By Troi Watts
Season 4 of The 100 finally premiered on February 1, hopefully to give viewers a glimpse of what is to come. Season 3 left viewers with a cliffhanger: the earth’s remaining nuclear reactors are in meltdown, meaning that the world will be uninhabitable in a matter of months; this is bad news for all of our favorite characters. With such a phenomenally intense previous season and massive problems looming ahead, Season 4 has a lot to live up to. If its first episode is any indication, however, this season will be long and rough.
The season premiere picks up immediately after the events from the Season 3 finale, with Clarke and the rest of the Sky People having to clean up the mess they made while under the influence of ALLIE the AI. Needless to say, the Grounders want them all dead, blaming them for the deaths of their Commander and many people. The only chance Clarke and the Sky People have of surviving lies in the hands of the Ice Nation’s King Roan, a reluctant ally from Season 3. However, Roan was critically wounded in the finale of season three, so Clarke and her mom must rush to save them or face the wrath of the Grounders.
First of all, my summary of the episode makes it seem much more interesting than it actually is. Viewers may feel a little tension with the question of whether or not Roan will live and save the Sky People, but that cat was let out of the bag a while ago. The trailer for Season 4 was released in December, two months before the premiere. In the trailer, new footage of Roan was revealed, obviously taking place after the premiere episode. Knowing that Roan would survive, there is no shock value or tension in this situation. Why even bother having his survival be in question if you’re just going to reveal it in the trailer?
Along with the survival of Roan, the episode tries to call into question the validity of ALLIE’s warning about the nuclear reactors. After all, she was an evil AI; maybe she was lying in order to prevent Clarke from shutting her down. Again, the trailer for Season 4 answered this question. Footage of Clarke and her people suffering the effects of radiation (cancerous lesions, acid rain) were shown, obviously validating the warning. No suspense in this conflict, folks.
The biggest problem that the premiere episode has is the issue between the Grounders and the Sky People. The Grounders have every reason to kill the Sky People at this point in the show. The Sky People have invaded their home, killed hundreds of their people, and now killed their leader. The only reason the Grounders haven’t actually wiped them out is because of Clarke’s begging. “You can’t kill us. You need us to survive,” was her excuse this time as the Grounders surrounded her and her group. Clarke is referring to the nuclear meltdown, saying that the Sky People can help protect everyone, but can they? It really doesn’t seem like something you can prevent or survive (as displayed by the nameless victim at the end of the episode who is disintegrated by a radiation storm in the desert). Basically, I’m tired of Clarke whining about how her people deserve to live. I honestly think the Grounders should just kill them.
The only interesting aspect of this premiere is an idea introduced early with Jasper and Raven. Jasper points out that it is interesting that Raven, a mechanic, now knows how to code, and states that it’s as if ALLIE has given Raven an upgrade while Raven was under her influence. I would put money on the idea that this will come up later in the season. Maybe Raven’s upgrade will give her a way to save everyone?
Despite fellow Reel Deal writer Quentin Basnaw’s thorough explanation of Why The 100 is Awesome, Season 4 has fallen flat within its first episode. The trailer revealed too much for viewers to be surprised by the outcomes of the episode (maybe if you’re one of those people who don’t watch trailers, it worked out, but come on. What fan of the show wouldn’t watch the trailer?). In my opinion, you should skip this episode and go on to the second episode of Season 4, where stuff actually happens, because nothing interesting is going on in the premiere (except maybe the Raven thing. We’ll see). Sorry fans who waited the nine months to watch this premiere. It wasn’t worth the wait.