The 100 Season 6 Episode 12 Review: Adjustment Protocol

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Everything is a mess but it can only get better from here, right? Maybe. 

During The 100 Season 6 Episode 12, a war broke out in Sanctum while Russell rushed to make sure hosts existed for their missing Primes.  This results in Abby losing her life and becoming Simone for the time being. 

Meanwhile, Gabriel arrives in Sanctum and faces off against Russell. And the group gets broken up, with some of them ending up in space and the others fighting off the red sun toxin bomb on the ground.

Clarke as Josephine in Sanctum - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

"Adjustment Protocol," written by the returning Kim Shumway and the well-known Antonio Negret was a chaotic victim of the too many storylines in one episode problem. Emotional beats and storytelling twists came left and right, but the pace became almost too quick for the episode that gathers everything up for the finale.

There were those strong and impactful moments, yet the bigger picture was a bit more confusing and catastrophic in ways that didn't always come together successfully.

The groundwork for the finale is set though, with the stakes being raised for a potentially epic end to another battle. 

The 100 Season 6: Sara Thompson on Josephine's Journey, Her Backstory, and More

Abby Griffin, Hallowed Be Her Name

This was a loss that was hard to deal with, mostly because it was surprising in many ways.

Abby has been through a lot, so her just losing Kane and thinking she lost Clarke felt like her pain threshold had to have reached its limit. Instead, Abby ended up in a situation outside of her control and several events made her lose her life.

In an attempt to keep Madi from being hurt more than she already had been in this bone marrow decision, Abby made herself a nightblood.

But as soon as Clarke revealed that she came back and then told Abby she would explain how later, that door for her death opened.

I may not be your mother, but you are my family Raven.

Abby

Miscommunication happens but when it does on a show like The 100, chances are it is for a specific reason.

Knowing that the mesh saved Clarke might not have been able to stop Abby from becoming a nightblood, but it could have been clear that she is at more of a risk and needs to be protected.

Instead, she was exposed and that chance to utilize her new nightblood status was used at first chance.

It also hits hard realizing that Abby lost her life the same way that she thought she was bringing Kane back. Supporting the creation of the Primes was a mistake she just got around to regretting, and just like Kane she went out in a similar punishment that she inflicted on someone else.

It is painful for a few reasons.

Bellamy and Priya - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

This was an episode that wasn't geared for such a major loss, there was plain and simple no time to truly mourn. Abby's death was as swift as the jump to the next storyline because there were too many things that still needed to be explained and too much going on around this.

It wasn't fair to not find the time to treat this loss the way it should have been treated, instead, it fell in the middle of a war when there is no time to mourn.

Clarke's reaction proves that, with Eliza Taylor putting her whole heart into it, channeling that utter pain into anger at Gabriel instead. He sees that she needs an outlet and offers it to her, but it isn't enough.

If there needs to be this type of loss, pace the storyline enough to give these choices the adjustment time that they deserve.

Abby Hugs Raven - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Then there is the way that Abby didn't get to live after carrying so much loss on her shoulders. Killing Kane was always going to hurt Abby, but there was that chance to not let that define her.

So much of Kane's existence already was the only thing that Abby was allowed to revolve around, so this was a chance to break from that and allow her to heal.

She would never be the same, yet Abby could exist and grow beyond this terrible loss. Instead, it felt like the narrative was saying that now that Kane is gone, there is no use for Abby anymore.

In a way their romance doomed them into a package deal, risking the life of the other if the first one had to die.

Abby could have come out the other side and prospered, so it does feel like a more difficult loss knowing what ended up lost in the end.

But that doesn't mean that Abby didn't represent hope for many until the end. 

She spent her last few hours trying to make sure Madi wasn't in more pain than she ended up in. Abby risked herself knowing what could happen because like Clarke she refused to let someone suffer when they didn't have to.

Abby lived a life with true happiness, all of which came from her relationships and how much she gained from the people in her life.

It is tragic that her journey was cut short when there was so much more for her, but she will live on.

Raven Hugs Abby - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Abby will live in her love for Clarke and for Madi, her heart exists in both of them and in their survival. So much of what she did was inspired by the love that she had, however misguided it might have felt.

The love is what drove everything Abby did and it wasn't for nothing because her family will continue to hold that in their own hearts.

The way that she treasured Jackson won't be forgotten either, he will carry her legacy and her knowledge with him. They worked together for so long there is no way he didn't view her as a mother figure, and Jackson has that responsibility now to be the guiding voice like Abby was,

Raven and Abby went through so much together, and that strength is what will now be carried over too. Raven will take with her Abby's ability to get back up and to face her demons without denying that you can make mistakes.

Clarke Talks to Murphy - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

The important thing is to learn from it, and Abby left that promise of a brighter future in their last conversation.

Things shouldn't have ended the way that they did, but what needs to happen now is an attempt to do right by Abby.

It might not have been possible when she was alive, but it had to happen now that she isn't.

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Inside Sanctum Shenanigans

There need to be ten solid minutes dedicated to the absolute stellar skill and range that Eliza Taylor continues to display.

From start to finish of each episode, Clarke Griffin has pain and complications thrown her way. But like actor like character, these two stunning examples of strength deliver emotional scenes that grab us by our hearts.

Eliza keeps proving that there isn't anything she can't do, driving it home that her acting knows no bounds. From playing Clarke who is acting like Josephine to having obstacles like Madi and Abby challenge that for her.

Through it all though, Eliza delivers that struggle that Clarke is going through so effortlessly. It isn't hard to feel how much Clarke is holding in, while at the same time displaying just how much she is going through.

I should have killed you first. Once we're free ... you will burn.

Madi

Clarke Griffin, in general, can't catch a break, and the way she navigates not letting it show to Russell is astounding. She is the strength that all of us are in awe with.

But sometimes I wish she didn't have to be that strong.

Still, Clarke had several moments where she couldn't stop herself from crying and a sharper eye would have picked up on it. But Russell has truly lost any spidey senses because so much is going over his head.

It makes sense, he lost his wife and his people have turned on him. This isn't even about his perfect Sanctum world anymore, this is about survival and revenge.

Echo and Clarke - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Russell will fight so that he and his family make it out, even if it won't be in Sanctum anymore. When you live long enough to view yourself as a God, you believe you can exist anywhere.

And in a way it is true, Russell can wait out the war with the hope that everyone kills each other. Then he will just start over somewhere else, keeping a few believers and allowing that to populate a new space for him.

But that exact inability to see when he is being misled and trusting a friendly face because of how much his heart controls all his choices is what will threaten his existence.

Russell is one more failed plan away from losing it, so knowing Clarke survived will do it for him. He is outnumbered in space and his revenge will allow holes to be poked in his survival.

Priya in Sanctum  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

This episode continued to do right by Russell, allowing his interactions with others and his own seasons to drive the story instead of having him be influenced by outside twists.

Russell is the hurricane that creates the drama, and in a way that is what works.

The 100 is a show that has its drive from the characters and their relationships, which isn't always remembered.

But villains of a season always get more room to grow and just be, with Russell getting a huge chunk of that this season. He is interesting because he is a person who has specific traits and exists in a self-destructive  hunger for eternal life. 

The same can't be said for every storyline, with Murphy and Emori representing the other side of that.

Murphy and Emori Arrive - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Murphy's fear of dying was the push he needed to turn on his friends, and somewhere in there, Emori got involved.

She deserved to have more of her story told, and yet that wasn't an option when there was no time for the scenes she already appeared in. So the audience had to just accept that Emori would turn on her newfound family when she was clearly so conflicted and not on board.

But Murphy needed to have Emori on his side, he needed someone working with him.

Bellamy and Priya in Sanctum - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

This episode proved the downside to not dedicating time to their feelings and their understanding of their choices.

So much of what Emori and Murphy were doing felt messy and confusing. 

It seems like they were going to pretend to be Kaylee's family, a way to give them eternal life in their own bodies for now and at the same time, it wouldn't expose to the general Sanctum public what actually happened.

There is that confusion about why they needed to take on that role when Gavin willingly gave his life up for Kane, not a Prime he was familiar with.

But let's say that back then the people trusted Russell and Simone more, while now this would be a bigger issue that they wanted to avoid.

It still was a choice Murphy and Emori made after the sacrifice that he was willing to make. He felt seemingly bad when he and Abby discussed his reaction to Josephine taking over Clarke's body.

Echo and Clarke - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

It felt like Murphy learned until he didn't. The Naming Day approached and for some reason, Murphy and Emori needed to take that final step.

There may be a reason for it later, but there wasn't enough time exploring the choices they made or how they felt about them. It makes their decision to stay back more hollow, because reasonably where do they go from here?

How will their loved ones trust them from here and in the future, when they were willing to sell it all for personal gain. It is a huge step back, and it at least deserved a longer explanation. 

But at least they have cool new outfits. 

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Outside Sanctum Storm 

The other side of the same coin also had its problems, most of which are rooted in what exactly are they going to do next?

Gabriel left them behind for his own hero journey, which we can't be mad at him for.

As mentioned before, Gabriel is trying to do better, and everything that we have seen since we met him supports that. He truly tries to help these people that he doesn't have to, looking out for Octavia and Diyoza and Clarke and Bellamy.

Gabriel doesn't want to be doomed to this eternal life, and he is making sure this last one is put to good use.

Murphy: We're going to save our people.
Clarke: I'm proud of you Murphy.
Murphy: Just so you know, Josephine called me John.

Some of that though involves trying to save every single soul, even if he doesn't manage to actually do it.

The face-off with Russell though almost makes up for it. The energy that exists between these two enemies is delivered so well, with Chuku Modu and JR Bourne existing so well opposite one another.

This was a doomed partnership that threatened their own souls. Now they are leading battles against one another, proving that our favorites from space aren't the only messy ones.

Russell was so worried that Clarke's people would blow up Sanctum, but his people aren't that far behind now.

That does leave our heroes in a bad spot because they are dealing with angry people on that toxin.

Bellamy Aiming - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

The trailer for the next episode is in some ways very helpful because of what is given away. 

The split-up was done in a smart way because the divide creates that need to see them reunite. Characters are split down the middle, and it can't stay that way for too long.

Also, with all this talk about storylines that tangled up too much and didn't get enough attention, this group of people more or less are where they need to be. There are no significant portions that still need to be told, making this more of an easy transition. 

This helps because it looks like Sanctum will be anything but safe or easy, with someone literally getting burned in that trailer. 

The Blakes and The Children of Gabriel - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Bellamy and the others will need to get their guns in order to just survive long enough for the army in space to make it down, and things aren't in their favor.

With the way that the Anomaly is teased in the finale synopsis, odds are that someone gets harmed or tensions rise to a point where there is no other choice but to go in there.

It is uncharted territory, but it might be the only chance some of these characters have. 

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The Bellarke Corner

Relationships on a show like The 100 can be summed up in a fascinating way.

The idea of the show not existing for ships runs with the understanding that a ship has to be romantic. Romance isn't what the show revolves around, and in a way that is very true.

Most romantic relationships on The 100 have a predictable path to follow, from conception to either one or both characters no longer serving the story any value once they get together.

Bellamy: Go.
Clarke: What will you do?
Bellamy: Look, I'm still working on that part, just go!

Just in the past few seasons, relationships like Murphy/Emori, Abby/Kane, Echo/Bellamy, and even Monty/Harper have served as examples of that.

Either one (usually the female character) or both of the people in these relationships end up not being viewed as necessary for the show to engage with. Once a romance starts, the story ends.

It is a startling realization that maybe you don't want a romantic relationship to happen on this show, because from there it all goes downhill.

It's almost ironic how a show that is worried about romance taking over the show writes relationships in a way where once it turns romantic, that is all there is to those characters. 

Which leads us to the Bellamy and Clarke of it all.

Consider them a loophole of the show.

In a way, Bellamy and Clarke are part of the full-blown romance that The 100 fears allowing, and yet at the same time they have that platonic soulmate line that they use to never confirm what is happening on screen.

Bellamy and Clarke can have all the underlying romance and tropes that scream a relationship that is anything but platonic, and there is no commitment from the side of the show to deliver that.

And you have to wonder if maybe that frees them a little.

They throw in the content they want to explore, but there is that ability for them not to feel attached to delivering on it and risking anything. 

This season alone proved that no one forces the show to explore anything they don't want to.

They chose to write a season dedicated to Bellamy's loving and undying commitment to Clarke. 

They chose to potentially not focus on a variety of other storylines in favor of a very Bellarke centric one.

They chose to have Bellamy be the first to realize Clarke was gone and the one to bring her back with a literal kiss of life. 

Some choices are made over and over again, all of which work as proof why exploring Bellamy and Clarke's romantic potential is the logical next step here.

At the same time, though, it brings up the question of what would happen if the show does that?

Would Bellamy and Clarke continue to have what made them so epic in the first place but now they would kiss and the audience supporting them wouldn't be gaslit for seeing it? Or would they fall to the same faith as almost every other relationship, where one of them would revolve around the romance and have no storyline of their own?

Bellamy Looks at Clarke - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

It almost feels like there is that worry, so The 100 doesn't pull the trigger and instead keeps Bellamy and Clarke in that "everything but" category.

If they are kept this way but are given heavily romantic scenes, it is taking advantage of all that potential and not risking the chance that the show wouldn't know what to do with them if they were "official." 

It's a strange line to walk, but at the same time, it makes sense why the show could be so hesitant.

Clarke Looks at Bellamy - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12

Even with how they knocked the viewers over the head with Bellamy and Clarke's relationship this season, the chances of that finally being acknowledged as romantic on the show and behind the scenes is slim in the upcoming finale. 

There are a few factors that could dictate a change for Season 7, encouraging Bellamy and Clarke to happen inspired by the real-life actor romance and the chance that it would be the last season for the show.

But at the end of the day the question of how The 100 handles romance, and the disadvantages that come to the women that are in those relationships (Raven, Harper, Emori, Echo, and Abby) are still a heavy burden to remember. 

In a perfect world, Bellamy and Clarke would be together, and the writing would keep highlighting them as they always did, but chances are we would hit worse scenario road and never see Bellamy again unless he was there as Clarke's romantic love interest. 

Sanctum may be a strange new world, but some things are destined to repeat themselves. 

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Jordan and The Issue of Overcrowding Potential 

There is a section dedicated to Jordan because frankly, I thought I would be creating many of these this season, so instead, it is time to discuss why that didn't happen.

And more importantly, there should be a discussion about why that is an issue.

The 100 has a strength of offering a variety of different characters, all of them stand out and appeal to viewers for individual reasons. But The 100 Season 6 proves that there are too many characters on this show, and not enough time to explore them all.

Initially, a season always starts with a large number of characters when you consider the leads and the ensemble cast. Then you have to consider that there will be villains of the season, which require a generous amount of screentime to explain who and what their motivations are. 

This leaves time to maybe allow all the main characters to have their own storylines, and then you remember the supporting characters and the new guest stars that need to show up sometimes.

Which brings us to Jordan and on a larger scale what Jordan represents.

Jordan Green was a heavy character from the minute he was introduced. He comes with the legacy of two of the most loved and missed characters, Monty and Harper.

So to integrate him into the narrative meant understanding how much work needed to be put into not only shaping Jordan but also his relationships with all the main characters who knew his parents. 

It felt like that was where the story was going, there were promises of Bellamy and Clarke looking out for Jordan and him coming into the new group. 

But then he ended up one of many characters that hit the bench as soon as there was too much going on.

Here is the issue though Jordan is a main character and he is a newly introduced one at that. There can be characters sacrificed to make storylines work or to offer some relief so that viewers don't have a lot of information hitting them at once.

But that should be done for Jordan and not with him.

There was not nearly enough time spent just exploring who Jordan is as his own person and as a main character on the show now. There was also no time spent forming those connections with people that he is meant to consider family. 

It can be argued that that in itself is a story, the group that was meant to look out for Jordan became a group that didn't. That in itself gives the character a challenge, trying to fit into a world where those that were meant to be in his corner just aren't.

And yet that also demands some time on the screen to travel on that journey with Jordan.

It feels like a disservice to the potential that Jordan continues to have to not let him do more or to just exist beyond a small connection to a new character. He can and should be doing more, and at first, it was upsetting but not it is infuriating. 

You can maybe try to bench a character that the audience has spent a few seasons with, you can't do this when a character is still being established and fitting into a major role.

This all then wraps around to the other characters because as successful as the season has been in some aspects, the characters aren't all part of that.

The effort to prove that the plot of the show won't fail like during The 100 Season 5 ended up risking genuine character arcs. They existed to fit where the story needed them to be, it wasn't always about what choices the characters would actually make. 

All in all, Jordan didn't get the focus that he deserved and that weight is heavily felt. 

The character and Shannon Kook deserve more from the next episode into the following season. 

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Stray Thoughts

  • Bellamy and Gabriel are sporting matching cardigans. Do you know what this means? Do you know the power they hold? This is my hill to die on.
  • Indra and Niylah realized their mistake of staying in space so fast. The others just can't be trusted to figure things out on their own, you need an Indra in your corner to make sure it at least doesn't become the Hunger Games in space. 
  • So will Sanctum get burned down and everyone must escape to the Anomaly? Is this where everything is going now? Diyoza better be in there saying she told them so.
Bellamy and Octavia celebrate  - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12
  • Once again Lola Flanery blows it out of the water, creating a sinister and terrifying possession seem that much scarier. But as always you have to get greedy and demand more, especially with how little Madi was explored so her storyline exists until it doesn't.
  • Echo is now a nightblood and Murphy, Emori, and Clarke all exist on memory drives in their bodies. This is either something very significant that plays a huge role later, or something that won't matter at all and was just created for semantics. 
Clarke Cries For Madi - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12
  • Speaking of Echo and Clarke, April Morris from Truth Bee Told mentioned in her review of the episode how disingenuous that hug felt. Clarke shares more intricate and emotional history with many of the other characters, but there was that choice to make her only reunite that way with someone she barely knows.

    They are people who are nice to one another from a distance because they are in the same friend group at best. There is a point to be made about the forced ~feminism~ that is added in to say that two women are friends without actually putting in the work to make it so.

    But I stick by my earlier theory that Echo mostly seems to exist as an extension of Bellamy, and along the way, she became a literal echo for his feelings for Clarke. Bellamy is relieved and happy that Clarke is okay, so Echo emotes that same energy because she takes from him. 
Echo in Sanctum - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12
  • Speaking of parallels and all things Bellamy and Clarke, several points were made in this gifset. These two just can't stop looking at one another over Bellamy's hugs with other people. That is a decision for sure. 
  • Priya may not have spent too much time on our screens, but there was a soft spot for Delilah and the actress that effortlessly tackled both characters. It was obvious that Priya wouldn't survive but that didn't make it any easier to watch. 
Gabriel Being Honest - The 100 Season 6 Episode 12
  • Sanctum may be messy but no one is as messy as Gabriel as a hostage. He has so much sass and commentary, how can we make sure we keep him forever and ever?
  • This is a reminder that we have yet to meet this Kaia person. The fact that this is a character that will have an extension for the next season means she stands out, we know she survives so we care more. But it is the finale and we have no clue who she is, so what is the hard pitch that makes the audience committed to her journey?
  • BA (and the Cookie Man) are the true unspoken heroes. We love them both in this household. 

What did you think of the episode? Were you also confused at the sudden surge in information from every direction?

How did you handle Abby's death? Did you see that coming? Was it handled well?

Do you think we will lose anyone else this season and if yes then who do you imagine it will be? How scared are you for more character loss?

Where does the story go from here? How will this war and this destruction get settled? 

Who else is ready for Diyoza and Jordan to return from wherever they ended up benched? Which storyline are you most excited to see wrapped up?

What did you like most about this episode? What did you like the least about this new episode?

Let us know kindly 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 right here on TV Fanatic.

Adjustment Protocol Review

Editor Rating: 2.9 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (89 Votes)

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

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The 100 Season 6 Episode 12 Quotes

Murphy: We're going to save our people.
Clarke: I'm proud of you Murphy.
Murphy: Just so you know, Josephine called me John.

I may not be your mother, but you are my family Raven.

Abby