When do you begin questioning what you're told?
The 100 never gives all their answers away.
Instead, they are making us question everything we thought we knew.
During The 100 Season 7 Episode 5, Octavia's time in Bardo is explored. From her first time there to the moment when Hope tags her, all questions about what happened in-between are answered.
Meanwhile, Indra is left to deal with the faithful Russell followers in Sanctum. Except things don't go her way when they threaten to kill Murphy, which leads to "Russell" saving the day and exposing his true identity.
Also, the Skyring trio makes their way to Bardo, but their selfish natures create a divide between them. This causes Gabriel, Octavia, Hope, and Echo to be in a different situation than they planned for.
"Welcome To Bardo," written by the exceptional Drew Lindo and directed by Ian Samoil, was an intricate approach to storytelling, both in the past and the present. This was an out of this world experience, using a new place to create a new way to explore their world and the memories that come with them.
It also had remarkable pacing, finally letting the story go where it was desperately trying to get to all this time.
This was an episode that set itself apart by allowing the surprises and the secrets to form around the story. The characters were pushed to their limits, and they delivered above and beyond. It was an emotionally charged journey that gave so much well-awaited information and delivered the best return of all time.
Bellamy Is Back, And Everything Makes Sense Again. Maybe.
Except, not really.
Bellamy Blake wouldn't be the lead we know and love if he didn't make an entrance. Although now it looks like that was only a glimpse of what is to come, and for now, the audience is meant to assume that Bellamy didn't make it.
The strength in that scene came from Bellamy's presence, and how the second he came back on screen, it was like everything was right with The 100.
The 100 was lacking without Bob Morley's existence, and it never felt more true than when he returned. Even for one single scene.
But yet something felt off. From the second Octavia entered that room, it was like two different conversations were happening, with Bellamy serving as the confused outsider trying to keep up.
Octavia: Open the bridge and send him back to Sanctum. I'll tell you what you want to know; even about Clarke.
Bellamy: What are you talking about?
Octavia: Jump through, I'll be okay.
The stylistic choices created by the director fixated on the faces of the people in the room, but at the same time, it wouldn't allow for the whole room to be seen often. The dynamics as a whole were hard to get a read on, and it wasn't clear what happened until it was too late.
The Bellamy scene in Bardo needs to be watched at least three times because every time there is something new that you didn't notice before.
Octavia is motivated to keep Bellamy safe, so she decides to bargain with Anders while alerting Bellamy to what is going on. She asks for them to send Bellamy to Sanctum, yet at the same time, she name drops Clarke so that Bellamy understands that she picked up on their attachment to her.
But so much is about the words that aren't said. And somewhere along the way, you have to question how real this memory is and who is the owner of it.
Because as Octavia is trying to manipulate Anders to let Bellamy go, he is forming a plan in his mind as well. As soon as Octavia says to open the bridge, he is five steps ahead of her.
Yet somehow, it doesn't feel like he is setting the Anomaly Stone to Sanctum. Instead, there are hints that Anders might be trying to have the upper hand by playing them both.
Anders doesn't seem like the guy to assume he has the answers when he could find out more, so sending Bellamy back wouldn't help him. They wanted to take everyone to Bardo, even if Clarke is who they are most after, meaning they want everyone's memories or even the bodies to build a supportive Shepherd army.
So Anders is setting the Anomaly Stone, but then The Conductor interrupts the process because he seems concerned. He isn't part of the plan, but he begs the question of if it is possible to send Bellamy back at this point.
Regardless, Octavia thinks that her promising to give up her memories means Bellamy is going home safe. Anders seems to think that he is taking the deal, but he could have something more sinister planned.
And Bellamy just wants answers because he is a pure soul who was gone for too long.
Then the disciple ruins everything, or does he?
The assumption is obviously that the bomb explodes and kills Bellamy.
But it doesn't, and if there isn't a body, then it didn't. Anders has such a smug look on his face after the fact, which again has to make you wonder where the Anomaly Stone got sent.
It turned off after the explosion, but the blow from the bomb had to have thrown Bellamy back into that Anomaly.
If we assume he isn't in Sanctum, then where could he have been sent? The answer could be right in front of us, which Heather Mason mentions in her review, meaning Bellamy is just sent to another part of Bardo.
Anders has the codes to everything, so he could have been looking to trick Octavia into thinking she got her way. Then she would tell him everything, and he would also have Bellamy's memories to take from in another room elsewhere.
The assumption is that Octavia had to have failed to save Bellamy because of that bomb, but what if it played into exactly what Anders wanted to happen anyway?
At the same time, you have to wonder how reliable the information is, to begin with.
This episode worked so well because there was a different approach taken to telling the story. It also left space to wonder how reliable a narrator could be; just because we were shown a memory doesn't mean there isn't more context for it.
For those that may have noticed, there were two moments in the episode that had glitches. It was a transition that moved from one point in the story to the next, but it only existed twice, and it feels like a sign.
Could that glitch have been an indication that there is some manipulation going on at the hands of the storyteller?
The first time that glitch happened was when Echo stops Hope from killing Anders. There is a glitch that takes the story to Hope in Bardo a week before. The assumption is that she was caught by Anders trying to find her mother, and it is confirmed that she was seemingly alone for 27 days (not counting M-Cap with Levitt).
The assumption becomes that Hope was then told to find Octavia, and she left. But is that it?
More to that point later, there was another glitch that the episode could have used as a code to indicate a scene that isn't truly what it appears to be.
Octavia is taken to find Bellamy, and then that glitch transition focuses on the Skyring trio coming to her rescue a week later. There was a narrative decision not just to have Octavia go to find Bellamy, and then we see her on the bridge with him.
Instead, there is this intentional attempt to blend it with Hope and the others finding Octavia. Not only is Hope involved in the glitch again, but the memory itself comes out of nowhere.
Octavia is so out of it because she took Levitt's advice to win against the machine, so her memories aren't getting captured. She knew that information before Bellamy arrived at Bardo; this means that you have to question how the disciple somehow was able just to pull it up to show everyone.
She doesn't have much of a voice right now. The control in the room belongs to other people, and that memory is almost too perfect. It is there for Echo to watch at a time when Octavia isn't an active participant, and it "solves" the disappearance of Bellamy.
But Octavia doesn't have control in that room, and it raises questions about if that is even her memory.
M-Cap can see your memories, but the real power is meant to help others aid the Shepherd. So it feels very off seeing that memory as an open and shut case.
Instead, the glitch and the discrepancy in how that memory is showcased could be a hint at something more significant. The memory may be implanted either in Octavia's mind or in the system on Bardo as a whole.
The way that Echo reacts could also hint at that; she questions whether the memory is real and the silence doesn't have to mean it is. It makes you wonder how far Bardo could go to create the narrative it wants.
Trusting the narrator is a tricky hill to die on, especially when you don't know who the narrator is.
Octavia's memory is said to be hers, but it could just as easily have been fabricated or even edited for the people Bardo was expecting.
Anders knew that the trio was on Skyring, so he must have known that they would be heading back for Bardo. He isn't stupid, and he still has people that Hope cares about. Even when it just comes to her, he seemed ready to see her again in Bardo.
So for now, it is meant to seem like Bellamy "died," even though it screams fake-out from a mile away.
This could also mean that Bellamy won't be back just yet. Instead, he is going to become a mystery that not everyone knows has to be solved -- taking it one step further, what if Bellamy was there all along?
He couldn't have gone to Sanctum, and maybe he was thrown elsewhere, but the only actual option is Bardo. Anders wouldn't just set Bellamy free, but he could have Bellamy around without anyone knowing.
There is talk of M-Cap being used against Bellamy so that he becomes one of the disciples, and that is possible if he is transported to another area until he gives in.
One thing is clear though, Bellamy is alive, and his soul sets a literal fire in Bardo. Now there is nothing left for us to do but wait for him to come back for real.
The 100 Theory Corner From All Over
During The 100 Season 7 Episode 4, there was a glimpse of Bardo and what the Shepherd might have planned.
This time around, it became even more clear that the intentions for this great war are all about Clarke. Or are they?
During Anders's graduation speech, he mentioned the history of Bardo and the key that they have managed to find after hundreds of years finally. That is all fine and good until you consider that they couldn't have been waiting for Clarke all this time.
Anders: You each demonstrated an impressive devotion to the Shepherd. Our predecessors on this planet did not share that faith. Like our ancestors on Earth, they destroyed their world. Even before they were wiped out by Gen 9 and turned into crystal giants; their atmosphere was so polluted they were forced to build forests underground in order to breathe. Even the rain that should fall from the sky; it falls instead by their technology. For that we thank them. And where are they now? We know that by the time the Shepherd delivered us with his stone, the Bardonians were gone. Extinct. Why is that?
A Disciple: They didn't have the Shepherd.
Anders: No, they didn't. They didn't have faith so they lost their last great battle. The same enemy is coming after us. But in the light of the Shepherd we will not lose. We are close now. We have located the key. After hundreds of years it has returned. Ours is the generation that will win the last war.
Formerly they wouldn't have even known that she existed, let alone for hundreds of years.
But what could Octavia have given Levitt that would make them focus on Clarke?
Levitt may have been on a binge, but he didn't finish the final episode of The 100 Season 3. He saw Octavia kill Pike, and then he got distracted, so he didn't find out if Clarke got out of The City of Light.
The assumption is that they want Clarke because she had all of Becca's technology in her at one point in time, except no one in Bardo could know that because they weren't exposed to those memories.
Instead, they are focused on the fact that she did have the flame and the chip in her as she headed into The City of Light. If the key they were waiting for took hundreds of years, then maybe the focus isn't on Clarke, but on what they assume she still has in her body.
There were also more hints given about the fact that this group of people didn't come as Eligius. This has to be Cadogan's cult that hid in the bunker after the bombs. They survived the end of the world and then were able to go to Bardo through Cadogan, finding the Anomaly Stone.
Since Becca's lab appeared in the title sequence, then that really must be where the stone was located on Earth. It also might mean that the planet Raven said is offline just so happens to be Earth.
It isn't clear what war Cadogan is preparing everyone for, especially since the assumption is it would be against Becca's technology, yet at the same time, they were waiting for it this entire time.
Then there is the question of Diyoza, a character we haven't been allowed to see in the present time at all. Echo and Octavia told Hope that her mom would be so proud of her, which is a chilling attempt at possible foreshadowing.
Octavia's experience with M-Cap was easier because of Levitt. But he did mention that anyone else wouldn't have the sympathy that he had; that means that Diyoza could be fighting a battle she can't win.
It also can't escape us that the show fixated on what happens if you resist M-Cap. The lasers creating a lobotomy isn't just something you could throw into the narrative.
If it was said, then chances are we will see someone suffer from the M-Cap in a way that Octavia didn't have to.
Having Hope go all this way only for Diyoza to be dead or for her brain to be messed with? That is a horrible possibility that is feeling more and more real.
Welcome To Bardo, Please Leave Your Memories At The Bridge
What is about sensible women that make them willing to die for Bellamy Blake? What is it about random captors that make them fall in love with Octavia?
Octavia had quite an experience in Bardo, but at least she got a fan out of it.
This episode perfectly mastered the introduction to this planet that we have heard so much about. Cloaked in confusion, it now exists as a way to view the more tremendous villain at play this season.
A Mount Weather, but on another planet, Bardo is the cult group your parents warned you about.
From the matching outfits to the psych evaluations to the training for a battle that may never come, all of it exists based on the faith of a false god, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon.
With access to technology that can access all your memories, it wouldn't be shocking if it was used to manipulate or discard or remove some in the process.
Octavia is very lucky that Levitt was the one that she was assigned to because, at this point, he is just the perfect representation of a The 100 fanboy.
After binge-watching three seasons of The 100, Levitt is ready to create his Twitter account to stan Octavia, and he is seconds away from ordering merchandise with catchphrases like "May We Meet Again."
He is living out his biggest dream by actually meeting the hero who he connected to most, which makes sense since it is her version of the show that he saw, and he is probably crushing hard.
Levitt was convenient, too convenient, probably. He had all the answers that Octavia and Hope were looking for, and he just helped them without a second thought.
Even his speech to her after he saw her memories felt corny and out of place, but all can be forgiven since he was just a fan trying to help. It wasn't easy to move past the fact that this show wrote in the fanbase they want to have into the show, but it is just one of many examples of The 100 being both self-aware and not at all.
He was still an asset that gave us most of the information we needed, and he was involved with every question for which we wanted an answer.
Now though, he is out of the picture, and things are about to get real.
Octavia not giving him her memories was one thing, but now she might not have anything left. She listened to his advice about not letting the machine win, yet it looks like the machine might have won just by the pain it brought her.
Hopefully, Levitt still is around to help them; he did have all the answers the first time around. It is also possible that he knows more than he is leading on, especially with that face that he gave Octavia when she was trying to save Bellamy.
Regardless, it was nice to meet a fellow fan of the show and good luck to him with his Octavia crush.
The Make It Or Break It Trio
All good things must come to an end.
For Hope, Echo, and Gabriel, it was only a matter of time before their connection on Skyring ended up not lasting on Bardo. With Hope killing for the first time, it was like she opened a door that should have stayed closed.
Then there is Echo who chose to kill everyone and leave Orlando behind during The 100 Season 7 Episode 4. This wasn't as shocking, except for the way it added to the threat she was becoming to herself and those around her.
Gabriel is the real outsider because of his views on killing and unnecessary risks. He was only in it for the knowledge, until he had to watch Echo and Hope kill people they don't need to again and again.
With the time that Gabriel (and the audience) spent with Hope, the assumption is that she doesn't want to kill. She may talk about it all the time, yet it takes her 20+ years to make it possible.
But once Hope kills, it is like a flood starts; there is suddenly thirst for more even when it doesn't make sense. It isn't clear if Hope is furious with Anders because she knows he has her mother or more than the audience may not know.
Regardless, Hope was about to murder Anders in the middle of a Bardo graduation. If she killed him, then she would have gotten everyone caught and would have never found Diyoza.
Hope: Without Orlando we don't need to take unnecessary risks.
Orlando: Leaving Orlando was an unnecessary risk!
Yet she still tried to stab him, and that proved that Hope wasn't thinking clearly. Her priority to save her loved ones took a backseat so she could try to take down her enemy that we don't know much about.
The glitch transition was important for the Bellamy reveal, but it also matters when we come to learn more about Hope.
It first appeared between Hope being furious with Anders in the present time, and then it skipped the entire time she was in Bardo. She might have more history with Anders than she is letting on.
Hope has been trusted by Echo and Gabriel, but she could be keeping information from them.
Much like Orlando didn't tell them everything about the origin of the Shepard and the people on Bardo, much like Echo knowing about Levitt from Hope but Gabriel being kept out of the loop.
These three no longer know each other like they did when they had the same plan. This couldn't have come at a worse time, with Hope still trying to find her mother and stopping at nothing to make that happen.
Hope could very well be a version of an unreliable narrator, which Amanda Reimer mentioned before when it comes to trusting Hope.
She is taking over the story this season, but that doesn't mean that we saw everything she went through. She could be choosing what information she shares and what she keeps hidden away.
Those days between Anders finding her and her being sent to Sanctum will remain a confusing mystery.
Not to mention the way that Hope is known on Bardo, both by outsiders and by Anders himself. He seems fixated on her, which is interesting since we never saw them initially interact.
For now, though, it isn't Hope that presents the biggest risk. Unnecessary risk if you ask me.
But Echo proved everyone right that she couldn't exist without Bellamy. Even though her reaction was a bit much, it was what finally drove her where she has been heading this whole time.
There isn't much sympathy to be had for Echo, considering she struggles to be her own person, and that usually means the story will force you to try to exist on your own either way.
Echo didn't need to kill people the way that she does. She didn't need to cut people's throats when they are unconscious like she did when they got to Bardo. She was slowly becoming the person who didn't feel bad leaving Orlando behind, so by the time she made it to Bardo, she was already there.
Now she poses a threat to the others because there is no telling what she will do next.
She killed the person they needed to help Hope (and Octavia) find Diyoza.
It is one thing to have plans change; it is another not to follow protocol at all. Echo may have trapped them in Bardo, and the cracks in their relationship have become a wedge.
Then there is Gabriel just trying to learn more about what happened. He wants to find out what happened in history, and instead, he is now watching Echo and Hope slowly lose who they were before.
What else could go wrong?
The Faithful and The Furious
Just when it felt like Sanctum had no momentum left, Indra appeared to save the day.
The Grounder history might be long overused, but there is something about having Indra explain it to us that makes it feel new and interesting again. Not much is known about Indra's journey, and yet now there are so many options for her.
There is also nothing better than J.R Bourne and Adina Porter playing off of each other; the power that they can create with one another on-screen is out of this world.
Adina Porter is a powerful presence that takes control of any scene that she is in. Sanctum might not be going anywhere, yet I am ready to watch multiple seasons of Indra just existing the way that she does.
J.R Bourne delivers Sheidheda in a way that manages to capture the mystery and the darkness all at once. It still doesn't make sense why this Dark Commander even matters, but at least there is an incredible portrayal as The 100 tries to figure it out.
For all we know, the Dark Commander is meant to connect with Cadogan. Both of them love fire, and both of them are delusional cult leaders at this point. They see their followers as sheep or lambs to control, and Sheidheda offers Cadogan what Clarke actually won't have.
If we assume that they want Clarke for the flame, then they will find out quickly that the flame is dead. They could take it out of its grave, but at this point, it is useless.
What isn't useless is Sheidheda and his experience in the flame. He might not be part of the technology anymore, but he was. He existed there for enough time that he has the memories that Cadogan may need.
But what is worse than one cult leader trying to create a war? Two cult leaders working together to create a war.
In Sanctum, though, it was only limited to the Russell persona and the various groups of followers.
It isn't clear what point The 100 is trying to make about faith, but so far, they are instilling the fact that many blind followers ruin everything around them in their attempt to follow false gods.
But Bardo is built off blind followers, and Sanctum has a few groups at the ready if they need more.
The Bellarke Corner of Distress
Does Bellamy hearing Clarke's name count as a Bellarke moment?
I am going to count it.
Maybe he went back to Sanctum and is looking for her, even though he shouldn't have the memory of Octavia bringing her up.
Or maybe Bellamy went to Nakara and met up with Clarke.
At this point, I will settle for Bellamy and Clarke to just appear in the same episode, even if they aren't in the same place.
For any The 100 fans looking for some nostalgia as the series concludes, TV Fanatic has a surprise interview series for you! "Looking Back On The 100" centers on monumental cast members and characters from the show that left their mark.
We spoke with Eli Goree about his time on the show, as well as Michael Beach about the journey he had, and we even took a walk down memory lane with Christopher Larkin and Aaron Ginsburg. We even checked in with Zach McGowan about that surprise return to the show.
Keep checking TV Fanatic for more upcoming interviews with surprise cast members from seasons past!
The directing of this episode was phenomenal in all the right ways. There was a specific style that the episode was able to have because of how the story was introduced. It was unique, and it was different from what The 100 usually creates.
Bardo is still a planet that has so much mystery around it, and the way this episode was structured allowed for there to be more room to question everything.
Did Gabriel spend his time teaching his students about how to be heroes while wearing cardigans? Nelson running to save that burning woman and getting burnt in the process was another reminder of how wholesome that group was. Any guy who is wearing a cardigan and saving others is worth supporting.
Speaking of, it is interesting that Nelson rushed to save one of the faithful even if they weren't on the same side. His definition of "his people" is a direct extension of the way Gabriel taught the Children of Gabriel to look at Sanctum.
It is also ironic that Gabriel taught his people to look after their own, even if they might have opposing views. Yet now he was forced to leave Orlando because in Echo's words, "we are not his people."
The concept of how each person views their people and who that protection extends too is fascinating.
It makes sense that the show has so much going on that not everything fits into each episode. But Clarke, Bellamy, and Octavia are the leads that have always driven each episode.
We are reaching a point where Clarke is on the sidelines of her own show. Octavia exists, but it doesn't feel like it is her story when she is on screen. And Bellamy returned, but this is all a way to possibly still sideline him as well. This doesn't work in general, and it doesn't work in the final season.
Octavia may have burned down a farm in one bunker, but this time around, she was trying to escape from another bunker with their version of a farm.
The farmers really did save the world.
Murphy was willing to let Charlotte die, and now, he is all about saving kids? This was maybe the only aspect of the episode that was hard to believe at face value, but maybe Murphy deserves the benefit of the doubt.
He spent enough time hiding behind other people when it came to saving the day; he deserves this win.
Can someone ask Jackson if he forgot what Do No Harm means?
A doctor really shouldn't be looking to cause pain to others. Jordan was right when he questioned Jackson's medical opinion.
Give me a spin-off show where it is just Chuku Modu as Gabriel teaching his children things. Then it could morph into a Gabriel and Nelson tag-team show where they just do things. Anything.
Chuku Modu, in general, deserves a round of applause for the work that he is bringing to the screen. Gabriel is such a lovely breath of fresh air this season, and so much of it comes from the energy that Chuku shares.
Bardo exists as yet another underground bunker for Cadogan to control. How long before the risk of going outside comes up?
Captain Meredith (who first felt like Anders) has to be around still. He played too big a role in this episode to not be the one who took Gaia on an adventure around the Anomaly stone.
Routine psych exams on Bardo sound like brainwashing sessions to me. Scientology auditing anyone?
Is M-Cap their version of the e-meter?
In case anyone missed it, there are new posters that have been released for this season of the show. There are symbols on every character's face, which after this episode, we can assume is their special code. There is a longer version of that code that would identify them personally, but that one symbol might be part of that identification.
Now we have to figure out what they mean, though.
This is the most useless opinion of all time, but I wish that The 100 let Jason Diaz keep the beard as Levitt.
Speaking of, there are all these appearance changes, but no one has mentioned if it is intentional.
Hope and Echo changed their hair to show that five years passed on Skyring, but what about everyone else? Is there a rule that everyone has to be shaved in Bardo?
What did you think of Bardo? On a scale of not at all to never in a million years, how dead do you think Bellamy actually is?
Where do we think Echo is going from here after she took that dark turn? Is there a chance for Hope, Echo, and Gabriel to work together as they did before?
Who else feels bad that Gabriel keeps having to watch people get killed when he just wants to borrow a book from the Bardo library and go?
Do we think Hope is hiding memories from us? Do we think Bardo is messing with memories as well?
What do we think all of this means? And is there a chance that this isn't all about the flame once more?
Let us know what you think below!
Stick around for more interviews, features, slideshows, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online right here on TV Fanatic.
Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.