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The 100 - Memento Mori - Review: "Is Clarke Really Dead?"

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Coming off of a fortnight's break, The 100 aired what I'd consider the worst episode of the season to date, and exactly the wrong type of episode to return from a break with. It really was all over the place, and a muddled mess at times. "Memento Mori" was directed by P.J. Pesce and written by Alyssa Clark.

The season's fifth episode was very good. The creative team focused very heavily on one plot, and used a minor subplot to break things up and allow for time jumps. By contrast, this episode was a disaster zone, with the numerous plots failing to achieve any real balance and only succeeding in one thing: confusion.

Off the back of Josephine revealing herself to Murphy, and offering him immortality, in this hour Murphy is completely on board. The initial doubt he showed in the last episode was essentially gone, and he wasted no time answering Josephine's countless questions on how to masquerade as Clarke successfully. That started through interactions with Madi and Gaia, where it should have been glaringly obvious that Clarke wasn't in her right mind, with the climax eventually ending up with Abby, where Josephine convinced Abby that making Kane a Nightblood would be a viable option to bring him back from the brink, when in actuality Kane is being treated as a test case to see whether Abby can indeed make Nightbloods from scratch.

This is of course a very dangerous state of play for the new arrivals, and for the lower ranked Sanctum inhabitants for many reasons that don't need repeating here. The only factor that's inhibited the Primes from reincarnating more of their dormant friends and family is the heavily restrained supply of hosts. The deal Josephine offered Murphy in exchange for Abby's Nightblood knowledge is that his people don't put up a fight, and in return they can stay on Sanctum and hopefully not become hosts themselves. That's Josephine's plan alone though, and Russell didn't agree with it when he confronted her and Bellamy after being asked for input by Murphy. It may be too late for Russell to get involved now, but hopefully he can reign Josephine in somehow at a later date.

Perhaps the aspect of the episode I enjoyed most provided some decent counterpoints to this plan, and the ideology the Primes have. In conversations between Raven and Ryker, Raven questioned why Ryker didn't believe taking over a new host was murder because it was consensual, even though brainwashing was a clear and obvious factor, and that even if Ryker didn't want to be reincarnated as he claimed, he went through with it anyway. Later, Raven was told to fly the drop ship back to Eligius so Abby could test the Nightblood cure on Kane.

The subplots carried by some of the minor characters were rather low on the entertainment factor, whilst being high on the confusion factor. Madi's battle with Sheidheda was one such subplot. It's been on the horizon for a few weeks, and finally Madi's nightmares were becoming too much for her so Gaia told her to confront him. Cue the confusion and a dose of "I don't care about this stuff or this storyline" from my perspective, and all of a sudden Madi is back in the real world and banishing Gaia because that's going to mean she can take revenge for Clarke's death. I was rolling my eyes so much with this stuff. The multi-season nightmare of the Flame storyline just refuses to end.

Elsewhere, Echo was led astray when looking for Bellamy. She came across a guy who was essentially being eaten by a tree, only it was self-inflicted because he blamed himself for his role in Rose's death a few weeks back, and this was to be his punishment. Other skeletons were visible mere meters away so he's not the only person to choose this rather ridiculous exit strategy. My "oasis full of nutcases" umbrella term for the inhabitants of Sanctum continues to ring true here. Anyway, this guy asked for Echo to kill him, but the girl who was sent by Josephine to tail Echo said no, so they scrapped it out. Echo wins so she ties the girl up to the same tree, elicits the truth about Bellamy's whereabouts, and heads off to find him. Another rather odd subplot I was glad to see the back of.

That leaves Diyoza and Octavia to cap off. The pair had a close run-in with a temporal flare in the last episode, and their stint in this hour concerned Octavia's withering hand, which caught some of the flare's blast. The condition was slowly eating its way up Octavia's arm, so Diyoza ordered Xavier to help heal her. Turns out Sanctum has some magical tree sap which is capable of healing wounds in an instant, which is nice, but then they discover that Octavia's hand is moving in a spiral pattern, which represents an anomaly that was also present in some drawings Diyoza had, and also on Xavier's chest. "Oh God, what now" were the four words pulsing through my mind. Do we really need another bizarre quirk of this planet to make its presence felt? Don't we have enough of those already? And don't we have enough other subplots happening that should be prioritized?

Fortunately the episode ended on a more positive, but inevitable note: Clarke isn't (completely) dead. At the top of the hour, Josephine mentioned insomnia is a side effect of inhabiting a new host, but at the end of the hour she finally gets into bed to sleep, only to see visions of Clarke's prison cell on board the Ark, where numerous drawings surround her. Clarke is in Josephine's mind somewhere, and she's not dead yet. Next week's episode looks like it will follow on from this which is very exciting.

In all, this episode bombed big time in my opinion. It certainly didn't help that there was a fortnight's break between this episode and the previous one because any inkling of flow between the two was lost. I found it more difficult to follow than the episodes we've had thus far, and the new challenges and storylines it posed really don't interest me a great deal. I usually have plenty of quotes from the characters to pick and choose from for inclusion in my reviews but they were few and far between. Next week's episode looks good based on the promo, so hopefully we can put this one behind us and move on.

Thanks for reading my review, even though it feels more like a rant in some parts. I'm interested to hear your take on this episode. Maybe there were things I missed that would make the other pieces of the puzzle fall into place and be far more interesting. Or maybe it really was as poor as I believe it is. Either way, make your voice heard in the comments below, and I'll see you right back here for next week's episode of The 100.

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