By Dalene Rovenstine
July 23, 2019 at 11:02 PM EDT
Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

What’s that saying about a revolution only needing a spark? Well, in the case of the revolution within Sanctum, there are about five different players now who could ignite the place easily and burn it to the ground.

Inside the walls, Madi is strapped to an operating table and getting her bone marrow extracted. She may be weak physically, but she is seething with rage and Sheidheda inside her. He wants her to kill everyone who gets in their way in order to get revenge for Clarke.

And we know Clarke is not dead. Alive and well, she is trying to assuage Bellamy’s fears that he did the wrong thing in saving her. She thinks his plan was good, but there’s the small problem that Josephine’s mind drive is now a blank slate. Gabriel thinks they should put the mind drive back into Clarke and let Russell think it’s his daughter. Bellamy thinks this is too dangerous, though.

While Clarke gets to know Gabriel, we get to know him a bit better ourselves. She points out that as a nightblood, he could walk through the radiation barrier at any point and lower the shields. But he doesn’t want to kill the Primes and everyone inside, he wants to save them. The only reason he fled in the first place is because he was going to be burned at the stake, so Ryker saved him. What did he do to deserve that punishment, you ask? Oh, just destroying a stash of genetically engineered embryos that Josie had created to be their future nightblood hosts. What a gem that Josie was!

After continued aggression from Bellamy, Octavia finally asks to talk to him outside the tent. When she exits, Gabriel explains that Octavia has changed. She went through the anomaly, “the greatest mystery of Sanctum,” and came back out. But O and Bell don’t get their opportunity for reconciliation yet, because the tent is surrounded by Children of Gabriel.

Gabriel exits the tent and tells his followers, “The old man is dead, so is Xavier.” They are not pleased — especially Xavier’s sister, Lyla, who just happens to be there. Gabriel tries to explain that Eduardo did this without his consent, and they say that Eduardo died 10 years ago. TEN YEARS! Gabriel has been lying to them for TEN YEARS! Lyla is ready to kill Gabriel, but Bellamy says she needs to keep him alive to deliver the bomb.

See, Bellamy has hatched his own scheme in this short time. He says that Gabriel can make a bomb with the red sun toxin, walk through the radiation shield, and release it on Sanctum. Then they can find Raven, have her take down the shields, and use the chaos of evacuation to kill the Primes. Layla says they’ll buy this plan if Gabriel shoots Josephine Prime, who they think is still in Clarke’s body. Gabriel says he won’t build the bomb if they kill Clarke, so they agree to leave her be for now, and Bellamy and Octavia go on a toxin hunting mission.

Bellamy hunts for mushrooms covered in the toxin while Octavia tries to explain herself and her time in the anomaly. She says she knows why the thing spit her out: “It was for you.” She explains that she knows he was right to leave her behind, and she sees the damage she did — but part of the reason she was so lost was that he wasn’t by her side. “Without you as my compass, I was lost,” she explains. “I couldn’t find my way out of the dark.” Bellamy takes this in and says he knows she’s his sister, “but you’re not my responsibility — not anymore.” And I, for one, am accepting that as a baby step.

Back at the tent, Gabriel tells Clarke one of the reasons he was disillusioned with the Primes is that they were making a bomb just like this. They found that the aggression from the bomb made the people faithful to the Primes go after those who weren’t, thereby cementing their godlike status. That’s when Clarke realizes she’s facing Mount Weather all over again. She doesn’t want people to die, and she has a new plan: Use just enough of the toxin to make the insects freak out so the people will flee, but no one actually ingests it. Without the craze of the toxin though, this means they’ll have less time and will need the shield to be down beforehand. And this also means that “Josephine” will have to enter Sanctum and do it herself.

Still in Sanctum prison, Miller and Gaia are trying to escape. Murphy is standing around offering no help when Jade comes in and says that he’s wanted in the palace. He’s taken in where Russell is torturing Echo to learn who else knows “the truth” aside from Tai. She doesn’t give up anything, so Russell tells Ryker to take her to the machine shop and test Abby’s bone marrow on her. As she’s being dragged out, Murphy tells her in Trigedasleng that they’re sneaking out to the machine shop to get Becca’s book and she needs to stay alive until then. And because Echo spits back venom at Murphy, Russell believes he’s still on his side. He wants him to go with Jade and bring back Josie. If he doesn’t succeed, Russell will kill Emori.

In the machine shop, Echo asks Ryker to stop and get on the right side of this fight. But he made his part in the revolution a little one, and now he’s done. He turns her into a nightblood with no qualms at all. Echo tries to explain that she knows what it’s like not to feel like you have a choice in the side you choose.

We’re treated to an Echo flashback, with special guest Queen Nia (Brenda Strong). She has been training a young (probably no older than 12) Echo to shoot an arrow so she can be a spy at Sangedakru. Echo is practicing with her friend Ash when Queen Nia comes to see if she’s ready to be an assassin. She lets a Sangedakru infiltrator loose in the woods and tells Echo to kill him or he’ll escape and her cover will be blown. Echo can’t do it. So the queen gives her one more chance: Kill her friend, Ash, or they’ll both die.

Through tears, young Echo tells her friend to fight back so maybe Queen Nia will see value in her, too, and stop this. Echo is able to tackle her friend, but she can’t take her out before Ash pushes an arrow through her stomach and kills her. The queen says Sangedakru is expecting a girl named Echo, so Ash became the Echo we know today.

Ryker says he’s sorry that happened to her, but that doesn’t change anything. “Killing you would haunt me,” he says, “but so would not killing you.” And just then Gaia and Miller — who escaped from Sanctum jail — burst in. Echo stabs Ryker in the stomach. So long, Hot Prime.

Back at Gabriel’s tent, Bellamy is learning the plan to use Clarke as an inside man and he’s not pleased. He wants to do it the way that probably kills lots of people and doesn’t put Clarke in danger. “What would Monty do?” Clarke says. He still doesn’t like this plan, but Octavia really shuts him up when she says, “If we can spare innocent lives, we should.” You know your plan is bad when even Blodreina isn’t on your side.

Outside, there’s a commotion. Murphy and Jade are there to collect Josephine. After collecting “Josie,” Jade wants to shoot Layla, but Clarke says, “This one is mine.” Jade exits the tent and Clarke shoots the ground. Before untying Bellamy, Clarke escapes with her Sanctum guard. Layla is clearly very confused, but hopefully now on Team Clarke.

Russell is so excited to see his daughter return all it takes is a hair twist and a few remarks about how awesome she is for him to believe it’s her. He takes her in to see Madi so she can see how easily they can make nightbloods with her bone marrow. And any doubts about Josie are cleared right up when she says, “How many doses can we get out of her before she dies?”

Two more episodes left. Can Clarke stop this fight without starting a war? And will they be able to get to Madi in time before she starts her own war? And can the killing of Hot People in Sanctum stop? Only time will tell.

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