Clarke enters the stone for the final test.

By Dalene Rovenstine
September 30, 2020 at 10:48 PM EDT
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S7 E16
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The 100. What a show. What a ride. From the moment The 100 launched as a baby show on the CW, using "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons as a soundtrack, I fell in love. And as the series found its footing over the next few episodes, so did many of you. Season 2 was flawless — quite literally one of my favorite seasons of a TV show ever. As the show grew, so too did its fervent fans.

With a large, diverse fandom, it's easy to make writing decisions that won't be accepted (or enjoyed) by everyone. But what happened in season 3 seemed to strike a nerve with all of us. The death of Lexa forever changed the show — but that's not to say it didn't recover. The 100 found its footing again, and I was hopeful that the legacy of this show wouldn't just be that thing we all hated in season 3.

Diyah Pera/The CW

Now we're here in season 7. There's yet another thing we all hate. If Jason Rothenberg and his writers' room thought the way to absolve their sins of killing Lexa was by killing off the other shippers' No. 1, boy, were they wrong. Bellamy's death did not sit well with most fans, including myself. But with a few episodes left to redeem the show and end it on a more positive note, there was still hope. And I do think the show did that… mostly.

"The Last War" picks up in the moments where the penultimate episode ended. Jackson, Murphy, and Raven are in Sanctum now and rush Emori to the med bay. They shock her back to life with the defibrillators, and Raven rushes off to save their other friends and stop the Shepherd.

She won't need to worry about that for too long, though. Clarke and Octavia are hot on his heels in Bardo. The Stone Room will be guarded with tons of Disciples, Levitt warns them, but that doesn't slow them down. Clarke grabs grenades and throws them into the group. "More killing? That's the answer?" Levitt says incredulously. "That's what we do," Octavia says. Yeah, Levitt, where have you been for seven seasons??

They take out the guards, but when they get to the Stone Room, Cadogan has already stepped through the stone to the final test. Through the stone, we see him on a wooden dock set in a constellation (honestly, kind of reminded me of the bridge in The Good Place) and his daughter, Callie, is there — except it's not Callie. He's there to take the test, not start a war, and the higher power is appearing to him as the person who was either his greatest teacher or greatest failure. Callie is a little bit of both to him.

As the judge, "Callie" will present questions to Cadogan. She explains that the last person from the human species who came to him, Becca, refused the test. He's ready, he assures her. She asks him why he chose to erase love in pursuit of this moment, but before he can answer, Clarke shoots him in the back of the head. Oh s—. Killing someone before the god/judge who decides the entire human race's fate cannot be good.

Back in the bunker, Jordan and Hope kiss (love these cute, clueless kids!), and then they all brace themselves as the green gateway opens. They're surprised when Nikki and her fellow prisoners jump through, but Raven was the one who invited them. As miners, they're able to get Niylah and Echo out of the bunker, and then they all concoct a plan to stop the Shepherd and distract his army.

The plan hinges on Jordan making a machine that can deactivate the Disciples' invisibility shields. "This would make my father proud," he says. He gets to work, creates it in no time, and jumps just outside of Sanctum. It looks empty, but as soon as he activates his machine, hundreds of disciples appear. And from behind him, Indra and her Wonkru army and Nikki and her prisoners jump through. Time for what these people do best: war!

Meanwhile, Jackson is ready to perform surgery on Emori. As soon as he takes the rebar out, she starts bleeding from the mouth. Murphy yells at him to save her, but there's nothing left to do. Emori dies — but Murphy won't stand for that. He tries to take out her Mind Drive when Jackson won't do it for him. Miller says he'd probably do the same if Jackson died, so the doctor places Emori's Mind Drive in Murphy's head.

Emori wakes with a start in the palace bed. She opens the curtains and sees the sand dunes where she grew up just outside the windows. Murphy is behind her saying that's where they first met. They're in the Mind Space, and Emori knows what this means and isn't happy about it. She wants him to take the Mind Drive out of his head and live without her, but he won't do it. He says it would be just surviving, not living if she weren't there. They argue a bit more, but when they hear music, they decide to dance and be together in the moment.

As Octavia and Levitt wait for Clarke to take the test, O asks if Bellamy will transcend — if this is all real. He says that only the living will transcend, so so much for my theory that we'd get to see him again! Raven and Echo show up and explain how Wonkru is standing off against the disciples as a distraction to get inside. Levitt and O are worried about starting an actual war, so they rush off to broker peace.

On the bridge in space, Clarke can't figure out why she's still there. "You know why," someone says from behind her. It's Lexa, not the Lexa, and Clarke knows it, but she hugs her anyway. This new judge explains that because the Shepherd started the test, it can't be stopped, and Clarke must finish it. "Lexa" wants to know why Clarke killed the Shepherd when he wasn't even armed. She explains that he killed her daughter. "Your need for revenge is more important than the fate of the entire human race?" Lexa asks her. But Clarke says it isn't revenge; it was justice. And Judge Lexa says that sounds awfully close to "Blood must have blood," and I have to agree.

Clarke knows that this judge can feel what she's experiencing and know what she has gone through, so she highlights all the tragedies she's had to endure: Lexa's death, her mother's death, Bellamy's death at her own hands to save Madi, and then Madi ending up nearly dead anyway. She wants the judge to feel these things and decide what she'd do differently. She thinks maybe this "evolved" race is even worse; after all, they annihilate entire species if they don't live up.

"I am sorry for all you have lost," fake Lexa says. And then she tells Clarke that humanity isn't worthy of taking the next step. Raven is there when Clarke comes back through the stone. She knows it's not good based on Clarke's face. With little time left until they all turn to crystal, Clarke rushes to be with Madi. But Raven isn't ready to give up, she touches the stone and finds herself back in the Ark. Her judge is Abby, her adopted mother. She pleads with "Abby" to give them more time. Even if the human race isn't ready to join the higher beings, she says they need more time to try to be better. But Abby says it won't matter, they're on the brink of self-extermination as it is.

She transports Raven to the battlefield where the disciples and Wonkru face off. They still haven't started fighting — Raven thinks they won't, but Abby points to Sheidheda, who's hiding on the sides with a gun. He's ready to start this war. With everyone unable to hear or see Raven, she's powerless to stop him. The dark commander starts firing just as Levitt, Octavia, and Echo rush to the scene. Levitt races to the middle and pleads with everyone to stop fighting. "We don't achieve transcendence through violence," he says. Raven thinks this could be enough to show the judge they're better, but then Sheidheda shoots Levitt and all hell breaks loose. Octavia rushes through the middle of gunfire to bring Levitt to safety, and Echo follows her and gets hit herself.

"Despite the beauty humans are capable of, you can't break free from the cycle of violence," Abby says to Raven as the war rages on. She says that Raven has failed the test just like Clarke and that the human race is done.

As Hope and Jordan tend to Echo and Levitt, Octavia rushes out to tell Wonkru to stop firing. They do momentarily, until Sheidheda reveals himself and starts chanting Jus drein jus daun. But Indra has had enough. She grabs a giant gun from a prisoner and blasts him away. This is certainly not looking great for the already doomed humanity. But Octavia doesn't know they've already been judged. She yells out at the disciples: She knows they swore an oath to fight for all mankind, but this is not the way. They are all one people: "If I kill you, I kill myself. If we keep killing each other, there won't be anyone left to save."

Octavia throws down her sword and asks Indra to do the same. The former grounder chief raises her weapon in the air, then drops it, and all Wonkru follows suit. Octavia turns to the disciples and tells them if they fight the war, they don't deserve to transcend. Raven realizes that O is reaching them. With that, Octavia runs back to the woods where Hope is having to give Echo chest compressions and Levitt isn't faring much better.

The disciples have a think about what Octavia has said and then drop their weapons, "For all mankind," they say. Raven tells Abby that they can change, they just need more time. And it seems that the judge agrees.

As Hope is still beating Echo's heart, she starts to glow and then she turns into a ball of light and rises to the sky. Then Levitt does the same. Hope and Jordan go next. "Bellamy was right," Octavia says as she walks out to the former battlefield and sees everyone transcending all around her. And up she goes next.

Murphy and Emori transcend from the Mind Space, and all who are left are Clarke and Madi. Madi starts to glow, but it stops. "I know you don't want to leave me," Clarke tells her through tears. But she knows that it's her chance to live and she urges her to go. Madi transcends and only Clarke remains.

All alone, Clarke grabs a disciple helmet and jumps to Sanctum to see if anyone else was left. She finds Picasso (I guess all dogs DON'T go to heaven!). She and Picasso jump to the bunker and don't find anyone down there or up above ground either. Clarke starts to make a plan for food, water, and shelter when Picasso runs off. She chases him to the water but can't find him anywhere. "Please come back," she pleads. "I don't want to be alone." And in that moment, she's not alone: Judge Lexa comes back.

Now that the human species has joined their consciousness, the higher beings have learned much about them; Lexa calls them a "curious species." Clarke assumes she's left behind to bear it so they don't have to, like she always has. But Lexa says that no test taker from any species has ever killed someone while taking the test, so they couldn't let her join them. Clarke is okay as long as Madi is happy and safe. Lexa says Madi will never die and never feel pain. She knew that Clarke wouldn't want her to come back to Earth just for her with that as an option. And that's when Lexa reveals that transcendence is a choice. Not only that, it's a choice that no one has made before — until now.

Clarke turns the corner and finds Picasso has joined her friends. Octavia, Raven, Murphy, Emori, Indra, Gaia, Levitt, Jackson, Miller, Niylah, Echo, Hope, and Jordan have all chosen to live the rest of their lives with Clarke on Earth.

And that's the end — a happy ending. I'll admit, I do like a happy ending, and I wasn't sure with all the darkness and pain these characters have had to deal with throughout the years that that's where this series was headed. So that I was happy about. Do I believe that Wonkru, Eligius prisoners, and Disciples would all give up on war that quickly? No, probably not. Do I think Bellamy needed to die for this? Also no.

Overall, I'm not crazy that this very sci-fi show suddenly went supernatural/spiritual at the end. There were certainly rocky spots in this season for sure, just like the series in general. But honestly, I'm just happy that Clarke, Raven, and Octavia finally get to be happy. And I'm thankful for all the seasons we've got to spend with them.

May we meet again… you know, like in the sequel.

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