‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’. An episode in which nothing works out quite right for anybody but is still fantastic anyway.
The 100 – “Sic Semper Tyrannis”, Season 5, Episode 09
Airdate: July 10th, 2018
Director: Ian Samoil
Writer: Julie and Shawna Benson
Based on the Book by: Kass Morgan
What You Should Know:
With Octavia in an algae-induced coma, Indra and Bellamy hope to broker peace in the valley. Abby, having discovered a way to cure the miners of their illness, has been ordered to keep quiet about it for now by Diyoza, who is facing the return of McCreary after abandoning him to Murphy and Emori. Tensions are swelling among all factions.
What You’ll Find Out:
A number of critical plot threads are woven together as Season 5 has reached a boiling point. In Polis, we follow Bellamy’s attempts to prevent war in the valley by having Madi ascend to the post of Commander, very much so against Clarke’s wishes. With Octavia still in a coma, the attempts to have Indra quell the thirst for war and broker peace with Diyoza is thwarted by Bloodreina’s faithful, led by Miller. Instead, divisions continue to spread through Wonkru as members begin to remember the days before the bunker.
As Bellamy and Gaia prepare for and execute the ascension, however, Indra discovers that dialysis has been successful in waking Octavia, leading to further bloodshed as Indra attempts to prevent Octavia or anybody else from interfering with potential peace. Unfortunately, Niylah pays a visit to the still-imprisoned Clarke only to find that Clarke is just as against Madi’s ascension as the Wonkru faithful. Niylah frees Clarke, who in turn frees Octavia, and the two unlikely allies stop the ascension and ensure that Wonkru will go to war for Shadow Valley. Clarke and Madi escape in the rover (despite Octavia’s orders to have them both killed), leaving Indra, Gaia, and Bellamy prisoners of Octavia.
While all hell breaks loose in Polis, the PriKrew and the valley are in no better shape. Diyoza’s attempts to suppress news of the cure are thwarted by Murphy, Echo, Raven, and Emori as a part of their escape attempt (which now includes Shaw). The theory behind the plot was to get the two sides—McCreary’s faithful and Diyoza’s—to weaken each other. With Diyoza’s side armed and McCreary’s pack unarmed, the plan looks good on paper, but in execution, McCreary’s monsters prove more resourceful. Despite Diyoza reaching Abby first, McCreary’s crew still manages a snatch and grab, and the long-awaited fight between the pregnant Diyoza and her presumed baby daddy. It is a fight that somehow, nobody wins, and both manage to walk away. By the end, McCreary controls the Valley and has Abby, although Diyoza and company have the dropship and the sonic device used to cure the mining illness.
What Just Happened?
I mentioned before that nothing quite worked out for anybody in this episode and I meant it, but even deeper than that, both Wonkru and PriKrew were distinctly weakened. For PriKrew, the weakening is obvious in the splitting of the forces and the obvious loss of life in their civil war, but for Wonkru, the weakening came in a more insidious form—a loss of leadership. Although Octavia has reclaimed her position, she finds herself without most of her senior staff, so to speak. Her single tear shed at the end of the episode is the first time this season we’ve actually seen Octavia as she was, not as she has become, which offers a glimmer of hope moving forward, but only the tiniest bit.
This episode was paced as perfectly as any television episode I have ever seen. With so much happening, it could have easily felt rushed, but in the capable hands of Shawna and Julie Benson, it flowed beautifully from one “oh shit” moment to the next. My only complaint? There is no way, with her training and experience, that Diyoza leaves that room without confirming her kill. Not a chance, even in the extreme distress she was in. Otherwise, a near perfect episode, or as Murphy would call it, a “masterpiece.”
Final Thought: With only four episodes left, one of which is presumably a flashback to the Dark Year, next episode should be the setup for the finale. I wonder if it will be the calm before the storm or even greater chaos?
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