The 100: The Dark Year is a scary look at human reality

The 100 -- Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
The 100 -- Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

The Dark Year has been hinted at throughout The 100 Season 5. We finally learned exactly what happened and I can’t say I was shocked.

The 100 Season 5 has hinted at something dark, twisted, and terrifying for what went down in “The Dark Year.” It was something that changed them all. Something that broke Abby and Kane apart and made Octavia into the ruthless, cold-hearted leader that she now is. We finally learned everything that happened in “The Dark Year,” but really it was a stark look at human reality.

As a word of warning, there are spoilers in this if you haven’t caught up on the episode yet.

We knew “The Dark Year” had to be bad. Something major went down and Wonkru have absolutely no choice in the steps they took. But what was it? What could be so bad that left people torn and broke Kane and Abby apart?

It turns out that the crops were infected and it would take a year to get rid of the fungus completely. That shouldn’t have been too bad, as it wasn’t all the crops. However, it was the protein source. Abby shares that they need to get 10% of their calories from protein or they will starve. It was clear what would happen in this moment of The 100.

They had no choice but to turn to cannibalism

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Quite honestly, there was no other choice. It was eat each other or starve to death. Which one would you take?

What is important to note is they did this in a relatively calm and collected way. Rather than cause too much panic, they opted to use the bodies from the pits. With the Gladiator Ring as their way of punishment, they knew they’d get bodies without having to (*shudder*) request for volunteers to die for the sake of others.

Abby also commented that more people would end up in the pits. While they were getting 10% of their calories from protein, there would still be hunger and fear. People do drastic, selfish things when they’re scared and hungry. The fight or flight mechanism kicks in; they go into survival mode.

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It was forced cannibalism that was bad

Most of us likely didn’t object to the idea of cannibalism for the sake of surviving. It was only for a year. Maybe, with a bit of luck, it would be less time. What was the problem was Abby making it clear that everyone had to eat their own people.

Understandably, there were people who would rather die than eat their own. They weren’t just eating strangers. These were friends, colleagues, relatives. One guy points out that he could have been eating his brother. And then there would be those morally objecting to the idea of eating people.

But seeing people you love wither away would be horrific. Abby didn’t want those who became cannibals to feel the guilt of watching friends die. This is where the scary truth of human survival comes in. Out of fear of what could happen, Octavia makes it illegal in the bunker not to eat each other.

Then Octavia goes a little crazy, shooting people in the dining hall because they refuse to eat. We got that “You are Wonkru or you are the enemy of Wonkru” moment but in terms of food. The “You eat or you die” moment was another look of human reality. Octavia was scared. If she allowed people to not follow this law, which other law would they decide they could fight against?

It was a desperate situation and I’m not completely against what Octavia did. However, it made it clear that she was a ruler through fear and not through respect and that is where she has lost many. But let’s be honest; Clarke would have done exactly the same. As Madi pointed out, Clarke has done similar things for the sake of others. However, when it came to the radiation, Clarke didn’t force people to live if they didn’t want to.

Next. What happened in the bunker in The 100?. dark

What did you think of “The Dark Year?” Were you surprised to see what they had to do to survive in The 100? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The 100 Season 5 continues on Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.