A.L.I.E. was a murderous AI that nearly wiped out all of civilization (or at least known civilization at that point) in season 3. And while her reasons for trying to “save” humanity were misguided, her methods were downright evil. Remember how she would convince people to murder their friends and family in order to get them to take the key? Yeah, not cool. But here’s the thing: It turns out her process for entering people’s minds is actually useful now: it’s the thing that could save Clarke. It’s just like the writers of The 100 to continually blur the lines of what is good, what can be used for good, and who is good.
And that’s exactly what Clarke struggles with all throughout “Nevermind.” She awakens in the prison on The Ark where we first met her. In addition to the drawing she made on the floor, the walls are filled with images of her friends and former foes. Each drawing is a memory. Her cell door opens, and when she walks through, she finds herself in the Shallow Valley home she shared with Madi. And her dad is there. (Oh, hey there, season 1 throwback!)
Seeing Jake Griffin, Clarke assumes she’s dead—which is a very reasonable response to this trippy dreamworld she finds herself in. But when she starts to get upset, it storms outside… and there are heartbeats between the raindrops. Turns out her dad is there as part of her subconscious, not because this is heaven, and he tells her to go figure out this world on her own.
She opens the door and enters the halls of Eligius IV. At one end of the hall is a door she doesn’t recognize; it’s red and decked with a holiday wreath. On the other end is her prison cell, which she enters. And someone else is already there: A.L.I.E. Even though Clarke killed her, the neural mesh—which was in Clarke’s head when she first went into the City of Light—allowed the AI to live in her partial memories and stopped the mind wipe that Russell thought he performed before inserting Josie’s mind drive. (Got all that? Me neither, but let’s go with it.)
A.L.I.E., ironically, wants to help save Clarke and her memories. She says that if Josie sees the memory of Raven being EMP-ed (a.k.a. A.L.I.E.-wiped) then she’ll know how to remove Clarke from her own brain, too. So she gives her this important memory as an infinity key and tells her to hide it.
Realizing this dream/mind place should be all her memories—and that she doesn’t recognize that holiday door—Clarke tries to enter it. Josie walks out instead. “This body isn’t big enough for both of us,” she says. Can I just say that despite being a sociopathic bad guy, I kind of love Josie?
Although Josie doesn’t know why Clarke is there, she says this isn’t the first unsuccessful body swap. In the early days of their technology, they had a few mishaps. The first was a 6-month-old baby whose brain wasn’t fully formed. The next was a 15-year-old girl with the same issue. In both cases they had brain hemorrhaging followed by a stroke and death. “Two minds, one brain never ends well,” Josie deadpans.
Josie says this ends one of two ways: Clarke tells her what’s going on, she dies, and her people live, or Clarke and Josie both die, Josie tells her dad what’s going on once she regenerates, and they kill all Clarke’s people. Despite immediately leading Josie to her prison cell of memories, Clarke says she won’t go down easy. And she proves that by literally bashing in Josie’s head. But before Clarke can catch her breath, Josie comes out the holiday door as good as new. She can’t die here—only Clarke can. And with Clarke’s real-life body knocked out on Ambien, they have all night to do this dance. It’s like Groundhog’s Day meets Inception aboard the Galactica.
Fleeing from Josie, Clarke heads to the fighting pit in the bunker. Blodreina is there to greet her… err, berate her. She says Clarke is just trying to hide while everyone else fights, which is her go-to move. As Josie says when she catches up to her, “Even your projections hate you, Clarke.” That becomes even clearer in her next memory: Mount Weather.
She enters the room that served as her second prison and sees a body bag on the bed. Maya is inside, but she’s not dead. Just like Octavia, she reminds Clarke of all the hard/bad decisions she’s made and how people always end up paying the price. Maya says she’s no different than the Primes and that she should just give up control. The word “control” resonates with Clarke, and she realizes this is her mind; she is in control.
Clarke takes the Raven memory in her hand and hides it elsewhere. When Josie comes in, Maya tells her that Clarke hid it in the cave—but it was a trick. Clarke realized she could create these events with her mind and traps Josie with a shock collar. But two can play at that game: Josie grabs the shock collar until it kills her and wakes up in the dream matrix again.
When Josie revives this time, she brings Russell with her. The two are chasing Clarke round and round when Josie realizes she’s avoiding the memory of her father “floating”— through the ship’s outer doors, she enters the Ground at the moment Clarke killed Finn. What a murderous walk down memory lane this episode is! There’s a chest with a lock on it there, but Clarke stops her from opening it.
Josie doesn’t understand why Clarke feels so much guilt for these deaths but isn’t willing to let her people live now. The way Josie sees it, if Clarke kills her, then her father would eradicate all of Clarke’s people. At first, Clarke isn’t persuaded, but when Josie shares her own memory of Bellamy taking the deal with Russell, she acquiesces. “Tell Madi I love her,” Clarke says. “Tell all of them.”
Clarke enters the combo so Josie can open the chest. Inside are Jasper’s goggles, the video of her dad revealing The Ark’s oxygen levels, and the Raven memory. Armed with the knowledge of how to kill Clarke for good, Josie tells her it will all be over soon.
Back at her Shallow Valley house, Clarke settles in for the long goodbye. She’s drawing Madi on her sketch pad when Monty enters. “You call this doing better?” he asks her. “Giving up isn’t better.” She tries to explain she’s doing this so that everyone can live, but he points out—wisely–that allowing these people to continue killing isn’t what’s best. Clarke realizes her error but thinks it’s too late to do anything. Monty doesn’t agree.
They walk up to the holiday door and enter Josie’s mind. Her 230-years’ worth of memories are categorized in a giant library. Clarke touches one and sees why Kaylee killed her friend: She wasn’t okay with her BFF Josie killing people to keep the bloodline pure. She touches the book before it and sees how Josie was literally leaving babies in the woods as an offering. Isaac, a “null,” was taking the babies to Gabriel instead of letting them die. When Josie finds out, she kills him.
Clarke is very on board with not letting this person continue her murderous blood purification ways now. Monty finds a “Special Collections” door and is able to crack into the digital lock (of course he is!). After entering, they find themselves in a diner pre-Earth apocalypse. Josie is studying at a booth with her friend. She says she’s decided not to go on her “family project.” A boy walks in and sits down next to them. There’s clearly weird energy going on, but when he asks her to a lecture that night and Josie says no, things take a drastic turn. The boy pulls out a gun and shoots himself.
Real Josie walks in and, knowing Clarke has seen her darkest secret, she tells her she won’t help her people now. She banishes Clarke back to the Eligius IV hallway, but she didn’t see Monty hiding there. Josie wakes up in Clarke’s body and thinks she’s won. In real life, she walks into the negotiation that Russell is having with Bellamy and Miller. She stands there quietly, but her little finger tapping away on her arm speaks volumes. Monty/Clarke, stored away in that Earth diner, is sending a Morse code message: alive.
The moment felt a little Not Penny’s Boat—in the best way possible. It was the perfect cliffhanger capper on a thrill ride of an episode. It was clear from the moment we met her this season that Josie was a spitfire, and seeing her go toe-to-toe with Clarke—in each other’s minds no less—made for an incredibly fun hour. And it seems the stage is set for an even bigger fight.
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