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The 100 Damocles Part One Recap-Review

by Evelyn Ulrich

In the first half of The 100 season finale, Damocles Part One, war is brewing among all the people, and realizations hit home hard.  Whatever happened to the peace plan?  Has Octavia completely lost her mind?  How about Clarke trying to protect her daughter?  These questions will be answered, plus more stuff in the recap-review for The  100 Damocles Part One.

The 100 Damocles Part One Recap-Review

The Battle Has Begun

Episode 512 Aired July 31, 2018

The 100 Damocles Part One

Entering in the first installment of the season five finale, Damocles Part One, a rather pendulous episode people are in the battle for Eden.  The way the episode was set up, watching it somewhat depreciated the scenario.  War is a very serious and tragic entity, and with just so much going on, it was difficult to conceive an accurate thought.

I am not saying that Damocles Part One was poorly written or badly focused on the characters themselves, but the way it was brought it was perceived as that.  It is hard to explain the case when your mind is sliced straight down.

But then, it was only for the first few minutes; I settled in and consumed all the offerings.  So, dismiss what was said up there.

Damocles Part One is the last episode written by Justine Juel Gilmer and she goes all out with a huge literal bang.  The prelude to the last, Gilmer succeeded to place all of the narrative pieces into place; the raw outline and surreal physicality of war, the psychiatric breaks, and emotional tenderness that The 100 is well-known for.

And when it comes to their pervasive season finales, you can surely bet that all these pieces are magnified and amplified to deliver one of the most emotionally compelling television experiences a fan can go through.

I cannot speak for the fandom or audience as that would mean generalizing, but I can speak for myself when my emotions are compelled.  Every week, they go on this crazy joyride for the turbulence and leveled that each episode brings.

When there seems to be peace for the moment, it quickly deletes as a new dark scenario unfolds.

As for the characters, some made top choices, others did not.  And one became a meal.  The real zoom-in was the relationship of Clarke and Madi and how her being Commander brought up a whole new conflict between them.

Additionally, Clarke getting slapped hard with a very pounding realization.

Let’s boom into Damocles Part One.

Evitable War

The action begins before the star credits even roll, and it sets the center stage of the episode.  Bullets and gunfire is everywhere-and took a few causalities.  Thus, proving that this is not going end well for Wonkru.

McCreary’s men rage on, leaving Bellamy and Octavia-of who are now weaponless thanks to the sonic cannon, lying low in the gorge.  To survive, this is their only option.  Octavia’s dogged “plan” of war certainly went to hell, but she does not take the responsibility yet.  She blames Bellamy for the failure, as she does for all her faults.

The 100 Damocles Part One

Besides the Blakes, Indra and Gaia are alive with Gaia mortally wounded and losing hope for life.  Indra, the proud and doting mother that she is, cradles her daughter.  She is obviously torn and afraid that she may lose her.  What mother wouldn’t be though?  It’s one of the strongest, if not the most visceral gifts that we can give: the life into another being.  We are eternally connected to our babies, to lose them is losing ourselves.

Not much dialog is exchanged between Indra and Gaia, but that is perfectly fine.  The soft, shadowy focus commiserated the emotional landscape.  We can emphasize and feel the pain of both women, and what they are going through.  It is a very heartbreaking moment for both.

The time spent with Gaia, Octavia, (though she was just trying to save her people) came to love her like the sister that she never had.  Seeing Gaia in such a threatening position, Octavia knew that she has gone too far with her Blodreina exposé. And additionally, knows that she has endangered her brother- of whom want her dead.

Yeesh, talk about a problematic, toxic relationship, especially when it comes to your family.

With the war entirely her fault, Octavia surrenders herself, only to be rescued by Madi, Echo, Emori, and Murphy.  This is her redemption arc, and I felt that it was rather a quick switch.  To be completely redeemed, there must be more advanced detailing and storytelling to be more credible.

I understand that season finales are impenetrable in action and the characters’ plots accelerated.  However, to fully understand Octavia Blake, does one need to be Octavia Blake?

It would be easier to see her side of things, but to the outsider looking in, all they could see is a lost little girl.  It would be hard to decipher her redemption as it was just sudden.

The 100 Damocles Part One

In the second half of the finale, Damocles Part Two, we may see a more redeemed Octavia.  This is what will make her arc more plausible and explanatory.

For now, the former Red Queen is going back to the good side.

“You May Be My Mother, But I Am The Commander”

Not dismissing the strong mother/daughter chronicle that was subliming projective all season long, Clarke and Madi had their hard share of disagreements in Damocles Part One.  Madi, now a commander, must find a way to help Wonkru win the war.  Clarke is having some firm resolutions about Madi going, and she goes to even the darkest corner to convince her otherwise.  A conversation shared with Abby that sometimes you must do whatever it takes to protect your children, even though you do not want to.  It reflected the pilot where Abby allowed the guards to tranquilize Clarke to send her to earth.

I did not entirely agree with Clarke shocking the little girl where physical abuse, no matter the reason should not be tolerable.  In fact, I cringe at when I see this type of harm. Cascading into the traditional basis of The 100, Clarke believed that she was making the right choice as a mom.  Yet, sometimes these kinds of choices do more harm than good.  It may not have have been Clarke’s intention to harm Madi, but what else could she have done to prevent her?  Is there a more significant (less harmful) tactic to resolve this conflict?

In truth, yes, there is, but I guess that makes the drama on television.  I hope for future seasons, this type of add-in for shock value is obliterated.

The 100 Damocles Part One

To push the commander sub-plot even further, Echo and Raven came to Madi’s side.  Their hopeful belief that Madi will be the answer to the war, but if you thought Clarke was pretty damn ballsy shocking Madi, she pulls a gun out on her friends, coercing them not to take her.

Not the reunion that we all photographed in our minds, huh?

And, I completely agree with Raven’s reaction when she reunited with Clarke.  Clarke betrayed them, initially forgot about them, and sent Bellamy off to die.  Yeah, I would be peeved too if my “friend” done a 360.

Moving on…

Echo is not having any of Clarke’s stubbornness and angry that Clarke left Bellamy was to die, so the two enter a fight but it comes down to something that they both have in common.

Bellamy: The Man With Many Loves

The big confrontation between Clarke and Echo was about Bellamy Blake.   One reason.  Echo was angry that Clarke betrayed Bellamy at Polis, and left him to die, only to have been betrayed again.  Clarke, in her defense, only done it to protect Madi, but when she finds out that he is still alive, her expression changes to disbelief and concern.

And deep regret.

The 100 Damocles Part One

In Echo’s defense, Bellamy is her only link to her happiness, and she wants nothing to confiscate it from her.  Clarke, who only have seen the two of them a couple of times together (maybe Bellamy did speak about it with her offscreen, and Clarke didn’t object or believed him), knew that he loved Echo, and was good for her.  And she was good for him.

It would be helpful, more precise if we had more intel on the Spacekru background as it would answer a lot of our burning questions and theories.  One of them being the relationship of Bellamy and Echo, even though Mt. Weather was their connection.

The other reason was Madi, and how she had taken the Flame to save them all.  Madi has done to save Clarke because she loved her and listened to the one Commander in her head that “love isn’t weakness.”

“Betraying you was her deepest regret, Clarke,” Madi voices Lexa, which Clarke is in tears recollecting her love over her lost love and what Lexa had to do at Mt. Weather for her people.

“Don’t make the same mistake that she did.” 

Clarke, at this point, makes the toughest decision for Madi; she lets her go to save her people and gives her full blessing.   It was a heartfelt moment.

The men had orders from McCreary to execute Echo after the conversation, and she waited for her fate.  It was like she was accepting full circle.  Okay, now that is a brave face.  However, Echo didn’t meet her maker as Clarke shot the guys instead, untying Echo, and reassuring Madi will be safe with her.

The 100 Damocles Part One

Part of me thinks that Clarke saved Echo to save Bellamy, and I think it’s safe to assume that she did.  She also knew that Madi had to do this on her own, and if she did go with them, she’d be freaking out like any normal mother would do.

I believe that the talk between Clarke and Echo was a needed circumstance. It snapped Clarke back to reality as she was so engrossed with Madi that she lost footing with all else.  This sometimes happens when you become a parent and it’s comprehensible, but it shouldn’t excuse neglect for the other important elements in your life.

It took a former enemy, an old love, and a child to tell Clarke that she has done things wrong in the past few episodes.  But Clarke is now determined to do things right.

Both women have “blood on their hands” and though that they will never be fully cleansed, they are desperately trying to do right in a situation that filled with wrong.  Both have different opinions on what is considered “good,” but at the end of the hour, they just want their people back.

The Not-So-Clean Act

In the previous episode, The Dark Year, Abby went through a rather difficult detox with Clarke doing the honors and her new granddaughter in watch.  The treatment was deemed successful, with Abby getting back to work with new sobriety.

Yet, with newly found sobriety, there will be obstacles.  One obstacle though was through Vinson.  He was the enabler, and in return, he was treated.  As Abby is clean now, Vinson will no longer be needed.

As a barrier to Abby’s potential relapse, Kane, who is feeling rather crummy, to begin with, is nearly devoured by Vinson.  There is no good or nice way to say or describe what Vinson did and it was grotesque.

The 100 Damocles Part One

It was an ironic twist as Kane declined to become a cannibal and he became the meal himself.  Luckily, Abby arrived in time to save Kane, but from the looks of it, he doesn’t look like he will live.

Kane forgives Abby then and it was such an emotional scene because Abby nearly lost someone who she cared for and loved deeply due to her habit.  Had she lost Kane, her world would be dysfunctional-as he was her person.

With Abby now aiding her love back to life, she won’t be needing the pills.

But that does not mean that her story is far from over; it is a long road to recovery.

Final Verdict

 All-in-all, Damocles Part One was set in the traditional stance of a The 100 season finale.  While it was heavy in violence and psychological breaks, it rang true to the storyline, delivered some top-notch performances, and created the anticipation for the follow-up.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy the violence (I look away), I did love the engagement of the characters and how the situations were devised.

The 100 Damocles Part One

Bonus Bullets:

  • Jackson seems to be doing well.
  • Miller, not so much…
  • Is Lexa speaking through the Flame? Is she alive?  Someone explain.
  • The rover ride when Bellamy was reunited with Echo gave me shivers. He had touched her hand to make sure that she was really there.  As for her.
  • Ethan, you are with big brother Wells and Papa Jaha now.
  • McCreary is a man without coherent reasoning.
  • Vinson is a dirty creep.
  • Murphy brings humor to this show with his twists on classic movie quotes.
  • Also, he doesn’t know how to handle the big guns.
  • Abby’s destruction of the pills symbolizes that her addiction is over.  It was a nice touch.
  • Paging Dr. Harper!
  • And Dr. Niylah!
  • Pilot Mechanic is still flying high!
  • I loved the dynamic of Bellamy giving one of his trademark speeches to Gaia to fight on. This is a friendship that I can root for.
  • Clarke was willing to “let go” of Bellamy just so she can protect Madi. That was a horrid, horrid mistake.  She should have known that Bellamy would never have hurt her.
  • Monty is a lil peacemaker and I love him so damn much!  NO one touches Monty Green, ya hear me?
  • Diyoza didn’t have much of a plot and I was wondering on how she would handle McCreary. She should take him down!

What did you think of Damocles Part One?  Did you agree with Clarke’s decisions?  Or how about Madi being a commander for Wonkru?

As for Octavia’s swift redemption, and Bellamy’s saying that she should be dead.  Do you think that she should have died?

What did you favor the most?  The least?  The in-between stuff?

The finale finale, Damocles Part Two, will close season 5 this Tuesday.  But not without a fight, a few possible losses, and that big Bellarke ending (if you haven’t seen it.) topping it off.

Check out the trailer!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky9bwsiaFDc[/embedyt]

Prayers going all around guys!

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