Tonight, a long quest for survival comes to an end.
The 100 is saying goodbye after seven seasons and if the past few episodes
(and the past seven seasons) are any indication, it's not going to go out with a straight up happy ending. That's simply not The 100's style, as showrunner Jason Rothenberg reminded us when we pointed out how particularly cruel the show has been these past few weeks. First Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic) sacrificed herself, then Clarke (Eliza Taylor) killed Bellamy (Bob Morley) to protect Madi (Lola Flanery), then Madi essentially became catatonic. It's a lot!
"We've never been kind in that way," Rothenberg said. "We have always tried to have the show be something that is emotional for people for sure, moving for sure, but we definitely do not try to make people happy. That is not a goal of ours as writers. We're trying to stir up emotions—not always positive, most often not. So mission accomplished."
Madi's current state is particularly brutal. Clarke's adopted daughter is always getting herself into trouble through little fault of her own, mostly because of her time as the commander. The AI she had in her head contained the code needed to activate what is believed to be the Last War, and Clarke knew that Bill Cadogan (John Pyper-Ferguson) would stop at nothing to get that code.
A few episodes ago, Clarke shot and killed the newly enlightened Bellamy in an effort to keep him from handing over Madi's notebook to Cadogan. Then, when she realized she was out of ammo for the other disciples, she left without even taking the notebook with her. Cadogan got to Madi anyway and fully destroyed her brain, leaving her trapped inside her own head. Clarke has now lost both Bellamy and Madi, and you can bet she's mad about it.
"Wanheda is out for payback," Rothenberg said, bringing back Clarke's little nickname that roughly translates to "Commander of Death." "She's gonna be the angel of death. What happened to Madi was kind of a last straw for her. I think on some levels she's broken, but she's been heading down that path for a while."
You'll have to watch tonight's finale to find out just how much more devastating things are going to get, but Rothenberg could at least promise a real ending.
"I think people should expect closure," he said. "I think people should expect more big emotion. Hopefully most of the story will be told by the end and there won't be too many questions dangling. You know there'll be some surprises, maybe some surprise visitors, but it's ultimately, I think, a satisfying conclusion to what has been a very very long journey."
Before we get to tonight's finale, let's take a journey back to some of the most soul-crushing moves this show has made over the years. Spoiler alert: They're mostly all heartbreaking character deaths.
This was the moment The 100 really established itself as a show that was not messing around. Wells (Eli Goree) was the Chancellor's son, and the Chancellor was responsible for all these juvenile delinquents being sent to an apocalyptic Earth, so his time was probably limited anyway. His death also lead to the suicide of the child who murdered him, so just a really heavy time all around.
Clarke has had to kill more than one friend in the name of survival. Finn (Thomas McDonell) became a little too trigger happy and the Grounders demanded justice for the people he killed. Clarke, who was also in love with him at the time, stabbed him to prevent him from a worse death by execution.
Alycia Debnam-Carey got a new job (on Fear the Walking Dead), so Commander Lexa had to die. Right after she and Clarke finally and happily hooked up, she was shot. It was a really heartbreaking example of the "Bury Your Gays" trope but it also was just really devastating in general. The death did reveal the twist of the Flame, a vital piece of the show's mythology that has never not caused death and destruction.
Lincoln died when Ricky Whittle wanted off the show due to what he described as "bullying," so it sucked both onscreen and off. He was executed after the destruction of Mount Weather, leaving Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) devastated along with the rest of us.
The Season 4 Finale
The end of season four was quite the shocker. Radiation poured over the Earth, so everyone had to either go underground or into space. Or, if they're Clarke, they had to just stick it out on the surface with only her nightblood to protect her. Octavia became a ruthless, murderous leader as she reigned over the people who had made it into the bunker. Most of Clarke's friends made it into space to eat algae mush while Clarke was left all alone on the surface. They weren't all reunited until more than six years later!
The Season Five Finale
Yet another apocalypse hit at the end of season five, but this time everybody made it onto a ship and went into cryo-sleep in space. They were supposed to be woken up 10 years later by Monty and Harper after a new home planet was found, but instead, 125 years later, they woke to find that Monty (Chris Larkin) and Harper (Chelsey Reist) were dead and their son Jordan (Shannon Kook) was there in their place. Rothenberg revealed that this episode was written as a potential series finale when it was still unknown if the show would continue, and we gotta say it would have been a hell of an ending.
Clarke's "Death" and Abby's Float
In season six, Clarke was nearly destroyed when Josephine Lightbourne took over her body, allowing Eliza Taylor to take on a major acting challenge. Clarke eventually returned to her body, but only after a massive fight inside her head. Her mother Abby (Paige Turco) also suffered the same fate, but worse. Clarke was forced to send her mother's body floating into space when she was also taken over by one of the Lightbournes and wasn't able to come back.
We had really come around to loving Diyoza, and then her poor daughter Hope made the mistake of trying to pull a Mount Weather and kill all the disciples with a terrifying poison. At the last second, Diyoza caught the poison herself and sacrificed her life to prevent her daughter from becoming a mass murderer and we just couldn't have predicted how upset we'd be by this moment.
Season 7 Bellamy
Bellamy was always one of the best of the bunch, but his journey in the final season really tested our patience. First, he was kidnapped in the premiere. Then he appeared to have died in an explosion, and we were left to believe he was dead for several episodes until we learned what really happened. During the explosion, he was thrown through an anomaly onto a desolate planet with one of the disciples. They bonded, and as they risked their lives to get back home over the course of several months, Bellamy became a believer in the Shepherd's idea of the afterlife. When he finally returned, he betrayed his friends and was read to turn Madi over to Cadogan when Clarke felt she had no choice but to kill her best friend.
It was all just a bummer, but we'll see what sort of impact his death has during the finale.
Clarke killed Bellamy in order to save Madi, but it was all for naught. Cadogan probed her brain so much that she essentially got lost inside it. It got to the point where Clarke almost mercy killed her too. Given how much Clarke has already done for her adopted daughter, we can only imagine how she'll move forward now that she's lost her...and how much more destruction the finale could bring.
The 100's series finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.