There’s no doubting that The 100 is fully committed to raising those end of the world stakes ever higher, but ‘DNR’ not only complicated the final chance of survival for our leads, but it also brought the harsh reality of what happens to those people who’ve decided that all the fighting they are doing to survive just isn’t worth it anymore. We end this week’s episode with just five days until praimfaya hits and yet another fight for Skaikru to win if they want to live, but while Clarke and Bellamy are willing to fight and maybe even die if it means they did everything they could to try and survive, Jasper and Raven don’t think the life being offered to them is worth living, meaning that ‘DNR’ feels like the most heartbreaking episode we’ve seen to date.In Jasper’s case, the decision to stay in Arkadia and face the Death Wave that’s coming for him is the result of two seasons of spiralling and struggling to cope with the pain and losses he’s faced on Earth. He made this decision a long time ago and while it’s devastating to see, it is completely in character, and all he has to do now is see his choice play out. What was more unexpected to see here was Jasper stepping up as a leader, of sorts. In this episode, Jasper became the voice of a group of like-minded people, his people, and he has chosen to fight for what they believe in and for the right to die on their own terms, even getting himself a Bellamy-style speech in the process.
The fact that Harper decides to join Jasper in his choice to die feels like it had a little less motivation to back it up, but what we’re left with is a core group of characters who’ve been on the same side for four seasons suddenly divided down the middle into who wants to live and who wants to die, leading to some poignant goodbyes – “May we meet again.” “We won’t.” – and some emotional throwbacks – “Whatever the hell you want.” And even if Monty’s staying behind at the Arkadia end of the world party hints it’s not the end of the arc just yet, Bellamy and Jasper’s goodbye was final enough that it served as a reminder to audiences that not all these characters are going to survive this – whether they want to or not.For Raven over on Science Island, the choice feels less about want and more about necessity – her seizures are still happening, her premonitions and visions are becoming more vivid and Raven can’t face the prospect of dying on Earth, in pain and having lost her mind. So, with vision-Becca’s assistance, she decides to use that rocket that’s been hovering in the background and go on one last spacewalk, and it culminates in one great big heart-to-heart with Murphy that’s been three years in the making. The fact that Murphy apologised for his role in causing her pain, stemming from his season one actions, shows just how far Murphy has come, and Raven actually forgiving him was a beautiful moment in return.
Equally, the culmination of the season’s worth of political alliances and tensions finally reaching a head here also earned its payoff, especially as the decision to hold one final Conclave to decide one final champion to take control of the bunker feels like a worthwhile use of all the scenes the show has dedicated to Gaia and the grounders’ religious beliefs up until this point. It was also a great way of shutting the door on Clarke becoming the next commander, which felt like the more expected route for the show to go down. Instead, Roan and Indra declared that Nightblood can no longer be trusted, but the sword can, meaning the scene was set for one final showdown between all the clans, grounder and skaikru, and it looks like Roan has turned his back on his friendship with Clarke for good too.With a lot to address this week, some characters’ stories were brushed over to get to the bigger picture – Octavia’s attempts to turn her back on war to make a life without fighting with Ilian on his farm was never going to stick, so it all felt like completely unnecessary build up to her ultimately stepping forward as the Skaikru champion – but there were a lot of great moments in this episode too, including a lot of noteworthy character beats and some brilliant dialogue. ‘DNR’ was a very strong episode that showed the wide-ranging reactions of these characters in all of its desperate detail. The 100 is no stranger to turmoil, but this episode was this show at its best, and hopefully it makes a great start to a thrilling final stretch.