When it comes to facing your demons, the characters of The 100 have it harder than most people considering the lengths they've gone to in the past five seasons to stay alive. That's ironically what makes it such a great theme for Season 6, when our characters will be trying their hardest to embrace a peaceful mindset and leave the desperate struggle for survival behind them.
It seems like the character who will have the most interesting journey with that theme this year will be Clarke (Eliza Taylor). As we've seen in the Season 6 trailer, Clarke will have some trouble rebuilding trust with the people she wronged last season and an even harder time establishing it with Russell (J.R. Bourne), the leader of this peaceful civilization they will find on Sanctum.
"Clarke obviously is facing the demons of her past deeds, but in the season, as we go forward, that [theme], 'face your demons,' takes on a very, very different meaning," showrunner Jason Rothenberg told TV Guide. "I'm sorry for being ambiguous, but nobody has even begun to see the beginning of what her real story is this season. That will be more clear, I think, once people see [Episodes] 4, 5, and 6. And it's a brilliant, brilliant performance by her. I'm so proud of Eliza Taylor. She's been great from day one, but this season she took it to a whole other place."
In the first two episodes of the season, Clarke will struggle in some pretty dramatic ways with all the hard choices she made last year and all of the bridges she burned. Rothenberg says that in some ways, she does regret her actions and would change them if she could, which is what motivates her to try to change and grow on this new planet.
"It's about, 'How do we do better moving forward? How do we kind of honor Monty's last wishes for us to drop the continuing idea of doing whatever it takes to survive, no matter how dark and no matter how many other people have to be killed or suffer so that your people can survive,'" Rothenberg said of the group's journey this year. "To me, that was kind of thematically where the story was for five seasons. Now, they're all trying to make a break from that. Is there a way to survive and not put your own survival or the survival of your family or nation or whatever the case may be — tribe, clan, whatever — over the survival of everybody else? Unfortunately, mankind has not learned that yet. It, in many ways, does kind of make a statement about where we are as a human species, and hopefully they can and we as a people can figure out we're all in this together. Eventually, I'm hoping we can illuminate some message like that, but it's going to be hard if the other side is not willing to live by the same 'do better-ism.'"
Another person who will no doubt struggle with that new ethos is Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), who also committed some potentially unforgivable crimes in the bunker in order to keep Wonkru alive. To get to a place where she can even consider not shooting first as the best option for survival, she's got to come to terms with what she did and who she became as Blodreina.
"She knows redemption needs to happen in order to heal her heart and a lot of relationships," Avgeropoulos said earlier this year at WonderCon, "but is that something she's willing to do? I guess the fans will have to find out. Octavia did a lot of things in the bunker that were needed for survival, but she did have a lot of counterparts that assisted her in doing so, so she's not totally to blame... I don't think she's really ready to let sleeping dogs lie."
We're dying to see what kind of madness would happen if Octavia ever had to go toe-to-toe with Russell. Something tells us that power struggle would be one for the ages.
The 100 returns Tuesday, April 30 at 9/8c on The CW.
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