At the end of “The 100’s” Feb. 11 episode, Charles Pike (Michael Beach) went from being imprisoned to being elected chancellor because of his attitude that Grounders are bad and the Sky Crew should kill them all. Creator Jason Rothenberg likens this hard line to the attitude a lot of Americans had after the events of 9/11.
“One of the things I was going for [with Pike], metaphorically, is the 9/11 political shift in the world, but in America especially, when there was this wave of ‘all Muslims are bad,” Rothenberg tells Zap2it. “I found that to be repellent because obviously that’s bulls***. And yet it took us into wars that we maybe shouldn’t have been in.
“I don’t like to be overly political, but what I love so much about science fiction is you can tell a story like that and nobody knows that’s what you’re doing. But we’re exploring issues like that and that’s what Pike is. [The Mt. Weather explosion] happened that jibed with his world view and he’s like, ‘This is what I’ve been saying’ and it gets him elected chancellor. It sweeps him into office.”
In being elected, Beach says that Pike is going to lead as he sees fit, and that doesn’t involve giving Grounders the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t know if he has the time or the patience to see the good in people. If we wait, we’re gonna be attacked, we’re gonna be killed, we’re gonna be wiped off the planet. And he doesn’t have time for that. He doesn’t have time to sit down and have a discussion with people who killed many of our people,” says Beach. “I think he doesn’t have the temperament to say, ‘Oh yeah, let’s sit down and wait and see what happens.’ No, I’m not gonna wait and see. I’m gonna do what needs to be done. Once we have the control we need, then we can sit down and talk to people.
Beach adds that he knows people will see Pike as a bad guy because of what he’s doing in Arcadia — but he’s OK with that.
“Obviously I know that most people will see him as a bad guy. I can’t play that, I don’t play characters as good guys or bad guys. He has a need, a want — the safety of his people and based on the history that he has on the ground, he has a set of ideals that direct him to achieve that in a different way [from the other leaders],” says Beach. “I like Pike personally, but that has nothing to do with whether I think he’s good or bad. If you need someone in your corner, I’ll go with Pike over Kane any day.”
Beach also wants to remind viewers that a lot of their favorite characters started off as “bad guys.”
“On this show, a lot of people who were bad guys become good guys — look at Kane. Kane was not a good guy in the first season. Then you have Murphy. Look at the stuff that Bellamy did and what he was all about in the first season. I don’t know what that takes, but when you start to see someone’s point of view, that that’s the counterbalance between going, ‘Oh, that guy’s not such a bad guy.’ It’s all about perspective.”
He concludes, “I think Pike is a no-nonsense doer. He sees problems, he figures out a way to solve them and he attacks them right way. I think those things have been done by the main characters who are beloved on the show, but I’m curious to see when things really start to cook — which I’m not going to speak about [laughs] — how people react.”