The 100 slowly and stealthily became one of the best shows on television over the course of its first two seasons. What started out as a show that looked like it was cut from a familiar CW mold soon grew into a series unafraid to go to some truly dark and morally gray places.
Which is all to say that the third season of The 100 is just as dark, dense, and uncompromising as the two preceding seasons. It would be hard to imagine a cheery start to the third season considering season two ended with Clarke killing everyone in Mount Weather. In the world of The 100 all actions have consequences, and the third season never shies away from the fallout of Clarke’s devastating choice.
The repercussions of her actions reverberate through the first four episodes, and really color how she reacts to the world. This is a different Clarke Griffin, one who is both more bruised and more confident than before. She’s had to survive on her own, carrying the unbearable weight of her own guilt.
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Like throwing a stone into a pond, the ripples of Clarke’s unthinkable choice flow outwards and touch various characters, particularly Jasper and Bellamy. In The 100, no one just walks away from their choices unscathed.
The third season sees the world of The 100 deepening and expanding. Clarke spends much of the first few episodes running around in disguise, allowing us to see the world beyond the concerns of the Sky people. Best of all, the third season appears to be diving deep into the culture of the Grounders, showing different sides of the Sky people’s frenemies.
Up until this point the audience had only seen the Grounders through the eyes of our main characters, but in the third season their society and culture comes closer into view. The mythology of the Grounders looks to play a more prominent role in season three, as well as their intriguing and violent political squabbles.
In case you were wondering: yes, Alycia Debnam-Carey is back as Lexa and the character is just as tough and intriguing as when we last saw her. As you might imagine, she is not one of Clarke’s favorite people after their love story took a turn for betrayal last season. Their complicated and fraught relationship is one of the highlights of the early part of the season.
When the new season picks up some time has passed since the finale, and our favorite characters find themselves in new roles. Lincoln is trying to blend in with the “Sky people,” while Octavia becomes more and more like a Grounder. Jasper is not at all taking the death of Maya well, while Raven is beginning to have some flare ups from an old injury.
For the first time in a long time, things are relatively peaceful. But on The 100 you know that can only mean it’s the calm before the storm.
One of the big themes on The 100 is how human beings can be their own worst enemies. Fighting, hatred, anger and misunderstanding can be just as scary as “mountain men” or chemical fogs. Just because the boogey men in the mountains have been erased doesn’t mean the characters are safe. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
The 100 is fearless when it comes to creating morally complex characters. The show isn’t afraid to allow characters to make unlikable choices, and there are certainly some decisions characters make early on in the third season that will move the story into complicated places.
At the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour, the panel for The 100 was entirely composed of kickass actresses talking about the equally kickass female characters they play on the show. The female characters on The 100 are allowed to be strong, vulnerable, smart, foolish, and everything in between. In short, they’re allowed to be human. The third season sees even more fleshing out of all the characters, with many of the female characters getting great moments to shine.
The Grounders aren’t the only place the show is expanding and deepening our understanding of the mythology. Ever since Jaha’s weird vision quest lead him to the last remaining Amazon drone, he’s been getting cozy with the AI that may have ended the world. Perhaps in the third season we’ll finally learn more about what turned Washington DC into “Tondc” and flooded the Earth with radiation.
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The first four episodes represent a strong start to what looks to be another great season.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in the third season? What are you most worried about? Sound off in the comments!
The 100 season 3 airs Thursdays at 9pm EST on The CW.
(Photo courtesy of The CW)