The 100 Season 3 Review: Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty
By: Allison Schonter
“The 100” season three has come to a close and we now face long torturous months of waiting until our TV screens are graced with another episode, which gives us plenty of time to reflect on the season.
Season Three was ambitious, to say the least. Whereas the previous seasons have dealt with one overriding problem, this season served up a full course meal. First, there was the tension and conflict between the Commander and the Ice Nation, which in turn led to tension and conflict between Skaikru and Grounders. A new Chancellor was elected in Arkadia. A new Commander was “chosen” in Polis. There were massacres, threats of war, fighting and death. And lets not forget about the City of Light, a plotline that’s been teased since Season Two, but didn’t come to fruition until season three.
With that being said, lets get down to the nitty-gritty of the season. In other words, lets see what worked, what didn’t work, the good, the bad and the things that are still a bit fuzzy.
Life in Polis. Seeing life in Polis was one of my favorite parts of the season. We have only ever seen Grounders as warriors trained to kill and fight wars, but Polis offered insight into Grounder culture and proved that there is more to this group of people than what first meets the eye. They have a deep-rooted culture and they have a political system, beliefs and virtues. They aren’t savages.
Action. There was an abundance of action in Season Three, which kept me on the edge of my seat. From Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) fight with Roan (Zach McGowan) to Clarke’s (Eliza Taylor) fight with Emerson (Toby Levins), the action was amazing and perfectly choreographed.
Relationships. In a world full of death, pain and destruction, seeing human connection is a beautiful thing and there was plenty connection making. There was Clarke and Lexa. Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) fell for Lincoln (Ricky Whittle), one of the most beautiful love stories ever (note: my opinion may be way overly biased). Miller (Jarod Joseph) matched hearts with Bryan (Jonathan Whitesell). Monty (Christopher Larkin) connected with Harper (Chelsey Reist). Bellamy (Bob Morley) warmed to Gina (Leah Gibson). Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) got romantic with Abby (Paige Turco). Murphy (Richard Harmon) even caught feelings for Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira). It wasn’t all romantic relationships either. There were friendships forged and re-built. Octavia and Indra (Adina Porter). Raven (Lindsey Morgan) and Monty. And then there were the deeper relationships, family. Abby and Clarke. Raven and Sinclair (Alessandro Juliani). These relationships offered a speckle of light in a very dark story.
End of the World. We’ve known since the very first episode that the world ended by a nuclear apocalypse, but the details surrounding that scenario have been vague and hardly known. Thanks to flashbacks aboard the 13th station, Polaris, we finally gained insight into what exactly happened and how life on Earth came to an abrupt halt aside from a few lucky souls who managed to survive.
Life in Polis. Okay, I know what you’re thinking right now: “But you just listed life in Polis as one of your favorite things of the season.” You are right, I did. And it was one of my favorite parts of the season, but there were still parts of it that I didn’t like. I cannot say it enough how much I enjoyed seeing Grounder culture and how much I wish that the season would have focused more on that, but at the end of the day, this aspect of the season fell short. After Lexa died, I was waiting to see the conclave. I needed to see the conclave. Instead, what we got was a slaughter of children in their sleep. I would have much rather have seen what an actual conclave is supposed to be and witnessed how ruthless Ontari (Rhiannon Fish) was in her fighting.
Ice Nation. The beginning of the season had the perfect conflict: Ice Nation moving against Lexa, which not only put Lexa’s position in danger, but also likewise put the coalition in danger and the relationship between Grounders and Skaikru. Kane said it best, “If Lexa falls, the coalition shatters and there’s no way we avoid that war.” But this storyline ended too quickly and by the end of the season it doesn’t really matter. The attack on Mount Weather by the Ice Nation could have served to further unite the Grounders and Skaikru and forced them to move against the Ice Nation. Instead, the attack pushed them apart and suddenly the actions of one clan reflected the actions of the entirety of Grounders, despite the Grounders having shown on multiple occasions that they meant Skaikru no harm.
Bellamy’s Redemption Arc. Bellamy never should have needed a redemption arc. I loved Bellamy in Season Two, but his character in Season Three was like a different person, unrecognizable. It was as if all of his character development vanished and he was replaced with this stranger. While I am happy that he began to act more like himself by the end of the season, that middle section where he disregarded everything that he had come to know about Grounders and placed blame on Clarke for Mount Weather wasn’t very engaging to watch.
Lexa’s Death. Need I say more? It’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m not the type of person to become angry when a character that I like dies. Characters die on shows. That’s just what happens, especially on a show like “The 100.” It was the nature of Lexa’s death and the hurtful trope that it fell into that made her death inexcusable. She finally consummates her relationship with Clarke and only a few minutes later she is saying her final lines. What a sad and strong message that is being sent to the audience there, particularly the LGBT community….
Lincoln. His character was in a cell the entire season before he died. He was so amazing and it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see more of him.
Emotions and Pain. One of my biggest issues with the season was the way that women were portrayed to deal with pain. Clarke lost her love and was tortured by her own mother. Octavia lost Lincoln. Raven lost Sinclair and was put through physical and mental torment. All of these women had to suck it up and move on – they never were allowed a chance to grieve. Meanwhile, the men on the show had ample amount of time to have tempter tantrums that included drinking themselves into a stupor and aiding in the massacre of 300 innocent people. That just doesn’t seem very fair.
Things I’m Indifferent To:
Luna. (Nadia Hilker) She was an immensely interesting character and I am still craving to learn more about her. But, ultimately, she is pointless unless she comes back next season. Even if she does, spending two episodes focused on finding her was a waste of screen time since that plot didn’t serve to further the story. It was a dead-end.
Filler Episodes. There were too many filler episodes this season like the episodes dedicated to finding Luna. Also, there was the episode “Demons,” when they are in the Ark and it’s more of a horror story than a post-apocalyptic story. Was it interesting and different? Yes, of course it was. ut really, it didn’t further the plot. It served to make Clarke suffer more, and that’s about it.
The City of Light. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about the City of Light. While it wasn’t my favorite part of the season and could very well be one of my least favorite plotlines, I do think that it had some very interesting and very important aspects. My favorite part of this plotline was the revelation that the pasts of the Grounders and Skaikru are intertwined. I also liked the idea of technological reincarnation. That being said, I didn’t enjoy watching the many lines that were crossed just for the sake of furthering this plot and making it the big bad of the season. I didn’t enjoy how characters acted while under the influence of the chip. So, I’m still indifferent to this one.
Another Lever. There was yet another lever that Clarke had to pull and the weight of the decision rests entirely on her shoulders. This girl is going to be traumatized by levers at the rate this is going.
Season Three started on a high note with a perfect mix of action, conflict and character development, but then it started to taper off and things became confusing, story lines dead-ended and characters were acting oddly. The season had started with hope, (hope for peace and hope for a better future) but any traces of hope quickly vanished and the story delved into a much darker place. While Season Three hasn’t been my favorite season to date, I am still holding out hope that season four returns with a vengeance and digs its claws into me and doesn’t let go. Because whether I want to admit it or not, a part of me is devoted to my favorite delinquents and witnessing their story on the ground.