“What would Bellamy Blake want?” was a question tossed around in the latest episode of “The 100” and really sums up everything.
Bellamy has become the heart of the show over the past seven seasons, but now the heart is gone. Without the heart around, who’s supposed to act as the leader with a moral compass? Clarke and Echo asked themselves this very question in the newest installment, but Bellamy’s absence can even be felt indirectly by those in Sanctum.
Fans and characters alike have felt hollow and confused since his disappearance, and now they’re finally asking how to make sure he didn’t “die” in vain.
Along with this somber question, the latest episode of “The 100” was also a deep dive into juxtapositions, small reunions and oh so many hugs.
“The 100” season seven, episode 10 “A Little Sacrifice” aired Aug. 5 on The CW after a three-week long hiatus. After a break and daunting episode title, I was curious to find out if it would live up to the hype. I think it did — even if it wasn’t one of my favorite episodes of the series (this is where my Bellamy Blake bias comes in).
I really liked this episode. It was thrilling. I could finally see the puzzle pieces coming together indicating the series’ end.
“A Little Sacrifice” started with Sheidheda finally showing some of his cards. He threatened everyone on Sanctum and Madi personally, in a terrifying and bloody scene. If him coming after a 13-year-old girl and a dog doesn’t show how ruthless he is, I don’t know what does.
The show continued its focus on Sanctum while also bringing the audience to Bardo. We got reunions galore and emotional hugs between Octavia and Clarke then Octavia and Miller (this one legitimately made me sob). Madi and Murphy also had a very sweet hug when he found and consoled her after her run-in with Sheidheda.
Bardo was a hodgepodge of reunions, an awkward Earth-inspired lunch, diss tracks (so many people threw shade, y’all), torture and the occasional will-they/won’t they commit mass murder. You know, the usual. It was an entertaining but terrifying thing to watch as I was on the edge of my seat.
The entire time I was waiting for Bellamy to hop around a corner in Bardo, making his grand entrance. Ever since Bellamy’s alleged death in 7×05 “Welcome to Bardo,” I’ve believed he was somehow still in Bardo, lying in wait planning his big move. Maybe his character was planning and learning how to take the Disciples out even if he wasn’t physically in the scenes?
He couldn’t have just disappeared to some random planet, not adding anything to the plot, right? He’s the male lead. Turns out I was wrong.
There’s a small part of me that wants to give 7×10 four stars, but I find it difficult to do that when the male lead is still nowhere to be found.
I hope this isn’t just my Bellamy Blake bias showing, but the show hasn’t felt the same without him. Clarke and Bellamy have always been the leads pushing the story forward and I can’t hide my disappointment over the loss of this in the final season. We will never get to see these characters again, and I’m being forced to say “goodbye” without the proper closure I’d hoped for.
So, here’s my star rating for “A Little Sacrifice”:
Ladies and Gentlemen assume your (juxta)positions
“A Little Sacrifice” did a great job setting up a lot of juxtapositions. There were so many people and things set up against each other. It was like a mirror with an angel on one side, and a devil being reflected on the other.
Sanctum & Bardo
First there were two places juxtaposed: Sanctum and Bardo. The episode kept switching between the two almost 50/50.
Sanctum was this lawless land stuck without an official leader, torn into different sides. Fights broke out and threats were made. Towards the end of the episode, Indra and Sheidheda faced off in a conclave battle. Whoever won would take the “throne” as commander, and unfortunately for literally everyone, Sheidheda won.
After season seven, episode eight “Anaconda,” we learned that the conclave battle is based off of Callie and Reese Cadogan’s childhood disputes and how they would settle them. The conclave, and now Sanctum, feels old and traditional.
Then we take a look at Bardo, which feels like the opposite. It’s this clean place where rules are strictly followed and a clear leader sets the cool, heartless tone. It’s this new world with different ideas our people have never heard of before.
While Sanctum has taken on the Grounders’ culture of “Blood must have blood,” Bardo doesn’t see the need to have any human connections at all. Sanctum is all heart, so broken loyalties cause war. Bardo is all mind, so broken loyalties don’t really even exist.
Sheidheda & Indra
Next we have Indra and Sheidheda. Indra has regular blood and has earned her way into leadership by being a fighter, an ally and a trusted companion to her people. Sheidheda is a nightblood who takes his leadership by killing anyone who doesn’t kneel to him.
Indra is the new age-type of leader. She doesn’t have royal blood. She got her role through democracy.
Sheidheda is the old school, harsh leader who only has his position because of the color of his blood. How is that fair? The flame isn’t in the game right now. It’s been taken off the board and literally buried by Clarke, so I don’t see how Sheidheda’s nightblood should play a role in getting the Grounders on his side. But I guess the Grounders are to the nightblood commanders as the Faithful are to the primes. We all have our own false gods, and that loyalty is hard to break.
Cadogan & Gabriel
We have these two people with complete opposite beliefs, and very different experiences, from when they lived on Earth hundreds of years ago. Yet, they’re similar in the fact that they’ve both found ways to extend their lives by getting people to worship them as false gods.
Not only is it interesting to have two people like this exist at the same time in the same place in “The 100” but they’re brought together over lunch, one of the most casual things people can do together. You know, just two pals getting together to reminisce about life on Earth, flipping burgers, memes, kombucha and the destructive patterns of humanity.
One of the biggest things in the scene that stood out to me was how it was framed and set up. There’s a big, long rectangular table with Earth-inspired food on it, with Cadogan and Gabriel sitting at the two heads of the table.
This was a smart choice because the head of the table normally represents the person in charge and this shows that they’re both stubborn and set in their beliefs. They won’t be swayed one way over the other. They’re also sitting as far away from each other as possible, showing how far their ideologies are from each other as well.
Food also tends to be a symbol of bringing people together. That’s why we eat big meals at family gatherings and get-togethers with friends. While it’s supposed to connect us, it just shows the separation between Cadogan and Gabriel.
Cadogan got all excited over kombucha and he can tell Gabriel has a strong connection with it based on his reaction.
Cadogan: It reminds you of something.
Gabriel: Yeah. My grandmother in Colombia. She made her own right before they cut off her drinking water so the rich could water their lawns.
Cadogan ended up quickly changing the subject. I find it interesting how these two men even have different emotions attached to kombucha. For Gabriel, it’s a reminder of his family being on the poor side of the socioeconomic gap. For Cadogan, it’s a fun reminder of a trendy drink.
Kombucha ended up getting traded for a discussion on “the last war mankind will ever wage.”
Gabriel: Join your war to save the human race by renouncing everything that makes me human? Love, family — those are the things that connect us. We’re not just DNA. We’re emotion. Without that, what are you fighting for?
Cadogan: We all fight for our families, our countries. We do whatever we have to so that our side can survive, and when someone you love betrays you… Well, that is the worst pain there is. We have none of that here.
Cadogan brings up almost the exact plot of the entire show. Our characters fight for “my people” season-after-season. Wars emerge. People die. The cycle continues.
Gabriel represents the underdog, love and the confusing, emotional mess that comes with being human. His entire life is a blanket of love and betrayal. However, Cadogan represents the rich and privileged, the emotionless person who believes in the head over the heart. He doesn’t believe in nurturing but rather a cold life without love, and his society on Bardo reflects that.
It’ll be interesting to see the two face off later in the series and to find out which one comes out on top.
Echo & Clarke
Here’s where our original question of “What would Bellamy Blake want?” really comes into play. Clarke and Echo had complete opposite ideas of how to answer this.
Echo’s answer to this age-old question was genocide. She tortured Levitt into giving her access to GEM9 so she could drop it into Bardo’s central humidification system, which would make it airborne and wipe out everyone there.
I had an inkling a situation like this was going to happen, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. Hope’s mission was to get Clarke, Octavia, Raven, Miller, Diyoza, Jordan and Niylah off the planet before Echo would release the poisonous substance. Obviously, the kru was confused why Echo wasn’t with them and found her just about to commit mass murder.
Clarke, having a similar experience with Mt. Weather, knew this was morally wrong and what this would do to Echo mentally.
Clarke: Echo, this is not who you are. I know you think this is the right thing to do, but — trust me — it’s not. There’s always another way. Grief is something we can learn to live with, but once you make a choice like this, it stays with you.
Echo: This is nothing like the choices you make, Clarke. You take lives to save the people you love. This is vengeance pure and simple.
Clarke: Echo, stop. This is not what Bellamy would have wanted.
Echo: You have no idea what Bellamy wanted! If they killed me or you (Clarke) or you, Octavia, he would be standing right where I am.
Um, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Echo, but Bellamy wouldn’t be doing what you are now if Clarke or Octavia were killed.
Clarke was “killed” by the primes in season six, and instead of trying to kill all of them, Bellamy tried to negotiate terms with them, because “We do what Clarke would have done. We survive.” There’s not one example from the series of Bellamy choosing to commit mass murder for revenge. Yes, he helped pull the lever at Mt. Weather, but that was to save friends and family who were still alive but about to be murdered (btw, this is not me saying that was right — I’m just giving an example).
I think Echo means well, but she still hasn’t changed from when we met her in season two. She still makes the same decisions but they’re just for a different group now. Whereas, Clarke has learned from past mistakes and is actively working towards being better.
Hope & Diyoza
So, Echo decided against genocide in the end — but Hope didn’t.
After Echo changes her mind, Anders walks in saying their deal is off. Hope takes this as her opportunity to kill him, grab the GEM9 and drop it into the central humidification system.
While the droplet is falling, Diyoza runs toward it and throws her hand between GEM9 and the machine. It lands on her palm, and we see her begin to calcify. Everyone runs out of the room, but not before we hear her final words: “Don’t waste this, little one. Be better than me.”
Diyoza is proof that we can be better. She stopped the cycle by sacrificing herself for all of Bardo, even if they aren’t all innocent.
What these juxtapositions all really come down to is development and growth. What characters are stuck in the old ways of “The 100?”
When we look back, we find lines like “Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two different things,” “Blood must have blood” and “My people.” Bellamy, the Grounders, Clarke and many others have voiced these things in the past.
How do we break the cycle of absurdity?
We’ve seen our characters fall into a cycle of killing people to save their own over and over again, but now we’re seeing a shift. They’re thinking about their actions and how to stop the cycle and be better.
Indra, Gabriel, Clarke and Diyoza all fall on the side of learning from past mistakes and wanting to do things differently to save more people, not just limited to their own.
Sheidheda, Cadogan, Echo and Hope still haven’t learned anything about what it means to be better. Even when they’re told it can be better, their stubbornness comes into play and they find an excuse for destructive behavior.
The only way to break this cycle of the world’s constant, violent decisions is to break our own pattern of violent decisions. Jasper first believed that we were stuck in an absurd loop, no one listened to him, he ran out of hope, became a nihilist and eventually took his own life.
Then Monty’s eyes were open to this loop, fought the notion of nihilism and believed we could break the cycle through introspection and understanding that our decisions shape our reality. The cycle can be broken if we physically and mentally work on being better.
Jordan learned that from his parents and now it seems like our own main characters are picking up on that too, though not all of them.
Jordan really was the underrated VIP of “A Little Sacrifice.” Thanks to Monty teaching him Korean when he was younger (*cries*), Jordan realizes that the Disciples may have translated the Bardoans’ final message incorrectly. Instead of there being the last “war,” it may be a final “test” instead.
How do we think this is going to play out? What’s the test? Who’s going to take the test? Who do we trust taking the test in order to save humanity one final time? Clarke, Bellamy, Raven, Octavia, Jordan or Gabriel? I know I don’t trust Cadogan with the final test. There’s no way a rich, old, white man who hasn’t been in touch with reality during his hundreds’ year nap could understand the whole of humanity enough to ace the final test on it. Just saying.
Thanks to Monty coming in and saving the day after he’s been dead for over 100 years (he’s the reason Jordan may have cracked the code), maybe now we can alter the question from “What would Bellamy Blake want?” to “What would Bellamy and Monty want?”
Who would Bellamy and Monty side with on those juxtapositions listed above? Maybe he wouldn’t side with either side and there’s a middle ground we’re not seeing yet.
If there’s anything we know though, it’s that there’s just six episodes left of the series and Bellamy Blake is going to own the next one.
Thank you to the following for your service. You will be missed.
- Charmaine Diyoza
- Anders (We hardly knew ya)
- Indra’s presidential campaign
- Any semblance of trust I had in Levitt
- My hope for Echo’s character development
- Bellamy Blake’s male lead status
- My old wishes for this final season
The next episode of “The 100” airs Wednesday, Aug. 12 on The CW at 8/7c.