Let’s begin this post with a big ol’ woppin’ SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!! This past spring I was introduced by my biffle to the CW’s sci-fi teen drama “The 100”, based loosely on some young adults novels written by Kass Morgan. As someone who is neither very interested in young adult dystopian novels nor current teen dramas I wasn’t so sure about picking this show up. But, I can state that within the first four episodes, I was a convert. I’m not going to discuss the first two seasons because I’m really terrible at summarizing things and it’s boring. At least, that’s what my 6th grade english teacher told me. Suck it, book reports!
Last night was the season 3 premiere for The 100. And I was READY. I had an electric blanket (thanks Susan!), some chocolate-covered pretzels (thanks Bev!), my Bellamy Blake t-shirt (thanks me!) and a serious amount of adrenaline (thanks to The CW deciding to torture The 100 fans by pushing the season back until January instead of the usual fall premiere slot in an attempt to increase interest).
So, again, I’m just going to state here that I am going to talk about the first episode, what happens, and what we learn. If you don’t want to know because you 1) haven’t seen the episode yet but would like to or 2) don’t give a flying fuck then don’t read the rest of this post. K thnx byeeeeeeee.
Okay! Now that we’ve weeded out the undesirables…let’s get to it.
The first thing I want to do is give an enormous shout-out to the writers for using this episode to emphasize that the world of The 100 is NOT a heteronormative one. In previous seasons it was implied that the main heroine Clarke is bisexual. While her only sexual encounter is with a man, she shows romantic interest in a woman in season 2. Her interest in Lexa goes largely unconsummated, as they share only a brief kiss, but Clarke’s bisexuality comes flying out of the gate in the season 3 premiere. Clarke has a one night stand with Niylah, a trade-post running grounder lady. When Clarke initiates sex with Niylah, she doesn’t start by asserting that she is interested in women or asking Niylah if she identifies as gay or bisexual.
Another sterling example: we find out Miller has a boyfriend! For The 100 fans who have been actively shipping Monty and Miller, you are now just one dead boyfriend away from Minty finally becoming a reality. Not only does Miller have a boyfriend, but it is given little attention. The way the other characters respond to it suggests that homophobia is much less of an issue for them. In the world of The 100, intimacy is fleeting and dangerous, no matter the genders of those involved. On the ground, men and women fight, hunt, work, fuck and try to survive alike. And that is something that is extraordinarily refreshing in a television show that has to fight sexist and heteronormative shows for ratings.
Another thing about The 100 that I love is how dark it is while still reminding us every once in awhile that the characters making decisions most adults would balk at are at heart just kids. Wanheda Part One reminds us of that when Jasper, Monty, Bellamy, Miller and Raven are out on patrol and end up singing along to Violent Femme’s “Add It Up”…an even more poignant moment when you consider the things they’ve all seen and done in the last 4 months, yet here they are, riding in cars and rocking out with friends.
Some things we learn:
- ALIE was created by and in the image of a woman named Becca and “let out” by a man named Chris, who commited suicide when he realized that ALIE had started a nuclear apocalypse in order to solve earth’s overpopulation back in 2051.
- Murphy was trapped in a doomsday bunker for 86 days by ALIE and Jaha, where his only company was footage of ALIE’s creation and Chris’s confessions. Believing he was trapped in the bunker indefinitely, he exhausted his food resources and was slowly driven insane. In one of my favorite shots from the episode, he dances like a madman and pours wine over his head as ALIEs words “make life better” play in the background. A fantastic sequence and a raw, disturbing performance by Richard Harmon.
- The Ice Nation is called Azgeda and extends over 1000 miles to the north. Ice Nation warriors wear white face paint, as opposed to the Trikru’s black face paint.
- In the 4 months since the Ark station crash-landed to earth, Camp Jaha has been renamed Arkadia and turned into an organized and bustling community. There have been no attacks since Mount Weather and Skaikru has a truce with the 12 grounder clans, which probably stipulates that the Skaikru are allowed to pillage Mount Weather for supplies, but not colonize it. Peace is so assured that Skaikru people are considering procreation on the ground for the first time, as shown by Jackson having 4 patients wanting contraceptive implant removals.
- Ever since the Mount Weather massacre, Raven has been suffering extreme complications from her disability.
- Lincoln is trapped in Arkadia, due to there being a kill order out on him in all grounder territories. While he seems to be adapting to life in Arkadia fairly well by earning respect and increasing responsibilities, Octavia chafes under the restrictions placed on their lives, causing tension between the two normally so in-sync love birds.
- Bellamy has a girlfriend, named Gina. While this makes my little Bellarke heart the tiniest bit sad, I think it’s a great choice for the character and will allow the viewers to either see Bellamy remain emotionally dead inside or grow and heal into a person capable of feeling.
- Jasper has been handling his girlfriend’s death poorly by getting drunk nightly, antagonizing the people who love him (like when he snarkily tells Bellamy to be careful about his girlfriend because “Monty might melt her”), and literally laughing in the face of impending death via throat slitting. I just want to add here, as a little rant, that last season Clarke killed the boy she loved and at no point did she respond as selfishly or irresponsibly as Jasper has. Get over it, Jasper. Ya’ll dated for a month. Tops. Plus, you’re hurting Monty’s feelings and NO ONE HURTS MY MONTY.
- Clarke is a mess. She’s been hiding as a grounder and subsisting on panther meat, which she hunts herself with nothing more than a mother-fucking dagger. Her only contact with people is through her infrequent trips to a trading post for supplies. She suffers from nightmares and is haunted by her actions, considering herself responsible for the deaths of over 900 people. When Niylah is cleaning a wound Clarke sustained while panther-hunting, she remarks that Clarke has no “kill marks” on her back, marks traditionally used by grounders to proudly keep track of their kills. Clarke responds by quietly saying, “My back’s not big enough.” *sob
- Jaha and ALIE have used a nuke as a power source…for what, we don’t know. But they have a motorboat (captained by Murphy’s acquaintance Emori) so they must have some kind of plan…
- All of the grounder clans are searching for Clarke, known by the name “Wanheda” (which means Commander of Death), because they believe wish to harness the power they believe she gained when she committed the Mount Weather massacre. Indra, Kane, Bellamy and Monty set out to try to find Clarke before the grounders do. A mysterious figure with black face paint (so presumably a member of the Trikru) finds her at the end of the episode and identifies her as Wanheda.
Questions for Jason Rothenberg (feel free to get back to me at your leisure, Jason):
- What does ALIE need drones for if she can appear anywhere anytime?
- How does ALIE work?
- Why do Indra and Kane have a secret line of communication, and do Abby and/or Lexa know?
- Where did Niylah get the Ark bracelet?
- Why are the Skaikru taking art and jewelry from Mount Weather?
- Where did Macallan (played by Shawn Mendes) learn to play the piano? Did they have pianos on the Ark?
- Who has been maintaining all of these car-sized roads in the wilderness?
- So Jaha’s a druggie now?
And, most importantly…
9. Who the hell is that radiated Fester Addams bellhop following Jaha and ALIE?!?!?