Everyone must battle their inner demons in “Red Sun Rising”. Now that everyone has been exposed to the psychosis-causing toxin, they have to think of a way to keep themselves safe from each other – and themselves.
“Red Sun Rising” starts with a history lesson. We learn what happened to the original Eligius III colonists – the ones who experienced the very first eclipse. One of the colonists goes berserk and kills several others, including his wife and daughter. It’s a grim look at what we can expect to happen to our mains.
Indeed, it starts fairly quickly. Having noticed the restraints in the school, Bellamy and Clarke surmise that they’re everywhere and convince everyone to restrain themselves as protection. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work, as Clarke and Bellamy unlock each other to check on the rest of the group. Eventually, everyone is affected, but they all deal with it differently. Miller and Jackson somehow share a hallucination that bugs are crawling in Miller’s skin. Echo and Clarke both have auditory hallucinations; Echo tranquilizes herself while Clarke nearly kills herself. Bellamy becomes fixated on killing Murphy and then Clarke (though he does keep saying that he needs to save everyone).
The 100 has a problem with being very cyclical. I start out every season hoping it will be different, but it always ends up the same; everyone makes terrible choices and the consequences are awful, and in the end, Clarke usually has to make a difficult decision and then everyone blames her for it. Every character has done awful things, and for some reason, the only person who gets dumped on is Clarke (and Murphy). That’s why I’m kind of surprised that Murphy is doing much of the dumping in “Red Sun Rising”; out of everyone, he should understand what it’s like to need a second, or third, or fifth chance.
That said, the scene where he saves her was surprising; it’s not because Murphy has the capacity for good deeds – we knew that a long time ago. It’s that you spend the entire episode convinced Murphy has gone crazy and it turns out that he may be the only person not affected by the toxin. That was a twist I didn’t see coming – you’re meant to assume that Clarke would be safe because of her nightblood. We don’t get an explanation as to why Murphy wasn’t as affected as the others; perhaps he’s used to dealing with his inner demons and was better equipped to handle it. Richard Harmon was amazing in this episode. Murphy is a jackass but I love him more every season, and a lot of that is due to Harmon’s portrayal.
Honestly, some really stellar acting from everyone in this episode. Bob Morley was great as well; very angry Bellamy is actually quite frightening. However, I wasn’t a fan of the camera angles or the quick cuts, even though I know that it’s meant to mimic the mental anguish the characters are going through. It just ended up giving me a headache.
Meanwhile, the hijackers take control of the main ship and lock everyone in the mess hall except Raven. (There are more people awake then I thought.) Raven, knowing that she can’t do much on her own, wakes up Diyoza, who despite suffering from the universe’s longest pregnancy ends up taking out two of the hijackers almost immediately. When a standoff risks the lives of everyone in the mess hall, they wake up Madi to help. At the end of “Red Sun Rising”, they bring the remaining hijacker planetside to help them locate the missing group. They come across an unconscious Clarke, Bellamy, and Murphy – who has been infected with something. They then meet the children returning to the school after the eclipse, one of whom asks, “Are you here to take us home?”
Octavia is finally facing some consequences for her actions, though she is still trying to paint herself as the glorious hero and put all of her mistakes onto others. The random others who were mysteriously awake gang up on her and begin to beat her; Abby stops them before they kill her. It’s clear that Octavia wanted to be punished; she was goading them into attacking her. If she feels she deserves the punishment, I’m not sure why she just won’t admit that she made a mistake. Would she see it as a weakness to admit that she’s not infallible?
Something is clearly going on, and I’m not just talking about the air making people crazy. The hijackers noted Octavia’s red blood when they initially took the ship; they also seemed weirdly fixated on the bodies. The children coming back after the eclipse seemed to be on their own. Where are the adults? And the obvious question, why do they think they’re going home? What happened on this
Have you seen “Red Sun Rising”? What did you think?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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