Intricately woven storylines, beautiful character moments and fast-paced action highlighted The 100 season seven, episode five, “Welcome to Bardo.” The audience was finally given time to get caught up from all the questions we had with the Anomaly, Octavia and Diyoza from season six.
While being a catch-up episode with a multitude of flashbacks, it didn’t feel like one.
Flashback episodes can often bore me fairly quickly with me just wanting to get back to the action of present-day. The chronological order of them can become dull, but that’s the complete opposite of what “Welcome to Bardo” did when it aired June 17 on The CW.
We learned about Octavia’s life in Bardo by jumping around. The audience wasn’t on a straight path going from Point A to Point B to Point C when it came down to learning what Octavia endured on this new planet. Instead we hopped from Point A to Point C to Point D to Point B and then back to Point E.
The audience was thrown into chaos, but the episode wasn’t messy because of it. Octavia’s mind was scattered and confused due to the M-Cap process Levitt put her through. The chaos of the episode made me feel like I was right along with her in my confusion and anxiety to learn what the Disciples of Bardo were doing.
Along with learning about Bardo in three separate storylines — the writers did a brilliant job with the titles cards letting me know when we were in Bardo — we also witnessed Sanctum in present-day (note: what even is “present-day” anymore? I’ve lost almost all concept of time with this show).
7×05 reminded me why I
like love The 100. The smart, complex fast-paced action paired beautifully with the variety of character moments on the screen. The characters’ motivations drove the plot the entire time instead of the plot driving them like the show has been doing lately. It answered our questions but then gave us even more questions. I’ll take a win when I can at this point.
Here is my star rating for season seven, episode five.
SPOILER ALERT WARNING:
Bellamy Blake isn’t dead
Speaking of getting answers to our questions, we finally got to see where Bellamy went after getting taken by the Disciples in episode one.
He went through the Anomaly, landed in Bardo and then reunited with Octavia in the last five minutes of the latest episode. Tension was building as many fans assumed Bellamy would make his reappearance in it.
It felt like an explosion could go off at any minute from all this built-up tension, and that’s exactly what happened. Bellamy Blake finally appeared on our screens after a four-episode break, and I was literally standing on my couch in my #BellamyKru shirt silently shouting with joy (obviously, I didn’t actually yell because I couldn’t miss anything).
That was very short-lived, however, as a Disciple decided to blow himself up, sacrificing himself to ensure the safety of the Shepherd. Bellamy was caught in this cross-fire as the camera panned to Octavia on the ground, gasping for her big brother with blood splattered on her face.
After the explosion, the Anomaly closed. Bellamy was nowhere in sight.
I think it’s safe to say no one could have guessed that would happen. We finally got our answer to #WhereIsBellamyBlake just for us to be left asking that question again.
Did I feel like a clown wearing my #BellamyKru shirt drinking from my Bellamy mug? Yes. Did I start sobbing over his alleged death? Of course I did. Just ask my friends. I have selfies to prove it. Have I also been denying his death and standing up for both Bellamy Blake and Bob Morley? Double yes.
Bellamy Blake isn’t dead. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg has said, in old interviews, that if the show is going to kill someone, they’re going to make sure the audience feels it by seeing it happen on screen. We didn’t see Bellamy die. We saw the explosion, Octavia’s reaction and the Anomaly close up. To me, it’s clear Bellamy jumped in the Anomaly to save himself.
Also, that scene was filmed in a way where the audience didn’t know who was narrating that part. It also wasn’t a flashback of what happened. It was a memory. The show cut to Echo, Hope and Gabriel looking at that memory seven days later in Octavia’s M-Cap room. They watched it on the projector/hologram Levitt used to look through Octavia’s memories. However, it’s very unlikely that memory belongs to Octavia.
Right before Octavia saw Bellamy for the first time seven days earlier, Levitt told her how to trick the machine by repeating the same phrase. She would’ve known not to give that memory up to the Disciples, and we saw that. She was stuck in a trance saying “I am not afraid” when our kru from Sky Ring showed up. She was nowhere near the correct condition to know what’s going on around her, especially finding a specific memory and showing it to Echo.
So, this begs many questions: Whose memory does Bellamy’s alleged death belong to? Why were Echo, Gabriel and Hope taught to believe Bellamy had died? Does Octavia really know what happened to her big brother? Did that reunion even happen? Who’s narration can we even trust anymore. And goodness gracious, where is Bellamy Blake??
For a deeper dive into this scene and what it can all mean, head on over to Yana Grebenyuk’s season seven, episode five, review.
Now we just have to hope he’s on a planet the characters will be hopping over to real soon, and that he’s hanging out by the Anomaly stone, or maybe he was transferred to a different part of Bardo like Grebenyuk’s review suggested.
Either way, I can’t handle more episodes without Bob Morley. The 100 just isn’t the same without him.
In my last review of the show, I said I didn’t recognize it anymore, but this episode gave me the opposite feeling. I was finally on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, and I remembered why I love this show — why it’s my favorite — and that’s all due to Bob Morley.
Morley brings this presence to every scene, and that’s a presence many of us have grown used to over the years. The fans are used to Clarke disappearing, but that’s never really happened to Bellamy. He’s always been a constant on The 100, the heart that unites people to fight for what’s right. Now, we’ve lost that. It’s no wonder this season has felt off. Because it is.
Bellamy Blake only had one scene this episode and it was only about five minutes at the very end, and it was enough to leave me reeling.
It’s not just the audience feeling this loss, though. It’s not just the fans pushing to know where he is. Echo, Gabriel, Hope, Octavia, Clarke (though not in this episode), Levitt (love that man) and Anders spent the entire episode yearning to learn more about Bellamy and his whereabouts.
“What is it about Bellamy Blake that makes otherwise sensible women willing to die for him?” – Hope in season seven, episode two
He is the heart of this show and he’s been driving the story forward for everyone this season. Afterall, what is a story when the heart is gone?
Thank you Bob Morley for taking your role seriously and for bringing everything to the table every time, even when you’re not getting enough screen time.
Who are we when pushed to save our loved ones?
This entire episode was really focused on memories of our loved ones and how they drive our actions. “Welcome to Bardo” found the balance between the importance of plot and characters by merging them together.
All the episodes since Octavia and Diyoza entered the Anomaly in season six led to 7×05. We got answers about what happened when they were gone. If we’re keeping track, they were gone for a few moments in Sanctum time, 20 years in Sky Ring/Planet Beta/Penance time and 45 days in Bardo time — yeesh, this is getting confusing, but I LOVE IT.
“Welcome to Bardo” was so well done, because it took itself seriously. It didn’t try to make jokes or make light of any of the situations. The audience got to really see who these characters are when pushed to limits, and how they respond when trying to protect those they love.
- Echo continued to destroy everything in her path until she got what she’s looking for (i.e. Bellamy Blake). She loses all sense of control and kills anyone who gets in her path, even if she needs them for leverage.
- Gabriel kept his ethics and moral grounding
- Octavia willingly sacrificed herself and her mind to get back to Hope and protect Bellamy.
- Bellamy Blake gave up his freedom and life (he’s not dead, but I’m still scared) in order to find Octavia.
- Murphy realized that, while it’s easier to let the Faithful kill themselves as an ultimatum for Russell Prime to be released, he draws the line at children being sacrificed for a false god (thank goodness otherwise I would have some serious words for him)
- Indra took on the leadership role and is sacrificing her needs and wishes in order to keep peace in Sanctum
- Nelson proved he wasn’t willing to let the Faithful die even though they cast him out. “They may hate us, but they’re still our people,” Nelson said after running over to save a girl who lit herself on fire (Yes, that happened).
- Levitt, the man using M-Cap on Octavia, decided to help her and Hope get away even though it went against “his people.” He started catching feelings for her (I ship it), and did what he could to protect her. What a man.
Everyone had different ways of dealing with their heart. Some chose to sacrifice themselves to save their loved ones. Many realized there was a line they weren’t willing to cross and wanted to be the peaceful mediator, even if it hurt them emotionally. Then there was Echo (sometimes Hope) who were willing to sacrifice others in order to protect the ones they love. They would kill anyone who got in their way.
This all leads back to the overall theme of The 100: being stuck in the cycle of absurdity and asking ourselves how we can do better, even if it feels like we’re doomed to repeat our past mistakes.
Gabriel, Octavia, Bellamy, Murphy, Indra, Nelson and Levitt all worked on trying to do better this past episode. They don’t want to be the reason people get hurt anymore. However, Echo hasn’t learned anything. She’s still acting like the Azgeda spy she was when we met her in season two. There’s been no development for her over the years other than the fact she traded out following Roan for Bellamy.
Her entire life’s identity is built around that of her master. She follows them, protects them, kills for them. That gives her a purpose, and that’s what her relationship with Bellamy has always been like. They were never true partners, because there was always a power dynamic there.
Everyone else seems to be intent on being better this season, but Echo is still spending time in the “only choice” mentality.
It will be interesting to see how these characters continue to deal with the pressure to save their friends as the season continues.
- I love Levitt. The way he’s always checking in on Octavia to make sure she’s ok is the sweetest thing like when he gave her jacket back to her when he realized she was cold. Gahhh! Also, him cheering as he watched her kill Pike in her memories was everything. He felt like one of the fans of the show, watching it all play out in front of him while also getting to meet the characters from the stories (very similar to Madi, Jordan and Hope). Levitt was also the one who put the famous “TRUST BELLAMY” note in Hope’s arm. I stan.
- Lee Majdoub, who plays Nelson, had an outstanding performance! His acting was enthralling. His intensity was *chef’s kiss
- Adina Porter, who plays Indra, also crushed the heck out of that episode. Bring on all the difficult decisions and all the mysteries! She’ll be able to figure them out like a boss.
- I don’t think I trust Hope anymore. She spent a little over 20 days in Bardo undergoing the M-Cap process. It was revealed that when she went and stabbed Octavia in the season six finale, she wasn’t actually helping Octavia out. Anders blackmailed Hope into stabbing Octavia, which would transport her back to Bardo, in order to protect Diyoza. I don’t know man. Something feels off. Why didn’t she tell any of the characters she spent five years with that she had been tortured in Bardo? Hmmmmm.
- So, the symbols on the Anomaly stones are the same symbols that represent the code of people’s consciousness. We know the main symbol on the stone is the Octonian, which Octavia was able to press in the season six finale, which makes me wonder: Is Octavia connected to the Anomaly? Was she named Octavia for a specific reason? Was it fate or am I just looking for theories that aren’t there?
- Octavia is a badass. ‘Nough said.
The 100 premieres every Wednesday on The CW at 8/7 c.