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The 100 Red Sun Rising Recap-Review

by Evelyn Ulrich
The 100 Red Sun Rising

The 100 Red Sun Rising was an in-depth, beautifully maddening, (if that is possible), and tripped up hour of quality television.  Written by Jeff Vlaming and directed by Alex Kalymnios, the episode delved into the psychiatric thresholds of our heroes.  What we witnessed was the vulnerability and hidden ‘secrets’ as they explored more on the Moon.  Here is the recap-review for Red Sun Rising.  I apologize for the long delay, and yes, there are spoilers.

The 100 Red Sun Rising Recap-Review

“It’s A Real Scorcher Out There”

Episode 602

Aired May 7, 2019

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Red Sun Rising was probably one of the rawest and mind-blowing episodes The 100 has done in its production.  Written by Jeff Vlaming, it presented a divergence of emotional, personal, and rather conflicting atmosphere that challenged the characters in stimulating and pragmatic instances.  My one question is that for those who were scorched, just how will they recover?  While they were under the influence of the suns, they also came to terms of what they have done afterward.

Aside from the cat-crazy Moon Alpha, things are just as bad in space on the ship.  Octavia still has not taken responsibility for her parts last season, and it’s getting pretty obvious that she may never learn to forgive and move on.  Or she is so broken, that it may not be corrected.

The thing that I love the most about Red Sun Rising is the mental breakdowns coming alive (despite its difficulty to watch at times) and the Fisheye photographic effects on the characters.  The close-ups are what brought out the piece to the sharp edge.  It was just a really awesome piece to breathe in.

A Day Set In History, Only to Repeat In Misery

The 100 itself has been generous on providing opens that leads into the larger climax.  We experienced them in all the past seasons, and now, Red Sun Rising can be added into the mix.

We begin with the scientific history of Alpha and Sanctum, 236 years BEFORE any of the major events that happened or was mentioned.  Meet Josephine Lightborne, a taxonomist, who is compiling studies of the different lifeforms, all the while engaging in a rendezvous with boyfriend, geneticist Gabriel Santiago.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Returning to camp, her father astronomer, Russell Lightborne shares his naming of the Moon, while Josephine suggests that they name it ‘Sanctum’, rooted from sanctuary.  It’s agreed to call the new section her name, whilst the Moon gets Alpha.

Back with Gabriel in the fields, Josephine notices an abrupt calm to the Eclipse.  It’s alarming but fascinating.  Turns out that it’s a sonic anomaly that takes shape when there is an environmental change in the air.

While environmental changes are considered, for the most part, normal, there is NOTHING normal about this one.  Without warning, her father emerges from the tent, completely insane and incomprehensible.  He already killed her mother, but before Josephine can make sense of the harrowing situation, he makes her his next victim.

Sanctum is MINE!” With this line, it concluded that his personal demons are the Deadly Sins, “greed” and pride.”  Which are considered the two roots of the evilest spectrums.  I am not saying that Lightbourne is evil, but based off from what was perceived characteristically, he did somewhat have an authoritative and egotistical quality.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

As dark and unyielding this scene was, it set off the entire mood and theme for the episode.  Additionally, the thematic glued us to our seats as we wanted to learn more and invest.  A show can only succeed if it can accomplish that from its audience, and for the millionth time, The 100 has done so.

Once the Suns Are Aligned, Our Demons Come Alive

The last time that we see Spacekru, Emori was engulfed in the Eclipse Psychosis in full rage.   The gang found out that Sanctum is NOT the ideal paradise, so they grouped together to figure out plans of psychotic prevention.  The task is easier said than done, unfortunately.  Everyone who has a sordid past, who have not come headfirst with the buried implications, will become prisoners of the suns.

Albeit the episode tackling major discomfort on my behalf, Red Sun Rising snapped the psychological manifestations wide open.  Miller was the second misfortunate to feel the sun’s hallucinating torture, no doubt feeling the reels of accompanying Blodreina.  And the bugs inside of him.

That can’t be too comfortable, right?

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Anyways, Clarke and Bellamy unlock themselves to inspect what is going on, only to discover the situation is far worse.  Miller is suffering, truly suffering, and the only one who can help him out of the pain is Jackson.  Oh, sweet Mackson!  How I missed you!

But wait! Just what is this delusion?  Jackson has been also entrapped by the Eclipse and wants to harm Miller even more.   Thank goodness for those tranquilizers!  There is something about this dynamic that sets off the climax; it cannonballs the surrealism and making the realization click that perhaps that it is not the toxins or the suns’ entire fault for the behavior, but partially their own.

This theory is quickly proven as Bellamy is the next one to lurch at Clarke, whose pent-up regression of all her betrayals and grievances that caused his demons to explode.  Bellamy, by no means at all, is a villain, and no crazy-ass weather report is going to change him.  Yet, Bellamy displaying this new side of him is inarguably frightening, but it also creates an innovative perspective of his character.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Additionally, Bellamy taking over Murphy’s role of the court jester and being the funny guy was the light in such an ominous episode.  It was just too bad that he had to be this whole other person to experience it.

But then, I do see a softer side to him when he engages with people he loves the most.

As I stated before in my Sanctum review, Bellamy and Clarke may have had lighter moments in the schoolhouse, but they’re far from the forgiveness stage.

And then you have the physical altercations from both—Bellamy choking Clarke, and in response stabbing Bellamy to stop him.  But that only made the situations worse, because he still came after her.    To be honest, I was truly terrified of Bellamy—something that I never thought would happen.   After the hallucinations, the reality of what had happened between them is painted in fear and horror on their faces.  As a fan who enjoys their development and friendship, it was quite a scare to my heart, but my mind kept saying that it wasn’t in their control.  Yet, no control or not, it is never okay to be touched without consent.  It doesn’t matter who the couple is or what level they are on, it is still pain infliction; it is still considered aggression.

That goes for the others as well.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Bellamy’s aggression towards Clarke will hopefully, (I say this very powerfully) dissolve and how this action of his towards his co-leader will give him a life lesson.  At the same time, while I do not agree with the approach he was dealt with, even if it was unintentional, Bellamy had every reason to be angry.

Clarke left him behind and through that, he felt lost, unsure of how to handle things without her.  Eventually, he learned how to lead without her as his Spacekru family is well and alive.  Most of them.

But then, you got that got a whole leaving-him-to-die scenario which probably was the final nail and pushed Bellamy over the edge.  This was definitely something that he wasn’t expecting from Clarke, and that it nearly destroyed years of companionship.

Can you even imagine?  I can’t.

The psychosis may not change him as he snapped back to normalcy, but this outbreak will indefinably shake him.   How Clarke will deal with it as she has been Bellamy’s best friend and settling her emotions with him will either be a step forward or backward.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Murphy has shown that he has some degree of controlling his demons, and while Clarke was speaking to off-radio Abby, he guided her to NOT self-inflict harm.  This indicates that, yes, he is not completely lost and bonked like the rest of them are.  He is being useful by trying to help his friends, despite that most want to murder one another.

Murphy’s demons are exposed in his daily presence, giving him partial immunity to the psychosis.  But why is it only Murphy who has it?  Is it because he has completely identified himself with them and accepts it?  Does he believe that he has no value as a human being and feels that his demons are what he deserves?

Murphy is a complexed, multi-layered individual who knows that he has done wrong, and over the years, he eased into somebody who eventually cares and loves.  His development has proven that bad guys can be redeemable.

But while he did apologize for Raven for her paralysis, made amends with Bellamy, and got back together with Emori (who is hallucinating of him), I don’t imagine that he made absolution within himself as he never fully let go.   And that is the reason why he is suffering so much right now.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

There is absolutely no limit to the psychiatric narratives of the characters as these hold an immense impact on the show. We can dive right in the deepest and darkest abysses of the mind of each one of the characters and discover the many different aspects that make up who they are and why.

That is one of the more stimulating ‘pages’ that The 100 offers.  The writers can give us a character of whom we all know (at least we believe that we do) and love, and then boom, we’re introduced to these new layers that not only impacts their minds but ours as well.

As for Clarke, Eliza Taylor has done a fabulous job of channeling her own demons, albeit it being very challenging to release and sculpt.  Whilst Bellamy, Emori, Jackson, and Miller play the Blame Game for theirs, Clarke has special kinds of demons.

Hers reflect all the past sacrifices and occurrences to save her people, even though some were lost under her power.  Clarke also didn’t expose or opened about the instances that surely scarred her; she bottled it all up so that she wouldn’t concern anyone else.

To hang on to that burden for many years, without help or empathy from any of her friends, dealing with it all by herself, it’s not entirely healthy and will eventually take its toll.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

But that is Clarke.  She doesn’t care about her own health and wellbeing if her people are first and have the optimal life.  She doesn’t care if the appreciation isn’t received because she will still try to save everyone.

Poor Clarke Griffin.  Alpha is a chance for her to try to move on and scope out potential pleasure, joy, and having a smooth balance.  And to make a life with her daughter.

And perhaps she and Madi will have that happy life-once they figure out how to beat the toxins.

It’s pretty much safe to say that upon the speculations and patterns, everyone’s demons are triggered by the people who troubled them the most, even if it’s in the subconscious.

I Spy With My Little Eye, A Spy Who Dares To Defy

Echo, who has been building momentum since last season, has given us a glimpse of her background.  This may be a whispered foreshadowing of what’s to come as her full history will come in a later episode.

Her demons–much like Clarke’s and Murphy’s, are associated with self-hatred and shame.  And like them, she has some control. The voices within her are most likely the Azgeda queen Nia, and King Roan as the second is male.  Both are scolding her, giving harsh demands, and even going as far as the decapitation of one’s (Costia’s?!) head.  Emori points out to Echo that she always follows her “master” and this is validly honest, despite her maniacal behavior.  From a young age, Echo followed the orders of Nia, then King Roan in seasons 3-4, and now, in a more positive light, her boyfriend, Bellamy.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

It’s evident by judging Echo’s tormented expressions that she was traumatized by the whole ordeal, forced into a lifestyle that she didn’t wish for.  As the years went by, it gradually sunk in, making her believe that being a royal spy was her destiny.  That loyalty was everything.   That being affiliated with such a hierarchy was imperious.   In a child’s point of view, considering that is when she began her training, it must have been heartbreaking and criticizing.

We didn’t get much of Echo’s perspective last season, except a few strong storylines, and her love connection.  I was really enlightened and impressed that what was given here was insightful and the push that we needed to explore Echo more.  I want to know more about the former spy of Azgeda and why she was chosen for the mission.

And with Bellamy right outside her door, demanding to open up, as he was affected too, she had to tranquilize herself as she was afraid that she would hurt him.  Every time that she had betrayed, harmed, and done something wrong to Bellamy, it tore her.  I think from his first offering of generosity and kindness in season two, Echo developed idolization, amazed even that such simple humane gestures existed.

If she had harmed Bellamy again, even under the hallucinations, she simply couldn’t live with herself.  She nearly committed suicide in the season four finale, because she pained him.

When you hurt the one that you love most, you yourself become the most hurt and broken.

While several may debate over Echo’s existence-why she is vital to the series, here is an educated and personal thought:

She exists because there’ll be people who will come into our lives without knowing anything about them.  With time, we get to know more about them and based upon our impressions, we either break or stay.

Echo is the epitome of that observation.

For the rest of Echo’s journey this season, I hope that it’s just as enriching.

Don’t Be A Waste In Space

I haven’t forgotten about the people still up on the ship, so here we are.  Things haven’t changed that much the last time that we see those left behind, except for a few key points.  But they are good key points!

Octavia is still pretty much wrapped around her delusion that she has done no wrong with what happened in the bunker.  But there is much more to it than that.  Octavia is drowning in her demons and the only escape from them is fighting.  She instigates the members of Wonkru with her ego, setting off violent responses.  James, whose mother died in the Wonkru/Eligius war, takes his attack personally.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

Jordan and Niylah attempt to defuse the attack, but no avail.  Octavia must live with what she has become, according to Abby’s philosophy.  Earlier, Abby confronted her but blew her off.  While Abby did her fair share of nightmarish deeds, she admits that she was wrong and regretted them.

Octavia needs to learn with what has done and try to move on if she ever wants to have somewhat of life again.   I believe that her anger and grief stemmed from sentencing Bellamy, and while she tried to make amends, he didn’t want any part of her. Which must be upsetting to Octavia, because, at one point in her life, she adored her older brother.

The tears!

Meanwhile, the ship is still under siege by Alpha’s habitats.  However, thanks to the dual thinking of Diyoza and Raven, they’re taken down, and Taylee, the leader is now their prisoner.

Oh, and that was the best reintroduction of Madi yet!  Dropping down like a boss!

Eager to be reunited with Clarke, Abby takes a new group down to Alpha.  Diyoza is left behind because she’s still pregnant, along with Madi (though who would have loved to be with her mom), and Gaia.  She will make the time worthwhile during their absence.  I just love Gaia’s and Madi’s relationship, and more is to come.

The 100 Red Sun Rising

The remaining people-Abby, Octavia, Raven, Jordan, and Taylee embark on Alpha.  Their first stop is to disable the radiation towers.  However, they make a grim discovery:  Shaw’s grave.  Raven is, of course, devastated, because her link to happiness has been broken and taken away.  Just like so many before.  When will she ever have fairness?  Why must she be the subject of torture?  It certainly isn’t fair as she doesn’t deserve it.  She has the right to be happy!

Knowing that Shaw is a share of the stars will obviously create two directions.  The first one will be the guiding of Shaw’s gentle spirit, allowing Raven to find happiness and a purpose in life once more.  The second will be Raven’s downfall, which is something that I hope I never undergo.

In a short time, Abby and the group find Sanctum, with Clarke, Bellamy, and Murphy tangled together and knocked out from the gas.   Abby wakes them, but not successful with Murphy. Clarke and Bellamy are both alert but are definitely confused about what’s happened to Murphy.

I am confused too about what’s happened to Murphy!  Just what are those black veins?  Did the water turn him into a Nightblood?

The 100 Red Sun Rising

If that wasn’t shocking enough, a small sea of giggling children races up the stairs.  They’re astounded to see the new visitors in their playground, but maybe a bit optimistic?

“Are you here to take us home?” A little girl named Rose questions Clarke.  Huh?  What?!

“Isn’t this your home?” Clarke responds.

Apparently not.

Bonus Bullets:

  • What is the purpose of the embryos? Clones?  To repopulate?  So many questions!
  • How will Echo feel about Bellamy being stabbed by Clarke?
  • What happens now to the Bellamy/Murphy relationship?
  • The callback of 305 was a nice way to connect the two Bellarke scenes.  However, the timing for it was off.
  • The stabbing was an integrated, if raw technique to incorporate Bobby’s knee injury into the show.
  • More Gaia, please!
  • When will Diyoza finally give birth?
  • I loved how Diyoza, Raven, and Madi had that Charlie’s Angels dynamic.
  • Octavia finding her brother is a sweet but sad moment. He wasn’t thrilled when he saw her.
  • Just who are those children? And why do they want to “go home”?
  • What relationship will Clarke and the others have the children?
  • Miller and Jackson had the same hallucination at the same time. This phenomenon is called “Folie à deux” or shared hallucination.  It’s often rare but happens at times when two people are close.
  • Jordan is proud of his father and should not have been belittled as such.
  • Seriously, Harper has a right to be mentioned!
  • Those affected by the psychosis, how will they move on, knowing what they did to each other?
  • What exactly happened to Murphy? And will he be okay?
  • Emori’s demons seem to be a fear of men. And I’d like to know why.
  • Those photographic effects though…
  • And the music…
  • And the landscape scenery…
  • How will Jordan exist on Alpha, knowing that he has never lived on the ground?
  • An advanced warning of near self-injury and attempted throat slitting would have been exemplary. I know that it’s fictional, and crucial to bring out the narrative, but the audience may feel triggered. Just a thought.
  • I found the episode difficult to watch because of all the different psychotic shatterings.  You do not want to witness such emotional spirals as they can mess with you subconsciously.  Yet, my personal intake didn’t take away superiority.

What are your thoughts on Red Sun Rising?  Whose psychosis interested you the most?  The least?  Do you believe that the characters will get over with what they had done when they were out of it?  And what about those kids?

Next time on The 100:  The Children of Gabriel:


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