The 100 has officially gone from being a post-apocalyptic drama to a pre-apocalyptic one. Just 97 years after the world first ended in a nuclear apocalypse on The CW’s gritty drama, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) learned from artificial intelligence ALIE (Erica Cerra) that the remaining nuclear power plants on Earth were melting down, giving the world only six months before it once again became uninhabitable due to radiation. The action-packed season three finale ended on that game-changing, ominous note, and season four wastes no time in getting down to business as Clarke reels from this discovery and the weight she is once again saddled with as the only one who knows.
“We’re picking up directly where we left off,” Taylor told us on set in Vancouver. “We’ve just discovered that the world’s going to end, again. Just another day on the ground. This whole season’s mostly based around how we’re going to deal with fighting an enemy that we can’t go to war with, so it’s going to prove very interesting.”
As of now, Clarke is the only one with the knowledge that the world is going to end … again. The rest of Skaikru and the Grounders have no idea, and as season four begins they’re all going to have their hands full with picking up the pieces of their respective civilizations after ALIE took over their minds and convinced so many people, both Skaikru and Grounders alike, to kill themselves and their loved ones all in the name of the now-destroyed “City of Light.” Will Clarke tell everyone about ALIE’s warning, or will she keep this revelation to herself?
“It’s something that she has to be really careful about because she’s just taken all these people out of a beautiful city that they were happy [in] and brought them back into a world that’s about to end,” Taylor said. “She has to be very careful about how she goes about telling people without starting a riot. You will see more of her relying on her friends and family, which is good because it’s kind of like the old crew being back together again. It feels like season one again, which is awesome.”
While Clarke has always been the de facto leader of the 100 juvenile delinquents sent down to Earth, with help from Bellamy (Bob Morley), when the rest of the Ark came down from space, the adults didn’t listen to Clarke’s guidance. They thought they knew how to lead better, and they’ve been proven wrong time and time again. With Chancellor Pike (Mike Beach) murdered by Octavia (Marie Avgeropolous) and Jaha (Isaiah Washington) officially fallen from grace after he helped ALIE take over, Clarke will finally take the leadership position that is rightfully hers.
“She’s definitely stepping up more and accepting herself as the leader, which is really great,” Taylor said with a smile. “It’s really fun to feel like she’s asserting herself and not taking any s-t from people who don’t know as much as she does exactly what’s going on.”
As for the Grounders, they are currently Commander-less as Luna (Nadia Hilker), the last remaining Nightblood alive, refused to take the Flame and ascend the throne. Clarke still has the Flame in her possession, and while she can’t officially take it without dying, it will still play a big role this season.
“Now that the City of Light has been shut down, the Flame has become a little bit obsolete in the way that it’s not going to work the way that it would [have] given that there is no virtual world anymore,” Taylor said. “For Clarke the Flame is still so important to her because she still believes that it’s Lexa [Alycia Debnam-Carey]. She’s holding on to it as a keepsake. And it still plays a very important role in Grounder spirituality. It certainly still holds power, but it doesn’t do the same stuff as it used to. It’s a very powerful, tiny little thing.”
Every season of The 100 has gotten darker than the one previous, and season three was the darkest yet. With an impending apocalypse heading our way, season four has the highest stakes ever but that doesn’t mean the show won’t be getting any lighter.
“I do remember telling Jason I wanted to smile more,” Taylor said, while revealing that Clarke hasn’t gotten any lighter moments “yet, but we’re only halfway through.”
“There are a few lighter moments, which I’m really looking forward to people seeing because, I mean, we have gone as dark as dark can be last season and almost to a point where people were like, ‘Come on, guys, let’s just see some characters enjoying themselves,'” Taylor said with a laugh. “So that’s definitely happening this season. Whether or not it’s Clarke, sadly I don’t know. But overall there are a lot of characters who are going to lighten up, which I’m happy about.”
A lot of those lighter moments come when characters open their hearts and enjoy a little romance amidst all the chaos, but Clarke lost the woman she loved, Lexa, last season. Does that mean her heart is closed off this season or is there a chance for her to find love and happiness again?
“I wish I knew,” Taylor said. “As far as I know, there’s just so much else going on that she doesn’t really have time for relationships right now. She’s grieving for Lexa but at the same time she’s open to moving on, I guess. I don’t know. I really want her to get it on with someone. I think it would be great. But they don’t tell me if that’s happening.”
But one dynamic that Taylor was excited to explore more this season is that between Clarke and Octavia, after Octavia finally got her revenge on Pike for killing Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) by murdering the Chancellor in front of everyone.
“Octavia has decided that she doesn’t belong to Arkadia and she doesn’t belong to the Grounders,” Taylor said. “She’s become this kind of lone wolf, similar to the way that Clarke did at the beginning of season three. There’s a very good mutual understanding there with not feeling like you belong and wanting to just disappear and live your own life. With that in mind, while they don’t particularly see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, I think there is a very subtle mutual respect. They listen to each other, even if they disagree. You’ll definitely see more of that.”
Are you as psyched as I am to see Clarke become the true leader of the Skaikru this season? Tweet me your thoughts and opinions at @SydneyBucksbaum!
The 100 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW