The 100 6x01 “Sanctum” Review
Last week, ahead of the 100’s Season 6 premiere, executive producer Jason Rothenberg announced that the show has been picked up for a seventh season. This is incredible, especially since at Conageddon back in March, some of the cast teased that if the upcoming season were the show’s last, not much would feel resolved.
So, we go into the season knowing that this won’t be the end for our heroes. However, their trouble may just be starting.
Season 5 ended with the show’s biggest time jump yet — 125 years, to be exact. Monty and Harper decided to live out their lives on the Eligius ship instead of joining their friends in cryo sleep, and to spend that time finding a safe place for the ship’s inhabitants to live. And oh, one more thing — they have an adult son named Jordan (Shannon Kook) who they put in cryo.
In many ways, 6x01 feels like a parallel to the series pilot. A group led by Bellamy land on the new planet (or moon, as Jordan reveals), unsure of what they may find. There’s even a callback to Octavia’s “We’re back bitches!” that really brings that nostalgia to surface.
However, not everything is the same as it once was. In the six years plus cryosleep since the gang first landed on Earth, relationships have been forged and broken, and those cracks haven’t been smoothed over by the long nap. Much of Spacekru, notably Raven and Murphy, still resent Clarke for her actions in Eden. And though Madi seemed to have fixed Clarke and Bellamy’s relationship by telling him about the radio calls, she can’t play peacemaker for everyone.
It’s frustrating to watch Clarke dodge insult after insult, especially when we remember that Clarke missed her friends immensely for those six years she spent on earth with just Madi. However, their anger is unfortunately understandable, and as they are a family, Clarke is still an outsider.
It’s not all bad though, because Bellamy has Clarke’s back from the moment they both awaken from cryo. They seem to have a mutual understanding of that forgiveness Echo talks about as they all sit by the fire. Though it’s a nice sentiment, it seems out of character for Echo to be so forgiving, especially towards Clarke. She doesn’t have the same insight Bellamy does regarding the radio calls, after all. Perhaps she’s the only one who felt refreshed after her nap?
Regardless, there isn’t much time to dwell on feelings because nearly as soon as the explorers land on Planet Alpha, they’re faced with some bizarre new challenges. Rather than people throwing spears at them, it’s bugs angrily swarming around them, chasing them toward a radioactive tower. Unfortunately, Shaw runs into its invisible forcefield and is subsequently killed.
Though it’s heartbreaking to see Shaw go, Jason Rothenberg has revealed that he was killed off due to scheduling conflicts for his portrayer, Jordan Bolger. Bolger has been cast in an upcoming series on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network called David Makes Man.
Kane is put on ice back on the ship for the same reason, as he recently appeared in the first season of Fox series The Passage. Though Kane is technically still alive in cryo sleep, it’s uncertain what his fate will be as the season plays out.
But just before Kane is sent back to sleep, Octavia is awoken. It’s apparent that the long nap didn’t help soothe her anger either, as she angrily reminds Kane and Abby she is a monster — but they are monsters too.
Seeing Octavia awake in the first episode of the season is a necessary reminder that though Wonkru has been virtually disbanded, these characters cannot erase what they’ve done. It seems like Octavia is going to go on a long and tumultuous journey of self-discovery and perhaps self-forgiveness this season. After all, who is she now that she is no longer the Red Queen?
The highlight of this episode is definitely Murphy’s sarcastic and lighthearted commentary. It manages to cut the suspense in many places as our heroes are expecting to find death around every corner (or behind every door).
It’s nice to see a less angsty, but still equally cynical Murphy (Richard Harmon) in this new world. Jason Rothenberg recently said via his Instagram that season six is Harmon’s best season yet, and if this episode is anything to go by, I certainly believe him. A musical number was certainly a new endeavor for the actor, and he killed it (no pun intended).
And then there’s Jordan back in space with Raven, a refreshingly innocent and hopeful other side of the coin. Clarke and Bellamy have essentially been tasked with acting as his parents, and though he is very much not a child, he has a childlike innocence and naivety that none of our heroes can relate to. After all, he’s been sheltered in the safety of the Eligius ship for his entire life.
His overly hopeful demeanor begs the question: What did Monty and Harper tell him about their time on Earth? We can definitely assume they left out the most gruesome and gory parts. However, in his first moments awake since being put in cryo, he’s already being thrust into drama between Raven and Abby surrounding Abby’s pain pill addiction. So, will Jordan be able to maintain his sunny composure for long?
Regardless, his pure curiosity in this episode feels like a reflection of that of the audience, making his character immediately relatable. Shannon Kook has already proven himself a standout and out of everything to come this season, I’m perhaps most looking forward to seeing how Jordan changes like some of our favorites were forced to do when faced with the unpredictability of earth and, more importantly, its inhabitants.
Speaking of standouts though, we can’t not talk about Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor’s impeccable performances in that scene. Yes, the radio call scene.
Up until now, Clarke has been unsure of why exactly Bellamy has forgiven her for leaving him to die. But now, in a moment that really tugs at the heartstrings, Bellamy tells her that he knows about the calls she made to him every day for six years. He apologizes for not being able to answer, and jokingly calls her pathetic, earning a laugh from Clarke that brings us right back to that playfulness of season one and scenes like the Unity Day celebration — just before things went south.
Unsurprisingly, Morley and Taylor are incredible in this scene, emoting a mixture of sadness for time lost and dynamics changing, and hopefulness for a future as friends again (and maybe something more, eventually?).
Despite the chaos that ensues soon after, this moment serves as a reminder that Clarke and Bellamy are and always will be the head and the heart, connected by their mutual understanding of the struggles that come along with leadership (especially on a dying and wartorn planet). It’s so refreshing to see them side by side once again. One can only hope this means that they’ll act as the power duo we’ve come to love so much as they face whatever’s to come on Planet Alpha. Presently, this is figuring out how to deal with the effects of the red sun.
This episode thrusted us into the new world, dangerous unknowns abound. The quick pace seemed to have set us up for the turbulent season to come as our heroes face entirely new challenges including each other. The tagline of this season is “Face your demons”, and in the final moments of 6x01, we can certainly see that the demons are not anything like the ones they’ve dealt with before. Clarke and friends have constantly been troubled with the internal struggle of being the good guy, and with Monty’s reminder to do so ringing in their ears, they definitely weren’t expecting to lose control of that so quickly.
It will be interesting to see how this mantra carries our beloved character through this season, and if it will be able to hold up in this new world. So far, it seems like the answer is a resounding no — not that they have much control over the matter.
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.