Nothing comes easy on The 100. In fact, if I had to pick a word I’d never use to describe the show, it would be “easy.” The CW’s sci-fi series set in a future where Earth has been wrecked and humanity has taken a severe population hit is the kind of series that picks at the edges of scabs, never fully healing. The stakes are off-the-charts high, the storylines often punch you in the face hard enough to break things, and the emotion is unforgiving. Because of those elements, it’s easy to lose yourself in The 100. I did just that during a visit to the set during the filming of season three. While there, we stopped by part of the Ark, saw a brand new location for the upcoming season, and spoke with cast members about the struggles ahead.
Season two ended with the destruction of Mount Weather. Burdened by the hard decisions she had to make, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) didn’t return to Camp Jaha—now called Arkadia—and instead went off on her own. Season three picks up three months after the tragedy. Taylor brought us up to speed on Clarke’s current state of mind: “She’s pretty messed up over Mount Weather, and she obviously left because she wasn’t able to face her demons and wasn’t able to deal with what she’s done. She’s in a state of pure survival mode. She’s just out in the woods hunting, trying to find somewhere dry to sleep.”
Clarke has earned a nickname from the Grounders: Wanheda. Taylor said, “Wanheda essentially means ‘The Death Commander’ because I brought down the mountain. [Laughs] Which is cool! I read that and was like, ‘Oh! The Commander of Death? Wow!’ She’s actually feared by most of the Grounders. She’s become, like, this myth or a legend, which is really cool. But [the nickname is] unbeknownst to Clarke until she’s faced with the Grounders.”
Season three will definitely open up to reveal more about Grounder culture. We’ll encounter the Ice Nation and their queen (played by Brenda Strong). Taylor said the Ice Nation has a reputation for not playing by the rules. Since Clarke colors outside the lines too, she says there’s sort of a mutual respect between her and the Ice Queen. She added that the Ice Nation stands apart from the 12 different Grounder clans. “The 12 different clans and the way they go about things are very different. Their aesthetic is very different, and they’re from very different parts of the world. The great thing about it is when they all come together and they’re all under the commander’s coalition, they have a mutual respect for each other—whereas the vibe I get is outside of that is they don’t all necessarily get along, especially the Ice Nation. The Ice Nation is just a little bit scary.”
While Clarke spends her time isolated or with the Grounders, the development continues at Arkadia. The Sky People are settling in. Henry Ian Cusick (Kane) said, “Camp Jaha’s really transformed a lot. We’ve done work on it, we’ve upgraded it. Made it quite beautiful and planted things. It’s really quite a pretty place. When you catch up with us, we’re all in a very positive, hopeful place.”
Everyone transforms in The 100—the conditions practically demand it—but Kane is one of the characters who has come the furthest since season one. The end of the most recent season saw him coming to terms with his role in the new world, and that will continue. Cusick said, “I really enjoy that Kane is now a man of peace after finding out everything he believed was wrong. I know I keep harping onto this, but I think it’s quite an important thing for Kane, his 180-degree turn. Now he is a man who is dealing with the present and the reality of this world, and the only way for his people to survive is by brokering peace with the Grounders. That, I think, is a great storyline and something I believe in. I’m delighted to play that role.”
Kane has been working alongside Abby (Paige Turco), who is still finding her way, too. Headed into season three, Abby is still holding the chancellor position that she never asked for, and all while trying to be a doctor. Turco said, “That’s part of her struggle. She wears two hats—well, three hats, being a mom as well. I think that’s what’s interesting in what my character’s going through at the beginning of the season. She’s trying to manage and balance being the doctor, being the chancellor, and trying to find a way to do both, which is exhausting.”
Abby is definitely missing Clarke, and their relationship will grow. “It’s a very mother-teenager [relationship, where] you don’t want you child to grow up or you always want to take care of them. No matter how old they are, you always know better which really isn’t the case, because on the ground, Clarke is a lot more experienced,” Turco said. “We saw she can be a leader last season. This season will go further with Abby and Clarke finding not a new relationship, but a new way to see each other and respect each other. It grows.”
There’s another storyline weaving in and out of season three as well: the City of Light. Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and Murphy (Richard Harmon) presumably found it, but then Murphy ended up trapped and isolated. Harmon explained that Murphy’s getting by, but he’s been on his own for a while. “He’s very crafty. He’ll do what it takes. I think you’ll see this season that Murphy will start to, maybe, put the well being of others, not on the same level as himself, but bring it up a little bit. Because he couldn’t care what happened to other people before, but now, he’s getting lonely, honestly,” Harmon said. “I think he’s been lonely, and he’s seeing that with the tease of the friendship he had with Jaha, it was nice to have someone to talk to. You’ll see Murphy open up avenues to other people and take them in and look to protect people.”
Murphy hasn’t met A.L.I.E. yet, but he’s starting to catch on to the fact that something is off. Harmon said, “All he knows so far, where we left him, is that he understands very minimally what happens. He gets it just from what the guy’s been saying. I don’t know if he knows that it’s an A.I. situation or what he knows because we had to be clued into that as an audience through Jaha. I’ll say that Murphy is a lot more astute than people give him credit for and he’s a lot smarter than people realize. So if he gets a couple more pieces of information, I think he’ll be one of the few people to actually know almost the whole story, if the pieces fall properly, obviously.”
When asked if Murphy would be going back to Arkadia, Harmon teased, “I will say that this season, we expand this world even further, and to do that a lot of characters got to be a lot of different places.”
Season three of The 100 will premiere on The CW on January 21 at 9p.m. ET/PT.
IMAGES: The CW
The trip to the Legends of Tomorrow set was provided by Warner Bros.