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The 100 - Nakara - Review: "Diyoza, Finally!"

It took six weeks, but it finally looks like The 100's showrunners are looking to resume a more normalized storytelling format. Though episodes dedicated to a single storyline do help progress those storylines, picking up on the others left behind a fortnight ago isn't the most ideal situation. However, this hour featured Sanctum, Bardo and Nakara, which was great to see. "Nakara" was directed by the always-reliable PJ Pesce and written by Erica Meredith.

Though this hour wasn't perfect, it was well balanced, and that's perhaps its best overall quality. For the second time in three weeks things kicked off with a very good opening sequence as Diyoza made her long-awaited return. In contrast to Octavia's time with the Disciples, Diyoza resisted and rebelled at every possible opportunity, and made dealing with them look like child's play. Though realism was stretched somewhat, seeing my favorite non-original character back in action trumped everything else.

Easy peasy
Continuing with the Bardo storyline, I think this was the best of the three storylines. The reunion between Diyoza and daughter Echo, Hope, Gabriel and Octavia very nearly went awry when Diyoza threw a knife which hit Hope squarely in the center of the helmet, but it was great to get a happy ending of sorts in this storyline for the moment. Former conductor turned janitor, Levitt, advised the group not to proceed back to the anomaly stone as they had planned, but instead to try their luck outside the building they were inside. Unfortunately, Gabriel decided it was his turn to bring everything to a grinding halt, stunning everyone and handing themselves in. No doubt their capture will be used to further expand what we know about the Disciples, so I guess I can find it within me to hold out for another week, and the group on Nakara look set to join them in some capacity.

I thought Nakara was a real let-down, though there was one shining light among all the literal mess that Clarke, Raven, Jordan, Niylah and Miller had to slog through to get off that bastard of a planet. The frozen wasteland presented so much potential for a legitimate diversion, but instead the stone was a mere 2km or so away, and they only needed to traverse a cave.

It sounded so simple, but in the end it was ridiculously drawn out. Raven ploughed on ahead, leading the way. Then a spider looking thing attacks her, and then it turns out the cave is more like the oesophagus of some weird creature, which cut Raven and Clarke off from the others out of the blue. While the set designers tried to incorporate a couple of elements of what may be inside an oesophagus, like the stomach acid or something similar, that was nowhere near enough. The look and feel of the "cave" should have changed significantly the further they descended, and the otherwise decent sound effects felt awfully out of place because the visuals didn't back them up.

The two important pieces of information that this mess brought to the fore were that Nakara is used by the people of Bardo as a graveyard, and that it also has a strong connection to the Second Dawn cult and bunker, which was a core location in the fourth season. The Second Dawn cult's leader coined the phrase "From the ashes, we will rise", and these were important words used to promote this final season. We're definitely scratching the surface of the next major development in this season.

Character development through this storyline was non-existent, however one major bonus was seeing Clarke and Raven discuss what she had done when the reactor needed repair, which cost the lives of a couple of the Eligius prisoners.
You're a good person. Maybe the best I know.
Getting something better about this here than what we got a couple of weeks ago was a welcome addition. Part of Clarke and Raven's words could be interpreted as a swan song of sorts, which could mean her death is iminent, especially if the Eligius prisoners do manage to get revenge.

Sanctum is in a very vulnerable state politically at present, and it looks like those who are away on other planets will be in for a pretty big shock if they don't make it back in time. After Indra worked out that Sheidheda is now living within Russell, things really needed to change in this episode, and fortunately they did.

It all started when Indra was informed that the armoury had been cleaned out, and it didn't take long for her to verify that the Eligius prisoners were responsible. An uprising is iminent, but without control of the weapons, an otherwise disorganized Wonkru wouldn't stand any chance against the prisoners, or likely also against Russell's loyalists.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that Madi wasn't made the Commander again. I think that's what most fans would have foresaw, but for now that's off the cards, and instead Murphy and Emori challenged Indra to take command of Wonkru herself. Though she won the duel, that's not necessarily a guarantee that she has the default support of everyone in Wonkru, but it's a good start. Nevertheless, well done to the showrunners for taking a different tack. I don't particularly like the character of Indra, and the acting is often very wooden, but I'm willing to give her a chance. Indra's speech after the duel was fairly decent, though I do think there was a missed opportunity for her to bust out Octavia's infamous "You are Wonkru, or you are the enemy of Wonkru" line.

It's worth remembering that Gaia's whereabouts is still unknown, and ideally we would have got some hints in this hour as to where she ended up. No one seems concerned as to her whereabouts, and I'm wondering whether she will remain in situ until such time as Madi realizes she's missing, and that forces her into a quest to find her. Madi has had a very quiet season thus far, so that's my going theory as to how the showrunners intend to change that.

In summary, this episode was decent and easy to watch because it was balanced. Though I thought the Nakara storyline was a let-down, by The 100's standards it wasn't terrible, and still offered a little more than the bare minimum storyline development to warrant its place. While Sheidheda is still an unknown entity at the moment, and his two lengthy scenes amounted to next to nothing in terms of plot development, Indra's unification of Wonkru is a step in the right direction. However I was most pleased to see Diyoza back on screen at last, with a highly entertaining first few minutes. Gabriel's betrayal was odd but understandable from a storytelling perspective. When the travellers are eventually reunited, they will present a formidable team to take on the Disciples, should that eventuate. We'll have to wait and see what happens there.

That's all from me for another week. Thanks as always for reading, and be sure to share your thoughts and theories in the comments below. See you all right back here next week.

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