While The 100 is coming to an end soon, its final season is setting up a potential prequel spinoff that will keep the universe going even when the main series ends. While the prequel series still hasn’t been picked up, The 100 season 7 as a whole - and episode 8, “Anaconda” in particular - have been setting up the possible prequel.
A spinoff of The 100 was officially announced in October 2019 and rumored even before then, focusing on the first nuclear apocalypse and its aftermath. The CW has had mixed success with spinoffs, both failing many times (such as the numerous Supernatural spinoffs that went nowhere) and succeeding incredibly (see the success of the Arrowverse shows). Which end The 100’s prequel will fall on is unclear, but that hasn’t stopped the original show from doing its best to drum up interest in the prequel.
Season 7 of The 100 has taken on both ending the show and setting up the prequel. While most of that responsibility fell on episode 8, “Anaconda”, which served as a backdoor pilot, there’s been other setup in the rest of the season. There’s no better way to end something than by going back to the beginning, and by making connections to early episodes of The 100, the final season can bring everything full circle while also setting up the future of this universe.
The Second Dawn & Disciples Explained
As was hinted at throughout season 7, the Disciples on Bardo came from the Second Dawn cult on Earth. While this was pretty clear through the hints dropped earlier, it wasn’t clear just how strong and explicit the connections were until this episode. While “Anaconda” mainly acted as a backdoor pilot for prequel spinoff for The 100, the story was still tied tightly to the present.
The flashback to the first nuclear apocalypse was framed as Bill Cadogan telling the story of how people reached Bardo. He was the leader of the Second Dawn, but this episode reveals that he had more of interest than just surviving down in the bunker until the surface became survivable again. Cadogan also had found an anomaly stone on Earth, which he had been seeking to understand.
Rather than staying in the bunker or returning to the surface, Cadogan saw understanding the anomaly stone as what would save humanity, getting the chance to start over somewhere new. He never managed to understand everything about the stone, since he never got his hands on The Flame that helped Becca understand how it works. He did manage some success, as his story in the flashback ends with taking a lot of members of the Second Dawn with him through the Anomaly to settle on Bardo.
How The 100 Season 7’s Story Connects With The Prequel
One of the hard parts of doing a backdoor pilot is connecting the currently running show and the spinoff in a way that doesn’t feel out of place. The 100 has an especially difficult way to go, since not only is the spinoff show a prequel, it’s also set more than two hundred years in the past. Finding a way to connect two stories with so much time between them is difficult, but “Anaconda” managed to get around that difficulty.
Not only do the Disciples on Bardo come from the Second Dawn cult, but so do the Grounders on Earth. The two groups share an origin, not only in both originally being part of the same group, but in separating over a single conflict. Callie, Bill Cadogan’s daughter, never bought into the Second Dawn, but was still brought into the bunker after the missiles started flying.
Two years later, with the promise of returning to the surface thanks to Becca bringing Nightblood, Callie leads a revolt within the Second Dawn bunker. Bill Cadogan’s role as leader and hero of the people led to him holding on to power more strongly, refusing to see any way out but using the anomaly stone. Callie’s people, mostly made up of younger members of the cult, want to go back to the surface, with this disagreement tearing the Second Dawn in two. Many of them go up to the surface, while those that stayed in the bunker go through the Anomaly to Bardo. This ties the creation of the disciples on Bardo directly to the founding of the Grounders, which Callie’s group becomes over nearly a century between the end of that flashback and the pilot episode of The 100.
What The 100 Prequel TV Show’s Story Will Be
As of yet, there aren’t a lot of details about the potential prequel spinoff for The 100, which hasn’t been picked up for series and currently doesn’t even have a title. Looking at the backdoor pilot in “Anaconda” and some quotes in interviews with showrunner Jason Rothenberg, though, it’s starting to come together.
The flashback of “Anaconda” ends with Callie leading her group of defectors from the Second Dawn to the surface, intent on reestablishing humanity on Earth. While the Second Dawn breaks into two pieces, the one that becomes the Disciples on Bardo is more relevant to the final season of The 100, so isn’t likely to be featured prominently, if at all, in the prequel series. This points towards its story focusing on where the Grounders came from, with Callie’s group adjusting to life back on the surface, as well as how they eventually evolve into the Grounder cultures featured so prominently in earlier seasons of The 100.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rothenberg teased that the show would be a lot more than just a straightforward origin story for the Grounders. While that will be the case, there’s room for even more easter eggs. While the main focus is on the ground, there’s the possibility of visiting the early days of the Ark, giving a chance for the ancestors of characters on The 100 - like Clarke, Bellamy, or Octavia - to make appearances. This would have to make sure not to contradict earlier plot points, such as the people of the Ark thinking that Earth is uninhabitable, but it promises more connections between The 100 and its prequel.
Hopefully, the final season of The 100 won’t be the end of this universe. While the conflict in the present has been front and center throughout season 7, its focus on tying in to the start of the series has also set up what the prequel series can become.