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If you thought the Grounders were bad, just wait until you meet the residents of Mount Weather—at least that’s how Clarke feels when The 100 returns for its second season. Desperate to escape her cell in the underground bunker that houses the Mountain Men, Clarke will go to great lengths to find out if her people are alive.

“The arc of season 1 was really great because you start with Clarke in a cell and end with Clarke in a cell,” Eliza Taylor tells EW from within the walls of Mount Weather up on the Vancouver set. “The difference is that she’s now so much stronger and she does whatever it takes to get out.”

But Clarke will be shocked to discover that the residents of Mount Weather seem perfectly normal—albeit unable to stand any of the earth’s radiation after living in the bunker for their entire natural born lives. But their welcoming hospitality will appear to be too good to be true for Clarke. “Her first goal is to find her friends and get them out of Mount Weather, but she doesn’t even know if they’re alive or dead, or locked up themselves,” Taylor says. “She doesn’t trust the President [Raymond J. Barry] at all. She thinks there’s something quite dodgy going on there. She doesn’t even trust them enough to eat the food in the beginning. Lots of trust issues for Clarke.”

Unfortunately, her increasing unease at a seemingly ideal situation won’t make a good impression. “She wants to make sure her friends are safe and try to convince them to leave, but they’re loving it because there’s food, shelter, somewhere to sleep, and chocolate cake,” Taylor says. “They’re starting to think Clarke’s losing it a little bit. She’s questioning herself as well if maybe she is kind of losing her mind or if she’s on the right track.”

What doesn’t help is not knowing if both Finn (Thomas McDonell) and Bellamy (Bob Morley) are dead or alive. “They’re her two guys,” she says. “She’s heartbroken and she’s going through a lot of self-doubt and blame because she shut that door on them. She thinks that they burned alive and that that was her fault. It’s really hard for her and it’s certainly changed her general demeanor. She’s going through some stuff. She’s very sad.”

On the bright side, Clarke is closer than ever to reuniting with her mother, Abby (Paige Turco)—though it won’t be the easiest of reunions once it does happen. “Her mother is responsible for her father’s death and that’s kind of a big deal and they never resolved that,” Taylor says. “It’s going to be really fun and interesting to see how they deal with each other. For Abby, the last time she saw her daughter, she was a scared little girl and now she’s a fierce, strong woman. That’s going to be a bit of a struggle for her to come to terms with in how much Clarke’s changed.”

Those who remain of the original 100 will also have a hard time coming to terms with the adults arriving on earth, effectively taking away their power. “These kids have built a society from scratch on earth and having these adults come down and tell them how it’s now going to be is really difficult, especially since the kids do know more than the adults in this stage of the game,” she says. “They’ve experienced so much more than the people from the Ark have.”

Suffice it to say, Clarke will be facing a rough season ahead. “It’s very rare that Clarke stops and has a laugh,” Taylor points out. “I did want to have a bit more of a laugh this year, but it’s just gotten darker and darker, and there’s no chance of that.”

The 100 returns Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Episode Recaps

The 100

After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of people who have been living in space return to Earth—and quickly learn they’re not alone.

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