What’s that Benjamin Franklin says about keeping secrets? Well, Josie has a big secret and she is ready to kill people — but that has nothing to do with keeping her secret safe. If it was unclear before, Josephine Lightbourne lacks empathy in a way we’ve never quite seen on this show. Which is why it makes it very difficult for her to naturally “play” Clarke … despite Murphy telling her her host’s entire life story.
Armed with that knowledge, Josie is first put to the test when Madi begins having night terrors. Josie goes to comfort her, per Murphy’s suggestion, but Gaia says they can’t wake her. See, she’s not having a nightmare, she’s seeing memories and if they wake her up from them, it could cause permanent damage to her or the flame. Not caring one bit about Madi or the flame, Josie wakes her up. Madi assures them both everything is okay, that she’s just tired; but when they leave the room, the Dark Commander calls out to her from a mirror. Uh oh.
The next morning, Echo, Emory, and Raven find Murphy and “Clarke” in the tavern. They’ve caught up on the whole Sanctum Is a Murderous Place headline and aren’t pleased. “Clarke” tells them they should stay long enough to learn how to build their own compound, and according to her, Bellamy agrees. They can’t ask him, though, because she says he went with the morning foraging party to scout locations. Echo goes looking for Bellamy, who she doesn’t believe would leave without her, and Murphy asks Josie for the real story.
Josie explains that Bellamy found out she wasn’t Clarke, so she had to tie him up. She knows that Echo will learn within the day that Bellamy isn’t out scouting, so she gives Murphy a task: convince Bellamy of her plan by EOD or he dies.
Pretending to be a prisoner, Murphy stumbles into the room where Bellamy is being held. Bellamy might be out of sorts, but it doesn’t take him long to suss out what Murphy is trying to do. In a move that doesn’t seem totally selfless, Murphy explains that they can’t bring Clarke back, but he can help save the rest of them. Bellamy says Monty would be ashamed of what Murphy’s doing now and watches him leave the room.
Armed with all the info Murphy has given her, Josie approaches Abby to try and persuade her to create nightbloods for Sanctum. She says it’s the only way that Abby can save Kane. Josie is using Abby’s history with her daughter to manipulate her into doing what she wants — and unfortunately it works. She agrees to show Sanctum how to make nightbloods.
If you had any hopes of Raven and Hot Mechanic, aka Ryker Prime, hooking up, well don’t hold your breath. She is definitely not turned on by the fact that he’s okay with resurrecting himself nine times in other people’s bodies. He tells her he’s 206 years old, and she asks if this is his last body. He doesn’t have an answer — and Raven has to fly off to take Abby back to the ship for nightblood-making supplies.
Master manipulator Josie needs to wipe three Mind Drives in order for this plan to work: one for Kane so Abby will make the nightbloods, and two for Murphy to agree to this whole thing. Josie just needs to convince her mother that it’s worth erasing Kaylee and her family. Like mother like daughter, Simone agrees and wipes the drives while saying “thank you for your sacrifice.”
Also not having a great day is Madi. She trashes her room and breaks the mirror in an effort to stop Shade Heda. Gaia says the only way to get it to stop is by doing the separation ritual. It’s a simple process but will require Madi to focus. She’s supposed to go into a dream space in the flame where she can summon the other commanders. However, when she gets in there, it’s only the super creepy Dark Commander. He tells Madi that her keeper is lying to her just like his did. He says Gaia just wants to control Madi, so she’ll need to kill her. It doesn’t help that when Madi wakes up, Gaia has chained her to the bed.
While tracking the foraging group outside the barrier, Echo stumbles upon a man calling out for help. He has quite literally become part of a tree. There are apparently vines on this planet that grow through human flesh. Gross. The man calls out “mercy” to Echo; when she realizes she can’t save him, she grabs a rock to end his life. But Jade — who was following her — stops it. She says that this is the guard’s punishment for opening the gate and allowing their ship to come through the night of the Red Sun. Echo says cool, knocks out Jade and then ends the man’s suffering.
When Jade wakes, she finds herself in the guard’s spot by the tree with Echo staring down at her. Echo wants to know why she was following her, and even though Jade doesn’t say much, Echo puts two and two together and comes up with “Clarke is dead.” She panics that Bellamy might be, too, but Jade assures her he has until the second moon. Echo rushes back to Sanctum and says she’ll come back for Jade if there’s time.
Elsewhere on this very weird planet, Diyoza and Octavia meet up with their old friend Xavier in a bioluminescent cave. They quickly get the drop on him, but O and her 90-year-old hand are tripping her up. Xavier says it’s a time dilation and they have to go back to where the temporal anomaly hit so they can get something to cure her. He takes Diyoza back there while giving her (and us) a lesson on “the old man.” It is the original Gabriel. He resurrected 13 times, but has since decided he’s done being immortal and now he tries to get everyone on his side in the “moral awakening.”
It doesn’t take much for Xavier to figure out why Diyoza wants to kill the Old Man (to save her child). He points out that Russell probably failed to mention that her unborn daughter will be called a Null; she won’t be allowed to bear children or do anything more than being a guard or cleaning toilets. Diyoza says she just wants her daughter to live — and that she’s not wanting to join his rebellion because she’s done fighting for lost causes. He wisely points out that she seems to be fighting for Octavia, who is “as lost as they come.” Aww, O has new friends.
Anyway, he taps a petrified tree to get sap. Diyoza thinks he’s just stalling for time, but when he pours the sap on her cut, it immediately heals. Woah. (Wait until the essential oils people learn about this stuff!) They rush it back to Octavia, but it doesn’t have quite the same effect. It’s not healing the same way, but Xavier notices her hand is moving without her control. He gives her a piece of chalk and she draws a logarithmic spiral. You know, that thing everyone knows??? He says the temporal flares are sending her a message. The anomaly called to him, too. He has a tattoo on the spiral chest of it. And then Diyoza opens her notebook to a page full of spiral drawings and says they should figure this out together. Seriously, what an odd planet.
Back where things are incredibly weird but still somehow less weird than that, Josie enters Bellamy’s room and is ready to kill him when Murphy bursts in with Russell. Murphy’s not quite ready for his friend to die yet. Russell says that Josie has become callous to other people’s feelings, which is pretty rich considering he killed Clarke without any thought of her friends and family’s feelings. He acknowledges this to Bellamy, though, and says he will guarantee everyone else’s safety. Josie says it doesn’t matter because Abby is teaching them how to make nightblood. Bellamy says they better just kill both of them then. “You think my need for revenge is strong?” he asks. “There’s only one way this ends.”
Always the wild card, Josie cuts the rope holding Bellamy’s restraints to the ground. He immediately goes after Russell and tries to strangle him. Josie is completely unfazed and tells Bellamy an eye for an eye is okay here but then the violence must stop. But Bellamy thinks better of it and releases Russell. Smug because his plans worked, Murphy is now two Mind Drives richer.
Back at the tavern, everyone is licking their wounds. Madi has just found out Clarke died and she’s not taking it well. She blames it all on Gaia, who she banishes, and then she asks the Dark Commander to teach her “how to kill them all.” A tween with the mind of a murderous Commander in her head — this is going to turn out great!
Happy with the day’s work, Josie finally decides to sleep in her new body. She drinks some tea, pops an Ambien, and shuts her eyes…
…and then Clarke wakes up in a prison full of drawings. She has no idea where she is, and neither do we. (This feels a bit like an Awake situation, and I’m not mad about it.)
So what does this mean? Are the consciousnesses of all hosts still lingering, or is Clarke’s still there because she didn’t go willingly? How will she communicate with her friends that she’s “alive”? And how is Becca not in the history books alongside Diyoza and Hitler? She created some incredibly problematic tech that is still murdering people 200+ years and hundreds of light years later. Not cool, Becca. Not cool. Grade: B+