It feels like we’ve been waiting for “The 100” to return for eons, which is pretty appropriate, given that in the land of TV hiatuses, eight months is an eternity.
When we pick up with Season 4, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) will have to deal with the immediate consequences of destroying the City of Light, which turns out — ironically enough — to have been the only thing keeping the peace. With a new nuclear apocalypse looming, you’d hope the human race would band together to fight it, but things are never that simple on the Ground.
Screener spoke with Jason Rothenberg about the new season, and we’ve got some great new info about the impending apocalypse, newcomers to Polis, and of course — Bellarke.
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How will everyone deal with this power vacuum left in Polis, after Lexa’s death and the destruction of the City of Light?
The big conflict on the ground has always been this bipolar relationship between Azgeda and Trikru. They were sort of the two superpowers, and everybody else picked a side, much in the way our world was aligned during the Cold War. That’s an ongoing source of conflict. Certainly as this season kicks off, when they all wake up having been in the City of Light where none of that mattered, they find themselves all now together in Polis, and those old conflicts and animosities become hugely important.
Skaikru is torn between them. First of all, probably nobody likes Skaikru. Being the keepers of the secret that the world is coming to an end, they need to figure out a way to survive the day so that they can figure out a way to save the world, essentially. That’s the shape of things in the premiere.
Where does King Roan fall during this conflict?
Roan is, of course, the king of one of those two superpowers, Azgeda, and he’s reluctantly, I think, the king. It’s not a position he sought out, and now he’s got to struggle with what’s best for his people versus what’s best for all people. Similar to Clarke’s journey this season, he would love to be able to transcend the shortcomings or the cage of his upbringing and just realize that he’s the leader of all people, and that we’re all in this together, but he’s going to constantly be pulled back to what’s right for the Ice Nation.
Clarke, similarly, has sort of transcended just being Skaikru and is now out to figure out a way to save everybody. She realizes we are all in this boat together, and the only good answer is one that saves everybody.
What can we expect from Octavia and her assassin story this year?
Octavia’s journey this season is awesome. I’m really, really excited about it. She’s definitely in a dark place to start the season, doing whatever she can to fill the void — often in unhealthy ways and dark ways. She’s kind of becoming an assassin, and realizing the only time she feels alive is when she’s close to death or when she’s causing someone else’s death. It’s kind of a sick headspace to be in. It’s what she’s good at, and she’s going to have to reconcile the fact that she’s lost her way.
Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) was a great warrior, but he knew … A good warrior knows when not to kill. Lincoln taught her that, and she’s forgotten that. I think soldiers and the people who fight in wars are the least willing to go to war, because they know what it costs. It’s easy for politicians to sit here and talk about going to war, but ultimately the soldiers have to fight that war, and they know it better be a good reason. So Octavia has to learn that too.
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You’ve said Season 3 almost ended with Jasper’s suicide, but ultimately you didn’t go down that path. What is his outlook on life in Season 4 going to be like?
He is definitely not in a different place than he was in at the end of last season, except at the beginning of this season he is essentially given a reprieve in the sense that he doesn’t have to end his own life because the world is going to do that for him in sixth months. He makes the choice to get busy living because there’s nothing he can do about it. He’s going to try to ultimately enjoy himself as much as he can while he can.
It is ironic in some ways that that’s where we find light, but you’ve got to take it where you can get it in “The 100.”
What can you tell us about Ilan and why he’s come to Polis?
Ilan (Chai Romruen) is Trishanakru, so he’s a Grounder from a clan that we haven’t met much before. He was in the City of Light. He was chipped when A.L.I.E. sent minions village to village and chipped people with the authority of the Commander, Ontari (Rhiannon Fish), at the time. He was responsible, as you see at the beginning of Episode 2, for some horrible things while chipped. We do a little bit of a mini-flashback at the top of 2 to see what he did, and to understand why he is the way that he is.
He’s essentially on a vendetta against technology, really, to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and that will put him in conflict in a big way with Skaikru, certainly, going forward. He’s a really important part of the season.
What will Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship look like this season?
I think that Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Clarke — when they’re together is when good things happen, when they’re playing from the same playbook. They came back together in Episode 11 last season I believe, and that’s really when things started going right again for the group, ultimately leading to them defeating A.L.I.E.
This season we see them where they left off last season. They’re a team, and they are trying to do what’s right for their people. Clarke more than Bellamy, perhaps, is determined to save everybody, and Bellamy is determined to help her do that. As long as the two of them are together and fighting for the right reasons, I think the world has a chance.
“The 100” premieres Wednesday (Feb. 1) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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