Clarke deals with the fallout of Praimfaya while Bellamy and the rest of SpaceKru might have found a way back to the ground in the season premiere of The 100
The 100 is back! Picking up 42 days after Praimfaya swept over the Earth (side note: is that a Douglas Adams reference?) we find Clarke (Eliza Taylor) emerging from the ruins. After attempts to find answers in Polis and Arkadia, she sets out to find somewhere to survive amidst the destruction of the death wave. The desolate landscape tests her strength and sanity before she stumbles onto a miraculously untouched stretch of land. Once there she realizes that she isn’t the only one left alive.
Madi (Lola Flanery) may have tried to kill Clarke the first time they met but on The 100 that’s like a handshake. And after six years with only each other for company something tells us that they put aside their differences and became integral to each others survival.
Meanwhile Bellamy (Bob Morley), Raven (Lindsey Morgan) and the rest of SpaceKru are stranded on the Ring, without enough fuel to make the journey back down to Earth. A mysterious new ship might be their ticket back home and, as desperate as they are to escape space and Green’s green goo, they’re willing to take their chances on this unknown entity.
The premiere has answered some of our questions but in true The 100 fashion, it gave us plenty more to ponder. Let’s see if some of our guests can shed some light on the first episode of the fifth season
Jaclyn & Marcella (@cityofthefeels) – Youtubers on the channel Drowninginfandomfeels, English majors, and hardcore fangirls
Selina (@selinawilken) – Media journalist covering The 100 for Hypable.com
Dee (@FireflyRaine) – TV watcher, tweeter and creative viewer
Milena & Lola (@LMreactions) – Full time mathematics students, part time reactors
Ale (@BobbertsLinz) – Graphic designer, photographer and fan girl
1. Was this episode everything you were waiting for?
Jaclyn & Marcela (@cityofthefeels): Yes! It was amazing to finally see Clarke’s journey into becoming the powerful and confident grounder-like hero that we got to meet in the season four finale. Her strength and bravery was inspiring to watch!
Selina (@selinawilken): Everything and more. I’m always impressed by the scope and ambition of The 100, but “Eden” somehow managed to exceed my sky-high expectations. I’m not sure any other ensemble series has ever dedicated 20 minutes to just one (female) character, and certainly none have started a season that way! It showed an immense confidence in Clarke Griffin as a character, and Eliza Taylor as a performer, and it was absolutely riveting from start to finish. Since we’re entering a ‘new age’ for the series, it was also important to spend some time saying goodbye to the show as we knew it, while also hyping us up for the new storylines and characters (Madi!!). And this episode succeeded on both counts.
Dee (@FireflyRaine): – This first episode of The 100 S5 was so much more than I anticipated. I was impressed by the writing from Clarke’s perception for most of the show. It was a great beginning.
Milena & Lola (@LMreactions): Yes. This episode was the perfect start of a season. It set up the rest of the events really nicely. Also we really enjoyed that the episode was mainly focused on Clarke because it gave you the feeling of loneliness and it made it a lot easier to connect with Madi, because she came when Clarke needed someone.
Ale (@BobbertsLinz): Yes! It was totally worth the long wait. It was so exciting to see Clarke’s six year journey.
2. What relationships between the new groups are you most excited about?
Jaclyn & Marcela: There are so many! Obviously, Clarke and Madi, and from SpaceKru we’re looking forward to seeing more of Murphy and Raven! That dynamic is always so much fun to watch and what’s even more interesting is Raven’s friendship with Emori. Another one that we didn’t really get to see in the premiere but we’re hoping is explored is the friendship between Bellamy and Monty.
Selina: Raven and Emori’s friendship was an unexpected and delightful surprise! I’m definitely hoping for more BFF-moments between them — and between all of the SpaceKru ladies, really. I’m also very intrigued by the Eligius crew: just based on what little we saw of them in the first episode, there is an interesting tension between Diyoza, Shaw and McCreary that I can’t wait to see more of.
Dee: Well first, are there any previous prison ship connections to the grounder kru’s? Otherwise, it’s too early to tell.
Milena & Lola: One interesting relationship for us is going to be between Octavia and Jaha, and Octavia and Kane. She still blames them for having to grow up under the floor and for losing her mother but now she’s put into a position of power and she may come to understand the difficulties of the decisions that come with that power.
Ale: I’m excited to see how SpaceKru comes down, since we know they are headed to the prisoners ship. I want to see who they meet and how they get down. Did one of the prisoners help them?
3. There were so many amazing parallels and callbacks to earlier episodes, which one was your favorite?
Jaclyn & Marcela: Those were so fun to spot! We loved the return of the line “there are no good guys”, which was cleverly paralleled to Bellamy in space saying, “there are no heroes”. A subtle one we noticed was Madi telling Clarke “only choice”, a callback to the iconic oxymoron mention between Bellamy and Clarke in the season four finale. Perhaps the most powerful and our favorite was the filming of the scene when Clarke witnesses the devastation in Eden, paralleling her and Bellamy witnessing the aftermath of the massacre in Mount Weather in the season two finale. Both of those scenes are utterly tragic, yet fantastically filmed.
Selina: The one that particularly stood out to me was the visual callback to “Blood Must Have Blood, Part 2,” when Clarke stepped into the church and saw all the irradiated Shenandoah Clan bodies. I also liked the subtle pilot parallels, like Diyoza echoing Clarke’s line “we’re not alone,” and Clarke stepping into the lake like Octavia.
Dee: My favorite parallel was Madi being the new “girl under the floor”. Look how Octavia started and where she is now. Is this a portent of Madi’s future?
Milena & Lola: The one that hit the hardest was definitely seeing Jaspers goggles. He was there since season 1 and The 100 being such a fast paced show, characters don’t always get the time to mourn, so having that quiet scene where Clarke find the goggles and takes a moment to feel sadness for Jasper, a character she unintentionally broke when pulling that lever in Mount Weather, was heartbreaking.
Ale: There were so many amazing parallels, but I would have to say my favorite parallel was the 2X16 Mt. Weather one. When Clarke entered the new village and saw all the dead bodies, it was so heartbreaking.
4. They only gave us the smallest hint of life inside the bunker, what do you think has been going in there over the past 6 years?
Jaclyn & Marcela: Definitely nothing good! As Sachin Sahel (Jackson) has said, “the bunker is terrifying!” We think we’re going to see some bloodshed for sure, just to emphasis the brutality and true horror of the bunker.
Selina: Mario Kart tournaments and Dance Dance Revolution. Jackson holds the current high score for both and Octavia is just vexed about it, I tell you.
Dee: Survival. I think bunker-life was about the same for all these Kru’s as it was on the surface; compounded about 1000 times since they all live in such tight quarters with nowhere to go. But I also expect new alliances, new couples and possibly new children?
Milena & Lola: They put 1200 people who can’t stand each other in a confined space, so there really wasn’t any chance for that to go peacefully. Octavia had to find a way to keep them all in order and from what we’ve seen, keeping the order is going to be bloody. There is also a problem of them not being able to exit the bunker after 5 years, and everything that follows that revelation, most alarming is definitely going to be the lack of food, and I think we all know what’s going to happen next, but let’s not ruin anyone’s lunch by saying it.
Ale: Personally i think that the bunker kru has had the most interesting story of all. With all the different clan and old resentments, I’m sure Octavia had a hard time leading them. In an interview Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia) said that Octavia finds a very Octavia way of handling situations, I’m excited to see what has happened and how she led all 13 clans.
5. This episode relied heavily on Eliza Taylor, what did you think of her performance?
Jaclyn & Marcela: Eliza blew us away with her emotional and raw depiction of Clarke in the premiere. The moment when she lost all hope and screamed gave us chills. As we were watching, we felt everything that she had lost along with her. Eliza brought all those emotions to the surface and it was heartbreakingly captivating to watch.
Selina: Astonishing. Eliza Taylor is a phenomenal performer, and not just when it comes to the big emotional moments. Last year, I was truly impressed by how much she committed to the pain and hopelessness that was settling on Clarke’s soul; you could see each ‘impossible choice’ subtly whittling her down until she reached her breaking point. But her performance in “Eden” was her best work to date. Her crying for Jasper in the rover, as well as the chilling near-death scene in the desert, are right up there with her breakdown after killing Finn in “Remember Me.”
Dee: Eliza was amazing in this episode.She brought out the humanity in contrast between mere survival to her final life declaration to the relief of finding Eden and Madi. There were so many emotions that made me feel like I was right there with her. Clarke has always needed someone to take care of so, Eliza’s portrayal of bonding with Madi was tangible. I just dont think there are enough superlatives to describe Eliza’s performance.
Milena & Lola: Eliza was incredible in this episode. It’s very rare to see an episode of any TV show feature a single character for most of it. Eliza definitely rose to the occasion and delivered some of her best work, especially in the scene where she’s yelling in the desert after losing all hope.
Ale: Eliza is an incredibly amazing actress, i think this episode show just how much she has developed as an actress. Im interested to see what more Eliza has in store for us as Clarke and future projects.
6. Were you surprised that Clarke was so quick to execute the prisoner that attacked Madi?
Jaclyn & Marcela: Nope, not surprised at all! Clarke has learned that sometimes you need to make those hard choices in order to survive in this world. There are no good guys, just survivors. Earlier in the episode, Clarke even reflects on how past “villains” such as the grounders, mountain men, and Alie had similar reasons for doing what they did, justifying how similar they are to Clarke and her people. We love that grey area that this show constantly explores.
Selina: At that point of the episode, no. I think they did a really great job of building Clarke up to a place where she is believable as the jaded, uncompromising ‘mama bear’ who has seen enough bad in the world that she will not hesitate to protect the one place, and the one person, that is still ‘pure’ in her eyes. It also serves to sharply differentiate Clarke and Madi’s worldviews, since Madi appears to still believe that there are heroes and good guys.
Dee: Yes and no. Yes: The old Clarke was intent on saving and helping other people. She always gave the benefit of the doubt to anyone she met, always looking to find the good, often at her own expense. No: The new Clarke has had years to reflect on who she used to be. She is ultimately aware of what it takes to survive. And, as far as she knows, she and Madi are the last of her people on earth. She has to protect Madi.
Milena & Lola: Not really. We don’t think the old Clarke would have done that, not because we think she’s incapable of shooting someone point blank if it were necessary, but now her priorities have switched drastically and she just wants to protect that one child so she didn’t really stop to think of the consequences of that action.
Ale: I was not at all. I don’t blame Clarke, especially after everything she has been through. She doesn’t even know if she’ll ever see her friends and family, Madi is all she has. She was protecting her.
7. Obviously the reunions between the groups is going to be a huge part of this season. What are you expecting from that?
Jaclyn & Marcela: Tears! Lots and lots of tears, mostly from us! The biggest reunion we are highly anticipating is Bellamy and Clarke. Especially how that will affect certain dynamics that were set up in the season premiere. We can’t wait to see how their leadership will grow this season as well as their emotional connection. Other reunions that we are excited for is the Blake reunion and I think Echo and Octavia’s will be particularly interesting considering where we left them. And of course, the pure shock on everyone’s faces when they find out Clarke is alive will be priceless!
Selina: The spoiler police are watching me, so I’ll just say that I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting tension will arise when all the criss-crossing groups of friends and family are all back together, ostensibly working against the same common enemy (Eligius) but not necessarily able to work *together* towards that goal. The potential rivalries and overlapping conflicts/allegiances between Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and individuals within their respective groups (with Madi as the wild card) is something I’m very excited and nervous about.
Dee: Reunions are always fun, right? Clarke and Octavia. Their relationship always had an edge. But they always acted like family. (And all families fight too!) Bellamy and Octavia. And Echo. I predict blood. Clarke and Abby (Look Mom, I have a daughter!)
Milena & Lola: Six years is a long time (especially if you think someone is dead), so even the least significant reunions are going to be really emotional, so pretty much what we expect is to cry. But besides the crying we can’t wait to see how the characters fall back into their old routine and how the relationships between them change, for better or worse.
Ale: I just hope that they all cry because they missed and love each other! I hope to see that they work together this season to defeat the new prisoners.
With a powerhouse performance by Eliza Taylor, The 100 shows us that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to hope for a better future
Now, this is how you do a time jump episode. In a show where our characters so rarely have a chance to even count their dead before the next wave of horror descends, we’re finally able, through Clarke, to rage and despair and grieve. The decision to place the bulk of the episode on Eliza Taylor’s shoulders pays off magnificently and were able to finally get to the heart of Clarke Griffin, not Princess, not Wanheda, just Clarke.
We are introduced to a host of new characters, not least of which is Madi, Clarke’s adopted daughter, played by Lola Flanery. Madi is strong-willed and more than a little badass, basically Clarke in miniature. This character opens a whole new vista of opportunities for Clarke and for the show.
We touch briefly on SpaceKru and even more briefly on WonKru, but we’re doing our best not to judge them too harshly. Six years is a long time and they aren’t the people they once were. Time and death, or rather the misguided belief of someone’s death have a way of changing people and we’re looking forward to peeling back the layers of the characters we once knew.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been nearly a year since the last episode and we’re just overly grateful for new episodes, but we’re having a really hard time finding flaws in this episode.
The only thing thing that snags a bit is the introduction of a certain new couple. But here, we’re going to have to put our faith in Jason Rothenberg and co. and trust them to work their usual magic.
We can’t wait to see where we go from here. This episode can serve as a sort of re-pilot, taking everything we knew and flipping it out on it’s head so it’s impossible to guess where we might be headed next. The only concrete things we do know is that SpaceKru will be heading back down, WonKru will make their way up and Clarke will meet them in the middle, amidst the looming threat of the Elgius prisoners.
With only the barest hint of life in the bunker and the promise of uncovering (pardon the pun) more of that storyline in the next episode, “Red Queen,” we’re excited and more than a little terrified to see what comes next.