The 100‘s survivors just can’t catch a break, can they?
They finally arrived on their new home, only to discover that an eclipse causes the plants to release a toxin that makes everyone go insane. While Clarke and Bellamy and the rest of the exploratory team tried to kill each other for a day or so, everyone left on the ship killed two of three hijackers and then forced the last one to help them as they got to the ground, discovering Shaw’s makeshift grave on the way.
Just as Abby, Octavia, Jordan, and a newly mourning Raven reached the recovering Clarke and company (including a very unwell Murphy), a whole bunch of very alive children suddenly came over the hill.
“Are you here to take us home?” one small girl asks Clarke.
“Isn’t this your home?” she says.
We have a whole bunch of questions that will likely be answered with next week’s episode, but for now, we’ve got a few answers from executive producer and showrunner Jason Rothenberg, who says he “very deliberately” only shared the first two episodes with press before the season premiered, because of where the episode ended.
“At the end of two when we see those children coming home, the parents, mom and dad, or as I jokingly say, the three bears, are coming home, and they’re going to find our characters in their home, and it isn’t Goldilocks,” he says. “They’re blood-drenched, genocidal. The people we love are dangerous, and [this is the] world that they’re now going to need to try to be incorporated into—and they’re going to want that as opposed to the Mount Weather story where they were held there against their will. Our heroes need to be invited to stay, otherwise they’re not gonna make it. They cannot survive outside the walls.”
That means they’ll get to know the people who live on this planet/moon, and we will too, which makes for some quieter moments that will let everybody catch their breath here in the first third of the season.
“Ultimately as we begin to unfold the story and you begin to find out more and more about the people who live in Sanctum, [you’ll see] that their culture is beautiful in many ways and our heroes are going to want to be a part of it, and they’re going to kind of immerse themselves in it a little bit. So we’re going to see some really different different and special episodes as we begin to tell that story.”
That, Rothenberg says, will give everybody time to face some of those demons they’ve still got with them after what happened last season.
Another question we had was what the heck was up with that eclipse and the toxin and the bugs, and what is this world like without it? We got a little bit of an answer.
“The moon during the eclipse is very different than it is most of the time, because the eclipse, thank god, is rare,” Rothenberg says. “As we know, during the eclipse, the reason that the compound is seemingly abandoned or vacant is because they’re in hiding because they have figured out how to survive…They have a little bit of an early warning system set up, which is hinted at when we see the tank full of dead insects, because the insects, as we saw in [the premiere], react first. They’re more sensitive to the toxin in the air during the eclipse, and so when the bugs start to go crazy, they know it’s time to bug out, pun intended.”
“So they go into hiding, and now when they come home and everybody comes out of hiding…the real story begins. And some of it is human against human, and some of it is unpacking some of the other mysteries of the world, and you rightly point out that the eclipse is really the tip of the iceberg. You know, there’s an anomaly, that green light source that Raven was looking at from above…there are people who aren’t part of the lucky people who live safely in Sanctum. There are things and creatures in these woods that want you dead, and you know, if you don’t keep up, you will be. So yeah that’s all the fun stuff that we’ll get to see going forward.”
The first major interaction our people have had with the people on the ship was murdering two of them after the ship was hijacked, which obviously isn’t going to go over well with any loved ones, right?
“They were important people,” Rothenberg says of the three hijackers. “One of them is still alive. She will be a character who we follow She is one of what we call the primes, the sort of leaders of the people who live in Sanctum, and her now deceased family were as well. So there will be fallout from that for sure. Defensible—I mean, they did hijack the ship, and there’s a story to tell that we will tell about why they were leaving the way they were leaving, all of which becomes very important going forward.”
One thing that will be a little different this time is that there’s no real fight for leadership among the survivors, as it’s more important that they make a good impression and are invited to stay among these people who have learned to live here.
“[Sanctum leader] Russell recognizes Clarke as their leader fairly quickly,” Rothenberg says. “Certainly there’s something in her that he responds to…and some of the fact that Clarke is elevated up once again as quickly as she is to sort of being the representative of all of them at Russell’s table, that’s going to rub a few people the wrong way because of what she did last season to them, but they’ll get over it pretty quickly. And Belllamy certainly, as we see pretty early in episode three, is supportive of Clarke assuming her, I think, natural role as the leader.”
Finally we worried a bit for Raven after she finally found a moment of happiness with Shaw and then lost him so quickly, but Rothenberg says she will be OK eventually.
“Raven will be OK eventually. She wasn’t in love with Shaw. She didn’t know Shaw that well yet. There was the potential of that relationship. What’s so sad about it for me is the lost potential. It was going someplace for sure, and she’s going to mourn him because he was a good person and because she really liked him and because he did represent a potential path to I guess happily ever after, if that’s how we want to measure things. I think she’s never been about who she’s in love with, and the show in general never made it about that for any of these people, so ultimately, she’ll be OK. Raven is awesome. She’s strong, she’s smart, and it’s not about who she’s in love with.”
(We know. We just want everyone to be a little bit happy for more than a second! Is that too much to ask? It probably is.)
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.