The 100's Jason Rothenberg reveals conflict to come in season 4
Things are always a bit apocalyptic in one way or another on The 100, but the finale of season 3 saw the characters learning their world was actually ending … in six months. That doesn’t give Clark and Co. much time to find a way to survive.
Thanks to Raven’s revised calculations in Wednesday’s episode (spoilers ahead!), the gang now has to find a solution in two months … and nightblood may be the answer to it all. And if that weren’t enough for one episode, we also learned that Indra has a daughter. (You can read our full episode recap here.)
EW caught up with showrunner Jason Rothenberg to discuss everything that happened in “The Four Horsemen,” including what Indra’s daughter has been up to, how Jaha could find redemption, and the possibility of Luna saving the world.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You aren’t giving us — or the characters — much time to adjust to the end of the world!
JASON ROTHENBERG: You know, this show doesn’t slow down for very long, ever. I want the characters to reveal themselves through choices they have to make as a result of the nightmare scenario that’s coming. To me, that’s what this show is. This show is not a “sit around and talk and have tea” kind of show. It’s a “we find out that a deathwave is coming in six months and how are we going to survive it?” show.
What kind of choices lie ahead in this nightmare scenario?
“Are we going to choose our own people or are we going to come up with a way for everybody to survive? Are we one people or are we 12 or 13 different clans?” That’s a very important story in the world today, and I thought this was a great way for science fiction to be able to tell that story — because the environment doesn’t respect your borders. The deathwave doesn’t care who you are.
Jaha was convinced they would find a way to survive in The Second Dawn’s underground bunker. How much of that was him feeling the need to redeem himself?
Jaha’s driven, as always, by the need to save his people. And, yes, for sure he does need redemption … he realizes that the City of Light was a big mistake and he was responsible for it, but he was motivated even then to save his people.
Personally, as the writer on this show and the creator of that character, I forgive him that intensity at times because I know where the decision comes from … which is “I need to save my people.”
It’s going to be hard to do this time, though.
This season, saving your people is not enough. This season, the big conflict is between someone like Jaha — who is driven to save his people at the exclusion of all other people — vs. Clarke — who really has transcended her tribalism and now looks at everybody as one people.
We briefly saw Clarke’s list of 100 people who can shelter in Alpha Station. Does that include any Grounders?
There may be a couple, but that’s not a list she ever wanted to make. That’s a list she had to make. Alpha Station as a solution for a way to ride out the radiation is not a good answer for her — never from the beginning of it being proposed through the rest of the season as the story unfolds. She’s never accepting just saving her people.
Poor Clarke is always the one responsible for all these life and death decisions.
Greatness was thrust upon her. She didn’t go out looking for this. It was just revealed to be who she is, and she can handle it. She’s a pretty sharp cookie in terms of being able to figure out the right choice. [But] this season we will see it weighing on her for sure. It’s an interesting journey for Clarke. There are some scenes down field in later episodes where we really see the weight of it on her.
Speaking of things weighing on people, how’s Octavia?
She lost Lincoln — and she lost her way. She lost her moral compass, and the journey for Octavia this season is to find it again, to realize that as Lincoln would have told her, a good warrior knows when not to kill. She’s forgotten that and she now thinks that’s who she is and what she is. And it isn’t! … Right now Octavia is all fight first and then we’ll worry later.
I kind of love this Octavia, though.
I kind of do, too. She’s great. This season Marie Avgeropoulos has tapped into levels as a performer that we could have only dreamed existed when we cast her. She’s so good, so good. And she’s so willing to just do anything and go anywhere. I think everybody’s going to be really happy with that character’s journey this year.
I have a feeling her journey might cross paths with Gaia, who we just learned is Indra’s daughter. What can you tell us about her?
Indra’s daughter was supposed to follow in Indra’s footsteps and be the leader of Trikru. Gaia found religion, and she chose a different path: She chose to be a flamekeeper. Indra didn’t respect that choice and broke off the relationship. In many ways, Indra is the bad guy in that mother-daughter scenario. And in many ways, Indra taking Octavia under her wing as readily as she did was filling a void. Octavia is the daughter she wished she had — the warrior who was open to all of her training and philosophy. [But] as a keeper of the flame, as a scout for the flamekeeper, Gaia becomes really important this season.
So one more big question: Is Luna going to be the answer to all these problems?
She gives them hope, that’s for sure. Nightblood is highly resistant to radiation, and obviously high levels of radiation are coming. As it turns out — Becca knew this — the flame itself emitted radiation. The human body needed to have resistance to that radiation, so she designed it in the serum to give that anti-radiation ability. Now, 100 years later, nightblood has become genetic, and it’s passed down. It’s a recessive gene, so it skips generations, and it’s very rare, but those who have it find themselves suddenly immune to this thing that’s coming — that’s what’s revealed at the end of episode 3 in Luna’s recovery and becomes a huge, huge, huge part of the story going forward.
The 100 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.