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Recap / The 100 S 01 E 01

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Pilot

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We're back, bitches!!!
I feel the sun on my face. I see trees all around me, the scent of wildflowers on a breeze. It’s so beautiful. In this moment, I'm not stranded in space. It's been ninety-seven years since a nuclear apocalypse killed everyone on Earth, leaving the planet simmering in radiation. Fortunately, there were survivors. 12 nations had operational space stations at the time of the bombs. There is now only the Ark, one station forged from the many. We’re told the Earth needs another 100 years to become survivable again. Four more space-locked generations and man can go home, back to the ground. The ground — that’s the dream. This is reality. Reality sucks.

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Clarke Griffin, Opening Narration

Set in an indeterminate year in the distant future, 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse has devastated the surface of Earth, the only remaining humans are residents of a flotilla of orbiting space stations known as "The Ark". Equipped with vitals-monitoring wristbands, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to the surface to test its habitability. Among them is 17-year-old Clarke Griffin, the daughter of the Ark's chief medical officer, Abby. The 100 discover a lush Earth filled with new wonders and dangers. Clarke and four others search for the former Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, a possible site of supplies. Ultimately, they discover that there are hostile survivors on the ground when Jasper, one of their party, is apparently mortally attacked. The other delinquents remain at the landing site and, under the leadership of Bellamy, celebrate their new world. Back on the Ark, Chancellor Jaha has been shot, causing the merciless and unsympathetic Councilman Kane to take charge.

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Tropes

  • Affectionate Nickname: Finn stats referring to Clarke as "Princess".
  • All Crimes Are Equal: On the Ark they are. Unless you are under 18, at which point you are merely imprisoned until you turn 18 and get a trial. Usually you are still executed. The 100 are a group of teenagers who have either just turned 18 or are underage, and thus deemed expendable. Abby is later nearly executed for breaking the law by using too much blood and anesthetic to save Jaha in surgery.
  • Almighty Janitor: Literally with Bellamy, who was a janitor on the Ark before attempting to assassinate Jaha and stowing away aboard the Ark.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Kane gives a half-hearted apology for arresting Abby in public, although it's clear he takes absolutely no pleasure in having her executed. It's just the law, and he views her breaking a law as a threat to the survival of the human race.
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  • Assassination Attempt: Bellamy shot Chancellor Jaha privately before sneaking aboard the Drop Ship with the 100. Nobody on the Ark noticed for a while due to the commotion of the launch. Abby is eventually able to save him in surgery though, at nearly the cost of her own life after she breaks the law and uses too much spare blood and anesthetic.
  • As You Know: The characters talk in almost exclusively this, as there is a lot of exposition to be covered.
  • Artifact Title: Probably the quickest to become an artifact in history. There are less than a hundred by the ten minute mark.
  • The Atoner: Wells seems like this, deliberately getting himself sent to the ground the help Clarke, after his apparent betrayal led to the death of her father.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jasper ends up saving Octavia from drowning after the group manage to chase off the giant snake.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Clarke and Finn encounter a grove of glowing fungi.
  • Cliffhanger: Four words:
    Clarke: We're not alone.
  • Comm Links: Subverted. The Drop Ship was built with these, but its Coming in Hot ends up destroying them, leaving the 100 with no way to communicate with the Ark, save the wristbands, which only broadcast their vitals.
  • Cool Starship: The Ark. It completely averts Special Effects Failure.
  • The Corrupter: Played straight with Commander Shumway, who spends time urging Kane to start culling members of the Ark. Played with for Bellamy, who urges the 100 to turn to hedonism as a means of rebelling against the Ark and their parents.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Wells lambasts Bellamy for deciding that everyone on the Ark needs to stay in space, as all of their doctors, farmers, and engineers are up there, and the 100 are unlikely to survive long term without them.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The dialogue is very clunky in these early episodes, laden with exposition, and the characters aren't quite fully formed, being mostly cliche stereotypes. Needless to say, It Gets Better.
  • Establishing Character Moment: All of the main characters get these.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Abby calmly marches towards her execution, only asking her friends to look out for Clarke after she dies, and then tries to give advice on how to contact the 100. Subverted when Jaha appears and pardons her.
  • Fake Kill Scare: Bellamy convinces most of the hundred to pull this on a massive scale by removing their wristbands, making the Ark think that they have died. Later, he forcibly removes Wells' at gunpoint.
  • Foreshadowing: The Drop Ship was initially aimed at Mount Weather.
  • The Hedonist: Bellamy successfully convinces most of the 100 to follow this. It isn't very difficult, as most of them are repressed horny teenagers. However, it's implied he doesn't actually believe what he is saying.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The cliffhanger sees Jasper hit with spear hard enough to be pinned to a nearby tree.
  • Instant Sedation: How the guards get Clarke aboard the Drop Ship.
  • Little Stowaway: An adult version with Bellamy, who disguised himself as a guardsman in order to sneak aboard the Drop Ship and accompany it to Earth, in order to protect Octavia.
  • The Medic: Abby is the most skilled doctor on the Ark, as well as a highly competent surgeon.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Two. Finn has a minor one when he realizes that inspiring two other delinquents to remove their seatbelts got them killed.
  • Mr. Exposition: Nearly all of the characters are this, with a dose of As You Know, courtesy of the Early Installment Weirdness.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Upon encountering a river, Octavia immediately strips down to her underwear and goes for a swim.
  • Only Sane Man: Clarke and Wells trade this role throughout the episode. Clarke spends the entire episode trying to get the 100 food and supplies, and avoid the ver very real dangers of Earth. Most of the others treat her as a nuisance. Meanwhile Wells tries to maintain peace in the camp.
  • Population Control: Clarke initially suspects that all the prisoners are being floated to help control the population. Abby clarifies that no, they aren't being deliberately killed, only sent to the ground.
  • The Radio Dies First: All of the electrical systems of the Drop Ship are fried on impact, but most importantly the radio.
  • Ragnarok Proof: Averted. The Drop Ship is over a century old, and consequently most of the useable technology is destroyed on impact during landing.
  • Scenery Porn: The delinquents are initially spellbound by the sheer beauty of Earth, having grown up on a sterile space station. It gets better with discovery of a glow-in-the-dark grove of fungi.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Abby breaks the law by using more than the allotted blood and anesthetic to treat Jaha for his bullet wound. This nearly gets her executed until a recovered Jaha pulls a Screw the Rules, I Make Them! and pardons her.
  • Sea Monster: More like river monster, and combined with Snakes Are Sinister. Octavia is attacked by a giant river snake while going swimming. Some quick thinking on Clarke and Jasper's part end up saving her.
  • Secretly Dying: Clarke reveals that the entire Ark is this, as the Oxygen system is failing and might be beyond repair. Her father Jake was the engineer that discovered it and tried to go public with it, but was floated before he could and Clarke was put in solitary.
  • Shout-Out: Clarke and Bellamy arguing whether or not to open the Drop Ship door is one to a similar scene in Galaxy Quest.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Octavia's pronouncement when she sets foot on Earth for the first time:
    Octavia: WE'RE BACK, BITCHES!!!!
  • Those Two Guys: Jasper and Monty are introduced as such.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Standard of method of execution aboard the Ark. Abby is nearly subjected to it, before being saved at the last moment by Jaha pardoning her.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Finn is almost this, and it results in the deaths of two of the 100 after they take off their seatbelts to enjoy the zero g in the Drop Ship before they enter the atmosphere. Finn survives, but the other two die.
  • Two-Faced: The first animal encountered by the 100 on the ground is a two headed dear.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Clarke's father's watch is established as such. She gets quite upset when the guards remove it in the opening scene.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you watched the first trailer for the series, almost all the plot points of the pilot are spoiled.
  • Villain Respect: Bellamy's liking of Wells is framed as such, although Bellamy isn't quite villainous yet.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kane makes it crystal clear that he views himself this way. He will take any action, no matter how horrific, if it means the survival of the human race.
    Kane: Friendship is a luxury we can't afford, and if I have to take us down to a cosmic Adam and Eve, I will do it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Clarke and Wells were childhood best friends, but Clarke is angry with him because he supposedly betrayed her a long time ago.
  • You Are Number 6: Clarke is referred to as Prisoner 319.
  • You Killed My Father: Murphy blaims Wells for Jaha executing his father.
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