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The 100 - Blood Giant - Review: "I Just Don't Care"

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After a three week spell, the thirteenth episode of The 100's final season certainly started well, but soon descended into a convoluted mess that really wasn't what was needed as the series wraps up. The inexperience behind the camera was clear to see, with first-timers Ross Knight and Michael Cliett writing and directing "Blood Giant" respectively.

The poor state that this episode eventually ended in was even more bizarre when you consider how damn good the opening few minutes were. Sheidheda being ripped a new one by Cadogan in such spectacular fashion was unexpectedly satisfying to watch, with some really good dialog thrown in there too. This was the season's two big antagonists going head to head mere seconds after finding out that the other exists. Sheidheda thought he had things well and truly under control - so refined in fact that everyone simply had to kneel before him or die, but he couldn't have accounted for soldiers in invisibility suits and ray guns, as Murphy so eloquently put. JR Bourne has been head and shoulders above his fellow cast all season performance-wise, and delivered the goods yet again in this hour as Sheidheda, and Cadogan, who is also a middle-aged male, had a dynamic in their precious moments together that's hard to describe, but that probably owes a lot to their older age compared to the otherwise youthful cast.

I would relish the opportunity to recruit your forces to the cause, but unfortunately I have neither the time nor patience to suffer your primitive tribalism.
At this point I thought things were looking really good for this episode, but what quickly became apparent from here onward was that the creative team tried to cram way too much into the remaining airtime. Time and space to allow things to breathe and sink in was simply non-existent. There were far too many mini-arcs and character development moments being jammed into an episode that needed to focus on story development much more closely.

Firstly, we had the red sun eclipse make a return. This didn't bother me initially, but what did was the precious time that was lost to hallucinations, largely thanks to Gabriel and Josephine. Her presence ultimately didn't do enough for me when it came to him deciding to destroy the Flame late in the piece. Since his introduction Gabriel has always been someone with a better than average moral compass compared to the other characters, and the way Josephine's cameo was used to try to sway him just wasn't up to the task to justify her existence. What could have helped that was for Gabriel to have had a penchant for getting high on the toxin at some point so he could "see" Josephine from time to time, because that would have allowed for more possibilities there. Don't get me wrong - I thought it was a really nice touch to bring Josephine back, but the context just didn't gel with me.

Also being crammed into the chaos was Nikki deciding to escape her captivity and have her way with Raven's mental state. I'm not against that sort of character development, but with everything else going on in this episode, and the fact that it's not a time-sensitive element to the story, it should have been dealt with earlier, or later on. Having the young boy Madi was trying to befriend knock Nikki out in the end was so cliche that it wasn't great to watch either.

This all took away from what the main event was supposed to be: Cadogan finally getting his hands on the Flame, and doing what he wanted to do with it. I think the creative team tricked themselves into thinking this wasn't that important because they had planned to destroy the Flame anyway. The mind games that could have - and should have - been played between Cadogan and Clarke, along with Murphy and Bellamy, were vastly underdone to the point where Cadogan ordering Clarke to fetch the Flame herself was laughable. We never even saw her retrieve it in the end. Cadogan should have been there personally supervising every move Clarke made. This was the moment he had been waiting centuries for after all, and I think he was ridiculously casual about it.

Meanwhile, Indra and Sheidheda had to become frenemies of sorts in order to survive, but this was again hampered by the red sun hallucinations. Indra could have done so much better if she was in a normal state, as opposed to being impeded by the toxin, and therefore making the decision to spare Sheidheda. As good as JR Bourne has been, Sheidheda needs to go, and this opportunity to dispose of him was a missed one. The only reason he's being kept alive is because the creative team need him to keep everyone on Sanctum occupied while the next phase of the story takes place on another planet. He's also likely going to be left for Madi to kill.

Up to this point I've ducked and dived around the massive elephant in this episode's room, which is of course Bellamy's death.

I think my feelings on the issue are pretty simple: I just don't care. I felt nothing. I felt much more when Diyoza was killed a few weeks ago than I did when Bellamy - an original character and perhaps the second most important character in the series - was killed by the most important character in the series - and his best friend.

That's what happens when he's AWOL for the majority of the season, and suddenly converted to Cadogan's faith. Despite his story up until that point being told a few weeks back in "Etherea", Bellamy was a completely different character to the one I and most others would remember from earlier seasons. So completely different that he's essentially unrecognizable, and even though there were inklings in this episode in particular that the old Bellamy was still there, the mental block I had in my mind while watching as Clarke tried to garner some understanding from him was immovable. That's what happens when you become unquestionably loyal to absolute fruit loops. As far as I'm concerned, it's one less Disciple to worry about. I don't even feel anything for Clarke. She's better off without him, even though she was the one who pulled the trigger.

Sadly, despite that, the actual scene itself was hugely disappointing. The acting was flat and forced, the scene lacked intensity, and there was just no passion in it. This was the time for Clarke and Bellamy to launch into a debate about who's right and wrong, and for Bellamy to reveal more about what he sees in Cadogan and his prophecy that's made him drop everything overnight and switch allegiances. We saw the beginnings of the conversation, but Bellamy gave the book away too early. He had the leverage then and there, but failed miserably to use it to good effect. Clarke never even got to learn about the revelation Bellamy experienced on Etherea, or hear in his words why this war is so important. But above all it was plain unsatisfying. Not to mention that Clarke's objective to protect the damn book was a failure. The Disciples have it anyway.

A big silver lining from Bellamy's death, however, is that Murphy is now the leading man in this series. Though it's fair to say that he's been in that role all season (I'm talking protagonists here), Madi's quip to Emori, combined with a couple others unexpectedly endorsing him early in the hour sealed the deal essentially. His and Emori's roles in this episode were measured, but effective, and along with the superb opening moments, one of the only other aspects of this hour that the creative team got right. Emori's decision to lower the radiation shield was a good one, and her joy with Raven later was nice to see.
So, Sheidheda's alive, and Madi's in a nuclear reactor? You did good.
All of our friends are missing, and Bellamy's a sheep. So did you.
Looking ahead, it would seem that we're on another interplanetary journey for at least one of the final three remaining The 100 episodes. Thank god the Flame is finally history, but Madi's sketchbook is the new Flame 2.0, one would suspect. It's actually somewhat of a relief not having to worry about when we'll next see Bellamy, though that focus has somewhat turned to Gaia, along with Hope, Octavia and Echo. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge yet - all I hope is that it's executed better than what we saw in this hour.

Thanks as always for reading. What did you think of this episode, and of Bellamy's death? Be sure to share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.

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