In its first season, The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama “The 100” overcame a lackluster start, filled with worn teen relationship drama, and developed into a entertaining and, at times, dark look at surviving in a primitive world. The parallels created by the show’s two settings — a wild Earth, where the titular group of teenagers were sent, and the dying space station The Ark, where their parents resided — explored the difficulties of establishing a society and preserving a dying one. The season two premiere, “The 48,” brings these two worlds together while also expanding the setting of the post-apocalyptic Earth.

The 100

Season 2 Premiere
The CW
Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m.

“The 48” finds the main cast split over multiple locations. Group leader Clarke (Eliza Taylor, “The November Man”) and the episode’s title number of survivors find themselves inside Mount Weather, a military facility now serving as a closed-off society run by Dante Wallace (Raymond J. Barry, “Justified”). The Mount Weather group and facility is presented as a completely different world from the almost primal Earth; it’s a society that is modern but oddly antiquated, like something out of a “Fallout” game. Wallace presents himself as an ambivalent friend, but as in most of these scenarios, Clarke voices that Mount Weather is “too good to be true.” The fact that the new group is unable to survive outside due to the radiation to which Clarke and the rest of the members of the Ark are immune presents a provocative moral dilemma for the shows heroine who longs to escape. What is Clarke willing to do to escape and survive, and does that extend to causing the deaths of an entire group of people?

Outside, other cast members struggle to stay alive. Star-crossed lovers Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos, “Cult”) and Lincoln (Ricky Whittle, “Mistresses”) try to heal Octavia’s wound sustained during last season’s final battle. Last season began to hint at a much deeper culture and social organization behind the Grounders, people who inhabited Earth, immune from radiation. This plotline looks to further explore this group as Lincoln, a Grounder himself, takes Octavia to his village. Throwing snippets of an original language and traditions will hopefully lead to forming a complete picture of the last season’s largely antagonistic group.

Finally, Bellamy (Bob Morley, “Neighbours”) and Finn (Thomas McDonell, “Prom”) are reunited with the adults from the crash-landed Ark led by Councillor Kane (Henry Ian Cusick, “Lost”). The black-and-white outlook and rules of the Ark instantly clash with the morally grey reality of survival on Earth to which Bellamy and Finn have grown accustomed. Issues like what to do with last season’s troubled John Murphy (Richard Harmon, “Bates Motel”) promise conflict that will test the ideals of the two groups. The parallels established last season between the old world and new are set to collide as the old leadership clashes with the young survivors.

The ambition is evident in the beginnings of this second season. Each storyline promises to look at aspects of survival and societal construction. But there are possible pitfalls that can derail each storyline and the chance the series becomes spread too thin. Giving the necessary time and development to each story will be the key for “The 100” going forward, and if it succeeds, may result in not just an entertaining look into a post-nuclear-apocalyptic world but a mature and intriguing drama about human survival.

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