‘The 100’ Review: Welcome To Bardo (Bitch)

The 100 -- "Welcome to Bardo" -- Image Number: HU705A_0561r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jason Diaz as Levitt and Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Another episode come and gone and may I just say it feels like The 100 has officially returned from its hiatus with this episode. ‘Welcome To Bardo’ is by far the best of the season thus far, though with the first four episodes being relatively weak, is that really saying much? Actually, yes. Because finally, the season feels like it’s going somewhere. And we love to see it.

So many questions answered, new ones in its place, new characters introduced that didn’t feel totally useless, and the return of Bellamy Blake (however briefly)? What’s not to love? As such, there was nothing in this episode that I was ‘meh’ about or didn’t like so those sections will be disregarded for this review and will just be “Things I Loved” and “Honorable Mentions.” Let’s dive in.

The 100 Review: “Welcome To Bardo”

Season 7, Episode 5 | Airdate: June 17, 2020

Directed by: Ian Samoil | Written by: Drew Lindo

Things I Loved 

*Bellamy: Oh, come on. Who didn’t think he would be number one in a review of mine? We got to see him! The freckles, the eyes, the voice! How I’ve missed thee. Welcome back, dollface. Anyway, first things first, he’s not dead so let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way right now. I’ll dive into my various theories in Honorable Mentions but for now, let’s just discuss his mini-scene at the end of this episode.

After four episodes of the audience growing more and more agitated at not knowing/seeing where Bellamy was, he returned in true The 100 fashion aka out of the blue with a knife to someone’s throat. Anders has brought Octavia from M-CAP to see her brother at the anomaly stone to get him to calm down. Octavia attempts to broker a deal for her big (little?) brother: she’ll stop fighting M-CAP and give them all the information they could want, even on Clarke, if Anders agrees to send Bellamy back to Sanctum. Now, as Octavia is attempting to make this deal her language is very pointed, likely trying to convey to Bellamy that Clarke is in danger (like always) and that he needs to get back to Sanctum to warn everyone.

There’s a lot of layers to this scene and everyone seems to be trying to work a different plan. Anders seems to readily agree to Octavia’s terms and conditions and prepares the anomaly stone with a code (on which, again, I have theories about that we’ll get into a little further down) despite the stone’s conductors warning. Even with the anomaly being open Bellamy refuses to enter it not being willing to leave his sister behind. Before any of them can agree on a plan of action or quit being stubborn one of the Disciple warriors that Bellamy had fought mutters “I do the Shepherd’s bidding for all mankind.” and activates one of those damn bombs “killing” Bellamy. Even if I know in my heart or hearts that his ass is alive (and I think I know where) screw that guy. How dare you kill him off when I just got him back? If it was professional to insert the huffy faced emoji in reviews, I would do so here.

That being said, with Bellamy “dying” so early in the season as a red-herring for the audience, I am starting to get a little hope that maybe he’ll make it to the finale after all. Doing a fake-out death followed by an actual death would be trite. Then again, maybe it’s better not to fool myself into putting that much faith into a show that loves hurting their audience.

Octavia: This episode was a lot for Octavia, guys. We start off seeing her directly after her getting taken off of Skyring in episode two and we learn that this is “45 Days Ago” thanks to the super helpful time-cards. After being separated from Diyoza (who while we hear, don’t actually see clearly) she kicks some ass, runs through this very confusing building with the constantly preaching overhead voice and manages to slip in to an elevator. One of the biggest lies movies and television has ever told me is that when you slip in to the closing doors of elevators they will still close when, in reality, the doors will simply fully reopen thanks to sensors.

Octavia can’t figure out how to work the elevator but somehow triggers it to go to level two aka the arboretum. Does she not know what an arboretum is because when she opens the door she has a look of relief on her face that indicates that she seems to think she’s going to escape. Unfortunately, that is not the case and after a pretty cool ass flip, is knocked flat on her back. As she tries to get back up she’s shoved back down with a foot on her chest as the cloaked Disciples come out of ghost mode. We’re treated to a (quite disturbing) close-up of a blank gold faced Disciple leaning down to Octavia and saying, “Welcome to Bardo.”

I cannot be the only who was expecting him to add a “bitch” to the end of that. Or maybe I’ve just watched too much of The O.C in my lifetime.

Anyway, the next time we come back to Octavia she is strapped in to a chair in a clinically white room with two other men. We quickly learn that O has been brought in to M-CAP aka the Memory Capture Room and they want to know who she is and how she got on to Penance. Who we learn to be Levitt recommends to her that she not struggle because “memory capture uses a laser guided neural interface and if you’re not careful it will lobotomize you.” Yikes.

Anders now basically calls Octavia stupid saying she’ll have no idea what any of that means and to just get on with it. Levitt calls for patience because there’s a method to how these things are done to which Anders mocks him asking if he thinks this is a standard Disciple psych evaluation. Full offense, Anders but you’re kinda a dick.

After instructing Octavia to picture herself walking through a desert with a purple sky and a hand reaching out, Anders and Levitt learn of Bellamy’s existence and his importance to Octavia. They’re able to grab on to her memories of him and pull a few through on to a hologram white board (more or less). We’re treated to a series of pictures and audio clips of Bellamy through the years with Levitt asking, “Who’s Bellamy?”

How dare you, sir? That’s just rude.

We flash-forward to eleven days later (34 Days In The Past) and Levitt is continuing his attempt to go through Octavia’s mind. He’s getting bits and pieces but thanks to her struggling, never the full story. Did anybody else laugh when he asked her if Murphy was one of her lovers? It’s just a pair I never would have matched together. He warns her that if she doesn’t cooperate soon they will send someone “who will burn their way right through your head.” Again: yikes.

Octavia must think of Hope for a second because Levitt sees a small clip of her on his see-through ipad or whatever and recognizes Penance in the background. He tells Octavia that in the time that she’s been captured on Bardo years have passed for Hope on Penance. In a panic, Octavia tells him that she’ll give him any memories he wants of hers with the exception of those of Hope if he’ll help her escape and get back to Hope. In an interesting move, he re-stacks the memories as if they were a deck of cards on the hologram whiteboard and inserts them back in to her brain. Which begs the question…if they can put the memories back, are they also able to delete them?

Anyway. They strike a deal and Octavia warns him that he’s not going to like what he’s about to see and we’re treated to Pike and Octavia voice-overs from last season where Octavia admitted that she wanted redemption.

If I had one gripe about this episode it would be that Levitt’s reaction to O stabbing Pike was not okay and that I also didn’t appreciate that he was attempting to white-wash and excuse all of the bad things that Octavia has done. Granted, he doesn’t know the entire story yet, he’s only up to the season three finale but the point stands. When you excuse and dismiss the bad that a character has done instead of allowing them to grow and learn from it, it does a disservice to not only the story but also to the character. You can still love and “stan” characters that have done bad things as long as you acknowledge those bad things and don’t try to brush them under the rug.

Octavia herself doesn’t want to be let off the hook. She asks Levitt what does he know and that he hasn’t even met Bloodreina yet. It’s also clear that she has a lot of guilt about her previous actions (particularly regarding Pike) and that while she still wants redemption she doesn’t want excuses.

And that, my lovelies, is what we call growth.

Levitt tries to bring the conversation back around to Clarke which makes Octavia suspicious. She asks why he’s so interested in Clarke (which brings me back to “What is it about Bellamy?” to which the answer of both of these questions is “Because we love them, show. Damn.”). Before he can answer a Disciple comes through the doors and like fanboy Levitt has now proven himself to be, he says that Anders can “go float himself” if he wants to interrupt his time with Octavia.

Too bad he wasn’t paying attention to the Disciple who walked in instead of Octavia because next thing you know he’s got a knife to his throat. Now, my (and Octavia’s) immediate assumption was that this was Diyoza and she warns her that they need Levitt because he’s going to get them back to Hope. The Disciple hesitates before removing the helmet and Octavia and grown-up Hope meet for the very first time. They have a touching moment before Hope switches gears and instructs Levitt to take them to the stone room and that if he does anything out of line she’ll slit his throat, much to Auntie O’s surprised amusement.

Let’s not mince words. Levitt and Octavia have a ~vibe. It was clear from their first solo interactions that he was super in to her and that only became more obvious with each progressing scene. He hands her her own coat from the stone room because he sees that she’s shivering and the look she gives him makes me think she’s not opposed to the idea even if she’s not as in to him as he is in to her. But since Lincoln, has there been any love interest Octavia has had that she’s been in to on the same level that they were in to her? Her relationship with Lincoln is probably the last time she was in a relationship where they were mutually infatuated to the same degree.

Hope struggles to get the helmet to do her bidding and Levitt helps activate the stone with the code for Sanctum without yet opening it up. He instructs Hope to give Octavia the helmet to the suit that she doesn’t lose her memories when she goes back. At their (and our) confusion he informs them (and us) that going to a planet with slower time dilation wipes the memories of the time from the faster planets meaning that without the helmet she wouldn’t remember Skyring, Bardo, or even Hope. Hope insists that she needs the helmet to be able to “ghost” (still so cringe) and get to her mother. With nothing else to lose, Levitt brings out a tool that “had been there longer than they had” that would copy Hope’s brains unique code and allow them to tattoo it on to Octavia’s back which was the only place big enough to hold the entire thing. If she could find the code then she would be able to pull Hope through. We’re also informed that this thing works 8 times out of 10 which is why they stopped using it because the other two times were a bitch.

Can we just take a beat and talk about why this stone room had Octavia’s jacket and a outdated tool for anomaly travel that they don’t even use anymore but no extra helmet stored away for warrior Disciples? I feel like having extra supplies on hand is just plain courtesy and good business. For as advanced as these people are, they’re still useless.

As a thank for his help Octavia beats on Levitt a bit so that he doesn’t get in trouble for assisting them and goes back through the anomaly where we see her run back in to Gabriel’s arms ala season six. Next time we see Octavia she has been stabbed in the stomach by Hope with the tracker so helpfully provided by Anders. Anders welcomes Octavia back and tells the other Disciples to get her to medical and back in to M-CAP by the end of the day. Levitt is is once again her tech but he warns her that this will be their last session together and they’re sending in someone new fearing that he’s gotten too close. He quickly tells her that she can’t struggle against the machine because her brain will hemorrhage if she tries but by meditating on a mantra she should be able to block it out. Before they can start though Anders comes in and tells them that Bellamy is here and they need Octavia to come and talk him down. And the rest, they say, is history.

The Anomalty Trio: These three are fractured at best and completely destroyed at worst. Echo in particular has officially LOST it. But we’ll get there. From the beginning!

As the anomaly trio comes out of the anomaly and on to Bardo they’re in ghost mode and the next thing we see is some stabbed and bleeding conductor and warrior Disciples. Gabriel assumes that Echo is the one that did the kill shot on the conductor (which is honestly not an unreasonable guess) and basically asks her what the hell she’s doing but, as it turns out, apparently killing one person and leaving another behind to die has turned Hope in to a little murdering machine. As Echo stabs the passed out warriors in the neck effectively killing everyone in the room Hope say that without Orlando they couldn’t afford to take any unnecessary risks. Gabriel points out that leaving Orlando was an unnecessary risk and basically, he’s done with these murderous hoes, tbh.

Which…good. I enjoy being able to get him off of my bad list of disappointment from last week. Welcome back to my good graces, Gabriel.

As they stash the bodies of the freshly deceased in the closet (lol) he mentions that without Orlando they don’t have an inside man anymore so they’re running blind. Echo tells him that they do, in fact, have an inside man aka Levitt. What’s interesting here is that Hope only told Echo about Levitt and not Gabriel indicating that the bond between this “family unit” is already showing cracks.

The three are on a thirty minute time crunch to find Levitt, find their people, and get out. Before they can find M-CAP they are told to go “outside” with the other warrior Disciples and be treated to a speech from “the first disciple” Anders. Turns out that “outside” is actually underground because the Bardoian’s (who are now crystal giants) destroyed their planet much like citizens of Earth did. They had to build their forests underground just to be able to breath and even “the rain that falls comes from their technology” but they were wiped out be a “powerful enemy” who is “here to threaten them once more.” But it’s okay! Because they have located the key (who the audience knows as a blonde hair, blue eyed bombshell known as Clarke Griffin) and they will be the generation that will win the last war mankind will ever face.

During Anders speech we also learn that there was an anomaly stone on Earth (which we can probably assume was the planet that was offline in Raven’s helmet last episode) and that’s how the new residents of Bardo arrived, not by Eligius after all. As Anders is speaking Hope creeps towards the stage, knife at the ready, prepared to take her shot and kill him. Echo catches her before she can, asks her if she’s lost her mind (which is ironic given what happens next), and tells her to stick to the plan or they’ll never get their people back. Which is honestly super strange because why would Hope, who wants nothing more than to get her mother and Auntie O back, risk it all just to kill this guy before she’s even gotten them? I guess once you draw some blood it’s all you want to do suddenly.

They find Octavia in M-CAP chanting “I am not afraid.” in an incredibly chilling and creepy way as she’s strapped back down to the laser. As Hope and Gabriel work on getting her released from the restraints and off of the machine Echo threatens the M-CAP tech that if he doesn’t show her where Bellamy is then she’ll take an eye. They are then shown Octavia’s memory of Bellamy’s death and when I say Echo forking loses it, she really forking loses it. She screams, she cries, she kills the dude in a fit of pure rage, and just goes insane. And this is where the anomaly trio is officially broken. Gabriel was already done with Echo and Hope because of all of their murdering, Echo has lost the one person she was striving to get to, and has killed the person that was Hope’s last chance to get to her mother. Not sure how you can really come back from that.

For those keeping track at home, now Echo can be compared to Finn’s murderous rampage. Question is if she’ll meet the same fate.

Indra/Russell/Sanctum Peeps: Indra is on absolute fire this season with her sass. It’s incredibly disappointing that we didn’t get to spend time with this character more prior to the final season. With Clarke gone (does she even know where they went or why?) she’s trying her best to keep the people in Sanctum from descending into complete and total chaos. And man, they are not making it easy on her.

The Believers are now referring to themselves as The Faithful and are demanding to speak to Clarke. Get in line, fools. She’s busy. While on her way to try and talk to the Faithful, she gets sidetracked by Nelson who is lowkey threatening her with revealing that Murphy and Emori are not actually Daniel and Kaylee Prime if she doesn’t change her mind about killing Russell. He admits to threatening her and asks what she’s going to do about it since she no longer has an army to back her up. Again, back up fool. Do not underestimate Indra. She can and will fork your shirt up.

She meets with Trey and the rest of the Faithful who are being incredibly extra and are demanding Russell’s release. Apparently deciding not to kill him wasn’t enough to appease them. They say that Russell is “a being of divine love” (lol) and that if they don’t release him they will start killing themselves off, one an hour, until they do. When Indra still refuses one of the Faithful sets herself on fire.

Nelson runs and tries to save the woman and put the fire out because even though they were cast out they were still the same people. It’s interesting to think about how Nelson has more empathy, value, and love for human lives than all of the Faithful. However, given their idolization of the Primes who they now know have been killing people for thousands of years in the interest of immortality and body-snatching them, that actually holds up. He’s one of the Children of Gabriel for a reason.

He does snap at Emori that how has the great Kaylee Prime forgotten that “they are one” when she asks how he can feel such attachment to the people who cast him out simply for what they considered a defect, a pain she is all too familiar with. Murphy tells him to back off since without Emori they all would have ended up “looking like the girl you tried to save.”

And JR Bourne. I often comment on his snackiness but seriously, he is just so talented. Him playing Sheidheda playing Russell? It’s a beautiful thing to behold. He plays up how he would never want his followers killing themselves because they’re what’s keeping him alive and that he never thought they’d do this. He also slyly mentions that they could release him which Indra refuses immediately and will not allow him to talk to them either. They will not be letting the Faithful dictate their terms or force their hand. After all, with Jackson’s blessing, Murphy is cleared to take on his Daniel persona and convince them do stand down all on their own.

Murphy is annoyed at best with this and states that the others better get back soon because he is tired of being the hero. As he exits the camera zooms in on Nelson staring at Russell. It’s posisble that just as he figured out that Murphy and Emori aren’t who they say they are that he may suspect the same about Russell.

Sanctum now looks like a homeless camps. The difference is that often in homeless camps there’s almost a sense of loyalty and community while the people currently residing in Sanctum only care and look out for themselves.

Former members of Wonkru taunt Indra as she and Murphy walk through. Murphy questions if they should at least ask if they’ll help but Indra thinks it’s pointless and that he needn’t worry because she has his back. Again, her sass this season is legendary and people really need to stop underestimating her.

Slipping in to Daniel Mode, Murphy goes to the door of the tavern and questions Trey about if he thinks what he’s doing is wise. Once he sees that they are preparing to sacrifice children he’s had enough. He sends the child about to be sacrificed out the door and is requests that the rest of the children come with him. Before he can make (a deliciously) dramatic exit Daniel’s ex closes and locks the door. Never underestimate an ex with a grudge.

The ex asks MurphDaniel what the four pillars of Sanctum are to Murphy’s fury. Trey, in all of his extraness, lists them off (Repent/Renew/Rejoice/Rebirth) except intentionally switches “rejoice” with “restore” and then attacks him when he doesn’t notice the mistake. The big question here is why didn’t Simone and Russell give him this information in their “how to be Kaylee and Daniel Prime” handbook? They must have left it out along with the fact that they were siblings.

Seeing that Daniel wasn’t actually Daniel, Trey decides that he will be the next to burn. Before they can get too far however, Russell sweeps in with Kayleemori and Indra demanding that they stand down and here JR gets to really forking shine. He grabs the ex by his throat and says he should rip his tongue out for saying such things and when Indra calls for him to stay his hand the look on his face is hilarious. He lets him go and speaks down to ‘his’ followers telling them that they are sad little lambs and that he, Daniel, and Kaylee are the last of the Primes. To show their fealty they were to kneel at his feet and submit.

The second he said fealty Indra had his ass. She knew exactly who he was and what he was doing. When he went to leave she caught him with Trig, telling him he had a spider on his shoulder making him automatically check and know he was busted. This scene was so intense and so good and so delicious and I truly cannot praise it enough. And yet, the next scene is somehow even better.

Indra goes in to the lab where (should I assume that RussellHeida has made the skeletons of former Prime’s look like they were kneeling?) he’s waiting and they have a full conversation in Trig about whether or not Indra’s parent’s kneeled when he took over Trikru years and years ago. He tells her that she’s not able to kill him without causing an uprising in Sanctum and she tells him that it wouldn’t make a difference because once they found out that Russell was gone and Sheidheda was in his place the result would be the same. The difference was that when she slit his throat she could make sure he never came back. She called in Jackson, Nelson, and two other members of the Children of Gabriel and took the chip out of his neck.

Three things: 1) The held, intense, hateful look held between Indra and RussellHeida? Brilliant. I guess that’s what happens when two powerhouses work together. 2) They spent so much time lingering on the scene and of them digging in his neck I was very concerned that they were going to say that there was no chip in there for a second. 3) Are we to assume that Indra has not told anyone else about Russell being Sheidheda since Nelson says “Death To Primes” and Indra tells Jackson to not give him the pain numbing agent “For Abby?”

Honorable Mentions

*Bellamy Theories!: So obviously Anders didn’t code the anomaly to Sanctum like he said he did. And I got to thinking, what if he set the code to Bardo? What if he set the code to Bardo so that Bellamy would come out of the natural anomaly that each planet has (aka how Sanctum’s was in the woods, Skyring’s was at the bottom of the lake, the rando planet that Raven saw in her helmet last episode had one) so that they could get him in to a different M-CAP room. There is no part of me that thinks that Anders would have sent Bellamy to a different planet when they went through all of the trouble to capture him in the first place.

Also, we know that there is a photo of a clean shaven, Disciple clothes wearing photo of Bob floating around which gives credence to the theory. Also, if you look extremely closely (And I am talking freezing each frame millisecond by millisecond) it does look like somebody went in to the anomaly.

So, basically what I’m getting at is that I think that Bellamy is still on Bardo and that while Anders wasn’t counting on an explosion he used it in his favor. He can convince Octavia he’s dead so that she doesn’t try to interfere with Bellamy’s M-CAP session and we already know that Bellamy is a fighter and would have fought against it. We also know that if anybody knows anything about Clarke Griffin it’s Bellamy Blake and he’s a freaking fountain of knowledge.

We also know, because it was mentioned several times throughout the episode, that M-CAP is extremely dangerous and can lead to being lobotomized and that they may have the ability to manipulate or delete memories. Also, if we think back to last episode Sergeant Meredith tells Clarke that he can hook her up to a machine and see her memories and that “with or without her cooperation she will serve the Shepherd.”

I’m going to say that void!Bellamy is still very much in play.

Radiation Poisoning: According to Jackson recovering from radiation poisoning doesn’t always progress in a straight line. Relevant? Who knows.

Using Brain Codes To Pull People Through: Since it was mentioned twice about how dangerous it is I feel like this is going to come back in to play and we might even lose a character to this.

Original Bardoians: They were giants (now made of crystal?) and a mind code that fits on Octavia’s back would have originally fit on one of their arms. I am convinced that we will see one of these things this season.

Overhead Speaker Speak: I did my absolute best to get what I could from what the people on the overhead speakers on Bardo were saying. A lot of it was unintelligible because of people speaking or the music score but what I could get was:

“…locked in, planet burning as bombs launched, your ancestors chose another path, a difficult one. There will come another time soon where we will be tested. (Something) glorious, for all man-kind.”

“The Shepherd brings us love for all man-kind.”

DNRs:

DO NOT REVEAL – “Welcome to Bardo”

  • Anything about Bellamy
  • Where Clarke and her friends disappeared to
  • Any deaths
  • Anything that happens in acts 5&6

That’s it for this week! What did you think? Loved it, hated it, indifferent? Let us know in the comments below or on twitter @TVSource

Tagged:
About the Author

Heather Mason joined the TV Source Magazine team in December 2017 with plans to cover The CW's 100.