2017 seems awfully far away right now. After a tumultuous year, The 100 season three came to an end last night, and fans are still reeling from the emotional highs and lows. Big developments were made about the future sustainability of their planet as Clarke went into the City of Light to give a last-ditch effort to save her people. Not all of season three worked as a lot of it was bogged down by rushed or misguided decisions made early on. The misfires were obvious, but there were a few saving graces as well, including the finale.
Here are three things that dragged the season down, and two things that could be considered successes.
The not so good
This has been debated and discussed all over the internet ever since the episode took place, so there’s little I can say that is anything you haven’t heard before. But let me be clear: absolutely nothing was handled well in regards to this scenario. From the showrunner goading the fans and the half-assed apology to the act itself coming moments after Lexa and Clarke had consummated their love, it was all handled with little grace or understanding for its characters. It’s great that the show still has LGBTQ representation and a bisexual woman as its lead no less. This doesn’t change the fact that the series fell into the “Bury Your Gays” trope and weren’t able to recover. When you have a character who is renowned as a fearsome fighter, being hit by a stray bullet not meant for her is simply lazy writing.
What makes this all the more apparent? The finale, which saw the return of Lexa in the City of Light, wasn’t just an incredibly moving moment for her and Clarke, it was a powerful one for the character who manged to cut down a group of attackers to save Clarke. If she needed to exit the series, this should have been her last battle cry, in a moment of complete heroics all in the name of saving the girl she loves.
Lincoln’s entire storyline
Remember how much promise there was to Lincolns storylines? Remember how he was reduced a recurring character by season three? That there is an example of mishandling your talent. Ricky Whittle was phenomenal as Lincoln, bringing a lot of pathos and inner thoughtfulness to a character who easily could have become one note. His and Octavia’s romance had been one of the constants of the series, and to end his entire arc with what was essentially a halfhearted shrug was disheartening. Him being shot execution style while in chains? He too deserved an exit that was more befitting to his character, a warrior who would do absolutely anything to save those he loved.
Everything was rushed
If you felt the first half of the season seemed like it’s totally disconnected to the back half, I wouldn’t blame you. The first six episodes or so did quite a bit to establish an over-the-top one note villain in Pike, to completely sabotage the character growth Bellamy Blake had experienced in the first two seasons, and to rid the show of two powerful characters. Then, they started to play pick up. All of this could have worked better to an extent if the moving pieces had been given room to breathe and develop. Instead, Bellamy was grieving over his girlfriend’s death in one episode but still on good terms with the Grounders, and then in the next was aligned with Pike and mowing down an army of them in their sleep.
This needed time!
Out of all the controversy this season faced, it was the rushed character development and storylines that were the most damning to the overall quality because the audience was left to fill in the gaping holes where logic used to be.
Now for some good stuff
Raven and Monty got storylines
I, like you, are pretty sick of seeing Raven suffer at the hands of others at this point. However, Raven/Lindsay Morgan had a phenomenal season which allowed her to explore just the physicality of the character but also finally brought us back to her intelligence. She being a key component in getting Clarke safely out of the City of Light was a character defining moment. By her side was Monty who also, finally, got something to do other than be Jasper’s best friend. Him killing his mother to save Octavia shed new light on the character, one who will stop at nothing to save his friends. He and Raven were two of the highlights of the season, and I hope season four doesn’t forget about all of the great work they did with them.
They brought the “100” back together
The cast has been largely splintered since season two, but it grew apparent midway through this year when each character seemed to have separate storylines. One of the best decisions the show made was to bring back the key group of players we had grown to love in the first season. While I enjoyed everything that went on in Polis and thought Emori and Murphy’s little love story was oddly sweet, I’m much more engaged when I see Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Raven, Monty and Jasper working together to save the day. Their group dynamic has been well established up until this point, and utilizing how they work together in order to survive brings a nuanced sense of drama to the proceedings.
There were smaller moments that worked too, such as anytime Clarke and Bellamy had a heart to heart, anytime Octavia got to fight, the establishment and growth of Lexa and Clarke’s love story up until the moment she was shot, and Kane’s continued character growth into a benevolent leader and his friendship with Indra. It wasn’t a bad season, but it was sloppy. While it certainly ended on a welcomed high note (and even a thrilling one), there are some pieces that will need to be picked up by season four.