The 100‘s series finale had a few surprise cameos, but with a twist. After seven seasons of fighting to survive nuclear apocalypses and tribal wars, The 100 finally came to an end. As the characters faced transcendence or extinction during the finale, they were greeted by some familiar faces, including one person that fans had been waiting to see again for four seasons.
The final season focused on Second Dawn cult leader Bill Cadogan’s (John Pyper-Ferguson) mission of bringing humanity to transcendence. He thought he was leading everyone to “the last war,” but it was actually a test, as Jordan Green (Shannon Kook) had accurately predicted. In order to get to the test, Cadogan needed the code for the stone, causing him to order the mind-probing and torture of Madi (Lola Flanery), leaving her catatonic.
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Series finales are usually a time for beloved characters to return, and The 100‘s final episode delivered on this promise, but in an unexpected way – because some characters did in fact return, but they weren’t exactly themselves.
Fans first met Callie (Iola Evans) in the prequel’s backdoor pilot episode about the Grounders origins. Dead since before the series even started, Callie was an important person in Grounder history: She was the first Flamekeeper and the creator of the Grounder language, Trigadasleng; she was also Cadogan’s daughter. In the series finale, Callie returns to judge Cadogan, and thereby humanity, during the test. Except, she’s not really Callie. As the alien test administrator (and judge) told Cadogan, Callie is who he chose to see. She said, “We most often take the form of the subject’s greatest teacher or the source of their greatest failure. In the rare emotion-driven species such as your own, it can be their greatest love. Seems you’re faced with all of the above.”
This all rings true, as Callie was his favorite child whom he lost forever after killing Becca and insisting on keeping everyone in the bunker after the first nuclear apocalypse, while she wanted to use Becca’s nightblood serum to let everyone live on the ground. Even though Callie had only been featured on the show once before, it was interesting to see Cadogan think he was interacting with her after centuries of wanting to see her again, and it was a way to tide fans over until the prequel (hopefully) gets picked up.
Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was a Grounder commander from Trikru, considered by many to be the wisest and strongest commander they had ever known. She was the first to unite the 12 clans and lead them in the Coalition. A beloved character, especially because she was a strong, LGBTQ+ leader (she was in love with Eliza Taylor’s Clarke), Lexa’s death in season 3 outraged fans. After her Flamekeeper Titus (Neil Sandilands) accidentally shot her while trying to kill Clarke, Lexa returned briefly later in season 3 to help Clarke destroy A.L.I.E. in the City of Light. Lexa’s highly anticipated finale return was similar to Callie’s; it wasn’t really Lexa, but the judge taking the form of Lexa.
In a move that was shocking to no one but the judge, Clarke killed Cadogan for what he did to Madi just as he was about to take the test. Since the test was already in motion, Clarke now had to determine the fate of humanity, so the judge took the form of Lexa. The judge-as-Lexa also returned at the end of the episode, on Earth, to tell Clarke that her friends had chosen to live out their days with her instead of transcending. While bringing back Lexa, who was certainly Clarke’s greatest teacher and perhaps her greatest love, was technically satisfying, she wasn’t really Lexa, which felt like a missed opportunity for a richer storyline, one that could provide closure the fans and the characters desperately needed.
Abby Griffin (Paige Turco) was Clarke’s mother, the Chief Medical Officer of the Ark, a former council member on the Ark, and a former chancellor for the people of the Ark. She was murdered in The 100 season 6 when she was used to be a host for Simone Lightbourne (Tattiawna Jones and Chelah Horsdal). Abby was also close to Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan), which is why she makes a cameo in the finale.
Despite raising compelling points about who has the power to judge and how her genocidal tendencies weren’t particularly different from wiping out an entire species because they failed a test, Clarke failed the test, thereby damning humanity. So, Raven tried to retake the test for humans, and ended up on the Ark with none other than a judge wearing the face of Abby. As the judge told Raven, “yours is an interesting choice. Not your real mother, yet her opinion of you mattered even more. You fear her judgment.” This doesn’t quite feel like the truth and Abby was a strange choice all around. Yes, at times she was a bit of a surrogate mother to Raven, and they were collaborators and true friends, but Abby also did unforgivable things to Raven, such as torturing her in order to get the drugs she was addicted to. Bringing back Abby is satisfying in some ways since she was such a central character, but her being Raven’s judge feels a bit forced.
The last cameo was actually a true cameo, or at least not a transcendent being wearing the face of a beloved dead character. Picasso was Russell Lightbourne’s (JR Bourne) golden retriever, and after Russell’s death, Picasso was adopted by Clarke and Madi on Sanctum. After leaving Sanctum, Madi thought she’d never see Picasso again. But when Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) stops a war and, along with Raven, proves to the judge that humanity is worth saving, Clarke sees all of the human race except for her transcend. So she travels back to Sanctum, looking to see if anyone else is left – that’s where she finds Picasso. The sad reality of this cameo, however, is that Picasso never would have been all alone if it weren’t for Clarke. Only humans transcended, not dogs.
While bringing back Lexa and Abby was satisfying for fans, and seeing Callie and Picasso was also fun, it would’ve been more meaningful to have Lexa, Abby, and Callie actually be themselves, rather than cosmic beings taking on the bodily form of these fan favorites. It’s also unfortunate that other important characters, like Jasper (Devon Bostick), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Kane (Henry Ian Kusick), Harper (Chelsey Reist), Finn (Thomas McDonell), and especially Bellamy (Bob Morley) didn’t make an appearance. That being said, fans may have an opportunity to get to know these characters’ ancestors if the prequel to The 100 gets picked up, so at least they’ll live on in some small way.
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