The 100 Season Finale: Jason Rothenberg on “The End of Book One” The 100 Season Finale: Jason Rothenberg on “The End of Book One”
Interview with The 100 Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg about the finale of Season 5 The 100 Season Finale: Jason Rothenberg on “The End of Book One”

Wow. Have you picked your jaw up off the ground yet after The 100 Season 5 finale? If you haven’t watched the finale, please stop reading now. You will not want to be spoiled about how the season ends. Seriously, stop now…

Humanity escaped extinction once again by a split second, unfortunately Earth was not as lucky this time. Monty and Harper took it upon themselves to be the guardians of humanity and watched over the last living humans in cryo, while watching over Earth and then searching for a new home for their friends. It was a heartbreaking, yet promising conclusion.

KSiteTV’s Carla Day spoke with The 100’s Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg about the end of Book One, what’s coming in Book Two, and the end of Monty and Harper’s story. Read on for edited excerpts of the conversation.

We have another time jump, a new planet, what does that mean for the presumably last 400+ humans in the universe?

As we see in the finale, there’s only two people– three, counting Jordan, of course, who are awake yet. In Season 6, we’ll probably not wake all 400 people up right away. I don’t want to give too much away for where we’re taking the story, but they need to figure out what’s down there. Is it survivable? Has Eligius III managed to turn this into a viable second Earth? Or, have they survived at all? Ultimately, it’s been 200 years, at least, since Eligius III landed, so who they encounter? What they are? Certainly, none of the people who are down there were ever Earth people. These are of this new world.

We are the aliens coming into their world at this point. For me, it was a fantastic challenge and exciting creative opportunity to be able to world build on such a vast scale. Not unlike The 100 originally, I mean, obviously for me, when we landed in Season 1, it might as well have been another planet. I had ironically been thinking of doing a show about a colonial mission to another planet at the time that The 100 was pitched to me and so it kinda touched that creative erogenous zone for me because I realized it was another planet, it just happened to be Earth 100 years after the apocalypse. It really was a blank slate for us to create whatever we wanted. On some level, I’ve come full circle and I’m getting to do the story I was contemplating way back then, but with these characters and actors that we’ve come to know and love and putting them in this new world with these new threats and creatures and characters. It’s going to be fascinating and fun.

At the end of the finale, it says it’s the “End of Book One,” is there is a title or theme for this new story or book?

Yes, but I’m not going to share that with you right now, if you don’t mind. End of Book One was a way of saying how new– we’ve told that story. Had it turned out to be the end of the series, it would have been a satisfying ending that obviously left some big questions hanging, but now we get to answer those questions in Book Two. I’m dying to explore it more and I can’t wait to talk to you about it next season.

Which characters and actors will be back next season?

Everybody who’s alive will be back.

So, everyone who was put in cryo is considered alive?

Everybody who is in cryo will be back, at least at the beginning of the season. Yeah.

On next season’s emotional journeys:

I can’t give away anything about the new season yet, other than that it’s a little bit– it’s funny because the time jump between Season 4 and 5 was six years and those people lived entire lives over six years. They were awake for every single day of those lives and they changed, and their priorities changed, and Clarke became a mother to Madi, and obviously, Spacekru became a family up in space, and Octavia became Blodreina. They changed so much and the whole season was really about how those characters coming back together had changed, and their priorities had changed, and their relationships were never going to be the same as a result of it.

Season 6 kinda locks in place where Season 5 ended even though it’s 125 years later because they slept the entire time. Right? They went to bed one day and they woke up the next day, and it just happened to be 125 years later. But, all their emotional baggage, all their relationships, everything that existed when they went to bed 125 years ago is still there when they wake up. We get to bring all of that into this world and we get to explore all of the fallout from people’s bad choices in Season 5 and as much as they want to turn the page and start again, your sins– you can’t escape what you’ve done. You can’t just wash it away. You have to earn that and Season 6 will be about that for them on a character level.

On the importance of Monty and Harper’s story:

Monty and Harper and the end of those characters is very different than anything we’ve done before. It’s emotional. They lived an entire happy life together. We saw their life pass before our eyes in the montage and videos at the end of the finale. It was important for me for Monty in particular, but Harper too, they were the cosmic Adam and Eve. They lived together on their spaceship, they were happy in those six years, Monty’s whole season was about missing that safety and that peace, and he wanted that back and he got that back. Ultimately, they had a child and that child was happy and a well-adjusted child despite that he never had any experiences outside that ship beyond living with his mother and father. That’s why he made the choice to put himself in cryo at the age he is currently. Having to say goodbye to his parents, we saw that video of the day Monty and Harper put him in cryo, which is really the one that gets me started crying when I watch it, because I know what that’s like. Obviously it’s a heightened choice, my children are getting older, my son’s going to college, that’s what I’m going through and that’s what they had to do on that day. In that case, they knew it was forever. I thought it was a beautiful way to say goodbye and honor those characters.

The 100 will return for Season 6 in 2019.

Carla Day