Containment – Season 1 Episode 6
“He Stilled the Rising Tumult”
What happens this week that we’ve not seen before?
Well, this week I decided to have some fun and made a special Containment bingo card and it did not let me down! Having said that we’re missing Shirtless Jake / Sentimental Moment Between Bert & Lovely Wheelchair Wife / Stern Lommers and I got the location wrong for Kid Sees Too Much. In fact we didn’t see anything this week from Lommers, Bert or His Lovely Wife. With the new focus surrounding the growing disparity between Chief of Police, Chief Besser, and Lex. Since last episode we’ve been let into a little secret; that the Chief has alterior motives. Despite some hints, it remains a closely guarded secret, but we can speculate. This episode further stamps out any foul play from the Middle East, continuing with Katie’s speculation with it in fact being homegrown. This seems to drive out the whole terrorism aspect that America seems so fixated on. Which is interesting…I think. The show is getting much more interesting with the various character narratives coming together. Jana and Xander are now linked after helping her get news to Lex. Which helps, when we see the escaped Xander and Teresa on the steps of Jana’s workplace.
It’s an interesting dynamic at Jana’s. The visible power struggles between the newly formed (and expanded) group are frustrating but make for enjoyable viewing. Of course we’re on Jana’s side. She’s been the most stable, considerate person in her group, who has shown she is willing to face danger and trouble in order to keep balance. This week, again, sees Jana put herself in to vulnerable positions, which could ultimately lead to the group’s downfall.
Now to go back a bit so we know why Teresa and Xander are at Jana’s.
Back at the grocery store we’ve been following the Paisley Bandits and their continued success in their Capitalist Venture. Xander has been coerced into helping them and looks to their leader for answers when he spots that one of their members is sick. Giving Paisley Bandit Number One an ultimatum; either the sick guy leaves or he finds a safe place for the couple, allows us to see how much of a badass PB1 is, (Character name I believe is actually Cinco). Cinco heading straight for his friends room, takes a gun and we hear a shot. That’s taken care of that.
Before anyone can react, the police officer from last week (the one that ‘fell’ into the Zone) arrives and tries to barter with the gang. After revealing a radio that has a direct line to the outside, the gang decide to keep him, only after he informs them he has to check in with his superior everyday or the line is disconnected. Shady motives abound here and it’s hard to see what his angle is.
An alarmed Xander and Teresa finally get some help from Teresa’s mother. Handing over a small bag of supplies, she tells them to get ready to bust out while she creates a diversion. Teresa’s mum finally seems to be letting go of her daughter and acknowledging her as an adult.
Cue Xander and Teresa at Jana’s. It’s funny, we don’t get to see what the supposed diversion is and we skip straight to them happening upon the doorstep.
Jana insists they be allowed up but the group refuse. Jane allows them access in the lift, and the teenagers join the troupe. In the calm before the storm we have some tender moments of Teresa looking at the select few baby clothes that have been bundled into the bag given to her by her mum. With Jana joining her, it’s a sweet moment where things seem to be getting back to a normality, ogling baby clothes, while the boys (the electrician guy from the roof and Xander) have some guy chat. They’re safe. Teresa pulls out a clunky phone from the bag, and with a face full of confusion, looks to the group. The buzzer goes and we see Teresa’s mother. But then, PB1 comes into view on the security camera holding a gun to Teresa’s Mum’s head. Not sure what’s going on here or how the Bandits could have followed the teens so will be interesting to see this explained next week.
With everyone wanting to hang out with Jana, it’s no surprise then that Lex has passed to Jake an encrypted USB that he’s to give to her. This supposedly has some key information about the origins of the disease in the for of CCTV footage from Day 1.
It is getting to be better viewing with the characters all stitching up neatly into a more singular narrative.
There’s a lot of Lex today. On a mission to redeem himself, he appears at Leo Greene’s, convincing him they can work together to get the truth out. The narrative always finds a way to engage you a little and then they throw in a superfluous sideline, upsetting the interesting story for some one-part guy. Cue the guy chained to a building. Lex feeling bound by his duty to his understaffed precinct, heads to the building which is due to be demolished. Very, very close to the cordon by the way. Council timings are pretty bad!
This man, it seems, has been able to keep an eye on his daughter, managing to watch over her by looking into his terrace across the cordon. Not seeing her for two days has him worried. But not to fear, Lex is on hand to save the day. Whilst Leo Greene battles with his impatience and frustration knowing that they should be out investigating, he finally acknowledges that Lex is just trying to do his job. Somehow Leo manages to forge dates on a warrant (granting access to CCTV), whilst Lex has time to meet Jake, get frisked by an army official (as requested by Chief Besser), AND show the distraught man in the building a clip of his daughter saying “Hi”. Very rushed, which I know now, is not uncommon for this show, but it still continues to disappoint a little. The show seems to think every character aspect needs a fully committed amount of time spent on them.
At the start of the episode Jake and Katie arrange to investigate the conspiracy surrounding Patient Zero. Potential motives are briefly mentioned and it’s a shame we don’t get to see much of this.
An infected girl turns up at the hospital and informs Katie that a student of hers needs help, the same boy who’s father grabbed from the hospital. With her father succumbing to the disease, the girl insists Katie helps her brother, who appears to be unaffected by the disease.
As Katie and Jake venture outside of the hospital to investigate and look for Thomas, Quentin suddenly appears, surprising his mum. It doesn’t take long before the three of them get ambushed by a weird medicated motor gang. Jake shoots one of them in the arm and a panicked Katie tells Quentin to run. Yup, because that’s wise. After locating him, they find Thomas in contact with an infected person. Thomas reassures a worried Katie that he is fine because, quite simply, he doesn’t get sick.
He could be the one they’ve all been waiting for, and yet they aren’t that fussed about it all. After all Dr. Cannerts did say they’d be closer to a cure if they found someone to be immune.
Each episode has seen a theme or metaphor carried for the duration of the episode. This week was not so good. The conceit of the baseball game narrative is used as a commentary on the situations developing both inside the cordon and outside of it, to various degrees of success. The discussion of a major baseball game mirroring the ongoing power struggles inside the cordon is carried on a little too much across the whole episode.
Each episode seems to carry the same formatting. Open with a quote ( I don’t know how I missed this off of the Bingo Card), over-arching word play (4-6 feet comes to mind; and how many people this episode made reference to the ‘game’? Plenty.), introduce a new character- check.
It would seem that the show is trying to include more action sequences (motorbike gang) to spice it up, but the pace of the show is still lacking something. Each week we see either too much of a character, or not enough, it’s never ‘just right’, and we’re running out of episodes. With a host of articles appearing online regarding the decision not to take it further than one season (my understanding it was always to be a stand alone series), I can’t, and don’t want to think of this coming back again, and so I am relieved that this will be the end. The show does have some saving graces, and some of the characters are engaging enough that I do want to see what becomes of them.
Approaching the midway point of the season it would seem things are definitely picking up momentum in the right places. Mostly. Overuse of the same metaphors is cheapening the show and failing to let the characters talk for themselves.
Having said that, I did enjoy today’s episode, but I can’t decide if it is due to the slow, but steady build-up of the conspiracy, or if it’s the bingo card. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
- the Mighty Bingo Card (picture soon)
- conspiracy Theories
- the group against Jana. She saved them. So much disrespect
- rushed story with little on screen action