7 Reasons to Get Excited About The 100 Season Three

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 - 4:10PM
The 100
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 - 4:10PM
7 Reasons to Get Excited About The 100 Season Three
If you're not watching The 100 already, you should be. Not only are the first two seasons ready and waiting to be binge-watched on Netflix (which, let's face it, makes all the difference), but it's one of the most criminally underrated shows on television right now. Although it appeared at first blush to be just another vaguely dystopian teen soap operas that gives us an excuse to come up with shipper names, it's actually a well-written, thoughtful, socially responsible, morally complex, and shockingly brutal sci-fi series. (Yes, with shipper names.)

For those of you who are caught up, here are our seven best reasons to get excited about season three, which finally premieres tomorrow night:



The conflict between the Grounders and Arkers deepens




One of the best parts of the show has been its nuanced portrayal of the politics of a post-apocalyptic landscape, particularly in the tenuous alliance between Camp Jaha and the Grounders. On the one hand, Clarke and Bellamy destroyed Mount Weather, who had been abducting and killing Grounders for decades, so one would think that their dynamic would improve. On the other hand, that decision was made partially as a result of Lexa's betrayal of Clarke and the 47, so as usual, there won't be any easy answers.

Opening quote
"There's that underlying threat always between the two of them and both parties have the ability to take power," Bob Morley, who plays Bellamy, told EW.
Closing quote


We've been told to "prepare for war" this season, but it seems that there will be a more subtle, diplomatic conflict between the Grounders and Arkers. 

Opening quote
"You definitely see the juxtaposition between the Ark politics and Grounder politics," said Richard Harmon, who plays Murphy. "Their [politics are] very different … but the end result is seemingly the same."
Closing quote


Opening quote
"They've gone from enemies to frenemies," said Devon Bostick, who plays Jasper. "[The Grounders] seem like a clear villain at the beginning, [but] we slowly learn that they are just like us."
Closing quote

Of course, there's always that new adult grounder, Pike, who seems to be the new villain and an all-around terrible person judging from the trailers, so we'll see.

Ice Nation


The 100 often hints at parts of the world that we haven't seen yet, whether with giant gorillas, sea monsters, or oblique references to a Mecca-like holy land. But one of the most intriguing clues was Lexa name-dropping the Ice Queen, who kidnapped and killed Lexa's first love in a power play. As it turns out, the Ice Queen is the ruler of Ice Nation, a group of Grounders that refuse to take part in the coalition ruled by Lexa and live on the fringes. We'll be seeing the Queen, whose name is Nia, this season, as she'll be played by Desperate Housewives' Brenda Strong. Early word is that she's a lot like Clarke, only without any compassion or benevolent intentions, which sounds downright terrifying.

Opening quote
"Out of the 12 Grounder clans, Ice Nation is easily the most terrifying," said Christopher Larkin, who plays Monty. "If you've been horrified by any of the Grounders before, you haven't seen anything yet."
Closing quote


Artificial intelligence hijinks




We left off last season on an extremely ominous note, with the artificial intelligence named Alie telling Jaha that they "have work to do" and revealing a nuclear warhead. AI will add yet another dimension to this already complex show, and it's the hardest science fiction we've seen on the show in a good long while. It will be fascinating to see how the Arkers deal with the ethical ramifications of AI, especially if it turns out that Alie was responsible for Earth's nuclear devastation.

Carnage




Last season saw the shocking deaths of some major characters, but let's be real, no one misses Finn. Now that there are even more fan favorite characters, any death will hit much harder, and between the Pike, Nia, the Grounders, Ice Nation, Alie, and interpersonal conflicts between the Arkers, we're guaranteed some casualties this season. As Marie Avgeropoulos put it:

Opening quote
"Is The 100 ever about sunshine, flowers, rainbows, and people getting along? No! Heads will roll; there will be blood."
Closing quote


Moral complexity and psychological fallout



On a lesser show, Clarke and Bellamy would perpetrate a massacre of innocent men, women, and children, and it would be all but forgotten the next season. Not so on The 100. Judging from the trailers, pretty much everyone is falling apart this season, largely as a result of what happened at Mount Weather. Clarke has fled from Camp Jaha and changed her hair, which is a universal sign of bottoming out, Monty is "not fine!", Bellamy has become a enforcer and is considering ruining the peace, Jasper is crying and has shaved his head (see above), and after a lifetime of sticking by each other, Octavia has turned against her brother for some reason, telling him that he's "dead to her."

Strong female characters




Most of the characters on The 100 are rounded and well-written, but the female characters run the show. The show never talks about feminism, which makes it even better, because it's just a given that women can drive the action of the narrative and that's perfectly normal. Clarke and Raven have always been bad-asses, Lexa was a welcome and formidable addition last season, and even Octavia, who seemed a little damsel-in-distress-esque at the beginning, has come into her own as a leader. And now with the arrival of the Ice Queen, we have a female villain on our hands, which is refreshing and sadly still all too rare. 

Clexa/Bellarke





Shipping gets a bad rep, but on a show like The 100, it's more substantive than "which couple is cuter." The relationships between Clarke/Lexa and Clarke/Bellamy are fascinating to watch even without the romantic element, especially since Clarke's status as a bisexual female protagonist (whose sexuality is never made an issue) is groundbreaking on television and especially in sci-fi. And like all great shipper shows, you can easily go back and forth between which relationship you support at any given moment, because they're both so well-written. When Clarke and Lexa are onscreen, I want them together, because they have great chemistry and they each have something to teach the other about leadership. When Clarke and Bellamy are onscreen, I want them together, because they also have great chemistry and they always bring out the best in each other. I tend to ship Bellarke in the long run, if only because they're kinder to each other than Lexa has been to Clarke, but it'll be great television either way.
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