'The 100' boss reveals Season 2 scoop: Who's still alive, the secrets of Mount Weather and moreAdd to Favorites | The 100
"The Comic-Con lineup will spoil quite a bit about who is alive and who is dead," Rothenberg says with a laugh. "In a few days, we'll know some of the answers. Not all of them, but some of them."
Phew, you hear that? Only a few days separate us from answers! But until the Comic-Con panel on Friday (July 25), here's all the scoop on Season 2 we could squeeze out of "The 100" showrunner during the 2014 Summer TV Press Tour.
Zap2it: When "The 100" returns this fall for Season 2, how is the show going to feel different?
Jason Rothenberg: Season 2 is going to be really different because there's no Ark, there's no space element, so it's a really different feeling for the show. The season starts with everybody scattered to the wind and it's really about getting people back together, and figuring out who's alive and who's not. Nobody knows where anybody went. It's a big mystery as far as the people that got taken to Mount Weather. We know two are there, but nobody else knows what happened.
There weren't any of the 100 hiding in the trees, watching the Mountain Men gas their friends?
No, nobody saw those guys in the gas masks come in except for the people who got taken. There will be quite a bit of trying to figure out what happened. Did the Grounders take them? The fact that they're in Mount Weather, it's going to be a little while coming before they can figure it out. It might even take somebody in Mount Weather getting out to say, "You idiots! We've been over here!" That's not to say that's what happens, but ... well, yeah. [laughs]
What can you tease about what's going on in Mount Weather?
I think it's safe to say that nobody will expect what Mount Weather ultimately is. There are clues, certainly there are little hints and clues in that white room, and when we see Mount Weather, we'll understand what those clues were hinting towards. But it's unlike anything else on the show. It's a unique environment, for sure. I'm excited about it. We spent a lot of money building it and we're going to tell a lot of story there. Who knows, maybe every season we're going to blow up our mains sets and start all over again. That's what we did last year!
I remember talking with you earlier about how even though we're losing the Ark storyline in Season 2, we're still maintaining that scientific, confined feeling for half of the show with Mount Weather.
Mount Weather has the feeling of an underground version of the Ark, although it's a mirror image. It's very different. The culture is different, the people and the way they behave and interact is totally different. But they are insulated the same way. The Ark, remarkably, resembles our world. That was always so important to me. There's a president/chancellor who came from the working class and worked his way up, there's upward mobility, people love their families and they go to school. None of us grew up on a spaceship, but we can recognize life up there. Mount Weather, maybe not so much.
You said there were clues in the white room, maybe including the Van Gogh painting that Clarke saw on the wall? Is that the original that's been preserved?
That was the original.
I was wondering about that since we just learned the leader of the Mountain Men, Dante, is a painter ...
Now, did we say that he's a leader of the Mountain Men, or did we just say that he's a leader and a painter?
I saw the word "leader" and so I assumed he's the leader of the Mountain Men.
[laughs] Well, he's amazing. We love him. Ray Barry plays Dante. He's an old friend of mine and we've been talking for a long time about working together, and when it looked like we were going to get a Season 2, and I knew where we going with the story, I really created the role for him. He is a painter and so I was thinking, "What can we do with this guy that's unique and that we haven't really seen before?" And it was actually his idea to make him a painter.
I like how art carried through from the pilot to the finale, and I'm glad to see you're sticking with that in Season 2. Because when you think of post-apocalyptic survival series, you don't necessarily think of "art."
Right! It's awesome, but actually I don't think he knows that. Even though he's shot a couple episodes already and he's on the show now, I don't think he's watched a single episode. But you're right. Clarke is an artist, from the very beginning she was painting on the walls of her cell, and then at the end she wakes up in a room with a painting on the wall so that callback worked very well. It clicked. It was destined to happen like that.
So let's talk a bit about the character's fates who are up in the air. When the 100 walked out of the drop ship and saw the burnt, charred skeletons, I got worried that there was --
A little burned Finn and burned Bellamy? [laughs]
I freaked out! Even though they are two main characters, you've proven that you're not afraid to kill off main characters -- like with Wells.
I mean, listen, I don't think we did it very much last year but obviously we killed one main character early on so we got that reputation and credit for that in a weird way, as if that's credibility within the creative community. [laughs] But the truth is that no one is safe, and if the story is right and it has the impact that I think it should, we'll do that for sure. I'll say it again, nobody is safe.
But you have changed your mind about killing some characters already, like Jasper. Devon Bostick revealed to me earlier this spring that Jasper was actually supposed to die after the pilot.
Yeah, but he was just so f***ing good that we changed our minds. That spearing back in the pilot is why he became the character he became. He now knows how to use a gun and he's shooting Grounders on the bridge, and he's dealing with his PTSD, and in Season 2, we'll see that come full circle.
What are you most excited for fans to see in Season 2?
For me, it's Abby and Clarke's story, since they haven't been together since the pilot. She's been obsessed with getting her daughter back ever since then. So in episode 2, she gets to the drop ship and her daughter's not there. She finally got there and just missed her. Again, they're still separated and wondering if the other is still alive, where is she, what happened to her, etc. There are a few survivors from the camp that can say, "We have no f***ing idea." The people who lived and are there to tell the story were outside the camp and didn't see what went down.
"The 100" Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.