A show that deserves more attention than it gets, The 100 proves not to only be diverse and equal, but put its characters through hell and makes them reach their breaking point. It will make you root for people while also questioning the decisions they make. You would think a show about 100 teenagers would be filled with drama and relationships… Well you’re not wrong, but that doesn’t last long. Here’s an introduction to The 100!
The 100 first premiered on the CW during 2013. It’s a post-apocalyptic genre based off the book series of the same name by Kass Morgan, and developed for TV by Jason Rothenberg.
The story takes place almost 100 years after a nuclear war that destroyed the world. Survivors took to the skies to escape radiation and live in separate space stations. Over time these stations came together and formed, “The Ark.” It begins with our main character, Clarke Griffin, who has been imprisoned after she discovered the truth behind what is happening to their home. She is being taken out, along with 99 other juvenile delinquents.
On The Ark, the pettiest crimes can get you floated (which is exactly how it sounds: you get sent out into space) but only if you’re over eighteen. These kids are just waiting to die. Clarke thinks she’s going to succumb to the same fate, when her mom comes in and lets her know she’s going to the ground.
We meet an array of characters on the ground and immediately tensions are high. Clarke puts herself out there as a leader, but so does a stowaway, Bellamy Blake, who got a ride because his sister was being sent down. Clarke believes they should find food and search a place they were told should have supplies for them. Bellamy believes they are free to do whatever they want.
Over time they realize the dangers the ground offers; not only is it tough just finding necessities to live, but they discover people did survive the nuclear fallout and are living on the ground and they’re not happy this new group is there.
The story goes back and forth from our main characters to the Ark. The kids weren’t send down just randomly; the adults on The Ark have a plan and are monitoring them. At times the adults can be more of a nerve to watch than the kids. They didn’t know if the ground was survivable, but figured the kids were expendable anyway. It makes you root for the kids even more.
Throughout the first two seasons we’ve seen characters make decisions they never would have in the beginning. It’s incredible the hardships they go through. There’s no “good vs bad.” Everyone makes decisions that get you thinking. Some may think each decision is justified, others think it was the wrong route to go. What they do to survive changes them, and the show goes darker than you would have ever thought.
Not only is the main plot interesting, but the characters are as well. The males and females are treated equally and that’s what caught my attention. Clarke is a girl but a leader. Most of the leaders on this show are female. It’s great seeing this kind of female empowerment. There’s diversity among the characters from being white, Asian, black and Latino. I’ll tell you right now their gender, race, or sexuality mean nothing in this world. In this world you just try to survive.
We have three groups of characters (so far): the ones from the Ark, AKA the “Sky People.” The Grounders, appropriately named by our group of teenagers. They are the ones they first encounter on the ground. Finally there are the Mountain Men and they’re the most evil of the three. They come in last but when you think they seem like the good guys, their methods in their home cause you to turn tides right away.
Not everything is as it seems on this show. Peaceful characters become killers, weak characters become strong, and the strong mentally break down. These people go through hell and just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do.
The First Two Seasons
**SPOILERS beyond this point for anyone recapping/not wanting to binge through two seasons
As I said, 100 teenagers are sent to the ground, but why? Well the Ark is dying. There’s not enough food or air supply. The adults figure they can send these kids to the ground. If they die, then they die and they have a little bit more resources to last them. If they survive, they have a way to escape the fate on the Ark.
Right away the group realizes there are people living on the ground who survived the radiation, but they don’t want them there. People are killed off right away and over time the 100 becomes more like 40. The Grounders want the Sky People gone and are willing to start a war to prove their point.
The first season deals with the 100 surviving on the ground while the adults on the Ark also try to get to the ground. From animals to diseases, there are many different natural ways to kill off characters. Then of course there’s just plain murder.
The second season introduces a new set of characters (Mountain Men) who have captured some of the 100 and Clarke and her people try to make an alliance with the Grounders to get their people back.
Sure there are relationship issues (these are teenagers being allowed outside for the first time and have total freedom on the ground) but over time they realize they need to get things together.
By the way, there are a lot of characters to remember so bear with me:
Our main character Clarke is the daughter of the head doctor on the Ark. She was sentenced to prison after finding out the Ark was dying and wanted to let the people know. Clarke’s transformation is one of the biggest and we’ll just say she’ll do whatever it takes to help her people.
Bellamy Blake is a co-leader of Clarke. His sister, Octavia was sentenced to prison after discovering she even existed. Basically no more than one child can be birthed so Octavia was hidden under the floors in their room for sixteen years. Bellamy is ruthless at first and let’s be honest, an ass, but over time realizes he should take everything more seriously and becomes Clarke’s biggest follower.
Speaking of Octavia, after living in the floors for sixteen years, Octavia wants attention. At first you think she’ll be that girl that wants attention from everyone and will be a nuisance but over time she falls in love with a Grounder and becomes one hell of a fighter.
I’ll speak briefly of Finn Collins because *major spoilers, highlight to read* he’s dead. At first he seemed like just a love interest for Clarke but was a peaceful person who didn’t believe fighting was the answer to everything. Then you find out he has a girlfriend on the Ark and killed a group of Grounders over not being able to find Clarke. To save him from torture Clarke actually kills Finn. *end spoiler*
Finn’s girlfriend, Raven Reyes, is one of the best mechanics on the Ark. She was not part of the original 100 but finds a way down after Clarke’s mom, Abigail, wanted to find out if the group survived. Raven doesn’t take Finn’s cheating lightly and even breaks up with him realizing she deserves better. Raven is one of those characters who is constantly knocked down…and still keeps getting knocked down.
Abigail Griffin, Clarke’s mom, is a doctor and one of the leaders on the Ark. She wants nothing more than to find out if Clarke survived. Feelings towards Abby are supposed to be mixed. For one she’s a good leader, but she also sent her daughter down to die.
Thelonius Jaha is the main leader of the Ark. He sacrificed himself to send everyone remaining on the station down to earth, but finds a way to join them. Thelonius’s ideas are conflicting. Sometimes he makes good choices, and other times he doesn’t. He went out on a quest to discover a city only told in rumors but has found someone that will help him on his journey.
Marcus Cane is another leader from the Ark, who is not much liked at first but over time learns the errors of his ways. He is a love interest towards Abby but is a great leader who is able to negotiate with the Grounders and earn their respect. He also sticks up for Clarke many times when her decisions are questioned by others.
Jasper Jordan and Monty Green are two best friends and part of the 100. They were arrested for stealing but are some of the smartest in the group. Jasper gets cocky after becoming a good shooter, but Monty, who is more reserved, is there to bring them back in. Both of them grow more confident over the years, but like everyone else, has to deal with the decisions they make and break down over time.
A grounder named Lincoln is Octavia’s boyfriend, but also a traitor to the Grounders. Over time he helps the 100 out more but is discovered and kicked out of his tribe. Lincoln is another one who made the right choices but is put through hell and never seems to get out.
John Murphy has became a main character but at first was someone most hated. He didn’t care about anyone until a near-death experience and torture from the Grounders changed his ways. He still had his moments but started to think and make better choices. He joined Jaha in his quest but was separated and has found a hideout that seems to be loaded with everything a young guy needs.
Then there’s a side character, Lexa, who is one of the big leaders of the Grounders. She’s young but keeps her cool and tries to make the right decisions for her people, even betraying Clarke after they made a truce. Lexa has become a love interest for Clarke after they shared a kiss but Clarke seems more on the revenge path. It was unclear if Lexa would be back but the season trailer says she and Clarke will be reunited.
Why You Should Watch The 100
A large cast for a big TV series that has endless possibilities. We’re only in a small section of the US (think Washington DC area) but we’ve seen there are areas beyond it that have survived and have people who are living. Right now our main characters are stuck in the forest still dealing with Grounders but maybe over time they’ll begin to move.
Last season ended with Clarke, Bellamy, and Monty killing all the people who lived in the mountain after they were killing off the 100 and Grounders. Clarke left, not able to deal with everything’s she’s done, but Bellamy did try to convince her to stay.
For me personally, when I first saw previews for the show I had no desire to watch it. It became one of my top recommendations on Netflix and finally I gave in. I was only a few episodes in and couldn’t stop watching. It became one of my favorite shows and my anxiety is high while I wait for the third season to start.
The 100 is back on the CW, January 21 at 9, but the two first seasons are available on Netflix if you want to go on a binge before the next season starts.