It’s been 42 days since Praimfaya when Clarke manages to crawl out from the wreckage and dirt that may have buried Becca’s stronghold, or maybe all that’s left of it. She wanders off into the desert, heading for Polis to see if she can reach her people in the bunker. Along the way, she’s lucky enough to dig out a Rover to drive to Polis in and eat bugs off the windshield when she’s desperate… this show does not glamorize the apocalypse, that’s for sure.
There’s no chance of getting into the bunker, though. It’s buried under tons of Polis wreckage that threaten to come down on Clarke as she excavates. She gives up and moves on, desperate for food and water.
While she chows down on big fat windshield bugs, a storm comes along and devastates the Rover, so she’s on foot again, but at least she’s found “Eden,” the one patch of decent land that survived Praimfaya. It’s there, in a village full of corpses, she discovers Madi, the only other living person on the ground.
Madi has clearly been raised to fear that eventually a Flamekeeper would come and steal her away for the Conclave, and she attacks Clarke, assuming that’s what Clarke is. They gradually get comfortable with each other, and a few years later, they’re family, as we saw in the season finale last year.
Meanwhile, up in the Ring, our favorite former grounders are getting along quite well… except for (surprise, surprise) Murphy. Emori seems to have adjusted beautifully to teamwork, but Murphy is well, Murphy. Nice to see Monty and Harper still going strong, though.
And of course, Bellamy and Echo are hitting it. Who didn’t see that coming? He promises her nothing will change when they return to the ground. Famous last words.
And they now think there’s a way back to the ground because they’ve spotted a ship in orbit–the one that sent the prison transport down to the ground. Our team is risking it all to make a short space journey to the other ship, hoping to hitch a ride to the surface.
On the ground, we see what happened right after the finale last year: Clarke tells Madi to hide, then spies on the newcomers to assess their potential danger, which she quickly identifies as high. Worse, there are a lot of them, and they’re carrying a variety of weapons, some of which Clarke has never seen the like before.
When she hears Madi in danger, she rushes in to save the day, killing both the assailant and the other guy whom Madi identifies as possibly being a good guy.
“There are no good guys,” Clarke says, setting up the theme for season five.
We end on a wild teaser for what’s going on in the bunker: Octavia, presiding coolly over a gladiatorial arena. She’s really embraced Grounder traditions.
Clarke nearly dies of dehydration in the desert and awakens to a bird starting to chow down on her. She recognizes that this sign of life means there’s real land in the flying distance and winds up following the bird to Eden…a neat little echo of the story of that other Ark when a raven and a dove are the proof that land exists somewhere out there after the flood. But because this is no fairy tale world, Clarke shoots and eats the bird.
Madi is a Skairipa fan-girl, just like us. Good taste, kid.
Raven has been training with Echo, and she’s really looking strong these days. Hope her good health holds up once she’s back in Earth gravity.
For a moment, it looks like Echo considers symbolically leaving her violent past behind her… but girl, you’d best take that blade along to the prison ship, all right.
All in all, a strong season opener. The pieces are just being moved around on the board so far, but moved with resonance and flair, as we’ve come to expect from The 100.