The 100 is a show that has continued to blaze its own unique path that rewards long term fans while not worrying about alienating newcomers. The show has come quite a ways from its initial premise as it has folded in science-fiction concepts that I never would have dreamed of in the beginning. Following my recent reviews of season four and season five, I continue my journey through this thrilling show, now armed with the recents news that the seventh and final season will be released on Blu-Ray in December. With so many shows abandoned on the format these days, this news is extremely exciting. Following the extremely-bleak confrontation-heavy fifth season, our characters embark on a new journey that opens up entire new worlds to them. The fifth season ended with an unexpected, emotionally heart wrenching 125 year time jump thanks to cryogenic sleep. Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Bellamy (Bob Morley) awake to the news that Earth is still FUBAR, but they have been sent to a planet that should be able to sustain them. It is discovering this new planet and exploring all of the secrets that it holds that drives our narrative for this season.
When a group of our protagonists head down to their potential new home of planet Alpha, they are greeted with a wondrous new landscape that feels nearly too perfect. As seems to be the case with this show, nothing can be quite that simple for our heroes. Strange and unknown dangers lie in wait for them including native bugs, encroaching toxins and a seemingly abandoned compound. This safe haven is known as Sanctum, and it is the home of a village of people that subscribe to a deity-based system of ruling. These leaders are called the Primes, and the supreme leader of the group appears to be Russell (JR Bourne), a seemingly benevolent man who welcomes these new visitors into the Sanctum. As much as it would benefit these two groups to work together, we will come to learn that the traditions of Sanctum do not exactly jive with the values of the Earth group. The mysteries behind the Sanctum inhabitants serve as an interesting extension to elements that were introduced on Earth in earlier seasons. The greedy nature of wanting to survive at all costs is a rich topic which gets explored all throughout this season.
This season may find our characters suddenly in a future far removed from their past experiences, but the wounds of betrayal are still fresh for many of these individuals. The sixth season is one of great narrative development, as creator Jason Rothenberg juggles numerous arcs that pay off in various ways. Clarke burned a lot of bridges in the latter half of the fifth season, so earning back the loyalty of her people is a priority to her. A very specific event early in the season makes that task more difficult than normal, but it definitely ratchets up the tension. Eliza Taylor is given some major acting challenges this year, and she pulls it off beautifully. Another lady in need of a redemption arc is Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), who spiraled into the role of a ruthless tyrant Blodreina last season. She has lost her power, and she has to figure out if she is going to dig in her heels and keep being unrelenting, or see if she can tap back into her humanity. Newcomer from last season Madi (Lola Flanery) contends with dark forces in her head that bring about some sinister moments throughout the season. There are a lot of big science fiction concepts that are being tackled the season, and they are given emotional weight thanks to these characters we have become invested in over all these years.
Once again The 100 proves to be an absolutely ruthless show when it comes to the fates of our characters. There is so much happening during this season as different factions clash and allegiances are tested. A particular plot point this season involves extending a person’s life through extraordinary means, but the creative team does not abuse this too much to fake out the audience when it comes to character deaths. If anything, things get even more precarious for those we care about as danger shows itself in various different forms. There are some heartbreaking losses this season, but the way in which this team uses these developments to propel the story forward always makes it feel substantial. With one final season after this one, the show keeps ratcheting up the stakes and setting the board for an epic ending. Rothenberg and company have definitely kept things interesting for this non-book reader, and with the absolute bonkers ending of this season, I have no clue where they are going next. This show has continued to surprise me year after year and has kept me invested with intense plot developments and nuanced character arcs. This show has a confidence in story that few network shows possess, and I eagerly anticipate where this show will end up after this engrossing season.
The 100: The Complete Sixth Season arrives on Blu-Ray courtesy of Warner Archive with a stellar AVC encoded 1080p transfer. Overall, this set is a step up from the streaming and broadcast versions of the show, which suffer from being overly compressed. The color palette shifts back towards more natural, vibrant colors in their new location in and around Sanctum. There are some impressive instances of beautiful colors popping off the screen, especially in the foliage and some of the costumes fit for royalty. Skin tones appear very natural across the entire cast. The level of detail in this presentation remains as strong as ever, as all of the subtle aspects of the costumes and production design are easily distinguishable. Black levels are appropriately deep and give way to a nice amount of detail in shadows. The bright whites do not fall victim to any blooming in this presentation. There are no egregious instances of aliasing or compression artifacts detectable here. This Blu-Ray is simply gorgeous as Warner Archive continues its winning streak with the series.
This Blu-Ray comes with a dynamic DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track that more than gets the job done. Compared to last season, all-out battle sequences and more kinetic moments are less frequent, but they are given the appropriate power in the mix when it counts. There are some standout moments throughout the season that present with a forceful showing in the low end. Ambient sounds are also precisely placed in the rear channels. Dialogue always comes through crisp and clear without being stepped on by the powerful score or any sound effects. The series music from Tree Adams continues to perfectly set the tone for the story. This season seems to feature more actual songs than previous seasons, and they always sound pretty great within the mix. The audio presentation here is fantastic on all levels.
- The 100 Season 6 – Highlights from 2019 WonderCon: A 20-minute panel moderated by Lindsay Macdonald featuring creator Jason Rothenberg, Eliza Taylor, Marie Avgeropoulos, Shannon Kook, Tasya Teles, Sachin Sahel, JR Bourne and Richard Harmon. The participants talk about the difficulty in bringing the show into a new era, tease arcs for the sixth season, discuss new additions to the cast and more. I always look forward to delving into these each season, so I’m really glad it was included.
The sixth season of The 100 takes our characters and totally shakes up everything they know thanks to a massive time jump and change in location. They are once again at odds with a sinister group, but this season relies on intrigue and political maneuvering rather than an all-out physical assault, which is a nice change of pace. We see substantial character growth through this new chapter, while also experiencing some tough moments for longtime fans. Warner Archive continues to treat this show well with a top-notch A/V presentation and a fun special feature. With the recent announcement that they will be releasing the final season on Blu-Ray next month, you can buy this series with confidence knowing that you will not be left high and dry. Recommended
The 100: The Complete Sixth Season can be purchased directly through Warner Archive or various other online retailers.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Warner Archive has supplied a copy of this set free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.