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'The 100' Series Finale Review: Transcendence is finally here, but is it all worth it?

In the final episode for 'The 100', humanity is tested to know whether they should transcend and the one who takes them there is a pleasant surprise
(The CW)
(The CW)

Spoilers for 'The 100' Series Finale 'The Last War'

We are at the final 1 percent of 'The 100', one of The CW's and television's finest sci-fi shows. What began as a very young adult-themed series in its first few episodes quickly evolved to become a deadly show. Who can forget Charlotte (Izabela Vidovic), Wells Jaha (Eli Goree), Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell) or Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey)? Through all its seven seasons, Eliza Taylor has led the show as Clarke Griffin, who often had the responsibility of saving her people, until it chipped away at her.

We will be honest, the seventh and final season of 'The 100' has not always been at its best. The pacing, as we have said before, has been choppy — especially with certain character arcs being swept aside for what have seemingly become meaningless plots. But no matter. Here we are, in the end, waiting to see whether there are any good guys after all.

At this point, that is so difficult to ascertain given what has happened in the past few episodes. Both Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley) and Gabriel Santiago (Chuku Modu) died so that Madi Griffin (Lola Flannery) could live — one killed by Clarke, the other sacrificing himself. Madi herself decided that no one else will die protecting her and goes willingly to Bill Cadogan (John Pyper-Ferguson) who tortures her to the point of her being in a nonresponsive state so he could get the code to the "last war". Unfortunately, to the horror of Clarke, Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos) and Levitt (Jason Diaz), he succeeds.

The battle for survival is everywhere, however. After the Disciples' bomb went off in the bunker on Earth, Emori (Luisa D'Oliveira) was seriously injured as John Murphy (Richard Harmon), Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) and Eric Jackson (Sachin Sahel) race to Sanctum to save her. The others, including Jordan Green (Shannon Kook), Hope Diyoza (Shelby Flannery), Indra (Adina Porter), Gaia (Tati Gabrielle), Nathan Miller (Jarod Joseph), Echo (Tasya Teles) and Niylah (Jessica Harmon) are still stuck in the bunker.

It does look like all roads lead to Bardo, however, as the promos for the episode showed nearly everyone on Bardo fighting the Disciples, including Sheidheda (JR Bourne) who was recruited by Clarke and company to create a useless distraction as they tried to save Madi.

There is a lot left to unravel in the final episode, not to mention that the concepts of the last war or the test or transcendence are still unclear to us as viewers, leaving us wondering why a whole season was dedicated to them. But let's jump right in and take a final look at 'The 100' and whether its ending justifies all that came before.

Clarke's quest for vengeance

'The 100' (The CW)

The series finale of 'The 100' begins first with Murphy, Raven, Jackson, and Emori in Sanctum, with them quickly starting on reviving Emori. Once Emori starts breathing, Raven is asked to save their friends, with Murphy then telling her that she has to get to Madi and stop Cadogan.

In the next couple of minutes, however, the issue of Cadogan is solved by none other than Clarke, who is on a killing rampage now that she has nothing left (according to her) to live for.

Cadogan has gone inside and the being that will test him has taken the form of his daughter, Callie (Iola Evans) who says that Becca Franco (Erica Cerra) refused the test. Cadogan says he is ready and faux-Callie tells him that if he succeeds, humanity will join them, if they fail, they will be eliminated and crystallized like the Bardoans.

Just as faux-Callie completes her first question about love and Cadogan reluctantly starts to answer, Clarke shoots him from the back in the head and meets faux-Callie.

Raven succeeds in getting the Eligius prisoners led by Nikki (Alaina Huffman) to help them clear out the rubble in the bunker and they head to Bardo, armed with Jordan's plan with a distraction for the Disciple soldiers who mistakenly think it's the last war -- one that will make his father proud. Raven and Echo are suited up and invisible as they set to find Clarke, while the others form a barricade.

Back on Sanctum, things are not going so well. Jackson and Miller are reunited, but as Jackson removes the beam from Emori, she starts to lose blood again, coughing it as Emori breathes her last. Jackson's efforts to revive her again do not work and we are left with a heartbroken Murphy.

Murphy decides to take Emori's mind drive and put it in his head and while Jackson refuses to help him at first after Miller points out why Murphy is doing so, Jackson helps him. In his mind space, Murphy tells Emori that he would rather have a few hours with her than have forever without, and then they share a final last dance.

Meanwhile, Raven and Echo reach Octavia and Levitt. Octavia has gone back to her Skairipa style. When Echo tells them they came with an army, Levitt points out that if they fail, they are set to start a war, so Octavia, Echo, and Levitt run to the grounds to stop it as Raven goes towards the stone room.

Transcendence is here

'The 100' (The CW)

In the anomaly space (we do not know what to call it at this point), Clarke realizes that she can't stop the test. The being takes the form of Lexa in one of the most heartwarming cameos. It's not the reunion Clexa fans would have been hoping for, but it is something. Unfortunately, faux Lexa is not happy with Clarke's justifications and decides that humanity will not transcend or survive. 

When Clarke goes out of the stone, she sees Raven and tells her that it should have been her to take the test. Clarke goes to spend time with Madi but Raven takes a chance and touches the glowing light, which is now red. Now, Raven is in the Ark and she sees the being as Abby Griffin (Paige Turco) instead. She justifies Clarke's actions telling faux Abby that everything Clarke did was to save them. Faux Abby then points out that humanity is still on the brink of war and self-extermination and shows Sheidheda poised to fire, to start a war.

Sheidheda does fire and the Bardos and SanctumKru begin firing at each other. However, Levitt runs in between and asks them to stop fighting -- and they do for a while until Sheidheda shoots him and the fighting starts again. Octavia and Echo drag him out of the firing zone but Echo is shot as well. Octavia then goes and tries to do what Levitt did and she tells them that the only way to survive is to stop fighting. Sheidheda also rallies to his followers that blood must have blood, but Indra finally does what she should have a long time ago -- she kills him. Indra and SanctumKru lay down their weapons, as do the Disciples. Raven then tells faux Abby that they just need more time, but what Octavia said must have worked as each of them turns into the beings of light that Bellamy saw.

Clarke is still with Madi and while Madi begins to transcend, she stops herself. Clarke tells her it is okay and she can let go. We also see the others transcending -- Echo, Levitt, Hope, Jordan, Indra, Jackson, Miller, Murphy, Emori, Raven, and more. Unfortunately, Clarke will not be allowed to transcend given that she committed murder during the test.

Clarke first goes back to Sanctum and from there, with Picasso, she heads to Earth -- did she know the code for Earth when it was told to us previously that only Cadogan knew it? On Earth, she is greeted by faux Lexa again who tells her that Madi is no longer in pain and is at peace. Faux Lexa also informs her that transcendence is a choice and that humanity is odd because there were those who chose to come back for her. In the distance, we see a camp being set up and the people Clarke considers hers are there -- Echo, Raven, Hope, Jordan, Octavia, Levitt, Jackson, Miller, Indra, Niylah, and Gaia. And with that, 'The 100' comes to an end.

Final thoughts

'The 100' (The CW)

If other viewers like us, were hoping to see Bellamy one last time, their hopes were dashed. Seeing Lexa and Abby was remarkable and though it may have been a little too late, showrunner Jason Rothenberg seems to have given a peace offering to Clexa fans.

Was the finale satisfying? The first watch may not tell but it is nice to know that those who chose to come back did. It is something Bellamy would have done, or rather, the old Bellamy who would not have endangered Madi for the sake of transcendence. He understood transcendence, but he followed the wrong person and he paid for it.

But the hero of the show was, is, and will always be Clarke and everything that has happened for her in this episode is a remarkable way of ending things. We are glad 'The 100' did not opt for a reset and with what they had left, they did a decent job. We are just left wondering if the writers had not written themselves into this corner, the ending could have been so much better.

Does the end justify all that has happened? As Clarke says, she bore it so that they didn't have to. This time around, her friends chose to bear it with her. For that, we are glad that Clarke and Picasso would not be in an 'I Am Legend' situation. Readers, may we meet again.

'The 100' series finale aired on The CW on September 30, at 8/7c.