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‘The 100’ Discussion: Surviving The Apocalypse (Again) In The Season 5 Premiere


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The 100, the CW’s apocalyptic drama, returned for its fifth season this week after surviving yet another world-ending disaster. With the core group splintered by the life-destroying radiation storm, everyone is struggling to adjust to their new normal. Left on the Earth’s surface, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has to use all of her survival skills to carve out a life for herself alone (for a while). Bellamy (Bob Morley), Raven (Lindsey Morgan), and the rest of the group struggle to thrive in space while tirelessly working to get back to the ground. And what’s going on in the bunker? That remains a troubling mystery.

With a six-year time jump, there was plenty to unpack so Jessica Toomer and Alyssa Fikse are here to try to make sense of it all.

On the Ground

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Jess: So this premiere was definitely different from the others. It was very Clarke-centric, not that I’m complaining. I’m surprised we didn’t see anything major from the bunker, though.

Alyssa: I felt like they really needed to shake things up after last season. There are only so many times that SkyKru can clash with the Grounder clans before it starts to feel a little old hat. As sad as I was to see Clarke separated from everything and everyone, it was necessary. Blow it all up. Rebuild. Remind people that Clarke is a survivor, not just a killer. As good as The 100’s ensemble is, this is her show. She proved that when she had her quiet moment to grieve her friends after finding Jasper’s goggles and suicide note. When she finally had a brief moment to stop running, we were reminded that she’s still just a girl crying over what she has lost. I was kind of hoping we’d get a full episode of just her.

Jess: Same. I could listen to Eliza Taylor narrate an entire season. And I liked that we got to see Clarke at her worst, acting completely out of character and almost choosing to end her life. I think that, coupled with her introspection, her whole “to kill or be killed” speech will resurface at least once this season. Also, Clarke Griffin should have her own podcast.

Alyssa: So Clarke’s on the ground and after some Mad Max-esque struggle, she manages to find the one pocket of the world that is still beautiful. Packed full of radiation, but livable for Night Bloods. Also, she may have managed to find a Sephora somewhere in the apocalypse, because honestly her hair looks better than mine. But I digress. How are we feeling about Clarke transitioning into a maternal role?

Jess: God, that apocalyptic mom bob is gorgeous. Clarke’s always had a maternal side, it’s why she cares about her people so much and why she’s such a good leader. I think it’ll really test her this season, this bond with Madi. I’m worried though that it will cause her to clash with everyone else.

Alyssa: Clarke’s relationship with her parents, particularly with her mom, has been pretty central to who she is and how she makes her decisions, so seeing her dynamic flip from child to parent is going to be a really interesting change for her going forward. No one is going to come back from this time jump the same, and I think this is a good way to push Clarke to change. What do we think of the transport ship coming to stir shit up? I’m not sure we need another outside force causing problems, but I’m game.

Jess: I have mixed feelings about it. At first, I thought this might be the way they prove my theory about ending this season with the group leaving Earth for good. That transport ship looks like it could withstand some more space travel. But now I’m thinking it’s just another way the writers are hammering home this “no good guys” idea. It’s a nice parallel to season one, when the delinquents were the prisoners landing on Earth and taking part of the Grounders territory. Of course, none of the original 100 were mass murderers.


In Space

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Alyssa: Ok, we might as well get the SpaceKru out of the way as well. The good: Raven doesn’t seem to be tortured/near death/in unbearable pain! The bad: Not that I wanted Bellamy to spend all of his time pining for Clarke… but I wanted him to still be pining for Clarke.

Jess: I wanted to find Bellamy lying in a puddle of his own tears, ugly-crying and writing sonnets to Clarke. #SorryNotSorry

Alyssa: The heart wants what it wants.

Jess: The fact that it’s Echo really stings though. I would not have cared if he hooked up with Raven. They’re friends. They trust each other. They need to let off some steam, but having it be Echo, and setting it up as a three-year, very involved kind of relationship really makes me question how well I know this new Bellamy. This girl tried to kill him, killed his girlfriend, and almost killed his sister. I don’t think holding a grudge for six years is unreasonable. What do you think? Is Echo the end of Bellarke?

Alyssa: It’s not the route that I would have gone. I understand that Bellarke actually becoming canon would remove a lot of dramatic tension from the show, but a love triangle seems unwise. Especially since they’re not teenagers anymore. Bellamy has a beard now, he should know better. I’m curious to see what happened with Murphy. Space madness, or just some good old fashioned Murphy being a dick?

Jess: I definitely think it’s more of the second. But I do hope they delve into the rift between Emori and Murphy. It felt sudden and jarring. My secret hope is that it’s just a way to make room for Murven, another ship I know will never be canon.

Alyssa: Sure he destroyed her leg, but at this point, WHO KNOWS.

Jess: Hasn’t everyone on this show physically or emotionally destroyed someone else? That’s the way The 100 flirts, right?

Alyssa: It’s not healthy, but it makes for good TV.

Where Do They Go From Here?

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Jess: I think there are going to be some awkward growing pains this season. Six years is a long time and these people have changed. Clarke and Bellamy used to share the same priority — their people — now she has Madi and he has SpaceKru. I think the bonds and the love will still be there but I also think the stage might be set for some showdowns between our faves.

Alyssa: I think the experiences of each group — Clarke and Madi, SpaceKru, and everyone in the bunker — has been so wildly different during the time jump that learning to live together again is going to be brutal. I’m here for it, bring on the drama, but going forward, I don’t think peace is going to be an option. It never really was, but war is going to happen. Again.

Jess: I’m just interested to see who sides with who. I think there’s the expectation that these new people, the prisoners, will unite everyone in a common goal — to protect Eden from a bunch of killers — but knowing The 100, it’s going to be way more complicated than that.

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