Clarke Griffin - Eliza Taylor
Finn Collins - Thomas Mc Donnell
Bellamy Blake - Bob Morley
Octavia Blake - Marie Avgeropoulos
Jasper Jordan - Devon Bostick
Abby Griffin - Paige Turco
Chancellor Jaha - Isaiah Washington
Marcus Kane - Henry Ian Cusick
Raven Reyes - Lindsey Morgan
OTHER POST APOCALYPSE SHOWS
The Last Train
The Walking Dead
For generations, the remnants of mankind have floated in a giant ark above the shattered Earth they destroyed with their nuclear weapons. The ark can no longer sustain its population and so 100 of its young prisoners are sent to the surface to find out if a miracle has happened and life can return.
THE HUNGER GAMES is very big stuff. The trilogy (soon to be four films) is a massive hit with its target audience of teens. The mix of futurism, teen angst and violence is a potent one and this series clearly aims to muscle in on that action. The 100 (of whom only a handful are going to be of any interest) are all pretty teen boys and girls. The story justifies this by the fact that adults who break the law on the ark are 'floated' (or shot out into space). They don't do that to the young ones, so they get locked up.. and now shot down to the surface of a potentially dead planet to either survive and bring hope or die horribly. The council of the ark aren't the nicest of people to deal with.
There are actually two stories going on here in parallel. The first is that of the kids on the ground. They get happy to be alive, they get to wander around and marvel at the wonder that is an overgrown Earth and they get to find a surprise or two along the way. The fact that it is hard to even tell them apart for the first episode suggests that a bit more effort might have gone into building up the characters, but they are pretty and they are teens, so the audience will doubtlessly come.
On the ark, the story is about politics. The adults are instantly more memorable than any of the youngsters, but since they are all recognisable faces from other genre projects that is hardly surprising. There is the good chancellor, the bad wannabe chancellor and the rebel council member who rubs them both up the wrong way. To say that they are hardly icons of originality or depth is to understate the case.
The opening episode has to set up the story and so there is little chance to build up any real plot. There is the descent followed by a bit of wandering around. The kids bicker, but since they all look and sound the same, the bickering doesn't really amount to very much.
And then, right at the very end, something happens that makes us think that perhaps this show has something going for it after all. Maybe.Top
On the ground, the pretty youngsters head out to save one of their number from the hidden 'Grounders' whilst on the ark, factions battle for power and to avoid a culling of the human population.
The divisions between the emerging power blocks on the ground are hard to get interested in because the characters are so nondescript, the young actors failing to invest them with anything to stand apart from all the others. This renders the sub-Hunger Games, sub-Lord of the Flies proceedings underwhelming. Even an attack by a big cat fails to impress.
The divisions on the Ark are hard to get interested in because they are just plain dull. A committee taking a vote is not the stuff that high drama is made of.Top
As the group try to avoid being killed by acid fog, a few secrets are revealed that can only lead to trouble.
A new danger is introduced, but fortunately almost everyone manages to find somewhere to hide. Bellamy holes up in a cave and comforts a little girl. Exactly why the fog doesn't roll into the cave isn't anything that anyone else can be bothered to explain away. The other group just happen to find a conveniently abandoned car that is apparently acid fog-proof, though not airtight. This gives them a chance to bicker away a little as Clarke gets a few things off her chest and Finn works something out in a couple of hours that she hasn't managed to twig in over a year. The characterisations in this show aren't exactly deep or all that interesting. People are acting however they are required to act by the plot whether it is in keeping with what we know of them or not.
That said, there is a shock ending that at least manages to come as a shock.Top
A murderer in the camp must be found. Meanwhile, Clarke and Finn get a little bit closer.
No review is available for this episode. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide us with your own.Top
Twilight's Last Gleaming
320 people on the Ark are destined to die in order that the others should survive, unless a message from the ground can reach them in time. Bellamy, though, has just smashed the radio.
This episode is a step up in terms of the storyline on the Ark. The potential 'culling' of 320 souls for the sake of the good of the rest is a terrible thing to contemplate, but the manner in which these events plays out is surprising and not a little bit noble.
On the ground, things are much less interesting. Finn and Clarke's new found relationship is immediately placed in jeopardy by the arrival of Raven from the Ark, but that takes a backseat to the race to find some way in which to get a message to the Ark to see if the culling can be prevented. It’s a race that gives the otherwise not very interesting events a bit of impetus.Top
His Sister's Keeper
Octavia goes missing and the group that goes in pursuit of her finds themselves under attack in Grounder territory.
Bellamy has been the out and out villain of the piece to date in this show and the reasons why are placed in some sort of context by the flashback to his life on the Ark, from the time that his sister was born in secret right up to the time that he shot the Chancellor in order to get himself onto the dropship. None of which actually excuses what he did, but it does explain it. At the same time, it grinds much of the show's momentum to a halt.
What story there is mainly is a hunt narrative. Bellamy leads a group after his sister and they are hunted, Rambo style, in the woods but the experienced and brutal Grounders. A whole bunch of kids that we've never really met before get killed, but that doesn't mean anything because they were there purely for that, like the red shirted security guys in STAR TREK. The reason that the show is called THE 100 is so that there are enough background kids to kill off when necessary without affecting the core group.
That said, the action is competently done and it is nice to see that all of the female characters are as strong-willed as the male ones.Top
Contents Under Pressure
Finn is mortally wounded, but contact with the Ark gives Clarke and Raven a chance to work together to save him. Bellamy brings in the Grounder who saved his sister and starts to torture him for information.
This is the episode where the show finally shows that it has a pair of balls and is willing to go to some very dark places. What has been dismissed as a 'pretty teens in trouble' show to date grew up with an episode that is mainly focused on one kid lying with a knife in his guts whilst others try to operate on him by remote control (the teen angst element comes up with the people trying to save him being the two women he is caught between) and another kid upstairs being tortured. What really makes the episode stand out is that it doesn't look away from the bad stuff. The knife wound in all its stages is up close and personal, whilst the torture moves from punching to whipping to electrocution without a flinch.
The characters are being forced to do things that they don't want to do and their morality is being tested by circumstances. This has the effect of making all of them more interesting than they have been before. The lines between good and bad are being blurred an the people who you expect to be on either side aren't necessarily where you expected.
If you’re not a fan of graphic violence, or perhaps medical shows, then this is an episode to avoid, but it just might mark a turning point in the quality of the show.
Events on the Ark are much less interesting, dealing with the politics of the situation, though a new power block has come into play that might liven things up a little, even if the speechifying is pretty horrifically scripted.Top
Bellamy and Clarke go foraging for supplies to help get them through the winter, unaware that they and the rest of the group have been affected by the hallucinogenic properties of some berries brought into camp.
Apparently all that people did in the last days before the war that ended all wars (until now, at least) was build underground shelters. There was the one that Clarke was supposed to head off to at the beginning and the one that she and Finn found and now this one. It's an easy reason to get people out of the camp.
The heart of this episode was the hallucinogenic berries that allowed for both Bellamy and Clarke to face what they were really struggling with. Why it couldn't be done without involving angst-filled visions in a less obvious way is a moot point. Clarke has to forgive her mother and Bellamy has to deal with the things that he's done in order to keep everyone alive. Even though what he's mostly done is be a total dick.
The burgeoning attraction between Octavia and the captured grounder never really convinces. Unless she's suffering from Stockholm syndrome then she really is just a girl who gets it on with the nearest and least suitable boy around. He is the third one she's made eyes at (and more) in the very short time that they’ve been on the ground and the fact that the last one died only days ago seems to have bothered her not at all.Top
A bomb blast aboard the Ark brings matters between the workers and the ruling elite to a head, whilst on the ground Clarke and Finn try to broker a peace with the queen of the Grounders.
For once, the two stories going on in parallel are both interesting. The attack at the pageant on the Ark is a surprising and brutal moment that leads to a tense game of cat and mouse that has some surprises along the way. There are no surprises in guessing who the bad guys are, however.
On the ground, the moves to make peace with the Grounders seem destined to fail from the very beginning, not because of the Grounders, but because of the divisions and emotional turmoils that are pulling apart the established groupings within the original 100. That it all goes pear-shaped hardly comes as any surprise, but things progress at a swift pace that make this one of the most enjoyable episodes to date.Top
I Have Become Death
The exiled Murphy returns to the camp with tales of how the Grounders tortured him. Then people start to get really sick. The Grounders are coming and something needs to be done to hold them up or there will be nobody capable of fighting them off.
It's a neat idea that the Grounders use biological warfare as a first step to destroying the 100. It is a cop-out that the sickness lasts only for a short time and those that survive are back on their feet after only a few hours. This is only part of the set up though, giving the 100 a reason to build a big bomb and use a quote from Robert Oppenheimer. The war has begun and there seems to be no way back now.
This is a straightforward action story that has no wrinkles around the edge and is pretty unimpressive as a result. Predictability is high on the scale here.Top
The food supply is wiped out in a fire and so teams are sent out to hunt. Finn and Clarke are captured by the Grounders who force Clarke to save one of their injured or see Finn killed. On the Ark, survivors of the disastrous launching of the Exodus ship gather.
The various plot strands come together in this episode, which mainly serves to set up the big finale that is coming. The Ark story sees the few people left alive after the damage caused by the Exodus ships fighting to find a way to come together. On the ground, people are finding ways to go further apart.
Finn and Clarke's abduction story is by far the most interesting, with twists that are unexpected and Clarke turning into a cold-blooded killer bad-ass. The final resolution is less surprising.
The pieces are in the place and the two-part finale is on its way.Top
We Are Grounders - Part One
Murphy takes his revenge on those who tried to hang him. It becomes clear that the survivors on the Ark are not going to survive for much longer. Clarke and Finn run into something far worse than the Grounders.
The penultimate episode of a show is always a less than satisfactory one in its own right, being used mainly to set up for the big final episode, but at least this one has a lot of action, even if most of it is filling in time. The whole Murphy story distracts from the battle that is going to take place and the encounter with the Reapers, cannibal Grounders, serves much the same purpose of filling in the time before the final episode.
The Chancellor's solution to the Ark problem is another suspense set-up for the final episode.Top
We Are Grounders - Part Two
The attempt to run away fails, so the 100 prepare to take on the Grounders in a desperate last stand. Meanwhile, the Ark is sent on a final voyage that will see it brought home or destroyed trying.
The final episode is here and there is certainly a lot of action to be going on with to make up for the total lack of any surprises. There is not one single thing that happens in this whole episode that could not be predicted from the start, right down to the button presses that don't work, one in the sky and one on the ground. The last episode isn't the time for complicated plotting anyway. It's the time for the already plotted threads to come together with enough excitement to entice us back next time. The coda at the end is designed to do exactly that.
This first season of THE 100 hasn't exactly been ground-breaking, but it has shown flashes of what it could become with time. Perhaps a second season isn't such a bad idea.Top
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