The 100 has become one of those shows that turns expectations and delivers week after week of thrilling storytelling. Not many shows are quite that successful at delivering consistently good drama at least not on network. The 100 week after week deals out shockers and progresses the plot. This season focused on the conflict rising from Mount Weather. While initially that seemed like a nebulous conceit, very quickly we learned that the mountain men were the perfect threat to lead the characters through some tumultuous changes.
The Mountain Men on first glance were beacons of trapped hope living inside Mount Weather. There was food, clothes, culture, and people living happy non-violent lives. It seemed like an oasis, one which Jasper bought into quickly. Clarke on the other hand was skeptical. Mount Weather quickly confirmed that it was more than it seemed as it was filled with secrets and more people up to no good than was reasonably safe. Quickly it was clear that Mount Weather was more death trap than haven for the sky people. Leading Mount Weather was a ominous, yet likeable Dante. A man who was scarier than he seemed and sought to lead his people with compassion rather than force. On the other end of the spectrum was his son Cage, who only sought what he could never had. He dealt more with a policy of doing things by any means necessary. He had goals admirable ones, but was blinded by opportunity. While each man had very different styles when leading their people, each was dedicated to putting the people of Mount Weather first and that created some interesting dynamics on the show.
I warn you for slight spoilers in this paragraph, but it would be difficult to talk about this season without mentioned how petty the reason the conflict for the season arose. Now don’t get me wrong, every last group of people had the right to fight for their own. They had the right to want the best for their people. However, the entire conflict of the season arose from a few people’s impatient desire to get what they never had. In our current society we live in a constant ‘get it to me now and faster’ state. This is not the case in the world of the 100. The Mountain Men have been encased in Mount Weather for 98 years. They don’t know anything other than living in the mountain. It makes perfect sense that when they find the opportunity to get their people permanently above ground without having to live in a bubble, it makes sense. It’d be crazy if they didn’t. What doesn’t make sense is why Cage and Dr. Tsing we so eager to reach this goal that rather than keep the people who could save them all alive, by taking from them slowly, they opted to sap everything they could from their subjects at once leaving them dead. It just doesn’t make sense, why they needed to get above ground so fast. Logically it didn’t make sense. Heck, when things got bad the 44 (then 47) even offered themselves in exchange for being spared. That wasn’t enough to placate Cage and Dr. Tsing. They wanted to get above ground as fast as possible. It didn’t make sense. It was a poor political decision. If they had spent more time thinking of repercussions and waiting to find out testing (What if kids born after they went above ground had hybrid immune systems that weren’t strong enough to be out yet. You have to remember they’ve been underground for generations, marrow transplants are not changes in DNA) to know if they would need them in the future. It was short sighted and ultimately it was their impatience that forced a war and made them lose so much.
Clarke knew that things weren’t right in Mount Weather from the jump. In season 1, Clarke was a strong character, but she wasn’t a real leader. She took charge and came off as rather unfavorable. She improved over time as her character was fleshed out and she wasn’t just doing things for some set of unknown set of morals that her character was saddled with. Clarke of season 1 was bitter and out of her element, but was rising to the occasion to protect her people. This season they pushed that basic idea of Clarke further. In doing so, they decided to question the one thing that was most difficult about her character last season her morality. Clarke was forced into situations where she needed to step out of her comfort zone and make decisions, not just for the 100, not just for the sky people (it sounds much cooler than Arkers), but for an entire alliance. Watching her as she grappled with tough decisions like letting a bomb fall on Tond-C to help maintain an illusion for Mount Weather (and keep Bellamy safe). She garnered the respect of her people and the grounders. She was fierce and would do anything to protect her people and this season we got to see just how far she would go. It’s so far that I’m seriously wondering how she’s going to bear it after all the compromises she’s had to make to save her people.
Clarke was far from the only character we saw this season develop and grow. In fact, many characters had their own interesting paths. Unsurprisingly, the characters that got the best storylines were from the original crew, plus Lincoln and Jaha. By far the most fulfilling and interesting transformation we saw was Octavia’s. It was clear that she was closest to the grounders because of Lincoln. That only grew as we saw Octavia become more incorporated with their society. Clarke had the respect of the grounders, but Octavia became one of them. It allowed for an interesting dynamic with a fascinating grounder in the form of Indra. Indra has come to be my favorite grounder as she really brings a different element to the grounders than Lexa. Which brings me to the wannabe stoic grounder leader, Lexa. She’s a complex mess filled with intricacies that make her entertaining. The final action we saw her make was a real blow and it will be interesting to see how that impacts her reign. Jasper became less naive. Monty got to do a little bit more and again proved to be a voice of reason. Lincoln was ultimately underused, but had an interesting arc, nonetheless. Bellamy had his journeys, but didn’t get the same meaty material he had last season. His character wasn’t forced to change like previously. Then there’s Jaha and John the two buddies who set off for the mysterious City of Light. That journey came late in the game, but has added an interesting element for us to look forward to. It was also fun to watch Jaha’s descent as he struggles with how different things are and what he has to now believe in.
Check out the gallery. What did you think of the season?