The 100: 201 “The 48” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
The 100 is a show that has always taken risks, with its tone dramatically dark, characters that show massive diversity and cliffhangers that leave you exhausted with anxiousness – and this week’s Season 2 premiere was no different. The show took a leap in a new direction with the majority of the episode’s (and series’) plots both original and interesting, the story pacing forward into new corners of teen adventure.
Original stories are easy to come by in The 100, with the world being both limitless and available for expansion (from both the Earth and The Ark). This episode, titled “The 48”, delved into many possibilities for the series, trying to engage viewers to see the wider context of the show. Some plots worked tremendously in the episode – however, others fell short.
Clarke was left in a dangerous, unexpected place as Season 1 finished, and her plot definitely could have been moulded into something beautiful; and thankfully, it was. Our main character has experienced deeper emotions as the season progressed and the episode exploded with Clarke’s near-escape from the unknown. Eliza Taylor (Clarke) performed extremely well in this episode, with her scenes intense and heartbreaking. Whilst watching, there was a sense of insecurity as Clarke battled her way through the limitations of life away from her closest friends, especially with the way she coped with meeting the President (of the humans) and her lack of trust – then again, we don’t think he’s one to be friends with either! Stay away Clarke!
While Clarke’s new story kept you hanging from your seat, Octavia and Lincoln’s plot felt dry and slow. The direction seemed muted until the final moments of the episode and I can only hope that the season moves this plot into more dangerous areas. Although Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia) has experienced some difficult scenes, and has withheld a strong realism with her character, in the episode she had a lack of strength, her scenes underdeveloped and her injury starting to drag on. I really hope the show pushes forward with Lincoln and his home, rather than focusing on the relationship between the two characters and Octavia’s injury.
Bellamy and Finn left the Season 1 finale with a shape of mystery: did they survive Jasper’s rockets, or were they captured by the anonymous gas bombers? The massive question was answered subtly with a lack of interest; the writers had so much room to move with this dangling question, and could have taken a much more interesting and important root than mere escape. However, the plot thickened above, with Bellamy, Finn, and two others being found by Kane, Abby and the other Ark survivors after being captured by a vicious Grounder. As Bellamy said in Season 1, he was scared that letting those in the Ark come down to Earth would mean they would continue to be treated as prisoners – and he was right. Kane saw Bellamy attacking Murphy (who may I say is a murderous psychopath) and arrested Bellamy, only to ask the audience how the adults of the Ark will respect the remaining from The 100.
Finally, Murphy saw some nice, subtle character development, with a short scene with Raven he described his emotions and why he is how he is. Without a flashback, it allowed us to imagine the pain and suffering Murphy has gone through. Raven seemed to care too, with not truthfully saying it was Murphy who shot her. The 100 has always been incredible with character development, and I hope this trend continues throughout Season 2 (but Murphy, we still thoroughly dislike you!).
Following on from this, Abby Griffin struggled through Raven’s sadness as she explained she had no idea where Clarke and the others were, suggested by the others they were taken by The Grounders. I hope this plays out in an interesting way as the series progresses – a war between The Grounders and the people of The Ark – only to find out Clarke and the others are somewhere completely different. This would make fascinating, intense television – and sadly, it seems Clarke and Abby will never find each other.
With the episode nearing an end, I was scared the episode would miss out on The 100’s famously horrible (but amazing) trademark cliffhangers. As we saw Kane and the members of the Ark scared for the lack of responses from Jaha, we saw that Jaha had been trying to contact them, but with no luck. His heart (and for a matter of fact, ours) died for him as he cried for his loneliness and his son’s death. As the lights flickered dead, I was scared for the titles to come rolling in. As usual. the unexpected excitement happened, as the tension bolted with a cry of a baby. Where from? Whose baby? How is it there? Once again, The 100’s writers have done it again.
In conclusion, the Season 2 UK premiere was intense as well as unexpected. The tone shifted as villains emerged through Clarke’s plot, as well as a sense of mystery. Although a lot of new themes were introduced, some scenes fell short, specifically between Octavia and Lincoln, but I have hope the writers will make it more interesting as Lincoln returns to his home. Jaha’s final scene left us crucially wanting more as well as wondering how this show could ever be in risk of cancellation on the CW (though let’s not worry too much, it was the most watched digital show of the night in the UK). Season 2 will definitely show us something I would have never expected when watching Season 1 – so let’s hope the show remains on this beautifully intense track!