By Dave B.
If you’ve watched previous seasons of The 100 (CW, currently on Netflix) you have a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for: exceptional world-building, questionable decision-making, inconveniently timed bouts of morality, the death of at least one significant character, moderately decent acting at times, and exceptionally strong female characters. And if you’ve stuck with the series up to Season 5, you’ve learned to love these aspects of the show. The question is, does the fifth season deliver what fans want? The answers are “No” and “Hell Yes!”.
For the “No” part, this most recent season of The 100 suffers from two major flaws. The first is that the stakes APPEAR far lower this season than in previous ones. The scale of the conflict that the “heroes” face feels smaller than in previous seasons. There isn’t a mystery to solve. Unlike in previous seasons, there’s a lack of a lot important historical information that adds further richness to the world of The 100. And the most egregious problem directly relates to the “Hell Yes!” part of weather this season delivers: The way that Octavia (played compellingly by Marie Avgeropoulos) was treated by friends, family, and allies.
Easily the strongest aspect of Season 5 is the Wonkru storyline, specifically every scene that Octavia (AKA Skairipa, AKA Osleya, AKA Blodreina) is in. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Octavia is currently one of the most interesting characters on TV. On basic television, it’s rare to see a character that has had to endure so much and had to make such tough decisions, while being treated with so little compassion not only from those who claim to love her, but also from those who FORCED her into making decisions that she never would have acquiesced to on her own. I don’t agree with every decision that she makes this season, but the number of her people who immediately want to toss her aside after she has given all of herself to them, is infuriating.
Despite The 100’s usual imperfections (hit and miss acting performances, a plethora deus ex machinas, etc.) and ones that are unique to Season 5, the show is still fun. Season after season, The 100 manages to give viewers what they want without feeling stale. I don’t even consider the show a guilty pleasure because it manages be creative and shocking enough to hold my attention throughout every episode (which is very hard to do). It’s a great show to binge watch and I can’t wait to see what Season 6 has in store for us.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.