Welcome to the
76th Hunger Games Conclave!
Octavia and the 12 other tributes are ready to battle to the death within the walls of Polis. Each warrior can have two advisers within the capitol, but everyone else has to be in safe zones — which gives Clarke the perfect opportunity to switch-and-bait everyone… including the audience. But let’s start from the top.
Following Roan’s suggestion in “DNR,” the city is prepped for a conclave. Bellamy and Clarke aren’t trying to talk Octavia out of fighting, but they’re clearly both concerned that Skaikru won’t make it into the bunker. Octavia isn’t wavering on her decision to fight until she sees Ilian is fighting for Trishanakru. She falters for a minute, but he says he’s fighting for his clan, “not you.”
After the warriors are given the rules of engagement by Gaia (fight to the death and collect everyone’s sigil, a.k.a. dog tags, until you have them all), she addresses the crowd. And that’s when Luna comes barreling through saying she’s fighting for Floukru. But since she’s the last-standing member of that clan, she won’t be fighting for anyone: “I fight for death. When I win, no one will be saved.”
And suddenly this throws a wrench in the already very messed-up plans. Clarke approaches Roan and tells him they can’t let Luna win. Roan tells her that the conclave is about tradition and he’s going to fight for his people, not cheat with hers. Clarke assumes the outcome is inevitable: Luna is trained for a conclave, unlike any other warrior currently in it. She will win and that will be the end of humanity. No pressure, Octavia!
In the warrior training/waiting room that looks very much like this, Indra approaches Octavia. She notes that O is wearing Lincoln’s warpaint (ahh!) and then offers her advice. “Why are you helping me?” Octavia asks her former mentor, who is an adviser for Trikru, her own people. “You are my people,” Indra says. We made it seven minutes into the episode and I’m already tearing up. This does not bode well for the final three episodes…
Next, Kane and Bellamy give Octavia tips. They think she should pull the ol’ Katniess Everdeen method — hide until everyone takes each other out. She’s not too sure of it, but by the time the horn blows, she decides killing the last person standing is better than attempting to kill 12.
Roan kills two people — including the Trikru warrior — while O evades them all, but she can’t stay out of battle for too long. She runs into Luna, who explains why she’s doing this thing that seems very contradictory to her pacifist ways: Skaikru showed her that people are selfish and violent to the core. She doesn’t believe anyone deserves to survive the end of the world. It’s a pretty intense flip from her character, but I guess people do irrational things at the end of the world?
Anyway, Octavia is able to escape Luna, and then she runs into Ilian. He tells her that he won’t kill her — he even proposes an alliance, but she says no. However, moments later, he still helps her out when she’s cornered by three people.
As Bellamy and Kane are watching the conclave from above, they realize Echo has gone missing from the adviser’s room, and Bell knows this means she must be helping Roan. He goes off in search of her after Kane warns him not to get caught.
And he’s right: Echo is shooting arrows from afar. She shoots an arrow that goes straight through Ilian’s throat just as he’s saved Octavia. She grabs him as she tries to do anything to help him. He says he can’t feel anymore and asks for her to give him death. She does, she cries, and then she takes his sigil. RIP, Ilian. Just like Octavia, I will remember you for your shirtless cave scenes and not that time you screwed all of Sky People by blowing up their shelter.
Octavia is still crying over Ilian while Echo trains an arrow on her. Luckily for her, Bellamy finds her and starts to choke her. Luckily for her, Roan arrives right then and pulls him off. He’s disappointed Echo is interfering in the conclave, because he’s not his mother; he places importance in the sacred traditions. So he banishes her from Azgeda and tells her to sneak out of the city before she shames her clan anymore.
She slinks back into the adviser’s quarters, where Gaia says only Roan, Luna, Octavia, and one other warrior remain. The other warrior is quickly taken out by Luna, and Roan finds O. But he doesn’t want to fight her: He wants to team up with her. He knows they’ll need to work together in order to take out such a trained warrior, and then after Luna’s out, they can battle against each other. “Until then, we’re one clan,” he says.
On his way back to the adviser’s quarters, Bellamy gets kidnapped by a hooded figure. There’s no time to ponder that, though, because Roan and Octavia are gearing up for their face-off with Luna. It’s a beautifully choreographed sequence — one full of skillful maneuvers by all three warriors — but Luna clearly has the upper hand over both of them. That is, until acid rain starts to fall. O runs into shelter, but Luna and Roan stay to fight it out. There are a couple times Roan appears to be able to best her, but in the end she stabs him in the stomach and drowns him. “The king is dead,” says a person who barely resembles the woman we once knew.
Not affected by the black rain, Luna follows O into the building where she took shelter. She bad-guy monologues while searching for Octavia. Luna says that she used to think she had overcome the darkness in her that let her kill her brother during her first conclave, but now she knows better. She says they’re all full of the darkness. She sees blood dripping up to an armoire, so she gets stabby with it. But when she opens and finds it empty, she gets a blade through the back courtesy of Octavia. (Clever girl!) O may not be the best warrior, but she has years of practice at hiding and avoiding capture.
Octavia takes the final sigil and presents them to Gaia, who tells her that the crypt of the First Commander belongs to Skaikru. “No,” says the new commander of death. “I was fighting for us all.” She opens up the bunker to everyone, which would be great if it were still available.
At that moment, Bellamy wakes up inside the bunker with Clarke and Jaha. “We did what we had to do,” the broken record known as Clarke tells him. They gassed all the guards at the temple, filled the bunker with Skaikru, and sealed it with everyone else on the outside. Indra, Kane, Octavia, and Gaia show up to the bunker and are not pleased.
And you know what? Neither am I. Yes, Clarke is all about making the hard decisions, but no one asked her to… (now I sound like Jasper or Murphy). Octavia was able to do this great thing for humanity, and Clarke took that from her. Did Clarke just become an anti-hero?
100 (or just 6) extras:
• Anyone else bothered by the fact that Indra assumed Octavia would be fighting for all people and therefore doing what’s right? Indra had the chance to share the bunker, to stop this all before it began; she’s part of the reason they’re even having a conclave.
• Let’s say Luna had won the conclave and Clarke hadn’t stolen the bunker: Everyone dies during the radiation wave except her and maybe Clarke as the only Nightbloods left. So her solution to humanity’s evils is dying alone? Great plan, Luna!
• And to be clear: Clarke, your plan is pretty terrible, too!
• The move where Luna killed a man and took off his sigil with one sword movement was pretty badass.
• As Octavia walked up to Gaia after the conclave, I was thinking, “Lincoln would be proud of her.” And then Indra said that exact thing. I’m glad this isn’t a show that forgets its dead.
• When Bellamy realizes his sister isn’t in the bunker, he’s going to be pissed. Sorry, Bellarkers.