How do you stop the end of the world AND Ice Nation?

By Dalene Rovenstine
February 01, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST
Diyah Pera/The CW

Welcome back! Things are falling apart in the real world, so let’s escape together to The 100, where things are even worse!

If you thought you might have a second to digest that apocalyptic news along with our favorite heroes and villains, well, you were wrong. In fact Clarke and Bellamy — the only people who know the true reason behind the City of Light — don’t even have time to think about it before they’re swept up in another crisis. But isn’t that why we love this show? It’s always packed with compelling story, and the season 4 premiere is no different. It picks up immediately where last year’s finale left us…

As everyone climbs down from the capitol tower, they descend on a broken and beaten Polis. Octavia sees Indra being taken down from a cross and runs to tell her she took care of Pike. (Sidenote: I generally liked season 3, but there are some things I’m happy we’re leaving behind, including Pike and everything that came along with him, i.e. Bad Bellamy.) Clarke is trying to help the wounded, but it doesn’t take long before the crowd turns on her. They blame Wanheda for all the death and destruction surrounding them. She tells Kane, Jaha, and Abby that they need to get out of the city — but then she hears that the king is alive.

Roan, who was shot by Kane in the first part of the season 3 finale, survived. Abby and Clarke rush to him and see that there’s no exit wound. They need to take out the bullet to save him, but Echo has other plans. Yeah, everyone’s favorite flip-flopper is back. She tells everyone that they’ll have their own healer take care of the king, that Skaikru “did this to us,” and that Azgeda is now in control of Polis.

An ambassador steps up and says, “Like hell it is.” (I love this lady!) She explains that until a new commander can ascend, the capitol will be ruled by ambassadors. She says if Azgeda wants it, they’ll have to take it by force. “Consider it taken,” Echo says after slicing open the woman’s neck. (Man, everyone I like dies on this show…)

Echo orders that no Skaikru leave the city, but luckily she doesn’t know about the passageway through the flamekeeper’s temple. Clarke is able to get most of her people to safety. All who are left are Abby, Kane, Jaha, Octavia, and Bellamy. Indra’s there, too, since she’s essentially one of them — she bro-hugs Kane in possibly the best moment of the premiere. She informs them that there are 1,000 Azgeda warriors in Polis and they need to be removed by force. She and O want to start a war; Kane wonders how they can get other clans to join; and Clarke is holding onto a huge secret.

“What don’t we know?” Abby asks her daughter. After Clarke explains why ALIE created the City of Light, they’re all skeptical about the world ending in six months … rightfully. Bellamy was able to contact Raven at Arkadia, so she’s currently researching ALIE’s claims, but Clarke says she knows it to be true. And she has a plan: surrender.

Jaha takes a shrouded body up to Echo in the commander’s chambers (I guess the elevator is working again?). He says that Ontari should be with her people; they thank him by beating him up. While he’s there, an Azgeda soldier tells her that Skaikru is surrendering. Echo takes Jaha with her down to meet Kane and Indra — she sends him across the line to tell them she’ll only talk to Bellamy. He whispers, “It worked,” to Kane. It was all a ruse!

Inside the commander’s chambers, Octavia cuts herself out of the shroud and kills the guards inside. She lets Abby and Clarke in the room so they can save Roan. Only in this world would you have to go through such an elaborate stunt to save someone’s life. But anyway, while Bellamy talks a surrender deal with Echo, Clarke and Abby take the bullet out of Roan’s chest. Abby thinks he’ll wake up as soon as it’s out, but he doesn’t, and that’s when Echo realizes something is up.

Azgeda warriors fill the room before Clarke, Abby, and O can get out. Even though Clarke tells them they were trying to save him, Echo doesn’t care. In her best Ice Queen impression, Echo calls for her warriors to kill Wanheda. Luckily, that’s right when Roan wakes up.

Roan has quite a bit to catch up on — Ontari is dead, but so is the City of Light. Clarke calls on him to honor their agreement, but Echo is insisting that he kill her, take power, and rule over everything “as your mother would do.” He puts all of Skaikru in holding while he thinks about what to do, and Echo is still pestering him about the 13th clan. He’s been gone from his people for a long time and they aren’t necessarily loyal to him. Echo says that Wanheda’s head will get them on his side. So he calls for her.

NEXT: Meanwhile back in Arkadia

After Jasper makes a round of apologies at Arkadia (“Can I plead the chip?”), everyone is settling in. Raven gets the mainframe back online and is able to connect with Bellamy, which is when she learns about the ALIE theory. Monty and Harper are able to sex it up. And Jasper is able to … well, it’s not good.

While in his own room, he writes a note to Monty, looks at Maya’s favorite painting one last time, and pulls a gun up to his chin. He’s about to kill himself when Monty knocks on the door. He, thankfully, doesn’t go through with it and goes with Monty to listen to Raven’s discovery.

She tells them that after the “second Fukushima disaster,” the citizens of Earth made reactors that could survive a nuclear attack — however, they were only self-sustaining for 100 years and their time is up. She tells them they only have six months to live, but things are going to get way worse before then. Radiation levels are already rising.

For some reason this is music to Jasper’s ears: He starts laughing, pulls out the gun, and gives it back to Harper. Since he’s already living on borrowed time, he decides to go watch the sunrise. Maybe these three should pay better attention to their friend now?

Anyway, back at Polis, Echo gleefully delivers Clarke to Roan — but he just wants to talk to her. “It’s always something with you,” he says, perfectly summing up Clarke. She tells him what’s really going on with the nuclear reactors and explains this is why they have to work together. “Science is our only hope,” she says. (Good to see STEM is still important in the future!)

The problem is if Roan lets Wanheda live, his own people will kill him within the week. That’s when she offers the ultimate bargaining chip: the flame. It’s the only way to prove what she’s saying is true. And it works. Roan goes before Polis and tells them that no one else will die today. He will rule over Polis until another Nightblood ascends — and then he reveals the flame. A woman in the crowd says it’s blasphemous that he holds that, as he’s not a priest. He ignores her and tells everyone that Lexa’s coalition of the 13th clan will stay intact.

Reluctantly, Echo gives Bellamy a medallion from Roan that will keep them safe wherever they go. Then she asks, “You think we’ll ever be able to trust each other again?” Her alliances are very hard to keep up with.

Clarke, Jaha, and Bellamy head back to Arkadia to work with Raven on finding a solution for the nuclear reactors. Kane and Abby, who are staying behind to protect the coalition, watch them walk away.

Kane: “The youth have inherited the earth.”
Abby: “And they have six months to save it.”

Or maybe less! The last image we see is of a woman in the Dead Zone being turned into dust from the radiation storms.

Will our heroes be able to find a solution in time? Will the coalition hold until then? What will happen to it when everyone finds out the truth? I have no clue how this could possibly work out well, but I can’t wait to watch it unfold.

100 (or just 7) extras:

• Emori can’t stay in Polis — her “kind” isn’t wanted there. Murphy at first says they should go stay with his people at Polis, but once he gets wind of the fake surrender/save Roan plan, he tells her they’ll be better on their own. I hope they don’t go away for too long!
• Sad Jasper is one of the most tragic turns The 100 has ever taken. While I’m glad he’s embracing this “seize the day” attitude, I really hope he’s also able to get some closure as well.
• When Jaha tries to help a crying woman and she spits in his face, Murphy says, “Good to see you’re making friends.” Never change, Murphy.
• A moment I was not prepared for: Clarke has a brief moment of vulnerability when she’s chained up next to her mom. All it takes is a knowing-motherly look from Abby and she crumbles. “I loved her mom,” Clarke cries. “I know,” Abby replies.
• Another moment I wasn’t prepared for: Kane gives Bellamy a sweet speech about forgetting his past mistakes and doing the best he can now. “Before you know it, you’ll deserve to survive.”
• How did Raven access those news stories about Fukushima? Did the internet survive the apocalypse!?
• But seriously how about that Indra-Kane hug???