The 100 season 5 episode 11 review: The Dark Year


This week, fans of The 100 finally discovered what happened during the “Dark Year.” And it’s exactly what we expected.

Anyone who’s been keeping up with the fifth season of The 100 has been not-so-patiently waiting to find out what happened to Wonkru during the “Dark Year.” During this week’s episode, we finally find out. Granted, most of it is conveyed through Abby’s memories.

At the end of “The Warriors Will,” Clarke and Madi find Abby unconscious and barely breathing in Shallow Valley. “The Dark Year” opens with their attempts to resuscitate her, attempts that thankfully turn out successful.

Once Clarke saves Abby, McCreary shows up. Clarke tells him about the malfunctioning missile system, despite knowing that his men overthrew Diyoza and Kane. There isn’t much McCreary’s men can do to fix the system, given that their pilot left with Diyoza. But his group prepares for war with Wonkru, a war they now know is approaching.

After their conversation, McCreary also gives Clarke 24 hours to get Abby up and running. If the doctor doesn’t cure him and his men by then, he tells Clarke that she and Abby “will both get to watch [their] daughters die.” Predictable as ever, Clarke immediately gets to work.

Clarke’s compliance with McCreary’s wishes creates more tension between her and Madi. Madi goes as far as to tell Clarke that they’re “on the wrong side of this war” and that she’s ashamed of her. Unfortunately, her words don’t have the effect she desired. Clarke and Abby still go through with healing Eligius.

The 100 — “The Dark Year” — Image Number: HU511b_0238.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Adina Porter as Indra and Jessica Harmon as Niylah — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The “Dark Year” explained

As Abby drifts in and out of consciousness during her detox, her memories of the “Dark Year” surface. The showrunners do a good job of transitioning from past to present, and the flashbacks are brief but emotional.

The first flashback opens with Octavia and her advisors standing around a table, discussing the food shortage in the bunker. Cooper tells Octavia that they’ll have to go an entire year without protein, given that they can’t make it as quickly as they’d originally anticipated.

Abby confirms that they’ll starve if they go that long without protein, right before telling the others that “there is only one potential source.” The uncomfortable silence is all the confirmation viewers need that the cannibalism theory was correct, but the conversation continues.

Octavia questions whether they’ll have enough meat to last them an entire year, to which Abby responds that they will “once the crime rate rises.” Ever the group’s moral compass, Kane shoots down the entire idea. But when Octavia begs him to give her another option, he can’t.

The two other flashbacks are more disturbing than the first. The second one shows Wonkru’s first meal taken from the fighting pits. Octavia and her advisors sit at a table, forced to take the first bites in order convince the rest of the bunker that this is okay. Which of course, it isn’t.

“Some of you think this is a sin,” Octavia tells them. “The sin would be letting us starve to death.” As she says it, she barely sounds convinced herself. But ever loyal, Indra and the others back her up. “They died so we can live. Honor them.” That’s right, that’s where the Wonkru tradition of saying “omon gon oson” (all of me, for all of us) before eating comes from.

Kane is the only one of Octavia’s advisors who doesn’t support her, walking out after her speech. Many of her followers walk out after him, and Abby tells her that they need to force the entire bunker to eat. If they don’t, many will starve, leaving them with fewer people, and thus, fewer protein sources.

Octavia is appalled by Abby’s suggestion, but their conversation segues into a third memory, one in which Octavia begins killing those refusing to eat. Once she begins firing, Kane finally agrees to eat, and the others follow suit.

Unfortunately, it’s too late for Octavia at this point. This memory captures the moment Octavia breaks, and Marie Avgeropoulos’ acting is top notch through the entire scene. And Octavia’s desperate, present-day claim that everything they’ve done will “make sense” once they’re in the valley proves that she’s still carrying the guilt from her past actions.

The 100 — “The Dark Year” — Image Number: HU511a_0309.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Eliza Taylor as Clarke and William Miller as McCreary — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Preparing for war

Apart from the flashbacks to the “Dark Year,” the majority of episode 11 serves as build up for the season finale. Wonkru is marching to war, and each group is preparing for that.

Spacekru, as Bellamy’s “family” calls themselves, remains in hiding with Kane and Diyoza. They attempt to give Octavia and Bellamy a leg up in the war by scouting the ground and stealing Eligius’ ammunition (John Murphy’s idea, of course).

Meanwhile, Diyoza tells Kane that Wonkru will likely win the war. Though they’ll suffer losses at the beginning, their training and numbers will allow them to prevail over the prisoners. She says: “The Red Queen will rule over the green valley.” Kane is not pleased about this, as he does not believe Octavia fit to lead.

Working together, the group also discovers that McCreary’s battle strategy is almost an exact copy of Diyoza’s. Echo uses this information to warn Bellamy, who then passes it along to Octavia. Tensions are high between the Blake siblings, especially when he tells her that he’s marching “to get back to his family,” not for her. Of course, after being thrown in the pit, who can blame him?

Still, by the end of the episode, it looks like Wonkru will come out victorious in the war against Eligius. And thanks to Spacekru’s spying, they won’t suffer severe losses. Viewers can breathe a sigh of relief for our beloved characters.

Unfortunately, that sigh of relief doesn’t last long. The episode closes with Kane and Diyoza turning themselves in. When McCreary asks them why they’d return so willingly, Kane says: “I won’t let the devil in this garden.”

We’d like to think that they’re pretending to double-cross Octavia and the others, while truly planning to betray McCreary. But Kane seems determined to put an end to Bloodreina, and that doesn’t bode well for our heroes — all of whom will now be walking into a trap.

Next: The 100 season 5 episode 10 review: The Warriors Will

We’ll see how this war goes during next week’s episode. “Damocles – Part One” airs on Tuesday, July 31.