Sanctum's best kept secret is that their storylines feel very similiar to the past.
That feeling of nostalgia though can quickly turn on the narrative, especially when much of it felt like a reintroduction to something the audience has become very familiar with already.
During The 100 Season 6 Episode 3, Russell and his friends are introduced to the audience and the other characters. Their way of living is hinted at, as Clarke tries to figure out a way to make sure they are allowed to stay in Sanctum.
While she pushes for the future of her people though, she stumbles upon hints of the meaning of this society.
There is a focus on Nightblood and of people with black blood ascending beyond what they are now.
Then there is also Bellamy, Raven, Octavia, and Echo who end up on their own trying to save Diyoza, Madi, and Gaia from another cult called the Children of Gabriel.
That leads to them all taking the ship back to Sanctum, except for Octavia who can't get past her ways and instead ends up as another hostage for Xavier and his group.
"The Children of Gabriel," written by Drew Lindo holds the weight of exploring the new characters and problems on this moon that everyone wants to call home.
Unfortunately, it is saddled with hints of storylines that feel reminiscent of everything that the show left behind on Earth.
That holds the episode back because the potential is there for a new normal, and yet so far it feels like too much of the same concepts that have started to haunt the series now.
But there are still plenty of standout moments when it comes to character-centric scenes, and the groundwork is still there for something surprising to come out of this as the story progresses.
It just can't get caught up in the same cycle because saying the Commander and The Flame belief system is getting old is an understatement.
The Name of the Game
It is clear that for now, there is a pattern with the way that Russell is functioning in Sanctum against what we had on Earth.
A system where your black blood makes you more useful that could be a thing that they have to live with.
But then you have a day where people become Primes, taking on another name and allowing everything to change which screams a body takeover.
All that talk of hosts solidifies that these people see bodies separate from what is inside of them. Clinically, it can get extracted, so it isn't a package deal for them anymore.
That takes the Commander and the Flame idea to a different level, but the roots of it are still in there, there is just more regal subtext added in there to make it more scientific.
That does't mean the season will follow the same storyline, and yet it has to be expressed that for now they are stuck in the same loop of possibilities.
It isn't the most exciting way to introduce a new setting, which is probably where the real problem lies with how this episode unfolded.
Murphy: Unless they ask about the end of the world. In that case, maybe don't tell them you fired the first shot.
Clarke: Don't worry, Murphy. Hell is big enough for both of us.
Following along with the Sanctum people's distress about Rose and the ceremony was hard to invest in, maybe because it felt used before or maybe because there is no familiarity there yet.
These people are worried that they can't trust Clarke and the others, but frankly we can't trust them yet.
They scream horrible skeletons in their basement, and nothing so far has disproved that for us.
It is also the connection that Russell has found in Clarke; it is leaning towards those "I want to make you a Prime and name you Josephine VIII" vibes.
That is what results in the most fear. Maybe this concept is original and will have more twists and turns, and it most certainly will because it is only the third episode and there are still plenty of stories to expose to us.
For now though, Clarke is a possible victim and her odds aren't looking good.
Even the trailer for next week is showing her getting experimented on in some way, it isn't safe for her there and her trust is too strong in these people.
Right now we are at a point where trusting Russell feels like a trap, especially with how dark he can get when his rules aren't followed. He wasn't willing to let Clarke stay for the goodness in his heart, it was her blood that let them survive.
That means this and the fact that he might see her as a daughter surrogate is what is allowing them to stay there.
Not to mention the weird cult-like behavior going on with those in Sanctum, that scheduled yoga and misplaced belief in a Naming Day is releasing all kinds of red flags to us.
So looking forward, it seems like they will be vulnerable enough in their search for happiness, however brief, which can threaten their ability to see what is right in front of them.
They might think they want to stay in Sanctum, but do they really?
The idea of a second chance has never felt like more of a weight, with perhaps the real second chance being the way they trust those around them.
Maybe it is okay to be skeptical and not to want to believe that people that look like they are good are.
Because there is something to be said about the sky people having their mistakes but laying them all out on the table.
It is those characters that pretend they don't have any, the ones that praise their system of life, those are the ones with the biggest secrets that they want to keep buried.
All of this shame towards Clarke's attempts to keep those she loves alive, it could very well be an enhanced attempt to deflect from the cracks in Sanctum's barrier.
One thing that The 100 wants us to take away is that people aren't all good, and they can't stop themselves from falling into a cycle. A perfect society doesn't exist, because perfect people don't exist.
You can enhance them to attempt to create that, but then what does that make the creator?
Someone tell Clarke that she needs to take a step back because she might have entered a cult.
Don't drink their Kool-Aid, because your walls will come down and that is when those around her will show their true colors.
Yet Another Day, Yet Another Cult
In this review house we love and support Bellamy Blake. As always, Bellamy is at a place where he is allowing himself to put up barriers where he thinks is necessary.
He doesn't want to forgive and trust Octavia right now, and that is his choice.And while others are giving Octavia some benefit of the doubt, she solidified this time around where the difference between her and Clarke lies.
During The 100 Season 6 Episode 2, they were both in the same headspace of wanting to end their life for the choices they made.
But once again, Clarke was looking to do better, and Octavia was stuck in her old ways of excusing what she did.
This episode though finally confirmed that discrepancy, Octavia isn't doing this for a one-time event. There isn't an excuse for every bad choice she makes, especially those that come with the price of others dying.
When she ends up falling into this role of feeling bad for herself and thinking she can do no wrong, the fourth time around it is hard to feel sympathy.
Because what is to stop her from doing this again? There is no trust to be had for her and while brutal, Bellamy's actions were building up to this point.
It was him just waiting to be proven right, for Octavia not to listen and to hurt others without a second thought.
He has this idea of who she has become in his head, and she isn't disproving it.
Jordan: That is so cool. I read that it preserves the purity of the fruit.
Murphy: You need to work on your game, kid. I owe your pops at least that much.
Delilah: His game is just fine.
So, for now, there isn't a way that these two could coexist in the same place because as much as Octavia decided that she wants Bellamy to forgive her, he doesn't want to.
Bellamy is free to make that choice, even if it comes at the heavy expense of casting his sister away.
She is a danger to their peace, and her kill-first-ask-questions-later strategy is what has destroyed them as a group before.
They need the space, and if Octavia wants to be seen differently then she needs to put in the work to prove that she is.
Enter her new boyfriend, Xavier.
There is no chance Xavier isn't the next favorite for us, Octavia has a good choice in men even if it never ends well.
From a narrative point it also allows for there to always be two stories being told, with Russell and Gabriel's people both getting the attention they need side by side.
Diyoza and Octavia are in a way the perfect people to pair up with this specific "Death is Life" cult, the outcasts have to stick together.
These are to characters that have been cast aside into the villain category for their actions, which connects with the way the Children of Gabriel are looking to the audience and those in Sanctum.
Which is where our theories come in, specifically about the fall out of Gabriel and those that now follow in his footsteps.
Let us assume that Gabriel did help Russell out after what happened to Josephine in those flashbacks.
He could have been instrumental in creating these host bodies and the Naming Day that allows them to take over and get reborn into someone else.
But they could have had a falling out, maybe Russell took it too far. Gabriel could have only wanted to do it to save those that they lost because of the eclipse, but Russell decided to take it a step further.
Maybe he wanted to enhance their experiment, seek out people with nightblood and perfect these people that they were creating in their host bodies.
So Gabriel saw that Russell was losing it, playing God over something that wasn't his to play with, and he left to no longer be part of that.
It would explain the death is life motto, believing that death should exist instead of taking over someone's body and in a way killing them in the process to let someone live over and over again.
It could also then have led to Gabriel's children wanting to remove the threat that lives in those walls. They could know about the cloning or the Naming Day concept, and are trying to stop it.
Because as Delilah mentioned, everything would change once she became a Prime.
She would have a new name and probably a new personality; she wouldn't be herself anymore, she could have her body used for someone else to live in it.
If this is a way to sacrifice people for the greater good of allowing this regal handing down of power to the same person in different forms, it is dangerous, and it is harming those people that give their bodies up.
It is without even wondering where those people go, do they disappear or are they still present but stuck in their minds while they watch someone else get implanted and in control of their body?
Take the Flame and twist it, you get a potential prime plotline.
Is this what would be considered a glow up?
The important factor here though is that for now, these outside groups of people haven't gotten the chance to share their story. Octavia is the key to giving them a voice, and who doesn't love a good shakeup where those on the outside are the ones who can be trusted?
It would be a play on the way that Clarke knew right away that Mount Weather was bad, getting out of there just in time.
But what if this time around she miscalculated because their cards weren't as sinister right off the bat, so she is now with those that have made more terrifying decisions without knowing it?
The Bellarke Corner
First things first, Jason Rothenberg told us in the second part of our exclusive interview, that Bellamy and Clarke would talk over what they went through in the previous episode.
That didn't happen, but it isn't possible that this was something that would get mentioned if there weren't scenes to bring up.
So it is possible that those scenes will air in the following episode because those two need to talk it out.
Bellamy and Murphy got the chance to talk about what happened, and yet it makes sense that they got just a few seconds to do it. They don't need any more than that for their relationship or the audience.
But Bellamy and Clarke mean more to the narrative when it comes to their conversations, it would make no sense to pretend nothing happened between them during those hallucinations.
Especially if you think about Clarke's safety and where her mind could or couldn't go, having a meaningful conversation between them before we all might start questioning if Clarke is ever herself anymore could be valuable.
Still, even the smallest amount of scenes can offer a lot if you know where to look, and this time around I did.
Bellamy's has taken a step back in the way that he allows the others to confront Clarke.
Before it got mentioned that he would come to her defense, trying to defuse the situation before it got out of hand
Now though, at least so far, he has been allowing the others to air out their issues.
Russell: Are you the leader of your people or not?
Bellamy: She is. She can speak for us.
Because even though they worked it out, thanks to those radio calls and their iconic status, it isn't like that for everyone.
And Bellamy is on this new path with Octavia when it comes to forgiveness, which he is extending to those around him as well.
Forgiveness should be earned and isn't necessary in some cases. So allowing people like Murphy and Raven to not budge on their opinion of Clarke was Bellamy allowing them to have room to figure it out.
Bellamy can't speak to the pain and the betrayal that the others might feel with Clarke, he can only speak to his own.
But in a big way, he still supported Clarke when it came to Russell.
Raven had just displayed to the new characters that the trust wasn't there when it came to Clarke's leadership, only for Bellamy to loudly make it clear that he stands behind her making choices for them.
Considering they are partners, that was a calculated way to make sure Russell knew who would be in charge since he was interested in Clarke and it was him publicly displaying his trust in Clarke.
That was necessary for Clarke, someone who was still not sure herself where she fit in.
Having the trust of your co-leader that you can make the choices for everyone as a whole is significant when they haven't always seen eye to eye.
And it was a way for others like Raven and Murphy to see where he stood too.
Bellamy might not be telling them individually to trust Clarke; he took it one step farther by handing over the reins to her when he wouldn't be there with her.
Coming up though, Bellamy and Clarke will be butting heads as the episode description for the fifth episode teases.
The good part of the separation between them not even lasting a day means not having to see Clarke getting manipulated while Bellamy isn't there.
It does make things tricky though since the trailer for the next episode has her in what seems to be a dangerous state.
She looks like she might be tested on, and what if that gets done when Bellamy isn't aware of it?
The audience is getting slapped with the idea of Clarke becoming a Prime, which means everything will change for her. Will Bellamy figure it out in time?
Or will he get to indulge in his choking kink again when he harms Russell in the season trailer while Murphy and Clarke watch?
Let us take a second to look at this gifset that shows the parallel between Bellamy/Clarke and Russell/Simone. Is this where we pretend again that it doesn't mean anything?
It isn't clear yet why the story needed Murphy to reemerge in this state. But his momentary death brought him to a weaker place and created a trigger for him from now on.
The show submerged Murphy in a battle that Criminal Minds and Buffy also set up for its main characters, a position of knowing where you end up after death and the knowledge of it while you are still alive.
That has to leave a lasting mark on Murphy, and yet I am mostly curious why Murphy needs to be so subdued in the context of the show. Will this make him more vulnerable? Possibly to Russell?
Not to be that person, but that Bellamy and Echo hug though. Bellamy (or Bob Morley) made that awkward face and I can't be the only one questioning the purpose of it at all now.
It was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, a stark comparison to some other hugs, many of which are our favorites from the show because of how they get positioned and focused.
The 100 is still watering down Echo a little, making her present and responsive without allowing her to take up too much space like last season.
But with that comes that need to remind the audience that Bellamy and Echo are still together because it might be easy to forget. Hence the awkward hugs?
Raven has been underused three episodes into the show, and this new trait for her where she judges Clarke can't be it.
First, it becomes all that she is, in a way she falls into a rut that she can't climb out of. It also paints her in this weird light, because now all she is is angry and petty. She has more to offer when she isn't around Clarke, it would be great to see that again.
- How many cults can one moon have?
Logical question time: Why can't they go to another portion of the moon? There are threats with these other people outside of the barrier, but what about beyond that?
There is a literal moon at their disposable, and once again the characters only stick to one specific area, as if there aren't other portions to consider.
Just like Earth was more than just the US and Canada, this Alpha moon is more than just where Sanctum and those people are.
- Bellamy ran to Madi while his leg was injured, and if you didn't tear up then you are a liar.
- Jordan is the one in the friend group that you can't trust with your secrets. He and Delilah are adorable, but the dude needs not to spill it all right away! Leave a little mystery in your relationship.
You would think someone who has a dog can be trusted, but the whole time Russell was telling that story about his childhood dog, I was getting chills.
The dude was giving off some dangerous vibes and if someone doesn't steal Picasso from him, then they are all dead to me.
What did you think of this episode? Were you as invested as before or did it slow down similarly for you?
How worried are you for Clarke? How worried are you for Charmaine and Octavia out there?
Which new character is your favorite so far? Which character do you want to get to know better? Which character do you want to know less about?
How hard are you shipping Delilah and Jordan? How much did you love Picasso?
What do you think is Sanctum's next plan? Clones or clones?
How much do you need that Bellamy and Clarke conversation already?
Would you want to join the Children of Gabriel or Russell's Sanctum Cult?
Let us know what you think below!
And don't forget to tune in before the next episode for a deeper dive feature into the Blake siblings and why they might be the perfect example of a different approach to expected forgiveness.
The 100 airs on Tuesdays, at 9/8c on The CW.
Stick around TV Fanatic for more features, slideshows, episode previews, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online if you need to catch up on the adventure.
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.