TV Show Review

TV Review: THE 100: Season 5, Episode 11: The Dark Year [The CW]

Henry Ian Cusick Paige Turco Marie Avgeropoulos The 100 The Dark Year

The 100: The Dark Year Review

The CW‘s The 100, Season 5, Episode 11, ‘The Dark Year,’ filled in a crucial stretch of backstory, making more sense of current events, in the process. Not only was Octavia’s (Marie Avgeropoulos) dark transformation given some extra dimension, but the seemingly self-absorbed Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) & Abigail (Paige Turco) thread had some actual weight added.

These were necessary, given how many characters just went into their own respective pocket universes, this season. I think we were meant to accept that the likes of Clarke (Eliza Taylor) & Bellamy (Bob Morley) could flip to unlikable; but there was a degree of knee-jerk mindlessness to it, this time around.

The fact that all of these characters have been willing to throw everyone/ everything under the bus, for the sake of whatever the cherished-thing-of-the-moment happens to be, just undermines credibility across the board. Indra (Adina Porter) used to be an exception; but even she got a soft-spot – in the form of Gaia (Tati Gabrielle).

Emo-tivation: it’s a thing.

Darktavia took the trend to a new low, yes; but just to spare you my foaming at the mouth, I’ll focus on Clarke’s self-made dilemma. Clarke’s anything-for-my-people theme aggravates, whenever her people circle gets redefined. For now, it’s all Madi (Lola Flanery) & Abby; so I suppose it was only fitting that her latest under-the-bus throw served as a set-up for an even bigger throw, by Abby.

Besides giving Vinson (Mike Dopud) license to finally exercise his reputation, the best thing about Abby’s detox was the flashback element. Though a little late, some valuable context was added to the evolution of Wonkru going feral, Kane’s opposition to it, and the psychology of Abby’s de-evolution.

An important subtext to this, was that it provided a precursor to what Darktavia did with the algae farm option. For the record, this did not absolve her, in any way – it only highlighted just how fragile Octavia’s psyche has always been. The Girl Under the Floor has been under the direct influence of one source of external strength after another (Bellamy, Lincoln, Indra); and now a case has been inferred that a fatally pragmatic Abby may have been a key component to Darktavia digging in.

You don’t have to be a devout vegetarian/ vegan to feel horrofied at the scenario presented; so, yes, there was enough guilt coming out of it to justify the instabilities to 3 out of 4 Polis heads (again, that Indra consistency), this season.

Typically, teenage rebellion sets in when kids think themselves smarter than their elders. Thanks to the Flame plot device, Madi’s case not only gets accelerated, it gets justified. While this guarantees more emo-tivation, I’m still waiting to see if the Showrunners will ever have the guts to really broach the Lexa subject (your kid having memories of sex with you: kinduva deal).

Of course, there were the needless bits – like Raven (Lindsey Morgan)-Shaw (Jordan Bolger) tension (she’s mad ’cause she cares – we got it right away, Shaw took 4 days); but the biggest drag, going into the home stretch, has been the shadow of war. So much wasted effort (and people thrown under the bus) has kept circling back to the same outcome. The Showrunners may have been thinking high-stakes tension building, but I got convoluted waste of time.

At this point, I really want that war, the plot has kept circling back to. Good intentions have been made clear – on all sides – so we don’t have to feel bad about characters getting their hands dirty. That, and the Mt. Weather resolution has already been done – we don’t need another massed confrontation ending in a never-mind.

Having registered my hopes, however, I’ve left myself with little room for pleasant surprise. One last double-cross promises no promises, for what comes next; but when added to Darktavia’s promise, that it’ll all be worth it, I hear the signal to tether my hopes.

Leave your thoughts on this The 100 ‘The Dark Year’ review, and this episode of The 100, in the comments section, below. Readers seeking more The 100 coverage can visit our The 100 page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can go to our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page,  our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish  articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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