THE 100: 2.01 “The 48”
One of my most anticipated returning series of the year was The 100 from the CW. If you’re surprised, well, I am too. This was a series that I just fell into over the early summer, something that I had heard a little bit about (but not much), and since nothing much else was on, I thought I’d try it out. But I was instantly hooked — primarily because of its fascinating post-apocalyptic setting and because it did not hesitate to kill off both major and minor characters.
On the Ark alone last season, they killed off more than 300 people. On the ground, if we’re counting native armies, it’s more.
This season set all kinda of new gears in motion, and I can see that the theme of this season will be about two words: power struggles.
It’s funny. For some reason, we all saw the Ark coming down to Earth as a blessing. Suddenly, the 100 (or what’s left of them) weren’t alone anymore. They’ll have help, supplies, comfort! But we seem to have forgotten that the 100 are criminals in a rather oppressive civilization. The only reason they’re not dead already is because of their age — and the only reason they’re even on Earth is because the Ark saw them as expendable. As much as we like Jaha and Abigail (and even Kane…sometimes), they run a tight ship, and that ship doesn’t have room for error.
And with Kane now in charge, it seems that tough hand is going to continue, which will be a rather tough pill to swallow when people like Clarke and Bellamy have been running the place. Not only that, but Clarke and Bellamy know what they’re dealing with; the Ark does not. Sure, Kane very easily took down the big bad Grounder with his gun, but he’s only one of many dangers on Earth. They do not have everything under control as they’d like.
So here we already have on distinct power struggle between Bellamy (who’s already arrested, while Murphy runs free — metaphorically, of course, given his injury) and Kane. To Kane, Bellamy’s just another bad seed, the one who shot Jaha. But we all know he’s more than that. And I’d rather be in Bellamy’s guiding hands than Kane’s.
Meanwhile, Clarke is separated from her friends at Mt. Weather, facing her own power struggle with President Dante Wallace. Clarke is 100% sure that Dante is keeping information from her (and I tend to agree), feeling like a prisoner in this underground world that seems to have everything they need for not just survival but a happy life (enter similarities to Mockingjay here, but I won’t go into that). At the most basic level, Dante is telling Clarke that there are no other survivors that they’ve found; we viewers know that’s true. But there’s also something strange about the fact that they can’t even open the door. What is the real reason Dante doesn’t want anyone to get out? How does he know so much about Clarke? And if no one was to get out, what made them leave to come find Clarke and her team to begin with?
Also, did anyone else notice that new girl Maya said she wasn’t “pressing charges”? If the Ark floats their criminals, what will this underground society do to its wrongdoers?
Speaking of, Mt. Weather is an interesting place. Parts of it seem lost in time — particularly its clothing, music, and decor (by the way, if you’re curious about the art at Mt. Weather, you’ll probably enjoy reading about the real Mt. Weather). But this society still has no experience with the ground. Just like Clarke in the first episode, pining over an opportunity to one day plant her feet onto the Earth from space, this new world has her within it, still unable to smell the air and run free. It really is a new prison below, instead of above. I’m incredibly curious to find out what really does go on there.
I’d last like to mention Jaha, who I was worried about in the finale (I’m going to skip over Octavia, as I can’t quite remember what happened to her in the last episode, and I’m not entirely sure where it’s going yet). Jaha, I was sure, would be taking his last breath in this episode, with the final “Jaha out.” But what happened next made me audibly gasp. Could there really be a child left — a baby, at that — in the Ark? I have three possible hypotheses:
- Yes, there is a child. She’s a child like our own Octavia, who was illegal and hidden, and when the Ark fled, the poor thing was left behind due to headcount rules. At which point, Jaha will do everything he can to see this child live a life on Earth (and hopefully get there himself).
- No, there is no child. His grief over Wells and lack of oxygen is making him go crazy, and we’ll see him slowly dissolve in what remains of the Ark, which will, in essence make my heartbreak and I will possibly flood the planet N’oreaster-style with tears.
- No, there is no child, but the possibility of one will suddenly awaken his zeal for life, and he’ll make his way to Earth somehow anyway.
I hope for #1, it could be #3. Please don’t let it be #2. I’m not sure I could take it. I hear that we’ll find out more in the next episode (Disclaimer: potential hints or spoilers at the link provided), so I guess I won’t have to wait too long to find out. Either way, with all of these power dynamics at play, we’re in for an exciting season.