The 100

The 100 finally returns for its third season after nearly a year off the air. Loyal fans have been waiting to see what becomes of Clarke (Eliza Taylor)’s solo journey after leaving the camp, and what’s going on with that woman in the red dress. Well, you’ll see that three months have gone by and Clarke is a good hunter, but she can’t stay alone for long. Raven (Lindsey Morgan) can still barely use her leg but she’s on a scouting mission, with a modern soundtrack.

The CW presented a panel of The 100 cast for the Television Critics Association and we got to sit down with creator and show runner Jason Rothenberg while he was in Los Angeles. Some mild spoilers of the first two episodes of the new season are part of our discussion. The 100 returns Thursday, January 21 at 9 on The CW. 

Maybe I’m this good at following along TV shows, but I didn’t feel like it’s been a year. Was the season premiere designed to throw people right back in even if you didn’t remember everything about last season?

It’s been a long time. We’ve been away for 300+ days. We premiered in the fall last year and the show ended early because it’s not a 22-episode show. Now we’re premiering midseason so it’s a very long time for the fans to have to wait for the show. I look at it as the good cable shows that I watch are away for about that much time usually, so I know the audience can hang in there. Also it gave time for the Netflix audience to try to hopefully catch up on the second season once it finally was available. In terms of the story and the premiere, we’re jumping ahead three months. Listen, we live in a serialized world. Television is serialized. Who starts watching episode one of season three? You don’t. You start, you binge, you hear it’s great and then you go back on Netflix and you catch up. Now the hope is people who just caught up… Some people by the way, our fans who’ve been there from the beginning had to wait a year almost. The new people who just binged over the holidays and are complaining a little bit about, “I just finished the binge and now I’ve got to wait a month.” Imagine if you had to wait a year.

Was “Add It Up” an important song choice?

I loved the Violent Femmes when I was a kid. So when you’re picking music to put in the show, it’s more about what’s right for the moment. What feels right? What would be available to them? This is a different kind of needle drop for us because it’s actually being listened to by the characters. It’s not just a straight up needle drop. Maya had an iPod and that’s where the music was coming from. So no, it wasn’t anything other than it felt right. The idea of bringing Shawn Mendes in to sing the same song but to do the sort of darker, Donnie Darko take on “Mad World,” that was what I was going for there. As both way to have Shawn in the show in a way that felt of our show. I didn’t want him to sing something else. I wanted him to sing that. It just creatively worked out in a cool way.

But Maya didn’t have the explicit version.

Well, we couldn’t say, “Why can’t I get just one f***?” We couldn’t say that of course. In production we played it and they did the whole thing. I have the unedited version in my house but we can’t obviously show that. We didn’t edit the song for playback on the day. Devon [Bostick] was so amazing. Devon really committed to that.

Clarke’s solo journey didn’t go so well, did it?

Well, she survived. She got tougher. She figured out how to kill panthers. She met Niylah, but she didn’t escape what she did. That’s the reason she took off was because she couldn’t handle it anymore. She’d been doing nothing but taking care of everyone else since the time she got on the ground and it broke her. She killed 300 people including innocent kids and parents who were helping them. That weighs heavily and that’s why she takes off and ultimately learns pretty quickly, I mean it’s three months later, but pretty quickly in the show this season, you can’t run away from who you are. You have to own it. You have to take responsibility for it. She is a hero. She needs to act like it.

Is keeping your lead actress gagged for the first two episodes a bold choice?

I don’t know if it’s a bold choice, but it’s easier to write, that’s for sure.

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