Audiences have a particular fascination with post-apocalyptic storylines, and The 100 feeds that fascination in spades. Set in a universe where humanity essentially destroyed the planet before setting up camp on a space station, The 100 explores life in the most extreme of situations.
The jumping-off point for the series involved sending 100 juvenile delinquents down to a possibly uninhabitable planet on the chance of their survival ensuring the survival of the human race. For five seasons, the characters have faced impossible odds to survive over and over. The results have been mostly stellar. For every phenomenal episode though, there’s one that doesn’t quite land as well with fans. We’ve got a look at some of the best and worst The 100 has to offer.
The 100 is a series built on its “heroes” making the hard choices. No episode has exemplified that more than the season two finale of the series.
Clarke and Bellamy end up in an impossible situation thanks to Lexa’s betrayal. Wiping out an entire group of people isn’t something the good guys are supposed to do. Clarke makes the decision to do whatever it takes to save their people, and Bellamy’s support shapes their relationship as leaders for the rest of the series.
Looking back on this episode five seasons later, the best thing it had going for it was introducing Raven to the show. Other than that, it’s a typical second hour of a new show.
That means there isn’t enough detail for the main characters, leaving them feeling more like cardboard cutouts than real people. It also means the rush of the pilot episode and the titular 100 getting to Earth wore off, with the audience waiting for the next big moment. It would take a few more episodes for the show to find its groove and deliver on that.
For young adult lit lovers who wanted to see the high stakes of The Hunger Games without all of the commercialism, this is the episode to watch. Representatives from all of the Grounder nations had to compete to the death for the right to save their people in an underground bunker.
Fans spent the episode waiting to find out if their favorite characters would even be allowed to survive the season. It also marked the beginning of Octavia’s controversial rise to power, which became a central conflict for the show the next season.
Considering that season one was busy figuring out just what the show would be, it’s interesting that “The Calm” was essentially a filler episode—and not much of a fun one.
In it, the camp was left with little food after a fire, forcing everyone to find a new food source. That would be great if the writers had gone with unusual pairings for their searches, but they didn’t. Not long after Raven’s debut, she also hooked up with Bellamy in this episode for revenge, something most fans saw as unnecessary.
While it’s true that a lot of shows struggle to find their footing in the first season, The 100 did have some stellar episodes in that first batch. The fifth episode of the series definitely showed viewers exactly what they could expect going forward.
This is one of the few episodes where what was going in the Ark was more compelling than the ground. As the adults on the Ark dealt with the reality of their situation, they had to sacrifice some of their own to ensure survival. The scene of people volunteering to be floated remains one of the most uplifting and heartbreaking in the entire series.
Season three suffered from a common problem in genre television: too much focus on one villain when the bigger threat lurked in the shadows. That’s exactly why “Watch The Thrones” ranks amongst the worst.
It’s one of many episodes that places the focus on Pike and his hate-fueled followers. This episode in particular threw out all of the character development Bellamy underwent since season one. Gone was the man who made the tough calls to lead as he followed Pike around. The larger threat of the season was ALIE, making this episode feel unimportant.
Season five threw fans for a loop. Set six years after the events of season four, everyone was supposed to return to Earth or emerge from a bunker to coexist. A ship of prisoners vying for the only usable land put a wrench in the plan, and that wrench took everything apart in the season finale.
The tense hour forced Wonkru, Clarke, and Bellamy’s space family to confront their uncertainties. They did it with Maddie as their new Heda, but also while the world burned. The events forced everyone to seek refuge in space. Just as one problem ended, a whole new one opened up, but this raised the stakes for the show even higher.
This episode was a bit of a let-down primarily because it followed the emotional crush of “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.” It focused on Bellamy and his relationship with his little sister Octavia.
The trouble was that flashbacks to their time on the Ark featured heavily in the episode. Viewers didn’t really need them to understand how deeply responsible Bellamy felt for Octavia. It also involved Lincoln holding Octavia captive, which seems like an odd choice, considering how their relationship progressed. Lincoln turned out to be one of the most peaceful Grounders. His actions in this episode are more confusing than anything else as a result.
If there’s one thing this show does extremely well, it’s season finales, and “Praimfaya” proved that 100 times over. Season four culminated with the world ending—again. The focus ended up on Clarke and a few others stuck in the hostile environment.
Occurring in real time, save for the jump forward at the end, the episode was an adrenaline rush for the audience. Watching Clarke, Bellamy, Murphy, Emori, Echo, and Raven try to find a way around the end of the world kept everyone enthralled. It was a huge feat for the writers considering how many “world enders” the audience had already seen.
A very strong contingent of fans exists who would likely rank “Thirteen” as the worst episode of all time. It’s probably not the absolute worst, thanks to its building of the series mythology. It does, however, wind up amongst the worst for the way it handled the loss of a pivotal character.
“Thirteen” is the episode in which the series lost Lexa. The writers built the Grounder leader up as a counterpart to Clarke, only for her to be killed thoughtlessly by a stray bullet after they consummated their relationship. It was less of a gut-wrenching surprise and more of a slap in the face to longtime fans.
Which episode of The 100 do you think belongs amongst the best? The worst? Does anything from season six belong on this list? Let us know!