Review: The 100 series finale, “The Last War”

The 100 -- "The Last War" -- Image Number: HU716a_0159r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Lola Flanery as Madi -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The 100 -- "The Last War" -- Image Number: HU716a_0159r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Lola Flanery as Madi -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

Despite some good scenes, the series finale of The 100 wastes a lot of the character development of the last seven seasons. Our review of “The Last War”:

In the final episode of The 100, Clarke and her friends are humanity’s final hope for transcendence. Clarke herself goes after Bill while he takes the test, and Jackson and Murphy try to save Emori while Raven gathers reinforcements.

Bill encounters a deity beyond the traveling stone. Just as he begins the trial for transcendence, Clarke murders him. It’s then up to her to complete the test, which she fails since she’s committed multiple atrocities.

While Clarke talks with a god, Raven rescues those still back on Old Earth and takes them to Bardo to help give Clarke more time. She encounters Clarke as she’s finishing the trial, and goes in to face the deity herself. With her milder record and sharp mind, Raven does a better job.

Meanwhile, Jackson is unable to save Emori as she dies in surgery. He removes her mind drive and installs it in himself to give the two a few more hours before they both die. It’s a touching moment and true to the characters, although Murphy wants no part of it.

Wonkru and the Golden Mask army meet on Bardo. They cease fire while the testing is being done, but of course Shedheda wants nothing but violence and starts the conflict with a couple of well-placed shots. This starts the titular “Last War,” although it doesn’t last long. Octavia of all people gets the two sides to stop firing long enough to allow Raven to prove to the deity that the human race just needs a bit more time to be ready for transcendence. And that’s when things take a very odd and disappointing turn.

This episode includes a lot of shooting and bleeding and dying, to the point where almost every scene includes a notable character breathing their last. From Maddie’s brain death to Emori and Murphy’s final moments to Echo and Levitt bleeding out, “The Last War” piles it on.

But then, after all this time spent trying to stop Bill and his Disciples from transcending, that’s exactly what happens. Somehow, after a little begging and a mediocre speech about how war is bad, the deity in charge of judgment for an entire species and all their history is like, ‘yeah that’s all I needed, go ahead.’ There’re a bunch of scenes with everyone glowing, then turning into orbs of light (not Clarke, of course) as the human race reaches its next stage in evolution.

It’s a very underwhelming climax: the thing so many people died fighting for just sort of happens, precipitated by the people who were trying to stop it 20 minutes before. At this point I don’t even remember what the conflict between Bardo and Sanctum was about, since it seems like everyone won. Literately no lessons were learned. No one grew. It took one person to stop a battle that wasn’t going to happen anyway, and the entire human race gets to evolve into an ever-expanding consciousness connected with all of time and space.

To say the ending is bittersweet would be putting it mildly. The end of season 5, with Monty and Harper sacrificing themselves to find a new habitable planet for the human race, was an example of a good finish; it showed the perseverance of humanity, with themes of compassion and sacrifice for the greater good underlining everything. But here, it’s just about how love makes you kill people and that’s okay because if you stop when you’re being watched then everybody wins. It’s sad to see nearly all the personal growth these characters went through over seven seasons mean nothing in the end.

There are still good moments in the finale. The final scene involves Clarke being told that because of her sins she cannot transcend, but the others can come back to spend their time with her. The last shot is of her reuniting with them on a beach back on Old Earth. It’s the end to a long and wild story about the 100 companions who helped humanity reach its next evolution.

Episode Grade: C

Season Grade: C+

Series Grade: B-

Next. WiC Watches: The 100 season 7. dark

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