After what felt like a long hiatus, television's best current sci-fi series The 100 is back for the premiere of its fourth season (yes, can you believe we are four seasons in?)!
The season picks up with "Echoes" after the destruction of Season 3, and there's still plenty of chaos to deal with. On one hand, Octavia helps an injured Indra and informs her she took care of Pike (which every viewer was glad to watch), and Clarke begins to face instant backlash from the people of Polis who hold her responsible for the destruction and downfall of their community. As Clarke tells those closest to her that departing the city is probably the safest bet, she is informed that the king (Roan) survived being shot, but the bullet remains lodged in his body. Kane and Abby hope to do their best to aid him, but Echo insists their own people will look out for the dying king.
Echo appears to be prepared to fight for power, showing his disdain for Skaikru, and states that Azgeda (Ice Nation) now rules over Polis -- which is immediately questioned by an ambassador who states the group of ambassadors will reign until a new commander ascends through their traditional methods. Echo resorts to violence (the way her people seem to know best) and slices the woman's throat to ensure Azgeda holds the throne for the time being. Echo asks (actually, it's more of an order) that no members of Skaikru are allowed to exit the city, but, thanks to the Flamekeeper's secret tunnel, Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Kane, Abby and Indra have their exit strategy. Octavia and Indra are more than ready to wage a war between Azgeda and the pre-existing Grounders, but Clarke knows more than she's letting on -- finally sharing the purpose of the City of Light. With the news that the world they know will cease to exist in six months, they have Raven look into the claims despite Clarke's certainty of ALIE's legitimacy when it comes to the expiration date of the world.
Echo is later informed by a soldier that Skaikru plans to surrender to Azgeda, taking Jaha with her to discuss the details. During this time, she says she will only speak with Bellamy because of their former bond, presumably, and Octavia (with Jaha's aid) uses the time as a distraction to free Abby and Clarke, who then begin to work on saving Roan's life by removing the bullet. Though they successfully remove the bullet, he doesn't wake up in time, and Echo realizes something is amiss, sending several guards to surround Octavia, Clarke and Abby with the order ushered to kill Wanheda. Luckily for her, Roan regains consciousness, and Clarke tries to use the treaty as reason to keep them alive. For the time being, he has them all locked away while Echo tries to convince him that the death of Wanheda will unite his people to fall in line as the king.
Things at Arkadia consist of the group trying their best to return to normal life (or as close to normal as they can get); Raven repairs their mainframe after the ALIE debacle and Jasper tries to right his wrongs after being persuaded by the ALIE chip. He returns to his room, where he glances at a painting from Maya and prepares to shoot himself in his living quarters, but Monty accidentally (and thankfully) interrupts his attempt with news that Raven has come across. Raven divulges that, after the second Fukushima mishap, a reactor was made to combat the radiation -- lasting for 100 years. The problem now: their time is nearly up, and the six month warning courtesy of ALIE and Clarke seems to be in play. With their world close to coming to an end (again), Jasper's suicidal thoughts are thwarted, and he seems to be ready to wait out the end of times.
Back at Polis, Roan meets with Clarke, and, while he insinuates he doesn't want to kill her, it may be his best option to appease those he is now leading. Clarke believes they need science (something his people don't do best in, but, hey, it's not my forte either!). The compromise they reach? Clarke offers up the chip (flame) to him so people are forced to follow him until he can help the next Nightblood ascend as the new Flamekeeper. With the agreement in place, Echo gives Bellamy and the others an item to show they are protected from harm, and everyone (with the exception of Kane and Abby) head back to Arkadia to reunite with their people and hopefully find a way to survive what's to come. The last shot shows they will need to work fast when a woman wandering the dead zone is turned into ash from the increasing radiation that threatens to wipe out an entire planet and the remaining groups of civilization.
Overall Grade: 8/10
The 100 has a marvelous way of diving back into the world they've created, throwing new stories and tying up ones with loose ends. The new threat of radiation wiping out the planet could make the most dangerously uncontrollable opponent yet and is something that they won't easily be able to solve. This may not have had every adrenaline-pumping moment other premieres have had, but it's off to a strong start, and The 100 reminds viewers that, even four seasons in, there are no signs of slowing down -- and I have no complaints.
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
- Clarke taking some backlash is always needed to push her to be a more well-rounded figure -- if she can actually take the critiques into consideration.
- Octavia looks like she will continue to be molded into a warrior queen with aspects of all of the factions she's encountered. Octavia > Clarke.
- Abby and Kane staying behind makes me nervous for the pair, but I suppose I am always cautious about the safety of those two.