The 100 Showrunner Jason Rothenberg Addresses Fan 'Expectations' For The Series Finale

the 100 series finale eliza taylor clarke griffin the cw
(Image credit: The CW)

The long, complex, and sometimes downright grim journey of The 100 is coming to an end with the series finale on September 30. The penultimate episode left a lot of questions that need to be answered, ranging from the fates of more than one character to what will happen in the final war/test to what will be left when the fight is over. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg isn't dropping plot details about the finale when only hours remain before the episode airs, but he did weigh in on fan expectations.

Jason Rothenberg shared this about the series finale of The 100 with TVLine, saying:

We’re going to try and wrap up as many things as we can. It’s a finale — and it’s a series finale on top of that — so there will be some surprise guests. Fans can have expectations of a certain scope and scale that I feel we’ve always been able to achieve in these finales.

Fans have plenty of reasons to have very extreme expectations of the series finale of The 100, for better or worse. The penultimate episode ended with Emori's fate very much in question, as Jackson performing CPR was the only thing keeping her blood circulating, and Emori herself wanted Raven to take them to Sanctum rather than Bardo, where her life could be saved. Madi's brain was so damaged by M-cap that she was left conscious but unable to move or recover, and Clarke was on the verge of shooting her.

Meanwhile, The Disciples were gearing up for The Last War on Bardo, while a possible mistranslation might mean that they should have been working towards a test rather than a war all along. Basically, pretty much everybody is in danger, and nobody's survival is guaranteed. If Bellamy's death was good for anything, it did at least lend a sense of danger to even the biggest characters. If he could die a few episodes ahead of the finale, nobody is safe in the actual final episode.

Jason Rothenberg's comments indicate that he at least believes the show has achieved enough scope and scale for the series finale, but the more interesting part of what he had to say might be the promise of some "surprise guests." If the finale gets a little trippy, as seems pretty likely if Clarke and Co. are in for a test on top of the war, then all bets could be off and we could see the returns of some dearly (or not-so-dearly) departed characters.

Assuming Clarke tackles any climactic test, then Abby and Kane would make sense to appear in some form or other. Bellamy would be ideal, in my book, since his death was very sudden and unsatisfying to a lot of viewers. And hey, Clarke and Bellamy actors Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley are married in a real life, so maybe it could happen! Or could Clexa fans get a long-awaited return of Lexa? That said, a whole lot of characters have died over the seven seasons of The 100, so anybody could really come back.

The final episode description unfortunately doesn't yield any details. It reads:

After all the fighting and loss, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her friends have reached the final battle. But is humanity worthy of something greater?

On the one hand, Clarke has consistently wanted to do better, so The 100 could end on a surprisingly uplifting note by proving that humanity is worth saving. On the other hand, Clarke's efforts to do better generally end in bloodshed and heartbreak, so it wouldn't be a departure for the show to end on a depressing note.

I doubt that all of the major characters will die in the finale, and I'm particularly undecided about Richard Harmon's Murphy after some of the actor's comments, but my money is on Clarke dying before the final credits roll.

See how The 100 ends its story with the series finale on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. A spinoff could be on the way following the prequel backdoor pilot, and Jason Rothenberg already has plans for it, but only time will tell if it scores a series order. For some viewing options now and in the coming weeks, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).