By Dalene Rovenstine
July 16, 2019 at 10:25 PM EDT
Diyah Pera/The CW
S6 E10
B+
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  • TV Show
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Skaikru/Wonkru/whatever we now call our ragtag group of former Earth inhabitors know how to survive. When push comes to shove, they find a way out of scrapes. They might not all make it out, but they find a way to get through. Which is why in “Matryoshka,” even when nearly all of them were imprisoned and Clarke was seizing into her last moments of life, I knew everything would be fine.

Just kidding! I was very nervous and totally expected someone not to make it out. Last week scarred me I guess! I don’t want to jinx it by speaking too soon, though, so I’ll stop talking about people we like dying and just recap this episode.

At the end of episode 9, Josie tried to convince Clarke to let her drive the motorcycle to meet up with Gabriel; she does have more experience after all, but Clarke wasn’t about to give up control of the brain. But maybe she should have. Clarke ends up driving too fast and wrecks the bike and destroys the radio in the process. With the Sanctum guards on their tail, they need to find a place to hide. Josie says she’ll help (only when Clarke tells her she’ll take the Mind Drive out herself and die), so she shows Clarke a hatch where she used to do research studies. They’re safe from the guards — but Clarke starts to have a seizure. Josie tells her to fight through it, otherwise, they’ll get stuck in this hatch until the body dies.

Speaking of being stuck, Raven and Abby get arrested immediately upon returning to Sanctum with Simone. Russell catches his wife up on everything that’s happened: Clarke is still alive and missing with their daughter’s Mind Drive, and he’s holding Clarke’s people captive as insurance. Oh, and Miranda is dead, too. Simone has had it. She says they should keep Madi alive since she’s a nightblood and burn the rest. He says then they’d have nothing to bargain Josephine back with, so he agrees to one killing. Isn’t compromise in marriage great?

But not all Primes are on board with this plan. Ryker is doing his best to start a peaceful revolution. He reveals to Delilah’s parents and a man named Ty that everything they believed was a lie. Ty was forced to put his baby in the Offering Grove a few years ago, which led to his wife putting herself in the Offering Grove, so he takes the news particularly hard.

Gaia and Echo watch from above, where they’re hiding from Russell. After the nulls leave, Ryker tells them that a person from their group is going to be executed. Echo has a better plan: Ryker can put a scope on her bow and she can execute Russell instead. Ryker isn’t loving this more murder plan, but he goes along with it since they know his secret about letting Gabriel escape.

In the Sanctum jailhouse, the group has to decide who will be executed. Of course, the logical choice for everyone is Murphy. Since she recently learned that her daughter’s brain is playing host to two people, Abby is not pleased to hear what Murphy did to help the Primes. She slaps him across the face and says if Echo doesn’t find a way to save them, he’s going up as tribute.

He’s not the only one making sacrifices, though. Ty, the man Ryker revealed the truth to, has asked for a meeting with the Primes. He claims to know where Echo is hiding, but really he wants to take this opportunity to murder Simone. He cuts a glass goblet on the table and stabs her in the throat. “Death to primes,” he says as the guards drag him out. Russell grabs his wife, but realizing her injury is too severe, he promises to find a way to bring her back.

It’s a good thing he doesn’t know what’s going on with his daughter because he would be even more upset. Over in Clarke’s mind, the two women are not doing well. Josie’s memory books are all over Clarke’s side. The only way to get the alarms to stop is to throw Josie’s books out the airlock. Josie is having a hard time letting go of these memories, like the time that Gabriel woke up in his second body. One she’s probably happy to get rid of, though, is when her father murdered her with an ax during the first red sun. When she drops the book, an ax falls to the ground.

The more books they throw out, the worse it gets. Clarke’s Eligius hallways are littered with books and memories, more and more by the minute. Clarke says they have to get rid of it all. She sets the airlock to open with the inside door still ajar. She tells Josie to take cover in her room, and then her nemesis disappears along with all the books. When Clarke opens up her door, the hallway is clear and Josie’s door is back. Clarke opens her eyes in the bunker and is getting choked to death by branches… you know, a thing that happens on this planet.

Just in the nick of time, Gabriel and Octavia find Clarke. Only it’s not Clarke. Josie is back in control of the body. They get her out of the bunker and tell her to keep quiet because the Sanctum guards are all around. Instead, Josie starts yelling and the guards surround them. Josie tells her bodyguard Jade, “Kill the girl, take Gabriel prisoner, and get me home.”

Before they can do any of that, one of the bodyguards shoots all the others, except Jade. He takes off his helmet… it’s Bellamy. Octavia runs and hugs him — and he doesn’t quite reciprocate. (Can’t he tell by her clean hair she’s changed!?) He sends Jade to go tell Russell that Josie is alive and if any of his people get hurt, he’ll never see his daughter again.

Back at Sanctum, Gaia “gets caught” and ends up in jail with the others so she can clue them all in to Echo’s plan. Madi is not pleased with her banished flamekeeper being there, though. Abby suggests they just take the flame out of her head, but Gaia says she changed the passphrase, so they can’t. Emori explains to everyone that Sheidheda was dealt with in his time by his own flamekeeper murdering him. It was his fourth flamekeeper because he had murdered the other three. Abby says they can’t kill Madi, but Gaia points out that if they survive this and she’s able to get her army back from Eligius, she’d be worse than Blodreina.

But Raven has another idea: She says if Sheidheda was able to quiet the other commanders, he must be separating them in the code somehow. They could be deleted, and she could rid Madi of her dark commander problem. But that will have to wait for now. The guards come into the cell with new orders from Russell: except for Madi, they all will die. What a lovely tribute to his wife.

With his people gathered round, Russell has everyone, plus poor Ty, tied to stakes. He walks around saying how there will be no forgiveness and the Sanctum family has been violated yada yada. Echo is having a hard time getting a clear shot, and then Ryker knocks her out. But it doesn’t matter. Murphy has a lightbulb moment: Abby could make nightbloods with bone marrow. Russell says they tried it before and it didn’t work, but Abby says she knows the right formula. And if any of them die, they’ll never know what it is.

Russell pardons Abby and her people so she can get to work right away. She says she’ll need a nightblood donor and suggests Russell himself. He says Madi will do. Abby starts to protest, but Raven says she’ll work fine— they’ll just need a computer. Raven tells Gaia to get Becca’s notebook and they can save Madi from Sheidheda. And then Ty burns at the stake. RIP, Ty. Sorry you lived your whole life with such terrible people.

Over at Gabriel’s encampment, he has Clarke/Josie hooked up to scanners. He can see two brain wavelengths. Josie is still awake and tells him that Clarke was able to stay in her brain thanks to the neural mesh in her head. Gabriel explains to Octavia and Bellamy that he’ll stop Clarke’s heart, take out the mind drive, and restart Clarke’s heart. But when Bellamy mentions using Josie’s mind drive to broker peace, Gabriel gets hesitant. He knows that means she’ll resurrect again, and that someone else will die because of it.

Josie pleads with Gabriel to let her keep this body, so “no one else has to die,” saying that the two of them can live out their days in their current forms. “I have loved you for centuries,” he tells her. “We had our time — I have to let you go now.” And then he injects her with a serum to stop her heart.

Clarke wakes up back in Eligius, and Josie’s door is missing. But Josie isn’t. She is still holding the ax from her father’s memory, and she slices Clarke’s throat with it. Josie used the mesh in Clarke’s mind to stick around, even though the Mind Drive was out. I have to admit, she’s a pretty clever girl.

In the real world, Octavia, Bellamy, and Gabriel see that the two wavelengths are there, but are helpless to do anything. Or at least two of them are. Bellamy starts doing compressions as he yells, “I’m not losing her again.” Octavia is trying to get him to stop; she thinks Bellamy is wasting his energy.

He screams, “Clarke, I need you. Madi needs you.” And it gets through to her. She hears it in her mind space. She gathers the strength to grab the ax and throw it at Josie’s head. Clarke wakes up back in her own body and gives Bellamy such a big hug that Bellarkers around the internet probably exploded.

So, one season 6 problem is solved, but there are still a whole lot more to get through in the next three episodes. Russell is not going to be pleased now that his wife and daughter are gone. How will Ryker kick off this revolution? And where will all the people we know live if/when that gets sorted. There’s also the little issue of Dark Madi. Oh, and what is going on with Diyoza and the anomaly? And probably most importantly: When will Bellamy forgive Octavia??

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