Tuesday, 7 June 2016

CONTROLEntertainmentOnline Reviews: The 100 Season 3

The doors have closed on another season of TV. We’ve watched heartbreak, death, love, celebration, wars, continuity and retcons in all their glory, enjoying and hating in equal measures.

Whenever a new TV show begins I wait to hear it’s status before deciding whether it’s worth a watch. There’s no point binging and falling in love with characters, if they’re going to be dragged off our screens by the grim reaper. Viewing the trailer for The 100’s first season, I thought it was a show that had promise. I was warned that the first couple of eps are shall we say not of the greatest quality, and that is something I reminded myself constantly through viewing. I hated Wells being killed by Charlotte who then killed herself, Jasper was annoying, couldn’t stand Bellamy and don’t get me started on Murphy. I binged the show over a 2-week period, constantly telling myself I was going to stop watching after the next ep to get on with work and before I knew it was 11pm and time for bed. The 100? Not a bad TV show.

Fast forwarding to s3 and because I loved the show so much, I deciding against viewing online and instead waited the extra weeks for my viewing to count on the TV. It was extremely hard to avoid spoilers since they were everywhere, but when you really love a show, it’s always worth the wait. S3 didn’t fail those expectations but it didn’t exactly match them either.

Now granted my viewing is slightly behind on actual viewing so I had the advantage of knowing where storylines were going to lead before they actually got there, which may have made it somewhat easier. But still the beginning of the City Of Light story? Boring. Jaha has never been my favourite character. I actually skipped over his scenes in season 2 because I could not be dealing with him. Involving Murphy in this storyline made it somewhat more bearable, and I dare say Murphy is one of the characters who’s had the most development since the show began. The storyline did pick up in the middle of the season which was a plus. But it still loses major points for the fact I dislike any storyline that involves taking a characters free-will away from them. When you add torture and manipulation to that, I’m afraid it’s a no from me.

I know a lot of people have complained about Clarke being separated from the main camp for the majority of the season, but I actually didn’t mind it. But the way Clarke & Lexa were handled could’ve been better. The 100 is a rare show I watch without shipper goggles on, and when Lexa was introduced last season I loved her immediately. Unlike the majority of people when she betrayed Clarke to save her own, I didn’t hate her. For me, it would’ve been out of character for her to do anything else because Lexa was a warrior first and foremost. That’s what made her death so anticlimactic. For S4 I would like more Clarke/Abby scenes. Their relationship is extremely complicated and was one of my favourites when the show began, so it has been sad to see it somewhat dwindle down.

I didn’t find Pike’s storyline to be as frustrating as others did. It has been said that the storyline came out of nowhere but I don’t think it did. From the moment he was introduced his hatred of grounders was clear and understandable. Of course tying everyone with the same brush isn’t right, but when you only have on experience to guide you I can see why you would. Having the others at the camp who have had both positive and negative experiences with the grounders, but agreed to go by the peace treaty all of a sudden jump on Pike’s wagon? Considering you had the likes of Octavia, Lincoln, Abby & Kane around, it felt a little rushed.

The same can be said for Bellamy’s relationship. I can’t honestly remember his girlfriend’s name which doesn’t surprise me, considering she only existed to push him towards Pike’s agenda. It’s another of those annoying tropes, and perhaps it would’ve been better to spend a little less time on the COL at the beginning, and a little more time with Bellamy and his love. I also found it a tad annoying that Bellamy along with Pike murdered innocent people and whilst Finn was rightly lambasted Bellamy? Well no-one’s said a word. I understand it was once again for story purposes, but I am going to need to see some sort of consequence next year. As for Lincoln? Having an actor on a regular contract only for them to say around 5 words every few eps, put them with a main character only for them to later be executed? Not class and not clever. Lincoln had a lot of potential when he was introduced and it was wasted.

So that’s the negatives out the way. The positives for the show are routed firmly with its actors. Even if the writing is horrible, as long as you have a talented actor at your disposal? Not all bad. Eliza Taylor and Lindsey Morgan are the stand-outs for me. Playing different characters can be quite tricky, but Lindsey knocked it out the park first when A.L.I.E restored Raven’s pain and bad memories to make her submit, and then when A.L.I.E took over her body. The way Raven got up so calm and collected is the creepiest thing I’ve seen on TV outside of the weekly Criminal Mind visits. Eliza was great in Lexa’s death scene, the episode that followed and of course the finale. Be it Clarke overcome at seeing Lexa again, standing by and letting Abby almost kill herself and then comforting her in the finale? It’s pure class.

On a whole I give The 100 Season 3 a B Grade. It had a lot of negatives I hope are worked on, but it also had a number of positives. City Of Light story came good, Octavia got retribution for Lincoln’s death, Leva, Raven & Clarke were awesome in the combined take down of A.L.I.E and there were a number of exceptional performances. Given the fact I got through Season 1 despite my misgivings, it will take a lot for me to give up on this show, though I am more cautious on my anticipation for S4.