The 100 is an action/sci-fi series heading into season 3 on The CW. Set nearly 100 years after a nuclear apocalypse forced mankind into space stations to survive, the story follows a group of teenagers who were sent to back to Earth only to find it survivable, and not as abandoned as they once thought. Season 2 saw the rest of the space dwellers -- called Arkers -- returning to Earth, while the original teenagers were either held captive in Mount Weather or locked in battle with another band of survivors known as Grounders.
Though it's often framed as a teen drama, The 100 deals with incredibly complex political and ethical issues and never flinches at pushing its characters into dark, morally ambiguous places. Season 3 looks to be every bit as gritty, as it deals with the fallout from Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Monty (Christopher Larkin) actions at Mount Weather that left hundreds of men, women, and children dead. The first preview and promotional photos showed the war brewing between the Arkers and Grounders and the most recent trailer confirms it: war is inevitable.
The CW has released a new trailer (above) which finds Clarke still reeling from, and hunted for, her actions. Lincoln and Kane are back at Camp Jaha with Abby and Bellamy, both hinting at the peace between the Grounders and the Arkers being merely a short lived prelude to war. The quick trailer is packed with emotional points: brutal fighting, flashes of romance between Clarke and a new (unseen) love interest, and an anguished Jasper (Devon Bostick) desperately trying to moreover from Maya's death. With all of this going on, the season 3 tagline of "Hope for peace, prepare for war" seems incredibly appropriate.
Season 3 is poised to develop the world of the Grounders in greater detail, as Clarke and the rest of the Arkers explore the world beyond the mountain and their drop ship. While the show has taken pains to build its own mythology and traditions, much of Earth and its inhabitants remain a mystery to the audience, who is left to discover the world in tandem with the Arkers. According to Variety Alycia Debnam-Carey (Fear the Walking Dead), who plays fan-favorite Lexa, spoke at the TCA's about The 100 season 3, saying:
"My favorite part of Season 3 is the fact that we do get to explore the world of the Grounders — their politics, their culture, their spiritual history and how it’s changed and how they adapted things from what the world used to be."
It also looks like the show is getting back to its more "hard sci-fi" roots, as season 2 left the space station completely and focused more on the battles on Earth, the end of the season closed on Jaha (Isaiah Washington) discovering artificial intelligence and what might have caused the first apocalypse. Also speaking at the TCA's executive producer Jason Rothenberg outlined what the next chapter would look like:
"This season we get to a pure version of where the show started. There is internal conflict at Camp Jaha — what was formerly known as Camp Jaha — and there’s a new group that comes in and really mixes things up and creates a lot of conflict internally."
The show has managed to strike a fine balance between following a large ensemble cast and exploring intellectual ideals, while keeping the action grounded in well-developed characters the audience can root for. While expectations for this next season are high and they still have some smaller plot contrivance problems to smooth out, it looks like The 100 will again deliver another complicated, powerful, heart-pounding season of television.
The 100 season 3 premieres Thursday, January 21st, 2016 at 9pm on The CW.