Season 4 of The 100 is introducing new characters and bringing back old ones at an astounding clip. So far, Season 3’s King Roan has been the most notable character who has ascended from minor side character to major power-player. But the third episode, “The Four Horsemen” brings in another minor character who has jumped up to the big leagues: Luna.
Recall that Luna is supposedly the last Nightblood, the only type of person who can take the Flame and become a Commander. Clarke and Bellamy first sought her out in Season 3, where she lived in a peaceful community of outsiders on a rig in the sea. At the time, Luna refused the Flame, wishing to remain outside of the violence and politics.
When she shows up at Arkadia’s gates at the beginning of “The Four Horsemen,” she’s in dire shape. “You think I deserve this for refusing the Flame,” she later says to Bellamy. She’s with a small group — all that’s left of her people — and her skin is covered in angry boils. Abby diagnoses it as ARS, Acute Radiation Sickness. Aside from the boils, the symptoms of this deadly disease are fever and vomiting. The fact that the radiation hit her rig leads Raven to discover that it’s spreading faster than everyone thought: Instead of six months to live, they have just two.
Desperate to find a solution to humanity’s fast-approaching doom, Clarke and Bellamy go on a road trip with Jaha, which is a sentence that would sound preposterous in any previous season of The 100. Both their Season 1 selves would likely laugh at the notion.
See, because Jaha is Jaha, he knows about a pre-war doomsday cult (“The Second Dawn”) and even has a creepy cult video to share with Bellamy and Clarke. Although he holds guilt from his role in converting people to the City of Light’s creepy group-think mind control in Season 3, it seems his fascination with prophet figures and salvation through group-think remains.
This particular cult had a doomsday bunker that Jaha thinks might be big enough for everyone to live in, thus escaping the radiation. Unfortunately, Clarke, Bellamy, and Jaha discover that it’s useless. However, it’s unlikely that this will be the last we’ll hear of the Second Dawn, as its slogan is the same one on the Season 4 trailers: “From the ashes, we will rise.”
When Clarke and Bellamy return to Arkadia defeated by their failure, they make an unexpected discovery: Luna and the rare blood that makes her a Nightblood might just be the key to surviving the radiation. This will surely lead to ethical dilemmas, as everyone is scarred from the Mountain Men trying to mine them for radiation-resistant blood in Season 2. Bellamy in particular won’t be forgetting hanging upside down in a loincloth impaled with blood tubes anytime soon.
Will they become hypocrites and do the same thing to Luna that their most notorious enemies did to them? Does it make them hypocrites if she sacrifices herself willingly? Or perhaps, since Octavia’s plotline involved her deceiving Roan about the Flame being destroyed while Indra’s daughter goes on the lamb with it, the key is Luna finally taking up the Flame?
The 100 is keeping its cards close to its chest, but Luna’s return and her place in the story makes for a fascinatingly complex turn.