CW’s female-centric dystopian drama, The 100, is back! The season three premiere, titled Wanheda Part 1, begins with a three-month time jump from the event now referred to as “the mountain.” I applaud the writers mainly for not entirely focusing on the repercussions from the events in the season two finale, but in this episode they explore character guilt from actions tracing back to the pilot. In addition, the writers continue to simultaneously flesh out both our central characters and this universe. This is a new world that sky people continue to adapt to since returning to the ground. Now here are my top five takeaways from Wanheda Part 1:
“Our people believe that this truce is a real peace. Try not to screw that up.” says Cain (Henry Ian Cusick) to Bellamy (Bob Morley). This scene depicts mutual respect between a soldier and a leader. In addition it’s a direct parallel to Cain and Bellamy’s relationship in the season two premiere; Cain ordered Bellamy to be taken prisoner. The whole opening sequence follows Bellamy as he interacts with everyone from Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) to his new girlfriend Gina (Leah Gibson); which further illustrates how the camp has evolved in the wake of “the mountain.” Bellmay ends up leading Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Miller (Jarod Joseph), and a drunken Jasper (Devon Bostick); on a mission to find an active ark beacon from farm station. Following this rag-tag team venture outside of Arkadia’s fences is a smart plot construct to allow expositional dialogue to take place. We learn about how the land has been divided into sectors since the truce between the grounder clans and skypeople has been made. There’s even mention of Ice Nation; the most brutal grounder clan. I really love the image of Octavia riding a horse alongside Raven’s fully armored rover. The scene illuminates the convergence between the old grounder-led world, with the new sky people order.
“It’s not a kill order, it’s a bounty. Clarke’s a symbol, she’s known as Wanheda… the commander of death.” explains Indra (Adina Porter) to Bellamy, Cain, and Monty; after meeting up with them in sector four. Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), the former leader of the 100, now finds herself caught up grounder mythology. Fascinating! Really, I just love learning about grounder mythology, especially after the writers have spent a season fleshing out both their military and judicial systems; essentially both entities are the same thing. “The commander of death.” there’s so many layers to this piece of dialogue considering Clarke earns her grounder title from a morally ambiguous action. She commanded death at “the mountain”, it was the only way to save her people. In addition, Indra explains Clarke’s present predicament to both Bellamy and Monty; they helped Clarke carry out the order at “the mountain”, but everyone isn’t hunting them. Ice nation is prominently hunting Clarke alongside some other rogue clans, because according to the grounders, “You kill someone and you get their power… kill Wanheda and you command death”. Well, that took an abrupt dark turn; I expect nothing less from The 100 writers. I wonder if Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) will be tempted to take Clarke’s presumed power from her, especially if her clan leadership is called into question.
3. Relationship Odds
“You can put on the jacket, but you’ll never be one of them.” says Octavia to Lincoln after she returns to camp. She’s also fluent in the grounder language, and refuses to talk to her estranged lover in anything other than his native tongue. Hard times lie ahead for the #Linctavia ship, as Wanheda Part 1, puts them at odds with one another. Octavia refuses to give up the Trikru customs both Lincoln and Inra taught her in the previous season. She may have been born on the arc, but her home is amongst the grounders. Lincoln on the other hand is actively trying to blend in with the Sky people, considering the Commander (Lexa) has placed a kill order on him; due to his betrayal at “the mountain”. The simple action of Bellamy giving Lincoln a guard’s uniform during the opening sequence, hints at another straining relationship between the Blake siblings. Check out my The 100 Season 3 Preview to learn more about my speculation on this season’s Blake sibling arc. Remember the Sky people’s truce with the grounders is fragile, just like any relationship in this new world. Learn from Jasper, finding love amongst the opposition doesn’t lead to a happily ever after.
2. The Guilty Ones
“Maybe if you stopped trying to be Chancellor and play doctor to avoid your own pain, you’d realize you suck at both jobs” says Raven to Abby (Paige Turco); like mother, like daughter. Clarke left her people during the season two finale and three months later Abby is still clinging onto hope that her daughter will return home. In this episode we also observe a brief moment between Abby and Cain, where she reflects on her decision to send the hundred to the ground. Did Abby create this new world? Since Clarke is off hunting panthers in the woods… literally, Raven takes her place as Abby’s pseudo-daughter. An especially fitting part for Raven to play, considering her physical pain that Abby could actually help take away. A cure for the emotional burdens our central characters now carry in wake of “the mountain” cannot be found in science.
The writers subtly explore this guilt-ridden community during the final sequence. Arkadia are literally shown as “grave robbers,” with the remains from the mountain men community being brought out for a rummage sale. Singer, Shawn Mendes makes his guest-appearance in this scene, as Raven asks him to play a song in return for an item. He sits at a piano and begins to play an acoustic cover of Violent Femmes song, Add It Up. Book-ending the episode on a somber note, the performance is violently disrupted and reminds everyone that these items all belonged to people who are now dead, including his former girlfriend. The lives that had to be taken by Wanheda, so the sky people could survive. I am really looking forward to Jasper and Monty’s continuous struggle to retain their friendship in wake of “the mountain.”
“My core plan is to make life better… by fixing the root problem… too many people” says Alie (Erica Cerra) to her creator Rebecca. Alie, the artificial intelligence being behind the nuclear warhead launch a hundred years before, the event that created this world. We also learn through Murphy’s (Richard Harmon) three-month long stay in the containment room, that Alie made herself in the image of her creator. This is when The 100 writers drop the mic, maybe a bit early in the season, but it’s such great religious context. Especially later on in the sequence when Murphy comes across Alie in the compound. The scene is beautifully directed, to include the eerie image of Jaha silently worshiping in an adjourning room. The former chancellor is now shown as a blind follower to yet another dynamic female leader; or better yet god. I also couldn’t help but notice the parallel drawn between Alie and Clarke throughout this world. Both women chose to perform genocide in an attempt to save the world. However, Alie is incapable of shouldering the guilt Clarke does from her order at “the mountain”. Imagine the grounders take on Alie if and when they cross paths later in the series. Something that could happen sooner rather than later, considering both Jaha and Murphy end up leaving the compound to spread word about the “city of light” to others. Meanwhile, Clarke is finally captured by some rogue grounders and taken prisoner. The question is do these men want the Wanheda bounty? Or power?
Stay tuned for Wanheda Part 2 airing this Wednesday.
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