The 100 Season 4 Episode 1 Review: Echoes

The 100 Season 4 premiere is short on action, but it's good to have the show back.

The 100 Season 4 Episode 1

This The 100 review contains spoilers.

The 100 Season 4 Episode 1

The 100 season 4 premiere has a lot of ground to cover, picking up immediately after the end of last season. We manage to see the power struggle for and selection of new leadership for the grounders, set off our season-long conflicts, and get a hint of the global destruction that is to come.

We don’t have much action, world-building, or sweeping vistas in this episode, and so in that regard it feels much less expansive than other season openers. Our only real bit of action is a scene of Octavia kicking Ice Nation butt which, while awesome and eminently gif-able, is way too short. The stinger also gives us our one brief glimpse of the wider world, in this case the Pyramids and a nuclear reactor blowing that destroys everything (and everyone) around it.

Much has been made in the press leading up to this season of the struggle over whether to tell everyone about the nuclear reactors and the impending doom, but by the end of 401, all of our main characters either know or are about to find out. So far it seems like the only people out of the loop are the general, anonymous population of grounders and Skaikru.

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Since the episode was so packed, we have yet to see Clarke really wrestle with or even consider the fact that she is currently in the position her father once was, the very same position that led her to be sent to the ground in the first place. I hope to see that struggle soon, since asking tough questions with no good answers is where The 100 usually succeeds.

Another nice moment was our first scene in Arkadia, which was reminiscent of the “Gone Daddy Gone” scene from last season’s opener. Monty seems the least traumatized of Skaikru, but having a girlfriend is probably helping to distract him. He definitely noticed something was up with Jasper, and I hope we’ll see some of his emotional pathos play out in his relationship with Jasper and his girlfriend this season. Speaking of Jasper…the poor guy can’t catch a break. The irony of having his suicide interrupted by an announcement about the end of the world is certainly not lost on Jasper, who announces he’s going to go watch the sunrise.

Now that Raven has lost Sinclair (RIP Mr. Gaeta) and Monty has both Jasper and a girlfriend, it will be interesting to see how they shuffle the cast to find scene partners for Raven. Her sudden ability to code suggests Monty, and she has been positioned in marketing as the one who wants to tell everyone about the impending nuclear holocaust, making her a foil for Bellamy. Speaking of Raven’s ability to code, what’s up with that? Will this help her save Earth, and does it have any sinister side effects? Does anyone else have any “upgrades” from ALIE?

A big misstep for me was Murphy wordlessly taking off. While I’m sure it was necessary for the overall plot, it doesn’t feel like something our current iteration of Murphy would do. I kept waiting for him and Emori to pop up to bail Skaikru out during their standoff with Echo.

This episode is strongest when it’s relying on the longstanding relationships between the many characters, and demonstrating how far they have come since we first met them. It was great to see Kane and Indra embrace after a brief moment of suspense for the audience. With the majority of the grounders blaming Skaikru for the City of Light, I’m glad Kane and Indra’s relationship remained intact.

On the other hand, Bellamy and Echo’s tense relationship has not exactly improved. Their days as prisoners in Mount Weather seem to translate to giving each a little slack, but Echo holds a weapon to Bellamy’s neck almost every time she speaks to him, and after lying to her face, Bellamy later says he will probably never trust her. So, maybe don’t start your friendship bracelets just yet.

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On a positive note for Bellamy, there seems to be a recognition that Season 3 was not a strong one for his character. As others have noted, it wasn’t so much his actions, as the lack of justification. This episode was a nice return to form of what we’re used to, without completely ignoring his past behavior, however out of character it may have been. Another good moment was Bellamy’s goodbye with Kane, when the latter addressed Bellamy’s past transgressions and encouraged him to move forward. It was fitting that Kane is the one to tell him this, and nice reminder of how far Kane has come since Season 1.

The return to Bellamy and Clarke as leaders, and a paring down of the overall number of story arcs will likely be a good thing, since Season 3 suffered from mischaracterization and separating too many of the major players. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that strategy pay off in this particular episode, since it bit off more than it could chew, story-wise, but I’m hopeful that it will make for a better season overall.

Other great moments

“I’m tired of trying to keep you alive. You don’t make it easy.”

“Can I plead the chip?”

Octavia saying, “well save him!” to Abby and Clarke as if to say “I did my part, you do yours.”

“The youth have inherited the earth.” “And they have six months to save it.”

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“Ok princess, what now?” “Now, we survive”

Rating:

3 out of 5