The 100 – “Wanheda Part 1” Recap.
Season 3, Episode 1
Air Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016, 9/8c on The CW
The 100 returns for a third season and having watched the first four episodes already, fans are in for a dramatic and action filled surprise! If you aren’t familiar with The 100, here’s a quick recap: Set 97 years after a nuclear war wiped out most of civilization, a space station housed hundreds of survivors who began running out of oxygen on the ark. In order to save themselves, the council of leaders sent 100 juvenile offenders to earth not knowing whether earth was inhabitable or not. Having lived in space, the ark survivors are able to handle the radiation and air on earth. There are other survivors on earth – some are known as “grounders,” humans that survived the nuclear fallout, and others that live in underground shelters. Mount Weather was a military base and shelter but its inhabitants cannot handle the radiation outside without protective gear. The personnel inside Mount Weather kidnapped grounders and ark survivors to harness their blood and marrow to help them survive. At the end of season two, war breaks out, pitting the grounders and ark survivors against the Mount Weather residents.
As “Wanheda: Part 1” begins, we witness the downward spiral of John Murphy (Richard Harmon). He becomes trapped inside a containment unit after he and Jaha (Isaiah Washington) go in search of the illustrious “City of Light” toward the end of season two. “Wanheda: Part 1” is set three months after the terrible disaster at Mount Weather in the season two finale. Things are not so copacetic on the home front. The ark survivors have built their own camp called “Arkadia” and they continue to search for the other drop ship and possible survivors. During a scout mission to locate the homing beacon from the second ship, Bellamy (Bob Morley), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Nathan (Jarod Joseph), Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Jasper (Devon Bostick), and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), who is on horseback, set out in search of the beacon signal. On their mission, the group runs into one of the 12 grounder clans known as “Ice Nation” that are looking for someone known as “Wanheda.” We learn later from Indra (Adina Porter), 2nd in command of the clan Trikru, what Wanheda means.
Meanwhile, a very savage looking Clarke (Eliza Taylor) fends for herself out in the wilderness, even taking on a wild black panther. Disguising herself as best she can with dyed hair, Clarke’s loner days are numbered…she’s being hunted. As Indra explains, “…it’s not a kill order, it’s a bounty; Clarke is a symbol. She’s known as Wanheda, the commander of death. My people believe that when you kill someone, you get their power; kill Wanheda and you command death.”
Harmon turns in a fantastic performance as he finds himself low on food and sanity after being sequestered alone for “86 days” inside a nuclear fallout shelter. While his surroundings are quite plush, being alone and watching that dreaded videotape of the previous tenants over and over again appear to take its toll fairly quickly. I’ve not been a fan of John’s since season one and his actions against his fellow ark drop ship survivors, but in a game of survival on a planet decimated by a nuclear disaster, I’ve come to an understanding about John and his motivations. He’s just trying to stay alive, although I think he could be less of an a-hole in the process.
Washington also gives a commendable performance. As the former Chancellor of the Ark, his newfound purpose is to have everyone believe in the “City of Light.” His preaching feels almost evangelical in a very disconcerting way. I don’t know whether to believe him or give him money to shut him up. I’m not sold on the delights of the “City of Light” but eager to see what series creator Jason Rothenberg has up his sleeve.
Several guest stars make their appearance in “Wanheda: Part 1.” Singer Shawn Mendes makes his debut as a would-be shoplifter who must sing for penance. Zach McGowan does double duty on television as he plays a pirate on Starz’s series Black Sails, also in their third season, and as a bounty hunter named Roan in “Wanheda: Part 1.” But Roan is more than a bounty hunter…you learn more about him in the upcoming episodes.
A few disturbing turn of events transpire throughout “Wanheda: Part 1.” Jasper has gone off the deep end after losing Maya (Eve Harlow) in the war on Mount Weather. Jasper is quite unstable and blames his best friend Monty for her death. Meanwhile, our lovebirds Octavia and sexy grounder Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) seem to have put their steamy romance on ice. Octavia shifts further away from her own people, the ark survivors, as she edges closer to life as part of clan Trikru. I understand her frustrations with the inhabitants and leaders of Arkadia, but shunning Lincoln for wanting to be a part of both is ironic.
As “Wanheda: Part 1” winds down, the action is far from over. Monty, Bellamy, Indra, and Marcus Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) find themselves in a sticky situation in their search to find Clarke. And Chancellor Abby Griffin (Paige Turco) is finding life difficult to manage. She’s the village doctor and leader, yet can’t seem to do either job very well as she worries about her daughter Clarke’s safety.
The 100 returns with some ferocious story lines and even more vicious opponents in the third season. “Wanheda: Part 1” provides a great introduction of what is to come this season (or at least in the next few episodes). We meet more grounder clans and discover there is royalty among the clans. The Ice Nation have a queen. You don’t want to miss the next three episodes. You’ll learn more about the “City of Light,” the various clans and their so-called laws; Marcus and Abby visit the Trikru capital, and the horrors that happened at Mount Weather are about to be revisited.
Tune into The 100, Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
For more on The 100, go to http://on.cwtv.com/The100