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The 100 Season 5 Asks If History Is Doomed to Repeat Itself

The creator talks flipping the script on our heroes

Sadie Gennis

When we saw that Eligius prison ship land in The 100's fourth season finale, we knew things were about to get nuts. And hooooboy, were we right.

The 100's fifth season will tackle the brewing war between the Eligius prisoners, led by former military strategist Charmaine Diyoza (Ivana Milicevic), and the rest of humanity, led by Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos). But before the trio of young leaders can figure out how to approach this new threat (who happen to be very well-armed, mind you), they first need to reunite after these six long years apart.


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With Clarke currently on the ground with her adoptive daughter Madi (Lola Flanery), Octavia leading Wonkru in the bunker and Bellamy up on the Ring with Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Murphy (Richard Harmon) and the others, a lot of logistics need to be figured out before our favorites will be able to find their way back together. And this being The 100 and all, you can expect that journey to come with more than its fair share of obstacles, some of which will surely be deadly.

To get the scoop on what coming in Season 5, TV Guide spoke with The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg about what fans can expect of this new war.

This season is a great mirror of Season 1, but the hundred are now the locals on the ground dealing with trigger-happy people returning home. Would you say this season is about how history is doomed to repeat itself or will we see characters take strides to break this cycle of violence?
Jason Rothenberg: First of all, yeah. We were definitely trying to upend Season 1 and show it from the other perspective. I feel like we're always trying to tell a story about [how] depending on where you live is how you feel. And by that I mean everybody's doing what's best for their people all the time. That doesn't mean that just because Clarke is our protagonist and Bellamy is one of our protagonists we're supposed to get behind their actions to save their people, but the other side is doing what they have to do to survive too. We could just as easily tell the story from that perspective. That's something that we're always trying to do and I do think that in this season writ large there will be efforts made to try and break that cycle of violence, for sure. That's something that will come out as we go forward.

Whether or not they will, whether or not people will transcend that innate need to do what's best for their own side at the expense of the other side, I can't promise you that people will rise to the better angel of their nature, but it will certainly be a battle that unfolds as the season does.

Jack Rowand/The CW

How do these new antagonists set themselves apart from previous foes our heroes have faced, and how will their advanced weapons change how Clarke and the others are forced to deal with them?
Certainly it becomes a challenge. The weapon that we've seen fired, for instance, in the trailer --that cannon thing -- is actually a mining tool. I don't know if anybody's ever pointed that out, but it's something that's designed to, using soundwaves, break up rock on an asteroid and it's being repurposed into a weapon by the prisoners. And that is a technological advantage, for sure, and the ship itself that they fly has missiles that are designed to break up rock, not people, as Shaw [Jordan Bolger's new Eligius character] says in Episode 4.

But ultimately, overcoming adversary is going to be a season-long thing. And I think again, we try to dimensionalize them despite the fact that they're murderers and in one instance, a serial killer. It's more difficult to create characters that have light and dark sides when you're dealing with a group of hardened prisoners like that, but we endeavor to do so anyway.

Clarke has gone through a lot in the past six years, including a life of isolation with Madi. When she does eventually reunite with her friends and family, will it be a tough adjustment to reintegrate into society and become a leader again?
Yes and no. It will certainly be emotionally powerful to get back with the people that she loves. There is a certain degree of you can't go home again-ness, if that's a thing. I just made it up. For sure, she now has a priority of one. Madi is now her priority and we will, as the season unfolds, realize that if a situation arises where there's one thing that's good for Madi and another thing that's good for everybody else, then there will be problems. Clarke is going to be torn in ways that she's never been torn before. That will be part of the drama of this season for sure.

Bellamy is much more level-headed and rational than he used to be. How will that change the way he approaches this new war?
Bellamy is grown up. He's spent six years on that ship making a vow and living on that vow to be a better man, a better leader, not so impulsive and integrate the head and the heart, as Clarke wished for him in their emotional scenes in [the Season 4 finale]. Not wanting her [death] - of course, he thinks she's dead - to be in vain, and he's lived by that. He's walked that walk. He's going to fight to stay on that path as things get more and more difficult this season. That's a challenge for him. I think he's up to it.

The 100 returns Tuesday, April 24 at 10/9c on The CW.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)