The CW’s critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic drama The 100 returned tonight for it’s sixth season premiere. After a long hiatus, viewers would soon realize that while some things are different for our heroes, it seems much will remain the same. The new planet — which isn’t a planet but rather a moon — “Planet Alpha” offers better lighting and a new motto to live by: “Be the good guys.”
The 100 Review: Season 6 Premiere – “Sanctum”
Airdate: April 30, 2019
Directed by: Ed Fraiman | Written by: Jason Rothenberg
Season five was a rough transitional chapter from book one to book two with fans and critics alike feeling disjointed, underwhelmed, and frankly, disenchanted. Season six is promised to be an entirely new story going in an entirely new direction. Will it be able to entice fans who feel let down by the show to come back to see where this new story actually goes? Only time will tell.
As in my season five reviews, we will be breaking “Sanctum” down in to three categories: things I loved, things I was meh about and things I didn’t like. While this first episode felt a little choppy it was overall enjoyable, a good jumping off point to kick-start the story and arcs for the rest of the season.
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for the season six premiere of The 100.]
Things I Loved
Lighting: We can finally see! Number one thing I enjoyed, without a doubt. I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and energy in to these characters, and I’m so happy I can finally actually see their faces.
“Maybe a little pathetic.”: Actual smiles and laughter from our two main leads who have had the roughest of times? An acknowledgement of what felt like the biggest dropped storyline of last year that got a throw away mention in the last episode of the season? I’ll take it and you can pry it out off my cold dead hands. Do they need to have a much deeper and longer conversation about those radio calls and about literally everything else that happened last season? Damn right they do. But for now, I’ll take this as a hint that they actually will (plus the voice-over from Bellamy in the trailer hasn’t happened yet so clearly it’ll come up again).
Jordan Jasper Green: Does anything even need to be said about this purest of beans? He is a breath of fresh air, a nice way to temper the chaotic energies of the people we’ve known for the last five seasons. When Jordan got emotional looking at the Planet (Moon) Alpha and mentioned how his parents (RIP Marper, I love you and your offspring) would have loved it, it made my heart ache. Raven tried to be a source of comfort and it was also nice to see her not just be bitter this entire episode.
Raven Confronting Abby: It needed to be said and she said it and I’m proud. Abby’s treatment of Raven last season was disgusting and Raven not forgiving her at the drop of a hat is not only understandable, it’s realistic. You don’t have to forgive the people that have hurt you, even if they say sorry. TV Source Approved.
One Liners and Sarcasm: I’m salty and I can appreciate it. After Shaw’s demise, Bellamy suggests that Emori can pilot the ship back and her, “Sure. I’ve had one successful landing in a ship that I trained in for six years. Why not?” I live. Also when Murphy kicks in the door to the house with that nice and not at all creepy alter and notices the cuffs hanging on the wall, “Kinky.” I live for stuff like this.
The “Meh” Things
Echo, The Blakes, and Forgiveness: This goes in to the “meh” category until I can see the storyline beat play. While Bellamy and Echo were by the fire and discussing Octavia, Echo’s insistence that Bellamy forgive Octavia since he forgave her rubbed wrong. It feels as if she needs Bellamy to forgive Octavia for all the things she’s done wrong against him (to which there are many) to prove that he’s actually forgiven Echo herself, thus making the relationship between the siblings not about their own best interests but instead all about her relationship with Bellamy.
It’s still unclear if that’s the way the storyline will actually play but if it does, I will move this beat firmly in to the “things I don’t like” column. In the meantime, it’ll just be “meh” and I’ll keep an eye on it.
Things I Didn’t Like
The Treatment of Clarke: LISTEN. Clarke isn’t unproblematic, she has definitely made some mistakes and again, people don’t have to forgive you when you’ve hurt them. However, Clarke hasn’t been out here saving these people’s asses for five years (and two time jumps) for this level of disrespect. Raven is all pissed because Clarke turned in her and Shaw to McCreary last season.
Okay, fair. But wasn’t Raven going to give Murphy — guy she didn’t know that well at the time — over to the Grounders to save Finn, the most important person in her life? Wasn’t Raven going to close the drop ship door on Bellamy, Murphy, and the others at the end of the last season because they had to leave right then so screw the rest? Shaw gets a pass because he doesn’t really know Clarke, she’s just the girl that he kinda met that one time and then almost got him killed. Murphy however? No passes for Murphy. HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DONE. Anyway. Bellamy being in Clarke’s corner and defending her is beautiful and I love to see it but everyone else can shut up, honestly. Those in glass houses and all that jazz.
The Death of Shaw: Damn it! What is with literally everyone that Raven hooks up with dying or disappearing? She probably feels cursed and I truly don’t blame her. She may be on my list because of her treatment of Clarke but that doesn’t mean I still don’t love her and want her to be happy and have a love interest that actually survives. Shaw was a nice, good-looking, intelligent, brave, moral-compass of a man and he deserved whatever it was he could have had with Raven. His dying words, “Tell Raven that she deserves to be happy. She doesn’t think she does but she does.” Ouch. My heart, my soul, my tissues. RIP Shaw.
This section is for things that happened in the episode that were had an impact and are probably important but I couldn’t really figure out how I felt about it enough to put it in to a category.
Octavia: Octavia is a complex character. Her first words after she’s awoken from her little coma is to ask where her brother is. Awwww. The second thing she does is go scream at an injured Kane and a panicked Abby about how everything is their fault and accepting no responsibility for her own decisions or actions. Then, she just sits there and watches as Kane is about to die, doesn’t move a muscle to help, doesn’t even twitch an eye to grab someone who could help. She’s multi-faceted, I’ll give her that. I’m still not sure how I feel about her arc yet so we’ll keep her (and Abby and Kane as well) in honorable mentions until we see more. We’ll consider “Honorable Mentions” our version of cryo.
The Final Verdict
The season six premiere of The 100 has potential. It wasn’t my favorite season premiere, but if the follow up is done well, it can act as a springboard to a powerful season.
The 100 has a habitual creative pitfall it tends to fall into in that the season has a strong beginning, a stagnated and mediocre middle, with the final two-three episodes ramping into overdrive. My main hope for Season 6 is consistency of pace and motivation. I don’t want another season of our characters engaging in ultimately fruitless actions only to be stuck treading water for five or more episodes.
With potential comes cautious optimism, and I’m curious to see how the season develops. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg says we’re not close to guessing where the story is going. Considering the theories in the fandom ranging from evil doppelgangers to clones and everything in between, that is very interesting. Again, time will tell.
Catch The 100 Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Episodes are available for streaming on CWTV.com.