Even though Wednesday’s (April 30) episode of “The 100” is one of the few episodes of the season with zero fatalities (seriously, someone dies in almost every other episode), it was still the darkest one yet. That’s all thanks to Clarke, Bellamy and Raven deciding to use torture tactics to get the Grounder Bellamy captured to reveal the antidote to the poison that was slowly killing Finn.
Yeah, you read that right. Even Clarke was in agreement that torture was necessary to get the info they needed. Desperate times and all that. But in the end, Octavia was the one who got the info they needed — without torture — by risking her own life, knowing that the Grounder wouldn’t let her die. Does this Grounder have a crush? It sure looks like it.
“Contents Under Pressure” was one intense, action-packed episode, since in addition to torture, the teens also finally made contact with the Ark, battled a hurricane and operated on Finn to save his life, while the Ark elected a new councilman (who might have ulterior motives) and revealed that not everyone will be able to come down to Earth now that they know it’s survivable. Seriously, this was one jam-packed hour.
Zap2it got to screen the episode in advance, and, along with several other journalists, interview “The 100” showrunner Jason Rothenberg and star Bob Morley about what went down and what’s coming next.
We’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to the mysterious Grounders who have been picking off the 100 one by one, and now we know that they understand and speak English, thanks to the one being held hostage (check out scoop on the Grounder, played by Ricky Whittle, here).
And what about that sketchbook that had drawings of Octavia, countdowns of the 100’s fatalities, and some weird monster-like creature? “As you saw in the episode, he has a book with pictures of them,” Morley says. “He’s very much an observer. He’s been watching them for a while.”
Rothenberg elaborates, “The sketchbook is filled with easter eggs. When we first meet him, this guy is wearing armor and he’s clearly a warrior, and it’s not like he became that way two weeks ago when the 100 dropped from the sky. He was already like that so there must be something out there that he’s armed up against and we will find out what that is going forward. And it may or may not be the Sasquatch in the book.”
And as for the rest of the Grounders, Rothenberg says there is so much more to find out. “There are a lot of different ways to interpret that there are four Grounders running around killing people in episode 6 and there’s one Grounder who is seemingly working against them,” Rothenberg says.
“Are they from different tribes? Do they have different agendas? It’s complicated. We will get to know his character much better and understand where he’s coming from. He does get a name in episode 8. We do meet female Grounders and they’re in leadership positions. Episode 9 is where we meet a very cool woman warrior, his boss.”
After the events of episode 6 and seeing this Grounder’s sketchbook, Bellamy has realized that the 100 are no match for these Grounders. “He’s realized there is definitely something to fear,” Morley says. “The best way for him to hopefully have a chance is to find out what they’re doing which is why he captured the Grounder, and also to save Finn. Their best form of attack is defense.”
And what’s going on between the Grounder and Octavia? After saving her life in episode 6, the Grounder only revealed the antidote when Octavia needed it to save her life. Plus, he even broke his silence to whisper “Thank you” to her when she cleaned his wounds. Rothenberg jokes that they’re all dubbing this new pair, “Groctavia.”
“He’s not motivated to help her just because she’s a cute girl,” Rothenberg explains. “To me, the Grounder understands that it’s about survival for them too. They need to understand what this thing is that came from the sky that has technology that we don’t understand and maybe that’s going to be helpful for my people. That’s what he’s thinking and through her, he’s able to understand that more. And the relationship develops. It’s forbidden. It’s a little Romeo and Juliet, but I hate to say that as an example.”
The Ark’s new problem
Turns out the 320 people who sacrificed their lives to give the rest of the humans more oxygen didn’t die for nothing. Even though Earth is survivable, not everyone will be able to make it down to the ground since there aren’t enough drop ships to take everyone. Welcome to Project Exodus.
“At the end, the numbers are clear,” Rothenberg says. “There are 2,000-something people, but only 700 are going to live. Who makes those decisions and who gets to go to the ground will be the story that we start to tell. It won’t be pretty at all.”
Rothenberg teases that the power struggle on the Ark will only get worse due to this new issue and now that a new councilman, Sydney (Kate Vernon), has been awarded a seat at the table. “She is the former Chancellor obviously, who has her own agenda,” Rothenberg teases. “She isn’t what she appears to be.”
That torture scene
If you think watching the scene where Bellamy and Raven torture the Grounder was difficult, imagine how hard it was to film it. “That was like three to four days of shooting,” Morley says. “Ricky was chained up like that for the entire time. It was horrible. To go into the mindset of someone who’s torturing another human being or another person isn’t the nicest place to be. After those three days I was pretty wrecked by it. It was a dark mood to be in. It’s definitely the hardest and the darkest episode I’ve shot.”
Rothenberg says that it was important to them to make the episode’s message anti-torture, since Octavia’s gentler tactics were successful when the torture was not. He adds that Bellamy’s and Clarke’s decisions will affect them going forward in major ways.
Where was Jasper?
Viewers may have noticed that not all of the teens made it back to the drop ship before the hurricane hit, and Rothenberg and Morley reveal that Jasper and Monty, among others, had to take cover out in the woods. But Rothenberg also had some good news for Jasper fans.
“Going forward, Jasper pretty much is in every episode,” Rothenberg says. “Jasper’s story is about to really pick up for the back half of the season. He’s dealing with his post traumatic stress and he becomes a bada**. And it’s believable! He becomes Bellamy’s go-to, his right-hand man.”
“The 100” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.