‘The 100’ Star Sachin Sahel Teases Moral Ambiguity and Promises a “Crazy Finish” to Season 4
The 100 returns tonight after an agonizing month-long hiatus, legit, who decides these things? They’re the reason we can’t have nice things. Anyways, “DNR” is written by newcomer Miranda Kwok, an eye-opening episode which promises to deliver a homecoming where allies begin to shift and hell is about to break loose on our nuclear soaked planet. Will the latest installment leave us gasping for air and begging for more? Without a doubt. And, let’s just say– if this episode is as intense as it’s been hyped up to be, you better resuscitate me, because I am so not Team Jasper right now.
That being said, the race to the finish line has accelerated into overdrive, and the possibilities of if they will survive are endless. How ethical can you be when the fate of the humanity rest in your hands? A moral dilemma Dr. Eric Jackson, and co. face now more than ever in the final few episode of Season 4 of The 100. This show has never shied away from moral ambiguity, and has brought us along for a rollercoaster ride of decision-making. They have always done a great job of showing us the gray areas, good guys, bad guys, those fighting to not only save their people but all people. But how far should they go in order to secure a future for mankind? And after everything is said and done, do they even deserve a future… after all, bloodshed is the only commonality most of these characters share throughout the entire series.
Sachin Sahel has been with the show since the very beginning, playing the young, starry-eyed apprentice to Dr. Abby Griffin. From floating around in space, to navigating a new world on the ground, he’s been there, playing Mama Griffin’s right hand man. Luckily, Sahel has gotten to see the many facades of not only medicine in a post-apocalyptic world, but through his characters eyes has been able to channel resources to ensure a better future for those on Earth. I got to catch up with the always charming lad about all things The 100, and even got to slip in a few WWE related questions for a fellow mark (that’s wrestling lingo for ‘fan’). From Abby and Jackson’s budding romance (okay, this might be a stretch… but let me dream, people!), to Clarke’s decision to inject herself… and what’s in store for the remainder of the season, Sahel has all the answers to our burgeoning questions.
Let’s superkick this interview into high gear!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: When we last left the gang, Clarke had just injected herself with Luna’s bone marrow and Abby destroyed the radiation test chamber. What do you think is going through Jackson’s head right now? Does he stand behind Abby or think “what is going on right now?”
SACHIN SAHEL: I think to be honest, they all have to fly by the seat of their pants because everything that’s happening they can’t prepare for. They couldn’t prepare for the world ending. They couldn’t prepare for having to test somebody like they did in Mount Weather. But they have to make these changes to their character to save the world. They wouldn’t necessarily ever make these decisions but because they have to save the world, you have to do things you might not have ever thought you could do. Now that Clarke has taken the night blood and Abby destroyed the machines, again, they have to find another way to do something or everything is over.
MM: Do you think that they feel more relatable to Mount Weather since they are going through this situation now and are forced to make these tough decisions in terms of testing the cure on other people?
SS: I think they understand Mount Weather a little more. To me, Mount Weather was a little more evil in what they were doing. To me, they didn’t have to kill as many people as they did. They were lying to their people. We have to do it to save the world. They did it because they wanted to be on Earth. They were surviving in their environment. They could have lived there potentially forever. We’re in a dire situation where it’s the end of the human race if we don’t do that. They might understand them a little better but I don’t think they feel equal to what Mount Weather was.
MM: With everything going on with the chip and its effects on both Abby and Raven, I really thought Abby would be the one to inject herself and test it out. If Abby had done that, would Jackson have reacted similarly, would he have backed her up?
SS: If Abby had taken the night blood, I don’t think he’d be okay with testing her. I think he’d have the same reservations. I don’t think he was happy about testing Emori. I don’t think he was happy about testing anybody. The best thing about Jackson so far is that he’s been able to make the decisions with a clear head. He can look at everything like a doctor. But if it was Abby, his mentor basically, I don’t think he’d have been okay with it.
MM: It’s really coming down to the wire. As doctors, do you feel that Abby and Jackson are sticking by their ethics or that one of them might be throwing their ethics out the window to save everybody?
SS: I think they’re both sticking to what they would have done on the Ark, for example. Because I think even on the Ark Jackson wasn’t okay with using extra resources to save Jaha. That was a little bit because he didn’t want Abby to get in trouble, but I think they’re definitely bending their ethics in this situation, because if they don’t it’s the end of mankind as we know it.
MM: The common theme this season is really kind of whether or not each leader will choose to save their own or everybody. Do you think Jackson truly wants to save the grounders as well or does he really just want to save his people?
SS: I think Jackson’s MO is to save everybody, as many lives as he possibly can. Wherever the most saving can happen is his choice. I think he looks at life and people as people, whoever they may be, and it’s his job to save as many lives as he can whether they be in his camp or not. If he can save the grounders and his people, anybody else that he could, if he could only save his people — he’d like to have his people but he wants to save as many lives as he can.
MM: Rightfully so. And he really has done a good job of trying to stay grounded. Do you know at what point your character fully stepped into a leadership role?
SS: I’d say a big moment for him is when he went to the reaper tunnels and was forced to see them head on and had to stab them himself when they were being attacked. It was a point of realization for him that this is not the Ark anymore. This is a strange new world that we have to deal with and if I don’t step up here — Abby has a lot of things she has to do, she was Chancellor at the moment, she had so many other responsibilities that people are looking to her as, if he doesn’t take the leadership role as the doctor that people can come to, it wouldn’t work. That was a big moment for him. Post chip as well, I think he had such a revelation there that he can’t live the life the way he was living it. He has to be even more — he has to have a more steely resolve and can’t do things just to do them. He has to be a powerhouse people can look to.
MM: Do you think that mindset has anything to do with what happened while he was under the influence of the chip. Do you think he feels any remorse for what happened during that time period?
SS: So much guilt. He took it early when nobody knew about anything, when he just saw Raven and Jaha take it and he thought it was making them happier. He did tests on it and thought “if I take this chip I can be a better doctor.” Then he took it and was being controlled by artificial intelligence and he did a lot of things on it that he’s not very proud of. After that there are two things he could have done. He could have came out of it and been like “this is the end, I’m a terrible person.” Or come out even stronger and said “no, I made a mistake. A lot of other people made mistakes.” Thank God Abby made that mistake and took it so she forgives him, I think because she understands what it was to be under the chip. So he can come out of it and be like “I need to be better. I need to be even better than I was because the world needs me even more, because there are not too many people out there that want to save everybody and I’m one of them.”
MM: I think that’s great to show the contrast of characters and how the chip affected them. Your character is really going for “I need to right my wrongs, I need to save the world.” Ilian was like “I did this horrible thing. I need to get rid of this technology and if I hurt people in the process, that’s fine.”
SS: When you go through something like that, you go one way or the other. There’s no middle ground. When you go through something that deep and that heavy, even in life when something that heavy drops on you, you go one way or the other. You decide “that’s it, I’m done” or you come out of it stronger because you need to be stronger.
MM: That was a really interesting thing on screen to see both of those characters go in opposite directions.
SS: Yeah, it’s cool. I love Ilian.
MM: Me too! Your character has really come to the forefront since the series began. The fate of humanity rests in his hands, Abby’s, Raven’s, and now ultimately Clarke’s. What does that kind of pressure do to someone? Do you think he’s feeling all the pressure?
SS: Everything has lead up to this moment beautifully for him. Life has never been easy for him but he’s been focused solely on being a doctor. And I think you saw that from the first season. His job is the most important thing to him and nothing else really matters. You have no supplies on the Ark, then you survive a crash landing, then there’s a war, then reapers, then the chip. He’s already been through so much that I think he’s prepared to be through so much and he knows he’s going to be needed constantly. While that would add a lot of pressure to you and makes you not necessarily the happiest person, you know how important you are to the planet. If you’ve been like that for this long, you’re always prepared to do whatever you have to do to save everybody. It’s one of the only times on the show that there is a very specific job this person has. “This is what you do.” I think it’s easy — I wouldn’t say easy but he knows what he’s supposed to do. He knows what his job is in this life, on this planet and he’s reserved to it and it’s important that he do this.
MM: That’s a really great way of putting it. He has his mission and hasn’t really sidetracked from that throughout the series. With that, there are a lot of characters who have gone on different journeys. Jackson is here left with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Would you like to see his character maybe have some sort of romance with anybody on the show just to kind of give him more dimension and see a different side of him come out?
SS: I love him so much I always want him to be happy. So whatever additional thing in life that may come his way, whether it be relationship or friendship or whatever the case may be, I’m all for it. I’m all for anything that fleshes him out even more. He’s one of my favorite things to play of all the things I’ve done because he’s the nicest guy. When I get to sit with him for a bit, I feel like a better person. Because I know how he looks at people and I know how he looks at his job and how important life is and every second that he’s in it. So anything that I think fleshes out that guy for me or adds nuance to him is exciting because I love him so much so I want to learn more about him.
MM: Everybody is pretty fragmented or segregated on this show. Do you think Jackson is aware of how Jasper feels and what he’s going through and how he doesn’t really care if we survive or not? Does he know what’s going on with him and his take on everything?
SS: I don’t know if he would necessarily know about it because he’s a little too busy with stuff on the island. There’s a lot more focus there then somebody being upset that the world might be ending. Because everyone might be thinking that way, back on the camp. I think he’s probably thinking “it’s my job to make sure that everybody doesn’t feel like that,” Would he understand it? Certainly. I think Jackson has been kind of a therapist on the Ark. I think he’d talk him through it and make sure he understands that he’s going to do the best he can to make sure the world is going to survive.
MM: Definitely. If you were in Jasper’s position, would you take the same stance or would you keep fighting to try and make a better future. He has definitely given up on living and he seems to be dragging everyone else into this mindset too.
SS: Me? Sachin? I think I would do a Jackson. I’m an optimist to a fault and I think I would do everything I can to make sure everyone’s okay and everyone around me is okay. I don’t think I know how to sit and wallow. I don’t think my brain would let me.
MM: How would you rank this season as opposed to the rest from one to three hundred dead bodies? [Laughs]
SS: A two headed deer thumbs up. I think it might be my favorite so far, to be honest. Reading it and now watching what everyone’s doing, the season to me is so cool because you get to learn so much about people and how they’re talking to each other and the relationship stuff that is being dealt with while this crazy thing behind the scenes is coming for us is really cool.
MM: Obviously you guys get another season to impress us some more, so we’re hoping Jackson is part of that. We will see how it goes. As you said before we started the interview, you guys have been doing a lot of conventions especially internationally. When are you guys going to come to NYCC? The East Coast is ready for you.
SS: Anybody listening to this, If you want us to go to a con you gotta let those guys know and they come and talk to us. Has anybody been invited to NYCC?
MM: I don’t think so, I am constantly nagging Aaron about this.
SS: Aaron Ginsburg?
SS: I love Aaron.
MM: He’s amazing. Right now we’re in a newfound love affair with spinners, so we’ve been conspiring a lot about that.
SS: What are hand spinners?
MM: They’re categorized as fidget toys, instead of clicking your pen you have these all different shapes, sizes, made of different metals, plastics. You spin it in your hand rather than clicking a pencil or biting your pen.
SS: I have a lot of spinner rings. I think this is something I might be able to get into.
MM: If you need any direction of what to start with, come to me. I’m totally obsessed right now.
SS: If Ginsburg is into it, I’m probably into it.
MM: Yes, he is. I sent him one recently and he’s mesmerized–
SS: I can see him spinning it planning on who to kill.
MM: Uh oh, I hope I don’t have a hand in anyone’s death… by spinner. [Laughs]. But in terms of NYCC, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s very much a scheduling issue because you guys are filming during that time so it’s hard for the network to justify travel plans, moving people around… ya know. I understand that. But I feel like there’s a huge following. You could do panels and autographs over there.
SS: We’re a group that loves to talk about the show and each other. You get us on a panel or any of these places and it kind of becomes The 100 show because we’re a loud, fun bunch. If you’ve ever been to a convention with us you’ll understand.
MM: I haven’t. Make it happen!
SS: Let them know! Let New York know.
MM: We’re still working on it. Hopefully one day we’ll make it happen.
SS: I hope so!
MM: Obviously you’re a big fan of WWE. If you could drop one of the WWE stars into the world of The 100, who would it be and what do you think they’d bring to this post apocalyptic world?
SS: Can you imagine Bray Wyatt in The 100? That would be sensational. He’d be the greatest villain of all time. Richard [Harmon] is a huge Bray Wyatt guy. We all are.
MM: Good choice! Obviously, if you could bring any former wrestler back who would it be?
SS: We do Superkicks every day so Shawn Michaels would be a huge one. Stone Cold Steve Austin. We know The Rock still comes back so I’m not going to put him in the ‘done’ yet category. Stone Cold had the best career and it was too short for my liking. I wish he would do WrestleMania’s and stuff. I miss that rattlesnake. He brought something different to the show than everybody else did. I don’t think there’s anybody like Stone Cold out there. It might be a different choice than what I was expecting to say, but me and Jarod [Joseph] were just talking about this… so Stone Cold.
MM: That’s a good choice. I used to watch when he was on and he’s a great guy. It’d be awesome to see him back as well. Let’s say Jackson found himself in a Fatal 4-Way match on an episode of Raw. What three characters from The 100 are in the match with him?
SS: Jackson would have to get a syringe that he could bring into the match. Bellamy, Murphy, and Miller. The other three guys that like Wrestling on the show. [Laughs]
MM: I’d pay to see that.
SS: Paul who does stunts on the show from time to time, he used to be a wrestler and he knows a lot of these guys too so I think he’d be our trainer. Or he’d come in and be the ref and by the end he’d win it cuz he’d turn on all of us.
MM: And you’d all be strung out on ladders or something.
SS: It’d be a crazy match for sure.
MM: This is a question that might start some trouble. Who would win in a real life match? You or Jarod?
SS: I would kill him. I’m the muscle right? He’s the wily guy that runs around. He’s gotten so many superkicks in his time — I think he would get it.
MM: What signature move would you use?
SS: My move is randomly doing a frog splash out of nowhere. We superkick a lot. I do a lot of rock bottoms. But if there’s a chair around and he’s on the ground, I jump on a chair and frog splash the crap out of anybody. I did it to Richard too. We were in Dallas for a convention and we were lying on the floor waiting for an interview. I just got up and Frog splashed him out of nowhere. I frog splashed Jarod at a convention during a panel. It’s becoming, weirdly enough, my signature move.
MM: You need to send me those videos. We might be looking at the a new NXT member, then in no time you’ll be on RAW or Smackdown.
SS: If I can do a frog splash anywhere, that should mean I get the job.
MM: The Miz started out on the Real World and now he’s a wrestler so you got this.
SS: That’s it. I’m literally acting just to become a wrestler.
MM: As much as I’d like to talk about wrestling all day, we must conclude at some point… is there anything going on in terms of acting or projects coming up you’d like to tell the fans about?
SS: There’s something I just did that I can’t talk about but there are some things on the wire for sure.
MM: Why should the fans continue to watch The 100 for the rest of the season?
SS: It’s going to be a crazy finish. So stay tuned. It’s an unreal season and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
MM: I feel like we’re going to get a cliffhanger so that’s gonna suck waiting seven months for that to be resolved…
SS: I don’t know. I’m giving you a cliffhanger on the cliff hanger. We’ll see!
Watch The 100 at 9|8c on The CW