World Regresses to Barbarism in CW’s ‘The 100’

Haven’t found the series that quite satisfies your dual craving for Game of Thrones violence and Hunger Games post apocalyptic drama? Look no further. The CW’s hit The 100 offers up intensity and ferocity that Khaleesi herself would admire—and that you won’t be able to stop watching.

Jason Rothenberg developed The 100 from the fiction book series of the same name by Kass Morgan, enriching the basic foundation of the series with fresh twists and turns for its young adult audience. It returned to the CW after its inception in 2014 and three successful seasons on Feb. 1 with its first episode of the fourth season “Echoes.”

The 100 depicts the remaining members of the human race who survived Earth’s nuclear breakdown nearly a century ago. They occupy twelve stations in space collectively called “The Ark” where their life support systems are dwindling. Consequently, the commanding adults of The Ark conduct a program called “The 100” in which 100 delinquents under the age of 18 will be sent back to Earth in an effort to discover if Earth is now habitable again.

Among these one hundred kids is Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), who emerges as the group’s leader. Clarke is an unlikely heroine of each of the three seasons, where the surviving teens face violent encounters with other humans who managed to shelter themselves from the radiation and eventually are reunited with the rest of The Ark after its crash-landing back to Earth.

The latest drama of this newly established community on a barren Earth is the invasion of “A.L.I.E.” into the minds of all who live there. A.L.I.E. is the artificial intelligence that caused the nuclear meltdown several years ago and aims to create the City of Light to save humanity. But her control causes civil war and spiraling devastation, so Clarke destroys her in the finale of season three. But she does so only after A.L.I.E. announces the worst possible oncoming dilemma: in six months, humanity will again be decimated by another ghastly nuclear meltdown.

Season four opens with a dichotomy of cheerfulness for the freedom from A.L.I.E’s mind control and despair for the large loss of life. Such losses incite anger from the now polarized sectors of people living in and around Arkadia, and war seems to be lurking in the distance as the Ice Nation’s king lay injured and near fatality.

As Clarke’s people, including her mother Abigail (Paige Turco), ex-commander Thelonious (Isaiah Washington), love interest Bellamy (Bob Morley), ally Indra (Adine Porter), and fiery friend Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) are about to prepare themselves for battle, she reveals A.L.I.E.’s last words to her and urges them that they must attend to the dying King Roan (Zach McGowan), as he is the only one they can align themselves with to generate some solution to the approaching threat of annihilation.

The group devises a rouse in which Bellamy feigns discussing terms of surrender while Thelonious sneaks Octavia into Ice Nation grounds in a body bag, who then allows Clarke and Abigail in. Abigail, a talented physician, saves the king, who spares their lives and joins their fight for survival only after Clarke presents him with the Flame, the transcendent symbol of power and holder of A.L.I.E.’s intelligence.

As Clarke’s people rejoin the coalition after this settlement, a woman in a desert far away disintegrates instantaneously. Nuclear destruction has already commenced, and the symbolic hourglass for finding an alternative ending has begun to empty.

Anticipation permeates nearly every scene of this season opener, providing the proper balance of emotion and action that continually keeps your eyes fixed and seat clenched. While the emotion is artfully performed by a seasoned, albeit large cast, the action is even more appetizing, with a double-sworded knee slide into chopping off two guards’ legs and stabbing them in the heart as only the beginning of a chain of similarly badass stunts.

The atmosphere of the entire show communicates a rugged barbarism refreshing from the typically modern, cleancut portrayals of a futuristic dystopia. The tribal aesthetics and mentalities, equipped with constant skull imagery, dilapidated settlements, and blood seeping through dusty cobblestone, create a world we crave to watch but evade entering, providing a bizarre yet pleasurable escape from the mundane.

With its definitive violence and high-stake crises, The 100 never fails to intrigue. And while we would never want to join this cataclysmic alternative Earth, we’re sure to have popcorn in one hand and the remote in the other every Wednesday night for this turbulent feast.

Featured Image By Warner Brothers Television 

About Barrette Janney 42 Articles
Barrette is the social media manager for The Heights. She is from Scottsdale, AZ, and she has a deep love for theatre, films, and so-ugly-they're-cute animals. She served as the Editorial Assistant on the 2017 Heights board, but she cannot wait to harness the newfound power of the 280-character tweet for The Heights in 2018.