Spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of The 100 on The CW, called "The Dying of the Light."
The seven-season journey of The 100 is only one episode away from ending for good for these characters, and the last several episodes have delivered so many game-changing twists that I'm left with one question above all others: does The 100's series finale need to end on a reset to undo what has been done?
I was pushed to ask this question following the events of "The Dying of the Light," which left one character seemingly gone for good and another whose odds of survival aren't great. Madi's brain is so damaged that she's conscious but incapable of moving in the slightest, which was horrifying enough that Clarke was ready to shoot her almost immediately, and Octavia volunteered to do it for her.
As for Emori, she suffered a serious leg wound and was impaled through the abdomen by a piece of rebar after the explosion in the bunker, and her only hope was to be transported to Bardo for their medical facilities. She was only alive thanks to Jackson performing chest compressions to keep her blood circulating, and the bridge wasn't leading them to a safe and clean surgical theater where her life could be saved.
These were two devastating twists alone, but coming on the heels of Clarke killing Bellamy makes them feel like altogether too much, especially since Bellamy has now officially died for nothing. In fact, Bellamy might have been able to save Madi if he'd been on Bardo and witnessed what Cadogan was doing to her. Clarke is understandably unraveling, and everything feels pretty hopeless, and not in the "always darkest before the dawn" way.
I know that The 100 isn't the kind of show guaranteed to deliver a happy ending, but everything seems so miserable for most of the major characters that I almost don't know what I should be rooting for. Clarke seems like she'll burn out if she's pushed much farther, and Murphy could snap if Emori dies. Even if the last war is actually a last test leading to transcendence, I just don't know that the ending can be emotionally satisfying after the last few critical episodes. Unless, of course, there is a reset.
Now, before I go into what a reset could mean for The 100, I want to go on the record as generally hating when TV shows and movies use resets. I still haven't forgiven the Arrowverse and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" for resetting Arrow right before its series finale, and I have issues with a whole incarnation of The Doctor on Doctor Who because his seasons generally ended in resets. Resets are why I still get annoyed when The Flash meddles with time travel. 99.99% of the time, I want what's done to be done, and characters (and viewers) to deal with the consequences.
So it's a sign of how hopeless I really feel for the sake of these characters that I would be on board for a reset of some kind. That's not to say I wouldn't call shenanigans along with the whole fandom if the series finale ends with 17-year-old Clarke waking up on the Ark from a very long, very dark, and very elaborate dream, but there aren't exactly a lot of rules when it comes to this final war and what it means to transcend. There are a lot of potential loopholes.
Who knows? Maybe there is a test, and Clarke will have to try and fix everything that she intentionally or accidentally broke over the years. Maybe it really is a war, but there will be some kind of time travel in play after a season of time dilation complications. Honestly, maybe they'll just all die and reunite in an afterlife. They'd be dead, but there would be an upside, right? It more or less worked for another CW series! Maybe The 100 won't end on another war, and maybe Clarke won't have to die after all. And yes, that is a lot of maybes that could very well all come to nothing.
I'm not suggesting that The 100 suddenly changes into a show that ends happily for everybody, but this is 2020! If the show delivers a reset to fix some of what went wrong and led to so much misery for these characters we've been watching for so long in the finale, I'll go along with it. If not a reset, then I'm hoping that the show has some twists in store to end on a high note for at least some of the characters. I don't think Clarke has any chance of real happiness unless Madi and Bellamy are somehow restored to her, but others aren't too far gone.
After all, the prospect of a spinoff set in the past when the future is guaranteed to end on a grim note isn't too appealing, in my book. For now, we can only wait and see what The 100 has in store with the series finale, called "The Last War." Fittingly, the series finale will also be Episode 100, and you can find it on The CW on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Be sure to vote in our poll about whether a reset is in order, and don't forget to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for what you can watch once The 100 has come to an end.