The ruthless Arker from the Farm Station is simply 'a survivor,' the actor explains
Hating Pike (Michael Beach) for hating the Grounders? Not so fast.
Beach says his character has plenty of reasons for not trusting Lincoln (Ricky Whittle), Indra (Adina Porter), and any other Grounder who utters a syllable of Trigadasleng — though his hostility toward those not native to the Ark doesn’t make him a hero either. “I wouldn’t characterize him as good or bad,” Beach tells EW. “If I’m put in a situation where the survival of my children and my wife and my family depends on me doing things that I wouldn’t normally do or want to do, am I supposed to let my children die, or am I supposed to fight so that they live? To me, that’s a no-brainer. And that’s Pike. I see him as somebody who will do what needs to be done so that his family survives.”
After all, Pike has been through chilling trauma — and not just because he, along with those on the Farm Station, landed in Ice Nation territory. Pike’s introduction to Earth, as the Arkers found out in the last episode, included the loss of more than a dozen children on day one, and more casualties followed because of Grounder violence in the months afterward, dwindling the Farm Station’s numbers to less than a third of its original population. “Those that survived became hardened,” Beach says. “They became stronger and more vicious.” Vicious enough to call themselves an army of “Grounder killers.”
That brutality, Beach teases, will lead to a major rift between Pike and Arker leaders Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) and Abby (Paige Turco), who have grown to trust Grounder clans and respect the stalemate. “Kane and Abby, as rough as it may have seemed, had a cushy life compared to what Pike and his people had to go through,” he explains, adding that Pike’s friendship with Bellamy (Bob Morley) doesn’t help matters. “Kane’s relationship with Bellamy is put into question when Pike comes in, and [Bellamy] is pitted in the middle.”
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But if viewers are determined to dislike Pike for being a Grounder killer and the leader of the “hardened” survivors from the Farm Station, Beach encourages fans to remember Pike’s humble beginnings as a man who taught something Arkers never found useful — Earth Skills — until they landed in their post-apocalyptic hell. “The very skills that made him unimpressive up there make him very useful down here,” Beach says, adding that his character becomes The 100‘s “Nature MacGyver,” and without him, there would have been much more bloodshed on Earth. As season 3 continues, episodes will dive deeper into Pike’s background, though Beach isn’t divulging whether Pike’s story will be told through flashbacks to the Ark.
And if all else fails to get fans on Pike’s side, the actor notes that at least in real life, he developed a friendship with Cusick on set despite their characters’ rivalry. It’s only on screen that things get darker, but Beach says he likes it that way when it comes to The 100. “The show deals with the human condition, in extreme situations with near impossible choices,” he explains. “What’s the point of things getting better?”
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.