How far will you go for the one you love?
Many had to face this question as circumstances outside of their control forced their hand in the situation.
During The 100 Season 6 Episode 8, Josephine uses Ryker, Murphy, and Emori to help her perform the surgery to free her body of Clarke. But Emori gets cold feet, teaming up with the others to help save Clarke instead.
This leaves Emori and Murphy captured, with Murphy injured. Meanwhile, Bellamy and Josephine are on the loose, headed to Gabriel so he could help save Clarke.
He does have his hands full though, with Octavia coming back healed from the Anomaly and Diyoza nowhere to be seen.
During all of this, Raven decides to help Abby make nightblood for the chance to get back Kane, who comes back in the body of newcomer Gavin.
And Madi goes full Dark Commander, where she ends up harming Jordan for the sake of "saving Clarke."
"The Old Man and the Anomaly" written by the legendary Miranda Kwok and directed by April Mullen works like glue putting together two different sections of one show, with danger as the catalyst that moves the stories forward.
The episode kickstarts the portion of the season where every story revolves around one another, finally leaving room for everything to work together instead of having too many arcs at once.
This was also an episode that focused on the various ways in which the characters had to save the ones they loved.
This question was posed and then paralleled across the board: with Bellamy working to save Clarke, Abby working to save Kane, Raven working to save Abby, Diyoza working to save Octavia which turned on them both, with Emori working to save both Murphy and Clarke, with Madi working to save Clarke, and Jordan working to save Delilah.
This is only the beginning of the never-ending cycle of others fueled by the ones they loved, and yet what brings them together is how differently they all approach this dilemma.
Clarke's Rescue Mission
Clarke's death and resurrection affected everyone differently, and it is fair to say it was scattered.
Madi can go first, mostly because there was the dark Kermit meme takeover going on inside of her. With so much going on, there is no chance that every character will get the same amount of time on screen, but Madi could offer so much more if she had.
It isn't exactly a one-note issue, because Lola Flanery brings everything to the role of Madi even in small sequences. But if this is a shift for a character like Madi, there should be more time spent there.
No one is paying attention to her (and Jordan) and this could be a statement on how these people aren't really a family, specifically now as they rush to make plans and can't focus on everyone, or there just isn't enough time to cover every single thing with the same amount of focus.
One thing is clear here though that flame has to go. Time and time again, it proves that it does more harm than good, and now it is literally making Madi evil.
The only solution here would be to remove it and forget it ever existed, just like with those Sanctum drives.
Now that Russell and the others have Madi though, this is the time when they experiment on her, right? Maybe in their own interest, they will want to get that flame out and inspect it. Something tells us though that the Dark Commander won't just let that happen, but there is no way they wouldn't try if they discovered it.
Then you have Jordan, the only person worried about Delilah in this situation. It doesn't sound like Delilah could survive, no matter how much we all wanted her to, but it was reckless to ignore his fixation.
Jordan has shown them before that if they don't listen to him, he will just do things himself.
Jordan: What about Delilah? If Clarke's still alive, then she could be too. You only care about Clarke.
Bellamy: That's not true, but we will worry about Clarke first.
This was the least shocking thing about all of this, with Jordan staying true to his heart and looking out for Delilah's body. That got him injured, which obviously won't kill him but this needs to be a wake-up call for the others.
This isn't them protecting Monty’s son, this is the group selfishly not including Jordan fully and then allowing that to play out until he gets hurt.
They might not be on the same page, but they can't let people like Madi and Jordan stray from all of them. They are impulsive, and they will let their pain fuel their actions, it is in everyone's best interest to include them and not forget them.
Then you have Murphy, someone who was also not included because he was a bit too predictable.
To be fair, Murphy did exactly what everyone expected of him. He can't blame the others for not trusting him when he plays into what everyone assumed he would do.
Honestly, with all the talk that he did about caring for Clarke, it was disappointing to see that he didn't change his decisions moving forward when he heard she was still alive.
He was worried she could see him, so in a way, he felt the guilt about what he chose over her. But he didn't actually want to change his choice, and it wasn't until he had no other options that he gave up Gabriel and let Bellamy get ahead of it.
It was a let down to not see Murphy actually show up when they needed him to, but in a way, he made his choice yet again. Living forever with Emori was worth more than Clarke and his family at that point.
It would have been great though to explore more of what was stirring in him when he realized that Clarke could be brought back if he just made the decision to side with everyone else.
Which leads us to Emori, someone you love enough to forgive even when it kind of still stings to think about.
Because again, there was that expectation that Emori wouldn't go for it with Josephine. Even if Murphy doesn't have that outlook, Emori would have been the one to remember her connection to Clarke and how they shouldn't leave her there to die for their own needs.
It took her a long enough second, but she got there, and we couldn't be more thankful.
Emori still has her definition of family, and it is fair to assume that Clarke doesn't fit there. But there is a part of her that knows choosing Josephine would be a mistake.
Having Emori come out as the more level headed of the two, still choosing love with Murphy, but in a world with their family was what the space group should be.
This season accomplishes editing so much of that out, and Emori works hard to prove that at some points there was a connection built there.
It might not have been as strong for everyone, but Emori learned that she has someone to count on and it doesn't have to be an outsider looking in anymore.
Like that moment with Echo, she can look in and feel like she belongs in there with them.
Trust is something that will have to be rebuilt going forward because so many people in that group are turning their backs on one another. But Emori proves that there is hope that some of them will pull through for Clarke and for one another.
If only Clarke knew what was happening in an attempt to save her. Everyone might be working through their relationships with one another, but Clarke is not forgotten or unloved.
Clarke Griffin is sparking a revolution, and some of her people will literally raise heaven and hell to bring her back.
The Space Race
Being right should feel good, but then you have Abby really being so oblivious that she still hasn't pieced together what happened to her daughter down in Sanctum.
Suddenly assuming correctly just becomes further proof that understanding Abby has gotten even more difficult.
It could be argued that there is more nuance that goes into Abby's decision, and yet her choices reflect anything of that sort right now.
While Abby has been given all the pieces to be the first to guess that the Prime knowledge and the way that Clarke is invested in it was just Josephine in disguise, instead it is all about Kane.
Is anyone else kind of tired of hearing that name?
Abby isn't as she risks an innocent life and even her own relationship with this man in order to bring him back. She can cloak it in whatever excuse she wants, but at the end of the day, it is just selfish.
She admits herself that this isn't something that Kane would want, in fact so much of what she did to get him back came from decisions that he would talk her out of.
In this attempt to bring back a loved one, Abby has forgotten or just flat out ignored what this person would want.
For someone who claims that they all need him because of how good Kane is, Abby did the absolute worst to have him back to spread that good.
At what point do the actions that Abby took part in outweigh the good that Abby thinks Kane will bring back with him?
An innocent man is dead because of you, the way I see it, letting you die too would only make things worse. I couldn't save my mother. But, I can save you.Raven
And it is ironic because maybe if Kane were around, he would have been that voice that broke Abby out of her mistakes. If Season 5 taught us anything though, Abby's addiction can't stop until she is forced into it.
Bringing back Kane is like a high for Abby, and now that he is back, the reality of it won't be the rose-colored version that she presented for herself.
The real fun parallel of a twist here though is the way that Abby's decline is once again a hurricane that Raven ends up sucked in.
Last time around it was The 100 Season 5 Episode 8 and Abby hurt Raven with the shock collar.
Raven became a victim to Abby's addiction, an example of how far gone she really was. Now Raven is back to experience that again, but not at the hands of Abby this time.
Instead, it is almost like Raven gave up on Abby while going on that spacewalk.
She may not have wanted to see Abby die, yet it all came from not wanting to lose another life. Raven couldn't reason with Abby, so she was making the calculated choice to finish what was already started, but it wasn't for Kane or for Abby.
Raven knew that Kane wouldn't be happy, and at the same time, she couldn't stop Abby. Instead of getting caught in that crossfire though, Raven gave Abby what she wanted and moved on.
There is no way to talk any sense into Abby anymore, but there is preventing one more person from dying that day.
The parallel appears in the connection that Abby and Raven have, and in the way, her experience with addiction comes into play.
Under all of this Raven realizes that Abby is caught in the same cycle with pills being replaced with Kane, yet this time around the distance from their last experience with Abby's dark side adds to the context of their future.
Raven isn't going to try to stop Abby, she knows there is no way to do that. What Raven can do instead is make sure Abby stays alive and then moves on from the situation herself.
There are plenty of reasons why Raven's spacewalk must have happened offscreen, but she isn't there when Kane is brought back, and it feels like a significant comment on Abby and Raven’s relationship moving forward.
Kane will be the one to show Abby that she didn't do the right thing, with Raven possibly removing herself completely from that situation.
It is a big move and yet isn't that surprising, because after all, what happened is that Abby is right back where she was before. She isn't being a good person, not to mention a good mother, and Raven shouldn’t be going down that path with her again.
Now There's Green Light In My Eyes
To the surprise of a few and to the delight of many, Xavier dropped the bomb on us.
Whoever thought that The CW would pass up on delivering an attractive man in the place of an old one was wrong and should be ashamed of themselves.
Xavier being Gabriel all this time does add up, even in The 100 Season 6 Episode 6 alone there was this way in which so much of what he said could hold a double meaning.
A wolf in sheep's clothing isn't the most appropriate image here, but if it fits, then it sits.
Emori, I love you. Look, I'm not perfect or even close for that matter. But I wanna be. We've been through so much and survived so much. So what do you say? Think you can love me forever?Murphy
The frustrating part of the episode though was the way Diyoza was offered up into that Anomaly. She was wrapped up in her manifestation but yet the way that no one stopped her is what doesn't sit right with me.
Gabriel says they can't go in there, and Octavia tries to stop her, but what is try really?
They are all walking behind one another, why did no one think to grab her back or get in her way? They all followed Diyoza as she followed fake Hope into that Anomaly.
Octavia may have followed her in there, yet imagine what would have happened if Diyoza didn't go in there at all? The attempts to save her didn't come off as believable, so anything that happens from here on out will continue that way.
Because then Octavia comes back out healed and Diyoza just doesn't?
There is so much that the audience doesn't know about that green fog yet so it makes sense that there would be an answer later. There is also a chance that the answer will just morph into a way to allow Octavia to hang back while putting Diyoza off the table for now.
She can't be gone forever, that is impossible, and the show wouldn't get rid of such a valuable character like that, and yet she can disappear for a while.
With the way her relationship with Octavia was left off, it is about Octavia having a drive now that she is healed. She went back for Diyoza and didn't come back with her, it would be great if now she would work on a way to figure out what to do so that it wasn't all for vain.
Diyoza protected and believed in Octavia at a time when even she didn't, the least that Octavia can do now is stop at nothing to bring back this wonderful addition to the story.
This would keep the Anomaly a mystery for the time being, and it would also serve as a way to keep them there until Bellamy and Josephine reach them.
The Anomaly Manifestation Pitch
Speaking of Bellamy and Josephine finding their way to Gabriel (and Octavia). it has been a while since we did a theory session, but the trailer brings up some potential there.
The trailer shows Octavia in the fighting pits, going up against herself in the form of a previous Octavia from the past.
In this episode, there is a connection formed between the way the Red Sun influenced hallucinations and the way that the forest created manifestations for those that cross through it.
What if the joint hallucinations that were teased during The 100 Season 6 Episode 2 appeared in this next episode in the form of a joint mind space type of hallucination?
Clarke and Octavia started this season struggling with the demons of their past, and the urge to face them came up once or twice, but they haven't fully come to terms with what they did. Either of them.
Going by the way that Clarke saw a manifestation of Octavia, who taunted her about Bellamy and her guilt over the pits, that is still a rough spot that she hasn't come to terms with.
It still lives in Clarke as something she needs to deal with, and at the same time, Octavia will be dealing with her fear of Blodreina.
But as much as Clarke and Octavia have that common thread of those pits, it is Bellamy that really keeps bringing them together. Their separate connections with him make this group dynamic much more possible going into this episode.
Their guilt comes back to the way that they feel about their relationships with Bellamy, and what if the Verge could work with them to expand on that?
Then they would all manifest in that setting, with Octavia fighting her old self as a way to gain dominance over her demons. Meanwhile, Bellamy and Clarke find a way to discuss her inability to deal with what she did to him and his fear of not being able to save her.
This could all play into their deepest desires and fears, maybe with Bellamy even talking to Josephine because he sees her as Clarke and the Verge messes with his head?
And not to be that person, but the Bellamy voiceover from the original season trailer about how Clarke left him in the pits hasn't appeared yet.
I'm just saying.
The Bellarke Corner
Those two really did say to screw everyone else and just went into that forest together.
But before it becomes about what can be, let's refocus on what everything was that led to this point.
Bellamy's journey to save Clarke continues with no signs of stopping, and it is almost becoming a journey to save his heart with the way that he is throwing himself into this with nothing having the chance to truly get in his way.
This becomes Bellamy willingly leaving everyone else behind, including Echo, because his priorities seem to lie with Clarke.
While that is another parallel that travels back to The 100 Season 5, specifically when Bellamy and Echo separated, and he stayed behind with Clarke, there is another moment that stood out in all this.
Having Clarke tell Echo to save Bellamy during The 100 Season 5 Episode 12 has never felt as familiar as it did when Echo then seemingly paralleled that with Bellamy as she told him to go save Clarke.
Call it what it is, but this is a resurrected focus on Bellamy and Clarke's connection to one another and the way that Echo ends up intersected in it.
The first time around Clarke was coming off a mistake that made her feel like she couldn't be responsible for Bellamy's safety in the same way that she would have been before.
Being the one to leave him behind with his dangerous sister meant Clarke had no claim beyond worrying about him surviving there.
So even though he was used as a way to break Clarke, removing this protective layer that blinded her to the destruction that she was causing her loved one, there wasn't room for her to be the one to save him.
Echo becomes that placeholder, doing what Clarke wants to after first taking part in a group intervention where everyone pushes Clarke to her breaking point by linking it back to Bellamy.
This is something that she still regrets by the way, and that we should keep in our back pocket considering the trailer for the following episode.
And then we have this version of the parallel, with Bellamy getting the chance to save Clarke and leaving everything behind to do it. This time around it is Echo sending them off together, a direct glow up if you will, but also some valuable food for thought.
Without going too much into the way that Echo is placed this season, in the context of the show, she only exists as an extension. She extends into the space group, but more than that she extends from Bellamy. She can't be her own person because the show almost doesn't know how to make her one without admitting that so much of her is just a way to reflect those around her.
Either you let Murphy die in a doomed attempt to save her (Clarke), starting a war with my father. Or we stay friends and live happily ever after. Take a minute to think it over.Josephine
Echo doesn't feel like a whole enough person to stand on her own in the narrative, so instead, she is present and is engaging in other people's stories and connections as a substitute for what she could have on her own.
So as Bellamy gets driven deeper and deeper by his motivation to save Clarke, she is pulled into that like his shadow. Even the way that Echo decides to accept and care for Clarke this season, it could just be the show trying to win favor with the audience by having her care for the other lead character of the show.
But it could also be another example of how tying Echo to Bellamy has now become her repurposing how Bellamy feels as separate a trait of her own.
Now you have Echo mirroring Bellamy's literal itch to act and to save Clarke before it is too late, leading into her staying behind so that he could go on this journey with her.
Obviously, no one else could have taken Josephine, this was a mission with Bellamy at the center of it because no one could be trusted the same way.
Platonic soulmates and all that, right?
But you can't not focus on that line delivery, Echo making it clear that the priority here is Clarke. Bellamy had already made his choice, he literally dragged himself into enemy territory for it.
As an afterthought, he tells Echo to stay safe, but he made it clear where his head (and heart) was at as he went into that forest to find Gabriel. The parallel then becomes Bellamy and Clarke's worry for the other and the way that Echo seems in the middle of it without it actually focusing on her.
This was never about how Echo saved Bellamy after he was in those pits, and this isn't about Echo saving Clarke from all of this now.
Even the confusing way in which Echo pieces together that Clarke is alive during The 100 Season 6 Episode 6, it is either a weak way to show her ability to connect the dots or a way to show that her connection to Bellamy is rooted in Clarke now. Or both.
Selina Wilken from Hypable actually wondered earlier in the season if Echo was going to have a story of her own that allowed her to confront that she is essentially an echo for other people's emotions instead of her own.
A personal reconfiguration would have to be that Echo is still very much only allowed to exist as far as Bellamy would be. It all links back to Bellamy for her, and so what if in a larger sense, she ended up soaking in what is at the forefront of what drives Bellamy.
Echo is an echo for Bellamy's feelings about Clarke.
Because while Bellamy is with Echo, there is no denying the way that he values Clarke. Their connection is something else entirely, there isn't an easy word to explain what Bellamy and Clarke mean to one another.
What is obvious though is that Clarke means a lot to Bellamy and Bellamy means a lot to Clarke. The way that it lives in Bellamy would naturally pass over to someone in a position to shadow what he feels at his core.
This doesn't mean that is the story that is being told on purpose, but it is hard to deny that Echo's third wheeling position this season is teasing this regardless.
This doesn't have to be a story that was planned to be a story that is clearly getting told.
Because at the end of the day, Echo probably isn't picking up on it herself yet either. Yet she is existing time and time again as a way to solidify the worth that Bellamy has assigned to Clarke instead of being proof of the opposite.
If you could even imagine it this way, more and more it looks like Bellamy is spilling over with the worry and the care that he holds for Clarke. So in a way, Echo is literally manifesting that herself, picking up the remains of how much Bellamy feels for Clarke and instilling it in herself.
And moving forward, the parallel from this episode couldn't be more important, with the trailer teasing that the pits will resurface.
The way that Clarke can't face Bellamy in her own mind has never held as much weight as it does now.
So is Kane's actual body actually dead and gone? Is this Henry Ian Cusick officially exiting the show? I wouldn't be mad about it.
Raven mourning Zeke in that room was a direct attack, one that we deserve way more of. Regardless of this claim that Raven didn't love him, she clearly did and is still struggling with what losing him means.
Even as a parallel to Abby risking everything to save Kane, it is all about what Raven would do in this situation when it came to someone like Zeke. This was an important person and a painful loss, so it was a nice surprise to see The 100 actually remember that.
Were those Clarke promotional photos a lie? Or a distraction? Or did the show release something too soon? That could have been a deleted scene where Clarke is hanging out and then there is a threat, but it would be strange for photos to be shared of something that wouldn't air. What are our guesses here?
Octavia almost died yet again, only to be saved at the very last second. What number is that for her this season? In a larger sense, Octavia represents the show's inability to commit to killing a certain portion of characters off. There may be too many of them, and the story can suffer from time to time because there is too much going on, but nothing is ever done to fix it.
There are just fakeouts or keeping everyone around by any means necessary. Much like with Octavia's brushes with death that are now actually becoming full on face to face meetings, the show is getting close enough without actually committing to it in full.
It is thrilling that Jackson got the promotion to neurosurgeon.
We have to assume it is a promotion because how else would that explain the fact that he shadowed Abby around for most of the show's run? If Jackson is that level of skilled, why is he used as an assistant and not as someone who has to know more than Abby in most situations?
I wonder what Bellamy will see in that forest on his way to Gabriel with Josephine. Biggest desire? Biggest fear? Both? Share your guesses in the comments section below so we can collectively start with the flailing.
I am as thankful for Greyston Holt as the next person, but at what cost? Not to be rude or anything but new Kane and Abby sharing romantic moments together will be ... a lot. Without getting carried away, there is no actual way to properly look at what might come next now that Kane is in Gavin's body.
This gif set brings up such a cool point about how Abby's reckless choice to save Kane can parallel back to Finn's reckless choice to save Clarke. In the end, neither of the saved people felt like the decision was valid, and it could play into how some characters get lost in their need to save a loved one.
All of which can circle back to the way that Bellamy is driven by a need to save Clarke, an alternative that came with consent and a healthy approach that doesn't question what it means for the person trying to do the saving.
Murphy's proposal would have made been sweet if this didn't happen at a time where Emori was absent for much of the earlier episodes, and if their relationship got more attention. These two still haven't spoken in front of the audience about how they came back together from the last season.
These two had issues to solve, and suddenly Emori couldn't leave him behind on Earth, and they didn't anymore.
It is a far stretch from that to an immortality proposal but sure, why not.
Ryker is trying to quietly be the good guy, and no one can let that slide. Poor dude is probably the only one with a moral bone in his body, and he is being picked at from every side.
Jordan passed out seeing "Delilah" holding him. Obviously, that is Priya, but that probably made him very happy, and no one look at me while I deal with those emotions. Jordan deserves so many good things if only the show could give him in a small portion of that.
Russell should be the last one to point fingers. But he came a long way from wanting to save Clarke to now allowing violence so that Josephine would be brought back to him. How is he still shocked that Clarke's people aren't all that thrilled about what was done to her?
Especially if they also know that she is alive in there, them going on this mission is the least surprising thing of all.
Where is Gaia? Where is Indra?
There is all this talk about Bellamy and Clarke being as platonic as Sanctum is twisted, and yet Bellamy will stop at nothing to bring her back. He even once again leaves his actual girlfriend to go and get Clarke back. Echo might know how much Clarke means to him, but that doesn't make this any better.
But remind me which one of those two pairings is platonic again?
How worried are you about Diyoza? About Jordan? About Murphy?
Which character were you rooting for the most this time around? Who were you not as pleased with?
What is everyone feeling about the new version of Kane? And who saw that Gabriel twist coming?
How excited are you for all the Bellamy and Josephine in the forest ideas? Who else was waiting to see Clarke in her mind space again?
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.