The 100 Season 6 Episode 10 Review: Matryoshka

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When you give enough there comes a time when you finally get to receive. 

During The 100 Season 6 Episode 10, Bellamy channeled fairytale vibes to bring Clarke back to life. Meanwhile, Simone's death made Russell take a turn for the worst, with the people in Sanctum now at risk. 

And Octavia reunites with Bellamy but it doesn't play out like she thought it would. She does get a front-row seat to the show of the century though.

Raven Thinking - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

"Matryoshka," written by returning writer Drew Lindo and directed by Amanda Tapping delivered an iconic sequence of events that came together to bring the best scene of the series.

The larger commentary of what drove various characters played out magnificently, with emotions pushing a chain of events from every direction.

This was an episode that knocked it out of the ballpark not based on how much shocking twists and turns it gave, but because of the organic way that it pushed the story forward even when that meant keeping certain things still.

This episode demonstrated what happens when you invest in following through, with Bellamy's determination to save Clarke reaching a head when she comes back to him. That ending put the whole entire lead-up to it in a different perspective, confirming just how loved this will become for fans.

This type of storytelling relies on a series worth of development, well-paced action, and chemistry that many duos can only dream of. With a combination like that, it is almost unstoppable to not leave a long-lasting mark on everyone who watches it.

It has never been more clear how much Bellamy and Clarke's relationship influences not only individual episodes, but the series as a whole. It came full circle when the relationship itself had to be revived on behalf of the lead, a point that was crossed as originally as it was remarkably. 

There is something truly successful in being able to wrap up a huge arc, while at the same time starting a whole new beginning for a character and for a relationship.

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The Bellarke Sh!t Corner

Welcome to my Bellarke mind space crib.

There is no pretending and there is no talking around it. That entire scene was a loud sign that Bellamy and Clarke don't know how to be platonic, there is nothing but romance with that kind of behavior.

Even more, though the story and the show don't know how to set up those two in a way that isn't all about the love that they share for one another.

This entire season of the show truly became Bellamy visually creating a love letter for Clarke. His feelings have never been more obvious, his heart has never been more exposed.

Bellamy: Clarke, I need you.
Octavia: Bellamy, she’s gone.
Bellamy: No, she’s not! Wake up, Clarke! Come on! I’m not letting you go. You’re a fighter. Now get up and fight!

Speaking of his heart. you have Jordan start out by telling Bellamy that he misses the version of him that lead with his heart. Yet the only way Bellamy returns to that heart-driven version of himself is through the visceral loss of Clarke in front of his own eyes.

She was right there in front of him promising that he was worth so much more to her than he ever knew. It wasn't about no one coming before Madi, it was about making sure Bellamy knew that his place was right there with her. He was family.

Then Clarke somehow just dies. From that Bellamy's heart breaks in front of our eyes, he is constantly crying or on the verge of starting, all of which builds up to him just raging.

Bellamy doesn't know how not to mourn, his heart bleeding for us to see.

Bellamy Needs Clarke - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

From that moment on, there is no question left about where Bellamy's heart may have gone. Clarke Griffin became the manifestation of his heart, with him accessing it when it came to her.

Finding out that she was alive only drove that point deeper. Bellamy's drive has become rooted in bring back Clarke, not letting anyone else handle the job and not stopping until he knows she is the one looking back at him.

For a show that made Clarke (and us) question how Bellamy viewed her during The 100 Season 5, that slowly morphed into the one thing we actually knew.

This time around without a shadow of a doubt, Bellamy Blake loved Clarke Griffin.

Clarke in Bellamy's Arms - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

But no good story is left without that climax of a moment, where Bellamy not only found out that Clarke was gone and then found out she was alive and then vowed that he wouldn't let her die. This then became Bellamy literally being the one to bring Clarke back to life.

This is the stuff of literal fairytales and yet there he was, taking their thing and turning it into her liferaft.

The head and the heart never felt so real.

Bellamy Blake accessed his heart this season in a way he didn't get a chance to all last season. His heart was what started Clarke's heart again, allowing her head to get the message that she has to live.

It was a long journey from Bellamy under the red sun influence telling Clarke he doesn't need her anymore to now pleading for her to come back.

Because if this season and this episode have solidified anything it is that Bellamy can't live without Clarke.

Clarke Wakes Back Up - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

He put his entire soul on the line in front of us, refusing to lose Clarke after he "lost" her twice before. It was out of his control both of those times, and this time around he refused to leave it in anyone's hands but his.

Those exact hands refused to stop giving Clarke CPR and that led to that storybook "kiss".

Now obviously that wasn't Bellamy and Clarke's first official kiss, but who else was shocked that them even touching lips was signed off on? Did someone slip that past every department  and the network?

Was that some fever dream we all experienced together? Or was Bellamy a lovesick fool who refused to let Clarke die and his emotionally driven actions further provided how much she means to him?

We are at a point where Clarke embodies Bellamy's entire heart in the narrative, with him stopping at nothing to bring her back in a way we haven't seen him extend that courtesy to anyone else. 

 Bellamy Holds Clarke - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

And it all bleeds into what Josephine taunted him within that cave. Their exhausting history is filled with years and years of tangible weight.

Bellamy promising Clarke that he won't let her die takes on a whole new meaning when that foreshadows him refusing to let that happen. Clarke gaining control of Josephine and telling Bellamy she won't leave him, that becomes something different when she comes back to life to fulfill that promise to him.

Bellamy having hope for Clarke even when she wasn't breathing? A sign of a love that transcended actual life and death.

Even death can't keep Bellamy and Clarke apart.

All of this is just the push that becomes Clarke officially gaining access to her body and to life again.

And that moment that Clarke shares with Bellamy? There is no doubt that a pause before a hug felt like a natural transition into a kiss and maybe that was the point.

Witnessing the way Bellamy refuses to let Clarke go and the need that he has for her coupled with her inability to leave him and the happiness she showcases when she sees that he is there? There are no undertones anymore.

There is no question of whether something is or isn't romantic, there is no way to work around the place that those two are in.

It felt natural to expect a kiss because this is where those two are now. There is no erasing a season of Bellamy and Clarke circling this way around one another, and there is no denying that nothing in that room was anything short of romantic.

But then if you need to get hit over the head with it, beyond the already fully formed parallels of this season, Gabriel and Josephine are positioned right against Bellamy and Clarke.

Gabriel and Josephine's love story is over, it ended just as tragically as it was explored. Gabriel was unable to save the woman that he loved while Bellamy stopped at nothing to make sure he did.

Gabriel voiced to Josephine that this wasn't their time anymore, right as Bellamy and Clarke are thrown onto the edge of a romantic cliff.

It isn't about reading between the lines anymore, it is about reading the actual lines that are being structured.

Bellamy may have completed his journey to save Clarke, but with her being born again so was their relationship.

Clarke coming into the light and seeing Bellamy forces us to see these two in another light.

Because we are now at a place where there is no space to question and there is no question about what we just witnessed. 

Bellamy and Clarke aren't platonic and they aren't just friends. They are soulmates connected through a new beginning, one that hopefully gives them both the clarity that they need.

Bellamy can't be in the position that he is in now, doing anything to bring back Clarke and even putting her above Echo. Above Octavia.

Clarke also can't deny the way in which she let herself give up because it felt like Bellamy had, only for her to be able to come back from his never-ending journey for her.

There is nothing these two wouldn't do for one another, and it is about time they say that to each other.

This is really the only natural place to go from there, they need to talk and they need to be honest. Nothing is the same between them anymore and nothing is the same for the audience either.

The core of the show has always been Bellamy and Clarke, but their continued efforts to push those boundaries shows what they mean to each other goes beyond basic definitions. 

The love that these two have for each other though is undisputed and should be vocalized.

For now though, feel free to accept this as me giving you permission to rewatch that scene over and over and over again.

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The Sanctum Witch Trials

There was a time where Bellamy setting Sanctum on fire was all anyone wanted in the name of Clarke Griffin. But taking a step back let him go about it more logically, promising an actual result instead of letting his rage drive his choices.

Russell did no such thing, acting on immediate impulse and leaving death in his wake.

For someone who so viciously tried to pick apart Clarke's choices, Russell fell into the obvious trap of being a much darker threat to his own people.

It isn't like Simone is dead forever, her mind drive is kicking and functioning fine. 

Russell and Simone Reunite - The 100

Russell needed to cause havoc for the sake of revenge and it threatens the very civilization that he was trying to protect. That is usually what happens when you see yourself as someone who looks down at their people, you lose sight of what you are striving towards in a selfish attempt to prioritize yourself.

His actions may have been powered by his love for Josephine, and yet it feels like all love paths that lead to her are nothing but dangerous.

Loving Josephine becomes toxic and dangerous choices that hurt the greater population around them. In a way, Russell and Gabriel and even Josephine get to learn that firsthand. In an attempt to put her first, they put their own lives at risk and destroy the peace around them.

Simone and Russell Plotting - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

And just like that Sanctum's weakness begins to allow for it to cave into itself. No longer is this area a source of happiness and promise, with the lies that kept it warm suddenly increasing into a huge fire that is threatening to burn everyone in sight. 

This could be a great introduction for the group there to gain the upper-hand.

For now, though it is all about structure, with all the lost and scattered storylines coming together in one place.

There were plenty of storylines that were open without much of an explanation of where that might go. Madi was a large portion of that, providing the perfect aspects of destruction and now problem-solving. 

This Dark Commander storyline is a danger to everyone else and it has more power than Russell has right now. It isn't clear how this will actually unfold yet, because Raven has a plan on how to rewire all the Commanders back into the Flame which will help destroy the evil point that is draining Madi.

Simone Tells Abby - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

But the real problem seems to be the Flame itself, remove it and there are no future problems to have to deal with.

There is always the matter of Russell and Sanctum posing the real threat. They are only alive as long as they are capable of making Nightblood and saving Simone from having to wait too long to return.

That group isn't about to help Russell, but they also can't handle taking him down right now either. 

There is no better time for Gabriel to make his journey back to Sanctum, for the others and himself.

Speaking of others, it might be a race for survival but what comes next?

Murphy's desire for eternal life cost him the people who had faith in him before that isn't as easy to win back. Emori is in a similar dilemma, battling the good she has done with the bad she was prepared to do.

Abby is trying to reason the choices she made that forced Kane's hand and that is now of no use to her daughter. The best thing Abby can provide for herself is the ability to understand where she went wrong, instead of aiming that energy at others.

Murphy may have accepted a deal with Josephine, but Abby was involved with that group just as much. And her blindness to the shifting danger around her cost Abby two people for now.

Raven may not have done anything that can count as a personal demon to face, but self-reflection is a necessity when so much of how she views herself now is above those around her. 

She can't allow her personal objections to affect the way she works with her people.

But for any progress to work for those in Sanctum, the people on the outer edges of Alpha would have to return back. And it is never a proper party if you don't bring guests. 

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Clarke and Josephine's BFF Field Trip

In another life maybe these two would have been friends.

This life though can't offer Clarke and Josephine that option, with it becoming the survival of the fittest until the last possible moment.

For Josephine's swan song it was appropriate to not just have her go out a hero. She may not have been the villain of this season, but Josephine was still very much a threat to Clarke.

While Josephine sacrificing her memories for the greater good of her own future was a plan worth exploring, in a way you have to wonder what kind of life that would have become. 

We can let the bad things that happened to us define who we are. Or we can define who we are.

Clarke

Very similar to the question of living and the Prime of it all, Kane's choice not to stay the way he was circles back again. He knew he wasn't living his life any longer. 

Josephine taking a step back may have tricked us into thinking she was owning up to letting go, but in fact, she was reconsidering what her life really was.

By removing all her memories, Josephine would lose what made her the person that she is. It didn't appear as if she had any limit to immortality, it was all about making sure she would survive forever.

But Clarke unknowingly found that pressure point that proved how much Josephine actually had to lose, like a literal Russian nesting doll who is being exposed one at a time.

Only she couldn't be put back, her lives couldn't just be wrapped up one inside the other anymore because her memories of those lives were being stripped.

Russell Ponders  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

And so continued the question of living, covering another version of it with Josephine. She couldn't imagine living a life that didn't allow her to remember moments like that dance with Gabriel or even the choices that got her to the point where she was right now.

Her life was her memories, so without them, it was almost a life not worth fighting for.

So the limit did become preserving what she could and taking control back to make it happen.

But in a parallel twist of events, as she clung to memories such as the ones she shared with Gabriel, she forgot about one big factor. 

Bellamy Blake.

Gabriel: We can't do this forever.
Josephine: Why not? That's how long I will love you for.

In a way wanting to see Gabriel and Bellamy cross paths was to witness them fighting for their own girl in that one body.

Instead, though, there was a lesson to be learned and baton to be passed down.

Josephine may have fought for those memories so she could continue living, even if some of them weren't there, but she didn't have a partner who wanted to live that out with her anymore. The way that Josephine could count on Gabriel took a turn when her words about him wanting to kill her circled back around in the worst way.

Meanwhile, Clarke had someone fighting to keep her alive this whole time and that intersected perfectly in that room.

It came down to a different fight combination, no longer about Josephine vs. Clarke or Gabriel vs. Bellamy. It was about the love that Josephine and Clarke had out there, with Gabriel and Josephine's story coming to a close so Bellamy and Clarke's could reawaken in this resurrected light.

And ironically Josephine had to fight for herself instead of counting on someone else. This whole time she had Russell or Simone or Jade looking out for her, no matter what happened she knew she had factors out there that wouldn't allow her to die out.

But then here you have her with the love of all her lives and he couldn't be farther from her corner. He loved her and that meant killing the monster he created in that lab all those years ago.

Clarke Wins - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

A love like theirs was toxic because it was built around death before it even had time to truly live. Bellamy and Clarke's love was a pure manifestation of growth and potential, so it only got to grow from here.

Ultimately that is what allowed Josephine to be destroyed. As much as she may have fought, Bellamy on the outside fought harder.

She was right in that cave when she pointed out that Russell should have known just by seeing Bellamy that this would never end well. Sealing her own faith, Josephine should have known not to bet against Bellamy coming to finish the job he started.

His love for Clarke became an ally to Gabriel's love for Josephine.

So Gabriel repeating death is life allowed Josephine's death to become Clarke's life.

Bellamy's View - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

All the questions haven't been answered yet but Clarke is officially in control and everything is right with this new world again. This was a brutal journey, putting Clarke at risk in a way she never was before.

But she came out the other end, with no doubt about the fact that she deserves to live and has a right to take up the space she may not have allowed herself to before.

This is Clarke's rebirth, putting into perspective what she returned for and who is waiting on the other side. 

It might not be true for everybody, but the Clarke Griffin loss was felt hard. There is something a little lost about following The 100 when Clarke isn't there to lead us in the next direction.

Welcome back, Clarke Griffin. Please never leave us (or Bellamy Blake) behind, I don't think we could take it. 

The 100 Season 6 Episode 7 Review: Nevermind

The True Bellamy Spy and Gabriel Teaching By Example 

All this talk of spy experience and the king of disguise was right in front of us the whole time.

Bellamy Blake couldn't resist throwing on another outfit to save the day like the hero he continues to always be.

And that led to the best introduction of all time, Bellamy and Gabriel meeting face to face so that my soul could combust.

These two may not have had the time to build a bromance, but it allowed two guys from different walks of life to meet because of a huge similarity.

Murphy and Emori  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

From the moment we met Gabriel this season, all of who he was connected back to his feelings for Josephine. She was his driving force, much like Kane became Abby's this season.

But a person finding themselves driven by making sure their partner survives isn't always healthy like both Abby and Gabriel learned through the process of elimination.

These are two characters who ended up building their own monsters, with Gabriel dooming Josephine (and himself) to a God-like life and Abby trying to cheat death by bringing back Kane by robbing someone else of their life. 

In true The 100 style though this didn't become the end, with Gabriel following the path of many before him when it came to making up for past mistakes.

It is almost underrated the way that Gabriel clearly learned from his initial mistake, not becoming power-driven by wanting any new bodies outside of his original and then choosing to kill Josephine for the good of everyone around her.

Gabriel Gets Honest - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10

Experiencing his struggle to say goodbye meant realizing it wasn't a struggle at all. Gabriel didn't waver in his decision to end what he started with the love of his lives, and right there he killed the cycle of destruction.

Doing better doesn't appear to be possible these days, with others proving that humanity might not always be willing to change.

And yet there are those people that prove that wrong. Mistakes can be made but so can amends.

Gabriel became the living proof that redemption can be achieved if the work is done and the intentions are pure. He knows he messed up and from then on he has only tried to return to a place where he wasn't the one who caused all of this.

And just like any story rooted in improvement. Gabriel couldn't not face his muse for all this one last time.

His strength and the intelligence that went into cutting Josephine off, no matter how much he loved her, was the sign of an improved human. 

She was right to depend on you.

Josephine

It does become bittersweet, with Gabriel's end no doubt approaching soon after Josephine. He is one of the few characters on this show whose intentions don't need to be questioned.

He won't turn on his own choices, and so he can't live the type of life that he is so against.

But there has to be a silver lining or at least a green one at the end of the Verge.

For now, though, Gabriel is headed back to Sanctum with Bellamy and Clarke and Octavia, no one there is ready for this epic foursome combination. 

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Stray Thoughts

  • Madi is going through some Commander growing pains. Typical teenage problems are no match for a strange man and his sour cult candy. On the one hand, Lola Flanery is killing it, because here you have a Madi that you can't quite know how to love and root for. 

    This isn't the version of her that we have come to love and it is scary not to know what is really going on with her. So it makes you wish for the Madi we know and love, the one who didn't appear as a dangerous bedtime story but a hero in her own right.
  • So is Diyoza just gone forever? Why is no one asking or even worrying about her? Octavia spent time growing close to her and now it is like that time in there wiped her mind of her existence. 

    Maybe if Russell burns down Sanctum, the entire gang can just go move into the Anomaly with Diyoza.
  • What was the point of Echo? Realistically her story goes on from here, but logistically she and the audience both thought her role would be much bigger. 

Echo as a Spy - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10
  • Allow me to make a list of all the scenes, potential memories even, that I would be willing to lose so that I could have seen what Jordan is up to. He was injured and we are meant to just believe that he is being healed? 

    No one is in exactly a great mood over there right now so Jordan isn't as safe as he would be if he had more screentime.
  • There really is no better time for the Flame to be destroyed than right this very second. Maybe Abby won't just talk the talk and will actually remove it herself. 
  • The need for a Sara Thomspon led spinoff that allows Josephine's lives to be explored is needed now more than ever.
  • Ryker may have a secret but he cannot keep it. He took a risk revealing to the families of the host bodies that their loved ones were really gone, one which didn't pay off when he then turned on Echo. 

    There is no easy choice and yet Ryker has somehow ended up in a dirt road and his bike probably won't just roll him out of it.
Abby Mourning - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10
  • Russell is a peak drama queen right about now. He just couldn't have one organized lunch in peace and he let that spoil his mood. On top of that, what was that Hunger Games like confessional that he orchestrated?

    No one needed to hear him speak into that microphone as if he was putting on a show. He is just part of the problem with an approach like that.
  • Indra had to have stayed behind on the ship with the army and Niylah, but the question is if she even knows what happened to her daughter. She can't allow herself to fall down the Abby Griffin hole of unawareness.

    But then again, Gaia couldn't have banished herself too far if she was still around when Echo needed her to nod along with the second plan.
Mackson Relaxing  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10
  • The promo for the following episode shows Bellamy posing in Gabriel's coat and that is all anyone has to be talking about when they need a break from Bellarke flailing.
  • Octavia was rightfully excited to see her brother again, but she has to remember that the way to redemption includes accounting for mistakes and not just scrubbing them from her memory. Work still needs to be put in for progress to be made along the way.

    For now, though that awkward pat of a reunion hug will have to become the next show meme.
Bellamy and Octavia Together - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10
  • Speaking of Octavia, she gave Bellamy and Clarke the look. Maybe she was thinking back to the time she stopped at nothing to save Lincoln, or maybe the emotions got to her like they got to everyone else. She doesn't even know the half of it with those two. 
  • Abby just can't not slap people at this point. She is going through it but that can't be the answer. Communication is always the healthy approach and they had nothing but time in that chamber room.
Emori and Murphy and Raven - The 100 Season 6 Episode 10
  • Someone who really can't catch a break though is Jade. She is following orders and yet she can never seem to deliver on it fully. Everyone is always getting in the way, but Bellamy sneaking into her guard squad takes the cake. It isn't shocking for Bellamy but Jade might want to look for another job instead.
  • Next week's episode brings with it a directorial debut at the hands of the well loved Bob Morley. There is no way he won't deliver an episode that will leave everyone in awe, and yet the excitment is almost too much to handle. There's also something funny about Bob having to direct an episode that sounds like it will be very high in Bellamy content. 
  • So Bellarke really did all that, didn't they? We get it already, you are in love and you want us all to know about it.

So are you still breathing after that killer ending? How are you dealing with that five course meal? How many inches apart do you think Bellamy will allow Clarke to stray from him now? One?

How excited are you for more Gabriel and Bellamy interactions as he presumably heads to Sanctum to reunite with Russell? Do you think Russell is allowed to feel the way that he does after his lunch was ruined? How disappointed were you in Simone for wearing white?

Where do you see the Sanctum group heading? Is there a chance for us to finally lose that flame? 

How breathless are you waiting for Bob Morley's big directing debut?

What did you love most about the episode? What did you like least about the episode? 

Let us know what you think below!

The 100 airs on Tuesdays, at 9/8c on The CW.

Stick around TV Fanatic for more features, slideshows, episode previews, and reviews of the upcoming season, and watch The 100 online to catch up on the adventure!

Matryoshka Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The 100 Season 6 Episode 10 Quotes

Bellamy: Clarke, I need you.
Octavia: Bellamy, she’s gone.
Bellamy: No, she’s not! Wake up, Clarke! Come on! I’m not letting you go. You’re a fighter. Now get up and fight!

Gabriel: We can't do this forever.
Josephine: Why not? That's how long I will love you for.