Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Although The 100 is much more than its twists, the show’s writers sure know how to liven up episodes with shocks (and awes) that viewers never saw coming. And that was never more true than in Wednesday’s finale, “Blood Must Have Blood, Part Two.” (Warning: Spoilers ahead!) Showrunner Jason Rothenberg took the time to walk us through the season ender—the deaths, the shocks, and the thoughts behind them both—while sharing where we’re going in season 3.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So after seeing everything that’s gone down this season, are there actually any good guys left on this earth?

JASON ROTHENBERG: [Laughs] I don’t know that I believe in good guys and bad guys. I think that that’s fairly obvious in how we characterize things. Everybody’s trying to do what’s right for their people. Some people are selfish; some people aren’t, but everybody’s really the villain in somebody else’s story, and everybody is the hero of their own story. A post-apocalyptic world where it is kill or be killed really brings that to the fore. Question is: Do you have what it takes to survive or not?

Now, obviously the alliance breaking was not ideal, but I kind of liked how it made this episode go back to basics, where it’s just Clarke and the gang doing it alone.

Yeah, I mean honestly we didn’t think about it that way necessarily, but certainly that’s the result of what happened. At the beginning of the finale (episode 15), Clarke had the advantage. And she lost that advantage by the end and still was not about to turn back. She had no choice but to continue forward for her getting her people to safety because she’s obsessed with getting that done, that’s who she is. So yeah on some level it did I guess push us back to basics, and suddenly it’s back to our primary heroes.

A lot people thought Lexa might be faking the truce or have a trick up her sleeve to come back and help—did you ever entertain that idea?

Lexa is too powerful a character, too strong of a leader, to make a really, really hard decision like that and then within hours change her mind or have second thoughts. The plan from the beginning was that we were going to push Lexa to the brink of this moral line that she was going to have to cross to save her people: Would she be willing to essentially sacrifice the woman that she’d been falling for (if not the woman who she was already in love with) and all of her [Clarke’s] people? Would she be willing to sacrifice them in order to save her own people? And the answer was yes, and I think that’s consistent of who she is from the beginning of the season literally saying the words, “Love is weakness.”

Everyone was making hard choices in this episode.

The same thing with Dante’s character—Dante had sort of drawn this moral line for himself, which was that he wasn’t going to do what he had been doing forever to the grounders in the Harvest Chamber; he wasn’t going to do it to these 44 kids. For some reason he thought that was the line he wouldn’t cross. And then of course last week his son, Cage, screwed things up so badly [laughs] that he was forced—in order to save his people—to cross the line. So the finale (episode 16) pushes Clarke to a similar moment. It’s a moment of truth for her: How far is she going to go to save her people? How dark will she go? Will she cross the sort of ultimate line at the end of the day to do it? The answer: She does it.

I thought it was interesting how Clarke had to sacrifice Finn because of the massacre in Tondc and now she’s just performed a massacre herself.

There’s a similarity between those two moments in that yes, she sacrificed Finn in many ways to save him from the pain of what was about to happen to him. But she probably did realize what he had done was unforgivable. So here she comes in this moment and again she’s sacrificing people, [but] she’s saving her own people. Her mother in this case is literally on the table, and she’s not going to let her die, so she does the unthinkable in order to save her people. There’s something similar in both of those moments in terms of the strength it took for her to do it and how haunted she’s always going to be by it.

Did any Mountain Men survive that?

The lone survivor is Lieutenant Emerson, of all people. He’s out there—he runs out at the end via the hallway. Everybody who had gotten the treatment that day or since the Level 5 quarantine took hold (we established on the show that it took 48 hours for the treatment to kick in) hadn’t had the treatment long enough to actually give them immunity. And earlier in the episode Emerson actually complains to Cage that he’s the last one left who had been cured; in other words, we lost a lot of men when we went out for that shooting on the ridge. So no, there are no survivors other than Emerson. And I have no idea how his character will play into it [laughs], but he will be out there.

And we know that Cage died. I thought that death was very fitting.

It was good to give it to Lincoln. I think Lincoln certainly needed it. For him and for the audience, it’s a good cathartic death.

And speaking of deaths, how will Maya’s death affect Jasper?

Jasper is obviously heartbroken. He thought he had a shot—in that scene in the climax of the finale—to kill Cage and right things that way. Of course Bellamy is right when he says it would never have stopped; just killing Cage would not have stopped what was going on. So Jasper’s certainly going to carry that will him for a long time. It’s obviously going to create some distance between him and Monty for a while. I think it will take him quite a while to get over it.

He’s had quite the story line this season in general.

He in many ways became a leader this season, in an unsung way—he’s been incredible. He’s held that Mount Weather story (he and Monty of course). As the leader of the group in Mount Weather, he kept them alive and gave them hope that there was a way out when by all accounts it didn’t seem that there was one. He lost Clarke and Bellamy as leaders, and he had to rise as he did. I think that will stay with him going forward as well; he’s become a hero in his own right.

And finally, Jaha. Did you intend his path to be so full circle? I mean he thought he was on this mission to get to earth and save his people. And then it turns out his mission has created another way to destroy the earth.

That’s a cool way to put it. Yeah, I mean for me it was more about he thought he had found his calling. His journey this season has been about faith; he was under this, some people think deluded, belief that he had a purpose and that he was going to rescue and save his people. And he may still by the way—not saying how that story is going to turn out, but it did lead to something fairly surprising obviously. He thought he was almost on this divine mission, and he found what could be interpreted as a divine being: Ali, who is made of light, who is an artificial intelligence. If you define god as someone who is everywhere at all times watching over us—at the time she was reigning (at the time she was born I should say), before the bombs, before that guy in the video in the bunker locked her into that house, she was everywhere—she was watching everything, and she did destroy the world. There is something godlike in that, and I think we’ll play with that metaphor even more next year.

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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