5 essential episodes to watch before the season 5 premiere of The 100

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Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”

In the episode that started it all, humanity is close to extinction, but hope remains. Orbiting around Earth is mankind’s last resort, but malfunctioning oxygen levels force a decision to send guinea pigs (metaphorically speaking) to Earth to see if recolonization is possible — and here, they send the Delinquents down to a land that may be inhospitable to life.

Upon landing, the Delinquents discover that Earth is, in fact, livable. Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), the daughter of the Ark’s chief medical officer and chief engineer, soon realizes they’ve landed at the wrong coordinates and a radiation-soaked forest sits between the Delinquents and their next meal. Clarke gathers a small group to head for Mount Weather for food and supplies. Clarke and Co. quickly discover that the Earth is filled with both wonders and dangers. Meanwhile, the rest of the Delinquents stay near the landing site and one of their own — Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley), specifically — makes plans to ensure the Ark believes the 100 to be dead.

The pilot episode really surprised me. What could have easily been a cheesy CW production becomes so much more than your typical teen story. The characters were compelling from the get-go and I was really drawn into the story. Again, this isn’t your typical CW show — to me, at least — and this episode demonstrates why.