The 100: Damocles, Part 1 Review
The CW‘s The 100, Season 5, Episode 12, ‘Damocles, Part 1,’ was eventful enough; but not quite as direct as I would have liked. It effectively reset the previous episode’s finale set-up, by bringing the march to war to an abrupt end (shoulda put money on that one), in order to get a number of at-odds characters to re-check their notes.
A little later than usual, for closing redemption arcs; but death-bed/ under-the-gun conversions still make for go-to material (whether they should, or not). There was a longer list than usual, of central characters crossing lines, and it seemed like the episode was a pause meant to give most of them a make-or-break moment.
Clarke (Eliza Taylor) & Madi (Lola Flanery), Bellamy (Bob Morley) & Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) & Abby (Paige Turco) – a whole lot of personal excuses had to be at least re-considered, before final actions are taken. I just wish this had been done earlier, so there’d be more final showdown time.
A knack for dashing my hopes aside, it was clear this war wasn’t going to go as planned – everyone kept talking about the plans. So what’s more telling than telling viewers exactly what to expect? Bringing a sacrificial lamb out front, for no real reason. It was either that, of Darktavia pays for leading from the front – clearly the script had no choice.
Were we supposed to feel bad, when Kane & Clarke were confronted by the outcome to their respective betrayals? I’ve never bought into the “whatever it takes” trope; and when the only person in the valley – not on Team Echo (Tasya Teles) – to root for is Madi, I have to wonder how much leg does the original cast have to stand on.
Not Murphy (Richard Harmon), though – his wildcard thing, with Emori (Luisa d’Oliveira), can go on for a while.
Considering that only cast members were smart enough to outlast the first clash, I guess the plan remains keeping most of them around.
After years of seemingly never ending mulligans & redemption arcs, The 100 is still driven by the need to make its ‘heroes’ ‘complicated,’ by way of catastrophically stupid/ selfish actions/ decisions. Maybe the Showrunners have settled on it being a winning formula; but I’m just over having to endure the blood-draining arc of the loop – especially when I know there’ll be another, and another.
Even as one redemption loop seemed to finally come to an end, there was no resolution to it – just finger-pointing. Add the related death of a character, that had only just lived up to potential, and the whole affair seemed more like brush clearing, than a series event.
A more meaningful end was so over-the-top, I just couldn’t be surprised by it not actually happening. There just wouldn’t have been a point to it, given how much the season (and series) has riding on the character dynamics involved.
The seesaw battle for Madi kept one nagging question alive; and by the time Madi learned to weaponize Lexa’s memory, I had my answer. No, I don’t think the incest angle is going to come up (not directly, anyway). Would’ve made the I-love-you-more-than-Lexa moment extra special awkward if they did, I guess.
In other news: Madi’s line, about there being more to survival, should’ve been the combo-breaker the series needed, regarding its redemption loop problem. Never mind that it took so long (BSG characters figured that out running straight) – the fact that someone said it means that maybe Madi should be taking over this joint.
I may have just admitted that Madi is doomed; but I stand by the notion.
I also found myself wondering why anyone would think that the lesser-of-two-evils path – whatever that might be – could ever possibly go anywhere near McCreary (William Miller). With my two-part war scenario shot, that only leaves a singular doomsday scenario, for the finale – and since no one is better equipped to go that route, all roads must lead to the top sociopath. Script’s orders.
Besides blunting the promised confrontation – almost as expected – ‘Damocles, part 1’ felt more like a set-up to the finale, than the actual start of it. That’s not a bad thing – I was just hoping for more of a climax, before season 5’s resolution (silly me).
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