Tuesday’s fifth season premiere of The 100 found our leading lady at rock bottom, then dumped even more despair onto her from above.
The first third of the episode was devoted solely to Clarke’s adventures on Earth 3.0, including her heartbreaking journey to the rubble of Polis, where she began to think there might not actually be anything worth surviving for.
“At first, she thought, ‘All I have to do is get to my mom in Polis and then I can live out the next five years with them,’ then realized she can never get to them,” showrunner Jason Rothenberg tells TVLine. ” She’s totally alone. Yes, she can survive, but she’s slowly beaten down to the point of wanting to [end it all]. I think it’s chill-inducing. Eliza’s so good in that moment where she’s screaming, essentially to God, about having nothing left. Only once she’s stripped totally bare can she sort of enter the promised land.”
And enter it she did, albeit at the expense of a helpful bird’s life. It was there that she encountered young Madi, a fellow Nightblood, and quickly formed a mother-like bond. (But not before setting Clarke in the path of a nasty bear trap. I’ll never walk in the forest again.) Things took a turn for the worse, however, when the prisoner ship from the Season 4 finale finally landed, giving us a taste of the danger to come.
The premiere also took us into space, where we learned that while Monty’s cooking may not be improving, relations between the shipmates certainly are: Echo has helped strengthen Raven through training, Raven has nurtured the budding engineer in Emori, and Murphy — well, at least he’s been behaving himself for the most part.
Of course, the episode’s biggest surprise came when Bellamy and Echo locked lips, revealing their new relationship to the viewers. That’s right, Bellamy is dating the very same Echo that tried to kill his sister last season. So it’s no wonder why she isn’t thrilled about leaving the safety of her ship.
“Nothing is going to change on the ground,” Bellamy assured her.”We’ve kept each other alive. All of us. We’re family, and nothing can change that.”
Bellamy and Echo may have started out as adversaries, “but by the end of Season 4, they had begun a journey towards understanding each other,” Rothenberg explains. “He recognized that they were going to need her strength up there … and it took a while. There were years before chemistry began and their angry passion became real passion. They ultimately learned a lot from each other. They shared each other’s knowledge, and eventually something romantic happened. You’re in space for six years, you look like you look — it’s inevitable, isn’t it?”
The episode ended with a quick glimpse of the hellish shenanigans happening underground, where Octavia reigns — but that’s next week’s story.
Your thoughts on The 100‘s fifth season premiere? Bellamy and Echo as a couple? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.