Executive producer Jason Rothenberg talks to THR following Wednesday's season closer about ending on a "classic cliffhanger" and introducing a new world in season two.
[WARNING: MAJOR spoilers ahead from Wednesday's season-one finale of The 100, "We Are Grounders, Part II"]
The 100 is planting seeds for season two.
After a failed attempt to leave base camp, Clarke, Bellamy and Co. were forced to stay within the confines of their hub, fighting off formidable foes in the Reapers and later the Mountain Men in a Braveheart-esque battle. A proposed (and deadly) "ring of fire" successfully warded off their foes, but left the fates of a few (see: Bellamy and Finn) without resolution. With Lincoln and Olivia reunited presumably safe elsewhere on Earth and Jaha the lone being remaining on the Ark while the others are safely on the ground, the Mountain Men staged their well-timed post-battle attack, leading to Clarke waking up in the Mount Weather quarantine center.
"I knew where we were going in the season, but I didn't quite know what that would look like," executive producer Jason Rothenberg tells The Hollywood Reporter. "In terms of the big scope of moves for the season, I knew this was where we were headed."
THR asked Rothenberg six big questions following the season-one closer about what this means for the fall return.
Are the Mountain Men the new big bad?
The hundred have only been on the ground for several weeks and they're still relatively new to the beings with whom they share the Earth. "They know almost nothing of this world," says Rothenberg. The Grounders "started out the big bad," but as the season progressed, "we began to drop hints that, maybe, they're not so bad [and that] they have their own point of view." After Lincoln confirmed that the Grounders had more empathy than previously thought, Rothenberg said it was important for them to "steer" into a new villain. "We needed something that was the big bad," says Rothenberg. That was where the reapers, and finally the Mountain Men, came in. "We don't know fully how the groups are related," he says of the various group dynamics, though "we know that they're at war with each other."
Who was right: Bellamy, who wanted to stay at the camp, or Clarke, who wanted to leave?
One of the most interesting dynamics has been the Clarke and Bellamy dynamic, with their opposing views over how to keep everyone safe adding tension to the core group, and that's one question that will be left unanswered. As Rothenberg sees it, the "best episodes" involve conflicts factoring in the group nature. Even though they sometimes fail to see eye to eye, "Clarke and Bellamy come to an understanding of the importance of the other to the group," Rothenberg says. "[But] if there's a hierarchy, she's probably higher up."
How many people are still alive?
Not including the group from the Ark, which included Councilman Kane and Clarke's mother Abby, who successfully landed on Earth, Rothenberg says there were dozens of casualties during the battle, leading to big losses of life. "We know for sure 48 people are alive," he says, citing those in the dropship. "Whether or not they all appear in the second season is a question." But, Rothenberg hints that "not all of the others are dead." "That's a tune-in-next-year question," he adds.
Was there any serious thought given to killing off another major character before the finale was over?
The 100 has become synonymous with death: Just look at how many characters, main and ancillary, that die on a weekly basis. Though Rothenberg toyed with saying goodbye to key characters, he ultimately decided on "a classic cliffhanger in terms of that," with the fates of several characters (see: Bellamy, Finn) currently up in the air. "All of those lives that hang in the balance, we will have to [address them] in season two."
What is Mount Weather?
Directly inspired by the real-world equivalent, a government facility in Virginia used as the FEMA command center, The 100's Mount Weather is completely new to the universe -- visually and thematically. "There are clues in the white room that it's nothing that they've ever seen before," Rothenberg says of Clarke's new whereabouts. "If you look up what the real Mount Weather is, that begins to answer the question." Expect season two to include a heavy dose of the new location (welcome back Monty!), which Rothenberg says "is almost a negative mirror image of the Ark."
Will Jaha make it to Earth?
Now the lone survivor on the Ark, Chancellor Jaha sacrificed himself for the well-being of his counterparts, remaining aboard the space vessel while his friends stepped foot on Earth. Though Jaha accepted his fate, there's a faint possibility that he could make it to Earth. "It's definitely a season-two issue and one we're exploring now," Rothenberg says. "It will be incredibly difficult, if it happens at all. He's a man who's made his peace and brought his people to the ground. He's going to need some serious motivation if he's going to make it. It's going to be hard, that's all I'll say about it."
The 100 returns in the fall for season two.
the last ten minutes OMFG