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).
Maybe if the climactic bunker flashback scene hadn’t been quite so … extra – They couldn’t just try to force Bob the Grounder guy eat a person, it had to also be his brother.
“But Blodreina my brother Greg just died in the fighting pits yesterday …”
“BOB SO HELP ME GOD IF YOU DO NOT EAT THIS GREG JELLO CUBE I WILL SHOOT YOUR GODDAMN STUPID FACE!!”
Truth be told, there’s a lot of things going on here that go far beyond a couple campy scenes. Any show like this can easily veer into cheese territory if everything isn’t perfectly firing all cylinders. If you’re even slightly annoyed by other facets of the show, stuff like this starts to make you roll your eyes.
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.
Season 5 of The 100 should be called “All Bellamy’s Bitches.” O.k. that’s probably too misogynist-sounding for 2018 but I’m thinking of it as an early-90’s rap song. He’s juggling hoes in different area codes. Like seriously, the entire middle part of the season has been devoted to this. He’s saving Clarke from Diyoza, he’s saving Octavia from the bunker, he’s holding Octavia off from killing Echo, he’s holding Octavia off from attacking Diyoza, he’s holding Clarke back from killing O, and he’s poisoning O to stop her from killing Clarke. What’s next for him? Standing awkwardly in the same room with Clarke and Echo once they’re all back in Eden? Stopping O from trying to kill both of them again once she gets back on her feet? No doubt.
Welp, I guess those worms from 5.05 turned out to be more than just a cheap one-ep thrill, eh? More than we can say for our dear Vinson, who I miss already. Maybe he’ll show up again later, when we’re least expecting it. Fingers crossed.
If there’s any one statement that perfectly describes where I’m at with The 100 right now, it’s this:
Panic-watching is precisely what I’m doing right now. Because while I am finding our unprecedented lack of knowledge on what’s ahead in the second half of the season kind of exhilarating, this situation also makes for very nerve-racking episode-viewing experiences. I’m so anxious about where this is all gonna go that I’m over analyzing every scene, every interaction, and every minute detail. I’m constantly calculating how things may get from point A to point B in the remaining eps, and whether they will even be headed to point B at all, or if they might go to an unexpected point C.
Damn, dude. How long has it been since any of my favorite shows have had a 5-episode winning streak like this? Have they ever? With every episode I go into this season, I’m absolutely certain this is gonna be the one that sucks. We have to get there at some point. We always do. Next week must be the suck week, but for now, we’re still on a roll.
“Shifting Sands” was written by Nick Bragg, who apparently was Jason Rothenberg’s assistant only a couple years ago, and this was his very first ep of television. I was reading Selina Wilken’s review today and she makes a great point that the ep was so good/fun that it was almost annoying (I’d even say obnoxious heheh), not even because Nick is new so much as because he’s apparently already moved onto another job. So I guess we won’t get any more eps from him. Which sucks, because again as Selina points out, I think the gift he really gave to us all here, other than just a fun creepy ep with some hilarious lines, was that he allowed our favorite characters to speak very frankly with each other in a way that rarely happens on most TV shows, let alone this one.