After a long wait and a lot of hype, The 100 prequel is finally here.
This episode served as the backdoor pilot for The 100’s spin-off series that I’m guessing will be called “Second Dawn.” While we still don’t know whether it will be picked up to series, it was exciting to get a peek at what could be.
When news first floated around that there would be a spin-off of The 100, I was hesitant. Not only would it mean a backdoor pilot in the final season, but I’m also just generally always skeptical of spin-off series. I dived deep into why I have a love/hate relationship with spin-offs here.
However, the last thing I want to do is judge something just because it fits a certain category. So, I went into this episode with an open mind and I will say I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m pumped to see what the future (or should I say past) holds for The 100 universe.
Any hesitation I had before regarding the spin-off was quickly thrown away as I am already hooked.
I am a sucker for post-apocalypse series. I used to be a big fan of The Walking Dead and its spin-off series, Falling Skies is a series that I have re-watched a thousand times, and I even gave Netflix’s series, Daybreak, a shot. Based on this episode alone, this spin-off series looks beyond promising.
It’s the best of both worlds for this new series. You don’t have to have extensive knowledge of The 100 to get it (although the little Easter eggs like finding out the origin of Trikru makes it ten times better). It also has the potential to draw in a whole new audience of those who’ve never seen The 100 before.
The spin-off series can’t just bank on retaining the audience of The 100. In order to be successful, they have to be able to draw in new fans – I believe that’s possible.
One of the biggest reasons I think this series has so much potential is due to the characters.
We’re introduced to two characters at the beginning of the episode – Callie and Lucy. However, only one survives when the missiles hit and that’s Callie. We spend the rest of the episode focused primarily on her as well as her family. Her father, Bill, is the leader of the Second Dawn, a doomsday cult that oversees the secure bunker. Reese, her brother, is a loyal follower who will literally let someone die if they aren’t at the right security level. Her mother isn’t exactly on her father’s side but she’s not against him either.
To say this family is complicated is an understatement.
I’m surprised that after only one episode, I’m already eager to see what’s going to happen to Callie and the rest of her family. While we know her father survives, we don’t know what will become of her relationship with her brother after she shot him in order to escape the bunker. There’s also her mother who was forced to join Callie and the bunker deserters.
While the prospect of learning more about Callie and her family excites me, what intrigues me the most about this new series is the amount of world-building it can do. That was one of my favorite things in the early seasons of The 100. Watching a hundred kids build and maintain a society that could survive always fascinated me.
How does are the clans created? Even if they can breathe, can they survive on a destroyed planet? How do these people in the bunker become the grounders we met back in season one?
There are so many questions that can be explored through this series and the writers did a tremendous job setting the stage to do just that. By the time the episode ends, Callie had only just begun her journey outside the bunker. That opens the door for a whole new world outside of the bunker that we have yet to even touch.
Never would I have thought I’d be this excited for a show that doesn’t even exist yet.
Callie seems to be the only one who can begin to answer these questions. Her father and brother are too busy running Second Dawn and figuring out how to jump worlds. Callie, rightfully so, is more worried about finding ways to not only survive but thrive (sound familiar?). We all know living in a bunker a few years can do something to the human psyche.
Of all people to help Callie, who would’ve thought it would be Becca.
When the missiles hit Earth, Callie and her family escaped to the bunker. Meanwhile, Becca was off in space building the AI known as the flame. After two years, Becca dropped down from space with the flame and the ability to give immunity to radiation. As fans of The 100 remember, Becca was the first Commander and was burned at the stake.
Well, we finally saw it happened. Despite Callie’s best efforts, Becca was murdered but not before telling Callie the importance of giving the flame to the next worthy leader.
That worthy leader is none other than Callie.
I’m not surprised Callie took the flame because she kicks ass. Standing up to fascists governments and even to her own family proved that she is a force to be reckoned with. We spent most of the episode seeing what she can do in a bunker, I’m curious to see what she’s going to accomplish outside of it.
Honestly, I’d rather watch the spin-off series than The 100 at this point. I haven’t hidden the fact that I’ve been disappointed with the final season. The spin-off is a fresh take on a universe I already know I love. While I can’t wait to see how Clarke, Raven, and everyone’s journey ends, I’m excited to start a different journey with some new faces.
That said, it was the few moments we spent with our original The 100 characters that got me the most emotional.
We pick up right where we left them – reacting to the news of Bellamy’s death. It was even more heartbreaking this time around. Clarke reaching out to Raven for support gutted me even more than seeing Miller all choked up.
Despite reeling from the news of Bellamy’s death, Clarke continues to be the leader we know her to be. She has Bill, aka Callie’s father, right where she wants him. For right now, she has the gun and she uses that power to get her friends back.
And finally, after what feels like years to me and has been years for others, everyone is reunited.
It now feels like the season has just begun.
The 100 airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c.