Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
After last week's amazing premiere, I expected the second episode to show a few more blemishes, so the slightly weaker experience was expected... But it was still one heck of an adventure.
Like most series in the survival genre, it appears the bulk of the story is settling around the corrupt and cruel trying to control the "weak" and kind. Of course, the kind are actually quite strong in The 100 and are doing a fantastic job at fighting back... albeit slowly. At least they are putting on a brave face.
The best part of all this is the sudden shift of those corrupt people, especially the ones on the surface. In order to win the loyalty of the group, they put on this whole spiel about being free of rules, but then as soon as they had them in line and something they wanted, they quickly created their own rules and enforced them through violence. Obviously they didn't learn Earth History when they were learning Earth Skills as they would know that it always ends in an uprising. Of course, with their terrible knowledge in Earth Skills, they were likely the rebels who never paid attention in school, which will likely cost them dearly in the coming episodes.
Amazingly, Jasper survived that whole spear into his chest experience. Since he looked deader than a doornail last we saw him, it appears to be miraculous! Was he just in shock due to the pain, or does the radiation on the planet have some unknown healing effect? I really hope they explain it later on.
Unlike the premiere, Earth Skills nudged closer toward the CW's root programming by including more teenage love, and even multiple love triangle. Okay, one did start during the premiere, but with Raven introduced things are getting even more complicated. I guess with a story this heavy in the survival science fiction genre, on a network that is normally associated with teenagers, we should expect a few things to please their main audience. At least we don't have to worry about the modern day drama mixing in with it, thanks to the lack of modern civilization. So far, this whole teenage love seems to be quite minor in comparison to everything else going on.
Also, for a group of teenagers who haven't had a proper meal in a day, they sure have a lot of energy. How they are able to run around with all sorts of life, play games, track down lost friends, and, of course, try to kill each other, is beyond me. I don't know about you, but after not having any food, and very little water, for a day, I wouldn't have as much energy as they do.
I guess I shouldn't expect everything to be realistic, though. Very few series are, and those who do seem to be realistic in the wrong ways. What should really matter is the entertainment value, after all, and having the kids fighting and scheming for power is much more entertaining than them moaning about how hungry they are, so it probably is a necessary flaw.
From what little we've seen of life on the space station, it must take some pretty intelligent minds to keep things working smoothly. Yet, for some ungodly reason, the adults in charge can't figure out that the kids might just be taking the wristbands off. I guess they are too busy with their own problems to even remember that they sent several violent teenage criminals to the surface, and the others already showed they don't respect authority, so of course they are going to rebel. I do find it odd that they didn't include something to measure rads on those things, too.
Overall, Earth Skills was still an amazing hour. It's still new, so we should expect a few bumps and scrapes, as long as they learn from them as the series continues.