Marie Avgeropoulos breaks down Octavia's 'beautiful' decade of flashbacks on The 100
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of The 100, "The Garden."
What exactly happened to Octavia back in season 6, episode 8 of The 100, "The Old Man and the Anomaly?" Almost one year later, we finally found out… and it turned out to be quite a long answer.
This week's episode of the CW's post-apocalyptic sci-fi series, "The Garden," turned back the clock — and slowed it way down — to finally explain in flashbacks what happened to Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) after she followed Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic) into the anomaly last season, and why she emerged from it alone, healed, and as a seemingly different person.
After Echo (Tasya Teles) and Gabriel (Chuku Modu) went through the anomaly with Diyoza's now-adult daughter Hope (Shelby Flannery), they learned about her mysterious past and how she grew up with Diyoza and Octavia on a different planet called Skyring, a.k.a. Planet Beta, a.k.a. Penance, because the anomaly is a wormhole that makes planet-hopping possible. And since time moves slower on Skyring/Beta/Penance, we learned that Octavia actually spent a decade there, helping to raise Hope as "Auntie O," before the invisible soldiers arrived and captured her and Diyoza, taking them to Planet Bardo, where she hopes Bellamy (Bob Morley) is also being held.
EW got Avgeropoulos to break down that decade of flashbacks and how the experience will affect Octavia in the final season, plus so much more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is kind of the perfect time for The 100's final season to be airing since we don't have much else going on right now.
MARIE AVGEROPOULOS: I think everyone's kind of watched everything there is to watch on Netflix or whatever their streaming channel of choice is recently, so I'm really glad we actually did finish 100 episodes of The 100, literally the day before the lockdown. We didn't even have a wrap party because obviously COVID-19 health reasons. We didn't say proper goodbyes to one another, but I'm so pleased that we actually got to finish the show and it's done and it's complete, and everybody can enjoy season 7 and see how this epic journey ends.
Episode 2 is really a tour de force for you with all the flashbacks showcasing a full decade of growth for Octavia. What did you think when you found out that you were getting this incredible Octavia-centric episode?
I started this show when I was 24 years old and now I'm, ugh, I don't even know what day it is anymore. I'm 33, I think? [Laughs] I feel like my life is on a loop during COVID-19. "Laundry, again?" [Laughs] But I feel like I've grown up a lot with the character, and the character has grown up with me as well. So I feel like it was a natural next step for Octavia to become sort of a stepmom in a blended family, and to see a nurturing side of her. I felt like that made sense because it was again peeling off another layer that the audience had never seen before.
It's such a full-circle moment to see her go from the young kid hiding underneath the floorboards in the pilot to now taking care of a kid who ends up having to hide herself.
Yeah! It was really serendipitously beautiful for Octavia to practice the same parenting measures that Bellamy ultimately had to do for her, being the forbidden child under a one-child rule on the Ark, way back when, when the show began. So even though Octavia had no idea what she was doing being essentially a midwife and a step-parent to quiet the infant when Diyoza passed out post childbirth, no medication or nurses around, Octavia used the same tool that Bellamy ultimately used on her way back when. I thought that was really nice while she was missing her big brother to use that tool, and that's the first thing that came to mind that ultimately sparked the fact that she needed to get back to her brother. The blended family and the parenting and all that for her was absolutely wonderful, but she needed to get back to her own blood and not be the third wheel on an isolated planet.
By the end of this week's episode, we learn that Octavia isn’t dead in the present timeline — Hope says she just "tagged" her. Did you know that she wasn’t killed by Hope back when you were filming the season 6 finale?
I had no idea if I was actually killed off, to be honest. I had no idea if I had a job. The mystery is always, you know, here's some scripts, and maybe here's not some scripts. And at that point we were wrapped for season. I wasn't quite sure where they were taking her, but that's ultimately what made Octavia so enjoyable and rewarding to play, is that level of suspense. What viewers were feeling for her, I was sharing that same [feeling].
All throughout the decade that Octavia is on Skyring/Beta/Penance, her one goal is to get to Bellamy. What are we going to see from the Blakes in the final season?
The last time we've seen Bellamy and Octavia together was in season 6, when they rekindled the relationship after Bellamy had abandoned her for dead. And then we saw them reconnect, and understand each other as people on a deeper level, but in authentic 100 fashion only for Octavia to disappear at the end of the last season. Nothing good ever lasts very long. So the mystery as to where she went will be uncovered this season. And everyone's going to see what the Blake's future is and if Octavia ultimately can find her big brother. Because the biggest obstacle, of course, is they're not even on the same planet, with no spaceship in sight.
What was it like for you having to portray so many different timelines in the final season?
The great thing about the different timelines in this season is I had the opportunity to work with several versions of Hope. I got to work with an infant baby, become a midwife, which I think for me in my personal life will be the best birth control ever because that was terrifying. The baby I worked with was covered in KY jelly and jam, and I had to hold the umbilical cord attached to it with one hand and not drop it in the other. It really shook some motherhood into my brain and my brain told me, "No, you're not ready for this!" [Laughs] The funny thing is, Octavia wasn't either. But she figured out how to do it and it's a beautiful thing to see the three of them, strong women raising raise a kid where there's no enemy. Finally, it's a place of peace. But of course in typical Octavia fashion that's not good enough, she has to go figure out her next challenge and find her brother. But it was really wonderful to work with various ages of the character Hope. I think I worked with four different young girls and they were all so talented, and it was a pleasure to change it up and work with young kids because I haven't had that experience before on The 100, and neither has Octavia.
The 100 airs Wednesdays on the CW.