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[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Wednesday’s season-two premiere of The 100, “The 48.”]
Will Clarke ever escape Mount Weather?
The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama The 100 returned with the group spread all over. Clarke was reunited with her friends, Jasper and Monty, in the mysterious Mount Weather, only to discover that there may be more than meets the eye. Then there’s Kane. Desperate to maintain a sense of order and authority, he made the choice to transfer Ark rules to the ground, unknowingly benefiting the mischievous troublemaker Murphy and forcing Bellamy — even Finn — to rethink everything. And of course, there’s Jaha, who may not have been alone on the Ark after all (baby!).
The 100 executive producer/showrunner Jason Rothenberg talks to The Hollywood Reporter after Wednesday’s premiere to break down the biggest moments and preview what to expect moving forward.
Mount Weather isn’t what I thought it’d be and Clarke even says at one point that this whole place “is too good to be true.” Is she right? Is that a question we’re supposed to ask all season?
It’s interesting because that’s 100 percent what we’re trying to do: make people wonder about that. It’s a safe bet that our hero is not wrong. If you think about it, the audience already knows that some of what Dante is saying to Clarke isn’t true. Now, nobody there knows it’s not true. We know that people from the Ark made it down to the ground and he says, “We didn’t see any survivors and we checked within a hundred square miles.” There are little clues that indicate that they’re not being leveled with, or that Clarke isn’t being leveled with.
There was a point where Clarke seemed to be warming to the idea of life at Mount Weather. Is she malleable to modifying her opinions about the facility and the people?
At the end of the episode during the montage, we see her drawing with the art supplies Dante has given her, making her a map and trying to find an exit. It’s safe to say she’s not wanting to stick around for very long. As she’s right to point out, it’s too good to be true. That continues to drive her.
Clarke comes very close to escaping. Is she going to try to find ways to leave this facility?
Yeah. She’s driven to get out of there and to find out whether anybody else is out there. Obviously she’s haunted by the decision to close the dropship door on Bellamy and Finn and wants to know whether they’re out there and will do anything to find them. In the next two [episodes], a lot of these questions we answer fairly quickly.
Monty and Jasper seem to be drinking the Mount Weather Kool-Aid. Are they leaning toward staying put and will they end up opposing Clarke on this issue?
Yeah. To me, Jasper is drinking the Kool-Aid in the early goings. It is, for all intents and purposes, he’s not wrong. If you look at the facts on the ground, they’re being fed, they’re being given clothing, where for the last 30 days when they were on the ground they were not. They just came out of hell, literally, and they wake up and they’re being taken care of, they’re being given pie and chocolate cake and he has a new girl and everything seems great. Their story unfolds in parallel to Clarke and everybody knows we’ll learn the truth. We’ll realize perhaps just how much danger they’re in. It takes a little while for Monty and Jasper to wake up.
Is Jasper’s romance with Maya going to be explored further to a significant degree?
Eve Harlow, who plays Maya, is exceptionally talented — a new discovery for us. I’ve never seen her work before and I think she’s interesting and real. [Her character] functions a little bit the way Lincoln did last season, in the sense that we thought the Grounders were evil and then we meet this guy and he’s so clearly not. We begin to understand that there are levels and gray areas and they’re just doing what they need to be doing to survive for themselves. Once we begin to uncover the truth about Mount Weather, we’ll begin to understand that they’re not all monolithically one way either.
Murphy, who was a cut-and-dry villain last season, has a larger presence this year and there were hints that he could possibly be redeemed to some degree. Is that an accurate read?
Richard Harmon is such a great actor and we kind of did a disservice to his talent last season in the sense that he was a one-note bad guy — in a delicious way, it was always fun to watch him. One of the goals I set for myself in the premiere was to begin to, I wouldn’t say rehabilitate him, it’s more to understand him. We get that he’s a real person and not just a douchebag and there’s a reason why he’s the way he is. Then you can begin to forgive some of what he’s done perhaps. One of the things we’re doing this season is the hundred as a group experienced this trauma together and like a band of brothers going into war, even if you hate someone viciously you’ve gone through this experience with them and at the end of it, Clarke and Murphy, for instance, have way more in common than Clarke and anybody who didn’t go through that experience with them. He’s one of the hundred and that will be something we’ll see going forward. He’s also kind of a cockroach and a survivor and will do anything; he’s selfishly motivated. That’s not going to change either. He’s complicated; that’s what I like about him and characters in general. Clarke is our hero but she does some awful things. Murphy is a villain but he does some redeeming things. It’s not black and white in our show ever.
With members of the Ark now on the ground, it seems their presence would work to the benefit of Murphy or people like him. How does this new world order affect people like Bellamy?
It’s true. The hundred, for better or worse, were in control of their own lives last season. Survive or not, based on their own ability to do that. In this season, we change things dramatically with the arrival of the powers that be, the grown-ups, and they’re going to do what grown-ups and police do, which is try to run things and take the power away from our heroes, in many cases for the short run and for the foreseeable future. One of the things we play with this season is that exact thing and it’s frustrating deliberately for the audience, as well as the characters, to lose their power. Bellamy loses his power completely and they look at him like the asshole who shot the chancellor. We, as an audience and the kids in the hundred, look at him as redeemed in their eyes. He’s their leader, or one of them. That’s not the way Kane certainly will look at him. It’ll be a process, again, of almost starting over.
Bellamy and Finn are now working together. They believe the Grounders are the ones responsible for taking Clarke and their friends. How dangerous is that assumption?
Obviously they’re wrong [about the Grounders]. It’s an assumption that will lead to some really, really dark and cool developments this season for both of them and for everybody. They’re working together, their goal is the same — to find Clarke and their friends come hell or high water — and you begin to realize fairly quickly that their paths begin to diverge in terms of how far one or the other will go to get them back. I think you will be surprised at which character will go further and darker.
Jaha discovers that he may not be alone on the Ark when he believes he hears a baby crying. How does that change his mind-set moving forward, if it does?
In the second episode, we play that story out to its fullest and it will be the thing ultimately that will hopefully wake up a desire to live, to go on, to figure out a way to get down to the ground. His whole thing has always been to get his people to the ground and even though he was willing to sacrifice his own life to do that, if he were to find himself up there with a baby, would he let the baby die? Would he say “F—! Now I have to think of another way to get this baby down to the ground.” That was a way to reenergize and reactivate his character. I think you’ll be very surprised where that story goes, too. It’s not at all what anybody will expect — some people might guess it, but hopefully most people won’t.
The 100 airs 9 p.m. Wednesdays on The CW.
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