Post Mortems

The 100 Boss Defends the First Major Death of Season 6: 'There's Pretty Much Only One Way Out'

The 100 Recap

Tuesday’s long-awaited premiere of The 100 didn’t just kick off the show’s sixth season; it also cracked open “book two,” setting our heroes on a dangerous new path that already claimed the life of a beloved character in its first hour.

I’m speaking, of course, about Miles Ezekiel “Zeke” Shaw (played by Jordan Bolger), who died after crossing a radiated barrier while exploring a dangerous new planet. “Tell Raven she deserves happiness,” he told Clarke as he took his final breaths. “She doesn’t think she does, but she does.” Clarke, who was not affected thanks to her Nightblood, did everything she could to save him — but it was too late.

“The truth is, we lost the actor,” showrunner Jason Rothenberg tells TVLine about the decision to kill off Shaw. “Jordan got a job on another show. He’s incredible, and I would have loved to keep him around, but we had a situation where we were losing him. The reality of production and people’s careers and people getting other jobs factors into the equation. We then have to think, ‘OK, how do we write a character off this show in an emotionally satisfying way?’ It’s not satisfying that he dies — it’s tragic and heartbreaking — but there aren’t a whole lot of options. It’s not the kind of show where a character takes a job in Seattle and moves. There’s pretty much only one way out.”

Rothenberg acknowledges that he could have simply left Shaw in cryosleep, but he opted for the more dramatic twist. “That’s the truth of it,” he says. “It sucks,” adding that “the universe apparently doesn’t want Raven to be happy. She can’t catch a break.”

Of course, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t seem like any of our favorites are going to catch a break now that they’re attempting to inhabit a planet that turns its inhabitants into murderous psychopaths during eclipses.

Other premiere developments worth discussing…

* Kane nearly joined Shaw in The 100‘s great beyond when the ship ran out of algae serum and his body couldn’t handle another surgery. Fortunately — or not, depending on how you feel about Kane — Abby was able to return him to cryosleep and prolong his survival.

* Speaking of Kane, Octavia — who was awoken by Nylah — was less than thrilled to learn that her blood had been used to save Kane. “You were too weak to do what had to be done, and then you ran, became a traitor and made a deal with our enemy that you knew they would never keep.” (Honestly, I’m not sure whose side I’m supposed to be on right now.)

* More internal conflict: Despite Abby’s attempts to apologize (“What I did to you with the collar was unforgivable”), Raven wasn’t about hear it. “Mind if we don’t talk?” she said after asserting that “some of us never lost [our humanity].”

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