Survivors on “The 100” will struggle with adapting to an entirely different set of surroundings on Wednesday when the CW show returns for Season 2.
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“[Season 2 is] Earth-based, so that’s a major change,” Rothenberg told TheWrap. “We brought the Ark down, which was a massive game-changer.”
Many of the 100 came into their own when they landed on Earth and found leadership qualities they didn’t even realize they possessed. But just as they settled into a comfort zone the Season 1 finale flipped the script. Now the splintered groups of survivors are forced to contend with the mysterious Mount Weather, Season 1’s enemy the Grounders and the adults who have finally descended to Earth.
“Now that we’re on the ground, we said, ‘let’s expand that universe, let’s explore this world that we’ve only sort of dipped our toe into,'” Rothenberg explained.
Here are five things to expect from Season 2.
A different kind of prison
“The 100” series began with our heroine Clarke (Eliza Taylor), imprisoned aboard the Ark for being a juvenile delinquent, and Season 2 will mirror that by kicking things off with her attempting a desperate escape from Mount Weather.
“Clarke is seemingly a prisoner at the beginning of the season. She’s clearly not going to take well to that,” teased Rothenberg. “For her, it will be about how to get herself free, and to figure out a way to save everybody who’s theoretically in danger inside that prison — even though it doesn’t necessarily feel like a prison, and may not necessarily be a prison. That’s just how she sees it.”
And that’s not the only parallel. Bellamy (Bob Morley), who grew into a leader of the 100 alongside Clarke, will find his authority challenged once he comes face to face with the adults from the Ark.
“This season, that’s all taken away from him,” said Rothenberg. “All these authority figures like Kane on the ground, saying, ‘Thank you, but we’ve got it from here.’ Not only that, they look at what he did as a failure. They look at the six of them that are left – not knowing there are more in Mount Weather – and think that’s a pretty huge disaster. The arc of this season is we take it all away from him, and how does he get it back? How does the hero rise again?”
Clarke and Bellamy are not a romance, but…
Rothenberg never envisioned Clarke and Bellamy as a romance, and has watched the fan reaction to the pairing with some surprise and amusement.
“I’m always very amused and intrigued by people’s reaction to it because it’s not a romance,” said Rothenberg. “I get that chemistry between them, but we never wrote anything romantically there. I think it’s safe to say we’re going to tell the story that the story itself, the characters themselves, are demanding to be told. It almost has a life of its own now. We’re not listening to outside voices saying ‘we should put those two people together.’ If that were to ever happen, it would be because it felt right and because it was the right time.”
Reunions won’t happen right away, but not for lack of trying
With our heroes scattered over several different locations, it’s going to take some time and maneuvering to get everyone back together.
“The first third of the season is about everyone trying to find their way back to each other,” said Rothenberg. “Reunions begin to happen in the first third or fourth of the season. But for a while, it is scattered. These are journeys back to each other.”
Mount Weather is mysterious to just about everyone
In the pilot, adults aboard the Ark instructed the 100 to get to Mount Weather immediately, thinking there were stockpiles of supplies there. But did they know more about its true nature?
Not so much, according to Rothenberg. “The Ark people know nothing about Mount Weather,” he said, and added that the so-called “Mountain Men” may be indirectly responsible for even more strife between other camps.
“If and when Clarke makes it back to Abby (Paige Turco), Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) and the others, they’re still focused on thinking the Grounders did it, the Grounders took their people,” Rothenberg teased. “So because they’re blaming the wrong people, looking in the wrong direction, all that does is inflame the tensions between the Grounders and the people from the Ark.”
Octavia’s divided loyalties
Last season on “The 100,” Octavia was the first to realize — through Lincoln — that not all Grounders were inherently evil or a danger to the 100. And that will continue in Season 2 as Bellamy’s little sister becomes more and more absorbed into the Grounder way of life.
“She’ll always love her brother, but she’s definitely drawn to the Grounders,” Rothenberg said of Octavia’s loyalties. “She comes to respect their way of life, living and surviving. She was never accepted by her people, who she was literally a secret from her entire life. Ultimately, she was imprisoned and sent to the ground to die and her mother was killed as a result of that, so there’s no real love for the people from the Ark … This season will really see Octavia try to find a place for herself, where is she comfortable? She’s kind of a bridge between the two groups. If there is to be peace between the two groups, she’ll certainly have a big part to play in that.”
“The 100” Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Oct 22 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.