid his hands on her. Then it was Murphy's turn, with Josephine primarily singling him out because she had a crush on him.
My question is, how would you like to be immortal too?
Josephine wasted no time giving her identity away and challenging Murphy even further, asking him the question directly above. Murphy is an interesting target for this, given he's never been a character who values his life as much as others, so why he's suddenly interested in immortality does seem a bit odd. This could be the character's arc this season if it does turn into something - he could be double-crossing Josephine potentially, though I don't believe that's very likely. What happens for Murphy is an open question to say the least, as well as what becomes of Bellamy, given we didn't see him again after Josephine paralyzed him.

The final, and arguably most critical issue worth touching on, is that Abby has been outed as knowing how to create Nightbloods, which was covered in Season 4. The methodology - using either a transfusion or bone marrow transplant, would be relatively easy for those on Sanctum to recreate, so the race is now on for the new arrivals to protect Abby and also Madi before Russell takes her and orders the creation of additional Nightbloods.

The secondary plot featuring Octavia and Diyoza was mostly superficial as I alluded to earlier, but it was interesting in its own right. Diyoza was getting on pretty well for a heavily pregnant woman, and her and Octavia were pursuing a man from the Children of Gabriel as per the deal she struck with those inside the shield in last week's episode. Yet again the terrain got the better of Octavia, and also Diyoza, with them both being stuck in a quicksand-like substance and being left to die unless they coughed up how many other Nightbloods existed.

Before they could, another quirk of this new planet crashed into the ground where they were slowly being buried. Diyoza freed herself thanks to the rope the guy they were pursuing threw to them, and then came back to rescue Octavia, breaking the glass-like layer that had formed over her and freeing her from the substance. The special effects approach for that substance was interesting to say the least, with it only being somewhat convincing thanks to the fact that this is a new planet. Nevertheless, Diyoza and Octavia are free to fight another day.
As long as you draw breath, you can turn it around
I quite like these two as a duo like this. As Diyoza said, she was like Octavia once, and has endeavored to turn her life around, but parts of her will always stay the same. Octavia will eventually learn some lessons, though there's some parts of her that will never change.

All in all, this was a pretty good episode of The 100. The approach the creative team took was spot on. I enjoyed the hour a lot, but it wasn't without its flaws, which were mostly to do with how Josephine behaved in the lab with the others. Some dialog was also particularly difficult to understand, which has happened several times already this season.

The 100 takes a break next week and returns on June 11. In the meantime, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and theories on this episode and what might be to come so do make them heard in the comments below. It's always interesting reading what you have to say. See you right back here in a fortnight!


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