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S05.E05: Shifting Sands

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I'm still amazed it took Octavia less than two months to resort to gladiator sports. This was her brilliant way of combating crime. And it's not like those two months were especially hard on her either since she was doing just fine chilling with Indra. But the moment things got tense and they counted on her to resolve a conflict, she went "why not have people kill each other as a form of entertainment?" Nevermind that there's nothing just about pitting criminals against each other and letting the strongest survive. Wouldn't that just encourage the most skilled Grounders to commit crimes multiple times because they'd be able to fight their way out of it? 

Edited by shireenbamfatheon
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4 hours ago, Paloma said:

I agree. With the already limited food supply, how could they meet the nutritional requirements of pregnant women and growing children (after they finished nursing, if the mothers even could produce enough milk for a few months or a year)? I wonder if Abby was forced to perform abortions, or if the women who got pregnant were just killed...and maybe also the men who got them pregnant.

Then nobody would be left. It's more likely that I was right about forced vasectomies. But operations on more than 500 men? Would have taken at least a few months. There's no way there weren't conceptions in that period. 

Of course, these are the writers who came up with the absurd idea of the death-by-combat of Nightbloods to find a Commander, which would have resulted in the annihilation of Nightbloods within only a few generations. So I can hold no definite position on their capacity for absurdity. Eating people who died in the arena makes a lot more sense, especially if you have a Doctor who can confirm the meat isn't diseased (which is the real evolutionary reason we have an aversion to cannibalism). 

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Speaking of Nightbloods, I wonder if the former Grounders from the BunkerKru will want Maddie as their new commander as she's the only (known) natural Nightblood alive?

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The grounders may have their own forms of birth control as well, because though we saw some children, there certainly didn't seem to be uncontrolled breeding- not a lot of babies and children in all of the tribes... so I would expect that babies aren't going to have much role in this season. Plus if the women are not getting enough nutrition they won't necessarily be ovulating etc. 

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On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 10:47 AM, Taryn74 said:

 I have a really dark suspicion that The Dark Year had more to do with human sacrifices than it did cannibalism, and very strict population control (yes, I'm referring to sacrificing pregnant women and/or babies who were found) may have been a part of that. 

I suspect that there was a surge of deaths in the "Dark Year" through both the pit fights and suicides.   Cannibalism rose out of that period but it wasn't entirely voluntary.  I don't see a society whose food is scarce and see cannibalism as taboo allowing a portion of the society to benefit from the stretched food supply because the others are supplementing with the dead.  There are no vegetarians allowed in Wonkru.  I think that its institutionalized as a part of Wonkru religion and you either eat the dead or you are the dead.  I bet that is what drove Abby to the pill addiction.

Its what I always thought about the Walking Dead.  They meet you at the entry of Terminus with a grill because if they decide you are a candidate to become a resident instead of dinner, they have already overcome the first hurdle of getting you on the diet plan without you knowing it.

On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 1:52 PM, shireenbamfatheon said:

I'm still amazed it took Octavia less than two months to resort to gladiator sports. This was her brilliant way of combating crime. And it's not like those two months were especially hard on her either since she was doing just fine chilling with Indra. But the moment things got tense and they counted on her to resolve a conflict, she went "why not have people kill each other as a form of entertainment?" Nevermind that there's nothing just about pitting criminals against each other and letting the strongest survive. Wouldn't that just encourage the most skilled Grounders to commit crimes multiple times because they'd be able to fight their way out of it? 

I'm as ready to nitpick everything Octavia as anyone but I don't see anything unusual about this and don't really see a better alternative.  Two months in a handful of Skykru hijacked the food and were ready to let everyone on the other side of the doors starve to death.  Octavia comes from a society that spaces people for a whole lot less than that.  Octavia adopted the Grounder culture that has battles to the death for leadership among other things.  Making them all prisoners wasn't going to fly.  She could have executed them all, I guess.  But I think that initial motive for this was beyond entertainment.  It was population control.  It was hope that if you screwed up you could battle your way to redemption.  It yields more survivors than flat out execution.  it was pretty in line with practices that are not foreign to the various factions of Wonkru.    (Heck, you can argue that letting the most ruthless criminal to live is the dumbest thing you could possibly do and naïve.)

Now I think it spiraled out of control from there but I'm not certain if there was an alternative that had a better near term chance of success and less odds of going really wrong long term. 

Where Octavia falls down is not being able to nudge things in a better direction once she has enough power and devotion to do so.

On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 1:46 PM, Efzee said:

Speaking of Nightbloods, I wonder if the former Grounders from the BunkerKru will want Maddie as their new commander as she's the only (known) natural Nightblood alive?

I think that Octavia's council / Grounders are going to expect that Maddie take her place as a Nightblood being groomed for future command.  They won't want her as the new Commander but they'll expect her to be a mentee of Octavia's who would some day challenge her for control or take over on her death.

Clarke is not going to like that.

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On 30/5/2018 at 1:58 AM, ParadoxLost said:

I'm as ready to nitpick everything Octavia as anyone but I don't see anything unusual about this and don't really see a better alternative.  Two months in a handful of Skykru hijacked the food and were ready to let everyone on the other side of the doors starve to death.  Octavia comes from a society that spaces people for a whole lot less than that.  Octavia adopted the Grounder culture that has battles to the death for leadership among other things.  Making them all prisoners wasn't going to fly.  She could have executed them all, I guess.  But I think that initial motive for this was beyond entertainment.  It was population control.  It was hope that if you screwed up you could battle your way to redemption.  It yields more survivors than flat out execution.  it was pretty in line with practices that are not foreign to the various factions of Wonkru.    (Heck, you can argue that letting the most ruthless criminal to live is the dumbest thing you could possibly do and naïve.)

Now I think it spiraled out of control from there but I'm not certain if there was an alternative that had a better near term chance of success and less odds of going really wrong long term. 

Where Octavia falls down is not being able to nudge things in a better direction once she has enough power and devotion to do so.

I think that Octavia's council / Grounders are going to expect that Maddie take her place as a Nightblood being groomed for future command.  They won't want her as the new Commander but they'll expect her to be a mentee of Octavia's who would some day challenge her for control or take over on her death.

Clarke is not going to like that.

6

I think my mind would have jumped to multiple other conclusions before "execution as entertainment" would have entered it. That's what I find so distasteful, and not so much the execution part as I understand why that'd be necessary for such a situation. The change from "I don't want to be a leader" to "Welcome to Gladiator 2.0." occurred within the span of a day. I honestly do not believe she was thinking very far when she thought up the punishment; her mind just grasped at what she'd read recently. Then again, I didn't expect much from Octavia. She's never been the diplomatic type or one for strategy. Just look at the way she handled the situation this episode. "The wind has not met Wonkru."

Violence has always been in her blood. She's been physically violent towards everyone she loves in some capacity, so for her to rely on violence to get things done as a leader comes naturally to the character (and this is coming from someone who loved her up till season three.) She had the opportunity to show Wonkru a better way, but she took the Grounders and Sky Crew's worst qualities and dialed them up to a 10.

 

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3 hours ago, shireenbamfatheon said:

I think my mind would have jumped to multiple other conclusions before "execution as entertainment" would have entered it.

 

The change from "I don't want to be a leader" to "Welcome to Gladiator 2.0." occurred within the span of a day.

Do we know that for sure, though?  We saw Octavia throw the sword down and tell them to fight it out.  The scene moved immediately to 6 years later, when the Gladiator Games were a regular part of their life.  IIRC, we have not yet gotten any kind of backstory on what happened during those 6 years to bring them to this point (other than Kane bringing up the Dark Year, which whatever happened then is so bad Octavia refuses to let anyone even mention in her presence).  Everyone is just assuming the Gladiator Games began immediately.  We don't know that (unless I'm forgetting something).

Honestly, I think as the season progresses we're going to find out Gaia is behind a LOT of what we see in current day Wonkru.  I'm not ready to give up on Octavia yet.

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3 hours ago, Taryn74 said:

Do we know that for sure, though?  We saw Octavia throw the sword down and tell them to fight it out.  The scene moved immediately to 6 years later, when the Gladiator Games were a regular part of their life.  IIRC, we have not yet gotten any kind of backstory on what happened during those 6 years to bring them to this point (other than Kane bringing up the Dark Year, which whatever happened then is so bad Octavia refuses to let anyone even mention in her presence).  Everyone is just assuming the Gladiator Games began immediately.  We don't know that (unless I'm forgetting something).

Honestly, I think as the season progresses we're going to find out Gaia is behind a LOT of what we see in current day Wonkru.  I'm not ready to give up on Octavia yet.

The games did begin immediately. Octavia established them on the 57th or 58th day, following Kara's mutiny. The show then did a flashforward to present day where it had become the standard execution method. In the flashforward, Kara was standing by Octavia's side, completely loyal, and Octavia had her war paint on. 

I agree about Gaia, though. She's the true fanatic and the one to watch out for. I bet she had something to do with Kara's conversion as well. 

I don't know, pretty much everyone's done horrible things on this show, but Octavia's been so cringe-worthy these past two seasons (ugh at the wind line) and incapable of introspection. At least others have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror, but Octavia has never admitted to any wrongdoing. And I really don't think Marie's versatile enough as an actress to portray a more nuanced picture of Bloodreina. I didn't like Lexa, but Alycia was great in the role. Marie seems to think a refusal to blink and whisper-talking constitutes good acting. A shame, because she was good in the earlier seasons.

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1 hour ago, shireenbamfatheon said:

Pretty much everyone's done horrible things on this show, but Octavia's been so cringe-worthy these past two seasons (ugh at the wind line) and incapable of introspection. At least others have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror, but Octavia has never admitted to any wrongdoing. 

For me, Octavia's character can be summed up by the conversation she had with Clarke in season 2 when they're trying to get into Mount Weather. She starts listing all of Clarke's supposed inadequacies but when Clarke asked her what she should have done, she said "Better!" or something along those lines. And that's Octavia in a nutshell. A perpetual teenager.

In retrospect, I find it telling she doesn't have a problem with Clarke yet. On some level, I suspect she's glad to have Mum back. 

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13 hours ago, shireenbamfatheon said:

I don't know, pretty much everyone's done horrible things on this show, but Octavia's been so cringe-worthy these past two seasons (ugh at the wind line) and incapable of introspection. At least others have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror, but Octavia has never admitted to any wrongdoing. And I really don't think Marie's versatile enough as an actress to portray a more nuanced picture of Bloodreina. I didn't like Lexa, but Alycia was great in the role. Marie seems to think a refusal to blink and whisper-talking constitutes good acting. A shame, because she was good in the earlier seasons.

As much as I dislike Octavia, I think the above bolded is very fitting for her due to her upbringing. She was never given the chance to really develop as person, as she was only allowed out from under the floor a few hours a day and only interact with her brother and mother who, presumably, both doted on her. How could she have possibly developed any real morals, a conscience or an actual personality?

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1 hour ago, Efzee said:

As much as I dislike Octavia, I think the above bolded is very fitting for her due to her upbringing. She was never given the chance to really develop as person, as she was only allowed out from under the floor a few hours a day and only interact with her brother and mother who, presumably, both doted on her. How could she have possibly developed any real morals, a conscience or an actual personality?

I feel like she had the strongest morals and conscience of anyone in the first two seasons. She and Finn were the only ones who actively tried to negotiate a truce with the Grounders. And when Finn later committed mass murder, she was horrified but still not onboard with his execution. And even later when TonDC occurred, she was outraged at Lexa and Clarke for allowing it to happen because she didn't believe in sacrificing innocent lives. She did hit Lincoln, which makes her abusive, but she didn't have too many atrocities under her belt. The potential for violence and the inability to admit any flaws within herself were still there, along with the petulance of a child, but not as pronounced as it later became in season three. The Octavia of the early seasons cared a lot about people. One of my favorite scenes in the show is Octavia yelling at Murphy not to harm Jasper. She was also Bellamy's conscience for a lot of the first season. 

I suppose Lincoln's death completely destroyed whatever sentimentality she still had left, but then the show never showed Octavia coming to the realization that she was spitting on Lincoln's memory by becoming the exact opposite of the person he admired and loved.

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