[The following contains spoilers for The 100's latest episode.]
Just when you thought The 100 might have landed in paradise, you find out this new planet is actually a hellscape.
It turns out the eclipsing suns cause a strange toxin to be released from the plants on the planet, which induces rage, violence, paranoia, and hallucinations in most people. While Clarke's (Eliza Taylor) hallucinations were focused around self-harm (she heard her mother's voice telling her to kill herself and spare everyone from her toxic presence), Bellamy's (Bob Morley) hallucinations inspired him to violently lash out at his friends. Convinced that Murphy (Richard Harmon) would get them all killed, Bellamy set out to murder their greatest threat from within. It became a game of cat and mouse across the settlement, as Murphy tried to outwit Bellamy while also convincing Clarke to stop torturing herself so she could help save him.
Strangely enough, Murphy seemed to be the only one in the group that wasn't affected by the toxin, meaning he was able to keep his wits about him while the others suffered through the madness. The children's book did explain that some humans were immune to the planet's effects, but is there more to it than that? Yes and no, said showrunner Jason Rothenberg.
"I thought it would be funny if the only person that didn't go to the dark side was the one person who already was so close to the dark side, you know?" Rothenberg told TV Guide. "The truth is that the red sun toxin affects people variably, and it's not inconsistent with the way I would say certain drugs affect people. I've known people who can smoke a little pot and get really ridiculously wasted and some who just can't. Some people take a hit of acid and go crazy, and some don't. It depends on the person, so in Murphy's case, the reveal that he's actually the hero, to me, was too good to pass up just as an idea, character-wise."
Murphy's status as the resident cockroach was challenged at the end of the episode, though, when Bellamy drowned him in the pond and seemed to have actually killed him. Clarke managed to pull him out of the water, saving Murphy's life, but Rothenberg warns that we shouldn't expect Murphy to just shake off this brush with death like he usually does. Instead, it's going to be used to propel him into a new story arc that sounds super juicy.
"He does have, I feel like, one of the best kind of character arcs of the season. You don't know this yet at the end of [Episode] 2, but ... eventually, he wakes up after seemingly perhaps dying. He has a bit of a near-death experience, and he will see something in that near-death experience that terrifies him and will make him even more afraid to die than he already was. And it will probably drive his decision-making this season. That's probably more than I should say about it, but Richard's incredible and continues to be incredible this season, and we had a lot of fun with his story this year."
In the Season 6 trailer, we heard a voice that sounds an awful lot like Murphy's say, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell," so could he have gotten a glimpse at the beyond when he nearly drowned? And if so, what on earth could he have seen that scared him so bad? We'll all just have to wait and see, but now we're super curious whether this renewed fear of death will inspire Murphy to change his ways (maybe he can avoid hell if he tries to be a better person?) or if he'll simply go to even greater lengths to ensure his own survival -- at whatever cost.
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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