'The 100' Season 1 finale: Ricky Whittle dives deep into the 'epic' and 'tragic' 2-part conclusion

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the-100-ricky-whittle-season-finale-interview.jpg "The 100" has had an incredible freshman run, delivering up shocking, dark and intense episodes week after week, earning a much-deserved Season 2 renewal. But before fans can look ahead to next season, we must first endure what is sure to be a game-changing and action-packed Season 1 finale.

The two-part finale, "We Are Grounders," begins Wednesday (June 4) and concludes June 11, and according to Ricky Whittle (who plays the nicest and easiest Grounder to look at, Lincoln), it's some of the "best two hours of TV ever." That's some pretty high praise.

Zap2it got Whittle on the line to talk about "The 100" season finale, Lincoln's whereabouts after Octavia chose to stay behind, and whether or not all our favorite characters are going to make it out of Season 1 alive. Spoiler alert: They're not.

Zap2it: Last we saw Lincoln, he got dumped by Octavia ...
Ricky Whittle: I wouldn't say dumped, come on! I believe they just went their separate ways, wouldn't you say? [laughs]

Yeah, OK, if that's what we're calling it. ... He was also planning on getting as far away from both the Grounders and the 100. How has he been dealing with splitting up from Octavia to save himself?
Well, he knows what's coming, and that's war. He's seen what the Grounders can do, as he's this experienced warrior and he obviously has seen quite a lot of battles even before the 100 came along. But now he's got these feelings and emotions that the way his people are reacting is wrong, to the point where he went against his own people for Octavia. So he knows what's coming and he doesn't want to be around for it. It's going to be savage, and that's not something he wants to be a part of anymore.

That's why he wanted to take Octavia as far away as possible, and as he was leaving, he dropped the bombshell that this is going to be the end. She's going to die here. He knows exactly what's coming and it's not necessarily just the Grounders. He dropped a few hints at different tribes that we might be witnessing in the two-part finale. It's going to be very epic and it's going to be very tragic.

I know you probably can't spoil anything, but I still have to try: Is anyone going to die in the finale?
Well I can tell you this: There is going to be a lot of loss. We've already got Finn in trouble and Clarke in a trap, so are we going to lose both of them? Are we going to lose one of them? Are we going to lose more back at the camp? Are we going to lose Lincoln himself? The finale is going to epic and not everyone will survive it, and that's all I can say. You will experience loss and tragedy, I promise.

Is Lincoln really done with Octavia? It seemed like Octavia made the choice to stay behind without him but he didn't agree with it.
You've got to think that he's not going to risk his whole way of life by going against the Grounders with his relationship with Octavia to just let her go. I think he's protective of her and cares too much about her to allow that to happen. Right now, he's a man without a country. He's obviously not going to join up with the 100, but he's a traitor to his own people. The only alliance he has in this world that we know of is Octavia. That's the most important thing to him, and I'd like to think that he'd return for her.

Even though she chose to stay with her brother and the 100 rather than leave with him?
I think that actually adds an aspect of respect because of the choice she made in his eyes and in the audience's eyes. She arrived on Earth as this sheltered teen who spent her entire life locked up in the floorboards [and is now] trying to sacrifice herself for Finn by cutting her arm. Although she knew that Lincoln would possibly never let her die and would save her, she still took a risk to save someone else. She's not a selfish little girl anymore. She's growing and becoming a strong woman who is now willing to die for her people. And not only die for them, but also turn away from the person she cares about deeply. I think that's something that Lincoln, who has observed the 100 since they've landed, has seen in her. He saw the spirit in her and the strength and growth. Maybe we'll find out more about that in future episodes, about what drew him to her. It's something that he adores about her.

You said earlier that the finale is "epic." How would you compare the two-part finale to the rest of this season that we've seen?
I will guarantee you that these are the two best episodes, not just of this season, but some of the best episodes of TV I've ever seen. It really is an incredible finale from the writing to the cast performances to the way it's lit to the way it's shot, everything down to the score, the music, it tugs on the heartstrings. I teared up even though I knew what was coming. It's beautiful. It takes you through every emotion to the point where you forget you're watching TV. It's like watching two movies. I was shocked, I was screaming at my TV and I was just absolutely in awe. The great thing about [executive producer] Jason [Rothenberg] and our writers is that they give the audience what they need, not what they want.

That sounds pretty much in line with what we've seen all season, and I know I say this all the time but I'm constantly surprised at how dark and intense "The 100" gets with each episode.
Yes! Honestly, the best compliment I can give the show is that it doesn't belong on The CW. It's that fantastic and that's all a credit to The CW for allowing us to go that dark. They've really widened their audience and allowed us to take it to a different level and place. You've got to thank The CW for that. They're really pushing the boundaries with us. We can now say that we're contenders with all "The Walking Deads" and all the "Game of Thrones" kinds of shows out there. I always hashtag on Twitter, "Dark just got darker." And it does.

So what you're saying is expect the finale to once again get even darker?
Oh yes. [laughs] The great thing about this show is that this whole season, we've led you down one merry path and then switched it up on you, and shocked you, and gone in a completely different way than you thought. The finale does that once again. And it does it several times! [laughs] It's an absolute emotional roller coaster.

Since we first met you on the show, Lincoln has evolved quite a lot as a character. He started off as this face-painted, primitive warrior who didn't speak and has become a romantic hero. What has been your favorite part about playing Lincoln?
ricky-whittle-tattoos.jpgNow that's a tough question. I've always wanted tattoos, so getting a chance to have tattoos has been nice. [laughs] No, like you said, he really has evolved a lot. All of the characters have. There have been so many layers pulled back on Lincoln. I really enjoyed the beginning where you don't know much about him. He had this mystique about him, and we still don't know that much about him now. Maybe we'll learn more about him in future episodes.

But in the beginning, he didn't say much. His actions and the way he carried himself was so powerful and I enjoyed how that was such a challenge to play. My audition piece, one scene actually had no dialogue! I had to react and play various things without talking, and that's been fun to tackle head on. I'm excited for the audience to see more of him and more of "Linctavia."

Which character's storyline is your favorite to watch play out in the finale?
Obviously Linctavia! [laughs] They're the Romeo and Juliet story. Everyone loves a love story, right? But like I said before, we give the audience what they need, not what they want, and even though everyone wants them to be together, the 100 and the Grounders keep tearing them apart. That angst and that tension is fascinating to watch, even if that's not what you want to see. But honestly I really can't narrow down one storyline.

Really?
Everything just blew me away, from the Ark scenes, coming to terms with deaths of certain people on the Ark and the ground, there is just so much going on, I just can't pick one! Ahhh. You know what, I'll keep it simple and just say Linctavia and the Ark storylines. And honestly there's one storyline but I don't want to say what it is because it might spoil some things, but you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it.

"The 100" Season 1 finale "We Are Grounders -- Part 1" airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW