'The 100' Season 1, episode 2 recap: Who are the Grounders?

the-100-episode-2-recap.jpg After the shock at the end of "The 100" series premiere, the new CW show didn't slow down one bit in episode 2, "Earth Skills." In fact, the drama became more intense, dark, mature and surprising.

First of all, who else was shocked to find out that Jasper actually survived having a spear thrown clean through his torso? It totally looked like he was a goner, but he managed to cling to life all night long. And not only that, but something someone carried him away from the river, healed his wounds and tied him up as bait to lure Clarke into a trap. 

As Clarke, Finn, Bellamy and Wells all worked together to save Jasper while avoiding falling onto sharpened spikes, a mysterious masked humanoid figure watched on while hiding. And this is our first glimpse at the Grounders, the people that somehow survived the nuclear apocalypse and have been living on the radiation soaked planet for the past 97 years.

How were they affected by the pollution? They're clearly somewhat intelligent, as is evidenced by their knowledge of healing plants and the way they constructed the trap and tied up Jasper as bait. And why did they attack Jasper, only to heal him, and then offer him up to the others only to try and hurt the others? What is their goal here? With the introduction of this Grounder mystery, "The 100" is setting up some really cool mythology and making the audience ask interesting questions.

Up on The Ark, some other, more adult questions were being asked. Namely, is it worth killing hundreds of innocent people to extend the life of the oxygen they have left, even if everyone might end up dying anyway a few months later when it all runs out? Does buying those extra two months for some people justify killing the others when it all won't matter in the end? No matter where you stand on this debate, no answer is a good one, and watching the adults argue over what is the lesser of two evils is fascinating.

There are no true villains up on The Ark, even though Councilman Kane seems pretty evil. He just wants to ensure the survival of the human race, no matter the cost. Clarke's mom Abby wants to save as many lives as they can, as optimistic and foolish of an endeavor that may be. Chancellor Jaha is stuck in the middle, wanting to do the right thing while also being a good guy. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place, and we don't envy the responsibility placed on his shoulders.

But is there a ray of hope for everyone? Abby has a young mechanic, Raven, work on an old launch pod to take them both to Earth to prove to the Chancellor and Council that Earth is liveable -- since they still can't communicate with the 100 on Earth and don't know why they're all "dying" (or just taking off their wrist cuffs). If Abby and Raven can get to Earth and still communicate with The Ark, then they know they can send everyone down to live on Earth safely.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this plan -- the pod can malfunction, Abby and Raven can get caught working illegally and floated for breaking the law, they could land on the opposite side of the planet, etc. -- but it adds an extra amount of tensions, especially since ... Raven is revealed to be Finn's girlfriend! Will Finn stay true to her, or will he move on since he thinks he'll never see her again? What will happen if/when she gets down to Earth? And who would have thought teens living in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world would have so much time to flirt and hook up while fighting for their lives?

Okay, well, that last one was actually kind of expected.

What did you think of "The 100's" second episode? Did you like it better than the pilot?

"The 100" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW