“What do we do now Princess?”
The 100 has always enjoyed boasting the fact that they (like a similarly death obsessed show Game of Thrones) refuse to ensure the safety of any of their characters, no matter their ranking or popularity. This notion was doubled down on in the admittedly messy handling of Lexa and Lincolns deaths before that, and the show demonstrates no qualms of having their characters commit terrible crimes all in the name of keeping their people alive. After three seasons of continually teasing the demise of our original group of characters, season four has put Clarke, Bellamy and co., up against a clock that they can’t outrun. The world is ending, they have six months to live before a nuclear wave hits from the melting nuclear reactors placed around the world, and the earth that they once discovered to be habitable after space no longer could hold them is now actively working against them.
How do the characters stop a faceless, nameless enemy? They don’t, according to Raven, but that wouldn’t be much a show would it and if the characters have demonstrated anything in the past, it’s that they’re survivors, even when they’re up against what seem to be unbeatable odds. The job of the show now is to stick to the plot they’ve set in motion, rather than take anything back for convenience sake. Clarke and Bellamy only have to wear the weight of the world on their shoulders alone for a brief period before they tell Raven and then Kane, Abby, Indra and Octavia, all for the sake of stopping what ultimately would be a worthless war from breaking out between the Sky people, Tree Crew and the Ice Nation. With Ronan alive (but barely when we first see him) and Clarke and his pact still intact, Bellamy and Clarke are free to travel back to Arcadia to start working with Raven and the others to find any solution to the mess they’ve found themselves in while Abby and Kane stay at Polis to bridge relations.
Beyond the clan politics that take place in the episode, the intrigue still heavily lies with the characters and their immediate responses to impending doom. Despite often times beautiful visuals and a set design that works hard to overcome what must be a smaller than most budget, The 100‘s greatest asset has been the relationships between these characters and how they grow and develop over time. Jasper was seconds away from killing himself, leaving a suicide note for Monty on a desk as he held a gun to his head, but once he learns that their fates all seem relatively sealed, he laughs joylessly and walks away, saying he’s going to go and watch the sunrise. He’s taking the lack of time as an advantage, as something to value since now he can cherish the time he has left while also knowing that his pain and suffering won’t be everlasting. He’s already aligned himself with the division of characters who are going to take the news and make sure he squeezes every ounce of life out of it.
Octavia and Indra meanwhile, don’t understand why the six month expiration date on humanity should stop them from engaging in current conflicts. Considering Octavia has slowly been loosing sight of her humanity, increasingly becoming a warrior to overcome the pain and loss she’s experienced. Bellamy and Clarke also respond in character, already both trying to figure out how best to deliver the news to their people in order to not start a panic that they might be able to overcome. The duo working together is one of the strongest highlights of the season premiere, especially as season three seemed to go out of its way to keep them separated. These two, once opposing forces, are characters that compliment one another, both as characters and as performers with Bob Morley and Eliza Clarke sharing a palpable chemistry. As the leading force behind their people alive, there hopefully will be greater scenes of the two working together coming soon.
Despite the show always hold the belief that they keep their viewers on the edge of their seats, this is the first time where the threats against our favorite characters feel real and tangible, with no one seemingly safe from danger. Bleak, violent and morally gray, The 100 is asking its viewers to follow and engage with its characters closely as they dance with the onslaught of possible destruction, and it’s the first time it’s felt more like a dare to do so and invest in these characters, rather than just a promise of entertaining television.
Who is making it out alive this season? Do you think we can believe that any of them are safe? Let us know in the comments below.