iaria: (Sailor Moon is excited!)
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Praimfaya

That was awesome! I loved it.

Favourite Moments

+ I’m not even sure where to start. I really appreciate that the show decided to stay, minus one scene at the beginning, with the crew on the island. That was such a smart decision because it didn’t take us away from the tension of their fight for survival. I found all the call backs to season one wonderful especially as the end of episode takes us back to the beginning. The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning, and all that. I love how the end takes us right back to the pilot with a twist. Clarke and whoever is with her (just Madi?) are the Grounders, Octavia and the bunker are Mount Weather, the Ark is still the Ark but with a different set of inhabitants (made up of the former 100 and 2 Grounders) and the prison ship is now in place of the 100’s prison ship. Fabulous.

+ Clarke survived, thank god! When she chose to climb the tower and saw the praimfaya coming I suddenly found myself very uncertain that she would survive the finale and I was REALLY UPSET about it. I guess that tells you something about the show that I thought for a minute that they would actually kill their lead (I love it so much.) I’m also glad that they didn’t leave her fate up in the air like I was expecting. I would have assumed that she survived without that last scene anyway considering she made it to the bunker but I never would have seen at-peace-adoptive-mom!Clark coming.

+ Clarke sacrificing herself to save the others and saving the day. I suspected something like that was coming but it still got me hard. I loved it. I love hero Clarke doing what’s best for her people.

+ My favourite scene was after they got onto the Ark and everyone was running out of air and them sharing the remaining air to save each other. It honestly made me cry a little. This was the best of humanity. Emori sharing her oxygen with Raven (and arguing with Murphy for it) and when her extra oxygen ran out Murphy giving his to them; Echo sharing with Harper; Echo scrambling over to pull Bellamy’s helmet off once the air came back on and Murphy/Emori pulling Raven closer to the vent together. I loved the three of them laughing together.

+ Emori! ♥ Dear god, the character growth she displayed. She was the one to ask if they couldn't give Clarke a minute before takeoff and when Murphy asked what to do when Raven ran out of oxygen it was Emori who said "we share" which she than did! I was so impressed with her. This episode was actually a great highlight of how much both Emori and Murphy had changed and become a part of the group and I loved it.

+ Clarke hasn’t looked this free and happy and just in general this good since the pilot. Actually not even then. She's so content! She really seems to be at peace with herself now. I am so happy about it! I loved everything about her look and attitude in that last scene. Plus she's drawing again and that is so great.

+ I am actually really excited about mom Clarke. I looked up the young girl, Madi apparently, and the actress is 13 so if we assume the character is the same age and Clarke found her soon after praimfaya died down then they have been together since Madi was seven. Yup, mom!Clarke it is! I loved Clarke’s "wake up my little natblinda" (awwww!) and her gentleness with Madi and the little face caress. I really love that the two of them switch between English and Trigedasleng with ease.

+ I adored Emori and Echo’s reactions to Raven floating.

+ Clarke/Bellamy and Bellamy himself were amazing. So much great stuff. I loved the hug - the way she clasped hands behind his back, him crying with her and the way he cupped the back of her neck – all great. His little caress down the side of her face. I loved her little speech to him about using his head as well as his heart and his "I’ve got you for that, oh. That was heartbreaking and you could tell it was for Clarke as well. It was also wonderful to watch them back to being the perfect team together, keeping everyone moving forward to survival.

I loved Bellamy’s utter faith that Clarke would succeed. That little moment when Raven questions if Clarke would get it done and Bellamy looks at her and she’s like '... yeah, you're right, suiting up'. It's Clarke of course she would.

+ "I left her behind. I left her behind and we all die anyway." OUCH. Goddamn this episode was painful in so many ways. This and Bellamy’s vow not to let Clarke’s death be in vain were probably the ones that hurt the most.

+ "You with me?" / "Always." ♥ Wonderful Bellamy/Raven moment but I also really love that Clarke is very much a presence in the scene. I am happy that the two of them were grieving together and them reaffirming their bond and intention to lead as a team.


Other Great Stuff

+ I loved how the survival of everyone came down to a genuine team effort – Raven was the star player of course as the one in charge who flew the ship and got them into the Ark (I loved her rundown of all the ways they were potentially fucked), Clarke turned the power on in the Ark, Monty and Bellamy got the oxygen working, and all of them kept each other alive. Plus Monty/Murphy to get the CO2 scrubber and Harper/Emori/Echo to make the rocket work for all of them. I love that every step of the way they are there for each other, supporting each other and that their survival was because they worked perfectly as a team.

+ All the parallels and callbacks to previous seasons were wonderful. My favourite and the one that hit me hardest was Bellamy closing the hatch and leaving Clarke to die in contrast to Clarke closing the dropship hatch and leaving Bellamy to die in the season one finale. I also really liked Clarke opening the door to the Ark for Raven compared to Raven creating a door for Clarke in the City of Lights; that Bellamy was the one who closed the rocket door as they left Earth to go with Bellamy being the one who opened the hatch when they arrived on Earth; and Clarke being forced to run on a timer to save everyone as compared to her forcing Emerson to run for his life in season 2. That’s after watching it twice and I’m pretty sure that I missed a bunch.

+ The fact that Clarke has been making those transmissions every single day for up to six years is rather heartbreaking. For 6 years Clarke didn’t know if she succeeded, if they had survived being in space, or if she failed them and they died before even getting in the Ark. But she kept hope, and every day she talked to them, she didn’t give up. Meanwhile for six years Bellamy (and Raven and the others) have thought Clarke was dead. D: That’s too sad. Instead I prefer to think that the Ark have been getting Clarke’s transmissions but just haven’t been able to respond. So her transmissions become a daily routine for them too with everyone gathering around to listen to Clarke’s daily reports. Usually it’s her talking about nothing and repeating things she's already said with the occasional big thing happening (finding Madi, the first sign of green, the attempt to uncover the bunker) but every day they gather to listen to her all the same. She becomes their anchor to Earth.

+ I love how Clarke always fights till the end even if the odds seem dire. She ran for the bunker even though the ship was gone and she thought the nighblood hadn’t worked and it was more likely the praimfaya would catch her first. Based on her conversation with Bellamy Clarke seemed pretty certain that her mom’s premonition would come true but she continued to fight to survive every step of the way and that is one of the things I love best about her. Also she ran almost a mile in rough terrain, in snow, in a hazmat suit, in 13 minutes and then climbed a satellite tower so I’m pretty impressed by that too.

+ There were some really beautiful shots this episode. Clarke watching the rocket take off and Raven's spacewalk being the highlights.

+ "Who knew you were a secret badass?" Everyone! I loved how badass Monty was. How great was the Monty/Murphy team-up? I honestly can’t remember when these two last interacted. Was it seriously back in season one? Monty still holding a grudge against Murphy from episode 2 would seem to imply it. I find this both really amusing and weirdly charming for some reason. So much has happened with both these characters and this world and Monty’s still mad about episode 2? Aw. At the same time Jasper’s recent death has Monty sensitive and grieving and angry, and I loved that Murphy realised that. I also loved Murphy being all impressed with Monty, and him trying to distract him with girl talk and the beautiful hug. Great stuff all around.

+ I loved that Murphy chose to take the CO2 scrubber and leave Monty. It was absolutely the right decision and the important part was that he genuinely felt really bad about it and then return for Monty. I especially love that when Monty learned that he chose the mission first Murphy got a huge hug instead of the recriminations he was expecting. His smile and little backpat at Monty’s "I may not hate you anymore."

+ The Bellamy and Octavia goodbye was lovely. I’m glad they chose to start with that. "I'll be waiting, under the floor", was perfect. I loved Bellamy encouraging her. Octavia shooting down his myth metaphor and his reaction was adorable. I am super happy that Octavia finally told Bellamy that she loved him. But of course they had to lose contact before she could hear him say it back because this show is a sadist.

+ We did get a couple nice little Clarke/Raven bits: Clarke knowing exactly why Raven was smiling (her getting her spacewalk) was wonderful, Raven’s "she did it" smile after the power came on, and Raven’s teary-eyed "she saved us again" last talk with Bellamy.

+ I liked seeing Clarke/Bellamy/Raven in charge together again, working to save everyone and being an awesome team.

+ Yay for Raven finally getting her spacewalk.

+ "Plus we may need to throw someone overboard to lighten the load." Hee. It was a nice little Bellamy/Echo moment.

+ I honestly have to applaud the show PTB on managing to introduce an entirely new, but surprisingly believable source of, humans for our main cast to have conflict with. Considering this is a post-apocalypse show I’m impressed. Season 6 will have to be humans in a bunker from another part of the world, season 7 will be the time travel with enemies from the past season, and season 8 will clearly be aliens.

Not Positives

+ There was only one moment that felt false to me which was when Raven gave up and Clarke reacts by turning and looking helplessly at Bellamy and then he goes over and encourages Raven. It tied back to the conversation Clarke and Bellamy just had about him being the heart and Clarke metaphorically passing the Leader torch to him but it didn't work for me because we've seen Clarke encouraging and inspiring people many times. Including Raven. Raven’s despairing "I’m not smart enough" had a very obvious response. Plus gently manipulating people to get her way is Clarke’s specialty! So it felt contrived and I was annoyed.

Thinking about it more as I write this I'm reminded of Bellamy pep talking Raven back in 1x11 and suddenly this moment feels like a bookend and works a lot better for me. It fits with all the parallels and illusions they’re doing to season one. So in that specific way it actually works for me now. That said I’m still grumpy about it on the Clarke angle. If they’d cut out Clarke’s look at Bellamy or if they'd changed the context of her look - less helpless more 'okay, your turn' and a part of Clarke passing the leadership torch over to Bellamy - then it would have worked for me.

+ I’m very unhappy about the lack of Clarke/Raven and Clarke/anyone not Bellamy. What the fuck show? The other side of my annoyance with that Raven/Bellamy scene is that it should have freaking been a Raven/CLARKE scene. They didn’t get anything! Bellamy got the hug last episode and the inspiring heart-to-heart pep talk this one and now they’ve spent 6 years together in space. If Bellamy had been the one to stay on Earth I would have been good with everything because he would have had moments with everyone. But Clarke doesn’t get that. Not just with Raven but with any of them. I think this is my biggest issue actually. The only character she has any significant emotional interaction with is Bellamy and considering the fact that she’s the one left behind she and her relationships should have been given more emphasis. TPTB were going to have Clarke sacrifice herself to save the others and there should have been tons of little moments to shore up her relationships with them beforehand. It would have given their reactions to her sacrifice a little more oomph. And damn it I wanted an emotional Raven/Clarke moment. I am feeling very disgruntled about this!

+ I am super sad that we’re not going to get Clarke/Bellamy/Raven leading survival on the Ark. I’m definitely intrigued by the end with Clarke and love what we’ve seen but I’m upset at the lost potential of Clarke on the Ark with the others. Particularly how the 6 years in space are going to bond those seven together and give them experiences that no one else will understand and now Clarke will always be on the outside of that. I basically love (Bellamy, Raven, Monty, Murphy) or am very interested in (Emori, Echo) every relationship possibility for her up there so I am really bummed it. I’m just going to sulk about it for awhile.

+ Indra’s line about "the time of the commanders is past" would have had a lot more weight to it if Octavia hadn’t come out of the office in full on Lexa cosplay. I mean all she did was add a bindi and red shoulder cape but it matters because she specifically added them before going out. If she’s not meant to be a commander there was no point to that. So some mixed messages happening there.

Random

+ The only positive to the fact that this show is probably not coming back till next year is that until it comes back I can continue to live in the great denial land that is Roan being alive. I was all ready to enjoy the adventures of confused zombie Roan surviving in the devastated post-nuclear wasteland, possibly with zombie Octavia’s horse (Helios?) who is too awesome to die, regardless of what happened in canon but now with Clarke surviving on Earth as well it’s so much better. I can totally contrive some way for him to have survived praimfaya - he was saved from the rain by the fountain, took refuge, left for the Island after he learned that Octavia won so one extra Azgeda could have his spot in the bunker, hid in a deep cave system or random bunker (there are a bunch of them! Maybe he was in the one Monty/Murphy scavenged from) to escape praimfaya, was found by Clarke, dragged back to the lab in her radiation suit and then made a natblinda. Boom! Solved. This can totally be a post-apocalyptic buddy cop situation. I believe, I believe, I believe!

+ The scene itself was good but I don’t entirely buy Echo’s suicide attempt. We’ve never had any sign of Echo giving into despair and she fought for her survival every step of the way. Would fear of space and the unknown really be enough to push her over the edge? On the other hand this has been a season about people giving into their despair (Jasper, Harper, Abby) so it fits in well with that. More importantly when she went off by herself and put on her war paint I was afraid she was going to attempt to kill everyone/stop the launch so this was 100% better.

+ "The time of the Flame is past." Uhhh, has Indra checked with Gaia on that? Because I’m pretty sure that she’s in the bunker, she absolutely has the Flame and she is going to have her own thoughts on her mom’s attempt to throw out the basis of Grounder religion. That could be a really interesting conflict in the bunker.

+ I feel like despite them being narratively in the place of Mount Weather the situation in the bunker is far more like the Ark - an enclosed space from which you can't escape and with very constrained resources. How have they dealt with babies and criminals in there? I admit to being pleased about Octavia being the leader largely because she has spent so long criticising and judging others decisions that I really want her forced to deal with similar difficult choices.

+ You know, what’s going to be completely devastating for Abby is that if she hadn’t destroyed the radiation chamber they actually would have been able to save almost everyone. The Nightblood worked. Clarke survived. If they had known they could have used Clarke and Luna’s marrow to make more. They could have packed people into the bunker and ALIE’s island, turned them into nightbloods and saved them all. The Abby/Clarke reunion is going be an emotional roller coaster for her – the overwhelming relief and joy when she learns Clarke is alive and then the guilt and despair when she discovers how.

+ I think the saddest part about how the season ended is that so many of the characters were left to wonder about the fates of people they loved for six years. Abby/Octavia/et al in the bunker don’t know if team island actually managed to make the rocket work and get into space. There was so many ways it could have gone wrong. Bellamy et al on the Ark think Clarke is dead and have no way to know what’s happened in the intervening years to the bunker. Clarke hasn’t been able to contact the bunker and doesn’t know if she succeeded in saving the Ark crew.

+ A massive negative to Clarke not making it up to the Ark is now the group doesn’t have a doctor. I’m pretty sure Monty’s going to regret that! I hope he doesn’t lose his hands or something horrifying like that.

+ One interesting aspect of this time jump is that we’re sure to get some twists and jumbles to the various relationships. I'm mainly interested in the Ark group who only had each other in what was probably a near constant state of struggle for survival. That must have bonded them together so tightly but also the relationships they went up there with aren't necessarily going to be the ones they come down with. My best guess is that Murphy/Emori survive as a couple but Monty/Harper are done for. I really hope that we get a couple episodes at least devoted to the 6 years they spent up there.

+ So it appears that ALIE visions are now 2 for 2 in being right.

Questions

+ Why haven’t Bellamy et al either returned to Earth or contacted Clarke? So many things could have gone wrong including apparently attack from space pirates. Could they be prisoners on the ship landing?

+ Are Clarke and Madi the only survivors on the surface or are there others? I could see it going either way but Madi being a Natblinda too makes me think the former is more likely. I like the idea of Clarke/Madi surviving alone but I also love the idea of Clarke leading a small group of survivors. If they survived the praimfaya Clarke had the knowledge and technology to make more night bloods.

+ Where is Clarke living? Are they still on Becca’s island? It would make sense to stay there but a little contrived that it just happened to be one of the safe and livable spots on Earth.

+ I want to know more about the lessons Clarke is giving Madi – we know she can shoot and drive – but what else? And has Clarke been teaching herself as well?

+ For why hasn’t the bunker opened up yet? It makes sense that Clarke couldn’t clear the rubble but there are hundreds of people in there and they should have managed it in a year. Is the radiation too high for them? Have they truly turned into Mount Weather? Luckily for them they’ll have night blood to save them.

+ Holy crap, prison ship! I honestly would have missed those couple background mentions of the asteroid mining and prisoner labour force without reading people’s reviews so it was not quite the wtf it might have been. I am super curious about why the descendants of those colonies never contacted the Ark or tried for Earth before the second apocalypse? I suppose considering their beginning they were waiting for it to be completely uninhabited?

+ Did team island get in contact with the bunker soon enough for them to save a couple more people? Namely awesomest dad Miller? Until the show tells me otherwise he’s still alive.

+ Didn’t ALIE transfer herself to the Ark?

Overall I found the season a little weak in places but still very enjoyable and it ended on a huge bang. I'm very excited for the next season.
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iaria

July 2017

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