TV REVIEW: ‘The 100’ – Season 4

"From the ashes we will rise."

| May 26, 2017

Spoiler Warning for Season 4 of “The 100.”

“The 100” Season 4 Poster. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television/The CW)

The world is about to come to an end (again) and the heroes of “The 100” must band together or face a fiery death. While Season 3 may have been a step down, Season 4 returns the series to its former glory and places it on a whole new level. From tense political and moral debate to complex science fiction elements, the latest batch of episodes are absolutely fantastic and prove that the mistakes of the previous season have been fixed. When the fate of the human race hangs in the balance, who will step up to the plate and who will lay down and give up?

“The 100” has always had a sense of urgency to it with the various conflicts and hardships that arise as Skaikru tries to fit in with the other Grounder clans. The characters have never faced a hardship like this as the prospect of extinction is placed right in front of them. Last season’s finale “Perverse Instantiation- Part Two” let the viewers and characters in on the fact that the remaining nuclear sources on Earth had begun melting down and would lead to what the Grounders call “Praimfaya.” This impending disaster is the driving force for the entire season as the clock ticks down to doomsday and the survivors frantically search for solutions. Each season has its own threat that must be overcome, but this is completely different from anything the characters have faced before; Season 1 dealt with The 100 adjusting to life on the ground, Season 2 explored the conflict between Skaikru, the Grounders and Mouth Weather, while Season 3 placed the characters in a technological battle in the City of Light. Throughout its run, the series has done a expert job at reinventing itself each season and this set of episodes is the perfect example of this.

The 100 — Lindsey Morgan as Raven — Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

One the MVP’s this season is Raven, who has always gotten the team out of sticky situations, but she really puts in work over these 13 episodes; she finds multiple solutions only to have things ruined by conflicts between Skaikru and the Grounders, proving that progress isn’t always appreciated when war and violence is on the table. She is also dealing with the effect of last season’s A.L.I.E. domination and the aftermath of the City of Light being destroyed; her brain still contains A.L.I.E.’s code, which has caused her to have a stroke. Lindsey Morgan delivers a powerful performance as Raven, a character who has been to Hell and back, but still thinks about saving others and solving problems to help her friends; this season deals with an extremely emotional storyline as Raven has a tough decision to make, return to space and succumb to her brain injury or fix herself and keep fighting. She has always impressed me, mostly because of her intellect, quick-thinking and independence, but Season 4 is where she is really given her time to shine.

Another MVP this season is Octavia, who is still reeling from the loss of Lincoln (me too, Octavia, me too). She hasn’t forgiven Bellamy for aligning with Pike last season, which ultimately contributed to his rise to power and Lincoln dying. Still, Bellamy works to redeem himself and mend his fractured relationship with his beloved sister. The Blake siblings are prime examples of excellent character development; they have both come a long way, not only individually, but also together. As the threat of Praimfaya inches closer and closer, Octavia steps forward and makes the best out of a bad situation by uniting the Grounder clans and becoming the de facto leader; after she volunteers to fight (and wins) in a final conclave for control of a nuclear bunker, Octavia makes a game changing decision to quell the constant bickering and unite everyone, effectively becoming the new Commander (even though Indra does state that “the time of the Flame is over”). “Die All, Die Merrily” just may be Octavia’s best episode to date, proving that she is both a badass warrior and an influential leader who just may lead the survivors to prosperity. This season also shows her making the difficult choice to forgive Bellamy and use her anger in productive ways, just as Lincoln would want.

The 100 — Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake and Adina Porter as Indra. (Photo credit: Warner Bros. Television/The CW)

Other storylines this season include Clarke trying to maintain the fragile relationship between Skaikru and the Grounders, specifically Azgeda, who have become increasingly violent and untrustworthy with King Roan calling the shots. This makes the impending catastrophe even more complicated as Azgeda repeatedly tries to hinder Skaikru’s attempts to find solutions after discovering betrayals and acts of selfishness; Jaha is one of instigators that choose to act in the interests of Skaikru rather than everyone. Abby and Kane find themselves caught up in the drama as well, all the while forming a romantic relationship that undergoes a handful of trials and tribulations. There has always been a bit of a divide between the teenagers and the adults on this show; the teens typically handle things in ways to benefit as many people as possible, while the adults normally screw things up for everyone. Jaha has irritated me for the past two seasons, but his selfishness and desire to protect Skaikru does allow for interesting conflicts to arise.

This season has a lot of great material, but there are also some things that are incredibly problematic. Most notably is the character of Jasper, who has been on a downward spiral since the end of Season 2, when he lost his girlfriend of two weeks. I can absolutely appreciate the writers trying to tell a story of a character dealing with depression in a post-apocalyptic/war setting, but his story feels completely unnecessary; it honestly seems as though the writers didn’t know what to do with him, so they decided to have him put the other characters in danger and also create a suicide pact. While Jasper does meet his end this season, I feel as though the writers wasted an opportunity to make an important statement about depression; instead, much of his material feels like filler, although his final moments with Monty are well done and serve the purpose of showing the effect that suicide has on those left behind. The other problematic aspect of this season is the character of Luna, who seems to have also lost all hope in humanity, but acts insanely stupid for the sake of creating tension and drama. Her role in the final conclave battle is the final nail in the coffin as her selfishness almost causes the human race to go extinct; the actions of Luna also feel extremely forced and like wasted opportunity.

The 100 — Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Isaiah Washington as Jaha — Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW

All in all, Season 4 of “The 100” is a fantastic rollercoaster ride of action, high stakes, character development and gripping drama. The final four hours just might be the best of the entire series and the finale will go down as my favorite episode. Season 3 made me lose interest in the show at times, but these thirteen episodes reeled me back in and the six year time-jump cliffhanger has me counting down the days until Season 5; the questions are endless and the time jump will absolutely serve as a reset for the series as there are plenty of new stories to be told. What has Clarke been doing since Praimfaya? Why have Bellamy and the others not returned to Earth? Are Octavia and the bunker survivors still alive? Where did the prisoner transport ship come from? Fans will be eager to learn the answers to these questions when “The 100” returns next year on The CW.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Television

Jeffrey Kopp is the Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Niner Times. He is a sophomore double majoring in Communication and Political Science, with a minor in Criminal Justice. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead.”

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Jeffrey Kopp is the Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Niner Times. He is a sophomore double majoring in Communication and Political Science, with a minor in Criminal Justice. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead.”

Twitter