Flashbacks are pretty common in TV shows these days, but it’s not often you see one that says “236 years earlier” (excluding The Vampire Diaries, of course). But that’s exactly where we start in “Red Sun Rising”—meeting the mission team from Eligius III.
I won’t lie… I’m a big fan of flashbacks of all kinds, so I was immediately intrigued by this family of three that was only 21 days into their life on Planet Alpha. The daughter is clearly a spitfire, much like most women on this show, and her parents would rather she not be. They want her to be careful and protect her from this new world, and she just wants to have sex with the geneticist. (Apparently there are embryos aboard the ship, so there’s no need to procreate the old-fashioned way, but of course they will because … this is a CW show.)
It’s not long into their unsanctioned romp that the daughter notices the bugs go quiet. Honestly, everyone in this show is way more attuned to bug noises than I have ever been. She’s a super genius apparently and realizes the eclipse is making bad things happen, so they race back to camp only to find her dad wielding an ax and a gun and taking “Sanctum”—his daughter’s new name for the planet—all for himself.
And back in present day, Clarke is getting everyone up to speed on what she’s learned from the children’s book as they go through their own eclipse. They have Emori held captive by one of the arm restraints they found, but they realize they all need to be tied up because they could each turn at any minute. “You don’t really need airborne toxins to turn on your friends, do you, Clarke?” Murphy asks in one of his most salty barbs yet.
They all lock themselves up in various areas, but Clarke, Bellamy, and Murphy share a room. This gives Murphy a chance to throw more vitriol at Clarke—most of which he’s honestly not wrong about, but now doesn’t seem the best time to hash this out? Clarke gets off the hook before too long because Miller starts screaming and throwing himself against the wall. Bellamy and Clark, stupidly, uncuff themselves so they can go help. They, also stupidly, let Jackson go so he can “help.”
He helps by using a giant knife to gouge out an invisible bug from Miller’s arm. They’re having a joint hallucination, which is just a great new terrible development on this planet. Luckily, Clarke brought her handy-dandy tranquilizers and knocks them both out.
Bellamy is the next one to go Red Sun Rising Mad. Now unrestrained, he starts pounding and pounding on Echo and Emori’s door while trying to convince Echo to unlock the door. And then Murphy somehow gets a gun and starts shooting. Things are going great!
The only hope is Clarke—and for a minute I think maybe she’s resistant to these hallucinations thanks to her nightblood, but as soon as she starts talking to “Abby” on the radio, it’s clear she’s under the influence as well. Hallucination Abby tells Clarke that the toxin isn’t in the air; “the toxin is you,” she says. And here is when you realize this eclipse doesn’t just make people violent, it straight up Bird Box-es everyone. Clark holds a knife to her throat as Abby tells her it’s the only way to end this.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Murphy is the one to stop this. He’s pulled through and saved everyone many times, but it’s easy to still think of him as just the sarcastic asshole. But he secretly cares! And that’s why he tells Clarke that she isn’t talking to her mom… the radio isn’t even on. It subdues Clarke for a moment. Murphy tries to do the same with Bellamy, but it doesn’t work. Bellamy starts attacking Murphy and holding him underwater in a small pond. Clarke has a tranq, which she could use to end this, but fake Abby is back at it whispering lies that disarm her. It takes Bellamy drowning Murphy in the water for her to snap out of it.
Clarke takes the knife from her throat, stabs Bellamy in the leg with it, and then drags Murphy from the water. He starts coughing up water just as Bellamy starts choking Clarke. Just in time, she is able to pull out a can of gas and knock the three of them out.
Meanwhile, back on the ship, four people in black gas masks hijack Eligius IV. They throw smoke bombs in as soon as the doors open and are able to knock everyone out and lock them in the mess hall. Well, almost everyone. Raven was in the bridge when the takeover went down, so she’s able to wake up a still very pregnant Diyoza to get a little extra help. The Masked 4 are in control of the bridge now, though, which means they know as soon as she opens a pod. Diyoza is able to get the jump on the two men who come investigate, though, by pretending she’s still out in the pod. And then she kills them.
Raven isn’t pleased that Diyoza killed them, but at this point, she has no other option than to work with her. Diyoza grabs one of their comms and talks to the two masked women on the bridge. She pretends to shoot one of the men (despite him already being dead) to gain some leverage, but the woman says if her “husband” isn’t back in one minute, they’ll cut air to the mess hall.
So Raven dresses up as the husband and pretends to be Diyoza’s prisoner. The woman doesn’t buy it, though, and is about to shoot when a small person—Madi—pops out of the air ducts and surprises the hijackers. They have to shoot the one woman who holds a gun, but the other surrenders. “I have questions,” Madi says. Same, girl. Same.
This whole time Octavia was sulking in the mess hall and then picking a fight with Ark / Wonkru people. Abby tries to tell her that she needs to come to peace with what she did, but O says that because she wasn’t able to save Wonkru, nothing makes sense. I kind of get it, but of all the Octavias, this is probably my least favorite one and I’m just ready for her to deal with this and move on.
And maybe the fact that she stows away on the jumpship (to join Jordan, Raven, Gaia, Madi, Diyoza, and Abby on the ground) to find her brother is a sign we’re moving in that direction. They also bring the hijacker lady who says something about how they have more than the bugs to worry about but doesn’t say more. They’re all leery of her, but honestly, the fact that she stopped anyone from walking into the radiation barrier makes me trust her. Or maybe it’s just that she’s got a nice face.
Anyway, they find Shaw’s grave—which Raven is obviously wrecked about but we get about two seconds of grief. We quickly move to Abby finding Bellamy, Clarke, and Murphy still knocked out on the ground. Clarke and Bellamy wake up, but Abby says that Murphy’s pulse is too weak. Murphy’s fate will have to wait until next week, though, because all attentions turn to the horde of young children walking up to the compound. YES, all this compound needed was CREEPY CHILDREN.
A little girl named Rose, who I’m going to guess is the child gang’s leader, looks up at Clarke and says, “Are you here to take us home?” Clarke—speaking for all of us—asks, “Isn’t this your home?” End scene.
I know I said last week I was a little hesitant about diving into this season, but thanks to this week’s sexy, murder-y flashbacks and the creepy children mystery, I’m all in. I cannot wait for Sanctum’s history to unfold this season. How about you?