After living in space for several decades, the last of the human race is in danger, as the space station they call home has begun to show signs of slowly dying. The leaders of this new way of life decide to send down their 100 child delinquents to see if the Earth is habitable after the nuclear apocalypse that sent them off to space to begin with.
Four years ago, when “The 100” started off on The CW, this was the gist of its premise. Now, several years, a lot of drama and countless unanswered questions later, the highly anticipated fifth season has finally kicked off.
“The 100” follows the lives of these 100 juveniles as they figure out how to live on the Earth and deal with the fact that they aren’t alone — there are grounders who’ve outlived the apocalypse and are stronger for it. Plus, by the end of the season, the kids are joined by everyone else that was left on the space station and survived the fall back to Earth.
The first four seasons show the “Skaikru,” or “Space People” as the grounders refer to them, overcoming different obstacles in order to survive, but nothing could have prepared them for Season 4’s finale, when they discovered a second apocalypse was on the way just as they were starting to get a hang of living on the Earth’s surface.
The fourth season ends with the main characters completely separated, as one group of teens is forced to take the last available rocket into space to avoid the incoming radiation storm.
Clarke, the protagonist of the series, gets left behind when she goes out to align the satellite so they can take off but doesn’t make it back in time. The rest of the Skaikru, along with all of the surviving grounders, take refuge in a bunker hidden under their city. The only clue the audience is left with at the end of the finale is that Clarke is alive, there’s been a six-year time jump and there’s a brand new prisoner spaceship landing on Earth that doesn’t belong to her friends that fled to space.
The show, which has been running since March 2014 and has always attracted a large viewership, is a bit different than your average post-apocalyptic TV series. The rules in “The 100” universe are always shifting around, as its characters continually find out more about the Earth that they abandoned so long ago. One thing is always constant on the sci-fi drama though: There are absolutely no damsels in distress here. Every girl on the show is fierce and can truly kick some ass.
“The 100” stars more lead actresses than most of the other shows on the network. Clarke Griffin, played by Eliza Taylor, is the first to take charge and actually make a plan to protect the rest of the kids on the ground with her. She later is seen as a sort of leader to the entire Skaikru, even when the rest of the adults come down to the surface. She’s not scared to get her hands dirty and is the first to volunteer for a fight if it means protecting her people.
We then see others, such as Octavia Blake (Marie Averopoulos) and Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan), showing more complex layers than most TV show writers allow their female characters to show. Octavia has an incredibly rocky past and starts the series off as a quirky party girl that just wants to have fun now that she’s free. In the Season 5 premiere and even before then, we see her develop into the Earth’s fiercest warrior.
Raven, on the other hand, has always been feisty and the audience sees her fight her way down to Earth even though she wasn’t on the original drop ship. Even after suffering an incredible injury in the second season, she fights off thoughts of depression and even defeats artificial intelligence that has been implanted into her brain, pretty much just by sheer will power.
The show is filled to the brim with many more powerful ladies that serve as leaders of rebellions, chancellors and queens of tribes. The characters all exhibit nuanced personalities and complex moral systems. The females on the show actually feel like real human beings that audiences can connect with.
The Season 5 premiere of “The 100” looks to continue with its theme of female-driven storylines, as the first half of the episode follows Clarke fighting for survival alone on a radiation-infested Earth with the odds stacked against her. “You think you can kill me? Have at it!” she shouts at the world around her, even as everything falls apart.
There were hundreds of people live tweeting during the season premiere and it’s easy to see that despite being off air for nearly a year, “The 100” fan-base hasn’t backed down in the slightest.
Despite the best efforts of Jason Rothenberg, the show’s writer, to keep most of this season’s plot under wraps, audiences know there is going to be a lot of fighting because there’s one last valley on Earth and far too many people that want it for themselves. That is, after all, pretty much how it goes in the “The 100” universe.
Fans can also expect a big family reunion at some point in the season, as it was teased in the trailer, but how long is it going to take for everyone to find their way back together on Earth’s surface, and what are they going to do about the new mystery prisoner ship that’s landed while they were away? There’s definitely more than one reason to stick around and see how these events play out.
The Skaikru definitely have a lot in store for them this season.