In the post-apocalyptic world of The 100, a lot can happen in a six-year time jump. By the time the Season 4 finale ended, all your favorite survivors were separated into three groups when the radiation death wave hit. Clarke was left alone on the ground with her Nightblood protecting her from any radiation. Bellamy, Raven, Murphy, Monty, Echo, Emori, and Harper successfully made it up to the Ring from the old Ark in space, believing Clarke died so that they could live. And Octavia, Abby, Kane, Jaha, and the rest of the Skaikru joined up with the Grounders from all tribes in the bunker below the ground to ride out the radiation. Everyone expected to reunite after five years.
But in a shocking time jump revealed right before the Season 4 finale ended, it had been six years and Clarke was still on her own, albeit now with an adopted Nightblood Grounder daughter who she found alone on the ground. She had no communication with the Ring or the bunker, and a mysterious prison ship showed up in the valley she had made her home. Her peaceful bubble was shattered, and she was thrown into survival mode once more.
When Season 5 premieres on April 24, fans will finally get answers to what happened on the ground, in space, and in the bunker over the past six years and why the five-year deadline came and went without anyone reuniting. Plus, the mystery of who is on the prison ship and why they've come back to Earth will also be uncovered. And with a six-year time jump, everyone's relationships will have changed — after all, six years is longer than the characters have even known each other on the show! Bustle visited the set of The 100 back in the fall to get intel on how this new twist would shake up the lives of Clarke, Bellamy, and the rest of the fan-favorite relationships, and there's one thing for certain: Season 5 is going to feel like a totally new show.
On the Ground
What's a girl to do when all her friends successfully escaped the death wave by going up into space or locking themselves in an underground bunker, leaving her all alone? For Clarke, the answer was simple: survive for five years until they all return. But surviving on your own after the Earth dies again is not easy, and Clarke learns that pretty immediately. The Season 5 premiere is a harrowing, brutal journey for everyone's favorite leader, and Eliza Taylor brings such raw emotion to Clarke as she reaches the lowest of lows in her struggle for survival. But when Clarke finds and adopts Madi (Lola Flannery), everything changes.
"We thought she was going to be alone, but now having this little sidekick who she loves with all her heart, a surrogate daughter type, she's found some sort of peace and happiness," Taylor says. "Until of course the prison ship comes down," she adds with a laugh.
Taylor was excited to explore Clarke's maternal side this season. "I love their relationship. She's a good mom," she says. "She's stern with her though because Madi is cheeky, so she does really have to keep her in line and she's a very fierce little thing."
Though Season 5 begins with groups of characters separated, Taylor warns that there are only more changes to come. "There's a lot of changes. A lot," she says. "It's probably no secret that we will be reunited with both the people underground and the people in space. A lot has happened. A lot of people have changed quite dramatically."
And as for if there will be flashbacks to the past six years to catch up fans on what happened during the time jump, Taylor adds with a smile, "Yes. I'd say that's safe to say."
Trapping seven twenty-somethings in an abandoned space station for six years means that some sparks are going to fly, and some relationships won't last forever. Bob Morley wasn't surprised by the relationship changes among the Ring crew, because "that six years in space changed a lot."
"The group up there, we're calling them Spacekru or something like that, they are like this new family unit up there," Morley says. "Bellamy's had to use Clarke's advice of using his head and his heart to become more of a well-rounded leader up there. Raven is like his second-in-charge. Everyone runs things together."
The cohesive group "always make decisions together," he adds. "It's a nice community up there and it's definitely calmed him down from like fighting and killing people every other week." But that doesn't mean Bellamy is content to sit up in space and not reunite with his people on the ground. "The decision to get to the ground is very much driven by his need to see what's happening to his sister," Morley says. "He believes that Clarke has passed away and he doesn't know any of this stuff. That's the driving force for him, the hope that his sister is down there."
When (not if) Bellamy and Clarke do reunite, Morley warns that "it's obviously a huge shock for him."
"She's also focused on her unit, her family unit, which is Madi," he says. "And I have my Spacekru and they really deviate in that sense. There's no longer this community of the 100. Everyone's got their people now." This new division of Clarke's people vs. Bellamy's people is going to play a huge role this season in that the former co-leaders might find themselves on opposite sides for the first time in a very long time.
"In this particular season, it's very definitive as to who people are loyal to, so that dictates where their relationship is and where it goes," Morley adds. As for Raven, Lindsey Morgan warns that her inability to get the Ring crew to the ground for over a year is going to be taking a real toll on her.
"It's been her mission for these last six years to get everyone back to Earth," Morgan says. "The Ring wasn't supposed to be the permanent option of where they were supposed to live. The Ring was just the option while Praimfaya was taking over the Earth and once the Earth became inhabitable, it was always to go back to Earth. Raven has not found a solution for that yet and, as in Raven fashion, she is very upset that she's not smart enough to figure this out and she kind of carries the burden of this failure and disappointment of her friends on her and it weighs on her heavily."
With Raven becoming Bellamy's second-in-command, expect to see the former frenemies closer than ever. And the same goes for Raven and Murphy, surprisingly enough.
"Raven and Murphy have always had one of the most dynamic and complex relationships, I've felt, just because of him disabling her and everything they've gone through and now finding some kind of kindredness in each other," Morgan says. "They become friends. The six years was a long time and a lot of healing and Murphy became a different Murphy in the Ring. He became a team player and part of the family instead of just kind of being the solitary asshole that he usually is."
And the fact that Raven and Emori have grown closer in space also helped Raven and Murphy mend their past issues. "Emori's kind of become Raven's second in a sense," Morgan says. "And I think that bond has also brought her closer to Murphy, too."
But Murphy won't be the same Murphy fans have gotten to know over the past few seasons on The 100. "Six years in space, it’s hard to maintain a purpose," Richard Harmon says. "On the ground, it’s survival. In space, we figure out after awhile how to survive. If anyone has a hard time with a sense of direction, when there is no outside stimulus getting at him, it would be Murphy. He’s lost his way a little bit over the six years and that’s where we find him."
Although the crew on the Ring will all have become closer than ever since they've been trapped together for years, Harmon warns that not everyone will be in a good place when Season 5 begins.
"Without giving away too much of their relationships that we all have up in space, six years with just that same group of six or seven people, you kind of become a family after that amount of time," Harmon says. "But, families aren’t perfect. You fight. You have issues with each other. That’s the interesting thing to see, what our relationships are like. Everybody fights. A lot of therapy can happen in six years, but that doesn’t mean that new qualms with each other won’t arise. We are going to have issues."
As for Murphy and Emori's relationship, Harmon isn't spilling where viewers will find them at the start of Season 5. "That you are going to have to wait and see," he says with a smile. "He’s a complicated guy. Six years with Murphy is a long time."
In the Bunker
If life on the ground and in space has been hard for the past six years, that's nothing compared to life in the bunker below ground. Octavia successfully created Wonkru, combining the Skaikru and the Grounders into one cohesive unit to share the bunker for five years. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as Octavia and the rest of the Skaikru soon learn. Six years leading the Wonkru in the bunker was no easy feat, and Octavia has come out of the other side of things a much different person/leader.
"Octavia has changed quite a bit," Marie Avgeropoulos says. "She takes a very creative way to help all the clans get along; there's a lot of old resentments among all the clans and old resentments don't die. So she has to come up with a very Octavia way to maintain order among the groups and you'll see exactly how that is in Season 5."
Those "creative" solutions end up earning Octavia a new moniker: The Red Queen. "This season gets a lot darker than last season, for sure," Avgeropoulos adds. "Wonkrew is the mantra that Octavia lives by definitely, but it sounds easier than it actually is to achieve. She comes up with this very destructive and dark path to create peace." No matter how many apocalypses the characters of The 100 live through, it seems they never learn a new way to survive other than darkness and destruction.