The only bad part about The 100’s season 4 finale is that we’ll have to wait a year to figure out what we witnessed in the last five minutes.
The hour was packed full of action in the best way possible: At the end of the world, the last few 100 delinquents (and a couple extras thrown in) must work together and find a way to survive. If that doesn’t just delight you with season 1 feels, then I don’t know why you’re still watching this show.
Jason Rothenberg told us he was hoping to pull off a “desperate,” “breathless” finale, and he definitely succeeded. Let’s get into it…
The episode begins with Octavia and Bellamy saying their goodbyes over the radio. Not only is O worried about her brother’s plan to live in space, she’s also concerned about being a leader to the 1,200 people in the bunker. Bellamy tells her she’s already succeeded at bringing about unity when neither he nor Clarke could.
“I love you, big brother — I guess it takes the end of the world for me to say it,” she says before the radio cuts out. Clarke comes in and realizes she won’t get to say goodbye to her mom.
Back at the bunker, Octavia comes out to greet her people. Wearing the same forehead emblem as Lexa, thereby sealing herself as the leader, she tells them that if they stand together as one kru, they will survive. “From the ashes, we will rise.”
The bunker begins shaking and that’s the last we see of them.
Over in Becca’s lab, they watch the death wave from their lone drone feed. Polis burns to the ground in seconds and then the feed cuts out. Raven tells them they’re only 210 miles from Polis, and they have to be off the ground 20 minutes before the death wave hits. That means they have 90 minutes to do a s— ton of things to prepare for their five-year space journey. And the clock starts ticking…
While everyone gets to work, Clarke and Bellamy have a little H2H. She’s reflecting on and worrying about those visions her mom had of her dying; after all, Raven’s visions of the spaceship came true. Bellamy doesn’t want to listen, but she makes him: “We’ve been through a lot together, you and I. I didn’t like you at first; that’s no secret. But even then, every stupid thing you did, it was to protect your sister. She didn’t always see that, but I did. You’ve got such a big heart, Bellamy. People follow you. You inspire them.”
Clarke then tells him that he’ll have to use his brain more than his heart in order them to survive. “I’ve got you for that,” he tells her. But she’s clearly not so sure.
Meanwhile, Murphy and Monty — a pair that probably hasn’t talked since season 1, when Murphy was more murder-y — go to Becca’s bunker to get the oxygen scrubber. They find it quickly, but in order to get it off in one piece, Monty has to take off his gloves. He’s able to get the device, but his hands suffer extreme radiation burns. And to make matters worse, he’ll have to use his hands to help Murphy carry the scrubber back to the lab. They only have 49 minutes left and Monty can’t carry it for very long — he drops the device and passes out. Murphy grabs it by himself and leaves Monty behind.
Back at the lab, there’s a small explosion in the spaceship. Raven says they’re pushing to get this done too quickly, and because of that, they now have no communications system. And as unimportant as that sounds, Raven says that means they can’t go to space: The Ark ring isn’t powered on and the only way to turn it on is through the comms system on the spaceship.
Raven’s frustrated and ready to give up, but Bellamy tells her she doesn’t need Alie in her brain to solve this problem. She was saving them long before she had the bit of AI in her brain. And that’s all she needs to solve it: Alie transmitted herself to the ring through the satellite towers. (Anyone else concerned that Alie may still be in the ring? Or is she definitely dead everywhere?)
Clarke, Raven, and Bellamy take off for the tower to turn on the ring with minutes left to launch. And it’s lucky they do because they see Murphy walking alone. Raven takes the oxygen scrubber to the lab while Bellamy and Murphy go to find Monty — which leaves Clarke to go to the satellite alone. Raven tells her she’ll need 10 minutes to get from the satellite to the lab.
(Recap continued on page 2.)
Monty wakes up as there are 14 minutes left and just as Murphy and Bellamy get to him. They help him back to the lab, where Bellamy learns that Echo has disappeared. He finds her upstairs covering herself in white paint and her own blood. She’s attempting to sacrifice herself, but Bellamy tells her they need her to survive. Raven walks into the room and doesn’t have time for anyone’s dramatics: “Whatever this is, finish it.”
They’re all prepping their suits and oxygen tanks while keenly aware that Clarke hasn’t returned. Raven says they’ll wait as long as they can, but the countdown clock isn’t stopping.
At the satellite, Clarke isn’t able to get the satellite to operate from the ground. She’s going to have to climb up top, and there isn’t enough time to do that and get back to the ship in time. “My fight is over,” she says as she begins her ascent.
In the lab, the countdown clock hits zero and Bellamy closes the ship’s door (how do you like that season 1 reversal?). Even Emori asks if they can wait another minute for Clarke, but Bellamy says this is what she would want them to do. And even worse: They won’t even know if her sacrifice to save them worked until they get to the ring.
They blast off, and Clarke sees the ship as she climbs to the top of the tower. The group makes it into zero-g, which Raven couldn’t be more pleased about. Murphy wants to get out of his seat and float series premiere-style, but Raven says they have to reserve their oxygen and keep their heart rates low. Raven is going to be using a lot of oxygen, though, because she has to spacewalk out to the Ark. Bellamy helps her prep, and Echo looks so confused by everything that’s happening.
Back on the ground, Clarke finally makes it to the top of the tower. She attempts to plug in her tablet there, but the dish still won’t align. She has to physically go to the dish and move it. She hoists herself up there, forces it skyward, and sees that the satellite is sending a signal. Then the whole device goes black and she throws the tablet into the oncoming death wave.
Up in space, they have about 10 minutes of air left and there’s no power on the ring. Bellamy is kicking himself for leaving Clarke behind when they are all going to die in space anyway. And just then Monty sees the ring light up. “She did it,” Raven says as she docks the ship.
Unaware if she helped her friends survive, Clarke rushes back to the lab, but falls and cracks open her helmet in the process. By the time she gets to Becca’s lab, her face is covered in radiation lesions. And then the power goes out.
All the (New) Sky Kids make it onto the Ark, but they’re struggling to get the oxygen scrubber hooked up. Monty is talking Bellamy through the steps of connecting it while everyone else passes around oxygen tanks. They all end up passing out, but Bellamy connected it in the knick of time. They wake up to an ark full of air and an Earth below full of fire.
Six years and seven days later, Clarke wakes up! With short hair!! And her red streaks back!!! She has the rover and is setting up a little satellite and sending out a signal to Bellamy. She says it’s been 2,199 days since Praimfaya — it’s been safe on the ground for more than a year now. Despite that, the bunker has “gone silent,” she tells the sky through a walkie. “We tried digging them out for a while, but there is too much rubble.”
Before you can even question the fact that she said “we,” she asks Bellamy why they haven’t come down yet. But then she sees them. And she goes to the rover to wake up a girl she refers to as Madi. She tells her “little nightblood” that her friends are coming down.
Madi realizes something is off before Clarke does: “I thought you said the ship was small?” Through a riflescope, Clarke sees that this isn’t the Vesta IV. It’s a prisoner transport from something called the Eligius Corporation, and life on the ground is about to get interesting again.
What the hell is the Eligius Corporation? Are they holding our Sky Friends prisoner? Was Clarke ever in communication with the bunker or the space people? Where did she find Madi? How did they survive these past six years? And why is only Clarke’s area of the world green?
This episode leaves us with hundreds of questions. I was able to get a few teases about season 5 out of Jason Rothenberg. Be sure to read that interview here. Otherwise, let’s chat theories and thoughts below or on Twitter. And, until next season, take solace in the fact that we only have to wait a year for the return and not six years and seven days.