Six years is a long time...
Tonight's excellent and brutal premiere of The 100 revealed an awful lot about what everyone on this show has been up to in the past six years—much of it excruciating if your name is Clarke Griffin—but there was one reveal that probably gutted a few fans and will definitely gut a few fellow characters, even if it's not a big surprise.
Bellamy has found love (or something) with none other than...Echo.
While Clarke's been stuck on the ground with only her new adopted daughter for company, Bellamy fell into a relationship with the disgraced Echo, who had been banished by both Roan and Octavia after she cheated in the conclave and was also just kind of a jerk.
But again, that was a long time ago now, and things have changed. Three years after the death wave, Bellamy and Echo got together, and now that they're about to head down to earth, he promises that "nothing is going to change on the ground."
Most fans are likely not shocked by this development, since as soon as it was clear that Clarke and Bellamy would be separated, Becho felt inevitable. But if you are still feeling a little disappointed by the news, that's completely understandable, but you also kinda can't blame either of them. They have been stuck on a spaceship together for six years, after all.
"The Bellamy/Echo relationship is obviously very important," showrunner Jason Rothenberg tells us. "Bellamy, it took him six years to get him where they are when we seem them at the beginning of the season. That's going to come as a huge shock to more so I think Octavia, for sure."
After Bellamy's sister won the conclave and became the official leader of the bunker and everyone in it, she banned Echo from taking shelter there. She was about to commit suicide, but Bellamy stopped her and convinced her to join him, Murphy, Monty, Raven, Emori, and Harper up in space.
"Octavia hates Echo," Rothenberg reminds us. "Octavia doesn't know Echo went to space with Bellamy, so just the fact that she's alive and with her brother is going to be a huge problem going forward."
But Octavia's not going to be the only one who doesn't love the new 'ship.
"Emotionally for sure, it's going to be a huge challenge for Clarke," he says. "It's going to be a challenge for Clarke when what's right for Echo and space kru at large, what's right for them is not necessarily going to be right for Madi, and when that happens, that's going to be a problem. So we're going to find people sort of like having to figure out how to do what they need to do for their people like we always do in the show, even if that means perhaps hurting somebody that was once really really important to them."
That does not bode well for any will-they potential between Clarke and Bellamy, assuming we're anywhere near the two of them reuniting.
The other big problem this season is the arrival of a prisoner ship full of people with guns. These people have apparently been asleep for a while, and now they're back to reclaim their planet, led by a badass woman named Charmaine Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic). So far, they seem pretty mean and unlovable, but Rothenberg hopes that won't always be the case.
"There are a couple people in that prisoner group that are straight up bad and probably we will not find empathy with them," he says. "But I think Diyoza's a character we should grow to certainly understand and like, and Ivana's performance is so dimensional and interesting and I think people will really like her. She's a really strong character for sure, and it's a great performance."
While that's the hope with most of The 100's villains, these are unlike any bad guys we've seen before.
"They have more powerful weapons and they're from our time, essentially, from before the apocalypse, so they're different. They're just different from anybody that they've ever encountered before, which will make it hard for them to understand and relate to and figure out how to make peace with, which ultimately they're going to have to do if they want to survive."
The story for the season boils down to the fact that the valley is the only piece of livable land, and everybody wants it.
"You're either going to get there by making an alliance with them or you're going to have to fight for it, and if you fight for it and destroy it, earth is destroyed, and so are you."
Most of tonight's premiere, of course, followed Clarke's journey after the initial death wave came, and if was a brutal first half of the hour.
After discovering that the bunker was impossible to get to since it was covered in rubble, she was dehydrated, starving, and on the verge of death when she spotted a bird, and followed the bird up over a crest to find a nice green valley. Then, she got her leg stuck in an animal trap and a little girl stole all her stuff, and then that prisoner ship showed up and unleashed a bunch of angry guns into her valley, determined to take down anyone living there.
Meanwhile, space kru was watching this new ship head to earth and desperately trying to contact it while also desperately trying not to kill each other after six years of being cooped up together eating algae soup. And down in the bunker, Octavia was overseeing what looked to be a fight club, which is something we're just going to have to wait to find out about next week.
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.