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Eliza Taylor as Clarke (left) and Lola Flanery as Madi (right). Photo courtesy of TellTaleTV.

**This article contains spoilers for “The Dark Year” and events that happened in prior episodes.**

“I won’t let the devil in this garden.”

Finally. We finally got information on what went down during the Dark Year—the year that changed everyone. While I still firmly believe that we should have gotten this intel earlier in the season, it was nice to finally get it anyhow. For me, what really made the horrific nature of the proceedings was Octavia’s decision making in the cafeteria. Up until then, as bad as cannibalism is, I didn’t feel that alone would have caused the change in Wonkru and it’s people that we’ve seen. However the moment we got to Octavia’s drastic leadership, I understood. It turned into one of the darkest, and harshest moments in the show’s history. It was brutal. Watching Octavia shoot each person who wouldn’t eat—up until Kane and his people broke—was chilling. Add to the fact that you could see Octavia slowly breaking away with each pull of the trigger, the show truly delivered one of it’s darkest moments.

While all of this certainly changed Octavia and her people, the weight seemed to be heaviest on Abbey. Remember how last week I noted that we haven’t got much when it came to Abbey specific character moments? Well I was right in thinking that this episode would be the one to change that. It was Abbey who pushed the idea of cannibalism to survive. Not only that, but it was her that directed Octavia to take away everyone’s choice. That guilt crushed Abbey, and finally helps us see how she ended up in her current health. Paige Turco gave a fantastic performance as she let all of the weight of those choices come crashing down on her as she struggled getting through withdrawal. Abby’s story was great on several levels, and I’m glad that we finally got some fantastic moments with her this season.

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Eliza Taylor as Clarke (left) and William Miller as McCreary (right). Photo courtesy of TellTaleTV.

Maddie was another stand out this episode, as she and Clarke did their best to get Abbey back on her feet. This new Maddie has been a joy to watch, and every time she rightfully puts Clarke in her place, it’s almost a clap worthy moment. From telling Clarke that they are on the wrong side of the war, to comparing Octavia’s choice to hers at Mount Weather—The flame has truly made Maddie wiser. She wasn’t just great when butting heads with Clarke though. The scene where she rightfully defends Clarke and just lays Abbey out with her words was a fantastic scene. In such a short span of time, Maddie is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on the show.

Everyone else not involved in the looks to the past were busy preparing for a war that most of them don’t want. It was great seeing Bellamy be so blunt against Octavia, further distancing himself from her as family. But he had an obligation to let her know of the information that the team found—the war plans that McCreary was using to defend the valley. Making Octavia agree to his terms, Bellamy informed her of safe passage into the village to acquire an unconditional surrender from the prisoners. Little did everyone know, that Kane planned a double cross—one that is going to make the situation real messy.

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Lola Flanery as Madi (left) and Eliza Taylor as Clarke (right). Photo courtesy of TellTaleTV.

While the information and backstory could have come sooner, we finally know what went down during the Dark Year, and how it changed everyone in the bunker. Now I fully grasp why Abbey is as broken as she is, the reasoning behind Octavia’s claims of already being dead, and the reason that Kane has been gunning for Octavia since the beginning. With Kane’s double cross, there is truly no way to see where the show might go next—and there’s nothing more exciting than that.

Bonus Notes:

  • This whole time I’ve been saying Dark Ages instead of Dark Year. Whoops.
  • I question how they made the people that died into gelatin cubes. An odd way of showing their horrific meal.
  • Don’t people get the shakes for having eaten human? I feel that should have been foreshadowed or used at some point.
  • Even if Diyoza was part of Kane’s double cross, it’s pretty impressive that the show has made me care about her as much as I do.


You can catch The 100 on The CW when it airs on Tuesdays at 9pm EST.