Image Credit: Kim Shumway

Image Credit: Joy Rothenberg

We are five episodes deep into Season 3 of The 100, and the audience has an eerie feeling that perhaps in this world, there really are no good guys. With Bellamy under the influence of Pike, the merciless new Chancellor in Arkadia, Clarke remaining in Polis with Lexa, the leader who betrayed her, and an unsettling war brewing between the 12 clans (plus the Sky people), we’re all left to believe that this season might be the most cut-throat to date. Plus what about A.L.I.E. and the City of Light? In the preview for the upcoming episode “Bitter Harvest,” people of Arkadia are popping this ‘painless’ pill left and right and we’re left wondering what this means for the future of the human race. Can we come back from this? What truly awaits us in the City of Light…

The show, which revolves around a group of teenagers who fell from a failing Ark station in space 97 years after a nuclear war wipes out mankind, rapidly amassed a rabid fan following within the sci fi community. It’s popularity, which has skyrocketed since it’s debut on The CW in 2014, has garnered critical and fan acclaim for its no-holds-barred approach to surviving in a post apocalyptic dystopian society.

Kim Shumway, who wrote episode three and eleven for this season, was gracious enough to chat extensively with me about the process of becoming a TV writer, the ins and outs of making The 100, and of course what’s ahead for the characters we have come to know and love over the course of three gloriously gory seasons. I probably could have chatted with this insightful writer for hours on end, but alas, no matter how hard I tried, she wasn’t giving up anything regarding the overall outcome of these storylines. She did however hint at what’s to come, and gave a few epic teases, that I think you’ll enjoy.

MCKENZIE MORRELL: Naturally we should start with the question from Jason Rothenberg. Tell us about the first phone call he made when they pitched the phone call for The 100.

KIM SHUMWAY: Jason [Rothenberg] is hilarious and the reason he had you ask that question is because that first call he made was to me explaining what the pitch was and I immediately said “you should do that project. 100%.” It was funny because at the time, he was not that keen on developing for television because he was in the middle for writing film and basically I insisted and the development executive at Warner Bros insisted he develop for TV that year and of course The 100 is the thing that got on the air. It all worked out in the best way possible. But yeah I was the first call. I’m always the first call, it seems.

MM: That’s exciting to be the first line of defense. Obviously, making a career in writing for TV is a very long process. You’ve touched upon it on your tumblr posts. What is the first thing you did when you were promoted to writer on The 100?

KS: I was very happy. I went for a celebratory dinner with my family. It’s an interesting transition. I’ve had several friends who have gone through it as well recently. It’s harder than you think going from the support staff or an aspiring writer to an actual writer. There’s a lot more pressure than I thought. Basically I just got myself used to the dynamic of the room and how to relate to the other writers. It’s not political but it’s a social challenge in a way because you have all levels of experience and different interests and different ideas coming together and hopefully it turns into something great which in our case, it does. We have great writers so that was really the first challenge to me was figuring out how to work within the dynamic of my co-workers.

MM: I really love the continuity of The 100. Even though there’s a bunch of writers in the mix, you do a great job of making everything flow, which can’t always be said about a series. Would you attribute that success to the overall process and having a lot of conversations in the writer’s room?

KS: Absolutely. It is vital to our show that we keep continuity because our show is about consequences and we take that seriously. Things don’t happen and are forgotten. Things don’t happen and have no fall out. We really live in that — we will make you make tough choices and then you’ll see what the consequences are. In a show that values that so highly, you have to have continuity. You have to remember where your characters are, what they’ve done, what they felt, who they are, that sort of thing. It comes from the writers room. It comes from having some of the same writers from the very beginning. We have a few from the original season one, which is awesome and then Jason is very detail oriented so he remembers a lot of it. We’re always asking those questions and I think everyone is keeping an eye on that because it’s so important to us. It’s having that mass of people who value it and understand it’s importance that really helps it in that way.

MM: So you guys kind of keep track of things by bouncing it off each other? You don’t have like a master book that has all these things you have to remember?

KS:  No! That would be way too much work. It’s all in our brains and also the scripts. We go back and reference scripts from previous seasons. We have them in the office or on the computer. It’s really mental. We do it often, more than you would think. I was in Jason’s office a couple of weeks ago and a scene in an episode of season three forced us to pull out a scene in season one to reference something that happened in the past. It’s very present and very real. I joke that it’s too much work but it is. Whose job would it be to compile such a master document? It’s just busy work. The scripts are our guides. We all have the DVDs. We all have everything. We can always go back and reference if we need to.

MM: Who comes up with the title of the episode? Does the writer of that episode propose something or is it a collective effort?

KS: It’s funny because it’s kind of a long process. The writer gets to offer his or her preferred title or writer’s draft title. So they’ll title it initially. Jason will often change the title as well if he thinks there’s a better title, he’ll do that. Or if there’s a title that just isn’t working we’ll spit ball in the writers’ room. A lot of times we’ll do that once we talk about going off to the story document. Once we have the break and the outline– the actual structure of the show and Jason has approved it, the writers will often talk about possible titles and what we think are the themes and can we find a title there. From that usually comes the writer’s draft title. But Jason has full discretion so he will often retitle things. Not so much with my episodes. He kind of lets me title things as I please which is why they’re often literary references in my episodes as opposed to any other episodes. It’s really just what fits best for the episode and what Jason likes.

MM: It seems like a whole process just for the titles which is kind of crazy but it’s awesome to see the intricate workings of everything and what goes into making this show. Obviously everyone on this show has gone through tremendous character development since season one. I feel like you guys have really hit the nail on the head as far as getting the characters where they need to be. Who would you say has grown the most since the first episode?

KS: Oh that’s interesting. It’s an interesting question because have you grown or have you been revealed? A lot of our characters are facing situations that they never had to face on the Ark. So they come into themselves and who they are as people. I would say that Clarke has revealed or had herself revealed more than anyone but in terms of growing, I’d actually say Jasper. He’s had quite the crazy arc if you really think about where he was in the pilot. He was the charming, pot smoking, humorous guy who was looking at girls and kind of light hearted and then he got into Mount Weather and was a leader of this rebellion and then everything that happened in Mount Weather happened and he’s changed from that as well. If you look at Jasper’s arc, he’s gone pretty far. I think that’s the unconventional answer to that.

MM: No, I think that’s awesome to get a different perspective. And Jasper is going to be — not a shock to people but it’s interesting to see him unravel and being more bold and doing things without thinking about the consequences. It’ll be interesting to watch that unfold even more.

KS: Yeah totally and we definitely continue to stay on that path. It’s been fascinating because Devon [Bostick] is so good. We give him a lot to do and he always nails it. We never would have predicted that. That character was supposed to die in the pilot and now he’s had this huge crazy arc.

MM: I love everyone watching it for the first time going “Jasper Dies!” Just keep watching, keep watching.  

KS: I love the people tweeting “Bellamy is such an asshole” because literally for the first five episodes, everyone is convinced that Bellamy is the world’s biggest dick and then episode six hits and they’re like “oh, I love him.”

MM: That was a mutual feeling for everyone I think, including myself. That’s so funny. Now, obviously you’re very close to all these characters. if you could play one of them for a day, who would it be?

KS: I would probably play Clarke just because, I know she has the world on her shoulders and she has to make all these hard decisions but she also gets to forge a path for her people which I appreciate. And she does it without getting permission and without questioning herself — she does question herself obviously, but she trusts her own instincts and trusts her gut. I really appreciate that about her. But she’s also really thoughtful. If you recall in season one, she was the one who was instantly saying “we need to figure out how to feed ourselves, how to clothe ourselves, how to shelter ourselves. It’s going to get bad.” So taking care of her people, I appreciate that about her so probably Clarke.

MM: How are you with writing dialogue? I know some writers either love it or they hate it?

KS: Oh, I love it! I love it. Are you kidding me? It’s funny because our show doesn’t have a lot of dialogue. If you look at scripts, we lay a lot in looks and description and action. So what people say is even more meaningful because they don’t say it as much. I love it. I often write characters that are more wordy, more fun, play with language and Jason inevitably makes me cut them. I find wordplay fun. I love it. I love capturing a character’s voice and nailing it. When you know you’ve got it, it’s a great feeling.

MM: You obviously said you guys are working even when you’re not working. Since you write episodes while you’re filming, do you ever get so behind — how do you rectify that situation and get back on track?

KS:  Of course. That happens on every television show without fail, except for the ones that we write everything and then shoot everything. If you are shooting while you’re writing, which is most shows, you will fall behind. It’s something everyone understands. When it happens, you have some late nights, you try to catch up the best you can. Luckily this season, we’re a little behind we’re not terribly behind. Every season, you get a little behind toward the end and you’re writing scripts much more quickly and you’re writing stuff that has to shoot in a couple of days. When you have the time pressure, that gets you on the ball very quickly. You have to make quick decisions and you have to get it out there. You all pull together and you pull through. It’s okay because it’s not forever and everyone understands that. It also really depends on the script. There are different reasons to fall behind. You can fall behind because your episode isn’t producible and you want to do more than we can do and that’s a matter of re breaking your story and pulling out production elements that are too expensive. Or you fall behind because something happens or changes on set. For example, if you get rained out of your sets, you’re kind of screwed and you have to deal with it and that’s the reality of production. It’s a lot of teamwork and it’s a lot of just everyone working together to try and get out the best product that you can within the time frame. It literally has to happen. So it happens.

MM: There’s the hustle and bustle of being on set and the writer’s room. Do you have a preference or do you like them both equally?

KS: It’s interesting. I’ve met a couple writers who just hate being on set and so they never do it. And I’ve heard of writers who don’t really like writing episodes. They like being on staff and breaking story but don’t like to write episodes which I find hysterical. I like both. They’re wildly different skill sets which is fun. You get to learn the different way your brain thinks in order to make an episode. In the writing stage, I love being in the room. I love being with my fellow writers. It’s awesome being in a room with such smart people and talking through story and what it means and where it goes. I learn so much from my peers and from listening to other people pitch ideas and pitch story points. Then you’re on set and you’re looking at how they’re implementing your story points and that’s another fascinating way of working because it’s interesting. You see how people interpret language differently. I’ve been struck several times that I wrote something and people interpreted it in the most wild, out there way. And I’m looking at them going “how did you get from there to here?” And that’s always fun and teaches you to be very specific with languages which is helpful for everyone and might show you that things that are very simple to write might be very complicated to film. You appreciate how your words have power and how your words are implemented. It helps you to be mindful when you’re writing. And it’s also helpful to be on set and see how the actors are interpreting the words and see how their process is because that informs how you write their character going forward. I like both. I don’t have a preference. I was on set a lot on season two, covering a lot of episodes which I found very gratifying and I learned a lot there and I love being in the writer’s room. It’s so creative and so free. It’s a lot of work but it’s so fun being with those people. I couldn’t pick.

MM: It seems like you are constantly learning no matter where you are which is great because the business is always changing. It’s good to know you can grow with it. Now let’s touch upon a few questions regarding your first episode of season 3. Ye Who Enters Here, was that title — did you get to keep that one?

KS:  Yes I did.

Alicia Debnam-Carey and Neil Sandilands during the training scene.

Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa) and Neil Sandilands (Titus) during the training scene.

MM: That was one of my favorite episodes/ Obviously there are some new characters in the mix. We have Roan, the Ice Queen, all those people. Would you say from what happens in that episode, trying to kill Lexa, all that stuff, that Clarke was in a position of not trusting Lexa or Roan but this might be a safer bet?

KS: Yeah. Clarke is in a tough spot because she’s trying to do the best for her people. She starts kind of disengaged, kind of just “I want out of here.” By the end, she sees the threat on the horizon and realizes she can’t just check out. She has to recommit herself. But who do you trust? Do you trust the guy who kidnapped you and brought you to the person who betrayed you or do you trust the person who betrayed you? It’s a terrible position to be in. To her credit, she’s trying to do the best she can. With Lexa, she has a measure of Lexa. Obviously she’s very angry with her, legitimately so, so she has to figure out if she can set her emotions aside to work toward what her people need, or is she going to let that blind her or tear her down or move her to make a decision she would later regret. It doesn’t happen all in one episode. It doesn’t get resolved all in one episode. But it’s kind of an evolving journey for her and evolving question for her “who can I trust? And how can I do the best thing for my people that I possibly can?” That’s part of her journey this season is her relationship with the grounders and this big bad political world. It’s really new to her. She hasn’t — she’s dealt with war. She dealt with war last season but now she’s dealing with politics which is much more subtle and sensitive. She approaches it with her usual, Clarke-Like enthusiasm.

MM: I think fans were pleased with what took place in terms of the reaction when it’s revealed that Lexa is the one who kidnapped her and also her being strategic and saying “we need to have our unity day and come together with these people or else we’re going to be slaughtered.” I think that was a nice touch and seeing the politics is going to be really awesome, I think.

KS: One of the things I admire about Clarke is that she’ll put her people above her own emotions. She’ll be so pissed and still do the right thing. I find that fascinating about her. We like to push her and see how far does that go?

Lindsey Morgan (Raven) and Alessandro Juliani (Sinclair) blocking the explosion aftermath.

Lindsey Morgan (Raven) and Alessandro Juliani (Sinclair) blocking the explosion aftermath.

MM: Now, obviously we see Echo totally screwing the Sky People over. I had no idea the attack was going to be in the Mountain versus the Summit so that was a very nice touch on your part. My jaw dropped. Did you guys know, going into the season that you wanted to blow up Mount Weather. It’s such a bold move considering there’s a lot of potential for that space, opening up a hospital or a safe haven or a habitat. Did you know you wanted to make this move?

KS: Yeah, absolutely. We knew from the very beginning, so it was just a matter of when did it happen. Very early on we came to the idea that it would happen in episode three in all of our discussions. We needed to set up the world in the first episode with the time jump because things had changed and we wanted to pay that off a little bit. But we didn’t want to live in the Mount Weather sets again because it felt like we’d done that in season two. Obviously the grounders would have a big problem with people moving into Mount Weather, as we see. We knew politically that would create problems which is a good problem to have because that’s tension. That’s drama. We always knew we wanted to blow up Mount Weather and we knew we wanted it to be in episode three.

MM: Poor Raven, always in the explosions.

KS: Yeah, well thankfully she wasn’t in the explosion.

MM: She made it out. That’s good. But obviously everybody is going to have a hard time with accepting Clarke’s decision to unite them but also to stay in Polis after the summit. Will we see that resentment or concern unfold on Bellamy’s part or Abby’s part as the season progresses?

KS: Absolutely, of course.

MM: I know you can’t say too much about the longevity of the friendships or relationships on the show but I think it was a pretty bold move for Lexa to bow down to Clarke and give us a decent indication that maybe this time around she won’t totally screw her over. But, I’m a little weary and I think that whole dynamic will be interesting as the season progresses. Would you say that there are going to be problems on the horizon?

KS: I think there already are problems. In the episodes that you’ve seen, Lexa’s people are defying her. That’s not a little thing. She’s the Commander. She’s in charge but there’s unrest brewing. So that’s a problem for her and her relationship with Clarke is rocky. They both feel like they had to do for their people. Lexa’s decision was understandable even if it sucked from Clarke’s perspective. That’s not an easy thing to forget or an easy thing to get over and I don’t think Clare will ever forget that. She’s a wise leader in her own right and she knows you can’t fully trust unless they’ve proven themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt so whether that will come, we’ll see. That’s not an easily forgiven type thing. It will linger and cast a shadow over all of their interactions.

MM:  I think it’s interesting, the dynamic and the theme of trust and broken trust and obviously Lexa’s people are defying her. In that sense, how big is the Ice Nation compared to the other clans? I feel like it’s a substantial group compared to everyone else?

KS:  Yeah. We’ve always envisioned the Ice Nation — this is a world where there are twelve clans but the Ice Nation and TriKru are the big powers. So it’s a power to rival TriKru, for sure. It’s not a little insignificant number of people. It’s a real threat to Lexa. It’s something she’s very concerned about, concerned enough to do what she did in this episode. We haven’t explored it fully but we’ve always imagined that it’s big.

MM: Now, on the whole shipping subject which I know is everyone’s favorite topic over there, how do you deal with belligerent or disrespectful people on Twitter or Tumblr? Do you ever find yourself biting your tongue or wanting to say something but holding back?

KS: The dynamic with fans is an interesting thing. It’s new. A few years ago, fans didn’t have a direct line to the writers of the shows they love. That is part of the volatility is that it’s such a new thing. Obviously we’re aware that people like certain relationships and other people like other relationships. The problem is, you’re never going to please everybody. You can’t. It’s impossible. We approach it with that in mind. Some people will like what we do. Some people will not like what we do. We try to remember, or at least I try to remember that even the belligerence or the disrespect or the inflammatory language comes from a place of loving the material so it’s weirdly a compliment that you have affected a person so deeply that they are mad at you for not getting what they want. I try to remember that and of course when people are attacking you, it’s never fun, when people are saying unkind things, it can be hurtful but you have to remember that it comes from a place of fiercely loving something and that’s where the passion comes from, that’s where the enthusiasm comes from, and that’s where the good things come from too. I try to be more measured about it. The general wisdom is you don’t engage with these people especially if they’re attacking you, just because that can only inflame things. It never ends well and you can never win. If people hate the thing you’re doing, you can’t make people like it. We’re sorry you didn’t like it. We want everyone to like it, we wish everyone would but I always appreciate fan’s passion and enthusiasm. I try to approach it from that regard. We deeply affected these people. They deeply care. It’s not a little thing. It’s a new world for writers on television shows on Twitter or Tumblr. People have access to you and sometimes they say great things so if you’re going to take the good you have to take the bad.

MM: You guys are making lists left and right. Mainstream media is picking up on the ships and the show. Any publicity is good publicity at this point but it’s good to see people acknowledging the presence that’s there.

KS: Sure. It’s been amazing. We’re a little show on the CW and I think that people dismiss it very easily in the beginning, in the first few episodes. In fact, I know they did. They say they did. Among TV critics, we had to win them back and I think we have. So it’s really gratifying to see people binge watching. We see all these people and TV critics starting the show and going through the very predictable and still gratifying process. They hate Bellamy then they love Bellamy and it’s really fun to see their opinions change and it’s gratifying to see they’re loving it and loving it enough to put it on year end lists. It’s also amazing because we aired so long ago and to put us on a 2015 list, I’m shocked they can remember we aired in 2015. It’s so satisfying on so many levels that they remember that they love it so passionately that people looked forward to season three with such passion. It makes all the hard work and late nights kind of worth it.

MM: Having to wait for new episodes each week can be so torturous though!

KS: I have to say, that does help us. Just the episodic nature of it airing once a week. I don’t know that the show would have gotten the response that it did if we were all released on one day.  I know people like to binge on Netflix but airing week after week allows people to breathe and analyze and tends to help in terms of our initial response. But any way they watch the show, I’m happy.

MM: That’s usually one of the questions I ask is “do you prefer to watch something weekly or binging?” And I think since everybody wants things now, it hurts it sometimes because you want to develop that love or the character development and it’s hard to do that when you’re watching everything at one time.

KS: Yeah and I think it hurts the impact in terms of the conversations people have about it in media. You can see it in Netflix shows and those shows that are released all at once. People consume it immediately and talk about it for about a week and then it’s done because you’re on to the next thing, the next show, the next movie. People love it intensely for that week and then it’s gone until it comes back again for another week.I think in terms of having sustained conversation and creating viewership it helps to be airing week in and week out.

MM: I’m on a mission to get you guys to New York Comic Con so that is my thing and I made a deal with Isaiah that I would help him out with something he wants to do at SDCC so we’re trying to get you guys to New York so put those feelers out and know that we would love to have you guys over on the east coast.

KS: Listen, I’m sure we would love to come. I would love to come. Part of the problem is that I think it’s during production. So that’s one concern. It really is up to Warner Bros. They control those things. We don’t even know if we’re going to SDCC. We hope so because we love it but it’s all based on their discretion.

MM: Obviously we talked about shipping and the fan response. Do you guys, as writers, feel any added pressure to live up to the expectations of these different communities that are paying attention now whether it’s LGBT or multi racial?

KS: I don’t think we feel any added pressure. It’s always something we’ve had an awareness of and are respectful of. It’s not like we’re the poster children for anything. We’re trying to tell a story. At the end of the day, that’s our goal. We really don’t take in criticism or praise, in many ways and let it change our story. If you do that, you’re blowing with the wind and you need to have a focus. I think that Jason really does have a focus with the show which insulates us from all of that which is great in many ways. But I will say we’ve always been very aware of the different things we’re trying to do that a lot of shows don’t do. It’s not easy and it’s not automatic. It takes a lot of work so the show having the elements that people are responding to, that’s all a choice. That’s our choice. We do that purposefully. It’s not something that we feel like we’re slaves to but it’s something we’re all very positive and on board with. I wouldn’t call it pressure. I wouldn’t say that because that implies something negative which I don’t think it is. But we’re totally aware that we have a bsiexual lead. That is incredibly rare on broadcast especially on  television in general. We’re aware of it and we always keep it in mind in telling our story. That goes for everything that you talked about earlier. We’ve been ratified again by the embrace of all of the different groups and we appreciate it and hope to do justice to the story.

MM: I’ve consumed a lot of entertainment in my day but even when watching the episodes and Clarke has sex with Niylah, even when I saw it I kind of was shocked for a second because you don’t normally see that on TV so it was like “wait what? Okay this makes sense.” I think it’s great that you guys are paving your own way. You’re doing something nobody else is doing. It’s a shock but it’s a good one.

KS: A lot of representation is about normalization right? You’re normalizing things that you don’t see every day. TV is a little conservative and a little behind the times. We’re just trying to be true to what is out there already. Yeah, we’re showing things that people haven’t seen before but you ask the question “why haven’t we seen it before?” It’s weird that we have very rigid stories being told, on broadcast especially. We have been so lucky at the CW who has been incredibly, incredibly — there are no words for how — they’re just on board. They’ve never given us any trouble about any of it which is awesome. So that part of it is so amazing because you’d think this is so different and so unusual but to have the company not objecting is amazing. It begs the question “Why aren’t more people doing this?” Specifically, with Clarke, we wanted to pay off what we had set up and we didn’t want it to be like she likes women for an instant and it’s gone. We didn’t want to do that. Which is why we did what we did in the premiere. We try as much as we can to really be careful and mindful with these things and the stories that we’re telling. It’s awesome that we live in a time where we can do that. A few years ago, we probably wouldn’t be able to. We’re glad to be on a network we’re at at the time we’re at.

MM: I know the CW gets a lot of grief for the content that they have and I know a lot of the fans were pissed when they found out that The 100 wasn’t coming back for a long time but that was strategic and it really paid off in terms of people finding the show and allowed people to binge watch and get ready for the third season. Although people were upset, they see now that it gave more of an audience the time to find it. The CW does great with that in that sense.

KS: They’ve been tremendously supportive. They are supporting it to the extent that they’re supporting it is a huge deal. We got on Netflix early for the second season because of the support of the CW. And they’re letting us tell the story we want to tell. All we have is praise for the network.

MM: Isaiah Washington recently spoke to me about the network and how great it is and how wonderful it is to work with you guys. There are bigger shows that get a lot of promotion like The Flash and Arrow on the network and even though you don’t see your billboards or anything all over the place that behind the scenes, they’re doing a lot to get this show where it should be. It’s deserves all of the promotion and the views. I think it’s one of those underdogs that’ll be on top for a while, I hope anyway.

KS: Totally. And I mean, we’re scifi which traditionally does not have a huge audience in live viewers and that is what it is. They understand that. The CW has been very wise in understanding that audiences are watching in different ways and at the time that they want to watch, not necessarily when they air it. They’ve had that for many years now and [Mark] Pedowitz has continued that and really just likes the show. When you’ve got a Network president who is that supportive, I’ll take a president liking our show.

MM: You guys moved to a different slot. Legends of Tomorrow is your buddy on Thursday nights. Do you look at that stuff like “we’re moved to this day. This is going to be great” or “this is going to be bad?”

KS:  Yes, we look at what that will mean for us but there’s also nothing we can do about it. It’s a fact of the matter. We consider it but then we move on because we have so much work to do. It’s like “yay we’re on Thursdays, great, okay what’s next?” But it is incredibly heartening that they put us on thursday after Legends of Tomorrow. That’s a huge deal. That really shows the support from the network which we so appreciate. They didn’t have to put us after their big, new show so I’m very curious to see what happens and if people watch and move with us which I hope they will.

MM:  As the season three trailer states, no one is safe. As someone who has worked passionately on this show for a chunk of time, do you ever get emotionally attached to these characters when you have to let them go? Are you fighting for it like “don’t kill them?”

KS: We do have those kinds of debates in the room, absolutely and we do get very passionate. I have gotten very passionate on several occasions, especially this year. That happens. You do have your favorites and the characters you love and don’t want to see gone. But at the end of the day, there’s also always a reason for it. There’s a story. So if you’re telling a great story and even if at the end of it a character gets killed off, there’s a reason for that and I hope the viewers think so as well. We try not to just kill people off to kill people off, out of nowhere and without meaning. While we do kill characters and kill series regulars even, we don’t treat it cavalierly which is one thing I appreciate. The stories are built. We set things up and we plan these things. It’s never just an off the cuff decision. That makes it more meaningful, even if it’s painful. And it should be painful. If you love characters you don’t want to see them hurt or killed or no longer on the show forever. But that’s a fact of life and it’s part of our world that’s been a part of our world since episode three. It’s something people have to deal with and we, as writers, also have to deal with it. A lot of times we’ve spent more time with these characters than the viewers have. We’ve written them for so long, so many months. It can be painful. But we have to say that’s the world we’re living in and that’s what makes everything more meaningful.

MM: Richard Harmon, this season, I was blown away. I was just — so much emotion was running through me and I have to put that in my interviews because I think he’s done a phenomenal job. He’s so talented.

KS: He is freaking amazing. We love him so much and it’s so crazy because that role was like nothing. It wasn’t the bad guy in the pilot. Jason was up for the pilot and when he came back home he was like “you would not believe the guy who plays Murphy. We have to give him more, he’s amazing.” And I was like “wait, Murphy? As a bad guy? What are you talking about?” Then you see the dailies and you see the cuts and you’re like wow this kid is making something brilliant out of a small part. That really goes to show how actors can impact their roles in such a big way, for good or ill. We just love him. He was such a find and we’re so glad that he’s continued to play with us and that we continue to give him awesome story because he does have an awesome story this season. It’s really fun.

MM: When we first saw him in the bunker and everybody was like “we need more bunker Murphy” did you know that was how you were going to kick off season three?

KS: When we committed to the time jump, there was the question of “well what happened to Murphy? Is he still in the bunker?” It seemed to come up pretty early that he would have been locked in the entire time and would have gone a little cuckoo because of it. We also knew it would be a great opportunity for Richard because having to play someone who has been in solitary confinement for three months is an actor’s dream. It’s such a great playing field for them. We knew Richard would kill it because he’s so good. We were excited to see what he would do with it and what he did was pretty spectacular. What you guys saw was the short version. We saw the long version. He nailed it. We’re so lucky to have him.

MM: Are you guys planning to release any longer versions on DVDs or anything like that?

KS: I hope so. I think Jason mentioned we can but it’s just a matter of planning for it and making sure everything looks good because we don’t want to release something longer that looks like crap and hasn’t been colored or whatever.

MM: The City of Light, we haven’t touched on at all but that’s another huge thing taking place in season three. Will we get a result or resolution from that in season three? Are we going to see Jaha going crazy over there?

KS:  I can’t give away spoilers but I can say that the City of Light plays a big part in season three and you will definitely learn more about it.

MM: To conclude, if you could describe season three in one word, what would it be?

KS: This is a writer’s nightmare. Writing short is a hard thing, let me tell you. I’m going to go with “mind-blowing.”

MM: I’m really looking forward to seeing everything play out. I wanted to thank you for taking the time. This has been awesome. We are loving it and we can’t wait to see what happens.

KS: Thank you so much. We so appreciate that, truly. Thank you for having me.  

The 100 airs Thursdays at 9|8c on The CW