The 100 Season 4 Premiere Recap: "Echoes"

Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Hello, The 100 fans, welcome to a dystopian reality where a nuclear holocaust is imminent. Oh, and also our show is back! We pick up right where we left off: everyone is assessing the devastating fallout from the end of the City of Light, atoning for their part in it, and Clarke is reeling from A.L.I.E.’s big reactor reveal. Also Indra’s fine! Thank goodness!

Bellamy immediately advises Clarke to not tell anyone about the impending doom because he’s worried people would respond poorly. Hilarious! What could possibly go wrong with keeping that from people? Not five minutes in, we’re immediately making bad decisions.

The Grounders are not happy with Clarke — what else is new, this is just her terrible, terrible life now — and want her to leave Polis, but suddenly a Grounder discovers that King Roan is still alive and in need of a doctor. Abby goes to help, but Echo (thanks “previously on” for reminding us about her) tells her to stop, they have a healer. Then Echo instantly makes a power grab for Ice Nation and slits the throat of the ambassador that tries to stop her. When that happened, I assume you all, like me, cheered “It’s good to have you back, you violent show!” with a thousand exclamation marks but also a small nervous giggle.

It was also at this point that Bellamy delivered what has kind of become the thesis of this show: “Looks like saving the world will have to wait.” Because even though this group of crazy-attractive teens are facing insurmountable odds in the form of nuclear reactor meltdown, they have to deal with freakin’ Grounder unrest still! I get that Grounders gotta Grounder and Ice Nation has to be futilely making power moves, but I don’t really understand why last season’s A.I. business didn’t fundamentally alter any of these people’s world views. I guess you could maybe believe that not everyone cares how Clarke freed everyone from the City of Light, but shouldn’t the fact that they’ve all seen a functioning city like before the first nuclear disaster mean something? Naw, not yet, they’re still just mad.

So back at Arkadia, Harper and Monty are getting it on (love is real guys!), Raven is trying to get in touch with the Polis people and then researching A.L.I.E.’s claims (girl cannot get a break either), and Jasper is… about to kill himself. This show is always bleak, but this moment is just so haunting; Jasper on a tarp, gun in hand, Maya’s favorite painting near him. This moment has sort of seemed a long time coming. This show has always been Baby Battlestar (no disrespect! If you all haven’t watched Battlestar Galactica get on my level and go watch it now! You’ll love it!) and this moment reminded me of one of the more affective deaths on that show. But before he can pull the trigger Monty calls him to tell him that the Earth is going to be uninhabitable in six months. There’s an instant switch for Jasper, who suddenly seems more at peace than he has in a while. Again in Battlestar’s footsteps, maybe Jasper will invent some kind of “let it be” religion this season.

Back in Polis Clarke tells her crew that they can’t start a war now, the end is nigh, so the best bet is saving King Roan and fake surrendering (well, we learn it’s fake later) to distract Echo. Most importantly: there’s a great Kane/Indra hug in this scene that my heart will never forget.

So the plan is actually pretty cool here. Jaha carries a body covered in cloth to where the king is definitely not being helped by this second-rate healer (hey, maybe stop killing all the healers, you maniacs). He says it’s Ontari and Echo is like “eh, just place her in the pile with our other dead people, our world is a constant horror show that I don’t blink at.” I’m paraphrasing. But Jaha is actually JK-ing, Octavia, not Ontari, is in the cloth and while Echo goes to the fake surrender, Octavia pops out and expertly takes out everyone in the room. Octavia makes me teary whenever she’s on the screen because I just love how far she’s come. Revenge-mode Octavia is here to stay.
Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Pictured: Henry Ian Cusick as Kane
So then Octavia lets Abby and Clarke into the room to try to save the king. At the same time Bellamy, Indra and Kane are trying to reach the fake surrender with Echo. Indra smartly says “hey maybe even in jest don’t agree to give these crazy untrustworthy people guns, our one upperhand” (again, paraphrasing). I hope she gets more to do this season. Can she secretly be a scientist? Murphy is also there for this part. I don’t mean to completely ignore his storyline, there’s a sweet scene with Emori where they make eyes at each other and she agrees to go back to Arkadia with him. But then they bail with one gun instead of helping with the fake surrender, maybe smartly, but again, always self-servingly. Last season they did a good job of integrating Murphy into the main storylines in the end, but I’m still not quite sure how his scrappy brand of “do whatever it takes to survive” is gonna fare against such a huge, daunting threat this season.

Anyway this fake surrender falls apart really fast, but King Roan is revived just in time to prevent Echo from killing Clarke. But he’s not 100% sold on if he should protect her or kill her and take her power just yet. While he decides we get a lot of lingering abs shots. There’s also a perfect moment where Echo tells him they can’t afford Ice Nation thinking he is weak. Then he just straight up cauterizes his wound with a heated sword and doesn’t even blink. LOL. It then seems like Echo might’ve convinced him to seize power for Ice Nation and kill Clarke, but he actually just wants to talk to her.

She tells him about the radiation and says she needs to stay alive to come up with a plan. She also gives him the Flame back, so he can start finding some more nightbloods and the people can get a new commander. But also what does this tech even do any more now that she pulled that lever? Is that going to be the deus ex machina at the end of the season that solves everything? Do people ship Clarke and Roan? How old is he supposed to be? Any way our Skaikru is safe to fight another day, Roan says they’ll honor Lexa’s coalition. Echo gives Skaikru a seal that can protect them from other clans (allegedly).

The best part of this episode was Clarke passionately declaring “Science is our only hope.” It made me emotional, because after all the war on this show, thank goodness that they’re looking to science now. Science is going to save us! And by us I mean people reading this… not our characters, because I’m pretty sure they’re all gonna die. Where are the scientists? It’s not like we’ve seen anyone who really seems to have a knowledge of radiation (I mean, the show started with a scientific experiment where they just sent 100 kids to the ground and were like “Hm, our hypothesis is maybe they won’t die.”) Is Raven’s enhanced brain going to suddenly know science and solve everything?

The episode ends with a woman being dissolved by radiation in the desert (that’s not the scientific way to put it, I’m sure). IDK guys, I think this show might go all in and just kill everyone off at the end of this season. It wouldn’t be the ending to a The 100 recap without a sobering dose of just utter hopelessness! May we meet again!

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