Warning: Major spoilers for "The 100" season two finale lie ahead!
Just when you thought that Clarke (Eliza Taylor) had made the most soul-crushing decision of her life when she allowed the Mountain Men to blow up Tondc, the leading lady of "The 100" went ahead and literally melted the Mountain Men. All of them. Maya (Eve Harlow), the red shirts who offered the 44 safe haven, and those adorable wee children included.
MTV News caught up with "The 100" guru-slash-showrunner Jason Rothenberg earlier this week to discuss what's next for Clarke after her brief foray into mass murder -- and of course, we also got the scoop on Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Bellamy (Bob Morley), and whatever the hell is going on with those nuclear warheads over at the Promised Land as well.
MTV: What went into your decision to have Clarke make so many awful decisions this year? Between Tondc, killing Dante, and all of those kids, she sure has had a rough go of it.
Jason Rothenberg: Going into this season I knew that this season was about, thematically, how far you will go to survive. I wanted to push Clarke, and really everybody, to the brink of having to do the unthinkable in order to save their people, and see who was willing to cross it, and who wasn’t. Literally from day one of this season, I knew Clarke was going to do it. She was going to get her people back, but she was going to have to do something so dark, so intense, that she would be broken by it... She was going to look at herself as a monster.
So, that was literally from day one going into this season, and that’s how it played out. Everyone involved at the leadership level in the triangle between Dante, Lexa and Clarke -- forget about Cage, obviously, he was a stooge that was in over his head -- but Lexa, she was faced with a really awful choice, which was save your people, but to do that, you have to give up the woman that you love... And she did it... So it comes down to Clarke, where in order to save her people she has to kill every man, woman and child in Mount Weather. I made it very clear, defining the fact that there were good people there. As intense as it is, I wanted the camera to find the kids as much as possible, because I wanted the stakes of what she did to really land.
MTV: Oh, it landed. And here I was thinking that Maya was going to be a series regular next year.
Rothenberg: I was tempted to keep her on the show. The truth is, Mount Weather is only there because of this sin that they’ve been committing for 50 years to the Grounders. Without that, they’d have been gone long ago. So none of them, even the children who had no choice in the matter -- they didn’t ask to be born, and they didn’t ask to take the blood -- they wouldn’t be there without that sin. To let Maya live just because we loved her felt like the wrong choice, creatively, for the show. Certainly, I don’t think it would be the way we do things if only the people in Mount Weather who were bad died, and Clarke somehow managed to save the people we like -- like Maya, Maya’s father and the children.
MTV: What's next for Clarke, now that she's on her own?
Rothenberg: She’s broken. She’s devastated in many ways by what she had to do, and what she’s lost. She lost Finn, she lost Lexa, she lost Bellamy -- she lost everything in order to get this accomplished, and now she needs to get away from it all. She can’t live around these people that she saved, because it will remind her of what she had to do to get them there. So she’s going on walkabout like a good Aussie, and we’ll see how long that walkabout lasts. There’s another agenda in her mind that takes center stage by the time we catch up with her in season three.
MTV: Will this lead us to the Age of Bellamy?
Rothenberg: Bellamy has really risen as a true hero in many ways. Totally pure, although he started in a pretty dark, selfish place in season one... He’s going to be inspirational to his people, and he’s going to be recognized as the hero that he really is. I guess you could extrapolate to a future where he is, in some way, really given responsibility. And when Clarke goes off on her own, Bellamy stays, because he feels responsible now. He feels ownership in many ways. These are his people. Everything he’s done to get them back here, he’s not going to throw away. He’s going to make sure that they continue surviving. Clarke, on the other hand, is handling it very differently.
MTV: Obviously, Clarke had a huge moment a couple of weeks ago when she kissed Lexa. But since Alycia Debnam-Carey is headed to 'The Walking Dead' spin-off, does that mean Clexa was just a one-hit wonder?
Rothenberg: First of all... [Clarke's sexuality] is never going to be an issue, it’s not a big deal. In the world of our show, nobody cares who you love, nobody cares what color you are, nobody cares if you’re a man or a woman -- that’s why the women are in charge, in many ways. We get a lot of credit for that, too. It’s a merit-based society, not a gender-based society.
But going forward, yeah, I’m sure we’ll play out female relationships and we’ll play out male relationships. Bellamy and Clarke might happen, Lexa and Clarke might continue to happen. Alycia is going off to 'The Walking Dead' spinoff and I’m very excited for her, but it’s only a six-episode season. So, you know. I’m hoping that they kill her very quickly... I really do hope that we have not seen the last of her.
MTV: Well, I'm hoping and assuming we haven't seen the last of the Grounders.
Rothenberg: The Grounder-Sky Person alliance is definitely broken... Lexa, when she made the deal, was assuming that the 44 would be killed and that Clarke would probably die, and she would still have Mount Weather there to keep her people united. She was probably -- master strategist that she is -- thinking several moves ahead. Thinking she could keep her alliance together, the 12 clans, because they would still have this evil empire out there to unite them.
Then Clarke goes ahead and single-handedly defeats that evil empire. On the one hand, it means the legend of Clarke of the Sky People grows. Everywhere she goes it’s like, ‘I heard it was 5,000 people! No, I heard it was 10,000 people!’ Everywhere she goes, she’s a legend now. That means that Lexa will probably have to deal with that legend in some way going forward. Certainly it means that her alliance now no longer has a real reason to be held together. I should probably stop in terms of what it means for season three, but I’m really excited to play out the ramifications of all of that.
MTV: And what of this so-called Promised Land? I don't really get what that AI woman was doing, but I'm excited to find out.
Rothenberg: The idea of ending the season on them is a way to foreshadow where we’re going in season three, just like how the white room foreshadowed where we were going in season two. It was really important for me to tell the story of how the world ended. We’ve never really dealt with that before. The scene in the bunker where Murphy sees the video of someone who was in some way involved with the creation of the AI known as Ali, and he’s killing himself for the guilt of the end of the world... Ali, you can assume, had something to do with that. [This] becomes part of the focus of the story in season three.