Four episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
List in your head the amount of morally ambiguous, thematically murky, genre-bent television shows that are on the air right now. Add on top a dollop of teen angst and you’ll come to realize it’s a crowded field, one that’s only grown thanks to the attraction viewers have with every anti-hero at the center of each show. For such reasons, it’s easy to pass by something that’s worth your time given its vast similarities to everything that’s come before. The 100 could be boiled down to the story of a group of teens who run amok on a post-apocalyptic Earth and eventually must learn how to survive years before adulthood, but that would be a hilarious injustice.
The CW’s sci-fi series is many cobbled-together genre puzzle pieces, but it is no imitator. After two seasons of establishing the show’s world, and reuniting its disparate storylines on the forested ground of Earth, the third season legitimately explodes in scope from the get-go. No longer content to show fans glimpses of the order of the world, creator Jason Rothenberg places everything you’ve ever wanted under a magnifying glass: new clans, new lands, and that mysterious Grounder capitol where Lexa rules. The 100 was always a winner for simply being so good in a field so overcrowded, but with the first four episodes of season 3 it isn’t just noteworthy for being good, it’s noteworthy for arguably being the best.
In the wake of Lexa and the Grounder’s betrayal at the attack on Mt. Weather, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has gone into hiding. She’s left Bellamy (Bob Morley), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) and the others to protect the surviving members of Arkadia from any new threats that seem to close in on the group daily. Bellamy and the gang aren’t the only ones searching for Clarke, unfortunately, with the big new threat this season coming in the form of the Ice Nation, whose Ice Queen seems willing to do anything to get her hands on the show’s hero.
Removed from the claustrophobic corridors of season two’s Mt. Weather set pieces, The 100 practically feels like an entirely different show this year. It proves the writers’ deftness of scripting and the show’s quality direction that none of it ever felt dull or languid in the dark cavernous halls of Mt. Weather, but not until the season 3 premiere did I realize how well-realized the above-ground world of the show has grown to become. It is sprawling, essentially mythical in its depiction of the various clans, tribes, queens, and kings that inhabit the post-nuclear-apocalypse surface of the planet.