Essentially the new Lost, Season 1 of The 100 laid the foundations for Season 2 to properly build on. And, boy, does it – a million inter-tangling mysteries colliding into a seriously satisfying whole. For the uninitiated, this is an awesome sci-fi moral quandary show that – like Lost – takes a fanciful premise but populates it with quality characters, high levels of jeopardy and a plot that twists on a dime. The set-up of Season 1 was this: with the world destroyed by nuclear war, humanity’s remaining survivors were sent to a giant space station called The Ark to live. Nearly a century later The Ark sends 100 young criminals back down to what’s left of Earth, only for them to realise – uh-oh – that they are not alone.
To say too much would be to spoil the original show’s myriad surprises (binge-watch it now, before getting stuck into Season 2) but, suffice it to say, by the time this new season kicks off there are only 48 remaining. Waking up in what seems to be an underground bunker, they must, under the reluctant leadership of Clarke (Eliza Taylor), figure out how they got there, and why.
These new episodes are taut and cleverly plotted, an intriguing study of shifting power dynamics, but that’s not to say there’s any skimping on the action. The battles here, between Earth’s ravaged groups – the Grounders, the Sky People and the Mountain Men – are huge in scope and brutal in execution. Call it The Game of Thrones effect, if you will. But no character here is ever too far from the axe.
And that, really, is the key power of The 100. It’s a show that has always been clear that the number of its cast is only ever going to dwindle as the story forces them into increasingly murky moral waters. But it’s also one that asks you to invest in those people, right until the point they take their final gasp. It’s a premise that would only work if the quality of the writing and direction sucked you in completely, and The 100 has that quality in abundance. Bravo.
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