Containment – Season 1 Episode 2
“I to Die, You to Live”
“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and You to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.” Socrates
It’s probably not good to watch this when you think you’re coming down with something.
We are thrown straight back to where we left off. Patient Zero is showing off his insides as he lies spread open for all to see on an autopsy table that Dr Cannerts (George Young) is working on, whilst screening it directly to the Disease HQ’s. That’s where we find Major Carnahan and Lommers.
Very early on it is hinted by Lommers that something may need to be done to the cordoned. Questioning Canahan’s ability to put his duty to his job above any duty he feels to those on the ‘inside’, Lommers’ animosity towards Carnahan is blatant.
It becomes apparent that all might not be well and safe on both sides of the fence. Patient Zero’s young cousin, currently in isolation, has been photographed with a blonde teenage girl, and much of the story from here is determining where this girl can be found. Inside or Outside? Having been spotted outside the containment zone by ‘Big Brother’ there is a great moment of what if, but all too quickly this is resolved when the wealth of CCTV they have very easily pinpoints her exact location.
This episode re-introduces the relationships we saw last time and even has time to introduce a few more amidst the panic of the first night inside the “Cordone Sanitaire”. Cue Aimee (Lindsay Naves), Teresa’s wildly annoying friend who doesn’t seem to understand boundaries. Trying to convince Teresa to join her at a booze-fuelled party their friends are throwing, Aimee comes to meet her at her mum’s store. Reminding her she only has a month of freedom (before the baby arrives), Aimee begs her friend to join her before sloppily giving her a kiss on the cheek. We see Teresa, cautious, carefully wiping at her cheek with a hanky. This subtle but considered response from Teresa is a nice hint that she maybe isn’t as naïve as we first thought. She appears to be the only one taking any of this seriously.
The story evolving from Carnahan’s video makes for a bland watch. It would seem everyone is out to get Carnahan this episode. A journalist is threatening to create a backlash against his new status without his agreement to exclusive interviews; the police force are jibing him for becoming the unwitting face of the campaign; and Lommers is lording over him again because she got what she wanted without his cooperation. A few comments making the whole situation about race tries to bring in recent political attitudes that have seen many a headline recently Stateside. It’s a bit too boxed in and rushed, this part of the story is dragging before it’s been given a proper chance to develop.
We also see the main characters adapting to their new environments. Katie remains in the hospital with the children. It’s interesting to see how quickly they’ve adapted to being in the space and developing their own code for comfort (Katie and her son Quentin holding up their hands). I’m still unconvinced by Katie, given she takes to roaming the corridors with the children despite knowing the continued risk of infection. This is just a bit strange when we know what she stumbled upon last time, endangering not only herself, but her child, and other people’s children. Whilst the children seem to have adapted well, the adjustment is not quite as easy for Riley. His instability is apparent, but then he has much more in the ways of responsibility.
Jana has managed to sanitise herself in her lab. Keeping herself locked there with a continuously growing number of friends and dwindling amount of supplies. Carnahan hints at being unable to share all he knows with her as they discuss the possible extension of the containment period.
The best part of the episode was the build up of finding the rogue girl. After successfully tracing her, and establishing she is, in fact, inside the cordon, we see Carnahan try to reconnect with his still pissed off friend, Jake Riley. It would appear only one police officer is inside the containment zone as it would seem he is the only one Carnahan can ask for help in tracing the girl.
Reluctantly Riley goes off to find the girl in a tower block, accompanied with two fully suited medical staff. Having found the girl we realise she’s at the party Teresa’s friend Aimee went to.
This is where it gets good. Everything about this part of the episode is terrifying and the music, haunting . The teenagers are collected and taken to the hospital where they are walked one by one to their own death chamber. The realisation that they won’t be coming out of their rooms as they walk down the dark corridor of the infected is truly chilling. A tender moment for the blonde rogue girl and Patient Zero’s cousin, raising a hand to touch through the glass, before she’s taken to her own room is clichéd but it feels necessary. Returning to Aimee, we see her interment and it is not nice. She has seen what fate has in store for her and there is nothing she can do. No one can help her.
Teresa seeing her friends have come into contact with the infection immediately bleaches everything she’s come into contact since arriving at her grandmother’s house a minute before and removes herself from the situation, not wanting to be a potential carrier and threat to her wheelchair bound grandmother.
A good use of foreshadowing this episode, from the quote by Socrates opening the episode, to Lommers suggesting there may be something bigger in the picture than the straight forward “Cordone Sanitaire”. The episode closes on a lot of noise, helicopters and people gathered at the fence. It’s not a fence anymore. Somehow, once again, the authorities have managed to create a gigantic fence from shipping containers. A bit ridiculous. We also see Carnahan’s face and we’re left unsure of how much he truly knows.
Some great storyline development here with the heightened awareness of infection. The scene in the corridor is terrifying and made for an intense watch. I can’t say the same for some of the other narratives, with Lommers and Carnahan creating hostilities out of very little. Surprisingly Teresa’s story was the most engaging this week and I look forward to seeing what’s next for her.
- the gripping, sweat-inducing walk down isolation corridor. Terrifying
- Riley’s instability
- the power of the human touch. Great use of outstretched hands, powerful stuff