TV Show Review

TV Review: THE 100: Season 5, Episode 12: Damocles, Part 1 [The CW]

Marie Avgeropoulos The 100 Damocles Part 1

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).

Leave your thoughts on this The 100 ‘Damocles, Part 1’ 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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