The 100 has been an underrated and under-watched sci-fi show on the CW for the past two years. It finally got a lot of attention this year. Granted, it was for the wrong reasons, but still. Despite that and even a rock third season, the show is great.
Spoilers For The 100
It might be impossible to separate this season and the backlash from Lexa's death. The sad truth is the actress, Alycia Debnam-Carey, is a series regular on Fear The Walking Dead and the show was only going to have her for a few episodes. Lexa was going to die. Was it handled well? No. Was there a better way? Probably. Was there going to be backlash no matter what they did? Also probably. Lexa's death brought about another look at the "bury your gays" tv trope and an interesting disscusion about how showrunners and writers should interact with fans. And, honestly, I am not the person to talk about this stuff. Variety ran a wonderful article about it in March and so many others did the same.
What I can talk about is that the season was good. Yes, the first half was juggling too many arcs and stories. The show felt like it was drifting from one story to the next, not exactly building to anything in particular. Episode seven, "Thirteen", for what it is worth, was the turning point of the season. The City of Light and Grounders all started to interweave and it all finally made sense. Well, all but the Pike story.
So, Pike. Pike was a villain that became a victim of lack of screen time. From the second he was introduced, he was going to be anti-grounder. He was going to be the foil for Abby and Kane and he was going to turn Bellamy to the darkside. He was zero to hundred with no chance to develop as a character. And even when the show tried to give him some, it felt like it was them trying to redeem the man for his crimes. Which were, if you happened to forget, killing 299 Innocent grounders. There was no redeeming that and, in the end, the show didn't try to. He stood by his actions and got what he deserved. In the end, whether he was fully formed or not, he was a character on this show, and The 100 understands their characters.
The show stands by its characters and they're motivations. Yes, in cases like Bellamy and Finn in season two, their motivations weren't fleshed out very well, but they are there. Think about Bellamy and the Grounders. For most of his time on Earth, they have tried to kill him and his friends. They abandoned them at Mount Weather and killed Gina. He never got to see them as civilized people, he only got to see the warriors and the killers. So, yeah, he is not going to trust an army of Grounders. And pushed far enough, I could see him wanting to kill them, and Pike pushed him. Did it happen too fast? Yes, but the show has never been good at showing the passage of time (except the opening scene of season three). The thing is, Bellamy trying to deal with what he has done, and by extension what he did to Octavia, was worth it.
And he wasn't the only one that got to grow this season. Octavia, who was badly underused this season, never felt out of character. From wanting to leave Arkadia with Lincoln to her issues with Bellamy to even what she did to Pike (both times), it all felt like her. Raven, and Lindsey Morgan, proved how important she is to the show. Just rewatch "Fallen" and "Nevermore" if you don't believe me. Murphy, a character I really didn't like at all before this season, was handled so well. From his time serving Ontari and his relationship with Emori, Murphy became a well rounded character with believable motivations. And it continues with Clarke's arc that it's been building since the start: there are no good guys.
And I could go on and on about the characters we know, and I will, but I would like to put some praise on Alie. The A.I. that ended the world was the right choice of villain for season three. Her entire goal was to save the world and to make everyone happy. It meant controlling everyone with mind control chips, but it was all for the greater good. And you can tell that with the way Eric Cerra played the character. You can especially see that when she is playing Becca, Alie's creator. Cerra gave both characters a sense of sadness and tragedy, just in different ways.
Overall, Watch The 100
The 100 is a small show science fiction show that should not be as good as it is. It understands its characters and understands what it wants to be. It stumbles every once in awhile, sure. It blows through plots and characters too fast sometimes and sometimes feels a bit like it is taking on too much sometimes. However, it is a story and show that is worth watching.