Highlights from The 100, Season 2

(WARNING: major spoiler alert!):

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The 100 premiered on The CW, which is a network intended to appeal to the 18-34 demographic. As such, it is instantly but unfairly tagged as a “teen” show. The 100 is extremely underrated. For such quality plot and acting, it’s a wonder why it’s getting less buzz than (excuse my harsh verdict) crap shows. Yes, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I’m looking at you.

The premise goes that after a nuclear disaster renders Earth uninhabitable, civilization moves to outer space to live on a spaceship called “The Ark”. Since the people are living in space, resources are scarce and hence, crime is taken pretty seriously. On the Ark, all crimes are considered capital crimes. The criminals get “floated”, which means they get tossed out of an airlock into space (honestly, death is sad and all, but that’s a really epic way to go). However, criminals under 18 are exempted from floating, and they’re thrown into the brig instead.

97 years pass and life-supports systems on The Ark are failing. It’s what happens when the contract goes to the lowest bidder. Cornered, the higher-ups on The Ark initiate a program they call “The 100”. The idea is to send 100 of the juvenile delinquents languishing in gaol down to Earth to see whether it’s safe to inhabit once again. The 100 land on Earth safely, but it soon becomes clear that radiation is not the only threat to human survival.

Honestly, The 100 is one of those shows you can grow incredibly attached to since screenwriter, Jason Rothenberg, focuses on character development that is consistent with and congruent to the decisions they make, which are persistent and sometimes irrevocable. So rest assured, characters are not going to be at each other’s throats one episode and having intense make-out sessions the next. Not without sufficient build-up, anyway.

Now, on to the highlights of Season 2

1) Finn’s death

There are better ways to get a man to open up besides a knife in the belly.

There are better ways to get a man to open up besides stabbing him with a knife

If there’s something The 100 is known for, it’s the high mortality rate. If you recall, only five minutes into episode one and there are already two deaths. Season Two is no exception, especially since Rothenberg doesn’t hesitate to kill off characters — main or otherwise — for the sake of maintaining a dynamic cast roster.

There have been several death scenes, including massacres, but I’m sure everyone was most saddened by Finn’s death. Sure, we saw his mental breakdown, and everything leading up to his Grounders-shooting rampage (Grounders being the human beings left behind on Earth who never got to experience the opportunity of getting “floated”), but it is such a huge contrast between the happy-go-lucky Finn we saw in the first season. We’re sad to see him go, but thankfully, his last appearance does him justice. Finn’ death is certainly unique—unless you think that getting stabbed by the love of your life an everyday occurrence.

And his death was absolutely heart-breaking, especially with Raven’s wail after she realises that Clarke has killed him. It was a smart move to use flashbacks into Finn’s life to build up our emotional attachment to him — before killing him off!!! I had grown so attached to his character that, I was literally shouting at the screen towards the end of the episode.

2) Lincoln turns into a reaper

Lincoln

Lincoln, is that you, dude?

Remember this dialogue Finn and Lincoln have in Season One?

“Finn: What the hell’s a reaper?
Lincoln: Pray you never find out.”

It is revealed that reapers are Grounders-turned-cannibals and they play a bigger role in the war between the Sky People and Mountain Men than we might have imagined. Armed with high-frequency sonic devices, the Mountain Men are able to control reapers and use them as pawns against the Grounder faction.

And because this is The 100 we’re talking about, our beloved Lincoln is not spared from his ironic fate. After capture by the Mountain Men, Lincoln is tagged for the Cerberus program and is turned into the monster he fears. This is a particularly nasty shock for Octavia, who has been searching madly for him, when he almost has her for lunch.

Although later in the season he is nursed back to health, it is clear that his memories from being a reaper still haunts him.

3) Octavia joins the Grounders

Me, Grounder.

Me, Grounder.

Octavia, having spent a lot of time with Lincoln in Season One, clearly has learnt a thing or three (besides the art of smooching) about the Grounders from him. She learns how to introduce herself as “Octavia, of the Sky People” in Grounder and how to earn their respect, which turns out to be a huge help when Lincoln goes missing during his stint as a reaper.

Her drive and strength attracts Indra’s attention, resulting in Indra’s proposal for Octavia to be her second, which is Grounder slang for understudy.

Towards the end of the season, Octavia goes native, smearing on Grounder make-up and tying her hair up in badass braids. She even gives Jaspar advice on how to cut Cage’s throat and beat up some Mount Weather guards with her cool martial arts skillz.

However, after Lexa breaks the alliance between the Sky People and the Grounders, her refusal to leave her friends at Mount Weather causes Indra to disown her as her second. My heart went out to her when she tells Jackson she “doesn’t have a home”, because it’s painfully true — she has never truly belonged on The Ark.

4) Lexa betrays Clarke

It's nothing personal, really.

It’s nothing personal, really.

Lexa, the new commander of the Grounders, is a deliciously refreshing addition to the cast; especially because she doesn’t try to kill Sky People every chance she gets. Lexa is smart enough to see that an alliance with the Sky People would be beneficial for the Grounders. Lexa and Clarke also work well together, taking down oversized gorillas and saving each other from close calls — and a missile.

Things go well at first: the Grounders are getting along with the Sky People until Lexa becomes the ultimate turncoat five seconds before the Grounders and Sky People storm Mount Weather. Lexa makes a deal with Mount Weather to get her own people out, leaving the Sky People trapped in Mount Weather where their fate is to be drilled for their bone marrow.

This is a huge game changer. Although Clarke eventually saves her friends, we wonder what’s going to become of the relationship between the Sky People and the Grounders’ now?

5) Clarke makes some tough choices

I really MUST have a word with the chef

I really MUST have a word with the chef

To save her people, Clarke has had to make a few difficult decisions. Season Two sure has been hard on her. She has to give up Finn for an alliance with the Grounders, escape Tondc without warning the people a missile is coming for them, and irradiate Mount Weather, ending the lives of the innocent there.

As the guilt gets too much to handle, she leaves Camp Jaha not wanting to be reminded of what she had to do to get her friends back. Although Clarke hadn’t make her choices alone, being the righteous person she is she chooses to shoulder the blame. Personally, I’m extremely frustrated for her, but it leaves me anxious for Season Three. Because we all know she’ll be back.

6) Cage gets what’s coming to him

No one outruns the grim Reaper

No one outruns the grim Reaper

Having escaped capture, cowardly Cage makes a run for it. Just when I was starting to think that karma doesn’t exist, Lincoln turns up — brandishing a sword! Cage tries to use his high-frequency device for controlling Reapers on Lincoln. But Lincoln struggles to overcome the pain and finally chops off Cage’s hand, proving the sword is mightier than the high-frequency device, if not necessarily the pen.

Then, there is this epic moment when Cage looks at his stump in complete shock, and… cries. Priceless!

Lincoln then reaches for the serum Cage used to turn him into a reaper and sticks it in Cage’s neck, repeating the words Cage once said to him: “The first dose is the worst”. With that, this scene goes straight up to the top of my mental list of Best Scenes of The 100.

7) The smooch of the season

Well, it's a start, at least.

Well, it’s a start, at least.

The goodbye kiss everyone’s been clamouring over! This has got to be the scene that made everyone squeal in the seats and frantically stab the pause button. It might be just a peck on the cheek, but that’s the furthest Bellarke have gone so far.

Jason Rothenberg has said in an interview that Bellarke will happen if it “feels right”, which, grudgingly, I have to agree with. Bellarke wouldn’t be satisfying if it happened just to please us. But, please Jason, would you stop teasing us with scenes like these? You’re making me impatient for Season Three!

8) The City of Light, at last!

What looks like the end of a long, harrowing journey

What looks like the end of a long, harrowing journey

Ex-chancellor Jaha may have taken great pains to get his people and himself to Earth but upon arrival, he feels no longer wanted. His people listen to Abby and Kane instead. Although I liked him in Season One, I found myself nurturing a strong antipathy for him by the end of Season Two. So you can say I was very amused when Jaha got locked up by Abby.

Soon after his release, he leaves camp with a group of people to search for the City of Light, a place where he heard accepted everyone. Sounds promising right? However, as the group of dreamers sojourn across desert and ocean, they get robbed, blown up by mines, and eaten by an unidentifiable man-eating creature. In the end, only Jaha and Murphy remain.

However, Murphy parts with Jaha after the latter sacrifices a member of their crew to the man-eating creature. See? Not only is Season-Two-Jaha a self-righteous ass, he doesn’t hesitate to push a friend off a lifeboat for survival. Perhaps Jaha is being set-up as Season Three’s villain?

After leaving murphy behind, Jaha does find the no longer mythical City of Light. A hologram of a mysterious woman greets him and shows him the wreck he brought down when he landed on Earth. The wreck bears a very suspicious radioactive warning label, which signals to us that bad things are about to go down…

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On the whole, sure, the teenage dialogue and melodrama might get cheesy at times, but the pacing, scope and variety of cliffhanging action, not to mention the constant element of surprise more than make up for them. Given how eventful Season Two was these eight highlights are among so many more remarkable others that raise the stakes for what we fans are going to expect for Season Three.

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