The 100 6x08 “The Old Man and the Anomaly” Review
Hello, and welcome to another episode of No Good Choices (thanks Josie). Honestly, it’s a great way to sum up the episode; things are falling apart left and right, and everyone’s poor decision making is in high gear just as time is close to running out for Clarke. A lot happens in this episode to get characters to the places they need to be, and we’re left with more questions than anything by the end of it.
Worst Road Trip Ever
Something I wasn’t too fond of this episode? The journey to the mysterious anomaly. Now, I should be specific here, because learning some more about Sanctum and about Gabriel was an interesting part of the episode. Since the beginning, it was pretty obvious that something was up with Xavier, and despite Gabriel being mentioned quite a bit we never actually met him (in present day, at least). Diyoza was the one to realize that Xavier is Gabriel, whose mind drive was transferred to Xavier’s body by Gabriel’s apprentice, who saw his night blood as a sign that Gabriel was meant to live on. I hope this means we get more answers next episode — what was the tipping point that caused Gabriel to leave, and when exactly did that happen? I’m almost certain it had something to do with Josie, since she’s who he saw in his anomaly-induced visions.
Gabriel, Diyoza, and Octavia reach the anomaly, only for more chaos to ensue: Diyoza’s vision, her daughter as a child, leads her directly into the anomaly despite Gabriel’s warning that anyone who enters never comes out. After Diyoza disappears, Octavia follows, only to emerge a few seconds later, fully healed from her injury a few episodes ago.
I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of the anomaly-induced visions or it’s newfound “healing,” or whatever it is you want to call what it did to Octavia. My issue is the amount of time and narrative energy spent on Octavia, especially during this episode. Out of all of humanity's time on Sanctum, and Octavia is the only one to emerge from the anomaly alive? The concept of it “calling” to her? It all seems a little bit too “chosen one” to me, a little too gimmicky, especially for a character that hasn’t done anything to earn it.
This is one of the pitfalls that The 100 regularly finds itself in — paying too much attention to characters that have outstayed their welcome or who haven’t earned the narrative that they’ve been given. The reason I’m not fond of Octavia isn’t that she’s done terrible things, it’s that the show desperately wants to redeem her and assign her this lore that doesn’t match her actions.
As a comparison — is Josie a horrible person? Yes. You certainly could argue that she’s much worse than Octavia. With that being said — is Josie interesting? Compelling? Does her arc make sense? Does the character serve a purpose to the show and the plot? Yes. Does Octavia check all of those boxes? Hardly.
She’s Coming Out of Her Cage and She’s Doing Just Fine
With the countdown to either Josie or Clarke’s demise officially begun, it’s interesting to see everyone scramble into place. As per usual, most of that scrambling is made of bad decisions, but anything else would be off-brand at this point. Now that Bellamy knows she’s alive, he’s informed the team so they can figure out what to do next. The plan is to take Josie!Clarke back to Eligius in order for Abby to remove Josie’s mind drive from Clarke’s head. It seems pretty simple, so of course it isn’t going to work — Josie has a plan to wipe Clarke from her mind that day by using the same method that was used to get A.L.I.E. out of Raven in Season 3, as we saw last episode.
We do see some conflict with Murphy here — say what you want about his willingness to work with Josephine and to become immortal, but he was operating under the assumption that Clarke was actually dead. It’s very like Murphy to not dwell on that (even if you thought he should) and to take steps to protect himself and the people he cares about, especially Emori.
He does take pause when he realizes that Clarke isn’t fully out of Josephine’s (her own?) head, but it’s Emori that tells Bellamy he needs to move fast.
By the end of the episode he’s successfully taken Josie across the radiation field with the EMP that Emori managed to steal, and he’s faring better than the rest. Madi, despite Bellamy’s best efforts, kills two primes and tries to kill more. The intent was for them to think that the Sons of Gabriel were responsible, but it took Russel about two seconds to realize that it wasn’t.
Jordan is injured trying to protect “Delilah” from Madi, Murphy is injured by Josie, and basically everyone is taken prisoner. It also comes to light that Russell killed Clarke to bring back Josie, which causes a rift within the primes themselves — not because he killed Clarke, but because it wasn’t Josie’s turn to take a host. Looks like next week is going to be a real cluster.
Speaking of cluster — Abby has officially lost it. She’s so desperate to save Kane (does she like, even know what's up with her daughter?) that she shows the primes how to engineer night blood, uploads Kane's mind to a mind drive, and “transfers” him into a host. The episode ends with him waking up in his new body, but we have yet to see his full reaction. I can say with confidence that he is NOT going to be comfortable with this situation, and I can only imagine the fallout Abby will face from Kane and from everyone else.
What’s a God to a Non-Believer?
Every TV show has a trope they like to revisit over and over, and The 100 loves the premise of a false god. It’s been a running theme almost since the beginning, hitting a fever pitch during Season 3. You could argue that Becca, landing on Earth after Apocalypse One was the first in a line of false gods, aka the commanders. Clarke was known as Wanheda, also in Season 3. It’s not a coincidence, either, that Josie referenced that exact title while in Clarke’s mindspace.
While on the way to the anomaly and hoping to find a cure for Octavia, Xavier (whom we now know is Gabriel) also mentions false gods while looking her in the eyes, a not so subtle reference to her time as Blodreina.
It’s not a new phenomenon to compare the primes to false gods, either. Their whole method of survival is brainwashing those under their power that they are in fact godlike, so when the time comes for a new host those born with night blood “sacrifice” themselves willingly in order to serve the primes. Josie herself says they’re treated like gods — they’re worshiped, people write songs about them, etc.
That’s not the last of it, either. As mentioned above, we see Abby play a type of “god” by transferring Kane into a host, and only because she wanted to. Raven was actively fighting against the idea, and Kane certainly had no say in the matter. She basically raised him from the dead in the most scientific way possible, like the primes have been doing for generations.
One word for next week: repercussions.
Alyssa’s episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝.5
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.