The CW's post-apocalyptic teen drama is back in the game with its third season. Fans, don't fret, for your favorite ragtag team of delinquents will all be highlighted in this fast-paced premiere. The thing is, they're all about as psychologically damaged as you would think. They were involved in a pretty gruesome war/genocide in the season two finale.
Season three begins with an ominous voice-over by Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley). It seems as if, for now, Bellamy has replaced Clarke (Eliza Taylor) as the figurative parent-head of the young Skai or Ark Kru. Bellamy foreshadows the next regional conflict by stating, in his signature bad boy timbre, "Peace is a foreign concept here." It certainly is.
Three months after Clarke ordered the radioactive "melting" of hundreds of civilians to save her people, attempts are still being made to achieve sustainable peace between the Skai people and the grounders. At the Arkadian, formerly Camp Jaha, Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) and Bellamy discuss the threat of the Azgeda or Ice Nation, a tribe that refuses to cooperate.
The Ark People are still reconstructing, utilizing many different teams, including groups that locate supplies from the deserted mountain. Also, our original Skai-Kru team continues to avoid direct orders. Consisting of Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Raven (Lindsey Morgan), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Miller (Jarod Joseph), Jasper (Devon Bostick) and Bellamy, the Vigilante Squad heads out to explore Sector Seven. While doing so, in one of the only "light" moments that the premiere has to offer, the gang has a jeep-jam session, rocking out together. Well, the gang sans Octavia, who insists on rejecting modern technology by riding horseback in order to better embrace Grounder Culture.
The Kru, however, is interrupted mid-jam by a transmission from an Ark Beacon/signal from the Ark's Farm Station. The Farm Station was the previous home of Miller's boyfriend and Monty's parents. Kane had forbidden travel to Sector Eight but the Kru, predictably, doesn't care. They push forward in search of their people.
Bring it on, Ice Nation!
Apparently, bad decision. The gang runs into Azgeda. The tribe says they're looking for Wanheda. Who or what is that? The Kru doesn't know. Jasper spots a beacon hanging off of one of the warriors and goes to retrieve it. Now, having had his first true love die in his arms at the hands of his two best friends, Jasper is a depressed and unpredictable wreck. He also proves himself to be very suicidal. He's easily trapped by the warrior and as if begging for death, he goads his captor on. The gang jumps into action and saves Jasper mid-throat slit (a throat-slit during which Jasper was smiling and laughing, by the way). The boy is hanging on by a thread here folks.
After being called back to Sector Four, Monty and Bellamy meet up to travel with Kane and Indra (Adina Porter). Indra has some news: they need to find Clarke. Again, Clarke is the symbol that stands between disorder and order. Apparently, there's a huge bounty on Clarke's head because she's Wanheda, "Commander of Death," who the Ice Nation was looking for. It appears as if everyone is after her. See, the grounder's believe that upon the death of someone powerful, the powerful person's killer takes his or her power. So, since Clarke has killed thousands, she's the cash cow of power.
What does Clarke think about all of this commotion? Hm. Well, our mystery queen distracts herself by killing panthers with her bare hands and getting busy with Niylah (Jessica Harmon), a woman at a trading post where Clarke brings her kill. Ciao Lexa! It's not surprising that Clarke is doing well in the area of romance; she's a master of aesthetic and hair styling. In the past three months she has managed to give herself an impeccably done red dye-job with…berries? Also, Niylah is shown wearing an ark bracelet from season one. What could that mean?
How are things back at the Arkadian? Abby (Paige Turco) is having a difficult time finding balance as she worries about Clarke, attempts to command, and fusses over medical emergencies. Her struggle is bluntly pointed out by a disgruntled Raven who is in denial about a debilitating hip injury that Abby insists upon treating. During this heated exchange we also learn that Raven's hot engineer, Wick (Steve Talley), might be absent this season. Also, Shawn Mendes gets a ballad? I'm not complaining. Unfortunately for Mendes, he gets cut off mid-ballad by an unhinged Jasper who is incensed about the use of a piano taken from the slain mountain people. Jasper's not the only one who has a problem with the infiltration of the mountain. Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) fears that constant traffic to the mountain might interfere with the Grounder/Skai truce.
Speaking of Lincoln. To the dismay of Lincoln/Octavia shippers everywhere, the premiere illustrated that there might be trouble in paradise. Octavia, upon seeing Lincoln donning Ark-wear, questions his allegiance to the Grounders. Lincoln thinks that the grounders and the Skai people can be one. Octavia is not that idealistic. However, there may be hope yet. Lincoln joins Octavia in a cuddle-sesh when she decides to sleep alone outside. Aw.
Meanwhile, Kane, Bellamy, Monty, and Indra fall into a trap set by an unknown enemy. The jeep gets immobilized by strategically placed fallen trees and their journey to find Clarke is put on hold. Unfortunately for Clarke, they're too late. After some canoodling with Niylah, Clarke ventures outside and is captured by one of the bounty hunters that she had managed to avoid earlier.
Now, lets segue back to our biblical travelers. Throughout the premiere, we finally get to catch up with Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and Murphy (Richard Harmon). Eighty-seven days in an opulent bunker can do a man harm. Who knew? Looking like Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Revenant," Murphy lives in isolation, watching only the looping home-videos. These videos detail the series of events that brought about the end of the world. Kudos to the writers who thought "You know what this gruesome survival story needs? Dangerous A.I." We learn from the videos that Chris (James Neate), the man who committed suicide, created A.L.I.E (Erica Cerra) and had help creating her advanced operating system. Apparently, A.L.I.E, constructed to fix overpopulation was let out. Bad choice, considering she nuked the planet. No surprise there. Well, driven to madness, Murphy almost follows Chris' lead and offs himself. But the bunker door opens.
Murphy finds that Jaha has joined forces with A.L.I.E. Jaha seems to be convinced that her actions were justified and that she "saved" the world by bombing it. Yikes. We learn that the City of Lights is more of a concept than a place. At least that's what we can infer by Jaha's "journey" to the city, achieved solely through meditation. Before escaping the island with Emori, Murphy is offered a disk-like pill by Jaha. The journey to the City of Lights is apparently facilitated by this drug. Murphy remains unconvinced as pain and hate are all he knows and he doesn't wish to escape his identity.
What will happen next?
Sidenote: In this episode, we briefly get to meet Bellamy's new mysterious ark girlfriend. Sad news for all Bellarke shippers out there.
Reach Staff Reporter Daniela Silva here.