WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "Red Sun Rising," the latest episode of The 100 Season 6.
While sins past loomed heavily in The 100's Season 6 premiere, two characters faced their past actions and inner demons head on in the latest episode of the post-apocalyptic series. Clarke Griffin and Octavia Blake had both committed violent, morally questionable acts in order to survive throughout the series, but none more traumatizing and consequential than during Season 5. And, as they attempt to embark on a fresh start on the planet Alpha, both characters have to confront the ugly truths about themselves and what they had become.
Octavia is still remembered for the atrocities she committed as the Red Queen during the five-year time jump between Seasons 4 and 5. Trapped in a bunker during that period, Octavia took a leadership position among the surviving remnants of humanity, instituting forced cannibalism to ensure the survivors received proper amounts of protein and lethal gladiatorial games to maintain order, killing all who opposed her and setting fire to the bunker's interior gardens in her most extreme moments. These actions visibly haunt the character throughout the most recent episode, as she acclimates to the new world everyone awakened to in the premiere and how the other characters treat her.
Clarke, the longtime protagonist of the sci-fi series, had betrayed several of her oldest friends while trying to restore a sense of peace and order between the survivors and a faction of escaped convicts in a conflict that threatened to destroy that last habitable region on Earth. The betrayal led to several deaths and, ultimately, the Earth became incapable of supporting human life despite Clarke's actions, necessitating the interstellar travel to Alpha. As Clarke explores the new, dangerous planet, it's immediately clear her former allies still don't entirely trust her, as she must answer for her past betrayal.
The characters cope with their respective inner demons in their own way, both involving potential guilt-ridden suicide. Octavia, long one of the show's most violent and unpredictable characters, finds herself confined in a mess hall with her fellow survivors during a failed attempt by intruders to take over the spacecraft orbiting Alpha. Surrounded by individuals who hate and fear her for her role as the Red Queen, Octavia goads her fellow captives to beat her to death. This ploy ultimately proves unsuccessful, as Abby Griffin stops the assault not so much out of mercy, but to force Octavia to live with what she's become rather than take the easy way out.
Despite facing constant criticism and barbs from her companions as Clarke and Octavia's older brother Bellamy explored Alpha, it wasn't until the expedition begins to succumb to the mentally altering effects of Alpha's eclipsed sun that the cracks in Clarke's psyche are revealed. As the red sun begins to bring out dark, violent impulses from those exposed to it, Clarke starts to hallucinate that Abby is contacting her through her radio. The hallucination of her mother reminds Clarke repeatedly that she is responsible for death whenever she takes a leadership role. It says she would be better off killing herself, encouraging her to take a knife to her own throat. It's a surprisingly dark moment, even in a series that is full of them, and only the timely intervention of John Murphy convinces Clarke to stand down.
Every single character on The 100 has committed questionable, desperate things in order to survive though known perhaps as bloody and fueled by betrayal than Octavia and Clarke. While Monty Green had pled with his friends to pursue a fresh start and overcome the mistakes of their past to rebuild human civilization on Alpha the latest episode of The CW series has made it clear that the protagonists will not only have to find the strength to forgive others for past transgressions but, perhaps more importantly, find the strength to forgive themselves.
The 100 returns on the CW for its sixth season on April 30 at 9 pm ET/PT. The series stars Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Marie Avgeropoulos, Bob Morley, Henry Ian Cusick, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon and Tasya Teles.