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The 100 - Season 6 Finale Review: "The Wrong Doors Left Ajar"

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I think it's fair to say that given the storylines we've seen in this sixth season of The 100, the season finale was never going to generate the same levels of inspiration and wonder that we saw during the fifth season finale, but despite that, I really wanted this episode to at least aspire to reach those levels. Sadly, I'm not sure that it did. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg wrote "The Blood of Sanctum", with Ed Fraiman directing - the same combination that brought the season premiere to us.

Let's begin with what happened on Eligius. For me, this was the better half of the episode, with the other half being devoted to the state of affairs in Sanctum, which I'll get to shortly. Picking up from last week's penultimate episode cliffhanger, Russell, Simone and Clarke - posing as Josephine - docked at Eligius IV, and greeted Indra and Niylah with Gaia, Madi and Raven at gunpoint. Indra was quick to do the math and determine that Abby wasn't Abby, and Clarke wasn't Clarke. They promptly surrendered, and let Russell and Simone have the run of the place, with a few of their loyal guards and other Primes assisting in guarding the Wonkru members.

It was surprising how quickly Russell and Simone put in place what their next moves would be. Their intention was to set Eligius IV on a 20 year flight to nearby Planet Beta, cryosleeping on the way, and killing enough of the remaining Wonkru members to have enough beds for themselves, while ensuring they had a populace they could control and use to settle the new planet, and of course ensuring a ready supply of new hosts.

When the time came to killing off some of those cryosleepers, Clarke finally broke her cover as Josephine, much to the horror of Russell and Simone. Monty's words to "do better" had a big impact on her in this finale, so she took the drug she was to use to kill the cryosleepers, and threatened to float herself. None of the scenes in this finale really stood out as being better than the rest, but this one was on the more satisfying end of the scale. Clarke tethered herself to the walls of the ship and opened the air lock, but not before she momentarily believed her mother was still alive inside her former body.

What's my father's name?
Simone, however, couldn't answer this crucial question, and so Clarke knew her mother definitely wasn't present, so she pulled the lever and activated the air lock. Unsurprisingly, Simone hung around a little longer than her subordinates, who all got sucked out instantly. This did nothing to lessen my criticisms of how Abby's character was sent packing in last week's episode, but thanks for trying, I guess.

Sadly, Russell wasn't among those to get sucked out into space. He was preoccupied with taking control of Madi so he could leverage Clarke into cooperating. After mucking about for weeks trying to get their hands on Becca's notebook, Gaia magically turned up with it on board Eligius, so Raven could set about deleting Sheidheda, with the collateral being that the Flame would also die. Hell yeah, I thought. Get that crap outta here! Sadly, Raven made the rookie mistake of dumping the Sheidheda code onto a second computer, and from there he escaped to somewhere else in the network. I rolled my eyes massively at this, and the fact that the Flame was now defunct seemed irrelevant in comparison. Thankfully, however, Madi was able to retake command of her people on Eligius, so Russell isn't in control of things for the moment.

Let's descend back down to Sanctum, just like those on Eligius eventually did, but we'll rewind back to the start of proceedings. We saw Echo, Bellamy, Octavia, Miller and a few of Gabriel's children trying to escape the raging Sanctum townspeople that were under the influence of the red sun toxin. They were quick to be knocked out when a gas grenade was dropped through a vent in the room they were hiding in, and next minute they found themselves face to face with the priests, conducting a purification ceremony.

Not a moment too soon, Murphy and Emori showed up, striding around as if they were in charge, which they were, but Russell hadn't made it widely known that he had handed control of Sanctum over to them before he left for Eligius IV. This was essentially the conclusion of the redemption arc for Murphy and Emori, after they switched sides early in the season. In reality it was far from satisfying, in that I could understand what the showrunners were trying to do, but it was already a foregone conclusion that it would happen. Some of the townspeople didn't obey Murphy's authority, and his plan to simply march his friends out of the church and to the palace backfired rather quickly, and they had to make a run for it instead.

It was here that we finally saw Jordan again, who has been MIA for an unacceptably long amount of time - so much so that his appearance in this finale was more token than Niylah has been when she's been seen this season, which is a difficult feat to achieve. That aside, the group, guided by their fresh approach to resolving conflict, came up with a plan to get Murphy and Gabriel inside the church and to participate properly in the purification ceremony in order to earn the loyalty of the townspeople. That's what happened initially, but things backfired yet again, culminating in the content of a few conveniently placed cans of gasoline being spread around the church, and almost set alight if it wasn't for the hand-to-hand combat skills of Bellamy, Echo and Octavia, the latter of which stopped the absolute bellend of a priest from setting the the church alight after first setting herself alight. This was one of those action scenes in which the outcome is so glaringly predetermined that the scene itself was unnecessary, and people being set on fire really isn't as spectacular as it used to be, largely thanks to Game of Thrones.

That being said, this scene was the definitive climax of the conflict those from Eligius IV had with those from Sanctum. As the cleanup took place, it looked like the remaining townspeople were those who at least weren't as devoted to the Primes as those who fought and died earlier.
I'm going to help clean up our mess.
The above words came from Jordan, surprisingly, and it's perhaps his most important contribution to the series this season when you consider the bigger picture and the direction this season was aligned. He told Bellamy that the people of Sanctum had peace before they all arrived, but a devil's advocate - and Bellamy himself - didn't have to dig too deep for a counter-argument to that, especially as the intentions and insights of Russell and Simone in particular were shown in greater detail in this finale and in some of the later episodes this season.

The highlight for me in the Sanctum storyline again involved Clarke, and it was when her and Bellamy hugged it out moments after Bellamy and Jordan's chat. Though it probably hasn't felt like it, this season has probably featured the least Clarke/Bellamy interaction of all the seasons of The 100, largely thanks to Josephine. That was a long and rewarding chapter for Clarke, in which she grew as a character by far the most she ever has in a season. Bellamy's development was hardly considered at all when you think about it, but he remained very true to himself throughout, which is worth a lot in itself.

This would have been a great moment to close out season 6, but that's sadly not what happened. During the action scene I mentioned earlier, Gabriel noticed a series of cryptic tattoos on Octavia's back that matched with a stone he had hidden in the basement back at his camp. The next thing we know, Gabriel is touching particular symbols on the stone, and Octavia touches the final one. The anomaly grows in size and envelops the camp, with Hope, Diyoza's daughter, entering the tent. Hope states that "he" has her mother and then inexplicably stabs Octavia. Octavia vanishes into thin air in Bellamy's arms as the anomaly disappears.

Oh dear. That was my reaction. As if Diyoza being MIA for half the season isn't enough, now Octavia is suddenly goneburger. I really don't know what to think about that.

That wasn't the best way to close what's been a decent season on many fronts. When I referred to doors being left ajar that should have been closed, this wasn't one that I'd have left ajar. I just don't care enough about the anomaly to get excited about its influence on the seventh and final season of this series. The same goes for Sheidheda. He's nothing but a parasite who has dominated Madi's life in this season, and as a result she's not had any other influence anywhere else.

Madi's case isn't unique, because looking at this season as a whole, the superb character development of Clarke, and by association Josephine and the Primes in some instances, and later Octavia, has put so many characters in a holding pattern. Niylah and Indra have done absolutely nothing. Bellamy has been himself and that's that. Abby was obsessed with Kane and making Nightbloods, then she was dead. Kane got a more fitting sendoff than she did. Gaia did nothing except try and fail to interfere with Madi and Sheidheda. Raven had a love interest in the first couple of episodes, then he was killed. Aside from resisting Abby and Riker, she's had a very quiet season. See above for the most part with Echo, and also add that her and Bellamy's relationship has received zero attention. Jordan started promisingly, then went missing and lost his impact. Diyoza was a great outlaw alongside Octavia, then the anomaly happened. I forgot she was pregnant, too. Murphy and Emori are the surprising exception to the rule, having switched allegiances to the Primes and back. I'll admit that has been moderately interesting to watch.

Balancing character development is tough, but the creative team are no strangers to having to include a fresh set of antagonists in each new season. Every season has been like that, from the Grounders, to Mount Weather, to the Ice Nation, to Eligius III, and now the Primes. I just don't think it's been shared around enough, especially when compared to season 5. Far too many characters found themselves to be completely irrelevant because they just couldn't slot into what was happening in Sanctum. I'd put it down to too much ambition as opposed to lack of effort from the writers' room, and I will give credit where it's due and say that Clarke and Josephine's journey this season has been fantastic to watch, but actions have consequences, and maybe some tunnel-vision was at play here. The writers may claim they've developed characters in this way, and I've left out this and that, but if I'm not able to recall it over the course of a relatively short 13 episode season, then whatever they've tried to do just hasn't been noticeable or noteworthy enough to count.

Where I will give plenty of credit to the creative team - and this also lends itself to character development universally this season - is the "be the good guys" mantra, which was of particular concern to me when I reviewed the season premiere and other episodes in this season. Through Monty and Harper's sacrifice, and guided by their son, Jordan, it couldn't go unnoticed that the showrunners were hinting towards a new approach in that the main characters wouldn't be looking to dominate and destroy the natives inhabiting Planet Alpha. Through flashbacks early on they showed how Sanctum came to be, and what it was about, but despite the rosy layers being peeled back to reveal a disturbing rhetoric based on religion and sacrifice to please the Primes, the new arrivals, time and time again, tried to do things peacefully. The scene outside the church in this finale episode was the closest we've come to any substantial conflict. It's this aspect of this season of The 100 that I've been the most relieved and heartened by, and I'm very glad the showrunners didn't deviate from this mantra. I hope it remains an integral part of the final season as well.

Aside from a couple of episodes that just didn't achieve their desired outcome, this has been a pretty decent season of The 100. The set design and special effects crews had to start with a clean slate, and did very well. While character development hasn't been flash, the regular and guest cast have all performed to a high standard. The storylines this season lacked impact a lot of the time, and were difficult to keep track of because of inconvenient breaks, and one-off episodes, which in themselves were among the best the series has produced, but had detrimental flow-on effects. The audio engineers need a kick up the backside though. This finale in particular had a good dozen or so lines of dialog that were either very difficult or simply impossible to decipher.

That's probably as good of a place as any to call time on this The 100 season finale review. It's been a pleasure producing these reviews for you every week, and engaging with you in the comments! I'd of course love to hear your thoughts and theories on this finale and where a seventh season will lead us, so make sure you share them below. Thanks again for reading, and I'll see you right back here next year.

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