The 100: Damocles, Part 2 Review
The CW‘s The 100, Season 5, Episode 13, ‘Damocles, Part 2,’ was another running-jump, to another tweak to the core premise. A lot of disbelief suspension was necessary, getting through some of the climax’s more forced suspense moments; but at least the resolution had plenty to offer – if not in terms of series mythology, then certainly in regards to character (and fan) sentiment.
With the impending doom of Wonkru spelled out, an activated Madi (Lola Flanery) delivered Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) to a re-consummation of the tribe. Blodreina’s subsequent reaction, to the hailing of the Heda, was just too logical to have turned out any other way. Fortunately, the Showrunners knew this, and the suspense was kept mercifully short (also: time constraints). It was also fortunate that the new Commander got her Matrix of Leadership mojo working, before the shooting started – rather than having it kick in at a crucial point of battle.
That crucial point honor went to Murphy (Richard Harmon) stubbornness, Echo (Tasya Teles) badassery, and Bellamy (Bob Morley) just making sure it all happened, I guess (he gets plenty of credit, this ep – quit breathing on me). From there, things went straight to end-game – most likely due to all the ground this finale had to cover.
One such area: getting Clarke back on the side of the angels (whatever that is), through another act of desperation; but the self-conscious-script-moment of the episode (if not season) might’ve been Clarke (Eliza Taylor) & Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic) trading quips about shifting loyalties.
On a completely unrelated (if not pointless) note: has Clarke been walking around with soda can pull-tabs on the back of her jacket, this whole time? Sorry, I just couldn’t unsee, for a hot second.
Given that various threads & dynamics – involving the likes of Abby (Paige Turco) & Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), Raven (Lindsey Morgan) & Shaw (Jordan Bolger), Bellamy & Octavia, Bellamy & Clarke, Monty (Christopher Larkin) & Harper (Chelsey Reist), Monty & the Human race – had to be addressed, it seemed like ‘Damocles, Part 2’ had little time to dwell on climactic cliches.
Well, I guess the episode should’ve been shorter, ’cause pointless dramatics took over, anyway.
‘Damocles, Part 2’ kept the key character death bluffs going (I’m starting to think that Youtube reaction videos have been ghostwriting these scripts), which made the relatively neat wrap to hostilities seem that much more rushed. The not-so-neat turn that followed, however, certainly required more thought to its formulation.
Established sociopath, McCreary (William Miller), was willing to stand-down, over a direct threat to his unborn child, but then responded with a scorched earth measure. By that point, sacrificing kid & baby-momma, for a full win, should’ve been the obvious course; but: plot drama. We all know McCreary’s rattling-screws-crazy – this attempt at crazy-like-a-fox was kind of a pointless. Making the matter worse: Clarke not being able to leverage her threat to prevent the doomsday measure, like she did the take off.
As it was, the episode had an excuse to pivot into a race-against-the-clock scenario, and individual issues had fires lit under them. Murphy & Emori (Luisa d’Oliveira) were officially back on, with a little help from Monty’s back (sorry, Monty – but goodonya, as usual); Bellamy followed up on his ethics schooling of Madi, by doing the last-second-bridge-to-rescue thing (hoarding this much redemption points better mean he’s going stupid-rogue, again, at some point); Octavia forgot to lead with news about Clarke, when facing Abby, making it all about Kane (I guess his redemption cycle rolls on); Clarke even got a good word put in for her, from Madi to Bellamy, for the next season nevermind (no pitching from the Bellarke gallery).
All of this came courtesy of a ridiculously slow rocket-driven weapon delivery, of course – and yes, Raven, the dust-off scenario did seem awfully familiar.
So after the balance of a season – and some direct experience with the thing – no one had considered cryo as an option for… well, anything. A certain points hoarder just brings it up – as a means of giving a key character better odds of returning, next season – and gets genius points added. Take that, Monty, Raven, and company.
I’ll admit to laughing out loud, at Madi’s dream line – if only because I’d like to think the cryo-sleep-after-escaping-big-boom scenario was a nod to Aliens, with Madi as Clarke’s very own Newt. One often missed detail (about Ripley outliving her birth daughter) also came to mind, however, thanks to some tinkering with the alarm clock.
As I had hoped, the resolution was a bigger deal than the climax – almost to the point of making the rush-job understandible. Like last season, the show has decided to flip the script; but since there are only so many sides to flip to, the Showrunners decided to switch surfaces to flip on.
Once again, the original premise is going to be re-applied – likely involving, oh, say 100 ‘Elegians’ being sent down to (very) unfamiliar ground, with somewhat familiar results – but, somehow, I doubt all that many fans held that as their take-away, from the episode.
Script-flip aside, the resolution was primarily one long, well deserved send-off for two original cast members. Well deserved, since I’ve found one of them to be the most consistent, consistently likable, and consistently useful of the entire series. It also poked at the issue of the show’s perennial birth control magic; but I’ll get back to that, next season. I could’ve done without the mention of the honored character’s personal anchor, again; but that name is now attached to a new legacy character – so screw you, me, that ‘sorry’ running gag finally caught some payback.
Legacy kid has enormous shoes to fill; but so does The 100. If things go as I suggested, there will remain a very real risk of retread – and mulligans really do taste like so much algae, at this point (sorry, Mo – oh, wait). Still, a fresh start is a fresh start. I’ll just have to trust that certain cycles can be broken… even when faced with the absence of a series-long saving grace. Let’s face it: the smart kids haven’t exactly been running this jungle gym.
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