The 100 fandom is tired. Real tired. Exhausted. Like, right on the brink of throwing in the towel. I’ve never seen them in a state like this before. Granted, I didn’t start watching the show until season 3 (I binged seasons 1 and 2 a couple months before S3). So I don’t know what things were like with the fandom in the first couple seasons, but it was still early on then and things were still just getting started. You knew if your favorite storylines weren’t going well, that you still had time for things to improve and progress in a good direction. You knew if there were a few eps that weren’t your cup of tea, the show would probably get back to business as usual soon. Things were still new and fresh. The show had plenty of time to adjust and course-correct as things evolved. Nothing that happened, good or bad, felt like the be-all-end-all of anything. Even during the shitstorm of season 3A (err, granted, unless you were a Lexa fan).
Since this has been such a rollercoaster week for The 100 fans, I’ll preface this post by saying that I wrote most of it on the night of episode 5.10 and then in the couple days following. Then on Saturday Bob and Eliza swept into SDCC to smooth things over a bit and to add some happiness back into the fandom, though it doesn’t change my opinion at all on the type of content that’s going to be delivered to us in the last 3 eps of the season (i.e. probably not what we’re looking for other than a crumb or two). But just for context, the fandom was still about as far down in the gutter as we’ve ever been when I wrote this post/review. I think it adds to the anger levels I had while typing it. Heh. Here it is:
Gosh. I do not envy people who review this show – and who also tend to enjoy it for similar aspects as I do – who have to review it in an unbiased manner this week. It’s been a rough, rough week for what I’m pretty sure is the biggest chunk of the fanbase this show has left after it lost most of the Lexa/Clexa fans in 2016. And what a complete mindfuck really, considering how unfazed I remained through last week’s extremely disturbing ep. I saw 5.09 as something that was very painful and unfortunate but also necessary to drive the story forward. I was worried that it was happening so late in the season, but shit, at least it was/is happening.
Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: I’m typing the opener to my ep 5.09 review before it airs. The reason I’m doing this is that Jason Rothenberg, The 100‘s showrunner, has tweeted several things in the lead-up to this ep that indicate he’s expecting it’ll cause the fandom to blow up in a bad way. His first tweet on the topic said the ep will “probably start a riot.” Lord. His next tweet about the ep, a few days later, reminded the fans to “keep in mind that [the last 5 eps] are a roller coaster, not a chu-chu train.” And then a couple days after that, he got back on Twitter and was very up in his feelings with some vague tweets about “fandom blindspots” and people being so “convinced in their own rightness that they reject the truth.” Hrrmm. This may be a reaction to Echo hate in his mentions, probably having ramped up over the weekend in response to an ep 5.09 sneak peak he tweeted. Just speculation on my part.
You know, it’s interesting – I absolutely LOVED The 100 season 3 premiere last year, only to come to the rude awakening that it had been a misleading intro into a decidedly messy first half of the season. I almost wished the premiere had not been as good as it was, because it set my expectations too high. Season 3 eventually got its shit together in the back half, but getting there was a bumpy ride.
And then conversely, the season 4 premiere last night was an entirely different experience – It was a solid intro to the season, but not too flashy. It had some really nice moments but nothing as grandiose as the Rover ride to the Violent Femmes, the jaguar wrestling match, or the emo music montage featuring a Canadian teenage pop star at the piano. It also fell a bit more into the trap that many season premieres and finales fall into, which is that it was a bit overly packed with plot. It’s easy for a season premiere to wind up feeling like the episode is mainly checking off a list of plot points to tie off from the previous season’s finale, along with a list of plot developments that need to happen to set up the new season. The season 3 premiere handled this a bit more smoothly last year.
Welp, I’m coming at this season 3 review far later than I meant to, but I don’t think it matters, really. We’ve got at least 6 1/2 months till the show comes back, so there’s plenty of empty space to fill with The 100-related stuff in the meantime. I’ve been busy but there was so much going on with season 3 that I can’t let it go by without writing a proper analysis of it. There’s a LOT to unpack in terms of high and low points … particularly because it felt like the reaction to season 3 got a fuckin’ hell of a lot more attention than season 3 itself.
It’s like, in all the hoopla of fans flipping out all over social media and critical reaction to the Lexa stuff, the show itself got completely lost in the insanity. The show became Jon Snow in the middle of “Battle of the Bastards”, when he started to get completely trampled and buried by all the soldiers around him flailing around. Only it feels like The 100 wasn’t as lucky as Jon Snow – The 100 was never able to properly climb its way out of the surrounding mess.
“We’ll figure something out. We always do.”
OMG it took Clarke soooo long to just get the show on the road with that goddamn kill switch!! I was about to have a nervous breakdown. Anyway. Wow. That was a pretty damn good finale. It was a win for me not just because it was a great episode, but also because I actually got to watch it. I swear there is some sort of TV fangirl curse on me that causes me to always be out of town when finales of my favorite shows air. I was in London when the Covert Affairs S4 summer finale aired, and I was in NYC last June when Jon Snow got murdered on the shitty low-def TV in my hotel room (but that time I was lucky enough to at least be able to watch the ep when it aired). This time, I was on a business trip to North Carolina, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be back in my hotel room in time to watch The 100 finale. But luckily I was and the hotel actually had the CW channel in HD. Plus I got to watch it in “real time”, i.e. Eastern Time! When I’m at home I always have to avoid the internet for 3 hours till it airs here. So, it really was a win all around.
Here’s the thing about ep 3.09 of The 100: I didn’t review it. Not at the time it aired, anyway. I didn’t even try. I’m writing this review in July, while the episode aired back in … I think late March. I’m going to timestamp this review close to the airing of the ep though, just to keep it in the right order relative to the other ep reviews on my blog. Anyway, this was the episode that kicked off the second half of season 2; its big “returning from the 3-week midseason hiatus” ep. Season 3 ended up being a little weird timing-wise, because its last pre-hiatus ep was really not a major episode (half the cast wasn’t even in it), and then its return from hiatus was one of my least-favorite eps of the season.