Interviewer and Commentator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “The 100″ is currently on hiatus; Season 5 of the series will premiere on the CW on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at 9:00 PM.
What: “The 100,” a science fiction drama set nearly 100 years into the future. According to the preliminary season one voice-over, in the fictional near future, Earth is ravaged by nuclear warfare, irradiating the planet’s surface. Survivors flee to space stations orbiting the Earth; 100 years into the future, the lives of the mere thousands of the survivors’ descendants aboard the “Ark” are threatened again, as the oxygen and life support reserves dwindle, and the machinery aboard the conglomeration of space stations degrades. The only hope for the human race centers on the heartiness of 100 adolescent prisoners, chosen for their penchant for breaking the rules, who are sent to the planet’s surface to sniff out whether humanity can return to its original home and persevere. The 100 are a mixture of society’s elite and its most oppressed; the resulting stew becomes something very similar to Lord of the Flies – except, as the 100 accept and embrace their new-found freedom, they realize they are not alone.
Humanity survives a nuclear holocaust in the fictional near future that irradiates the planet’s surface, sending what remains of the human race into space to fend for their lives aboard several international space stations, which are eventually joined together to become the “Ark.” One hundred years into the future, humanity is in danger once again, as the century-old machinery fails, and oxygen supplies dwindle. The society aboard the Ark is run under strict rules and laws, including population control and discouragement of defiance of the ruling council and its decrees in any way. The Council is comprised of, among others, Chancellor Thelonius Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and his Vice Chancellor Marcus Kane (Henry Ian Cusick). They and the chief medical officer, Dr. Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco), decide to send 100 involuntary participants deemed criminals – adolescents incarcerated for various crimes, including illegal space walks and being an unauthorized second child – in order to test the viability of the planet’s surface to sustain human life. Unfortunately, some of the 100 include the chief medical officer’s daughter and the chancellor’s son, among others. In addition, once the 100 reach the Earth’s surface, despite the fact that they wear bracelets monitoring their health and vital signs, most of them see their situation as a new lease on life and freedom and remove their bracelets in the hopes that the Ark will leave them for dead. Only Abby’s daughter, Clarke (Eliza Taylor), fights to communicate with the Ark, while others are content to run wild in a new, anarchic society. These two schools of thought are at odds, even as the 100 confront unexpected inhabitants of the new old world.
When: Season Four aired from February 1, 2017, to May 24, 2017, on the CW.
Where: The action is set in two locations at the outset of the series: in space, aboard the fictitious space station amalgamation known as the “Ark,” and on Earth, in an unknown location at an unidentified crash site. The adults eventually travel to Earth, foregoing the dying Ark, and set up a settlement, first called “Camp Jaha” and then “Arkadia.”
Why: The Chief CP is always on the hunt for good science fiction; this show offers less science and more fiction. The podcast panelists who remain (for now) all found this program in diverse ways. Listen to the episode for details.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
CPU! last covered The 100 in 2017, just prior to the premiere of Season 4, by recapping the first three seasons to get our resident Couch Potatoes caught up on the show. If you need to get caught up too, listen to the embedded link below:
The 100, Seasons 1-3
Unfortunately, coverage of The 100 on the podcast is about to go the way of the dodo. The remaining panelists, Kelsey and Selene, find themselves at a Fonzie-inspired crossroads: an inability and sheer lack of desire to proceed forward in watching this latest entry in teen dystopian science fiction. As such, though they fleetingly visited the Water Cooler in the past to talk about a show they once loved, they now inaugurate a new interview-style feature on CPU! entitled “Shark Jumpers Anonymous,” in which panelists – and about to be former-panelists – explain why they are making leaps and bounds over predatory fish (or like trees and leaving). Answering a script of questions, the two panelists explain why they have stopped watching the show, while Chief CP Kylie justifies why she has continued to watch – and to modestly like – The 100, including a babbling, poorly recollected recap of major plot points from the fourth season. Hey! It’s hard when you’re out there, doing it on your own.
If you feel sorry for me – and love this show to boot – never fear. You can join CPU! as a panelist, for this and for other shows. Scroll down to “Looking Ahead” for the details!
In the meantime, give this latest CPU! episode a listen, with an ear to the ground and an eye toward the sky, and see if you agree or disagree with our spicy thoughts. The interviews were recorded in March and in April 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of all seasons of The 100. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! In our next episode, our “Full/er House Series” panel returns to the Water Cooler – smaller and also with sharks circling their vociferous but tenacious group – to recap Season 3 (both parts). Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
1) Is Lexa’s essence, as preserved in ALIE’s construct known as the “City of Light,” truly gone? Or, did she escape the oncoming onslaught of hostile and devoted chipped humans within the construct? If so, where did she go?
ANSWER: As Lexa did not appear in Season 4, it is presumed she is truly gone – though the Flame, which holds the remaining ALIE construct (and is the chip by which the Grounders choose a clan Commander) remains with Gaia, Indra’s daughter. Could Lexa’s essence still be rolling around in that chip? Considering that the actress moved on to appear in Fear of the Walking Dead, it is unlikely we will know the answer to that question any time soon.
2) Is the entire fourth season going to be centered on a hunt for decaying nuclear power plants? How can Clarke (Taylor) and company possibly solve the conundrum described by ALIE’s creator, who posed that the nuclear power plants would implode within six months?
ANSWER: Fortunately, Clarke and the others realize quickly that there are too many reactors decaying and about to create “praimfaya,” or catastrophic destruction, to consider traversing the world or to hope to save everyone from annihilation. Clarke and her mother (Turco) concentrate on a crazy plan to change regular human blood to radiation-resistant night-blood; Raven (Lindsey Morgan) concentrates on booting a dormant spaceship housed in one of the facilities formerly run by Becca, ALIE’s creator, in a crazy plan to use the ship to get to space as a plan Z for escaping the nuclear meltdown; and Clark and Jaha (Washington) concentrate on a crazy plan to find a bunker created by Earth’s previous civilization to withstand the nuclear catastrophe that occurred 100 years in the past. The bunker can only house and sustain – with agroponic farming – 1200 occupants. These three plot lines guide the season.
3) Are there human survivors in other parts of the former USA? Other parts of the world? Will we meet any of them in this season? Are there other Grounder clans (aside from Ice Nation, Treekru, etc.)? Will we meet them?
ANSWER: We will never know for sure about survivors elsewhere in the world because praimfaya comes and goes. Now, we can only know if there are on-surface survivors of the latest nuclear holocaust, in addition to a small group that flies in Raven’s space shuttle to space and to the 1200 representatives of the remaining clans, Skaikru included, led by Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) in the bunker.
4) Why should we care that the Earth is dying, given all of the violence and poor judgment of so many characters on this show? The writers and producers have to convince several members of our panel to keep watching by giving us a reason to care.
ANSWER: The Chief CP ultimately sees the story being told as one of humanity’s perseverance and tenacity in the face of extinction, and perhaps, this main idea is the emotional connection that the writers are seeking to make with the viewing audience. Yet, the death toll is so high on this show and so much more catastrophic (so far) compared to contemporaneous TV, like the superior Game of Thrones, it’s really, really hard to care or to be invested in any one or set of characters. Everyone’s lives – and the fate of the planet – are always at stake, and that’s a lot of high octane tension that begins to wear on the viewer’s psyche after a time.
5) Will other characters die? Will they all die? Will they survive? Will they have to go back to space to escape the failing nuclear power plants?
ANSWER: Other characters die in Season 4 (SPOILER: Jasper Jordan, played by Devon Bostick; Roan, played by Zach McGowan). As of the Season 4 finale, Clarke is the only confirmed survivor. And only a fraction of people, including Raven, Bellamy (Bob Morley), and Monty (Christopher Larkin) take the small shuttle found by Raven to space to escape the power reactors.
6) Does this show possibly have a fifth season in it? Our panel votes not so much.
ANSWER: The network and the show’s producers disagree: Season 5 premieres this coming Tuesday. But Chief CP Kylie is hard pressed to believe this show will survive to a Season 6. Of course, this season’s renewal also surprised me, so what do I know?
1) Who is in the spaceship that Clarke sees in the last five minutes in the Season 4 finale?
2) What kind of leader/Commander is Octavia? Have all of the bunker inhabitants survived so far? Will we see flashbacks to show us how everyone managed it?
3) Did our space flight group survive on the Ark remnant (was there enough oxygen for all that)?
4) Who is the little kid with Clarke? Are there other on-surface survivors/night-bloods that emerged from praimfaya?
5) What is the show’s endgame? Really?
6) Is it worth it to “ship” anyone anymore?
As we discussed last time we covered this show, The 100 seems to have burned bright and fast only to fizzle into wisps of smoke and ash, confronted as it is by a myriad of puzzling writing decisions that may have painted the show into a corner without chance for entertaining recovery. Season 4 does fare better than Season 3, though this is only confirmed by Chief CP Kylie, as the other panelists jumped sharks. Panelists Kelsey and Selene cite many reasons for foregoing additional viewing, including a rocky foundation, relying on minimal and lacking character development as the writers and executive producer, Jason Rothenberg, drive quickly toward the main plot arcs without taking time to lay essential character groundwork. All panelists recall a faltering third season, as several plot threads and character decisions remiss of logic established by the first two seasons create an impossible situation facing our characters as the season ends, with uneven pacing and egregious violence adding to the mess. Our departing panelists lauded an original premise, even as the remaining panelist continues to struggle with its derivative influences. Yet, as the Chief CP notes, the writers did – somewhat, though certainly not completely – absolve the show’s weaker aspects in Season 4 by focusing upon three, linear plot threads all aimed at the survival of the known populations of the human race, with an interesting season ending time jump that provided enough intrigue without testing the boundaries of suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, only Kylie is left standing as the show heads into Season 5…unless new panelists join. Care to be one of them?
The 100 was renewed for a fifth season, which is slated to premiere on the CW on April 24, 2018, at 9:00 PM. Because the entire panel “jumped the shark” but for the Chief CP, CPU! will not return to the Water Cooler to discuss The 100 again, though Kylie, should she remain the last of the Couch Potatoes interested in the show, will provide a Moderator Post-Mortem following the series end.
Do you want CPU! to continue covering The 100 on the podcast? If so, volunteer to be a panelist! We are a podcast by the people for the people, or, for specifically the Couch Potatoes who wish to unite with us. If you would like to join this panel (and bring a friend, as we need at least two to revive it), message us via Facebook or Twitter, via our website (couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com), or via email at email@example.com. Where ever you may be in the world, we are able to connect with you – via video conferencing or phone conferencing – or, if you want to submit a written review of the show, send it along! In the meantime, CPU! will maintain surface coverage of goings-on in The 100’s universe, including reporting renewals or cancellations, until the series ends. Stay tuned!