Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The 100. In order to preserve the freshness of this experience, I wanted to write reviews for compelling shows. Needless to say: The 100 is one heck of a thought-provoking series. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!
season 2 gloss over:
The stakes are much higher than they were in the previous season. Forty seven Ark citizens are taken into a place called Mount Weather. A funny play on words, “wither” suggests that the place is not as harmless as it may appear to the survivors of season one. Even the names of the authority figures here have sinister names: Dante Wallace (Wall-ace) a la Dante’s Inferno. His son’s name is Cage.
Make of that what you will. But, to me, these names were very indicative of these characters’ functions within the story.
If the first half of the season was simply a power play between the adults, things surely change in this second half. Clarke and her mother tug back and forth at the leader position for the ark people.
More than anything, the biggest struggle is between Clarke and newcomer to the show Lexa, the commander of the grounders. This duo is sometimes difficult to watch because Lexa is an intense version of Clarke. She is all mind with a dulled heart. Meanwhile, Clarke has to make some difficult decisions that lead her to question her own humanity and connection with others.
Leadership changes within the mountain as well: Cage starts off slow, but then overtakes the approach to Mount Weather’s liberation. Again, here we see this struggle between being humane versus being efficient. There is a play at science versus art and culture underlying this conflict, too, between the father and son.
Poor Lincoln and octavia (round 50000)
Lincoln has the crappiest luck in this series. I just can’t get over how resilient he is. Through Lincoln, we get to see someone questioning grounder culture from an early age and be critical of these expectations. Not only that, but he also manages to be sympathetic to the sky people.
Same coin, flipped side: Octavia of the Sky People was isolated simply by existing. She never belonged with her own society. As such, she searches for her place within the grounder community.
I like that Octavia’s growth has little to do with Lincoln. Sure, he introduces her to grounder culture, but she mostly interacts with his people independently. Her relationship with Indra should be explored more in later seasons, I hope, because it must be weird after how things ended between them.
Oh, and let’s all applaud the choice to separate Octavia from Bellamy and Clarke. Octavia is a fierce woman, not just because she is a warrior. In addition to physical strength, I find her to be emotionally and mentally resilient. Just like Lincoln.
Ultimately, the decisions that leaders make for their people’s survival are the driving force of this season. Clarke and her “good guys” approach withers (no pun…okay, some pun intended) in the presence of Lexa.
Abigail questions Lexa and Clarke’s authority on the basis of their age. Dante and Cage are at an impasse and Dr. Tsing is getting restless.
Bellamy and Lincoln have to face the horrific usage of grounders and sky people by the mountain men.
There’s something strange about the utopia presented at first: everyone knowing each other’s name. People eating in the same room, arguing over cake. Jasper and Monty transition from contentedness to full blown resistance.
So much conflict.
And loss. I’m not sure I’ll ever be over the betrayals and that death.
“The first dose is the worst.”
“I hope you know how special you are.”
“I bear it so they do not have to.”
and finally, the most painful line to hear, “Thanks, princess.”