This review contains spoilers.
2.1 The 48
Nobody expected The 100 to be a success. It was a mid-season show, for one, and it was also another of The CW’s stabs at adapting a young adult book series into a TV hit – a goal that’s only seen intermittent success on the network. But a hit it was, and there are a lot more eyes on the season two premiere than there were back then.
It’s good that this premiere more than lives up to expectations, then, with a fast-paced, action-packed hour that introduces a bevy of new things for our protagonists to face up against. It’s also proving itself again and again to be on the same level as Lost in terms of deliciously-enticing WTF moments, following off from how we left in season one and continuing right up until those final moments of the episode.
The gang are split up, which has incredible potential on its own. When we come back, Clarke, Jasper and Monty are in Mount Weather, Bellamy and Finn are with the grounders, Lincoln and Octavia are on the run and Murphy and Raven are doing a not-so-good job of consoling each other about their imminent deaths. By the end of the episode, we’ve narrowed it down to two groups (plus Jaha), and it’s unclear how long it will take before Clarke is reunited with Bellamy and Finn.
Because Mount Weather is pretty nice, all things considered, and it doesn’t take too long to convince Clarke that a hot meal, comfy bed and access to art supplies is better than homemade spears and poisoned arrows. She’s obviously not going to drop her guard too much, and we wouldn’t want her to, but it’s certainly intriguing to see her and the others at least try to ingratiate themselves while they figure out if the President is friend or foe.
As they tell it, those living there are the ones who would be unable to withstand the radiation on earth, and the grounders are just the ones who managed to survive. The hundred, because they were born and grew up in space, are automatically resistant to it, which is why none of them died when they landed. This means, among other things, that there’s no way of escape without exposing those vulnerable to the deadly air outside, but it’s a vulnerability I’m sure Clarke has filed away in the back of her mind when the time comes to leave.
Season one of The 100 was all about survival, but this season seems to be taking The Walking Dead approach of ‘fear the living’. The hundred may have thought they had it bad fighting amongst themselves and hitting back at the grounders, but the intrusion of civilisation may actually do them more harm than good. President Dante is obviously supposed to represent the old world order, while Kane’s declaration that he is in charge now is about as sinister as it gets in the context of the show.
The younger characters are those members of society that were scarred the most by the rules and regulations that used to be imposed, and something tells me that Bellamy and the others aren’t going to take to kindly to Kane and Abby coming in and messing with the world they’ve made.
But the grounders are still in play too, with Lincoln taking Octavia to his camp in order to find an antidote to the poison. They have a pretty nasty way of dealing with traitors, he tells her, and so we can assume that either Octavia will be welcomed into their strange little society or she and Lincoln with have to make a hasty exit. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s also that creepy-looking monster in the forest.
This episode had so much packed into it – the phantom baby cry, the Lincoln statue (clarifying the location at last), the unaffiliated monster and whatever the heck is going on with Mount Weather chief among them. As great as the first season of The 100 turned out to be, this was a significant step up, and it makes you wonder how they’re ever going to keep it up.
Read Caroline’s review of The 100’s season 1 finale, We Are Grounders Part II, here.
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