Last night saw the return of The 100 for its second season. We ended the previous season with just about everything bad that could possibly go wrong, going wrong. Raven was shot, Jaha was trapped in space and running out of oxygen, members of the One Hundred have dwindled to about half, and the ones that did survive were captured by the mysterious Mountain Men. Thankfully, the new season doesn’t waste any time telling us about the fallout of these issues, and judging by the first episode, “48”, it looks as though The 100 is in for another fun season.
Spoilers after the jump!
Our episode begins with Clarke trapped in a quarantined room at Mt. Weather, where people have been living in isolation for the past century. As they have been cut off from the outside world, their bodies haven’t adapted to the radiation on the planet like the Grounders’ have. As such, even a little bit of outside radiation will kill them. Due to living in space and being exposed to the sun’s radiation, all the members from the Ark have an even higher immunity than the Grounders, which is how they survived.
But life at Mt. Weather seems too good to be true for Clarke. Not all members of the One Hundred are there—only forty-eight of them were taken—and she wants to go back outside to find the others. However, she is thwarted in every escape attempt, and it doesn’t help that the rest of the forty-eight don’t want to leave. They enjoy feeling safe and they enjoy the food—they even have chocolate cake for the first time in their lives.
Back outside Mt. Weather, we learn that both Finn and Bellamy survived the fight with the Grounders, and they met up with Kane, Abbie, and other Ark survivors. Now that they’ve joined the rest of the Ark, they head back to the battle site to see who else made it. Unaware that the Mountain Men are the ones responsible for everyone’s disappearance, they assume that the Grounders took them. There is some good news, however. Raven is still there, and she is still alive. Unfortunately, Murphy, the One Hundred’s resident psychopathic murderer, is with her too—but instead of killing her, he chooses to help her, since he “doesn’t want to die alone”. Due to his help, she lives long enough for Abbie, Kane, and all the others to find them.
Our episode ends with Jaha in space, and it’s looking as though every character we thought had died last season lived. Bellamy’s alive, Finn’s alive, Raven is alive, and even Murphy’s still alive. The only people who died were the extras, which means that we ended that huge battle with no character that we care about being offed. Given how many minor characters died, I would have thought that at least one main character would go as well. Guess not.
And though Jaha’s still in space and running out of air, it looks as though he’s also going to have to find a way to survive, since our season opening ends with him hearing a baby crying somewhere on the Ark.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode, but I wasn’t really blown away by it. I do like that we have finally learned who the Mountain Men are, but as all things that are too good to be true in a fictional universe, they’re probably evil. And I think it’s pretty obvious that something nefarious is going on with them—they are interested in the One Hundred’s immunity to the radiation, have welcomed our characters into the compound without seeming to want anything in return, but they also won’t let them leave. Barring that, Anya’s missing. Anya is a Grounder leader and was one of the antagonists in the first season. During the final battle, she is captured by the One Hundred, and as such, she’s also among them when the Mountain Men take them prisoner. So I find her absence this episode a little suspicious.
Though I was a little underwhelmed by the Mountain Men reveal, this episode was fairly fast paced, and it was nice that The 100 still hasn’t lost its sense of danger. I really want to see what will happen when the Mountain Men meet the rest of the Ark survivors, as both factions seem to have their own ways of going about things, and I’m quite certain they are going to clash. I also want to learn more about the Mountain Men’s relationship with the other Grounders. Though their president makes it seem as though they don’t go outside that often, it’s clear in the first season that all the Grounder factions are afraid of them, and I even got the impression that they don’t view the Grounders as human.
Probably the most shocking part of the episode, though, was the baby crying. After I watched Jaha shut down all the monitors and turn off the radio, ready for death, and sit there in the dark, I thought, “hey, if this was a horror movie, a monster would pop up behind him any minute now.” Little did I know how much scarier we could get. Never has a baby crying sounded so ominous. I’m also questioning how the hell a baby was left behind in everyone’s attempts to get to earth, so at first I thought that Jaha was hallucinating the sounds, but according to the writers, there actually is a baby on the Ark with him. During the first season, we watched Jaha struggle with decisions his job as chancellor put him through, such as killing three hundred people so the rest of the Ark could live, and eventually sacrificing himself so the survivors could make it to the ground. On top of all that, he was also coming to terms with his son’s death, and I think the thought of dying and being with Wells again is also what’s led him to be so self-sacrificing.
But now, he can’t just accept death, not if there’s a baby on the Ark. I suspect that Jaha, being the good chancellor that he is, who wants to put his people first, is going to try to find a way to get that baby to the ground, and survive himself in the process. Otherwise, reintroducing his character this season wouldn’t make a lot of sense, especially since we were all ready to say goodbye to him last season.
The first season set The 100 up as a dark, bloody show that’s more than willing to talk about and portray some of the more unsavory aspects of a dystopian society—child murder, for one—and at no point did our characters ever have an easy way out. They always had to make tough choices that had awful consequences, and I hope that will be the same for this season as well. I’m also hoping that Anya’s still around. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.