So in another life, Clarke Griffin, Bellamy Blake, and Monty Green would have binge-watched Stranger Things together. But in this life, those three are just out here saving lives and cracking codes.
Nobody else could have stood a chance.
During The 100 Season 6 Episode 7, Clarke sees some familiar people as she faces off against Josephine. They interact while Josephine is sleeping, with a common goal to access and protect a memory driving them both.
As Josephine explores Clarke's mind, our favorite lead gets the chance to learn more about Josephine as well. That leads to her figuring out a way to alert Bellamy that she isn't dead.
Bellamy picks up on that quickly and enlists Miller to figure out next steps with no one else the wiser.
"Nevermind," written by the returning Kim Shumway, took on the challenge of using a bottle episode to tell an even more character-focused and contained story. This attempt to shift all focus on minimal dynamics with a massive information reward worked so efficiently that it told the story, and yet left us wanting so much more.
And even though yours truly caught on to three key moments that would happen in a theory and speculation based preview post, this world that Kim Shumway managed to create was so visceral that you could spend so much more time there.
Not only was this a revolutionary take on a character study, but it was also just a truly imaginative take on looking back into the origins of the show throughout the seasons.
Getting to take this adventure with Clarke Griffin was a once in a lifetime opportunity that allowed the people in the mind space to grow with Clarke and reflect on the past in a healthy attempt to move forward into the future.
Leave You All Behind and Face The Truth
Nevermind anything else, at the center of all this, is our queen Clarke Griffin.
She has been through a lot, and to come out the other side, she had to deal with plenty more along the way. It was a character study dedicated to her and the memories that would either save her life or convince her to give up.
In a way, the entirety of The 100 Season 1 was like that. The collection of memories that the other characters had of Clarke and how they reflected them to her.
Every mistake that she made was thrown in her face, a small crack in the armor when she would get to the point of evaluating her future.
And this was why it was so ironic that Clarke was "killed" when she was trying to do better. Her focus was on confronting her mistakes and moving forward since she arrived at Sanctum.
In an intricate setting, Clarke got that chance to retake control of her narrative. But it turns out it isn't that easy to cross the finish line when you have a darker mirrored version of what you could have been waiting to strip you of your life and projections that play off the demons that Clarke is still struggling to face.
You call this doing better? Giving up isn’t better.Monty
While all of this is more sad for our hero than exciting, Clarke's mind space is the best kind of new setting.
A walk down memory lane becomes Clarke over the years and the people that shaped her. Not every one of them appeared. Not even close.
But the people that did held the key to get her to the next point in the process of wanting to live. Josephine worked as a counterbalance, but this was truly all Clarke.
Because while Jake, Maya, Octavia, ALIE, and Monty all look like their old selves to us, this was all a projection that Clarke made for herself.
That reflected what Clarke expected from them and what she was searching for. But the highlight in all this is that Clarke did it all herself.
The knowledge on how to get out was always in her, as were the skills and the encouragement she needed to hear to believe that she was worthy of living and of moving forward even when giving up is so much easier.
Clarke needed to assign herself back the value she deserved before she could work on bringing herself back.
Jake Griffin was the supportive push that Clarke needed to start her journey the reassurance that she still has a life to get back to. It was that parental support that came with no strings attached, a fitting Father's Day reminder that she lost her dad when she was still so innocent in her eyes.
It is like a security blanket of support, love from a parent that will never change no matter what Clarke might feel guilty about.
Then you have ALIE, the knowledge that Clarke holds but can't organize in any other manifestation.
It all comes back to Clarke knowing all along that there was a way to escape, but she needed to want it and to fight for it.
Maya was a loss that represented the way good people got in the way during a bad situation. There was no way to save Maya, and yet that isn't a reason Clarke or we could accept.
Tracing Maya's death meant accounting for Jasper's spiral, all of which always weighed on Clarke as she pushed forward. It is all that reminder that just because she doesn't talk about it, doesn't mean she doesn't have all of this looked in a box inside her soul.
And yet, Clarke gaining that upper hand by turning Maya into a partner instead of a dark memory is the true difference between her and Josephine.
There is still light left in Clarke, a pang of guilt that drives her next choice to be different and to be better. Josephine doesn't look that way at the past, and so there is no improvement to look forward to.
Clarke tries with everything that is in her to do better and to think about how not to hurt people the way she may have before.
That is our hero at her core; this is who deserves to live and who actually should live out her life because she would use it to push for good.
In the first example of a theory that came to life from my preview and then happened to be true in the show, Monty Green and his entire existence came after our hearts next.
Because Clarke couldn't follow his words and not manifest him at a time when doing better turned into disappearing from existence instead.
To remember that wasn't really Monty is to understand that deep down Clarke didn't want to give up. It felt like the choice that made the most sense, and yet it stirred around enough in her that she brought back the only voice of reason that could help.
Clarke could have seen anyone tell her that she should fight to live, but it was Monty whose approval she needed the most.
After everything that happened, Monty remained a good person that needed to believe in Clarke for her to believe in herself.
It was a beautiful reunion because it came with so much hope for Clarke and where she goes from here. The belief that she deserves to live and continue to do better is something only she could have instilled in herself.
Because no matter what The 100 Season 6 said so far, Clarke is her biggest critic.
And just like that, she gained the knowledge to break into Josephine's mind, collecting memories and messages as she went.
In a way, this does feel like the start of the second half of the story, with Clarke fighting to exist in a way that she hasn't before. So much of her journey is filled with pain, doubt, and loathing.
Only a few days ago she was willing to let her hatred and her doubt push her to take her life, and this is something she needs to keep working on.
But using characters like Monty and Maya to permit Clarke to not dwell in the past was a testament to the development from here on out.
Clarke Griffin is always looking to do better, and she may spend more time in her mind space, but she at her core is learning to love herself again.
There is a middle ground where admitting you made mistakes, and getting room to improve comes together.
Clarke is back at the helm of her own story, and the strength she pulled from the memory of her past is only the beginning. It is a Clarke Griffin journey where she is finally letting herself improve instead of disappearing.
The belief that we all have in her is the trust she is gaining in herself because giving up on her life is not doing better.
Nothing Really Matters To Me
In a second moment when a key portion of the episode was speculated by me during my preview, Josephine's mind was up for grabs and so was her secret story.
While the flashback aspect worked for The 100 Season 6 Episode 2, it is innovative the way that the show is sharing information on screen without just starting each episode with it.
The way that those scenes get distributed makes room for organic looks at the past because it doesn't feel forced on the audience.
This episode tackled that very well, relying on several actresses to deliver the full scope of Josephine.
Clarke: Go float yourself.
Josephine: I have no idea what that means.
Clarke: It means that I am not telling you anything. And I don't go down easy.
As much as each actress brought to the table, the way that Sara Thompson takes her on has a special place in our villain loving hearts. There is an edge to every choice that Josephine makes, an example of years of life and the toll that it takes on innocence.
Multiple people comment on how different Josephine is, and maybe it is those sociopath traits that get stronger with every new host cycle.
Or maybe heavy is the head that wears the crown, with Josephine suffering under the pressure of survival and the actions that got her to this point.
Now to be clear, that guy shooting himself was in no way Josephine's fault. In a classic act of a guy expecting something from a girl that he wasn't allowed to claim, the interest turns to rejection, which turns to violence.
It is probably safe to say that this is the first act of violence that Josephine sees, and her hands became stained with that blood. It rationally wasn't Josephine's fault, but it did become her demon.
Locked behind two doors and some terrifying background noise, this was what shaped Josephine, and this is what she chooses to run away from herself.
But while Clarke needs to face her demons to move forward, Josephine faced them in a way that solidifies all her actions moving forward.
Maybe Josephine never actually dealt with it. Instead, she turned that violence into a way out of there, which led to a trip to another planet where she witnessed even more violence at the hands of her father.
It is easy to empathize, to wish that Josephine didn't have that horrible moment change the course of her life so drastically. At the same time, though, this was always who she was.
Maybe she changed like others like to say, or maybe she was always like that underneath all of the love that Russell and even Kaylee had to have had for her at one point.
Holding on to the version of Josephine that wasn't affected by that shooting was easier than admitting that there was this dark side of her.
She may have been willing to sacrifice people in the name of ritual, but this wasn't new. Josephine seeing people as disposable goes back to the early days of the expedition when feeding children strange berries was a fun joke and not a concern.
That is the thing with living forever, you still evolve, and it isn't always for the better.
Kaylee seems different, a person who didn't want to remove all the people based on silly blood purity concerns, and who lived her life with minimal amounts of care until the end.
But Josephine's darkness just expanded the longer she had to work on it.
And with a season focused on mortality and reflecting on your life, would you rather die early as a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the bad guy?
That is the biggest difference between Josephine and Clarke; one is worried about inflicting her darkness on others while the other doesn't see herself as anything but just.
It wasn't the last showdown between the two, and with them both being able to access the other's mind, it is only a matter of time before things get ugly.
In the end, it would have to be not about who is stronger in this fight for survival, but whose intentions will win out in all this. Clarke's intentions are what has people in her corner, however tense the situation is.
Because Clarke may risk those she loves, but Josephine never feels sorry when it is in the name of survival. Clarke's heart is pure, and it will be what raises an army in her name, while Josephine alienated herself from enough people to risk seeing herself survive this host and those working in her favor.
In the fight between Clarke and Josephine, our lead will always win.
The Bellarke Corner (in all the Stranger Things lights)
Only the most epic of soulmates would somehow manage to connect everything back to each other and always to find a way to communicate even when half of them is "dead" right now.
First things first, though, how is everyone holding up?
It can't be easy to deal with the fact that Clarke gave up trying to come back when she was told that Bellamy had given up on her out there.
The discussion about how many Bellamy mentions there should be is ongoing, but sometimes it isn't about archive footage of the past or the drawings on the wall.
It is the way that Clarke couldn't hide from herself in that mind space, and there were two major reveals given to us with that.
For one thing, it felt like The 100 Season 6 Episode 4 had touched on Clarke's guilt with leaving Bellamy in those fighting pits with Octavia. But while on the surface, she was moving forward with Bellamy's blessing, her inner subconscious told a very different version.
Because if you consider the reality that Clarke is facing, this is her greatest regret and one from which she cannot hide. Hoping that a lantern would take her sin away doesn't mean it really did, and it doesn't mean Clarke knows how to let it.
It is clear from the way she spoke with Octavia, a person who she only shares Bellamy in common, that this is something she still defends. She says she had to do it instead of calling it a mistake.
And in fact, it is fascinating the way that Octavia is portrayed in this version because as much as this is Blodreina, it is also Clarke's manifestation of her.
Octavia doesn't fight Clarke on how leaving Bellamy with her was a death sentence, which means Clarke needed Octavia to be the one to bring up her greatest regret and a demon she has not been able to face yet.
That was the biggest obstacle for Clarke to come face to face with, and it is so telling that she couldn't even do that. Octavia served as a proxy for Bellamy, a safer option for Clarke to interact with about this because of how distant her relationship is with his sister.
There is also the idea that Clarke sees herself on the same level as Octavia, someone who has brought Bellamy pain and let him down in ways that can't just be excused.
Bellamy and Clarke have discussed his struggles with his sister, and you can't deny the possibility that Clarke was lowering herself to that level because of the way she compared herself wronging Bellamy this deeply.
So as much as Clarke was told by her a projection of her own making that this was a demon she couldn't face yet, a major one that was haunting her and stopping her from just being able to proceed forward, she still didn't face it.
Miller: What does it mean?
Bellamy: It means Clarke's alive. And we're gonna get her back.
Which brings us to her decision to give up, rooted in the way that she believed that Bellamy was moving forward without her.
Clarke had to have her biggest regret lingering in her mind because it then became a driving force for her demise. That was the true sore sport to hit for Josephine, the first time that Clarke gets a visual of Bellamy, and it is playing into all her doubts about where they stand.
As many memories and as many mistakes as Clarke may have drawn on those walls, it was the point-blank reminder that she left Bellamy to die and that he saw her as a monster that pushed her to believe that without him waiting on her that it would be easier to give in.
Spread apart these two moments could be what pushes Clarke from one place to the next, but together they fit like puzzle pieces.
That was building up since Clarke talked with Bellamy and it is like a punch to the face.
Octavia: But you left him [Bellamy] to die in the pits anyway.
Clarke: I had to. And he understands. He forgave me.
Octavia: Did he? Then why isn't he here in this memory? I'll tell you why. Because you're afraid to face him. Because you know, he thinks you are a monster who will abandon anyone.
So much of what Clarke ran through leading to that point with the book could have pushed her to stop fighting. But it was in that field, surrounded by her most important memories that Clarke stopped running.
She couldn't run away from the card that Josephine knew to play, the secret door similar to that of Josephine's mind, which was all about the way Bellamy viewed her.
Thinking that he couldn't forgive her was one weight for her to live with, and yet seeing him choose to move forward away from her was what finally caused her to stop fighting hope.
It is a heartbreaking thought to sit on, and yet the easiest demon for Clarke's mind to identify to her enemy. Clarke couldn't hide this behind two doors like Josephine did, and so she came prepared because the way that Bellamy's view of Clarke drives her choices is a fact that everyone understands.
And speaking of clued in on, in comes Bellamy Blake and his sharp Clarke senses.
When discussing the Bellamy and Clarke undertones of The 100 Season 6 Episode 6, the focus was all about how Bellamy examines Josephine.
Because as stellar of a job as Eliza Taylor is doing in the role of Josephine, she stands out to Bellamy and us because it is Clarke. As clear as it may be that this person that is talking and engaging with everyone is a total stranger, it is difficult not to still expect it to be Clarke.
That is a pattern now for Bellamy, whose eyes still seek out Clarke in Josephine, looking at her even when she is just in the background.
It can't be said that this isn't muscle memory, Bellamy looking for Clarke when he makes decisions or when he exists in a space with her.
It is still an instinct for him, one that pays off when over examining Josephine's every move (maybe to still reason to himself that this isn't Clarke anymore) becomes an awareness that something is off.
Or more off than it could be when a sociopath is using your platonic soulmate's body.
Bellamy figuring out that Clarke is still alive because she sent him a signal may have been something I picked up on before the episode even aired, but it was still a fresh approach.
The great part about a strong episode that makes you wish it didn't end is the element of surprise. There was no way Bellamy would be able to figure it out in a minute time, but he did, and he stole the episode even with that short appearance.
Bellamy and Clarke's ability to be tuned into each other, from glances to subtle movements, is what proves how strong their connection will always be.
And just like that, Bellamy is back in his heart mode. The way that he literally couldn't stay in the frame of the scene, moving out of it in this desperate attempt to move closer to saving Clarke was very well done.
Bellamy couldn't stand around too long when he could be saving Clarke, the best push into the second half of this season.
From here, it is clear that Bellamy and Miller will be working together on this. The trailer for the season showed them grabbing guns, a possible tease at the quick defenses that will be put in place not to waste one more second not saving Clarke.
Heather Mason from TV Source Magazine brought up a good point about next steps. Bellamy and Miller may be killing it with their plans, but someone needs to stay with Josephine.
She knows that she can kick Clarke out by using the EMP process that Raven dealt with to get ALIE out. If you leave Josephine alone with her parents, then she will kill Clarke before anyone gets the chance to save her.
The options are limitless and yet there is something about a double agent job that screams Murphy. He will be busy clueing Emori into their future plans, and it also isn't clear how many people Bellamy will involve.
It feels like a group effort just waiting to happen, everyone putting their minds together to save a loved one, which could put a damper on Murphy's plans for them to help him stay around forever.
If we are to assume that this takes a few episodes to achieve, then maybe Josephine will have shift leaders looking after her.
The bottom line here though is that Bellamy and Clarke keep giving up without the other. Clarke gave up when she realized that Bellamy gave up. And Bellamy gave up when he realized that Clarke isn't with him anymore.
These two need to stop giving up before they have us all crying.
The best way to leave you all though is with a reminder that Bellamy was first. He was the first to realize that Clarke wasn't herself and the first to realize that Clarke is alive.
Do with that what you will.
- Josephine initially didn't want to go with her parents to space because she wanted to stay in school. Now that chill out to Gaia makes sense, Josephine couldn't have Madi too cool for school either.
- Who is going to go and tell Murphy that he was wrong? He used Monty to make Bellamy side with him about this, but Bellamy was right, Monty didn't stand for this. Wrong move, John.
- Kim Shumway may not have been around for The 100 Season 5, and yet those mentions felt so seamless. Especially that reference to Clarke hurting Madi, it created a loud reaction from fans that was never actually addressed. But it was so necessary to make sure that was made clear within the show, and not just outside of it. We love you Clarke, but that was a step too far.
- April Morris from Truth Bee Told pointed out that Lexa's throne is in the same field where Clarke killed Finn could be a connection that she is still forming about those chain of events. It was a choice for sure, one that all of you should talk about (sober).
- Wells not being able to appear even though almost all the details were worked out is the absolute worst. But maybe in a way, this is a good thing, because Clarke and the audience would not have been able to deal with new age Wells.
- Not to start any spin-off conversations but I actually would watch the history of Josephine. Her past is so heavy with intrigue, conflict, and shocking experience. That is what happens when you live long enough to tell those tales, and Sara Thompson's take on Josephine always leaves us wanting more.
- Diyoza just can't catch a break, and it is plain rude.
- Do we consider this the Christmas themed episode then?
It is interesting to consider the way that Nevermind works with Nevermore, pulling from it and yet also serving as its self-contained arc of storytelling.
The two episodes, and Kim Shumway's handling of bottle-type episodes as a whole touches on how the show works when it is about the core of the characters, their interactions with one another, and the act of speaking and not just pushing the plot forward. And for that, we are all so thankful.
- Who caught wind of those background stories about a 125-year-old Gabriel waiting around for Octavia and Diyoza? Maybe he was the dad we should have been applauding all along.
- That diner scene may have been traumatic, but it was also so great. A blast to the past like nothing we have ever really gotten before.
Miller is just there to be a hero and to have some fun. Same.
Morse Code is hard, trust me I get it. At least you made sure to give Josephine that look that made it clear she was no welcome. I appreciate you.
What did you think about the episode? Can Clarke be saved? How much did you love the original take on exploring both Josephine and Clarke's mind?
Did you miss any characters that were off screen? How do you think everyone will look to save Clarke?
Who else wants to meet the Old Man? Who else loved that Clarke and Bellamy spoke in code?
Which guest appearance hit you in the feels the most? Who did you wish could have appeared?
What was your favorite part of the episode? What was your least favorite part?
Let us know what you think below!
The 100 airs on Tuesdays, at 9/8c on The CW.
Stick around TV Fanatic for more features, slideshows, episode previews, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online to catch up on the adventure!
Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.