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The 100: Does The Sanctum Plot Actually Matter In The Final Season?

the 100 season 7 nakara screenshot russell sheidheda the cw

Spoilers ahead for the sixth episode of The 100 Season 7, called "Nakara."

The 100 finally explored the planet where Clarke and Co. ended up after leaving Sanctum via the Anomaly Stone to find their friends, in a plot that involved alien spiders and a journey into the belly of a creature. Meanwhile, Team Skyring (a.k.a. Hope, Echo, and Gabriel) rescued Octavia and reunited with Diyoza, nearly escaping the Disciples before Gabriel's betrayal led to their capture. Bellamy's fate remains an intriguing mystery. Meanwhile, on Sanctum, there was... stuff that happened. After "Nakara," I find myself wondering: does the Sanctum plot actually matter in the grand scheme of the final season?

Don't get me wrong. There are some interesting things happening on Sanctum, and no story involving John Murphy is ever going to be totally predictable. In fact, Indra catching Sheidheda in the previous episode is one of my favorite moments of the final season so far.

My issue that has left me spending the Sanctum scenes wondering when The 100 was going to switch back to Bardo or Skyring is that everything happening on Sanctum feels very contained, like a way to keep the rest of the characters busy while Clarke's A-Team tries to find their missing friends and their missing friends try to survive.

Between the untrustworthy Eligius convicts, the Faithful and the Primes, and Wonkru with their dedication to following a commander, I'm left with the overwhelming sense that I've seen it all before. Sure, there are some variations, and it's very 100 for humanity to repeat its own destructive history no matter the location. This is the show that destroyed the Earth due to human error/aggression more than once in the first six seasons, after all.

I just struggle to care as much about the rinsing and repeating on Sanctum when there is so much happening with more of the key characters elsewhere. This is the final season of the show that was built on the backs of Clarke, Bellamy, and the delinquents, and they're the ones I'm really invested in. Especially Clarke and Bellamy, who have been the heart of the show from the beginning.

I want to see the stories that have high stakes for the characters The 100 has spent the most time and story making us care about, and that doesn't mean more screentime of the final season spent on the likes of Nikki and Nelson and retreading old ground with Wonkru and the Faithful.

A lot is happening in Sanctum, and everybody is very busy, but it all feels very tangential to the plots involving Bardo and the Anomaly, and those plots are the ones involving the four highest-billed actors on the show, if we're counting Bob Morley as the maybe-dead Bellamy. Admittedly, I'm biased because I tend to prefer character over plot, and the Sanctum story is plot-tastic, to the point that Clarke didn't even mention Bellamy for the first several episodes of the season!

Putting aside the potential Bellarke relationship of it all, Clarke ended Season 6 wanting to do better, and finding comfort in her friend and longtime partner in leadership. Season 7 opened with Clarke setting Sanctum on fire, ordering Russell's execution for revenge, not seeming all that concerned with doing better, and not even mentioning Bellamy! What would Monty say?

Bob Morley taking some episodes off doesn't mean Bellamy can't even be mentioned, and Clarke seems to have been pushed out of the spotlight as well. All of this amounts to my hope that the Sanctum plot will ultimately prove essential to the other two plots, which themselves seem to be converging on Bardo, if we assume that Clarke and Co. wound up there after leaving Nakara.

It's not impossible, although I'm half expecting the Faithful, the Children of Gabriel, the Eligius convicts, and the Wonkru extras to finish each other off in some kind of grand battle that conveniently wipes the slate clean for the returns of Clarke and Co. I also wouldn't really mind all that much, unless Sanctum gets a lot more interesting and invests me like what's happening on Bardo, the mystery of what happened to Bellamy, and even the spinoff.

Madi's drawings that don't come from her own memories are somewhat interesting, and Indra is always a commanding character. Murphy in cockroach mode is a staple of The 100, and Emori as his moral center makes their dynamic fun. Sheidheda is menacing in his own way. There's... a dog. I just hope that the Sanctum plot gets more engaging and proves to matter as more than a means to keep the B-Team busy while the other characters are occupied elsewhere.

I'm not too optimistic at this point, if only because Miller and Niylah recognized the Second Dawn symbol on something they found by the Anomaly Stone on Nakara, which suggests that the theories that Bill Cadogan is connected to the Disciples (and possibly even the Shepherd himself) have some substance to them. Consider me already interested!

I also still want to know what happened with Gaia, and whether my theory that she and Bellamy both wound up on the Bridge between worlds in the Anomaly could be true. There is a lot of potential in the Sanctum plot; only time will tell if it will connect to the others.

Find out with new episodes of The 100 airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The description for the next new episode, called "The Queen's Gambit," reveals that at least part of the hour will be spent on Sanctum:

Emori (guest star Luisa d'Oliveira) tries to heal Sanctum's old familial wounds while Echo (Tasya Teles), Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) and Diyoza (guest star Ivana Milicevic) struggle with new ones.

Masquerading as Kaylee Prime, Emori definitely is in a position to try and help heal wounds in Sanctum; whether she'll be able to do any good remains to be seen. As for the Bardo plot, "old familial wounds" for Echo and Octavia makes me think that they'll be mourning Bellamy, although Diyoza wouldn't be especially involved in that unless spending ten years listening to Octavia tell Hope stories made her Bellamy biggest fan.

"The Queen's Gambit" airs on Wednesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. on The CW. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.