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Monday, July 17, 2017

'The 100' S3 BD: Full Nuclear Post-Apocalyptic Civil War

These thoughts regarding the Warner Archive Blu-ray complete series S3 set for the current CW teendram "The 100" completes a series of reviews on S1-S3 of this program ahead of the pre-ComicCon July 18, 2017 Archive Blu-ray release of "100" S4. The basic lore of the show is that the descendants of survivors of a global nuclear holocaust experience intense trauma and turmoil on returning to earth after almost a century. Some of the young offenders who are the first of the group to return to earth literally save this drama for their momma.

The S1 review expands on that lore, and the S2 review discusses how our neo-pioneers cope with the fallout from the desperate measures that surviving the S1 threats requires.

Ala fellow CW teendrams, "100" continues its pattern of starting a season in the aftermath of the epic prior season. S3 begins with group leader Clarke wandering the countryside after earning the scorn of her fellow resettlers for "sins" that include genocide as a harsh means to free a group of captives and a separate incident in which she allows several friends and family to die horrific deaths. Meanwhile, former leader Jaha is learning more about the fabled paradise that he and broody bad boy Murphy crossed a desert and battled monsters to find. For his part, former goofball Jasper is deeply mourning a victim of the aforementioned annihilation of a population.

Early S3 events that set the stage for the season include Clarke (a.k.a. Wanheda) being brought before new community the Ice Nation to answer for S2 war crimes, Jaha is trying to convince his fellow former far out space nuts to discover the bliss that AI Allie provides, and the war hawk approach of newly elected government head/former earth skills teacher Pike creates all-out civil war among his fellow students and an actual bloodlust among their neighbors.

The war that pits bro against bro begins with the native American like grounders (who did not let a little thing like an all-out nuclear war drive them off earth) station what they label a peace-keeping force near Arkadia, which is the base of Clarke and her crew whom the natives consider "sky people."

Pike convinces an adequate number of people to carry out his abundance of caution policy that calls for wiping out the peacekeepers just in case that group decides to stop being peaceful; the Pike Plan to expand to territory that a grounder village occupies does not help relations either with that group or regarding those who do not share his philosophy.

Blatant religious symbolism comes in the form of Jaha doing his best to convince folks to take literal communion that equally literally takes away their pain (at a high psyche cost) and puts them in just as actual contact with their savior in the teentopia of The City of Lights (sans La Tour Eiffel.) This theme extends to literally crucifying a bearded figure who is is provided the chance to end that torment.

An awesome aspect of the civil war is introducing a 20-something gay couple consisting of a reluctant soldier (who is glad to tell anyone who asks) and his loyalist live-in boyfriend. The tension that the increasing internal strife imposes on these guys perfectly illustrates one price of the American Civil War.

Each new skirmish related to the above conflicts creates new battle lines that shift internal and external alliances. An overall lesson from these conflicts is that snuffing an individual or a group is an act that deprives one or more persons of one or more persons about whom they care and is not a good way to win friends and influence people.

A micro symbolic development is that formerly shaggy-haired geek Jasper now sports a close-cut 'do and is much more fierce. His equally all-grown up former BFF Monty also has become a form of warrior. These bros further get their own "North and South storyline.

A broader metaphor exists regarding an effort to make the newcomers the 13th grounder clan at the same time that the audience learns that the 12 space stations that united to save humanity once were 13 and that things did not work out well regarding the holdout. This reveal further provides new information regarding the war that required creating that space-based United Nations. Those folks lived in our reality but apparently did not heed the lesson of "The Terminator" beyond the whole "I'll be back" thing.

"The 100" continues the tradition of this series (and its sibling CW shows) of having the S3 events build to a massive season-ending showdown that provides a cliffhanger for the following one. The heretics confront the believers on their own turf, the power struggle (including the meddling of what passes for a super-power in the "100" world) in the Ice Nation creates all-out war, and a reluctant savoir is called upon to lead. In equally true "100" style, this ends in a manner that would have served as an fantabulous series finale had S4 merely been a virtual reality. Please stay tuned to these virtual pages for thoughts on those episodes in late July 2017.

Archive matches the S3 epicness with an especially fruitful crop of BD extras that expands well beyond the always included entertaining an informative Comic-Con panel for the season. These good folks provide fanboys docs on Arkadia, the Ice Nation, and the transformation of Clarke to Wanheda. We further get the Gag Reel and the unaired scenes that always amuse.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "100" is encouraged to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.