As the Naming Ceremony approaches, the civilization on this planet gets creepier and creepier.
Each season, there are ethical dilemmas, sides to choose, and major battles to fight. Our favorite characters are faced with situations that seem impossible to surmount. And yet it seems that season 6’s biggest obstacle could have been overcome with someone, anyone asking one simple question: “What is the naming ceremony exactly?”
But, no, everyone was blissfully unaware and not the slightest bit curious about what this very important event for Sanctum is. And now it seems like there’s no way to turn this life-changing shift to the show around.
Of course, I can understand Jordan — he’s got other things on his mind. After spending the night with Delilah, he learns a tiny bit about the Naming Ceremony and how the day starts with making amends. Jordan explains that he always felt guilty about leaving his parents to go in the cryopod. He became a “face behind the glass,” which he felt like must have taunted them until they died. Delilah tells him that they have to take happiness wherever they can and she jumps back into bed.
Meanwhile, Diyoza is not having a fun sexy time. She’s attempting to stay warm in the woods when two motorcycles pull up to her campfire. It’s two bodyguards from Sanctum who make her an offer: If she can bring Rose and the heads of the three fallen Primes back, Diyoza’s baby (and only the baby) can live in Prime. Proving she’s not a monster, she accepts.
Back in Sanctum, we meet Hot Doctor. He checks out Clarke’s wound and warns her to keep the black blood covered until she’s fully healed. The doctor also checks out Delilah, who says she’s almost fully recovered from her poisoning. “After tonight, it will be like it never happened at all,” he tells her. HELLO, ANYONE?? THIS IS SUSPICIOUS.
But there’s cake and cookies and sweets everywhere. And I won’t lie — if I had spent most of my life eating space algae or grounder grub, I would be lulled into complacency by this, too. Madi is wide-eyed by all of it. She even thinks it would be great to go to school here, but Clarke tells her it’s too dangerous and makes her go study on the ship with Gaia. “You chose to be commander, and that comes with responsibilities,” she tells her adopted daughter. (Clarke makes choosing to be a leader of a race of people sound equivalent to taking care of a pet.)
Some of their crew is holed up on the ship, but Clarke tells Bellamy that they shouldn’t isolate themselves. I would say that their black murder gear is doing that for them. Everyone gathers around in brights and pastels while Russell welcomes them to the Naming Ceremony. They celebrate the four pillars: repent, renew, rejoice, rebirth. He says it’s also the day they will bequeath the beloved Priya to Delilah. He then begins the process by making amends by apologizing to Kaylee for letting her family die during the Red Sun.
Feeling the moment, Clarke heads back to the tavern to find Raven. She tries to apologize — for everything — but Raven doesn’t want to hear it. She tells Clarke the only difference between her and Octavia is that O doesn’t pretend to feel bad about the brutal decisions she’s made. Ouch … but true.
Raven takes that anger and heads off to find the mechanic shop she heard about. Inside we meet Hot Mechanic. They flirt over engines and motorcycles; they’re having a great time until she realizes he’s a Prime and he takes off for the Naming Ceremony.
Still on her apology tour, Clarke is trying to apologize to Bellamy. When she says leaving him in the pit was the wrong thing to do, Bellamy says he understands she was just protecting Madi, her family. But Clarke points out that he is her family, too, and they hug. Ahh, what a sweet episode … if you don’t factor in the looming dread that is creeping in moment by moment, but no one seems to notice.
Because there’s dancing! That’s right — food and dancing. Clarke dances with Hot Doctor like its 2999. Things heat up on the dance floor and the two go back to his room. Say what you will about Clarke and her impossible decisions; when she sees something she wants, she goes for it. Atta, girl.
Octavia is not having such a great time. She’s being tortured by Hot Kidnapper, a.k.a. Xavier, one of the Children of Gabriel. He wants info on how many black bloods were aboard the ship. Of course, O doesn’t break — our girl never would. But they’re not letting her go just yet. They tie her up against a tree with Rose, the Sanctum girl who was kidnapped. And Hot Kidnapper may be on the right side because he leaves a knife nearby so they can cut loose and escape.
O doesn’t get too far with Rose before her pursuers catch up. But so do Diyoza and Jade, Rose’s bodyguard. They take out the Children of Gabriel, but not before one gets off a shot. And before anyone realizes what’s happened, we see Rose fall with a bullet wound to the chest.
Diyoza realizes her deal is off the table, but quickly makes herself another one: If she returns with “the old man,” then Sanctum will honor the original deal. She makes a proposal to O: “Teach you how to ride this thing, we kill some terrorists, the devils of earth become the heroes of Sanctum, easy peasy.”
It’s a great plan in theory, but the one catch is I’m not sure Sanctum is on the right side of this fight. Back at the Naming Ceremony, Delilah is about to go into the palace for The Event. She runs back to Jordan and says, “Don’t let me be a face behind the glass.”
Hot Doctor stands and watches this from the window of his bedroom, where Clarke has just woken up. She’s reflecting on how lovely this place is when Hot Doc quotes a line from the Crucible, a play that was banned because it was Gabriel’s favorite. Just about then, Clarke notices some drawings in the doctor’s book — her face with a circle and her friends with x’s. She’s suspicious (finally!) and the doctor says she should just tell him how many black bloods are with her. She tries to run away, but he blow darts her with the paralytic agent. He tells her he has to get her to the Children of Gabriel.
Back at the Naming Ceremony, Delilah walks out of the Palace. Except now she’s Priya. She has no recognition of Jordan and she calls Hot Mechanic “my beautiful baby boy.” Hot Mechanic is Priya’s son! This is getting weird, y’all.
Suspicious of the doctor, Russell’s guards rush into the room and find Clarke. The doctor says, “Death to Primes,” and slits his own throat. Bye, Hot Doctor. I would have liked for you to stick around longer.
Bellamy and Echo have a nice moment together, where we learn a little bit more about her back story and why she’s so cautious to share emotions — but there’s no time to think about that because Clarke is about to get body-snatched.
The guards take Clarke, still paralyzed from the blow dart, into the palace. Russell tells his wife that they will have to wait 56 years until their own daughter, Josephine, can be reborn. They could have her back right now if they just “kill this innocent girl.” And so they do. Russell finally explains to Clarke what the “Naming Ceremony” actually is. They erase the mind of the “host” and implant the brain of a former Prime. Then, his wife takes a chip that’s similar to the flame and they approach Clarke on the table. She has tears rolling down her face, but there’s nothing she can do except let it happen.
Just like the Mountain Men, the people of Sanctum are using the bodies of people they deem less than to keep themselves alive—in this case, for centuries. Primes can never die. Unlike the Flame, which allows the host to live in harmony with past lives, this fully resets the person who bears it.
Which is why when “Clarke” wakes up, she’s Jossie. She sits up, looks in the mirror, twists her hair around her fingers and says, “Now this I can work with.”
She’s beat Grounders, Mountain Men, radiation, and a dying Earth, but I’m not sure how Clarke will get herself out of this one. If Russell is to be believed, Clarke is gone. But he’s never met the likes of Bellamy, Raven, Echo, Murphy, Emori, Abby, and Madi. If anyone can help their friend be reborn (in her own body), it’s them. … Right?
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