THE 100 stars Eliza Taylor (Clarke), Henry Ian Cusick (Kane), Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia), Lindsey Morgan (Raven) and Christopher Larkin (Monty) — as well as executive producer Jason Rothenberg — came to Comic-Con to speak to reporters about season 4 and teased a new apocalypse, the endurance of the Flame, anger at Clarke, Raven’s new role and more.
Picking Up in Polis. “We’re still in the Tower [when season 4 begins]”, Cusick said. “We pick up immediately after the City of Light and there’s a lot of carnage and a lot of guilt and a lot of doubts and insecurity. And then we get hit with the news that… A.L.I.E. told us that the radiation’s going to hit us in six months. So we’re just dealing with all of that immediately.”
The Focus for Season 4. “We set up the story [in the finale of season 3],” Rothenberg said. “It’s the fact that the world is going to end — again. Sort of an apocalyptic-post-apocalyptic show. It’s a very different story than we’ve told in previous seasons. I like to do that every year. Season one was the origin story; season two was Mount Weather; season three was the A.I.; and season four is the “Earth Strikes Back,” you know? We’ll see the environment beginning to collapse, and crazy s**t will start happening pretty quickly. They’re going to have to work on how to survive, not whether or not they can stop it. This doesn’t spoil anything because I think it’s in our DNA at this point: when we say something’s going to happen, it usually happens; there’s no eleventh hour save. So it’s about how they’re going to survive it, not whether or not they can stop it.”
The Absence of a Commander. “There’s a vacuum that needs to be filled and somebody will try and fill that, and that’s pretty much where [episode] one [picks up]. It’s so action packed, where that vacuum is almost immediately filled,” Cusick teased.
Anger at Clarke. Understandably, Taylor thinks that a lot of people won’t be happy with Clarke for triggering an impending nuclear meltdown, even if it saved them from A.L.I.E. “They’re going to be mad. I think, at least. So, yeah, it could get a little intense in episode one when people kind of go, ‘Oh Wanheda, you’re a b***h’.” Rothenberg confirmed that “we’re going to see a lot of different reactions [what Clarke did at the end of season 3]. On the one hand, she just defeated this unbeatable enemy yet again, so the legend grows — the legend of Wanheda grows, and we’ll see a lot of interesting reactions to her in the first episode. But when people find out the truth, they’re going to be pissed off — some of them — for sure.”
The Enduring Flame. A.L.I.E. might be gone — as is the Commander — but the Flame will live on. Rothenberg said that “the Flame is still there. It’s a really important thing; it’s a touchstone; it’s an artifact. It’s not even close to important in season four as it was in season three, but whoever holds the Flame — even in lieu of a Commander, in lieu of a Nightblood — has some political power. So if you are the keeper of the Flame, people are going to listen to you, follow you. That’s a story that we’re going to tell, so it’s important still in that regard but not even close to what it meant last season. Last season it was like everybody wanted the Flame: A.L.I.E. needed the Flame; obviously Ontari needed the Flame, obviously; Clarke was not giving that thing up at all — it was Lexa in some way. And so ultimately it’s reduced but still there. We won’t forget about it. It will come back and play an important role eventually.”
Raven’s Role. “I feel like she’s kind of been reincarnated, and she’s had an upgrade mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and in a sense physically as far as—her pain’s still there, obviously, with her leg, and that’s never going to go away—but I think she’s found a new way to manage it and respects it because she chose to feel the pain over being numb—and respects that humanity for her,” Morgan said. “But as far as her arc and what she’s creating, she’s always been a builder, basically, a worker, so I think you’re going to really see her embark on something that is a manifesto for Raven Reyes to create. I wish I could tell you more!” She went on to explain that “everything that happened in the City of Light …because she escaped it in the way that she did, it was different than everyone else in the sense that a part of A.L.I.E stayed with her. We call it like the ‘Raven upgrade.’ She got the A.L.I.E. upgrade special, so her mind is working at an entirely different gear now. She’s in top gear, and she’s smarter than ever. She can code when she didn’t used to be able to code before. She can understand this technology; she didn’t used to be able to before the Ark and everything to do with A.L.I.E. and Becca and the creation. And you’re going to see that come to play in a big way for Raven. She was significantly changed by the City of Light and her experience with that, and you’re going to see what that kind of evolution and almost reincarnation is going to create for her in this coming season.”
Kane’s Role in Season 4. “Since [Kane] arrived on the Earth, his mission has always been to find a peaceful way for his people and for the Grounders to survive,” Cusick said. “I think he’s going to carry on with that, and I think it’s cool to have…you need to have a character-hero who is cool for choosing the peaceful way. The cool people should not be the ones who kick ass, although in our show there’s a lot of death and brutality and kick-assness. But Kane’s going to carry on with that path, I think, so he is going to be like an Ambassador to whoever’s in charge. Or is he in charge? I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Kane and Abby’s Budding Relationship. “It’s going to be kind of interesting now that they’ve sort of expressed their love [or] whatever you want to call it for each other…or their desire for each other, I suppose. It will be interesting to see if…the human race could potentially end in six months, what are those two going to do? Are we going to plant vegetables and watch sunsets — That could be a choice — or are they going to try and stop this from happening? I’m guessing the latter,” Cusick said.
Octavia’s New Profession. Octavia lost Lincoln in season 3 and while she killed the man who killed her lover, it won’t heal all of her pain. Avgeropoulos said that “she thought that killing Pike would band-aid that wound in her heart, but it didn’t, and season three ends with Octavia leaving, and you’re going to see her next season take some really dark turns and do what she does best, which is kill people. She doesn’t enjoy it, but she knows she’s good at it. So you’re going to see her journey, go to some really dark pastures, and she becomes an assassin.” As for where, specifically, Octavia headed at the end of last season, she hinted that “Octavia has a plan in her head, especially now that the war is over. Indra was in trouble the last time we saw her, so I would assume — if I was a fan and I could put two things together — that she’d be headed there first to make sure Indra’s okay, because other than Bellamy and Lincoln, Indra’s the only other one that’s ever believed in her, especially on the Grounder side of things, so that would be my guess…..Killing and fighting is the only thing that Octavia’s ever really been good at, so [her] peers are doctors, mechanics, programmers, [but] Octavia’s really quick and efficient at fighting, and she has a lot of pent-up rage happening right now, so you’ll see her become an assassin with a particular group of people that need her that you guys are familiar with, but I can’t tell you who.”
Controversy and a Dark Season. Rotheberg knows that there were some controversial decisions made in season 3 of THE 100 and he also acknowledged that the season was particularly dark. “We don’t sit around and try to say, ‘How do we appeal to everybody?’ You know, we’re not trying to do fan service. I’m literally the only person that I’m trying to please, and I hope that when I like something, the fans like it, and sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. I feel like last season there were definitely some controversial [decisions], for sure. I set out in the beginning of the season to really go dark and really, sort of, push the envelope in a lot of ways, and you know, obviously some people didn’t like the Bellamy turn, and other people didn’t like the Lexa death, and obviously the Lincoln death was controversial, too. What I will say is there were not enough wins in season 3. There was probably a relentlessness to the storytelling that wasn’t levened quite as much as it usually is. A part of that is because Jasper and Monty’s characters, who were usually kind of comic relief, they both had depressing as hell storylines, too. So we go to comic relief, and it’s like, ‘Oh s**t, that’s even more dark than the story we just left.'”
The Monty-Jasper Reunion. While the comic relief characters had dark storylines last season, Larkin thinks there’s some hope for Monty and Jasper’s relationship, as ell as Monty’s budding romance. “I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we’re finally left with a moment of hope between Monty and Jasper for the first time since like mid-Mount Weather. And yeah, I don’t think things are going to be perfect– they’re far from ideal — but you feel like they’re finally ready to forgive one another and be the brothers that they’ve always been to each other, so I’m excited to explore that. I’m also excited to explore this new romantic foray with Harper potentially.” Larkin is also focused on how Monty can help save the world in season 4: “He has to find a solution, right? And I mean here’s the consolation: the Mountainmen did it; the Grounders did it; it’s possible. But I think we need to start working with the Grounders much better than we’ve been doing have in the past because they know how to do it; they’ve already succeeded. So, yeah, I’m excited for next season.”
THE 100 will return at midseason on The CW.