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The 100 - The Garden - Review: "Diyoza Finally Returns"

Last week's seventh season premiere episode of The 100 was nowhere near the best effort we've seen when compared to previous premieres, but this week's second episode wasn't like any other to follow a premiere. Though it was spread across two points in time, it featured just five main characters, and it did provide some long-awaited answers as to what became of Diyoza and Octavia after they passed through the anomaly last season. "The Garden" was written by Jeff Vlaming, with Dean White directing.

The long-awaited answers flowed at a steady pace, and though there's still some confusing aspects of the world we found Octavia and Diyoza in, along with Gabriel, Echo and Hope, there's enough of a foundation there to understand the basics of what's happening in this new world.

Octavia and Diyoza's story was told in flashbacks, technically speaking, Octavia was reunited with Diyoza just as the latter was in labour with her daughter, Hope. Childbirth scenes on television are never a pretty sight, but the showrunners didn't drag this one out too long, thankfully.

This is our life now. Stop torturing yourself.
Before long, years had passed and Octavia was known as an auntie to young Hope, though that wasn't enough to dissuade her from repeatedly attempting to return to Sanctum via the anomaly, which is located at the bottom of a lake. Long story short, this wasn't possible without assistance from technology she didn't have at hand on the much more primitive planet Skyring. Diyoza was already resigned to her fate in that it wouldn't be up to her when she would be leaving Skyring, but the showrunners didn't really achieve what they could have here when it came to character development. More on that shortly.

Throwing a bottle in the lake containing a message addressed to Bellamy apparently wasn't possible, but it did lift the lid somewhat on the next big mystery we'll likely see explored in the coming weeks: the role of the Disciples. Through the discoveries made by Gabriel, they are apparently tied to the planet Bardo, which was a planet that was set to be colonized by the Eligius III mission, that was believed to have been lost up till now.

The last we saw of Octavia and Diyoza was the two being abducted by the Disciples, presumably to be transported to Bardo, which is likely where Bellamy also is.

In so-called present day, we followed Gabriel, Echo and Hope on a comparatively more tumultuous journey. They had to contend with sharing Skyring with other inhabitants, both dead and alive, as the planet was used for the Disciples to banish prisoners and non-believers to. Thanks to time dilation, time passes at different speeds compared to Sanctum and Bardo, making it ideal for that sort of thing.

Gabriel was the only one who had any sort of chance of finding out what his, Echo's and Hope's situation was all about, so what happened between the latter two was mostly theater. A living prisoner proved quite problematic, however, and ended up destroying the computer Gabriel was using to read the mind drive of a deceased friend of his before he could note down the code that could have allowed him to trigger Skyring's anomaly stone.

Is it just me, or is The 100 stuck in an endless loop whereby it's using the same basic concept to spawn new long-term storylines from? A planet has inhabitants who have essentially gone rogue and created their own religion and political system, and they become the enemies. The fifth season is probably the closest the series has come to breaking away from that structure given the origins of those on Eligius IV, but surely by now the showrunners can dream up something other than interplanetary conflicts to close out this final season with?

I'll counter my own argument by saying that it's too early to judge, but while that is true, you don't generally introduce another humanoid species, two new planets, and a way of connecting between them unless you're going to develop at least a decent-sized story around them.

Mini-rant over, but lets return to my earlier issue regarding character development. Again, it's early in the season, but this episode was a golden opportunity to develop the relationship between Diyoza and Octavia in a way that was similar to when Madi and Clarke were stranded alone in Shallow Valley. Diyoza and Octavia are two strong, female, alpha personalities, and I don't think we got to see enough of either of them really conveying how they felt about what was happening to them. There were some strong glimpses of this when their disagreements regarding Octavia trying to return to Sanctum using a suit she discovered on a dead Disciple (whose discovery was so poorly done it wasn't funny) came to a head, but there was another level here that I felt was missed. At the same time, I didn't get the impression that the two had really bonded like family. There was a better connection conveyed between Hope and Octavia than there was between Octavia and Diyoza, in my opinion.

However, Octavia's personal development was perhaps the most important element of this hour to me, and this was well done, albeit brief. After many seasons of butting heads with her brother, so much so that Bellamy essentially disowned his sister last season, Octavia finally showed a genuine and rational understanding of her brother's importance to her via her letter to him that she bottled and threw in the lake. This is some really good momentum that I can't wait to see furthered once they reunite, whenever and wherever that may be.

Character development was slightly underdone in present day too. While Gabriel was sidetracked with the technical stuff, Hope and Echo clashed a bit too, with Echo feeling inferior initially, largely thanks to Hope's significant experience and knowledge about the planet they were on. Once they each came to an understanding that their aggression was being unnecessarily directed at each other, and that it was originating from them missing someone important to them (Echo missing Bellamy, Hope missing Octavia), they showed all the right signs of a formidable duo who get going when the going gets tough.
We'll get them back, together, whatever it takes.
In all, this episode was about as good as you'll get from this series from a storyline setup perspective. It remains to be seen whether the new planet and new presumed enemies will differ significantly from what we've seen before in similar scenarios from previous seasons. I didn't miss Sanctum at all, nor the characters that are there either, which was surprising. It was really, really good to see Diyoza back in the flesh after her disappearance into the anomaly all the way back in episode 8 of last season. She's my favorite character that was introduced after the original cast members so I'm hoping for a big season for her. Her character development was underdone in this episode, but at the expense of some really important development for Octavia, though on the whole their flashback stints were lacking in this area.

That's it from me. What did you think of this episode, and the more formal introduction of the new planets and enemies? Make your thoughts and theories heard in the comments below. Thanks as always for reading, and I'll see you right back here next week.


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