By Dalene Rovenstine
April 30, 2019 at 10:00 PM EDT
Sergei Bachlakov/The CW
S6 E1
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You thought waiting eight months for The 100 to return was hard? Imagine being Jordan, Monty, and Harper’s son, who’ve been waiting 123 years for the pod people to wake up. Because, yes, in case you forgot: Season 6 starts 125 years in the future. On another planet. Doing this whole space to the ground thing yet again.

After Jordan gave that shocking finale-worthy news to Clarke and Bellamy, they wake up their core crew for this tiny update. As they all look out on the new planet, Monty’s video plays again: “I hope we do better there,” he tells them. Abby thinks they can; she can’t wait to go down to that planet and get their humanity back, but Raven not so subtly points out that some of them never lost it. Remember how Abby electrocuted Raven with a shock collar when she tried to cut off her access to drugs? Raven may have spent 125 years in a pod, but she sure hasn’t forgotten that—and she’s not about to let Abby forget it either.

Raven decides to take her mind off things by getting to know Shaw a bit better in his stateroom. In bed, the former Eligus IV crew member tells her about the time he met Becca (yes, THE Becca). He also explains how people back on Earth thought he was crazy when he signed up to go on a 24-year Eligus mission. He looks at Raven, smiles, and tells her he’d never do that now; then he kisses her. If you forget for a moment what show you’re watching, you may allow yourself to think that happiness may finally be possible for Raven…

Just like with the Ark and Earth before, the communication equipment aboard the ship isn’t working, so there’s no way to tell if this planet—Planet Alpha—is habitable. All they know is there’s a rescue beacon pinging and 412 people with no other options. So Clark, Bellamy, Jackson, Miller, Echo, Shaw, Emori, and Murphy head down to the ground to potentially give a friendly greeting to the offspring of Eligus III, who may have arrived an estimated 200 years ago. “Friendly” according to this crew means taking weapons—but not shooting first.

Shortly after arriving, they find a lake and Murphy jumps in, Octavia style. But unlike in the pilot and on the irradiated Earth, the water on Planet Alpha is clear and free of mutant creatures. Emori joins him in the water and they all have a brief non-life-and-death moment. Keyword being brief.

As they’re enjoying the nighttime air, Clark attempts to apologize to Shaw for her part in his torture. She tells the entire group that she would go back and do things differently, but she’s glad Monty gave her a second chance. “Not for nothing, this is like your fifth chance,” Murphy chimes in—and not for nothing, Murphy’s right. Shaw tells her that salvation comes from faith and good works. And before anyone can reflect on that, they start to hear buzzing.

There’s a swarm of Alpha Insects out for blood… literally. The group takes off for the beacon as fast as they can. (I feel like the smarter thing to do would have been to get in the water, but what do I know about post-post-apocalyptic emergency situations?) They light torches as they run, which kind of helps, but luckily they get to a fenced-in area before long.

Err, not luckily. Shaw tries to breach the fence boundary and gets electrocuted. Clark sees that it’s a radiation barrier, which won’t affect her (the perks of being a nightblood!), so she runs in to pull Shaw out. Badly burned and barely breathing, Shaw tells her the Elgius fail-safe code. She enters it, disabling the fence long enough for the rest of the group to get in.

Jackson attempts to give Shaw some drugs, but he stops him, telling him to save it for someone who needs it. Their pilot knows he’s too far gone. He looks at Clarke and tells her to “earn this,” before telling her to tell Raven she deserves happiness. And with that, Shaw dies. It’s a reminder to our Sky People (or whatever we call the collective group now) that no matter how beautiful this new earth may be, the harsh realities of their old earth have followed them even here. But, dammit, did it have to be someone Raven just found happiness with? Writers, give the poor girl a break already. Yes, I know she can handle it, but it doesn’t mean she has to.

Anyway, back in space, Niylah helps Abby prep Kane for surgery with algae anesthesia from Monty. The doc knows she’ll need lots of blood, so she asks Niylah to wake everyone except Octavia. Niylah goes straight to Octavia and wakes her. That Wonkru blood runs deep even in space.

Abby goes to ask Raven for blood, which she gives—she may be willing to help save Kane, but she’s not willing to forgive Abby, or even hear her out. Abby tries to tell her she’s clean. I’m not quite sure if the pod detoxed her or what because I’m pretty sure if you exclude the time she was frozen, it’s only been three days since she overdosed. But however it happened, Abby does seem to be clean. But Raven doesn’t care.

Later, when Kane’s surgery is successfully behind her, Abby can’t find the pain medication. Raven took them because Bellamy told her to take care of the ship, but when Abby throws a fit, Raven throws them back at her. “The faster you fall off the wagon and kill yourself,” she says, “the sooner we can move on.” Little does Raven know that her world is about to get a whole lot darker for reasons wholly unrelated to Abby.

Kane wakes up and wants to go see the new planet for himself. He and Abby are reminiscing about all the murder and stuff they’ve done so they could end up here when Octavia walks up. (Sidenote: Do these pods serve as personal blowout machines because everyone is waking up with killer luscious locks!) They trade jabs about who did what during the dark Wonkru years (cannibalism, y’all, never forget!) before Kane starts spitting up blood. Abby starts CPR and wants to get him back into surgery. Niylah says his fight over—Abby says “like hell it is” and has Jordan help her put him back in a pod just in time. With Kane safely frozen again, Abby tasks Jordan with making more of his dad’s algae and then hands her pills back to Raven. Again, I’m not sure you can quit an addition that quickly, but okay sure, let’s chalk that up to the pods, too.

Back on the ground, The 7 find their way to a colorful castle compound on a giant green hill. As they get closer, they see it’s a (creepy, very creepy, why do they not comment on that!?) community full of infinity symbols, indicating Becca had a hand even in this world. (“Destroy the world; 200 years later they put you on a flag. See! There’s hope for us yet!” Who knew Bellamy could make jokes!?) Murphy finds a room that’s like a shrine to a family aboard Eligus III. CREEPY!

Murphy starts playing and singing along to a music device he found while Emori tries to pry open a locked gate with her knife. Clark wanders around a classroom, where she and Bellamy find a children’s book called Red Sun Rising. They share a sweet moment where she reveals that talking to him every day during his five years in space gave her hope—even though he couldn’t respond. But enough with heartfelt talks. Another disaster is on the horizon… quite literally.

Bellamy reads the children’s book: The stars align and wakes. It’s time to run away. For two days, heaven is hell. And friends are foe. Before they can comprehend what that means, they see their transport ship fly away. And then Emori starts stabbing Murphy. So few are safe, once they are exposed. 

To quote Miller, “Anyone got anything better than ‘We’re back bitches!?’” I’m so thankful The 100 is back for season 6 (and a future 7 even), and I’m eager to learn more about this weird, creepy world of Planet Alpha, but I’m also worried we’re retreading the same us vs. them territory one too many times on this series. However, I recognize we’re only one episode into the season, so like the Sky People before landing on Planet Alpha, I’ll remain optimistic for what lies ahead.

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Episode Recaps

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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