On the D/L – The 100

Oct 23, 2014 | Posted by in TV
The 100

Season 2 Episode 1 – “The 48”

The 100 returns for a second season and all but abandons the status quo from the first. The camp is gone and most of the characters are cast out in very different directions giving them unique problems cut off from any support.

Clarke wakes up in a sterile looking facility and finds herself terrified at being imprisoned like this with no explanation. It doesn’t take much for her to escape and threaten poor Maya (Eve Harlow) who only seems to be interested in helping her. Clarke discovers that she is a “guest” in a facility under Mount Weather full of humans who have escaped the irradiated surface by hiding underground.

The 100

Clarke takes Maya hostage

It’s explained that they are less resistant to the radiation than The Grounders so can never venture to the surface without some kind of protection. They have built a life for themselves and a community that seems to be idyllic in many ways. Naturally Clarke is against the notion of this as she feels like a prisoner despite the constant talk of wanting her to be happy with them and for her to be part of their community. President Wallace (Raymond J. Barry) is already an interesting character hiding a creepy sense of menace behind the nice guy façade but he manages to handle Clarke ably. He tries to appeal to her sense of community by pointing out the similarities in them being the leaders of their respective groups and suggesting that they have a lot in common. He even approaches from the angle of being an artist, something Clarke had a lot of interest in prior to being exiled on Earth. Barry tows the line between well-being and menace expertly shown most clearly when he flatly says “Please don’t test me Clarke” and imbues that line with just enough of an unsettling tone to keep the audience guessing as to which way this character will go.

Eliza Cotter does a fantastic job of playing the inner conflict within Clarke as she struggles to remember that she is a prisoner and tries not to see the merits of this society. This conflict is best shown when she finds an exit and has to be talked out of opening the door by Jasper or condemn the people in the facility to death. Clarke’s face says it all as it is clear that opening the door genuinely crosses her mind but her sense of morality wins out.

I really enjoyed how focused Clarke is on the objective of escaping which gave rise to some really great scenes like when she apologises to Maya in order to steal her key card or uses the art supplies given to her by President Wallace to sketch a map of the complex that she is building up over time. Clarke’s primary objective is escape and she won’t let anything get in the way of that. It doesn’t help that Jasper and Monty are fully sold on this group and buy into their promises and eat the food showing how easily they have been manipulated. Especially Jasper who seems to be on his way to a romance with Maya, old habits die hard I guess.

The 100

The Grounders show no mercy

On the other end of the survival spectrum we have Bellamy and Finn who are running freely but are far from safe. There’s a real sense of urgency to their scenes and definite threat that is only confirmed by a throat slitting happening right in front of Finn. Things start to sort of look up when Kane rescues them but that brings different problems. Kane arrests Bellamy because he attacked Murphy and doesn’t seem to care when told that Murphy is a murderer. This is a direct contrast to how Kane was developed over the course of the first season. He was established as being a very pragmatic individual who is capable of making really hard decisions while feeling the weight of them. It’s out of character for Kane to ignore the fact that Murphy could be dangerous. In general having the adults on the surface is a good move and it’s interesting to see Bellamy have his authority taken from him. I can’t imagine he’ll stand for that for too long.

I actually liked what was done with Murphy in this episode and can appreciate that in order to keep him in the show there will need to be some work done to humanise him but it worked really well and having him play against Raven was a good choice. Raven bounces off Murphy really well and I really liked that she was accepting nothing that she said. Her weakened state was the only thing preventing her from attacking him shown clearly by her attempt to kill him only being stopped by an empty gun.

Octavia and Lincoln’s scenes were really well done. It was a clever touch to reveal where on Earth The 100 is set by showing the Lincoln memorial. It was a very Planet of the Apes moment and it worked really well. It also gives the audience more of an insight into what motivates Lincoln to be a compassionate man if he idolises Honest Abe so much. The slight hints towards depth in Grounder culture are fascinating and should be interesting to see explored.

If there’s one criticism of the episode it would be that it’s unnecessary to make sure that every character is accounted for. I think it would be more effective to build suspense by leaving us wondering who actually managed to survive the events of the season 1 finale. I think the Murphy/Raven and Octavia/Lincoln plot could have been left for a later episode to give more time to process the Clarke and Bellamy situations. The pacing of the episode was generally excellent but there was no time to process anything that was happening before the episode moved onto the next point. The cliffhanger ending involving Jaha wasn’t quite as effective as the writers probably hoped it would be.

  • 8/10
    The 48 - 8/10


A really strong opening to the second season with a frenetic pace and some great character moments. Clarke’s situation is fascinating and introduces a really interesting antagonist. Having the adults on Earth’s surface creates an interesting dynamic that sees Bellamy lose his authority for now. The episode would have been stronger had some of the characters been left out in order to better explore the other plots but this is a very minor criticism considering how strong the opening to the season was.