There is no more ferocious battle for a man’s heart than when torn between his loyalty for his people and the woman he loves. Time and time again, Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) has chosen his beloved, but at what cost. In the CW drama THE 100, the two-part Season 1 finale will challenge Lincoln to either stand and fight with Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) and the hundred, or to return to his people, assuming they will accept him back — or worse yet, to flee from the impending war and being forced to choose sides.
In a recent exclusive interview, Ricky Whittle talked about Lincoln’s torn heart and the tough choices ahead for him, as well as foreshadowing that there are more deaths on the horizon before this season closes the door until Season 2.
What do you most admire about your character Lincoln?
RICKY: I’d say his morality and his depth. He has so many different layers and that’s a tribute from Jason [Rothenberg] and the writers who give all these characters these layers. It doesn’t seem like anyone’s one thing or the other. No one is fully evil. Everyone has their reasons and their intentions. We saw Lincoln in the beginning and he seems very fierce and very intimidating, but through his experience with Octavia you see he has a heart and he does care for people — to the point where he went against his own people. As we learn more and more about the Grounders, we’re going to realize that it a much bigger thing than anyone realizes at the moment. The Grounders are a fierce people, more so than the hundred and the Ark, even with their extreme beliefs on how to deal with their own with the floating and things. You’re going to see that the Grounders really are a strong race and for him to go against his own people shows real courage and belief in his own morality in what is right and wrong.
Do the Grounders actually call themselves “grounders” or do they have another name?
RICKY: You may have to ask the writers about that. I guess if you’re on the ground, you don’t call yourself that. But I believe it was teased in previous episodes that all these people are the ones that were sent down from previous missions. I remember the big book called “The Grounders” that they were reading in the Ark that had several names on it. So maybe there’s that, or maybe they are people who survived the whole nuclear apocalypse, a strong strand that were not affected by all of that and were immune.
Lincoln looks to be a man without a country right now. Can he actually survive on his own or are there other threats out there that he cannot survive against and he needs to align himself with someone?
RICKY: It’s a tough world. We’ve see what’s out there between the Grounders themselves or nature. Nature has been pretty ferocious between the acid fog and the mutations of the animals that they have to contend with. But Lincoln is a warrior. He is trained and he is ferocious. That’s kind of how he was born and how he was raised — to look after himself. So he could survive out there, but he is a man without a country and in this world you can’t live there too long alone. Without something. So I believe he’s eventually going to have to, if not pick a side, to find some sort of alliance with someone to survive. That’s the whole essence of the show is survival, and finding those allegiances and a family, basically. Someone that can have your back. We’ll slowly start to see the hundred come together as they face more fearsome foes. It’s kind of a decision that’s going to a bit further down the line as to whether Lincoln is going to be taken back by his people after the thing with Octavia; or he may jump ship and join the hundred.
I can’t see Lincoln leaving the girl that he ultimately forsake his own people for, even though she’s not willing to run away with him. I can’t see him just abandoning her. He’s too protective of her.
RICKY: He’s very protective. He does have a certain affection for that young lady and he has gone against his own people, but he doesn’t know what his people are capable of. It wasn’t something he was willing to interfere with. He tried to organize a peace despite knowing that it could have alienated them even more — which it eventually did and he is now seen as a traitor by his own people. But you cannot help who you fall for in this world. He does have an attachment to her and you’d like to think that love conquers all and things, and that he will come back for the girl and try to be protective of her — her people really because he wants to keep her safe. Not necessarily the hundred, but he doesn’t approve of war in general. I guess he believes that perhaps they could coexist. They had been fighting other people before the hundred came, or they were fighting something or someone because he wasn’t a warrior overnight. They were raised like this and they were fighting something. So I think Lincoln would like to keep the peace and I don’t think he’ll drift too far when Octavia is in danger.
The other interesting thing is how Lincoln relates to Clarke (Eliza Taylor). It seemed like the Grounders were deferring to Clarke as the leader of the hundred. Does Lincoln really see Clarke that way or does he see her as some silly girl?
RICKY: He does have respect for Clarke. Throughout the season so far, we’ve seen that he’s very much an observer. Not necessarily just him, but the Grounders have been watching the hundred and just observing and finding out a little bit more about them. But they don’t know everything and they want to know more, but as seen a few episodes back that when it was proposed that “I’ll bring my leader and you bring yours,” and of course Bellamy (Bob Morley) thought he meant him, and Lincoln said, “no, Clarke.” Lincoln has already seen the balance there and Clarke carries the weight. He sees Bellamy obviously is a ruler by fist, and he sees Clarke as a strong female who is very much in the mold of Anya (Dichen Lachman), who is the leader of the Grounders. So I think he has a lot of respect for Clarke and he believes perhaps that Bellamy would have made that situation a little bit more volatile, which he did in the end. Where Lincoln sees Clarke as a little bit more open and less aggressive. So if there was a chance for peace, then Clarke’s strong will and open mind would have been able to push that through. But Bellamy would have come guns blazing, whether he wanted to have peace or not.
With the 2-part finale coming up this week and next week, can you offer some teasers on what we can expect?
RICKY: I keep saying “epic.” I think people use that word far too lightly. But when it comes to the finale, I’ve seen it and literally I was gobsmacked — absolutely in awe of what the cast did, the crew from lighting, the post-team, the score. It really is an a roller coaster through all the emotions. It’s incredible. There’s going to be loss with several characters who are unfortunately going to be taken from us, in various ways. There’s going to be lots of shocks and plenty of twists. It really is epic. That is my one word. I call it “epic Wednesdays.” Dark just got darker because you think the show has already gotten so dark and twisted and emotional, and this takes it to a whole new level. The next two episodes are some of the best TV I’ve ever seen in my whole life. That’s not biased, that’s just the what it is. It’s a fact. It is incredible work by all. I’d have to say it’s probably the proudest work that I’ve ever been a part of. I’m really excited for the audience to take that journey with us because it really is incredible. I really think you’re going to be at the edge of your seat and you’re going to be screaming at the TV once the credits roll because you’ll be like, “I need to know what’s happening right now!” You’re not going to want to wait a week. You’re not going to want to wait for Season 2. It’s that incredible. Jason Rothenberg and the writers that we have just absolutely nailed it. It’s a fantastic 2-part finale and it gives you enough excitement, emotional trauma — it gives you everything. But the most important thing: it gives you that want for more. I think the best writers give the audience what they need, not what they want. The finale is fantastic, but it’s not necessarily going to give you what you want. It’s going to leave you tearing your hair out.
With those tantalizing teasers in mind and knowing that we may be losing a few familiar faces by the end of the season, you are going to want to make sure to tune in for both parts of the 2-part finale of THE 100, on Wednesday, June 4th and June 11th at 9:00 p.m. on the CW.