Following the destruction of ALIE, a computer A.I. bent on human destruction, you'd think it would be time for Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and the rest of humanity, both Grounders and those from above, to rejoice. After all, they saved the day, right? Well, ALIE revealed some shocking news to Clarke right before she was deleted - the nuclear reactors all around the world were breaking down and would decimate the Earth and everyone in it in about 6 months in a cataclysmic nuclear meltdown. Once again, Clarke saves everyone, only to have a new and horrific problem present itself.
So now the decision is who to tell, since mass panic would do no one any good. The leaders of Skaikru, including Abby (Paige Turco), Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), Jaha (Isaiah Washington), Clarke, and Bellamy put their heads together to come up with a plan for surviving what is to come, although they are in Polis and tensions are riding high with no true commander to lead all of the Grounders. To make matters worse, Clarke's ally Roan (Zach McGowan, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the king of the Ice Nation, is near death, following the fallout from last season's battles, and only Abby and her medicine can save him, but the Grounders distrust Skaikru, as always. When Roan's health improves, things don't get much better for long.
A number of potential solutions are thrown about, including shoring up Arkadia to survive the radiation, like it did in space, although this could only hold about 100 people. Despite not wanting to do it, Clarke must make a list of who survives, as a contingency plan. The decision is then made to travel to the island where Becca's (ALIE's creator) lab lies, in the hopes of finding a solution there. Could Abby recreate Nightblood and vaccinate everyone against the radiation, and, if she could, who would they test it on? Worse yet, ALIE's predictions were off and the Black Rain is already upon them, with the Death Wave and the destruction of all of humanity just a short time away. With every step forward, something terrible happens and they slide a few steps back. But then Jaha makes an astounding discovery that may provide salvation, but again, only for about 1200 people. So who gets to be saved among all of humanity?
As always with the Grounders, the best way to make a decision is to have a battle royale, and so each clan picks a warrior to fight, with the victor claiming the bunker for their clan. Naturally, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) fights smartly for Skaikru, although there is a cheater among the clans, picking warriors off. Octavia finds herself battling to the death against both friends, former friends, and foes alike. Once the battle is over and the dust settles, they are back to square one, trying to decide which survivors get to stay in a place that can hold only 1200 people for the 5 years it will take for the radiation to dissipate. Hard and sad choices must be made, but this is nothing new for the members of Arkadia.
By the time the episode and season come to a close, the futures of many of the characters we have come to know and love are uncertain, to say the least. While there are some victories along the way, there are definitely some heartbreaking losses, as well. When the final credits roll, we'll know only one thing for sure - there are more surprises to come for those who survive.
The 100: The Complete Fourth Season is particularly harsh, as we lose a number of people that have been with the show from the beginning. Some are shocking, some are expected, and some are just plain senseless and sad. The 100 has no compunction against killing off cast members, so no one is really ever safe, but it's always a shock when it happens. This season has so many ups and downs that, again, I just wish the folks could have one good frickin' day, already. Maybe the arrival of a new dawn following the Death Wave will bring about peace and happiness, but it doesn't look like it.
As far as special features go, there is a nice selection. You've got a handful of deleted scenes, a gag reel, and 4 featurettes. One is on the evolution of the group from a bunch of juvenile delinquents to actual leaders, one covers the stunts of Season 4, one explores Jasper's story arc throughout the 4 seasons (as he was initially slated to die in the pilot, but who doesn't love Devon Bostick?), and finally, one on creating the post-apocalyptic world, from the lush forests, to the junk-covered cities, to the Earth-devouring death wave. Last, but best of all, is the 2016 Comic-Con Panel. This one clocks in at 30 minutes or so and is really fun for fans, especially since a lot of times, a DVD will only include a snippet of the panel and not the entire thing. I enjoyed this the most, seeing the actors as their "normal" selves.
I am anxious to see what the new season holds, as they are truly treading on new ground. At any rate, I enjoyed The 100: The Complete Fourth Season more than Season 3 and am excited to see where things head.