The 100 6x05 "The Gospel of Josephine" Review
Y’all breathing okay? I think there were a few times when I held my breath this episode and boy howdy! I’m glad The 100 can still give me those moments. Now let’s dive right in to the episode:
Last week we got a tiny bite of Josephine. Tonight we got the whole "gâteau opéra”, emphasis on “opera”, for the story of the Primes seems to be a long and bloody Shakespearean affair on an alien moon. Jaux!Clarke (see what I did there?) has barely fired up her silicone memories before she dispatches poor Kaylee with a cheese knife. Apparently Kaylee assisted, or at least didn’t prevent, Josephine’s last host body’s “death”, and she’s been on ice for six years waiting for a new host to be born and grow up. (Which we learn later is because they need a fully developed over-21 adult brain to host an adult’s memory chip, as they overload and kill child hosts. Glad we don’t have to see how they know that.)
Apparently Russell and Simone “jumped line” to bring back Josephine so I’m assuming it’s setup like an organ donor list, except people wait actual decades to talk to their loved ones again. The price of eternal life, eh? Also I can bet there will be some VERY unhappy Primes once they find out Russell and Simone cut line to get their daughter back amongst the living. Josephine seems to be hardened by her long life, and thinks very pragmatically and cold. She has successfully “other-ed” everyone except her loved ones...which is not comforting but also, I can’t help but think the gang would be very happy to have old Clarke back when they get a taste of real cold indifference from Jaux!Clarke.
Her “parents” give her time to adjust and we see Jaux!Clarke painting while dancing to French rap — a sentence I never thought I’d type for a sci-fi show review. She’s of course been given a task: find out how many nightbloods, aka hosts, our Space Popsicles have (since we really can’t call our gang the 100 or the delinquents anymore I’ve decided to call them this, fight me) to keep the Primes from becoming extinct. How hard can it possibly be to pretend to be Clarke right? All I thought was give Bellamy Blake and Jordan Green 10 minutes alone with her and she will figure that out real quick. (Also I was SO pleased to discover I was correct with guessing those two!)
Space Popsicle™️ Fam finds skeletons in the closet!
Jaux!Clarke meets up with Bellamy, Jordan, Gaia and the rest of the SpacePops™️ Fam and starts acting weird immediately. (Subtle at first but someone forgot to check if she knew Trig ha!) She dodges her first bullet and finds Abby to try and find out how many nightbloods might be on the main ship, only to hear herself called a monster and have Abby compare her book to the Eugenics books of our time. I enjoyed seeing her squirm at Abby’s assessment of her book, though Abby doesn’t have a lot of room to judge...
When Abby questions why her left-handed daughter is writing with her right hand, Jaux!Clarke needs to find a reason to exit stage left and she sees Bellamy and Murphy looking for Jordan and follows them. They find Jordan in the spooky science closet full of skeletons (subtle the Primes are not) and Bellamy is of course in full Dad mode™️, asking Jordan what the heck he’s doing. Jordan delivers quite possibly my favorite line of the season, thus far:
“What you would’ve done, The you before Praimfaya, anyway. Heart over head. That was always my favorite Bellamy.”
Monty and Harper's son, ladies and gentlemen!! Y’all I nearly jumped to my feet and clapped! Because that Bellamy is also my favorite Bellamy! And this whole season is a little odd feeling to me because Bellamy already feels like he’s been body snatched. Let’s hope this wonderful line delivered with perfection by the fabulous Shannon Kook is a sign we will get some old “I say, screw fear. I’m telling my own damn story” Bellamy Blake back this year! (Can I get an amen!)
Back to the science skeleton closet:
Jaux!Clarke Tries and fails to lure team SpacePops™️ out but Jordan and Gaia keep digging around and they end up watching the first “successful” upload of Josephine by Gabriel and her now very old looking father (og body) Russell. We also learned it took 25 years for them to develop and perfect the AI tech and lord knows how many corpses to get there.
We don’t know yet but I have a feeling we can guess the “old man” is Gabriel and “the Children of Gabriel” are followers against the “Primes ways” and are a result of him regretting playing God to get Josephine back and exiling himself once Josephine and fam got a little to unhinged about “hosts” and “nightblood”, leading others to follow his example. After Jaux!Clarke calls Murphy “John” and says a few other strange things, Bellamy asks to speak to her alone and, I’m just saying, if you watch this scene you see that Bellamy already KNoWS this isn’t “normal” Clarke. He isn’t sure what’s wrong yet, but he knows enough to test her and he can tell she can’t really understand what he’s saying in Trig! So he pulls a signature “Bellamy” move and yanks her back by the throat and starts asking questions because he’s now officially in panic mode —
BUT alas! She had a syringe of that lovely paralytic on hand just in case and the last thing we see in this scene is the horrible realization in Bellamy’s eyes as he lies helplessly paralyzed on the ground: there is a cold stranger behind his best friend’s beautiful blue eyes...and he cannot process his fear and loss fast enough. Welcome back heart over head Bellamy, we’ve missed you!!
Cut to Jaux!Clarke finding Murphy in the bar and revealing her true identity and confessing “Clarke is dead. My parents killed her” (listen I don’t buy it kids) and offering our favorite morally questionable cockroach something he might not be able to pass up: eternal life. Given his recent brush with death and sudden fear of hell….oh boy! It’s gonna take him a minute to realize he should help his friends, I just hope he realizes that before he’s made a full deal with the devil.
Diyoza and the Brat
This pair is a surprising team up, but if I have to suffer through Octavia’s “redemption” they couldn’t have picked a better reward than my favorite Season 5 addition (besides sweet Shaw! I’m still bitter about that guys) DIYOZA! Sassy, amazing fighter, the universe’s longest known pregnant lady. I could watch an entire show about her. (Also Ivana Milicevic is a dream in this role.) She’s the gift that keeps on giving, cool as a cucumber while stuck in space quicksand as Octavia is about to go under because she cannot be still for one second. Probably because if Octavia’s quiet she’ll think and with that comes dark thoughts: how she failed as a leader, how she was willing to abuse, torture and maybe even kill her brother, how her brother, the one person who she thought would always love her through her greatest faults, finally couldn’t take anymore and rejected her. She doesn’t have anything left to lose. Rock bottom meet Octavia Blake, Octavia Blake meet rock bottom.
Now I know I sound harsh but after Season 4 I was beyond seeing her as anything but a villain. I know she is on her way to redemption, but I’m glad they are giving her the long way through the dirt and mud, letting her soak in the cage of her own making a while. And giving us the wonderful Diyoza to lighten the mood. I am all for unsuspecting road trip buddies in shows (Arya and the Hound anyone?) but unfortunately so far all Octavia’s done is try to murder people, throw tantrums, and sulk. Oh well, at least Diyoza is getting in some practice for when she finally gets to have her 200-year-old baby! Really though bless her heart, she deserves some kind of sainthood for this.
Mount Weather + City of Light + Commander worship, shaken not stirred
I actually dig the intersecting of all the “bad guy” storylines into one big villain origin story wearing Clarke’s face. If nothing else it’s a poetic rehash of all the previous seasons, but refreshing enough to not seem stale...for the most part. I grow tired of the Flame/commander story and miss the more simple “teens surviving the unknown my learning to depend and care for each other” story of the first few seasons. BUT considering Season 5’s underwhelming last half, if there is one thing I can say about Season 6 of The 100...it’s not boring! And for a show that sometimes paces the plot too fast I was actually okay with that this time around! I did not want it to take three episodes for our fave family of 150 year old space popsicles to discover Clarke is “dead”. Also I am so glad it was the magic duo of Bellamy and Jordan that made the realization first.
Eliza Taylor has grown so much as an actress over the seasons! She looks like she had so much fun playing Jaux!Clarke and she gave her such a different “spirit” than our usual worried and sometimes snarky but mostly serious Clarke Griffin. Just the way her eyes dance lets you know it’s not “real Clarke”.
I neglected to mention the importance of Jordan knowing “Delilah” before her change to Priya VII, so his spidey senses also go off around Clarke because he knows what a person who just got body snatched acts like! When he took “Delilah” the flowers I was like my poor son.
This episode was great because the focus was tighter and had fewer characters to keep up with! (Listen I love ensemble casts but they have not given Raven a strong independent storyline since Season 4, and I love Emori but she doesn’t really have a lot to do at the moment either, as for Echo...why she was made a main character when Harper was right there all those seasons? I’ll never know.) All that to say, I like when they break up the cast a bit and just focus on a few at a time to really get that interpersonal development between characters. That used to be the bread and butter of this show. Don’t get me wrong, I still love The 100 and find it unique and fun and twisty and exhilarating and at times beautifully heartbreaking.
(Episodes 1x05, 1x07, 1x13, 2x15, 2x16, 4x13 and 5x13 are perfect examples of this.)
But I do yearn for those slower, deeper days of, say, a boy and a girl grappling with the moral quandary of torturing a stranger tied up in the cockpit of a crashed spaceship to save a dying friend. Sometimes bigger and shiner isn’t always better. But no matter how this season goes, The 100 is still one of my favorite TV shows ever, and deserves a spot up there with a lot of other great sci-fi dramas of the past two decades.
As of now all I need to know is: where the heck is Bellamy Blake and is he okay?!
Gina’s episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝🐝
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.