I hopped onto the freeway and buzzed down to the LA Convention Center for Day 3 of Wondercon, primarily to attend ‘The 100′ panel. Although as always the cosplayers are amazingly creative and the exhibition hall is full of of all the things I crave but I digress….
The panel began with thirteen minutes of footage from the next episode, which airs this coming Thursday. All I can say is, the action continues on many fronts nonstop and nothing goes quite as expected anywhere. It was amazing to see up on the BIG screen.
After the video, Jason Rothenberg, Executive Producer and showrunner, spent some time addressing head-on the controversy and fan unhappiness with the way the character of Lexa was killed, the trope that was used to kill her and the distress caused to many fans. He returned to this topic several times during the panel. I personally felt he was being sincere and did now better understand some things from the fans’ point of view he hadn’t grasped before the episode aired. Paraphrasing or quoting as best I can (any mistakes mine, had to take notes in the dark), he was genuinely creatively excited about the episode in question at the time. He now feels that his enthusiasm on his social media, and the way he was interacting with fans about ‘Clexa’ may have created an expectation for fans that ‘Clexa’ was going to have a happy ending. Versus the way things did end, with Lexa’s death. He said he was previously unaware of the similar death of a character on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” during that series’ run. Had he known about that, he said he might have written a different ending for Lexa. But he was clear she still would have died, just via some other method than intercepting a stray bullet.
Mr. Rothenberg was careful to state that even though people wished for Lexa to have a heroic death, that’s not how the show goes. Life is fragile and even someone as powerful as she was can die at any moment.
Also in addressing the social media exchanges after that episode aired, he said it “took him awhile to figure out how to listen and understand the anger.” He said he needs “to be aware of the power of the story he’s telling” and how the audience is experiencing it. He indicated that they will try to apply these thoughts to the newly approved Season 4 and mentioned more than once that he plans to “be more careful” on social media, in the context of creating fan expectations, I believe.
Then the actors on the panel spoke, answering questions from the Moderator. The Q&A was tightly organized, although they did take a few fan questions at the end. It was a treat to see the cast in real life – I was in the third row. They interacted nicely, a lot of camaraderie and teasing going on, you can tell they definitely have on-set in jokes, but you could also tell their characters meant a lot to them. Everyone was super careful not to give spoilers.
I’ll just give a few highlights:
Eliza Taylor (Clarke): Clarke is very good at compartmentalizing her emotions over the death of Lexa but will push forward trying to save her people.
Bob Morley (Bellamy): Bellamy will prove himself again, has some hard lessons to learn but will prove his worth and can be redeemed. Bob discussed how the betrayal at Weather Mountain had been the last straw for Bellamy, after he freed all those Grounders and then was abandoned by Lexa, so when Pike showed up and was ready to take action, Bellamy was in. Act first, ask questions later. He also pointed out that Bellamy didn’t know the same things Clarke and Lexa knew. He never got to compare notes with them. (Bob’s Aussie accent is fun to hear.)
Lindsey Morgan (Raven): Talked quite a bit about Raven’s pain and how she’s so used to being tough and able to do everything. The disability really threw Raven into a depression She said Raven’s friends will help her…Mr. Rothenberg talked a bit about the conflict between what ALIE wants and Raven’s free will.
Devon Bostick (Jasper): According to the actor, Jasper has serious PTSD. Devon spoke at length of the trauma of Maya having “melted in his arms.” Now I know perfectly well actors are NOT their characters but Devon seemed the most like his “100 self” today. He also said Jasper was not really tuned into the politics going on at Arkadia, as he’s wrapped up in his grief over Maya. He does want to find out what’s going on with Raven.
Christopher Larkin (Monty): He gave quite a nice speech defending Monty’s mother, reminding the audience that his character had had a loving relationship with his mom on the Ark, she’s now been widowed and only has her son Monty left. “Nothing is black and white.” It was touching to hear. Christopher and Devon also talked quite a bit about how their characters were such good friends earlier in the show and now are not.
Richard Harmon (Murphy): The actor’s dry wit during the panel reminded me a LOT of his character. The audience cheered when he was introduced (as they did for each of the actors) and he teased that it would have been booing in Season One. True! He indicated Murphy may be in for a few more beatings over the rest of this Season. Mr. Rothenberg pointed out that Murphy knows EVERYTHING, because of all the places he’s been. Richard said whatever Murphy knows, Clarke now knows too. Richard said his character is in love with Emori, the Grounder girl, but it wasn’t clear to me if we’re going to see her again or not.
A few random fun things:
Quite a bit of light hearted, teasing discussion as to what the ALIE chips would taste like, what flavors people wished for, what if you ate two…
Fun technical discussion of what it’s like to act with ALIE in a scene where the actor isn’t supposed to be able to see her…
Everyone enjoyed the one lighthearted scene early in this season where the group was out on patrol in a car, singing…
Eliza would like Clarke to have a scene where she can smile and be light hearted.
In response to one fan question about favorite scenes, Eliza mentioned enjoying the Season One finale because it was so huge and immersive…she also stated the Lexa kissing scene was really cool…
One member of the audience used her time at the microphone to discuss The Trevor Project and the large donations that have been made to the cause as a result of fan upset over the way the culmination of the Lexa and Clarke love affair was then followed almost immediately by Lexa’s death by stray bullet.
(Here was my recap of “Thirteen”, the episode where Lexa dies. I regret to say at the time I wasn’t aware of the “Buffy” trope either so I didn’t address those issues.)
So that was pretty much it for the panel! Just like an episode of the show does, the time flew by.