The season 4 premiere episode of The 100, “Echoes,” picks up right where the season 3 finale left off. Grounders and Skaikru alike have been unplugged from the Matrix-y, virtual-reality tourist destination the City of Light controlled by A.I., A.L.I.E. Before pulling the kill switch, Clarke learned that being homicidal, brainwashed and free from pain or emotions might be preferable to what awaits mankind. All of the nuclear power plants not destroyed by A.L.I.E.’s nuclear strike are breaking down raising Earth’s radiation levels to a point that nobody can survive. Humans have black rain, diminishing resources, lesions and, eventually, death to look forward to.  

After turning Pike into a human shish kebab, Octavia seeks out her mentor, Indra, and finds her alive and being taken down from a cross. Octavia lets Indra know it’s all over, and she dispatched with Pike as well.

Ice Nation Takes Control of Polis

Clarke and Bellamy debate how to move forward. She’s ready to tell everyone that the world is basically ending in six months, but Bellamy wants to confirm A.L.I.E.’s intel before freaking everybody out. He wants to know exactly what they’re dealing with and how to stop it, fearful how people will take the news — badly I imagine. Clarke succeeded in giving them back their pain, why add more?

It doesn’t take the Grounders long to blame Clark aka “Wanheda” for their latest bout of misfortune. Actually, they hold all of the Sky People accountable for the chip. Kane warns Abby that it isn’t safe for them in Polis anymore. Abby wants to stay and help with the wounded, but Bellamy also knows they aren’t wanted and suggests they take their wounded and head home.

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Word spreads that Roan is still alive. He survived being shot but is barely hanging on. Echo refuses to let Abby help, declaring they have their own healer to see to the Ice Nation king. Echo holds a sword to Clarke’s neck and tells her she saw Clarke in the City of Light and knows she destroyed it. She thanks her, but then announces to the gathering crowd that because of Skaikru, Ontari, the rightful Commander, is dead, and Clarke stole her Flame.

Kane defends Clarke, stating she saved them all, but Echo argues her people wouldn’t have needed saving in the first place if it weren’t for them. Kane states that Azgeda has no authority in Polis, but Echo sees it otherwise. She declares Polis under Azgeda rule since Roan is the rightful caretaker of the throne of the Commanders. But Echo’s claim is disputed by one of the Ambassadors of the Coalition who states that until a new Commander ascends, they’ll be in charge. If Azgeda wants Polis, they’ll have to take it by force which is exactly what Echo does when she slits the woman’s throat. Echo, now the de facto leader, orders that no member of Skaikru is to leave the city.

Murphy finds Emori who is scavenging for supplies. She informs him it isn’t safe for her kind in the city, and she’s leaving. He asks her to come with him to Arkadia, promising his people will look out for her. Emori isn’t convinced given how many times they’ve cast him out. Murphy assures her things are different now — they owe him.

Raven Deals with the Lingering Effects of A.L.I.E.

Back at Arkadia, the mood appears a bit lighter. Jasper breaks out the booze and apologizes to Harper for slamming her head into a wall. Raven is all business, eager to get the mainframe back online and make sure everybody in Polis is okay. She’s still got stellar coding skills thanks to A.L.I.E. Jasper admits he still wants back into the City of Light and laments that A.L.I.E. didn’t leave him with an upgrade like Raven’s. But along with her sharper intelligence, Raven’s pain is back in full force.

Return of the King

In the temple, Abby, Kane, Clarke, Octavia, Indra and Bellamy discuss their options. Indra believes they need to remove the Ice Nation warriors by force. She knows at least three other clans will join them without question. But they need more. Indra is convinced she can recruit others if Clarke gives her the Flame. Clarke refuses. Bellamy tells her the clans will follow whoever has the Flame, but Clarke knows Azgeda won’t. Octavia is all for a fight, but Clarke insists there’s no time for a fight.

Abby knows Clarke is holding something back, and Clarke reveals the dire news she received from A.L.I.E. — nuclear reactors are melting down, radiation levels are already rising, and if they can’t figure out a way to fix it, they’ll all be dead in six months. Kane questions if Clarke believes her, and Bellamy says he has Raven looking into it.

Indra says that even if it’s true, that’s six months away, and there are warriors on the street who want to kill them today. Clarke says they won’t because Skaikru is going to surrender.

Jaha is doing his best to make amends which means bringing Ontari’s body to Echo, stating she should be with her people. This fails to soften Echo who orders her men to show Jaha how Ice Nation repays the bringer of the Key which means a serious beating. Things come to a halt when a member of Ice Nation informs Echo that Skaikru is surrendering. She leaves Roan and the healer and heads out into the street with her men and Jaha.

Before releasing Jaha, Echo tells him she’ll only speak to Bellamy who is perched in a nearby window with his rifle pointed at the Echo. Jaha falls into Kane’s arms and whispers that “It worked, She’s in.”

It isn’t Ontari that Jaha brought to Echo but Octavia. Her body is wrapped in cloth. Octavia cuts herself free and quickly dispatches the few guards and healer. She lets in Clarke and Abby who are waiting outside.

Indra preps Bellamy for his meeting with Echo. She warns him that Echo is part of the Royal Guard. She’s a spy which is why she’s unmarked. Echo is also very dangerous and very loyal. Kane encourages Bellamy to offer Echo guns, technology, whatever it takes to keep her talking. Their objective is to buy time for Abby to save Roan. Bellamy hands Murphy his gun, and Kane tells him to stand post. Unfortunately, Murphy has other plans. He decides his best bet is to bail with Emori.

Bellamy’s got a bit of an attitude since he did save Echo’s life, but he’s going to have to keep it in check during these negotiations. Echo reminds Bellamy that she saved his life by taking him out of Mt. Weather. She apologizes for not telling him to bring his girl, but she was following orders. She knows what it’s like to lose someone she cares about to war, but they do what they do for their people. Slaughtering each other went away in the City of Light, but now it’s back to the status quo.

Echo wants to know the terms of Skaikru’s surrender. Bellamy says they’ll recognize Ice Nation rule, and she honors Lexa’s coalition, including the 13th clan. Echo refuses. Bellamy throws in a sweetener, offering the Ice Nation guns and showing them how to use them. Echo questions if Trikru accepts this, and Bellamy replies that they aren’t happy about it. Echo recognizes the clan can’t do much about it with no army.

Echo says Bellamy knows why everyone hates Skaikru and why she can never accept their terms. Bellamy says the only other alternative is war and questions if that what Echo really wants. She says nobody wants war. If Skaikru lays down their guns, Ice Nation will let their children live. Echo offers to give them time to decide, but as she turns away, Bellamy grabs her arm. She easily takes him down and puts a knife to his throat. She orders everyone put their guns on the ground or Bellamy dies.

Inside, Abby removes the bullet, but Roan still doesn’t wake up. Octavia who has been watching events outside unfold from a window warns Abby and Clarke they are out of time.

Convinced Abby will come through, Kane tells everyone to drop their weapons. Echo and her men return to find Abby, Octavia and Clarke. She’s certain that they were trying to kill Roan, but Clarke insists they were saving his life. Just as Echo is about to kill Clarke, Roan regains consciousness.

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One Roan to Rule Them All

Roan wants to know the whereabouts of his sister, and Echo informs him she’s dead, killed by Skaikru. Clarke tells Roan they may not have been able to save Ontari, but they did what they came to do. She needs him to honor his promise to protect her people. Roan says that was before her people shot him and killed the Commander. Octavia points out they just saved his life.

Echo goes to Roan’s side and tells him his people are hungry for him to lead them, and he should do so now just as him mother would have. She advises him to kill Wanheda, take her power and rule over everything.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

At Arkadia, Raven has some unpleasant news to share which sends Monty looking for Jasper. Jasper isn’t handling life outside the City of Life well. He’s written a note to Monty and appears ready to blow his head off. His plans are thwarted when Monty knocks on the door.

Raven has figured out the radiation is rising. It’s been in the yellow zone since they arrived, but now it’s heading in the wrong direction. When it hits red, they’re all dead. At the current rate of increase, they’ll all be dead in six months, but things are going to get bad way before that. The really bad news is there’s no way to stop it.

While most of Skaikru has fled, Clarke and the others are locked up. Echo warns Roan that if he doesn’t act, his people will think he’s weak. Roan hasn’t been home in three years, sent away and used as a bargaining chip by his mother. Killing Lexa was supposed to lead to his triumphant return, but he failed. His war chiefs don’t respect him, and they command the army’s loyalty.

Roan questions who Echo is loyalty to, and she says she wants to serve him. She can help him do what his mother and sister never could — rule everything. She urges him to take out Trikru and Skaikru, and the war chiefs will follow him.

Echo and several Ice Nation warriors come to retrieve Clarke from her cell. Clarke warns Roan that something is coming, like the fire that ended the world, praimfaya. Roan argues their ancestors survived praimfaya, and so will they. Clark assures him that this time he won’t, not without their help. If Roan recognizes Lexa’s coalition, they can go home and try to find a way for everyone to survive.

Crowds are roaring outside the temple, and Roan tells Clarke that if he lets her go, he won’t survive six days much less six months. She offers to give him the Flame. With it, Roan controls who ascends, and there will never be a Commander to rule of Azgeda unless he allows it.

Roan announces that until another Nightblood ascends, he will serve as Caretaker of the Throne and Keeper of the Flame. Azgeda will honor and defend Lexa’s coalition, including Skaikru. Any attack against the 13th clan is an attack against them all.

So, now Clarke and company have to keep Roan in power and try to figure out how to save everyone from deadly radiation. Good luck with that.

Will Echo be loyal to Roan? Are you surprised Murphy squandered what goodwill he had with his people? Will Jasper’s suicidal tendencies make him a liability? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.