[Warning: This post contains spoilers about the Season 7 premiere of The 100, "From the Ashes." Read on at your own risk!]
The 100 Season 7 is finally here, but the premiere somehow left us with more questions than answers! Do we really have invisible people to contend with on top of bodysnatchers and Anomalies now? And where the hell is Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley)?
While Clarke was busy keeping things in check with the Children of Gabriel, the Eligius prisoners, and the people of Sanctum, crazy things were afoot in the woods with Bellamy's group. The Season 7 premiere didn't quite answer what became of Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) after the Anomaly receded, but we did get some huge clues about who the gang will be facing off with this year.
After screaming his lungs out over his sister's apparent death, Bellamy was kidnapped and seemingly taken through the Anomaly to places unknown by a group of invisible and heavily armed soldiers. Whoever they are, they are very high tech, can control the Anomaly, and have a kill order on Hope Diyoza (Shelby Flannery). Echo (Tasya Teles) made the game-time decision to form a hesitant alliance with Hope and Gabriel (Chuku Modu), and they all followed these strangers through the Anomaly to save Bellamy. If you're hoping for a speedy rescue, however, you may be disappointed.
TV Guide has learned that Bellamy's capture was written into the Season 7 storyline to give actor Bob Morley some time off from the series. While he remains a series regular on the show, you should expect to see less of Bellamy Blake in the final season than you're used to. We talked to showrunner Jason Rothenberg about Bellamy's absence, who exactly has taken him, and what final season twists we should expect from The 100 this year.
What can you say about who has Bellamy and what this new group of people is like?
Jason Rothenberg: We know that they have mastered the Anomaly. I really can't reveal very much about them other than that we know that they certainly seem to be the big bad and that our heroes are going into that Anomaly to try to find Bellamy and save him hopefully from them.
Was Bellamy's capture and his resulting absence a story decision or a logistics decision?
Rothenberg: Bob chose to take some time off this season, and I think, speaking for him, that he was grateful that the studio was able to work out -- and that the writers obviously were able to work out -- a storyline in a way that enabled him to do that. We had time, because of when it happened, to sort of craft a story that was still filled with surprises and suddenly he became the thing that everybody was trying to find and looking for. It was largely due to the fact that he wanted to take a break.
We also know Sheidheda is now in Russell's body, which seems like bad news. What can you say about his goals at this point?
Rothenberg: Well, it's bad news, but it's great news for us because J.R. Bourne is fantastic. And getting to see him play this totally new character is a delight, really. I mean, he's a big villain, that's for sure. He's not a good guy. But he has a perspective like all of our villains -- I hesitate to even use the word villain because everybody's is grey really on the show. We try to obviously dimensionalize the bad guys and certainly we dirty up the good guys. He's probably more on the Cage Wallace (Johnny Whitworth) side of the bad guy scale, perhaps even somewhere near McCreary, dare I say? ...We're going to get pretty deep into who Sheidheda is and what Sheidheda wants, and obviously, he wants everything.
The premiere title "From the Ashes" did remind me of that Second Dawn saying from Season 3, but was that a purposeful callback or just a coincidence?
Rothenberg: It wasn't a coincidence that we named it "From the Ashes."
When writing this final season, had you had certain character's endings mapped out for years or did all of it come together during the process of writing Season 7?
Rothenberg: Everything kind of evolves as you're working on it. Obviously, seven years is longer than I thought I'd been gifted to be working on this show. So we had endpoints in mind, we blew past those endpoints, and as we started to think about this season, I really wanted to say something with our final season. I have this not so original theory, that the ending of a story is the story's moral -- it's what it was all about, you know? And so for six seasons, we've been kind of holding the mirror up to society and saying how awful people are and how far they'll go to protect the people that they love. And the lengths that they'll go to are often so dark that they become the bad guys, or they become sort of grey or morally corrupted. Even our heroes, obviously. But I don't believe that. I believe I actually have a much more optimistic opinion of people, and so I certainly wanted to make a statement about what it all meant. I think that's one of the things we'll see as the season starts to ramp up and get into the home stretch, that we're really building towards something surprising and, I won't say profound, but certainly, we're trying to make a point.
Since this is The 100, can we assume more major character deaths will occur?
Rothenberg: You know, everybody dies. Not everybody really lives. [Laughs] To quote Braveheart. I can't take ownership of that line.
Final seasons tend to revisit greatest hits so did you want to do callbacks and returning characters and things like that for this season?
Rothenberg: One of the other goals I set out for our writers this season was to try to kind of fill in some blanks, you know? There were certain storylines that I wanted to kind of not wrap up, necessarily, but certainly kind of elaborate on and explain. I won't get into what they are because that's definitely spoiler territory. But it is a final season and obviously we always do call back to things. I think one of the things we've done well is sort of remembering what's happened to these people. Things don't just go away. People are haunted by things that they've done and people that they've lost and so anything is possible. But I don't want to get too deep into spoiler territory because that would ruin the fun.
The 100 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.