VANCOUVER, BC. I didn't get to write about it, but The CW's “The 100” got off to a promising start last week.
I didn't especially like the post-apocalyptic drama when it launched last spring, but I've come to appreciate its regular doses of oddly edgy lunacy — unpredictably deaths, unpredictably gory deaths, inappropriately timed sexual conquests, etc — and also plotting so exhausting — Grounders and Reapers and Mountain Men, Oh My — that whenever I attempt to pay attention to what's happening, keeping up requires so much effort I almost have to set my quibbles aside.
In the premiere, we saw Eliza Taylor's Clarke begin to try to unravel the mysteries of Mount Weather, a seemingly civilized group of radiation avoiders she just knows are suspicious. We're also suspicious, because any group that has Raymond “Arlo Givens” Barry as its leader is up to no good. Plus, when was the last time a pack of starving people in a dystopia environment encountered a well-fed group with ample supplies of chocolate cake without something sketchy being afoot.
Two weeks ago, I was with a group of reporters in a Mount Weather bunker in Vancouver talking with Taylor about Clarke's trepidations about the Mountain Men and President Wallace.
On Wallace, Taylor told us, “He's a seemingly creepy dude, but also really friend in the beginning, so it's sorta one of those characters where you go, 'Is he a really nice guy? Or is there something more to it?' and their interaction in the beginning, I think it's just very informative, he kinda tells her how things are run and the lay of the land at Mount Weather and she's trying to just figure this guy out.”
Of course, Wallace isn't the only thing piquing Clarke's concerns.
“She's heard so many things from Grounders. Their main fear is of these Mountain Men and now that she's inside, nothing adds up,” she told us. “It's like, 'Why would we be afraid of these people?' So there must be more to the story and she's just desperately trying to figure that out by screwing things up all the time. She's constantly trying to escape and sneak into secret rooms.”
Since the rest of Clarke's buddies are happily enjoying their Mount Weather chocolate cake and metaphorical Kool-Aid — And possibly literal Kook-Aid, I suppose — this season is put a lot of pressure on Clarke and her developing status as leader.
“I think the arc of this new season is going to be really difficult for her,” Taylor said. “Last season I spoke about how I thought that was going to be difficult in terms of being a leader. This season I think all the lines are blurred between whether or not she's making the right decision for the good of mankind or if she's just screwing everything up. And she certainly raises some questions amongst the kids who used to look up to her as to whether or not she's kinda lost her mind.”
Check out the video above for moving pictures of Taylor saying those things, plus a couple more carefully worded teases for Season 2.
“The 100” airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.