The crazy long wait for the return of this show was 100% worth it because The 100 Season 3 Episode 1 was absolutely incredible. It was everything I hoped it would be, hitting all of the right notes and catching us up on nearly every major character right from the word "go."
Obviously, it was a little bit over-stuffed, but I don't even care because I wanted to get all of this information. I wanted to see a little bit of (nearly) everyone. And we did.
Tensions are high. Peace is fragile. War is coming. Nobody knows where Clarke, our de facto heroine, is.
Well, except for Roan and Niylah... but we'll get to that later.
Murphy and Jaha and A.L.I.E. Makes Three
The premiere picks up where The 100 Season 2 Episode 16 ended: Murphy, in the bunker, happened upon a video of a man committing suicide after bemoaning the fact that something was all his fault, because he couldn't stop "her."
"Wanheda: Part One" quickly makes clear what the hell that was all about.
Turns out, there was more to that video, and Murphy got up close and personal with it. After the bunker spontaneously sealed him in, he spent a whopping 86 days snacking, rocking some dreads, going a little insane, and learning to recite the video by heart.
Essentially, A.L.I.E. is artificial intelligence, created in the likeness of her creator, Rebecca, one hundred (or more) years ago. A.L.I.E.'s programming? Solve the problem of there being too many people on Earth.
Cue nuclear holocaust, I guess?
This was such an intriguing, unforeseen twist at the end of The 100 Season 2.
It was an interesting choice to immediately present all of this exposition via Murphy's video, clearly detailing what A.L.I.E.'s purpose was and outlining what (ostensibly) happened to irradiate Earth so many years earlier.
Creepily, A.L.I.E. (played by Erica Cerra, who is just KILLING that disconcerting A.I. thing) has found a more-than-willing acolyte in Jaha. He is fully on board with A.L.I.E. being the savior – not the destroyer – of the world, in contrast with Murphy, who is not down with her (it?).
The show also went pretty heavy with the biblical connotations. Jaha carrying a passed-out John was very reminiscent of both Mary holding Jesus post-crucifixion and Jesus supporting a slumped man, from traditional Christian renderings.
Murphy was all set to bounce, getting away from crazytown, after Jaha handed him a chip (or something?) claiming that it would allow Murphy to get to the City of Light.
Is anyone else thinking said City might actually just be some Matrix-like virtual reality? We saw Jaha meditating when A.L.I.E. claimed he was there.
We weren't privvy to what A.L.I.E. did to convert Jaha to her cause. Perhaps he is somehow being controlled by her, via one of those chips he gave to Murphy.
In that case, here's hoping Murphy manages to resist the temptation. Now that Emori has shown up, seeming to also be a follower of A.L.I.E., I'm sure that will put additional pressure on him to "convert."
Regardless, this arc will be great. Richard Harmon is an incredible actor; that opening scene was breathtaking and intense.
Octavia and Lincoln
As upsetting as it was to see these two have issues, the tension between the two (based on Lincoln's increasing integration with Skaikru, and specifically his new jacket) was totally believable and well done.
Lincoln [in Trigedasleng]: Hey Helios, how's our girl doing?
Octavia [in Trigedasleng]: At least you still speak the language.
To be completely honest, Octavia's whiny behavior is starting to become irksome. Lincoln's reasoning for remaining with Skaikru is sound. There's a kill order on him, and tensions are high with the Grounders.
Octavia, given her experiences on the Ark, is more than justified in having a fundamental distaste and distrust for her (former) people, but she seems to be ruled more by emotion than by logic.
Their closing scene, with Lincoln leaving the comfort of his Skaikru bedroom to join Octavia to sleep outside, was very sweet and perfectly highlighted how far the two had come (and how much they'd each changed) since The 100 Season 1.
Jasper, PTSD, Mount Weather Remnants
Jasper continued to struggle with the fallout of the Mount Weather "incident" that took the life of his girlfriend Maya.
Jasper has changed so much from the goofy guy who had a crush on Octavia when the 100 landed back in The 100 Pilot. For good reason, of course. It's just awful to see.
And poor Monty, who seemed to be bearing most of the brunt of Jasper's anger at the actions taken by Clarke, Bellamy, and Monty at Mount Weather.
He's not getting better. Maya's death broke him. He needs this.Monty
He's kind of a train wreck now. His near-death experience at the hands of the Ice Nation warriors didn't even phase him. His neck was almost carved open, and all he could do was laugh.
He's self-destructive, angry (at Monty, at the Arkers who he feels are "grave-robbers," at everyone), and damn near suicidal at this point.
The fact that the encounter with the Ice Nation warriors immediately followed the car sing-along (the Violent Femmes!!) highlighted how dark and dismal everything had become.
The sing-along was such a fun, light scene and I wanted it to go on forever because these characters rarely get their brief moments of happiness.
Naturally, it was over nearly as soon as it began. And then Jasper was nearly killed, really cementing that this isn't really a "jam to tunes in your military vehicle with your BFFs" kind of world.
Everyone was searching for Clarke. Most importantly, Bellamy (with Monty and Indra and Kane) was searching for Clarke.
So thrilled that Indra (WAY underused in the past) gets to be a major player in this storyline. Though their mission isn't off to a great start, getting blocked in by those felled trees and all...
Indra: It's not a kill order. It's a bounty. Clarke's a symbol. She's known as Wanheda -- the Commander of Death.
Bellamy; The Ice Nation guys we killed asked about Wanheda. They're looking for Clarke. Why?
Indra: My people believe that when you kill someone, you get their power. Kill Wanheda, and you command death.
This was some seriously spooky Grounder creed. But I kind of love how dark it is.
The Season 3 Promos were very big on touting the whole "Clarke is hunted!" thing, but it was very unclear why she was being hunted – clearly, the various Grounder nations weren't keen on the Mountain Men, so payback for Clarke's Mount Weather actions couldn't be the reason.
This Wanheda explanation, depressing as it is for Clarke, perfectly explained why the Grounders (in particular, Ice Nation) are after her.
Relevant aside: Bellamy got himself a girlfriend sometime in the past three months of Clarke's absence.
Apparently, Bellamy's character arc involves him doing a complete 180 in every aspect – he's gone from grade A anarchist to helpful Kane underling, from womanizer to kissy-face boyfriend.
Does Bellamy's girlfriend have a name? Regardless, her primary established characteristic right now is being a sweetheart and a good girlfriend to Bellamy (she looted him a copy of The Iliad from the dead Mountain Men's things! So adorable!).
Best guess? Once Clarke shows up, Bellamy's girlfriend will sense something unspoken (but oh-so-obvious) about how he feels about Clarke and she'll bow out of the relationship gracefully.
We know almost nothing about this girl or their relationship yet, but that just feels exactly like what will happen.
Clarke, dirty-faced and red-headed, was surviving by killing large game – she killed a panther, like the epic badass she is – and trading it for meat, to Niylah, who works with her father at a trading post.
Niylah, we quickly found out, knew exactly who Clarke was and was willing to risk her own life (lying to bounty hunters) to protect her.
It was a little bit surprising that the sex scene from the trailer happened this early on! Jury's still out on the Niylah/Clarke pairing, though that hook-up scene was really nicely done (and definitely hot).
We know almost nothing about Niylah, so I'm not convinced for or against that relationship. It's hard to tell if this is even a romantic connection or if Clarke is just seeking comfort in human contact.
Roan, the bounty hunter that Niylah misinformed, was clearly more crafty than she'd anticipated. As Clarke snuck out after the Niylah hook-up, he nabbed himself a "Wanheda."
Zach McGowan has been amazingly creepy and intriguing in this role so far, and I'm dying to know more about Roan.
- That throwaway line about Abby performing "contraceptive implant removals" was a good, succinct way of addressing that whole "How were these kids not getting pregnant all the damn time?" question.
- Great transition off of Abby's face following the Abby/Raven scene, to Clarke's right before the Clarke/Niylah scene.
- The Abby/Raven relationship is excellent, and complicated, and genuinely emotionally affecting. Raven doesn't talk much about her biological family – Finn was her family. With Finn gone, it's important and meaningful for Abby to fill that pseudo-maternal role for Raven, and the show would do well to keep developing that.
- However: FIX YOUR DAMN LEG, RAVEN.
- Raven pushed Wick away and so I guess Wick is just gone now? I hardly even remember him, so that's fine. Can we have a Raven/Jasper romance, please? I saw glimpses during the sing-along and I want it now. Real bad.
- It seems pretty clear that Jaha/A.L.I.E. trapped Murphy with the intention of breaking him down. Note that the containment doors released only when he was near-suicidal. They need him for something.
- The Ice Nation warriors look kind of like heavy metal rockers. That face paint.
- The piano-playing singer was talented and all, and that cover of "Add It Up" was lovely, but it was extremely random. I know he's a Youtube sensation that's making a cameo appearance, but it did feel sort of shoe-horned in.
Did this premiere live up to your expectations? What's going to happen to Clarke, now that Roan has her? Chime in below and remember that you can watch The 100 online here at TV Fanatic anytime!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.