The 100 season premiere recap: 'The 48'
As President Dante Wallace says, “Welcome to Mount Weather.”
After four months of wondering, we finally learned what was beyond that white-washed exam room: more questions. And that’s not a bad thing.
For those new to The 100: It’s been 97 years since a global nuclear apocalypse. The Ark—where all the refugees of Earth lived in space—was running out of supplies. 100 incarcerated youths were sent to the earth to see if it was survivable. Turns out it was… and other inhabitants had been surviving it all along.
When season 1 ended, we saw seven stations of the Ark had been brought to the ground, spread throughout the (Vancouver) wilderness. Mecha Station, in which Abby and Kane traveled to Earth, was the only one we saw land successfully. Jaha was left alone in space. The remaining 100 were fighting off grounders at the Drop Ship with a rocket-fuelled explosion. Bellamy and Finn were presumably burned alive, and Octavia left with Lincoln. And then the infamous Mountain Men came and took Clarke and Monty to very white rooms with small circular windows, a.k.a. Mount Weather.
And the wait is over—season 2 picks up immediately where we left everyone in season 1. Clarke is still in her white room (which is quite nicely furnished—no hospital I’ve ever been to had “Starry Night” paintings, replica or otherwise). But instead of Monty, Clarke sees a blue man spraying down the empty room.
Clarke wastes no time in being her badass self: She takes apart the IV stand, knocks out the camera, breaks the glass, slices open her arm in the process (ew!), and rips off the blue man’s mask. Rather than a creepy “Mountain Man,” Clarke reveals a young, very pale girl who just wants to listen to her iPod. Taking the girl hostage with a shard of glass, Clarke demands to be taken to Monty.
They take the elevator to the fifth floor, where things get really weird. The elevator doors open to reveal the world’s classiest underground dining hall: Everyone is dressed in their Sunday best, sitting at tables dotted with pancakes, carafes of orange juice, and fresh bouquets, listening to a woman serenade them from a piano. A woman spots Clarke, clutches her pearls (not really, but she should have), and screams “Containment Breach.” And then Clarke says: “Where the hell am I?” Girl, we all want to know.
This isn’t a great day for Clarke; she lands in yet another sterile, hospital-like room. This time she’s greeted by President Dante Wallace and the blue man-girl, who is named Maya. There’s a lot of exposition here on the president’s part and we learn quite a few things about Mount Weather and the people we know as “The Mountain Men” (who I think should really be called the Undergrounders). These people have survived solely underground in Mount Weather. Their bodies did not go through natural selection like the Grounders’ did, so they are forced to live there with their underground reservoir and hydroponic farms and cherry pie and fashionably ’50s clothes. The only reason the 100 can survive on Earth is because they were exposed to solar radiation.
President Wallace also tells Clarke that his people “saved” 48 of her group. Never one to give up, Clarke insists on going out to find the others—but Wallace says it isn’t safe. To clarify: She’s not a “prisoner,” she’s just not allowed to leave. Take someone whose been confined to a space station her whole life and lock her underground—you’re bound to get resistance. Clarke has too much fight in her to not try, and try she does. But as she’s about to make it out, Jasper tells her the Undergrounders will die if she pulls the lever (through the cheesiest line of the night).
So instead, she settles in with her oil paints and beef stew and decides that maybe Mount Weather isn’t too good to be true, that President Wallace is telling the truth.
NEXT: Don’t believe them, Clarke.
The problem is we know Wallace is lying. He tells Clarke that his men have been searching for the remaining 100 and survivors from the Ark but haven’t found anyone. Lies.
Because Bellamy and Finn are alive. Yes, I knew it when I saw them at Comic Con and in the trailers, but I still breathed a sigh of relief. Finn and another Drop Ship Kid (don’t worry about his name, he wasn’t long for this world) were captured by one of the surviving Grounders. Bellamy attempts to save him (remember when these two hated each other? I sense a bromance brewing.) with Monroe and Drop Ship Kid #2 (Sterling, maybe?). Those two chicken out, and Bellamy gets caught, too, but Kane saves the day: “We’re here now. Everything’s going to be okay.” Which is nothing but a sign that things will not be okay.
But for now, Finn and Bellamy are in no position to think about that; they just need to find their people, so they lead Kane and Abby to the Drop Ship, where they assume everyone else is. They stumble upon a now-apparently-buddies Murphy and Raven.
And this is when the adult leaders/100 leaders conflict really begins: Bellamy attacks Murphy, the man with nine lives, and Kane arrests Bellamy. Finn explains that Murphy is a very bad dude, but Kane isn’t hearing it: “I don’t care. You are not animals. There are rules, laws, you are not in control here anymore.” If he thinks that he can set 100 delinquents lose on Earth, then come down and control them—well then, this is going to be an interesting adjustment for him.
Meanwhile Octavia and Lincoln are having their own adjustments on the way to the Sea—she’s having to learn a new language because only warriors speak English; People of the Sea speak a language that was created by this guy. Problem is she’s slowly being poisoned to death from an arrow, so instead of going to the Sea—they go to Lincoln’s village, which happens to be a very green, post-apocalyptic D.C., for an antidote. He’s walking into near-certain death because love.
And lest we forget: Chancellor Jaha is still in space—with a baby. Holy Hundred. This show and its cliffhangers.
So Many Questions:
When we see the video feed from Clarke’s containment room, they have her name on the monitor. Did they learn this from the 48 or do they know about people from the Ark somehow?
The dining room has a variety of flags hanging from the ceiling. Did anyone else pause and try to figure out where they were from? (Am I the only nerd?) I couldn’t identify any of them, but they all looked like variants of the American flag.
What’s up with the Undergrounders’ clothes? I’m sure they are incredibly old, but the weird, powdery tinge they have seems like it might indicate something else.
Why is Maya, who has presumably spent her whole life underground, trained to use a gun?
Did Murphy just make us feel sorry for him?
What’s going on with Monroe and Ark Boy #2? When Bellamy asked how they got away, Ark Boy #2 said, “We saw the Ark come down and we thought we would go get help” while Monroe had very definite “That’s a lie” eyes.
Did Lincoln get his name because he grew up near the Lincoln Memorial?
Who/what is that man that spied on Octavia? And is he supposed to look like Sloth?
Seven stations left the ark—aside from Mecha, how many survived?
Why would you choose to live in a place where traitors are killed by what’s known as “Death by 1,000 Cuts”?
Was Jaha dreaming/halluci-hearing/or was that a real baby?
Be sure to check out Natalie Abrams’ interview with Eliza Taylor about Mount Weather.
This recap brought to you by Dotan’s “Home II” on repeat.
Follow me on Twitter: @realdalener
After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of people who have been living in space return to Earth—and quickly learn they’re not alone.