The 100 recap: Clarke fights her way back to Madi
Well, that was a doozy. Anyone else planning to hold their breath for a week straight? As the penultimate episode, “The Dying of the Light” held an emotional gut punch. And like the past few episodes, I’m not sure how to feel about it yet…
Pushing up from the rubble of the now-exploded bunker, Murphy searches for Emori. Raven and Jackson find him first, and then they hear someone coughing. They pull back large chunks of cement to unveil Emori. She’s alive, but she's pinned in and has a giant rebar going through her abdomen. “It’s just a scratch,” she assures Murphy.
Over in the pit, Clarke is adamant about going after Madi. She has two nanotech trackers, which she and Octavia quickly swallow without much of a plan. But unluckily/luckily, the tech doesn’t work. Hope predicts that someone on the other side probably has to draw people back with them. And she’s right.
In Bardo, the Shepherd gets news that the two chips have been used. He says to leave them all there. He has one priority: Madi. She's taken to Levitt and his M-Cap device. She’s nervous to sit in the chair, but he assures her that it won’t hurt. With the neural link engaged, he tries to gather her “memories” around Callie and Becca, but these aren’t true memories in the normal place of the brain. The Shepherd says to do whatever he has to do because objective No. 1 is finding the final code.
Madi points out that Jordan studied the Bardo texts and believes it’s a test, not a war. The Shepherd doesn’t think that’s possible; he and his people have studied the texts for generations and even though translation is an art, he’s sure this is a war. But if not, he’ll be happy to spare everyone the pain of fighting and take the test himself.
Also thinking about the final test, Jordan tells everyone in the pit that he’s sure of his translation. When he was in the red sun toxin, he had a vision and knows it in his bones. Okay, kid, sure.
Clarke isn’t really into hearing about any of this — she only cares about getting Madi back. Gaia pulls her aside and points out that Madi has learned to do exactly what Clarke has always done: protect the people she loves. And that’s when she realizes how many heart attacks she probably gave her own mother. She’s feeling such pain she can barely breathe, and she’s only imagining what’s happening to Madi. If she actually saw what happened, she’d really lose it.
Levitt is having to go deeper and deeper in Madi’s mind to find the memories the Shepherd is looking for. The Shepherd sees memories of Callie and asks Levitt to push deeper. At each step, Levitt warns the Shepherd that this is dangerous, but he pushes him onward with no regard for Madi. For her part, the former young commander is quite strong… that is, until she sees Rebecca’s memories from the stone. She knows what she saw all those years ago and says the Shepherd isn’t ready and she won’t help him. She thrashes and fights the M-Cap. The Shepherd brings in his guards to help keep her down. And when Levitt hesitates about delving into her mind more, the Shepherd kicks him out.
Levitt, who we always knew was really one of the good guys, goes to the stone room, and tricks the keeper into pulling back the two nanotechs. In the pit, Clarke and Octavia disappear.
They’re not the only ones trying to transport out of there: Jackson, Murphy, and Raven were able to pull Emori out of the rubble, but in addition to her side wound, she also has a bad wound on her leg. After cauterizing it with a hot piece of metal (ouch), Jackson says they have to get Emori back to Sanctum for proper treatment. Raven has an idea: get to the rec room, find the stone, and jump her to a sterile surgery room.
In the rec room, they tear everything apart. Under the rug beneath the piano, they find a hand, an Azgeda symbol. Raven interprets that as X marks the spot, so she and Murphy start sledgehammering away at the cement below them. Jackson tries to tend to Emori, but she isn’t faring well. He goes over and fills in for Raven and tells her to try to keep her hopes up about surviving. The ultimate survivor, Raven talks with Emori about the Ring. As a once-discarded grounder, Emori says that time, when she formed a family, was some of the best of her life. She asks something of Raven: to forget getting her to Sanctum and instead take the stone to Bardo and stop the Shepherd.
“In the choice between saving me or saving everyone, you choose everyone,” Emori says. She’s being selfless — and it’s honorable — but Raven isn’t having it. She says she’s tired of seeing the people she loves die, and she’ll save Emori first and then everyone else. Just as Murphy hits the stone with his sledgehammer, Emori stops breathing. Jackson starts compressions while Raven helps Murphy uncover the stone. Raven puts on the helmet, identifies the symbols, and they use it to get Emori to safety… presumably.
Jumping didn’t work out so well for Clarke and Octavia. They end up surrounded by Disciples, who put them straight into a cell next to Sheidheda. Luckily, they don’t have to stay there long. Levitt sneaks his way in and hopes they have a plan. “Isn’t this your specialty?” he asks them. Clarke says the best way through is with a distraction, so they team up with Sheidheda. They free him, he kills everyone in sight. (“Attention, sheep! I’m here to kill your shepherd,” he hilariously yells out … do I like Sheidheda now!?)
With their path cleared, Clarke, Octavia, and Levitt enter the M-Cap room, but, unfortunately, it’s too late. Madi lays catatonic in the chair. As Clarke holds her and cries, Levitt analyzes the history of her brain. He can see there is neural activity, but she’s had a massive stroke and will no longer be able to move. Basically, she’s locked into her brain.
Octavia tells Clarke that Madi can hear her and knows she’s there, but Levitt says there’s no chance of recovering from this. Clarke assures Madi that everything is fine and then glances at a gun on the ground. Octavia knows immediately what she’s thinking — and offers to do it for her.
As my brain goes through the 100 better ways they could possibly do this with all the technology on Bardo, Octavia points a gun at Madi’s heart as Clarke says how much she loves her and hums to her. But before O can pull the trigger, Levitt says, “No!” They turn around and realize what he sees: The Shepherd got the code. There is time to stop him, but they have to rush. Clarke tells Madi she’ll be back and they run out of the room to save the world.
While the sweetest girl on the show has a tear running down her face, I can’t stop thinking: what is going on!? These past few episodes have confused me so much. But when I see “To be continued,” I decide to reserve any judgment about what just happened to Madi. There’s still hope, right?? This week, I’ll just be over here praying to the shepherd that next week somehow returns my faith in The 100.