Tomorrow night, The 100 goes alllll the way back to the beginning.
Long before the original 100 landed on what remained of Earth in the CW drama's pilot, the apocalypse hit, sending different factions of surviving humans to different places. Some went underground, some went into space, and others might have traveled via interplanetary bridge to who knows where. We've spent the past seven seasons getting to know the people who remain 97 years later, but with this week's episode, we'll get to know the people who were there when it happened.
"Anaconda" acts as both a very important episode of the final season of The 100 and a backdoor pilot for a new prequel series that tells the story of the nuclear apocalypse that wiped out most life on Earth and what happened immediately after with those who survived. The prequel series is still awaiting pick up at the CW, but even if it doesn't become a full series, the story the episode tells fits in perfectly with what's going on as we head towards the end of the show. It brings some clarity to questions we've all had for years at this point, while also just so happening to be incredibly awesome.
The end of last week's episode found Clarke, Raven, Jordan, Miller, and Niylah finally arriving in Bardo, where many of their friends have been for an unknown amount of time (thanks, time dilation). They were ready with their guns to do some saving, but then they were devastated to immediately learn that not all of their friends could be saved, because Bellamy was dead.
We then saw Anders, current leader of the Disciples cult, wake Bill Cadogan, actual leader and founder of the Disciples and former leader of the cult Second Dawn, from cryosleep. Bill wanted to know if the war had begun, and Anders told him it hadn't, but they now had the key (apparently in the form of Clarke).
The next episode will begin to explain how Cadogan got here, and how a whole bunch of other things came to be as well.
"We were going to tell this story this season even before the idea of doing it as a prequel came about," creator Jason Rothenberg tells E! News. "We needed to understand how Cadogan and company got to Bardo. We needed to tell the story of [the anomaly stone], and one of my sort of mission statements for the writers as we started the season was I wanted to answer as many unanswered questions over the course of seven seasons as possible, and one of the big ones for me was when our heroes in season four found the Second Dawn bunker and opened the door, which was under the temple in Polis."
"Why was it empty? It should have theoretically had lots of dead people in it, or a society like Mount Weather that had lived for generations underground, but it was totally empty, and this prequel episode really answers that question, in a big way."
The war Cadogan mentioned when he woke up will obviously be part of the end of the show, and "Anaconda" will provide at least a little insight into Cadogan's obsession with it.
The hour will make you wish you had done some rewatching beforehand, so allow us (with some help from Rothenberg) to give you some suggestions.
While season three, episode seven, "Thirteen," is a tough one for many fans due to the death of Lexa, it does contain important information about the origins of the apocalypse and how that relates to that pesky Flame.
Season four, episode three, "The Four Horsemen" introduces us to Bill Cadogan, leader of Second Dawn, and season four, episode eight includes the discovery of the real Second Dawn bunker, located under Polis, which was mysteriously empty.
Season five, episode 10, called "The Warriors Will," shows what eventually happened to Becca through a vision, revealing that he was burned at the stake by Cadogan and Second Dawn.
All of this will be relevant in some way to the episode and to the potential future series.
As for our current heroes, you can imagine that Clarke and her friends are not taking the news of Bellamy's death well. Rothenberg says Clarke is going to have to grieve while also trying to get out of the Bardo complex alive.
"We're going to see the emotion of his death landing on all of them, and we're going to see Clarke needing to, as she has often had to do, kind of allow herself to grieve and be a hero at the same time, which is her fate more often than not, for better or worse," he says. "That is a huge part of it emotionally going forward."
Prepare yourselves for an epic hour of TV that will answer a lot of questions while also giving you a whole bunch of new ones to ask.
The 100 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.