The 100 Round Table: What Makes a Leader?

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The twists do not stop coming! We have been gearing up for a Mount Weather showdown and The 100 Season 2 Episode 13 continued to build the anticipation.

As the inevitable war gets closer, there is much to discuss. What does it take to lead, and ultimately, what makes a leader? Is it environment, circumstance, upbringing? "Resurrection" provided the answers – and a lot more questions! 

Join TV Fanatic staff writers Lindsay MacDonald, Paul Dailly and Amanda Festa, along with super fan Marko Pekic, as they talk the impending battle and what it means to be a leader on The 100...

The 100 Round Table 1-27-15

Clarke has started to question Lexa's leadership ideology. Lexa can stay detached, while Clarke can't fully let go of her emotional attachments. How will these two different strategies impact the battle ahead?

Lindsay: I think that Bellamy's news about the children inside Mount Weather, plus the revolutionaries protecting the Sky Kids, may play an interesting part in that. Clarke will obviously want to spare those lives (after failing to do so for Ton DC), but I can see Lexa pushing back on that idea. She won't want to show any mercy if it could put the Grounder lives inside the mountain in more danger.

Marko: It will stir up more conflict, of course. Clarke and Lexa clashing will be interesting to watch and the secret about the missile strike could be a powerful weapon in their power struggle. At some point, either Clarke or Lexa may stab the other in the back to protect their people. I'm hoping for Clarke to prevail.

Paul: I think the two of them are going to realize that they can't work together. This might put an end to Lexa wanting Clarke to be the new leader. At first, both of them had common ground, but now it appears that they couldn't be more different.

Amanda: I definitely agree with Lindsay that Lexa and Clarke are going to have very different ideas about what to do with the civilians at Mount Weather. And it will initially add some tension to their partnership. However, I think it's important to remember that Lexa wasn't always this way. Losing Costia really shaped her current identity as a leader. I think part of Lexa's arc may be reconnecting with her emotions in some respect.

Kane brings up an interesting point about how the 100 were raised by questionable role models on the Ark. How do you think their Ark upbringing influences the 100 on Earth?

Lindsay: I LOVED that scene. Everything in this show comes full circle, and it's amazing to watch it happen. Kane essentially realizes that the Ark raised these kids with a total lack of mercy or understanding (people were executed for stealing food for goodness sake), and that has consequences. Their civilization favors the good of the many over the good of the one, and we kind of see Clarke's decision in a new light because of it.

Marko: It was an amazing scene. I remember back in Season 1, those kids fall under Bellamy's control so easily. They were full of fear and weren't able to make a decision on their own, with the exception of Clarke and Finn, of course. Besides that innate fear, they also knew they couldn't count on anyone having mercy on them, so they fought. Overall the speech reminded me of all the bad those kids went through before reaching the ground, and it made me better understand all the decisions made by the 100 after landing on Earth.

Paul: They were sent to Earth to die, so why should they be in good graces about their current predicament? On the Ark, there was a Chancellor, same as on the ground. The 100 saved the people on the Ark by letting them know about the ground, so the 100 should be on a longer leash and not be told what to do. They know the ground better than the people that came down after.

Amanda: This exchange between Kane and Abby is one of my favorite scenes of the series. It's really a powerful realization, and I love that it is Kane who makes it. In a nature vs. nurture debate, the 100 were really pretty screwed. They were raised in a society with incredibly ambiguous morality. And a lot of the 100 and their families personally suffered at the hands of the Ark government. I think on Earth, the 100 wants to be better, is really trying to be better, but you can't run from your past. It influences them even as they try to rebel against it. 

Speaking of Kane, his character has grown immensely since the pilot. What do you think of Kane's character arc?

Lindsay: Looking back on the pilot, it's almost hard to recognize him as the same guy. He's just grown that much. I think it's interesting to juxtapose Clarke's development, which has been decidedly more negative and brutal, with Kane, who has softened a lot of his hard edges.

Marko: I love his evolution at this point. He showed remorse and is completely open-minded to this world. Back on the Ark he was consumed with his desire for power, but even there, he had some amazing scenes upon killing those volunteers back in The 100 Season 1 Episode 5. He learned from his mistakes and looks differently on the world in front of him. He cherishes life more and doesn't put his life in front of others. I really like Kane at this point. And how long do we have to wait for him and Abby to hook up?

Paul: I like him a lot more than I did. Sure, he has done some questionable things, but his character is a lot nicer now, and he isn't the power hungry creature we witnessed in The 100 Season 1 Episode 1.

Amanda: Henry Ian Cusick has been a favorite of mine since Lost, so I've really enjoyed watching him. When The 100 debuted, it seemed pretty cut and dry that Kane was not a "good guy." I really couldn't imagine him becoming the man we saw in The 100 Season 2 Episode 13. The beauty of this transformation is in its nuance. It happens in a very human and discreet way. He is a man of logic, and his awakening was very logical. He operated one way on the Ark, and with time and distance has realized the fundamental error in their old Ark ways. He's unapologetic and very matter-of-fact about it, which is very much in his character.  

We were shown the Mount Weather preschool, and now we have been introduced to the Mountain Men defectors who are helping the Arkers hide. How does their presence complicate the war, and is there a way they can survive?

Lindsay: I'm so nervous for these Mount Weather people. They're not all just villains now, they're revolutionaries and babies and ahhhhh please don't kill them! I basically only see two solutions: The residents of Mount Weather make peace with the Grounders and they find a non-lethal way to perform transplants. Or everybody dies. I'm crossing my fingers for that first option.

Marko: It completely changes everything, for the Sky People at least. Bellamy and the 47 won't let them die. But Lexa and the Grounders don't look at it the same way we do. They don't know about the people at Mount Weather, who are against the blood treatments and just want live a peaceful life. It will be interesting to see how Bellamy and Clarke try to stop a complete blood bath.

Paul: It complicates matters a lot. It shows that every community has fractures, similar to on the Ark. I think there is only a slim chance of survival for any of them, unless they manage to secure them in another part of the mountain while the battle rages on elsewhere.

Amanda: I love the way the civilians have been set up slowly over the last couple episodes with the visual of the preschool and the new knowledge of the defectors. We are definitely meant to see them as innocents. Whether the goal of this is for them to become a component of the post-war world, or it's just to pull at our heartstrings when things go bad, is yet to be seen. I am hoping for the former, but there would have to be a medical way to sustain them long-term and that would seem a bit convenient, which The 100 has proved not to be. 

Jasper has stepped up and taken a leadership role at Mount Weather. Will this continue once the war is over and he returns to Camp Jaha?

Lindsay: As much as I love to see Jasper lead, I don't think it's sustainable outside the mountain. Bellamy is just a more powerful/effective leader of the 100, and Clarke is the one the Grounders listen to. Then you add Kane and Abby and Jaha into the mix, and it's too many cooks in the kitchen.

Marko: I hope Jasper keeps the qualities he gained at Mount Weather. As Lindsay says, there are too many Sky People with leader potential, but that doesn't mean Jasper's opinions and decisions aren't worth the same. I can't wait to see him reintegrate with the other main characters.

Paul: This has been good for his character. I don't think it will result in him being a full-on leader of the camp, but he will be much more involved in what's going on than he has been.

Amanda: I tend to agree that his leadership is happening in a vacuum right now. He is a great leader for the 47 and he has certainly stepped up, but he is doesn't have the leadership ability of Clarke. And I also think, given the choice, he is happier to let someone else run the show. But I do think his experiences at Mount Weather have strengthened his character, and he is returning to Camp Jaha a different character than he was at the start of his imprisonment.

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The 100 Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Bellamy: You're a natural born revolutionary.
Maya: My mom was the revolutionary. I'm just trying to do what's right.

VIctory stands on the back of sacrifice.