Our Full Coverage of the final ‘The 100’ panel is right here, Below.
Hosted by Eric Goldman The 100 panel for San Diego Comic-Con@Home features Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia Blake), Lindsey Morgan (Raven Reyes), Richard Harmon (John Murphy), Tasya Teles (Echo), JR Bourne (Russel Lightbourne VII/Sheidheda), Shelby Flannery (Hope Diyoza), Shannon Kook (Jordan Green), and creator Jason Rothenberg discussing the final season of The 100.
First we focus in on Jason and what his potential plans are for the final season, which he skirts around without spoiling (understandably). It is funny to hear him lay out that the show’s endgame is to illustrate more of humanity than just selfish human destruction, I’m definitely curious what element at the finish line is gonna undo seven years of the overall message: People suck and they destroy whatever place they go.
Goldman then pivots to Marie with regards to the arch her character Octavia has had over the course of the series. She doesn’t go into great detail about who Octavia used to be – which any fan of the show who is watching really doesn’t require a recap of – but she instead deals with the question asked: What is it like to play this Octavia? And it sounds like it was new, an aspect of playing Octavia that Marie enjoys as an actress. She describes this season’s Octavia as softer and self-actualized.
Raven Reyes, on the other hand, hasn’t had it so good this season. Maybe it’s karma for the way Raven’s regarded her fellow survivors, as Lindsey puts it: judging them, and Lindsey also makes an interesting observation during this line of thought. She believes that Raven’s intelligence has actually hindered her ability to grow since she is always coming up with solutions to get her friends out of a bind. This has allowed her to keep her hands clean throughout the series, but in the final season she has now gained entrance into “the world of grey”. According to Lindsey, though, it’s a good thing. Raven’s conversation with Clarke allows her to say “I’m sorry” and “I get it” at last. So, yay, some growth!
There is a great little aside that happens where Jason reveals that the word “the” wasn’t actually in the line, Richard put it in there. Hey, this is how great lines are born people!
Which leads us to our next subject: John Murphy. Here is a character who has surely grown over the series, but now gets to be something Richard has always wondered about – a leader. A reluctant leader, by far, but if push comes to shove, he’ll certainly take the reins. Will Murphy remain loyal to his friends or put his own self-interest above all else? Richard sounds as curious about this as we all are.
Up until this point the flow from one person to the next felt fairly natural, but then Eric swerves to Taysa, (who plays Echo), possibly because there is no easy transition from Murphy to Echo per say, though these are two characters that have a surprising amount in common. Yes, Echo is a soldier to the core, loyal to her masters, while John is a man loyal mostly to himself, but both characters have experienced a degree of rejection from their respective societies for being who they are. John, this season, is forced to embody a roll he’s tried very hard to avoid – leadership, while Echo, who has been allowed to explore her own personal needs and desires, must now choose between this freedom and servitude. It is also worth noting both characters might backslide this season: John to his selfish, “me first” survival instincts, and Echo to her perfect soldier, “the cause first” mentality.
Taysa points out that Echo has had it hard this season, she lost the love of her life Bellamy, and this has forced her to make some difficult decisions in her pursuit to get him back – like killing Orlando. There is a fun moment between Marie and Taysa, where Echo’s growth has also included cuddling up with the woman she pushed off a cliff. Ah, The 100 where things change quickly.
Off to Shannon, who plays Jordan Green, the pie-eyed child of Monty Green. Shannon’s take on his character this season is that Jordan gets to see what life is like outside of the perfect bubble of love he’d known on the ship. It goes a long way to explaining his lack of hesitation in sleeping with basically the first girl he meets on a new planet. I do hope Shannon’s deep opinion of the character gets reflected on the screen because the flaw has always been that Jordan is one-note. Oddly Jason kicks in at the end to say that Jordan will be in doubt of the people of Bardo – maybe he was burned by the people of Sanctum? Things to tune in for!
Next up is JR, who joined the cast two seasons ago as Russel Lightbourne VII but is now playing Sheidheda, a most spectacular villain. What’s it like for an actor to shift gears so quickly? JR makes it sound fun! I don’t blame him either, Sheidheda is a fantastic character. Everyone in the cast espouses his brilliant job as these two characters. Even Jason takes a moment to praise the actor on his embodiment of some huge Shady moments.
Finally, we come to Shelby, Hope Diyoza, who teased her part at the end of season six only to present a fully realized personality in season seven. Shelby states that whole hog is the only way to go, which is impressive given Jason reveals this is her first acting job! Damn girl, way to slay! Jason’s kudos make perfect sense given how intense she’s been this season, and how pivotal. Imagine that’s your first job as an actor, welcome to the final season of a beloved series oh, and by the way, you’re a main player.
Once the individual interviews are finished, Goldman begins talking about the season as a whole. We get a brief discussion on the challenges of shooting parallel time zones.
We also get some cameos! People who are major players not only throughout the series but in this season, like Chuku Modu who plays Dr. Gabriel Santiago, Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley (married in real life) who play fans’ dream ship couple, Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake.
While I’m grateful for the appearances, when you do a show from home like this it does beg the question is opting out even an option? I suppose if you think about it critically the answer is, duh, of course! While these panels are pre-recorded, they still require a person (several people actually) to be available at a specific time for a length of time. Not to mention the limitations of wifi availability or strength, and finding a private place to engage when you’re trapped indoors with your entire family (this problem varies from person to person obviously). Still, it was nice to see them, especially since this is most likely their final panel.
Speaking of the unique nature of the beast that is Zoom Comic Con, how does one handle audience questions? From what I understand a certain number of fans are pre-selected and submit questions to be asked by the moderator.
The first question posed to the cast is about the show’s tendency to kill off characters who become fan favorites, did this potential scare the actors? The answer? Yes with some hilarious comments, ha ha ha Marie as a Honda Civic! Murphy’s trajectory and how it effected people’s desire for his death or not. Raven’s close call while the crew wished Lindsey goodbye, ouch!
Also, a parade of cameos of characters who weren’t so lucky avoiding the chopping block: Sara Thompson (Josephine Lightbourne), Alessandro Juliani (Jacapo Sinclair), Monty Green himself, Christopher Larkin who also came with an audition clip, and his love interest Harper McIntyre (Chelsey Reist), a surprise addition Wells Jaha (Eli Goree) who died waaaaaay back in season one, Octavia’s most righteous kill Charles Pike (Michael Beach), hottie of the Ice Nation Roan (Zach McGowan), reluctant nightblood Luna (Nadia Hilker), Wells’ father who lived a lot longer on the show Thelonious Jaha (Isaiah Washington), fan favorite accused of dying too soon Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and finally Clarke’s mom killed just last season Dr. Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco). Naturally, each and every one of them uses the famous phrase “May we meet again” to sign off. We’ll miss all of you!
Fan question #2 is a common query for shows coming to an end: Did you take anything from the set? The answer? Of course! There is a painting, the flame box, even a spoon! And, some regrets about what they didn’t take. Also looks like Taysa has her retirement plan in place – chairbacks anyone?
Question number 3 isn’t bad: Judging by your first day, did you think the show would be what it is today? Most people say No.
Question 4 is a human one: What is your favorite thing to do on set while on break? Nutella, taking out a dog, and smoking with hugs are just some of the answers.
A question for the group: What is it like to interact with the fans? As Tony the Tiger would say “It’s Grrrrrreat!” Though, to be fair, did you really expect them to shit on their fan-base? Jason does point out the writers can catch some negative feedback, but that’s not too surprising. It is nice to hear the actors talk about their craft for a bit too, which if you’re an aspiring actor could really resonate with you.
It is a good question to end on.
My greatest take away from anything like this, any time I watch an interview with an actor, is always the accents. I really never expect the accents of the actors who play such perfect English characters – or whatever country their character is from. Hearing Shannon talk with an accent is such a surprise, even Eliza and Bob during their cameo, and some of the other cameos. It amazes me, every time.
Another fun aspect of this particular wave of “at home” interviewing is seeing people’s backgrounds. Some choose their home, some set up a little space for it, some do it where ever they are (looking at you Roan on a boat).