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The problem with The 100 only airing 13 episodes every year is the long wait between seasons. And it’s not just because we’re all eager to watch it. So damn much happens every season, it’s a lot of info to retain for an entire year. If you need a refresher, here’s last season’s finale recap. If you’re lazy, here’s my recap of the recap: Sanctum is bad. The Anomaly is bad (probably). Abby died. Madi is no longer the commander. Sheidheda, the evil commander from decades ago, is loose in the Matrix. And Diyoza’s unborn baby is now a hot, age-appropriate CW star who stabbed Octavia, which made her literally vanish.

Got it? Well, you better get on board because “From the Ashes” picks up moments after O ghosts, with Bellamy screaming into the air for his sister. Then he starts flying through the air. When Echo runs out to find him, he’s getting dragged away by a force (just like Katherine in Vampire Diaries!). She tries to help him, but gets knocked back by … the wind? I don’t know what to call this.

Gabriel is still in the tent trying to read the symbols on Hope’s face while she’s unconscious — but as soon as she wakes up, she runs out of there. Gabriel finds Echo and they try to go after Bellamy while dodging the … angry ghosts?

Hope has run in her own direction, but stops to tend to the pain in her arm. She pulls up her sleeve to find a giant gash in her forearm that has a vial stuffed in it … totally normal. She pulls it out (gag) and finds a piece of paper in it. On one side is an anomaly scroll, on the other “TRUST BELLAMY” is scribbled. After attacking Echo and Gabriel, she decides to work with them when she hears they know said “Bellamy.”

The three of them head off toward the anomaly, but ray guns are firing all around them. They’re too close to the anomaly and its particles, so Echo gets visions of Roan (oh, hey, Zach McGowan) and Hope gets visions of Octavia, whom she doesn’t remember. I will not even pretend to understand what happens next, but they figure out they can wait and attack these invisible forces, which turn out to be just normal humans with orders to capture Gabriel and Echo and kill Hope. Luckily, Echo is a badass and kills them all. Gabriel notices the anomaly is quieting, which means it’s closing. They run toward it and enter it together — then they get taken up by a green light into the sky.

Listen, I am here for this futuristic alien vibe that’s going on with the anomaly. It’s weird, and I think we deserve a break from the us vs. them / “are we good? are we bad?” themes that this show has overdone a bit by now.

Speaking of… Clarke and the rest of the crew are trying to settle Sanctum into something normal. The problem is that there are a few different factions: For one, there’s Russell, who’s in captivity and just wants to die. Then there’s the Sanctum faithful, who want Russell free so they can worship him; the Children of Gabriel, who want Russell dead; the prisoners from Eligius IV, who just like to raise hell because they can; Wonkru, who think they’re protecting Heda; and then Clarke and our friends who know the truth about all of this.

Indra and Miller are fully in the “kill Russell” camp, but Clarke has this Zen vibe going where she doesn’t seem fazed at all that her mother died. Instead, she’s setting up a homestead in a yellow farmhouse that Russell built for Simone. She’s letting Madi go to classes and they’re eating soup out of wooden bowls with bread (probably sourdough). They even have a golden lab!

Hippy-dippy Clarke’s main purpose is to protect Madi. Even though the young commander no longer has the flame, they have to pretend she does so Wonkru will stand by her. You’d think seven seasons in, they would have learned that honesty is the best policy, but what do I know?

Anyway, we have all those groups and then there’s Jordan. Poor guy doesn’t really fit in anywhere, but he’s leaning toward the Russell fanatics. And they trust him, so he goes to speak with Russell and verify that he’s okay. Jordan tries to extend an olive branch by giving Russell the Mind Drive he’s been holding on to, but Russell can’t bring his family back, so he smashes it. And then he says he knows why Jordan is doing all this: He saw “a glimpse.” It’s the anomaly spirals; Russell saw it once, too, and built Sanctum’s image in it, but then he gave it up. Hmm.

In addition to the lie about Madi, most people still believe that Emori and Murphy are brother and sister duo Kaylee and Daniel Primes. Raven tells them they have to keep up the ruse because Sanctum is a powder keg. They don’t want to do it — but when Clarke tries to move Russell for his safety and the courtyard becomes a battleground, they step in. “Kaylee” appeals to the people of Sanctum with the phrase, “We are one.” Apparently, it was a slogan Kaylee used when she stopped oblation. Emori did her homework!

But that peace doesn’t last long. With Russell being kept at the palace, the Children of Gabriel are asking for blood. Clarke goes in to speak with Russell. She’s still being super chill. “How do you go on after you lose everything?” Russell asks her. “You take a breath,” she says, “then another. That’s it.”

I’m starting to think Clarke might be on that Red Sun drug when Russell hands over her mother’s clothes and her necklace with her father’s wedding band on it. That’s all it takes for the dam to break. Zen Clarke is gone, and Wanheda emerges. She starts wailing on Russell and knocks over a kerosene lamp in the process. As a fire rages around them, she pulls a gun on him and asks, “Is this what you want?”

She knocks him out instead of shooting him, and when Russell goes unconscious, he wakes up in a different consciousness. He’s the original Russell Prime and Sheidheda is there. Uh oh. Sheidheda slits Russell’s throat and says, “Now, I’m you.” The dark commander wakes up with a gasp and a smile in Russell’s body.

Clarke almost leaves “Russell” to burn in the room, but when he begs her not to let him die, she releases him. Then she walks out to the balcony of the palace and yells at her people: “Sanctum is free. There are no kings or queens or primes here. We have no need for a palace. We’re the last of the human race, and we’ve all made mistakes. Tomorrow, Russell Prime dies for his.”

Now this is the Clarke we know! Not sure it’s the best course of action for getting Sanctum to peace, but at least she’s doing something instead of walking around without any feelings. My hope for season 7 is that the issues with in-fighting in Sanctum wrap up quickly so we can get to the big mystery of the anomaly. Any crazy guesses what it might hold? I’d love to read them in the comments.

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