'The 100' Series Finale Countdown: Should The CW series reset the events of the past few episodes to end well?
We are finally so close to the end of 'The 100', one of The CW's longest-running shows and one of its most popular ones, though it has managed to create a lot of controversies, especially in the last few weeks. The final season was one that fans were anticipating with a lot of enthusiasm, however, while the seventh season had some strong episodes, many viewers were disappointed with how a few characters were dealt with.
For instance, Clarke Griffin's (Eliza Taylor) character-assassinating plot of killing Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley) to protect her daughter, Madi (Lola Flanery) was hard for many fans to watch. It was only made worse when it turned out that Bellamy's death was pointless after all when Madi sacrificed herself up to Bill Cadogan (who likes to get people to call him the Shepherd, played brilliantly by John Pyper-Ferguson) only for him to torture her to the point where she had a stroke, and the parts of her brain responsible for voluntary movement were destroyed. To be clear, Madi is not dead, though Clarke seemed to take it that it was good enough as her being dead because Madi was now disabled. These Madi-Clarke scenes were especially triggering for many fans to watch.
Now, as longtime fans -- especially for those who hated to see Bellamy's arc end the way it did --, one theory for the finale has been growing popular. If there's one thing that the extended trailer has proved to viewers, it is that the "last war" (as Cadogan calls it) or the test of humanity's evolution (put forward by Jordan Green played by Shannon Kook) is definitely coming. It also looks like it will be Clarke who will be the one taking it. The theory that has been growing popular is that "transcendence" might mean a rebirth of sorts and the appearance of the Ark in the first trailer for the series finale had fans wondering whether at the end of it all, we might just go back to the beginning.
It is understandable why most fans would want a retconning of the events that took place in the last few episodes. We are not including Gabriel Santiago's (Chuku Modu) death in this instance because for Gabriel, "Death is life." It was something he had accepted for a long time and he was surrounded by people who cared about him -- something Bellamy did not get. Retconning these events would make Bellamy's arc make a bit of sense. There is no way that a character that most viewers have seen and loved for seven seasons would have a bad ending and most fans still hope he gets a redemption, like his sister, Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos) did. Moreover, it would mean that Madi could get the chance to go back to being a normal teenager.
Here's why 'The 100' should not go down that route, however. If Clarke "transcends" and just finds herself being back on the Ark as a juvenile, what does it mean for all the lessons of humanity and survival we have learned so far? The core message of 'The 100' is the concept of good vs evil, only that there was no such thing and it was all in shades of grey. Retconning the past season -- though many of us may be quite disappointed with it -- would defeat the message that the show had tried to get across in its first five seasons.
A reset of Season 7 would also be the cowardly way out. Most of season seven was spent on building up to the last war and it is a testament to the unsatisfactory storytelling this season that even with one episode to go, we still do not know what the last war is. At this point, we are not certain what transcendence is, but 'The 100' has a big challenge set up in its final episode to make devoting an entire season to the vague concept of transcendence.
Additionally, retconning the events also has the danger of being a very ableist take. With Madi paralyzed from the stroke, many are already treating the character as if she is dead. We were told that she still has neural activity and at the end of the penultimate episode, we saw a tear go down Madi's face. Not only was Clarke's action of deciding her fate once again despicable, 'The 100' seems to be stating that there is only one way of life.
'The 100' series finale, 'The Last War' will air on The CW on Wednesday, September 30, at 8/7c.