The 100 is known for bringing in standout characters, ones that play a role in the future of the season but that can also have the potential to create something more. Ilian (played by Chai Hansen), at least in my opinion, is one of those characters that showed up and kind of took over on screen.
He was meant to be a grounder that we meet because the way he is dealing with ALIE’s destruction is important for the audience to connect with. And while we don’t see him all the time, the Ilian content we do have is always meant to push a plot forward and I am really here for that.
With time running out on The 100, one of my wishes would have to be more Ilian. He quickly became the definition of a scene stealer, and he brings a certain kind of corrupted good that we haven’t seen in a while. Him and his sheep need to find a way to survive the radiation because there is such potential for him long term.
What better way to envision that than exploring his top moments so far?
The Fairy Grounder introduction
There was really nothing like seeing one of those beautiful butterflies from season one against the stark contrast of Ilian slaughtering his family. For those that didn’t know to expect this new character it was an attention grabbing moment that escalated even further when the City of Light was destroyed.
We got to see who Ilian was when he broke out of that trance, a caring guy who was heartbroken over what he had done. But we also got to experience Ilian’s potentially dark side, something that made another appearance later on this season which I was a big fan of.
The 100 thrives best when it introduces characters beyond just good or bad, with everyone having a reason behind their actions. And sometimes with the right motivation, someone could shift sides very quickly. Ilian was a wonderful example of that because we saw that he wasn’t a killer, but when pushed by ALIE that is exactly what he became.
Follow the wires
Stranger danger is very much an issue, even in a post apocalyptic show.
Ilian getting full access to Arkadia was exactly what shouldn’t happen when you let a stranger in, and then leave him alone to hang out. Not only did they not know who this person was, they left him with enough time and freedom to literally set it all on fire. And I’m pretty sure I was one of the only people who loved that build up to some crazy destruction.
The minute Ilian brought back Octavia, something just wasn’t right. He obviously wasn’t over his anger and fear of technology, so what was a guy to do when he had access to pretty much the center of it all?
Watching Ilian wandering around, getting ready to torch everything once he followed the wires was highly entertaining. He could do whatever he wanted and was on a mission to destroy everything, pulling along his little wheelbarrow full of supplies with him.
Burn it all down but keep everyone safe
Just when it looked like Ilian was a potential big bad, one we really didn’t see coming, he surprised people by making sure Octavia and Niylah were safe. It was obvious from the very beginning that Ilian really only had a serious hatred towards technology, it was a nice reminder that he wanted to make sure others were safe.
That probably didn’t help the fact that he used Octavia to get in, only to create some major destruction that ruined everyone’s plans of survival. But it was us once again seeing that no one can be just good or bad. Ilian found his own form of revenge on the City of Light, as upsetting as it was to see that the Dropship wouldn’t save everyone anymore. And in a way, it made sense for Ilian as a character, especially since he had no clue that the world was ending and that they needed what he was destroying.
There was a lot going on in that scene, but I appreciated Ilian having this role that set up for even more chaos after that. His ability to be very strong willed makes me hope we see him a bit more in the second part of the season, even if it’s only him helping on Octavia’s side of things.
If she hates your sheep, that’s who you keep
Speaking of Octavia, nothing says true love more than your crush insulting your pet sheep. Seriously, if that doesn’t happen than you don’t know real romance. Or at least that’s what Ilian and Octavia go through, having to spend a night in a secluded cave together.
Their time together wasn’t the greatest, especially since Octavia almost killed him earlier that day. But Ilian was strangely grateful that she spared him, feeling like he now owed her. And what better way to repay someone than by pointing out what they can’t see clearly about themselves?
It looks like it helped since Octavia decided to take Ilian back home the next day, understanding that he was right about her feeling emotions even after Lincoln died. Now Octavia wasn’t around last week so their coordinates are still unknown, but this is a formal request that Ilian tags along for any adventure that Octavia has after this.
She is his one connection back to the action and if this bunker is going to keep everyone alive once the radiation hits, someone should let Ilian know.
Overall, Ilian is a new face that has captured our attention and has the potential to keep it there for the rest of the season. There is no real way to know how much of Ilian we might see again, but this character definitely deserves more attention.
Chai Hansen delivers a realistic portrayal of someone being pushed to do things they never envisioned doing. And from there he shows us exactly how painful that aftermath might be, where you don’t know how to fix what you did but you won’t stop until you do. There is also that guilt that Ilian feels about destroying something that he later found out was meant to save everyone. That in itself begged the question about who deserves to survive. Watching Ilian deal with the idea that others don’t want him to stay alive, mixed in with his own confusion about where he has to go from here was compelling and very intense.
The 100 returns with new episodes, Wednesdays at 9/8c.