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Spoilers ahead for the series finale of The 100 on The CW, called "The Last War."
The long and bloody road to the conclusion of The 100 has come to an end and revealed the fates of Clarke, Octavia, and the rest of the characters who were still alive at the beginning of the hour. The episode had a lot to wrap up before answering the question: does humanity in the 100 universe deserve to be saved to give the characters a happy ending? Well, after the finale, I would say that whether or not the ending was happy is up to interpretation. There was definitely no reset!
The first person to take the test that would either end in transcendence or extinction of the human race was Bill Cadogan, but Clarke interrupted his test to shoot and kill him for what he did to Madi. Despite Clarke summoning a representation of Lexa as her guide to take the test, Clarke failed due to everything she has done over the years. Humanity got one more shot, however, with Raven taking the test with the representation of Abby by her side. Raven was more successful in talking her way through the test, although Octavia is largely to thank for humanity passing.
Despite learning that Bellamy wouldn't be able to transcend because he was already dead, Octavia managed to convince both Wonkru and the Disciples to lay down their lives, making the point that "for all mankind" should include not murdering different factions of the human race. Thanks to Raven and Octavia, humanity passed the test and got to transcend to an existence of peace and contentment... except for Clarke, who had to stay behind because she quite literally killed somebody while taking her test.
But that wasn't the ending. As Clarke was preparing to face her future with nobody but Picasso by her side, the judge (once again in the form of Lexa) arrived and revealed that transcendence is a choice, and those who transcended could make the choice to return. So, Raven, Octavia, Murphy, Emori, Echo, Miller, Jackson and pretty much every other main character who hadn't died yet decided to come back and join Clarke.
There was a catch, though. In deciding to return, they came back to very limited lives. They can't transcend after making the choice, they can't procreate, and they can't do much of anything except live together and eventually die, with no chance of meeting any new people or expanding their group. Honestly, they probably can't even go much of anywhere. So, was this a happy ending? According to showrunner Jason Rothenberg in an interview with TVLine, it was a happy ending in at least one way:
They can never procreate and they can’t transcend, so this is it for them. They’re going to live their days together as a family, grow old together, and when they die, the human race is over. It’s OK, though, because we transcended and joined the universal consciousness. So it’s a happy ending for the human race.
According to Jason Rothenberg, The 100 wrapped on a happy ending for the human race, even if the human race is going to be over and gone once Clarke and her group die. So, another 60 years or so, optimistically? Whether or not fans see this as a satisfying conclusion is another story entirely.
I for one don't really see this as a happy ending for Clarke, since she still has to live with everything she lost and what she did that left her in tears at the beginning of the finale. Killing Bellamy is one that I can really see sticking with her. Not only was he ultimately right, but he died for nothing because Madi wound up in M-cap anyway.
The prospect of the group living the rest of their lives with nobody else, no chance of transcendence, and no chance of having kids if they wanted them doesn't seem like a 100% happy ending to me either, especially for characters like Hope and Jordan who never really got to live. Of course, I'm also one who has been expecting Clarke to have to sacrifice herself, so maybe my 100 glass has just been half empty ever since Bellamy was unceremoniously killed off!
Lexa and Abby weren't the only dead characters to kinda sorta come back; a representation of Callie also appeared in the brief amount of time when Cadogan was taking the test before Clarke killed him. Callie may be back on The CW on a much more regular basis, however, if the network hands down a series order to the spinoff of The 100.
The backdoor pilot revealed that the spinoff would arguably be skipping the best part of the apocalypse, but only time will tell if it makes it to the airwaves. The CW is officially losing another long-running show in 2021 after the ends of Arrow, The 100, and soon Supernatural in 2020, so maybe there will be room in the lineup for the 100 spinoff.
Be sure to vote it our poll below about whether or not The 100 really got a happy ending. While The 100 has come to an end, there are still plenty of TV options. Check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for what you can watch and when to watch it.