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The 100 - The Old Man and the Anomaly - Review: "Lots To Build On"

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After last week's deep dive into the mind occupied by Clarke and Josephine, normal transmission of The 100 resumed last night, with the main storylines both inside and outside the radiation shield back to being the primary focus. "The Old Man and the Anomaly" was directed by April Mullen and written by Miranda Kwok.

The hour kicked off with Octavia, Diyoza and Xavier closing in on the anomaly, and on their quest to heal Octavia's damaged arm. I'm honestly not sure what to think about what went on in this storyline. This episode focused more on Xavier than it did the other two, because it was revealed that Xavier was actually Gabriel, a prime, who, in simple terms, didn't want to be resurrected. Once he was aware he had been resurrected, he killed the person who resurrected him and assumed the identity of his host, Xavier, out of shame before leaving Sanctum.

Clear as mud, as they say, but the fact that Xavier is in fact Gabriel is all that matters. The storyline was more or less a chance for the VFX team to flex their muscles, and they did a great job of the hallucinations the characters experienced as they closed in on the anomaly. Near the end of the episode, Diyoza followed Hope into the vortex, and Octavia chased after her despite Gabriel telling neither of them to enter the anomaly and remaining outside. Octavia bounced out a few second later with her arm freshly healed, but Diyoza wasn't seen again.

The events inside Sanctum were moderately interesting for the most part. After learning Clarke was still alive despite Josephine having taken Clarke's body over, Jordan, Madi, Bellamy, Echo, Jackson and Miller were planning how to extract Josephine and revive Clarke. Meanwhile, Josephine was working with her freshly converted team members, Emori and Murphy, to create an EMP device to rid the brain of Clarke's existence once and for all, otherwise the brain would die in a mere 36 hours.

They killed Clarke. How could you be ok with that?
Madi had other ideas, however. She proposed killing the Primes and taking over Sanctum - a radical and dark idea to which Bellamy questioned whether it was the nagging presence of Sheidheda that had prompted it. Madi dodged that question, but she went through with her plan, later ambushing Miranda to force an emergency and ensuring all the Primes were moved to the main hall for safety where she could more easily kill them. In the hour's most surprising moment, Jordan saw Madi lining one of the Primes up in the main hall, and in trying to prevent Madi stabbing the Prime, he took the knife deep to his own chest. His future may well be in doubt unless he gets urgent medical care.

While Madi was preoccupied with her plan, Bellamy and Echo primarily pressed forward with theirs. They wanted to kidnap Josephine and evacuate all of their people back to Eligius IV where they could then try to save Clarke. That required a device to take down the radiation shield, which was kindly being built by Emori and Riker. Emori needed a shock collar for the device to deliver the EMP to Clarke's body, but she couldn't in good conscience go through with the plan that Murphy and Josephine had concocted for the promise of immortality, so she betrayed them and told Bellamy what was about to go down.

I'd say this was the most useful thing Emori has done during the season so far. Emori went back to the others and stole the EMP device, and a well timed intervention from Echo and Bellamy meant Bellamy could flee through the shield with Josephine in tow. Murphy came out worse off, however, after he took a slash to the leg from Josephine in the commotion. This whole scene was cut together quite poorly, leading me to believe there was something else that happened here that didn't make it into the final episode. In any case, Josephine is now outside Sanctum - where Gabriel also happens to be - and now Bellamy has to summon the drop ship from Eligius IV to get Josephine to Abby. I can't help but wonder if there's a potential meeting on the cards between Josephine and Gabriel, and that the bizarre radio array outside Gabriel's forest camp will be useful for contacting Eligius IV.

Back inside Sanctum, things are going to get interesting. Russell ordered the capture of all those from Earth, and of course Madi, Murphy and Emori were among them. Politically, things may change though. Russell has never been someone who I've looked upon to be evil, which is about the most interesting thing about him that I can come up with. But when Riker publicly questioned him on why the people from Earth were suddenly resorting to violence, he was immediately vilified when it was revealed that he'd jumped in line somewhere in the process of resurrecting the Primes by bringing back Josephine, along with the fact that Clarke was definitely not a willing participant. For the sake of the story, this is a good development, and a more intelligent and complex change of tack than we'd expect from The 100 in this earlier seasons.
It's not murder, Raven.It's sacrifice.
For the first time in ages, Eligius IV was part of the story, with Raven, Abby and Niylah, Simone and Gavin having left for it in the drop ship a couple of episodes ago. In exchange for showing how to make someone a Nightblood, the Sanctum members offered a solution to Kane's situation, which Abby had been grappling with for some time. Raven was, again, resistant to the idea of sacrificing people for the Primes no matter how willing they were for that to actually happen. Niylah's token presence again served no useful purpose whatsoever, but the big twist was Abby extracting Kane's mind from his broken body and implanting it in Gavin. That that was going to happen may have been foreshadowed but it took me by surprise. Kane's broken body lay on another table, while his mind woke up inside the body of a perfectly healthy host. Abby was worried how Kane would feel about this happening, but his initial reaction wasn't overly positive.

With that, the episode came to a close. It wasn't the strongest episode of The 100 we've seen so far this season, but considering the amount of disruption we've had to the regular storylines in the past few weeks, it wasn't too bad. Sanctum needed a kick in the guts, and it got it thanks to Madi's killing spree and the subsequent political turmoil that may follow. Bellamy and Josephine are alone outside the shield, but the likely meeting between Josephine and Gabriel will be fascinating if it unfolds given their starkly different opinions on the Primes. One could throw Diyoza into that mix as well given what we saw last week. If Bellamy is present the moment Clarke is restored, that's another juicy prospect in and of itself, so there's lots to build on in the coming weeks. It's probably worth mentioning the bizarre timing of Murphy's proposal to Emori. Something felt wildly off about it, and it came out of nowhere, but despite betraying him, Emori still clearly loves Murphy.

That's all I've got for this week. Sadly, The 100 takes another break so no new episode next week. Hopefully that's the last interruption this season and we get a clean run through to the season finale in six weeks time. Thanks as always for reading, and do make sure to share your thoughts and theories on the episode in the comments below. See you in a fortnight.

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