The 100 Was A Weird Show

Matthew Donnellon

Image via 100 Wiki

Gosh, look at them.

It's hard to imagine looking at these faces, that three of them would be mass murderers by the sixth season.

It's one of the best parts on The 100. People keep changing. How many shows have you seen where the characters remain the same season after season?

One season's villain is the next season's ally.

Heroes become villains.

Villains become heroes.

Characters forced into making decisions that no one should have to make.

And it's all on a CW show.

To be fair, the first season has some very CW elements. The first couple elements have some soapy melodrama wrapped in a science fiction blanket.

But then the show finds its legs.

Spoilers for Season 1 (and the rest of 'The 100')

Now, I've watched each of these seasons a few times, usually I'll watch the previous season to catch up, and random episodes here or there, but I realized when I started watching that I hadn't seen the first season in a long time.

It was funny to see how different things were. It was a simpler time, before half the cast committed war crimes.

And, it was fun to see how small the original story was. It was originally such a small story. One hundred kids (really half a dozen named characters, the rest were just red shirts) had to figure out how to live in a new world, and it was intercut with life on a dying Ark station.

Every time I see this season, I wished we had more time before the grounders and the Ark failing. I liked seeing the Lord of the Flies and villain Bellamy. I'd also like to spend more time on the Ark.

Remember evil Bellamy? I liked how quickly they started making him the lovable rogue so fast. I also think it's hilarious that he basically had a harem. It was clearly before he only had eyes for Clarke.

Bellamy's not the only one that's different.

I forgot Kane was the early villain. Kane! Mr. Nice guy. Mr. Save Everybody. It must have been the short hair cut.

Octavia was just the annoying girl who keeps getting in trouble, and not the mass murdering cannibal queen.

Because of Octavia, we also get introduced to Lincoln. I liked Lincoln a lot, and I always wonder how his character would have progressed had he not been poached to star in American Gods. He was the first indication that the Grounders were more complicated than we initially thought.

And, his torture scene showed these kids no longer being kids and the dark things they would do to survive.

Speaking of dark...

This show really takes a turn a couple episodes in.

When you first watch the show, it all seems so simple. Clarke, Wells, and Finn are the good guys, and Bellamy, Murphy, and Kane are the bad guys. It looks like any other teen drama, love triangles included, set in a dystopian future.

And then...

A troubled little girl stabs Wells in the face. And everything changes. This show is playing for keeps.

They killed off arguably the second lead, a handful of episodes in.

And the hits just keep coming.

Every one assumes Murphy did it, because well, he looks exactly like someone that would stab someone in the face. I often wonder what would have happened if Murphy had died here. The fact that he not only is still living, but is now one my favorite characters is crazy to me. He spent the first few episodes urinating on people and strangling teenagers in their sleep, and then tries to hang Jasper.

But now Charlotte comes clean, and jumps of a cliff because she can no longer take the guilt.

So we went from teen love triangles to face stabbing and child suicide.

Like I said, dark.

Perhaps the most heart breaking sequence in the whole show, and cementing this as a show that pulls no punches, in The Culling.

The Ark is failing, and the Ark believes the Earth uninhabitable. Against everyone's wishes, Clarke's mother Abby releases this knowledge to the people. Instead of a riot like the government expected, hundreds of people show up to sacrifice themselves to save oxygen and buy more time.

We watch a father slowly pass away while holding his daughter's barrette. It's gut wrenching. Especially since we know, and the 100, know that the Earth is viable and these people are dying for no reason.

We watch the Ark expel dead bodies from the Ark and we see the beginning of Bellamy's change from villain to hero as he realizes the consequences of his actions.

There are several more great moments in the first season.

One in which Isaiah Washington gets to flex his acting muscles, in his heartfelt scream when he tells the others, "I lost my son."

Clarke incinerating the group of grounders attacking the drop ship and the general awesomeness of Raven Reyes.

This includes a couple great Clarke and Bellamy moments.

First, when Bellamy can't mercy kill a dying Adam, Clarke takes the knife and does it. It's a pivotal moment in the show and their relationship. Clarke is the Alpha dog, and willing to do what's necessary to survive, and thought they become leaders in their own right, Bellamy will defer to Clarke.

Also, I always laugh when Bellamy gives a rousing gladiatorial speech about how they will defeat the Grounders, and Clarke immediately undermines him, and tells every to get their stuff to run away. It's clear Clarke's in charge because no one hesitates to listen.

The Cliffhangers

This show does cliffhangers like no other. The season finale is a jaw dropping moment.

After a season of The 100 trying to survive in the wilderness, Clarke wakes up in a sterile white laboratory. She looks out to find she's finally found Mount Weather. It's so jarring after the messy life on the ground. It leaves you immediately wanting more.

Random Thoughts

There are tons of little details in this show. One I like is the clothes on the Ark, as the people have been using the same clothes for a hundred years, show tons of wear. No one in space wears pristine clothing. Everyone's clothes are full of holes.

The mutiny from the worker faction always seemed kind of random to me, and basically just used to delay those Ark's descent to Earth.

I like how Bellamy, no matter what has happened, or how many years it's been, has the exact same hair cut.

I like how quickly they dropped the love triangle. Clarke and Raven knew there were more important things than their squabbles and start working together immediately.

I forgot all about the goofy tree religion. It kinda makes sense, but it still looks silly.

Every time a group of people die in this show its always 300. There have been like seven mass deaths, but every time 300 people kick the bucket. Kinda funny on a show called The 100.

The tradition of Clarke pulling a lever to do something important starts with her closing the drop ship.

Okay, there's Abby, Clarke, Monty, Jasper, how did Thelonious Jaha, end up with the name Thelonious Jaha? I like to think his real name is Carl, or David, and he picked the name Thelonious himself.

Raven is so hardcore. When Lincoln won't give up the antidote Raven immediately starts electrocuting him.

Also, I always wondered if the torture thing came up again, while Lincoln was living with them.

Once you notice that the keypads on the Ark are just the bottoms of Motorola Razrs you'll never not see it.

After watching the first season, I just noticed, outside the first episode, I'm not sure Clarke and Abby ever get along again for the rest of the series.

Also, I appreciate this show's makeup department. Everyone always looks busted up, and cuts and scrapes last for more than one episode. I'm pretty sure spends half the series with blood on her face.

One of the best things is the start of everyone, even the adults on the Ark, just following Clarke. For a vast majority of the series she's always the most competent person in the room. Eliza Taylor really pulls it off. You buy that what is essentially the President and Senators derring from her judgement.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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