“The clock is ticking, and it has been since we landed on this terrible, beautiful planet.”
Now we’re cooking with hydrazine! Season 4 hasn’t been slow by any standards, but episode 8 kicked it up another level… like Jackson controlling a radiation chamber. (Sorry, way too many pun opportunities here.) With only 10 days left until the death wave hits, the suspense is palpable. Clarke is turning Becca’s lab into Mount Weather v.2. Bellamy is succumbing to Jasper’s ne’er-do-well attitude. Jaha has a mission to save the world. And Henry Ian Cusick is opening a hatch. To say “God Complex” was a thrill ride is an understatement. Let’s get started…
On the island, “Baylis” is in the radiation chamber. He’s successfully processed Luna’s nightblood, which means they’re ready to crank up the radiation on him. No one is thrilled to do this, but as Murphy points out, they’re running out of time to find a way to save the world and need to know if bone marrow is the answer. So Abby gives the Jackson the go ahead and he begins cranking the knob.
At 2,000 REM, the level of black rain, “Baylis” is showing no visible signs of radiation sickness. The room visibly lightens as people think they’ve found their cure, but when Jackson turns the knob to 2,500, “Baylis” begins screaming and breaking out in lesions. Abby wants to remove him from the chamber, but the radiation levels are too high and could hurt them all. By the time it’s safe, he’s already bled out and died. “What have we done?” Abby questions.
Later, Raven recalculates their time-to-live timetable. Murphy asks, “How’s the weather, Reyes? Forecast still calling for death?” It is, and they’re running out of time. They need to get another subject to test a new theory, but with a storm outside, they wouldn’t be able to find a soul. Luna points out how ridiculous “hunting for people to kill” is and says even Baylis honored the dead by wearing the stones of his Rock Line ancestors. This confuses Clarke since he was supposed to be Sangedakru. Emori says he was a thief and likely stole the stones — but Roan points out that he didn’t bear the mark of Sangedakru either.
It doesn’t take long for them all to realize that Emori lied, and, panicking, she runs to destroy the radiation machine. Luckily, they’re able to stop her, and they tie her and Murphy both up to the spaceship. After closing the doors to the room housing the ship, Raven asks if they’re really considering putting Emori in the chamber. Clarke says she doesn’t know what else to do; Roan says there is nothing else to do. And doing nothing will lead to all their deaths, Abby says.
When Abby tells Jackson to prep Luna for another extraction, the Nightblood puts her foot down. She’d rather walk out into the black rain than let her blood be used to kill more innocent people. She’s injured from the bone marrow extraction, but she still tries to fight Roan to get out (while everyone awkwardly stands by and watches). He puts her in a headlock that makes her pass out, and they put her up on the table. “So you’re gonna strap her down and take her bone marrow?” Raven asks. “Welcome to Mount Weather.”
But the dark cloud that is Mount Weather isn’t enough to stop them. As Abby withdraws bone marrow, she gives Raven the Kane line: “We survive, then we find our humanity again.” Raven throws back that they probably thought the same thing in Mount Weather. Honestly, I’m not sure who to side with on this debate. Raven’s not wrong, but the difference at Mount Weather was they were sacrificing others lives for a few to live. Even if everyone in Mount Weather died, the human race would have carried on through the people above ground. In this instance, they’re sacrificing others for everyone to live. No sacrifice, no human race ever again. Period.
So, yeah, there’s no right answer here, but Roan thinks they’re doing the right thing. “Certainty is a luxury leaders can’t afford,” he tells Clarke in one of the most sincere conversations they’ve ever had. He tells her that history will look kindly on her.
Still tied to the ship, Murphy is trying to bite his ties off. Emori tells him to be calm and stay on Clarke’s side so he won’t be the next to go. “Survive, please,” she pleads with him. But when Clarke opens the doors, he yells at her that she’s a murderer and shouldn’t do this. The line “I love her — don’t do this” broke me, but not Clarke, who walks back out of the room without saying a word.
Miller drugs Emori and places her on the table, where Abby can’t bring herself to give the injection. Clarke takes the needle from her, whispers, “I bear it so they don’t have to,” and injects herself. Twist! I mean, I kind of saw that coming, but I’m still very proud of our girl. Abby is not.
Two hours later, Clarke’s blood is ready for her to go into the radiation machine. Abby says she saw Clarke dying just like Raven saw the rocket — she loses her mind for a second and destroys the radiation chamber. “I can’t lose you,” she sobs to Clarke, as if that justifies that very f—ed up thing she just did.
With the ability to test nightblood kaput, all hope is lost. Or is it? Because Jaha is having a revelation over at Arkadia…
Skaikru is having memorial services for the 18 people who died from being exposed to black rain. As Bellamy follows Jasper out into the woods, Niylah says a prayer over the dead: “From the earth we will grow, from the ashes we will rise.” Jaha’s ears perk up at that and he asks where it comes from. Apparently, only a flamekeeper can answer that question, and now Jaha has another mission. (I knew he couldn’t be holding onto that medallion for no reason!)
Jaha convinces Kane to take him to see Indra, who hopefully knows where Gaia is. Monty goes along with the two of them to Polis, where Trikru and Azgeda are in a heated battle. Indra gives them a cold welcome, complete with arrows trained on them, because Skaikru is now allied with her enemy. Kane cuts straight to the point: None of them will exist in 10 days, but her daughter could be the one to save them all. That gets her attention.
She leads them to Gaia, who is praying to the chip (or whatever it is flamekeepers do). Monty sees a tattoo on her arm, which just so happens to match Jaha’s medallion. She tells them that it’s the holy symbol of her order — and it also adorns the crypt of the first commander, Becca, which is in the temple. (This part felt a bit like National Treasure to me, which was kind of fun.)
The temple is under Azgeda control, but good ol’ ambassador Kane is able to get access thanks to his Ice Nation seal from Roan. They prepare to walk through, and then Indra grabs one of their guns and mows down the lot of Azgeda warriors. Indra really needs to do some yoga or something and chill.
Anyway, they get inside and pull back rubble until they find the seal on the ground. Jaha thinks his medallion will fit inside it, but that doesn’t open anything. They try to pry it open, but that doesn’t work either. With more Azgeda warriors closing in on them, they’re running out of time. Gaia says maybe they’re meant to burn at the end of the world. And this time a lightbulb goes off for Monty.
“From the ashes we will rise” is more than a motto. It’s an instruction. They throw Jaha’s medallion in the fire — it burns red and melts down into the 13th seal. It fits into the hole in the floor and opens a hatch. (Henry Ian Cusick is opening a hatch. This would only be more exciting for us Lost fans if the hatch was on the island.)
Where was Bellamy while all of this was going on you ask? He went with Jasper on a mission into the woods to find the hallucinogenic nuts they ate in season 1. They took them back to camp, where Harper is also in party mode. A young blonde woman hits on Bellamy. Niylah makes them all drug tea. It’s a whole thing.
But these kids better sober up because they’ve got 10 days to make it to Polis, where Kane, Jaha, and Monty are stepping down into the hatch and finding salvation… possibly. We’ll have to wait until April to find out.