The 100 season 5 episode 9 review: Sic Semper Tyrannis


“Sic Semper Tyrannis” proved to be another game-changing episode of The 100, setting viewers up for a wild conclusion to the fifth season.

Jason Rothenberg, the show runner of The 100, keeps telling us that the final episodes of the show’s fifth season will be an emotional roller coaster. And after “How We Get To Peace” and “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” it’s hard to disagree with him.

Not only did this week’s episode heighten the conflicts that already existed, but it created new tensions between characters who were previously close. We know The 100 has a knack for messing with its viewers’ emotions, but the new season is taking this to all new heights.

Losing Shallow Valley

“Sic Semper Tyrannis” opens with Diyoza and Abby discussing the cure they’ve been working on for the miners. It quickly becomes clear that Diyoza is hiding their progress from some of the prisoners in the Eligius camp, McCreary in particular. They even hide Abby’s equipment when he makes his way toward their cabin.

Diyoza’s interactions with McCreary are tense, especially with the knowledge that she wouldn’t make a trade for him out in the open. McCreary tells her that some of his people are “even calling for her head,” to which she replies, “Good thing my people are the ones with the guns.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay that way for long. Raven, Echo, Murphy, and Emori have plans of their own, and those plans involve sowing dissent among the Eligius prisoners. Their goal is to have Diyoza’s people and McCreary’s people take each other out. This will leave Shallow Valley wide open for Wonkru.

With a little help from Murphy, the prisoners begin to riot. Diyoza tries to calm them down with promises of land from the settlement that Kane is building. But eventually, the shooting begins. Diyoza escapes the battle to find Abby and flee. Despite being pregnant, she fights off McCreary’s men in an epic display of strength for her character.

But while she’s fighting, Abby is taken by McCreary’s men. Kane comes to rescue them, but only Diyoza is left by the time he gets there. They make for the woods, leaving Shallow Valley in the hands of McCreary and his followers. And at the end of the episode, he makes one thing very clear: They’re going to kill Diyoza’s people and Octavia’s people to maintain their hold on their land.

The time of the commanders

Things don’t go as planned at the Wonkru camp either. At the beginning of “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” Octavia’s systems are failing. It’s unclear if she’ll ever wake, and her closest followers realize that it’s time to discuss her succession. As the leader of the first battalion, Indra assumes that she will take command.

In a heartbreaking speech to Wonkru, in which she claims Octavia as her daughter and second, Indra tells the group that she plans to negotiate with Eligius. She emphasizes the need for a better world — a world with peace.

As we guessed, her plans aren’t met with much support. There’s serious disagreement over who is actually in command, with Miller insistent that Octavia left him that honor. Miller also reminds Wonru that Octavia wanted to march on Shallow Valley. “I’m not asking you to follow me,” he says. “I’m asking you to follow Bloodreina.”

As you can imagine, this puts a stop to Bellamy’s and Indra’s plans. Out of desperation, the two seek out the only solution left to them: Madi. If Madi accepts the flame and ascends, many of the grounders will accept her as their rightful leader. Then she can put an end to the war.

Bellamy, Indra, and Gaia approach Madi with their plan. She’s hesitant at first, but she comes to understand that she’s the only one who can stop the bloodshed. She also becomes more open to the idea when she realizes that Clarke’s life is in jeopardy too. She finally agrees, and Gaia puts the flame into her head.

Ruined relationships

While Madi makes the decision to become the next true commander, Clarke is still locked away as a prisoner. There’s a heartbreaking scene, in which Bellamy tells her that this is the only way to save “his family.” She begs him to find another way, screaming that he promised he would protect her. He walks away and continues with his plan regardless, heralding the end of the trust they’ve established over the past five seasons.

Surprisingly, Niylah is the one who frees Clarke from her prison. Upon realizing that Clarke isn’t the one behind Madi’s ascension, she decides to work with her old friend to prevent it from happening.

In the midst of the chaos, Octavia also wakes up. She tells her guards that her brother poisoned her, forcing Indra to take them out. Octavia tells Indra that she’s ashamed of her, and her mentor replies, “I’m afraid of you.” Indra plans to keep Octavia locked away until Madi’s ascension is done.

Unfortunately, Clarke finds her way to Octavia’s chambers and the two make a deal. “The only person who wants Madi to ascend less than me is you,” Octavia tells her. Together, they storm into the room, where Madi is unconscious with the flame already inside her.

Clarke slaps Bellamy and leaves him to his fate, a heart-wrenching step away from their friendship. It’s difficult to say whether Clarke will ever trust Bellamy again. Given that she left him to die, it’s clear that their relationship is more strained than it has ever been.

The trust between the Blake siblings is also broken for good. Octavia arrests Gaia, Indra, and her brother and sentences them to the arena. She’ll soon lose one, if not both, of the people she loves most in the world. And it becomes clear that she still does care for them when the doors close and tears begin streaming down her face. Octavia Blake is still in there, after all.

Madi’s fate

With the help of one of Octavia’s men, Clarke manages to carry an unconscious Madi back to the rover. She plans to escape, but the grounder pulls a gun on them when Madi wakes. It seems inevitable that he’ll kill them, especially since he admits that these are Octavia’s orders.

Instead, Madi calls on the knowledge of the commanders to talk the man out of it. She reminds him which clan he is from and that he used to serve Lexa kom Triku. Amazed, he bows to Madi and declares her “Heda.”

Of course, Clarke makes the executive decision to shoot him. Despite Madi’s protests that they need to stop Octavia and save their friends, she insists that Madi’s protection is the only thing that matters. It seems probable that Madi will leave Clarke and pursue her destiny regardless, but we just hope she does it quickly. Some pretty important lives depend on it.

Next: The 100 season 5 episode 9 preview: Sic Semper Tyrannis

With such intense things happening, it’s a good thing there are no more breaks in between episodes this season. The next episode of The 100 airs on Tuesday, July 17.