The 100: Anaconda

"What's wrong with fascism?"

Backdoor pilot. Or perhaps more accurately, backportal pilot.

Meet Calliope, or Callie for short. She's an awful lot like Clarke Griffin: a natural leader who will do anything to save her people. She even had a doctor for a mom. And before the first apocalypse a century ago, Callie was an environmental activist, a member of "Tree Crew." Loved that.

Unfortunately, Callie's father ("Call me Bill") Cadogan was a literal prophet of doom. Or maybe I should say fortunately, because Bill and his faithful followers created a very familiar bunker where 1,104 people retreated for safety when the missiles went flying. Bill could have just been the savior of the remainder of the human race, but no – he had to be a power-hungry sociopath with narcissistic tendencies. There must be something about that bunker that makes people crazy. To be fair, I suppose pretty much any bunker in an end of the world situation would make people crazy, though.

"Call me Bill" also managed to find the Very Important Space Ball at a hidden observatory at Machu Picchu. Where did this freaking ball originally come from? Was it aliens? Will we be meeting said aliens? Bill was very excited about the Space Ball that he had already stashed in the bunker – so much so that when Becca Franko's shuttle parachuted in from her private space station and she offered nightblood to the bunker residents, Bill said no. Bill thought that a portal to other planets was a lot more important than immunity to radiation. What's with the either-or, Bill? That was a little short-sighted, don't you think?

Not to mention the overreaction of having Becca burned at the stake. Huh?



We were left with Bill the Shepherd leading his followers through the Space Ball portal to, one assumes, Bardo, where he must have spent a chunk of time in stasis before confronting Clarke, Raven, et al. As Bill left the earth to its fate, Callie led her followers, now protected with nightblood, to the surface to become the Grounders. I liked how this episode wove in some long-confusing details from this show: that the flame is ALIE-2, that trigedasleng was a language Callie invented as a child, that Callie was the first to say "Your fight is over" as the bombs were falling.

Is it a coincidence that "Callie" sounds like "ALIE"?

So this is their proposed spinoff. I've watched it twice and I think they made some good prequel decisions: a character much like Clarke in the lead, the Grounders, the Space Ball, and we all know there's a community on the Ark, too. There's a somewhat creepy villain in the form of Callie's brother Reese, who takes after his daddy. There's a possible love interest in August, the Tree Crew guy Callie immediately bonded with when they tried to rescue people outside the bunker.

But honestly, I'm not that excited about the possibility. Iola Evans was fine as Callie, but it feels like we've been there and done that already with someone else that I liked better. I also didn't like the way she agreed to leave behind her best friend, Lucy, right at the beginning, even though she clearly regretted it. Am I being too hard on the producers, folks?

Bits and quotes:

— Jon Pyper-Ferguson appeared as Bill once before in the series, back in season four's 'The Four Horsemen.' I only vaguely remember that one.

— "Anaconda" was the code word that the missiles were flying and it was time to break out the Doomsday packs.

— Note how we can be sure Becca's a genius because she was writing in a Leonardo-like journal.

— When Becca stepped into the portal, where did she go? Was it obvious and I just didn't pick up on it?

— The code is "Goodbye for now" in Latin. I liked how Becca reminded Callie of it by simply saying "Goodbye for now."

Two out of four early members of Trikru. Is this a series you would watch, guys? What did you think?

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

magritte said...

I didn't realize this was intended as a pilot. And while I'm not sure I'm that interested in the concept as a show, I really enjoyed it as an episode of The 100, because it provided so much background on the origin of the Grounders. I like that the Shepherd and the Anomaly are tying back to Becca and the "origin story" of The 100. And yes, I loved the origin of the language. I remember being puzzled by the Grounders having their own language because nowhere near enough time had passed for something like that to happen organically.

As to why it's either/or, Billie, you don't see it because you're thinking like a rational person rather than a crazy one. Bill is a megalomaniac who brooks no competition. If there's an alternative to the path he chooses, not everyone will follow him. You're right, of course, that the episode might have worked a little better if they hadn't made Callie's father so over the top.

Watching this episode also reminded me one of the reasons I had trouble getting into Twelve Monkeys (the TV show, not the movie which i loved). The protagonist seemed to me to be following the crazy person rather than the practical one, like choosing Bill over Callie.

Sjusjun said...

Loved this episode. The 100 rarely forgets its past, this is why I keep coming back to the show. I'm not sure if I love it as a pilot. I don't know if I can watch something that'll get destroyed at the end. Like reading a book where I sort of know the ending...

CrazyCris said...

Great review Billie!

I had forgotten they were doing a backdoor pilot this season, but watching it reminded me of that fact plus a feeling of "no thanks"! It was a great 100 episode, fabulous to get such an important flashback this late in the game showing how everything is tied together, but honestly I'm not interested in these other crews for a new series. Watch these people devolve into the scary vicious Grounders we met in season one? Or the followers of the psycopath on Bardo evolve into this emontionless society without individuals? Meh! Wrap up the show well, and when I feel like diving back into that world I'll just rewatch The 100. ;)