S7 E11
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All my fears that Bellamy Blake was actually dead were finally put to rest in “Etherea.” After weeks of not seeing him, it was nice to get a whole episode dedicated to his time away (and let’s be honest: it’s just nice to see his face). But decisions he makes during this time have me completely reeling and perplexed as to how I should feel about his return. Anyone relate? Let’s dive right in…

Fresh from getting pummeled by Echo, Levitt begins a neural link on a guard who was in the explosion in the Stone Room. You know the one, where Bellamy Blake died? Except he didn’t. Levitt slows down the man’s memory on the M-Cap and sees that Bellamy and the stone conductor actually went THROUGH the stone. And where did he end up? A lovely little place called Etherea.

Bellamy gets spit out into the woods a few feet from the conductor. Of course, they fight. Bellamy breaks the guy’s leg and slashes his face, but stops short of smashing his head in. After taking a look around the planet, he sees a glowing green light at the top of a mountain and knows this must be where the stone is. He attempts to climb a small section of it and decides he needs help.

He finds The Man in a cave and convinces him that if they want off the island, they have to work together. Now, if Bellamy or The Man ever mentioned the man’s name, I totally missed it. So throughout this recap, I will call him The Man in White, or The Man, for short.

First up is resetting The Man’s leg, which sounds horrendous and looks even worse. While he recovers, Bellamy makes rope and antiseptic, starts a fire, finds water and food — all the things Pike taught him back on The Ark. (RIP, Pike! And the Ark!) He also keeps himself busy by reading Bill Cadogan’s cult bible, Shepherd’s Passage. The Man in White wakes up, and they have heated discussions about peace and transcendence and love and selfishness.

Etherea must be a magical planet because in no time at all, The Man is healed enough to walk — and not just walk, climb. They start climbing up the mountain, and we learn the Shepherd did this before on his pilgrimage through the universe (a.k.a. when he left his daughter behind on Earth). Bill had climbing gear and equipment. Bellamy and The Man just have handmade ropes.

They hike until they get high enough to where there’s snow. The Man explains that the Shepherd took a break when he was this high, through the snow season, but Bellamy says he can’t turn back. He goes it alone and nearly freezes in the snow. The Man finds him and brings him into a cave he found. This is the Cave of Ascent, which Bill named in his bible. Inside the cave is a photo of Bill and his family — which is when Bellamy puts the pieces together about this cult — and farther back in the cave there are three shining … beings? The Man says this is where Bill found a civilization that transcended. That their mortal forms rose, and this was all that was left behind. And Bellamy says exactly what I’m thinking: This makes no sense.

With the snowstorm outside raging for months, they’re stuck in the cave with only lichen and tiny scorpions to eat. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the scorpion must have a toxin that makes people hallucinate and lose their minds because not only does The Man convince Bellamy to do his Shepherd prayers with him, but Bellamy actually SEES the Shepherd. Bill takes him back into the room with the beings, where Bellamy sees his mother. She tells him, “Go to the light, Bellamy. The light is the way.” And when he opens his eyes, the snow is gone and the sun is out. The Man thinks this means they’re worthy. I think it means they’re dehydrated.

Whatever it means, they keep up the climb. (Missed opportunity to use “The Climb” in The 100 soundtrack? I think so.) They’re essentially free soloing, scaling straight up a massive rock wall with only a small rope holding them together. I felt like I was watching Vertical Limit there for a minute. Bellamy makes it to a ledge just as The Man loses his grip. As the rope frays and he hangs in the balance, The Man says to cut him free. But Bellamy refuses, they both start quoting scripture for strength and he pulls him up. Hmm….

When they finally get to the top and touch the code into the stone, the green gateway opens in the sky and then shoots to the ground below them. The Man explains they have to jump off the cliff to go through it. (Okay, now this feels like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.) But they make it through to the other side: the Stone Room on Bardo. The Shepherd is there and welcomes Bellamy back. “My shepherd,” Bellamy says as he bows before the Shepherd. I’m sorry — what…

Octavia, Gabriel, Echo, and Clarke are all in The Shepherd’s dining quarters when Bill walks in with Bellamy. They’re all in disbelief. Octavia and Echo try to go to him, but guards draw their guns on them. Clarke is the closest and she reaches out to hug him. “Hold — she has the key,” the Shepherd commands. Trying to make sure he doesn’t ruin their escape plan, Clarke whispers to Bellamy that they think the Flame is still in her head and he shouldn’t say anything.

“My shepherd,” Bellamy says, as all eyebrows in the room go up, “Clarke doesn’t have the key. The flame was destroyed.”

Bellamy Bellamy Bellamy. What have you done? And who have you become? I hope that scorpion poison wears off soon because I’m going to need everyone to be on the same side stat. The look of betrayal in Clarke’s eyes was devastating and I can’t handle too many more episodes of that.

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