The 100 episode 13 review: We Are Grounders Part II

The first season of The 100 ends with a hell of a bang. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.13 We Are Grounders Part II

As cliffhanger twists go, the final minute or so of The 100’s first season finale was a great example of how to ensure a rabid fanbase is still interested after the summer. For former fans of Lost, this sort of reveal, teasing the audience with withheld information and jarring visuals just before cutting to black, can have a lot of unpleasant associations but, as Dharma Initiative-like as that final scene was, the familiarity doesn’t take away the fact that this show, for all it’s obvious flaws, is brave and confident enough to offer up a potential reboot after just thirteen episodes.

The 100 is popular with audiences, threatening to become a breakout hit for the CW while still keeping the network’s core audience happy in a way that I don’t think Arrow quite manages. As much as I complain about the love triangles, they’re an important ingredient to what makes this show successful and, if that means that we can look forward to seeing more, then I guess it’s something those other fans will just have to deal with. So much else of this first season has been absolutely fantastic, thrilling television, this finale included.

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So to potentially change everything this early on is incredibly ballsy and looks like a move that could definitely pay off. The Grounders as the main threat to the hundred are gone, the Ark is no more, several central characters are MIA and a bunch of new, much more interesting ‘bad guys’ have emerged ahead of season two. That’s a lot to do in one 41-minute episode, and explains why a two-parter was probably needed, and we now have lots of lovely questions to ponder before the show returns, hopefully with some answers.

The hour certainly wasn’t devoid of grandeur, either, with a suitably epic soundtrack set over slow-motion montages as well as plenty of action as the Grounders descended upon the hundred. Gone was the notion that they might not be the villains they were perceived to be, just protecting their space from invaders, and in its place was a fierce fight for survival. The Reapers and Mountain Men are both very different beasts on opposite ends of the spectrum and, with a little more information on the other threats these teens might have to tackle, the Grounders look like the warm-up act.

Anya and Lincoln survive, with the latter having taken Octavia after she was caught in the crossfire. That means that with Clarke, Jasper, Monty and more taken by the Mountain Men, Bellamy, Finn and Octavia are all potentially still on the ground and readying themselves for a rescue mission. Then we have Abby and Kane, who have landed on Earth leaving Jaha behind on the Ark, adding a brand new layer to things. The teenagers have done a good job of staying alive so far, so will this return make things worse or better? It’s hard to tell, but I’m glad the two worlds have finally merged.

The whole world is bigger now and it’s exciting to think that, however dark and troubling the show has gotten over the course of its first season, its second run could go one further. It’s an imperfect show, sure, and doesn’t have the crossover appeal of either Lost or Battlestar Galactica – its two biggest inspirations – but it’s still refreshing to see a YA series do bold and interesting things within the constraints of its genre. There’s a reason it’s done so much better than Star-Crossed, with which it premiered, and everything in this final episode suggests that success will continue.

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, We Are Grounders Part I, here.

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