There’s no two ways about it: The 100 definitely makes good TV. From the moment Clarke broke out of the Mount Weather quarantine ward, season two has been a non-stop thrill ride of epic proportions that took Bellamy’s “who we are and who we need to be to survive” realisation to whole new levels. This season saw a whole new host of challenges being levelled against our favourite teenage delinquents and each character is forced to explore just how far they are willing to go to ensure their survival, and that of their people.
As it turns out, for many of these characters, they’re willing to go pretty far. Over the course of the season, we saw Lincoln literally go to Hell and back, Octavia repeatedly beat up and pushed to her limit to become Indra’s second and Jasper slowly lose his innocence as he became a leader making the hard decisions in his own right. In his desperation to find Clarke, Finn, too, lost a part of himself, and ultimately his life, as he snapped and killed 18 innocent grounder prisoners and Raven, though woefully underused this season, lost Finn, the only family she’d ever known.
It was Clarke, however, who ultimately had the biggest responsibility on her young shoulders. I was hesitant about the role the adults would play in the plot as the season unfolded, and to be totally honest I’m still not sure how important they are to the story. Even as Abby was named Chancellor of Camp Jaha and is ostensibly put in charge of the surviving members of the Ark, it’s Clarke who takes the lead, Clarke who barters the Grounder alliance and earns the respect of Lexa and Clarke who has to make the excruciatingly tough calls.
So much happened over the course of these 16 episodes that it’s hard to consolidate the characters left at the end of the season with those we started this journey with. This show is very much a complex, character-driven masterpiece that is cleverly written and continues to challenge our expectation of what “teen shows” can be. It’s shot beautifully, the acting is incredible, and the questions and issues it provokes are genuinely hard-hitting.
Clarke, of course, was the driving force of the season – it’s Clarke who has the knowledge, skills and know-how to becoming the leader the sky people need but as she took on more of these responsibilities, she lost a considerable amount of her moral standing. Between the influence of Lexa’s “love is weakness” philosophy and being without Bellamy by her side for the majority of the season, Clarke’s sense of right and wrong took a beating, and her tearful confession to Abby in the season finale said it all really – all along she was trying to be the good guy, but maybe there’s no such thing.
If, then, Clarke has set out on her path to redemption as she walked away from the newly-reunited Camp Jaha in the closing scenes of the season, Bellamy has been working towards his all season long. Ever the big brother, Bellamy’s toughest decisions came in the form of relinquishing his protective urges towards Octavia and grappling with the morality of killing to keep his presence in Mount Weather a secret. There were some fantastic throwbacks to season one-Bellamy in season two, showing just how much his character has developed over the last two seasons and solidifying his role as my favourite.
Our characters faced everything that you could possibly dream of and more in season 2 of The 100 – killer apes, murderous espionage, being killed for bone marrow, Murphy becoming a character we actually like and want to see more of – and the show’s true shining glory is that none of it really seemed out of place. A little forced at times, sure, but the journey of all of these characters and their reactions to increasingly impossible situations remained justifiable, even when they produced horrific results, and in keeping with what we know about them.
I’ll admit it – sometimes I miss the heydays of the teenagers ruling themselves with no adults, no Mountain Men and just the hint of war brewing on the horizon, but there’s no denying that The 100 is developing a fantastic reputation as one of the best shows on television right now. And one that definitely deserves frequent DVD re-watchings while I impatiently await the arrival of season 3.