The 100 6x06 “Memento Mori” Review
Along with its impeccable world building, what Season 6 of The 100 has done so well is remind us that no matter how strong one’s moral compass is, every action has a reaction. Monty’s words to “do better” may be lingering in the minds of all of our heroes, but then again, they weren’t exactly expecting to encounter body snatchers in their new world.
Episode 6x06 of The 100, “Memento Mori,” written by newcomer Alyssa Clark and directed by P.J. Pesce is reminiscent of the “old” The 100 in more ways than one, but with a Sanctum twist. There are equal parts lore and moral conflict, and a pinch of backstabbing thrown in for good measure.
Heart Over Head
Try as he might to remain rational and think with his head, Bellamy was certainly not expecting this curveball: Clarke is dead. Josephine restrains Bellamy in her bedroom, and we can tell once she’s thrown Murphy in there with him that it’s been torn apart. While Murphy attempts to subtly convince Bellamy to stay and take the mind drives for the rest of their people, Bellamy has a one track mind. Clarke is gone, and there’s no bringing her back. (Or is there?)
It’s heartbreaking to see Bellamy mourn Clarke in such an outward way. We missed this in the years lost on the ring, and even in the brief moments we did see him grapple with her death, it was clear he was going about it logically. After all, Clarke had just told him to use his head. Now though, after Jordan has reminded him that his heart is what allowed him to be such a heroic and inspiring person, his head seems to have taken a back seat in his processing.
Though Bellamy tells the rest of Spacekru at the end of the episode that they must do what Clarke would want and survive, it’s likely he won’t be able to stick to that for long, at least I hope not. Murder is wrong, kids, but this has been a long time coming. Bellamy’s passion is what makes him such a standout character. That version of him resurfacing would be the cherry on top of such a good season.
Once a Cockroach, Always a Cockroach
The tagline of the season is “Face your demons”. While for Madi this is the Dark Commander and for Diyoza it may be her likeness to Hitler, for Murphy it’s what he’s seen in the afterlife and his unwillingness to go back. This is a character that has cheated death so many times that’s he’s never perhaps grappled with the thought of his own mortality. Now that he knows there’s a way to cheat death forever, he must decide whether to be the hero or slay his demon.
It isn’t surprising in the least that Murphy has taken a deal to save himself. After all, this is his trademark. Even he knows it. However, it’s difficult to tell if his motives will change at any point in the season. What does Josephine have to do to lose him? Though Murphy acts in this episode like he can deal with losing Bellamy, we’ve seen just how ferociously loyal he is to those he loves.
When Clarke, Abby and co. threatened to test the nightblood solution on Emori back in Season 4, Murphy literally had to be restrained. He promised he’d kill Clarke if anything happened to her. Now more than ever, Murphy has a family. Something tells me that as much as he refuses that fact sometimes, he won’t let the Primes harm them — especially since he’s witnessed death firsthand.
Murphy has always been an unpredictable character though. Just when he seems the most bastardly and selfish, he bends and does something to save someone. I wouldn’t be surprised if Murphy turned into the hero of the season.
Echo, Emori and Raven
When Josephine tells an oblivious Echo that Bellamy has gone into the forest on a scouting mission, she’s suspicious but she takes the bait. Josephine figures this will buy her enough time to sway Abby and get the nightblood solution, but she still sends Jade to follow Echo.
While Echo is ultimately looking for Bellamy, she finds herself mercy killing someone who’s quite literally being eaten alive by a tree and learns about Josephine/Clarke from Jade. While it’s nice to see Echo go off on her own and have an independent storyline, it’s short-lived when she returns to the compound and reunites with her friends.
However, we still got a brief taste of a possible new pairing: Echo and Jade. Both spies, they have the potential to either grow closer as they empathize with one another, or play a very entertaining game to see who can gather more intel. Either way, I’m seriously hoping we get more of these two.
Meanwhile, Raven and Emori help Ryker, a Prime, work on the radiation problem. However, once Raven knows about the body snatching, there isn’t much working at all. While it’s understandable that Raven would question the morality of this all, the argument seems to go in circles. Ryker defends the way of the Primes as a significant aspect of Sanctum culture, and Raven argues its immorality.
Raven doesn’t seem to persuade Ryker, but it’s possible that his mind may change later on and he may become a key ally in helping our heroes to defeat the Primes and get Clarke back. He seems the most willing of the Primes we’ve met to break, anyway.
The issue here is that Raven continues to argue that she’s done nothing wrong, she’s innocent, and she has no demons. She can’t realistically keep up this facade forever, no matter how much she projects onto other people. Raven is a character that needs a serious reality check, and soon. She was once one of my favorites, but I’m beginning to lose hope that Raven can redeem herself from all the bitterness and egotism.
The Mysterious Spiral
Also in the forest are Octavia, Diyoza and their new friend Xavier. Octavia has been exposed to flares that rapidly aged her hand, and the aging is rapidly spreading. Xavier fears she may only have hours before the aging spreads to her mind, killing her. So, the three unlikely confidants search for a possible cure. It turns out that Xavier is a fan of homeopathic medicine. He collects the sap from a tree to apply to Octavia’s wrinkled skin, and while it doesn’t exactly help, her hand does begin to twitch uncontrollably.
The gang soon discover that her tremors aren’t random at all. In fact, they’re forming a spiral that shows up elsewhere in nature, and inked on Xavier’s skin. He says this anomaly called him and it is calling Octavia now.
While it’s unknown what exactly the anomaly is, it’s likely that it will give Octavia some kind of purpose she didn’t have before. Maybe it will even encourage her to live. Octavia’s demons are arguably the most difficult to face of any character on the show, so she likely needs some strong ammo to fight back.
I have to note that watching Octavia and Diyoza’s unlikely friendship blossom has been nothing short of a treat. This is a pair so many were hoping for at the end of Season 5 when they had a brief interaction in the Eligius ship, and one that is definitely not disappointing now. Diyoza and Octavia both have a lot to regret, so it only makes sense that they help each other get their humanity back.
Befriending the Dark Commander
Not knowing that Clarke is dead, Madi struggles in this episode with a commander who won’t let up taunting her. Gaia calls him Sheidheda, the Dark Commander. While in a deep meditative state, Madi speaks to Sheidheda and attempts to reason with him. However, he acts as the metaphorical devil on one’s shoulder, encouraging Madi to kill Gaia before she herself is harmed. Madi questions his words, but once she wakes up in chains, she seems to second guess herself. And when Madi learns that Clarke is dead (in the most heartbreaking scene, might I add), something clicks.
Madi banishes Gaia, and with Sheidheda now by her side, plans to kill everyone in order to avenge Clarke. While half of me was jumping for joy at this new heart-heavy side to Madi, the other half of me was frozen in place, worried about what may become of her without Gaia to guide her, and with this new, evil spirit guide.
Lola Flannery’s performance as Madi in this episode was magnetizing. My eyes were completely glued to the screen during her scenes. Even the most innocent of characters like Madi and Jordan have been forced to face their demons in Sanctum, which means that Lola has had to show a whole different part of her range. It’s always exciting to watch actors explore different sides of their characters, like Marie Avgeropoulos with her rendition of Blodreina last year. I’m anticipating many more Madi scenes worth singing praises about in the near future.
Mother Knows Best?
Still in the dark about Clarke death is her own mother, Abby. Abby has been so preoccupied with finding a way to save Kane that she’s ignored every suspicious thing Josephine has said to her. While Josephine originally believed that Abby would be her most difficult challenge, she’s actually been the opposite. Josephine takes Murphy’s advice and uses all of Abby’s demons against her, bringing up her addiction and her questionable decision to sell out her husband on the Ark.
Josephine doesn’t just taunt her with her past actions though. She tells Abby that she fears what will become of her if she loses Kane too and reminds her that she needs her mom. Abby falls for this hook, line and sinker. I have a theory that once Abby finds out about Josephine and learns she was the last to know, her priorities will shift. Her real demon should be what she’s done to her daughter. She can probably live without Kane, but can she live without Clarke, knowing she’s, at times, been an arguably bad mother?
Can’t Get You Out of My Head
When Murphy tells Josephine’s dad on her, she’s forced to bargain with him and give him the mind drives. Instead of dwelling on the impending shitstorm coming her way, Josephine ends her day by telling herself tomorrow will be better, taking a mystery pill, and laying her head on her pillow. When she closes her eyes though, Clarke is alive inside her mind! And then: boom, out.
I never had a doubt in my mind that Clarke would be alive somewhere, somehow. After all, she’s a fighter. This could be of course because Clarke is a synthetic nightblood and this may not pair with the memory drive as well as a natural born nightblood would. If this is the case, it would certainly spoil Josephine’s plan.
So there’s a way out of this for Clarke. Now the rest of our heroes just need to figure that out and hurry up!
Once again, this episode left me speechless in a way that only The 100 can. Right now, there are a bunch of unconnected storylines all taking up equal parts of screen time. I’m eager for that moment when they start to intertwine. I suspect that Gabriel may be the missing link in all of this. Perhaps he’ll have a way to save Octavia and even get Clarke back.
I miss Jordan. I can only suspect that given his situation with Delilah, he won’t want to just try to survive. Maybe he’ll even team up with Bellamy and Madi to get Clarke back (wishful thinking?).
Bellamy sitting outside by himself crying was so heart wrenching but so, so telling. That’s all I’ll say about that.
Josephine and Bellamy saying “Shut up Murphy” at the same time was excellent.
Where is Indra this season? I miss her and her words of wisdom dearly.
Jessica’s episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝🐝
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.