'The 100' Season 5 Throws it Back
Like most shows, The 100 isn’t exempt from having the occasional throwback to previous seasons. These references can be important for character growth, plot, or simply put in for nostalgia’s sake. The first five episodes of the fifth season of The 100 offer more than a few references to previous seasons, especially the first. A few are subtle and perhaps coincidental, but I’m convinced that certain parallels are anything but.
Overall Season One Parallels
To kick off the fifth season, we start in space with a view of the ring. We then pan down to the earth, much like the path of the dropship in the pilot episode, which sets up the episode nicely as a tribute to the first season. We see Clarke emerge from the rubble of Becca’s lab, map in hand and ready to make her way to what’s left of Polis. This is a small reference to Clarke in the pilot, not wasting any time opening a map and making a plan to journey to Mount Weather.
When Clarke finds Eden, we also see direct references to the delinquents first experiences with Earth in Season 1. We see Clarke observing flowers like Raven, and swimming in a river like Octavia.
We even see her reaction to the first rain she’s experienced since Praimfaya, and her reaction is the same as Bellamy’s in the pilot.
Much like Clarke, we’re being reintroduced to Earth and to Eden, building it up much like the promised land that it’s named for. After four seasons, it’s easy for both the audience and the characters to become disenchanted with the Earth. We’ve seen four seasons of death and destruction, not to mention the end of the world (twice). Bringing us back to Season 1 and reminding us of the wonder that the Earth holds is a great and impactful start to the season.
Madi and Octavia
Madi and Octavia were always going to have a connection this season. We know that Madi is obviously a nightblood, and when she attacks Clarke in the first episode of the season, she does it in fear that she is a flamekeeper come to take her away to Polis for training. Later on in the episode when Clarke and Madi are hiding from the Eliguis crew, Clarke tells her to go to her “hiding spot” — which turns out to be a hole in the floor. So, much like Octavia, Madi has been hidden from those in power in order to protect her.
Besides this obvious comparison to Octavia, she’s also mentioned by Madi twice in the first five episodes. In the first episode of the season she calls Octavia “Skairipa,” a sign of her reverence. She also refers to her as a “beast.” She already idolizes Octavia, and I wouldn't be surprised if it has everything to do with how similar their childhoods were. We know that Clarke told her stories about Octavia and the rest, and that Madi has decided that Octavia is her favorite.
We saw what became of Octavia, so now the question is, what effect will this have on Madi? They are set up as clear mirrors of each other — Octavia tells her “I know what it’s like to be the girl under the floor” in the Season 5 trailer — but I wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately, Madi goes in the opposite direction of Octavia. She’s already so set on Octavia as a warrior and a hero so early in the season, and they say it’s never a good idea to meet your heroes. We’ll have to keep watching to gather more comparisons between Octavia and Madi, but let’s hope that they stop here.
The Youth Shall Inherit the Earth
Kane said it himself in Season 4: “The youth shall inherit the Earth.” For the youth to inherit the Earth, of course, that means that those in power before them have either ceded their power or have become casualties of time. Since Season 1, there have been comparisons made between the three main adult characters — Kane, Jaha, and Abby — and who are now the three main characters — Bellamy, Raven, and Clarke. We’ve seen the younger group come into their own in the last four seasons, while the adults are becoming more and more expendable, and in Jaha’s case, dead (RIP). Abby is sick, and Kane is more than ready to make a sacrificial move.
The 100 is making way for the new generation.
It’s easy to see the parallels, especially after six years. Bellamy is a strong and capable leader not unwilling to make a sacrifice of himself, much like Kane. They both had complicated relationships with their mothers, and they even have matching beards now. Clarke is a younger version of her mother: a consummate survivor, overly logical at times, possesses medical skills, and has an equally unfortunate knack for causing the death of those she loves (Abby with Jake, Clarke with Finn).
Jaha and Raven both started as engineers. Both have lost nearly everyone they love (although Space Squad 7 can now be considered her family in the new season). Raven even volunteered to stay behind on the Eligius ship to help the others — the same decision that Jaha made in Season 1 when they needed one person to stay behind on the Ark to launch the rest towards Earth. There’s probably more to be compared, but that’s an article for another time. However, it’s clear that there’s a major shift towards the youth taking the reins, especially in the new season.
It’s also clear that each defined group of this season — those in the bunker, Clarke and SS7, and the Eligius crew — are mirrored in the earlier seasons. Wonkru in the bunker is the new Mount Weather, struggling to survive together while trapped below the ground. While the cult-like atmosphere might be unique to the bunker, they’re still operating under a similar threat as Mount Weather. Neither could afford to have dissidents. We saw in Season 2 that anyone willing to help the delinquents and protect them from having their bone marrow harvested would meet a violent end, though not as violent as those that would fight gladiator style in the bunker. There is definitely an incentive to go along with the status quo in both scenarios, and I don’t envy either situation.
As for Eligius, they mirror the delinquents in Season 1. Although both groups are technically criminals, it’s safe to say that Eligius are more dangerous than a group of rowdy teenagers. We also know that they were chosen to be part of the mining crew because of this fact — they were “disposable,” as McCreary put in in 5x05, much like the delinquents in Season 1. Diyoza even scolds them for partying in the same episode, much like the delinquents did when they first landed. There’s also the obvious conflict they have with Clarke upon landing, although the stakes are a bit higher with Eden being the only viable land.
This brings me to Clarke as the grounder. Her and Madi’s home is disrupted by a foreign presence, and she is immediately wary of this new group of strangers. However, Clarke isn’t necessarily paralleling all grounders, but a significant one in particular: Lincoln.
She surveys Eligius, sketching their weapons and noting anything important. Her first task is to observe and draw conclusions from those observations, much like Lincoln did in Season 1. They even both sketch these observations.
Once captured by Eligius, she refuses to speak in the hopes that they assume she doesn’t speak English and she can overhear some information. Once captured, Lincoln employed a similar tactic, even through torture. Lincoln is electrocuted by Raven and refuses to talk, while Clarke endures the same.
Clarke’s braid - it’s a very small detail, but Clarke starts 5x01 without a braid and ends up with one, much like the pilot episode.
The crosses on McCreary’s back — this reminds me of the young grounder girl Clarke tended to in the first season. She noticed that there was a mark for each kill — are those what the crosses stand for? We know the whole crew have a religious thing going on, and that McCreary is a mass murderer. Time will tell.
Clarke journeying across the desert to find her salvation which turns out to be Eden vs. Jaha and company journeying across the desert to find the City of Light.
Clarke in front of the mass dead in Eden in 5x01 parallels a scene in 2x16 with the dead in Mount Weather.
Octavia was the first out of the bunker like she was the first out of the dropship.
All in all, I’m extremely glad that The 100 has decided to reference the earlier seasons so much in the new season. With the world ending twice and our characters all aging six years, it would have been easy for the show to forget its origins. We have a clean slate, yes, but also important references to the past that are more relevant than ever.