This week’s episode “Contents Under Pressure” was about saving Finn’s (Thomas McDonell) life, discovering the secrets of the Grounder, and the Ark’s plans to evacuate back to Earth — and none of these came without a price.
To save Finn’s life, Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) had to embrace their darker natures sanctioning the torture of the Grounder (Ricky Whittle) — making them wonder what else they may have to comprise to survive in this deadly new world.
Also the Grounder was not about to give up himself or even his people for these aliens who just arrived — that is until Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) put her life on the line and then he was willing to do anything to save her, even giving up a secret he would normally die to protect.
Then on the Ark, all secrets were supposed to be revealed, but even Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) could not face the survivors with the truth that only 700 lives would be saved in the last remaining drop ships to go to Earth, so they agreed to let Diana Sydney (Kate Vernon), a former Chancellor, have a seat back at the Council table.
In a recent press interview, stars Bob Morley, Ricky Whittle and executive producer Jason Rothenberg shared what is upcoming for the remaining 92 surviving kids on Earth, and those stuck up on the Ark, as well as what kind of threat the Grounders really pose to them all.
Death Toll Steady
JASON: (Laughs) It is an episode where no one died, but yet somehow you’re still traumatized.
JASON: The truth is on some level it’s an anti-torture episode. That torture doesn’t work. It’s Octavia’s sacrifice that actually gets the potion and saves Finn. It was important to us to make that statement. The great thing about sci-fi is you can do something like that.
BOB: It didn’t last that long on screen, but it was like 3-4 days of shooting with [Ricky] chained up like that, and it was horrible. . . To go into the mindset of someone who is torturing another human being isn’t the nicest place to be. So after those three days, I was pretty wrecked by it. It think we all were, really. We were in this tiny little set, and it was a dark mood to be in. It was definitely the hardest and darkest of all the episodes that I’ve shot.
RICKY: It was tough, because obviously you can see it’s torture. It’s brutal. There’s nasty things going on and these are essentially just kids, but they are doing it for a higher purpose — they are trying to save one of their own. If the Grounder has just said, “Oh, it’s this one,” obviously none of this would have happened. . . You’re really starting to see that bad people aren’t really bad. In life in general, bad people don’t believe they are bad. People aren’t evil for no reason. There’s always something behind it. Something they believe in.
BOB: What I found in this episode was that being in a position of power can blur your judgment and it’s not always that clear and it’s linked in really beautifully between the Ark and the ground — the power struggles or being a leader.
JASON: [Bellamy] starts out for revenge. [He’s] angry [the Grounders] killed his people. But then when it moves onto torture, it’s clear that [he’s] conflicted about it. In a lot of shots, the camera catches him where he’s like, “What am I doing? What have I become?” That’s really what we’re doing with Bellamy. We’re sort of breaking him down, and what [he does] in this episode changes [him] going forward. [He’s] not the same person after this. Even though [he] is the one doing the torture, it’s almost like it affects [Bellamy] as much as [the Grounder]. . . It’s also important that it’s Clarke who says, “Do it.” That put it on her. She’s now going to have to carry that around and that changes her going forward too.
JASON: There’s always going to be a push-pull with those two, but they’re all in alignment. They’re all trying to survive. It’s about how we do that. In this episode, she was driven by this sort of obsession to keep Finn alive and she was willing to do anything, even if it meant torture. . . Leadership, as [Bellamy] said in the beginning — leadership is hard depending on where you sit. It’s easy to judge someone’s choices as bad or good, but I think most of us would make the same choice. . . We’ll see [Clarke and Bellamy] in alignment going forward.
JASON: The sketchbook is filled with Easter Eggs, that’s for sure.
JASON: When we first see [the Grounder], he’s wearing armor and he’s clearly a warrior. It’s not like he became that way two days ago or two weeks ago, or whenever the hundred arrived, he was already like that. So there must be something out there he’s armed up against and we will find out what that is for.
JASON: Obviously, he understands and he speaks [English]. . . He’s being quiet because the less he says, the more they are telling him — and what he is trying to find out is all about them.
RICKY: You can see from the episode that he has a book of notes and things, so he is very much an observer. So he’s been watching them for awhile.
JASON: The Grounders are complex also. They are not all bad guys. They have their own agenda, their own stories. They are trying to survive too.
RICKY: There’s obviously a connection there. As we saw from the sketch book, he has taken a shine to her. . . If he is part of this faction of Grounders, then he’s gone against them. He’s gone against his own people and whoever is out there. I think he’s put his own life at risk to look after this person he doesn’t know. He’s observed her since she landed.
JASON: He’s not motivated to help her just because she’s a cute girl. . . The Grounder understands that it is about survival for him. He knows, “We need to understand what this new thing is that came from the sky and has technology that we don’t understand, and that maybe something helpful for my people.” That’s what he’s sort of thinking and through her, he is able to understand that — and of course, the relationship develops and obviously something is happening with their connection. . . To me, that is an interesting relationship. Something totally forbidden.
RICKY: Obviously, there’s a more than one Grounder. We’ve seen different types running around. There’s a lot more that are very aggressive. In episode 1, Jasper was hit with a spear, but to this day we still don’t know why. And we’re going to find out that there are different types. As a human race, we have good people, bad people and agendas, and the Grounders are going to be no different. There are some that are a little more aggressive and some will have roles.
JASON: There’s a lot of ways to interpret that there’s four Grounders killing people in episode 6 and then there’s one Grounder seemingly working against them. Are they from different tribes? Do they have different agendas? . . . The truth is any time you have a group of people, they are going to have different ideas and want to approach different situations in different ways. [Ricky’s] character makes one choice and those characters make another choice. And that may be problematic for him back at home in the tribe. . . We will get to know [Ricky’s] character much better and we’ll understand where he’s coming from. . . He does get a name in a couple of episodes. . . [And] episode 9 is where we’ll meet a very cool woman warrior, his boss.
BOB: After encountering them in episode 6 and running around with the forest with them, [Bellamy] has realized that there is definitely something to fear. They are no match for [the Grounders], so the best way for him to hopefully have a chance is to find out what [the Grounders] are doing while they have the captured Grounder . . The best form of attack is defense and I think that is where Bellamy’s mind is going and “how are we going to survive?” It’s all about survival. After seeing what he’s seen out in the wilderness, he’s like, “We need to batten down the hatches and stay here to be safe and just protect this one area that we’re in, and hopefully we can stave it off.” He fears that [the Grounders] are all going to come in because he’s seen them in action and the hundred are no match for the Grounders.
JASON: In that moment when the radio signal is happening for the first time, [Bellamy] comes in with the Grounder and when he hears that he knows he is screwed. He knows that they have made contact with the Ark. That means they are going to come down and he’s going to get executed. But he pushes that down to deal with the problem.
BOB: I also think that having the Ark come down could be a relief if [Bellamy] is trying to save everyone else. He knows the hundred can’t do it on their own.
JASON: The arc of Bellamy is we’re going to love him by the end of Season 1. We started him, obviously, in the position of he’s the bad guy, but by the finale, everyone’s going to love him.
Chancellor Diana Sydney
JASON: She is a former Chancellor who has her own agenda and isn’t what she appears to be.
JASON: As seen at the end of the episode, there’s two thousand something people and only 700 are going to live. So who makes those decisions? Who gets to go is obviously a story that we start to tell. It won’t be pretty at all.
Jasper & Murphy
JASON: Going forward, Jasper (Devon Bostick) for sure is in every episode. Jasper’s story is about to really pick up for the back half of the season. He’s dealing with post-traumatic stress and he becomes kind of a badass, and it’s believable — and he sort of becomes Bellamy’s right hand man. . . We love the actor Richard Harmon [who plays Murphy]. He’s one of the best actors in the show. We love him. So he’s not gone.
Will Everyone Survive Season 1
JASON: That will very much be in doubt.
To see if the Grounder eventually escapes and reunites with his tribe and the fall-out from his captivity, as well as the political intrigue with selecting the 700 who get to go to Earth, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of THE 100 on Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m. on the CW. More will die so the rest can live, but who gets to decide who lives and who dies?