Thursday, September 29, 2016

Aftermath, Season One, Episode One: RVL 6768

This episode opens with Joshua Copeland gathering research materials from the university where he works.  Everyone is in a rush because of a spate of natural disasters.  He grabs what he can and decides to hurry back to his family.  Along the way home, the radio reports disaster after disaster.  Joshua gets back home just in time to hunker down with his family because of an approaching tornado.

The next morning when the Copeland family awakes there are dozens of dead fish on their lawn. This is odd because the fish are supposedly deep swimmers. The local Sheriff makes an appearance to check on the family and to drop off a BOLA from some missing youths.  While there the Sheriff notifies the Copelands of a town that went violently insane causing the members to kill and eat each other.  The Copelands aren't really buying it, even when Brianna pipes up to say that her friend texted her about ghosts in NYC.

Sure enough one of the missing youths show up at the Copeland farm and are invited inside. Things go fine for a little bit until the kid starts getting violent and attacks Karen.  Joshua rushes in from the other room as Karen instructs Matt to go for the bible. You guessed, they have a gun, a loaded one at that hidden in a bible. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Matt takes his shot and shoots the kid who collapses as a demon flies out of him. You would think that Joshua would be freaked out that his family was attacked and that he saw a demon fly out of the kid but what he's really concerned about is the fact that they have a gun. 

Karen decides that the shots fired need to be reported and since they have no cell phone service she is going to drive into town and speak to the sheriff.  Karen and Joshua argue briefly about this but it's clear that what Karen says goes when Joshua quickly acquiesces. When Karen arrives at the station she finds it empty except for the jail cells which seemed to be filled with people infected by demons. Karen is grabbed but manages to get away and the process grabs a shot gun.

Once she pulls into her place, Karen thinks that she is the free and clear but is again attacked. Someone is having a really shitty day. Joshua rushes to his wife's aid and fires the gun but the infected person keeps coming.  Karen then pulls out the shotgun she took from the sheriff's office and fires the kill shot.  Once again we get a deadpan response from Joshua about the fact that they have a shot gun. 

That night, Joshua looks through the papers he took from the university with Karen by his side. At this point, she thinks what he is doing is pretty useless even when he argues that there's more going here.  Yep, his spidey sense is tingling.  As someone whose research is in ancient religions, history and myths, for Joshua there are signs that shouldn't be ignored.  Karen decides to humour him for now but it's clear that she doesn't believe what she has seen and has found a way to rationalize it.

The next morning the family awakes only to discover an intruder in their home. Brianna is dragged through the house and she screams for help.  Karen comes rushing down the stairs and outside, Joshua races to the house.  Unfortunately, none of them get to Brianna in time because the creature holding her takes to the air, holding Brianna by one foot. I wonder if that will be enough to get Karen to start believing. 

The family loads up the RV intent in driving in the direction that they say Brianna taken in the hopes of finding her.  Joshua wonders if someone should stay there in case Brianna returns but Karen wants the entire family to stay together. 

Brianna awakes on the ground and the creature who took her wants to know how they got there and who she is.  Brianna informs him to keep away from her.  The Copelands are doing the search and decide to stop when they come across a gas station despite having 50 gallons of gas just in case. A scruffy looking attendant steps up and asks Joshua to get back into the RV claiming that the station is full service.  The attendant starts to clean the front window with a bloody head which is enough for the Copelands to decide it's time to go.  Shifty attendant gets his however when he accidentally drops his cigarette in a pool of petrol.  

Dana starts to hyperventilate and panic and Karen hops in back to calm her daughter, assuring her that everything will be alright.  Over the radio comes an announcement that a safe zone has been set up for Yakima, Washington. Karen sees this as good news because when the systems get rebooted they will somehow meet up with Brianna in Yakima.

Brianna's phone goes off just as the demon reenters her captor.  Brianna's captor leaps at her but ends up impaling himself on a tree stump.  Brianna takes to the road and reads a text from her mother to meet her family in Yakima.  Fortunately for Brianna this is when Sheriff Dawkins just happens to drive by sirens blaring.  Brianna stops the car and asks for a ride to Yakima to meet her folks.  She doesn't seem at all concerned that Dawkins is acting weirdly. As the squad car drives off, a bloody hand can be seen hanging out of the trunk. Dawkins and Jacob pull over to take a leak and Dawkin's is shocked when Brianna calls him by name. They pull her out of the truck to consult with the sergeant who they are keeping locked up in the truck. Dawkins and Jacob decide to render the sergeant assistance by killing him before hoping back into the car.  Brianna is then ordered back into the car at gunpoint.

The Copelands spot a woman with a flare at the side of the road. Joshua and Karen decide to stop in case the woman needs help while Matt wants to know what's in it for them. Joshua is not amused by Matt's attitude. Karen hops out and unsurprisingly orders Joshua to stay in the car.  Ella and her husband Norm say that they were run off the road and had their supplies taken. Norm however pulls a gun and Matt hops out of the RV with the shotgun.  A demon thing flies overhead and Karen offers friendship to Norm and Ella who agree to come to the RV.  Karen however doesn't miss the opportunity to snark about Norm having the safety on while threatening her family.  Something else flies through the air and Joshua determines that they are solar flares.

Dawkins and Jacob's stop at a restaurant and are all riled up because they shot the cook the last time they were there.  They make a plan to attack the restaurant and decide to bring Brianna along becuase she's somehow connected. Dawkins drags Brianna into a restaurant and find a gang.  Brianna screams out a warning when Jacob enters and the gang manages to shoot both Jacob and Dawkins.  Both cops use the radio to request assistance saying that an officer is down.  The leader of the group checks Brianna's mouth for blood claiming that the cops were feverheads and they thought she might have had it to.  What the hell is "it"? The leader explains that a feverhead is a disease that makes people crazy.  Brianna hits the leader up for a ride to Yakima leveraging the fact that she just saved their lives and agrees. The leader makes plan to catch up with the rest of his gang and then takes off alone with Brianna.

The Copelands are camping for the night having decided that it's too dangerous to drive at night. Joshua is certain that since the army reserves is protecting Yakima that it's a safe zone. Despite seeing Brianna being flown through the air by a demon, they are certain that Brianna has somehow made her way to Yakima. The family sees a shooting start and Joshua says a bible quote.  An irritated Karen walks off, only to be followed by Joshua.  It seems that Karen thinks that things are bad enough without Joshua quoting the bible. Joshua talks about skinwalkers which is a monster that originates from Indigenous lore and Karen is not down with this at all.  Joshua brings up all the things that they've seen and that there may be some truth in these ancient myths.  Karen snarks about not hearing trumpets and therefore declares that the world is not ending and that they should deal with the problems in front of them.  Okay, clearly these two have a Scully and Mulder thing going on. 

Brianna is on the road with head biker dude and they see the shooting stars filling the sky.

The Copelands have arrived at Yakima and are ordered out of the RV by the military. They are questioned by irrational behaviour, fever and panicked behaviour.  Karen's mouth is the first to be checked for blood in the mouth and she passes.  The rest of the family is checked and they all pass which is a good thing becuase the soldiers have been ordered to shoot those with blood in their mouth at first sight.  The Copelands ask about a reunification center only to have the conversation cut short when a truck filled with feverheads pulls up and the military is forced to take them out.  The Copelands drive off to the reunification center just as Brianna is being dropped off by head biker dude.

Brianna texts her mother to let her know that she is almost there and is on the outside of town. The reuniifcation will have to wait however as a solar flare makes its way to the city.  Brianna is able to take shelter underneath a school bus.  The Copelands are safe in their RV. Matt says that this is the end of the world. The rest of the Copelands talk about the fate of Brianna. Then suddenly the sound of a trumpet. 

Okay, the one thing that is for certain is that some money was spent on this pilot. The explosions and various special effects attest to this.  If only more attention had been paid to the script.  

At this point, I'm not sure whether I am supposed to take this seriously or if it's supposed to be an oozing ball of cheese. I'm not even sure whether the actors know.  The family's deadpan reaction to skinwalkers and demons flying off with Brianna is weird to say the least.  Their certainty that Brianna will somehow magically be in Yakima defies logical explanation.  

Clearly Joshua and Karen are meant to be playing off each other.  He's the soft intellectual type and she is the tough former military soldier/officer. At this point I have to wonder what these two ever saw in each other to get married and have a family given that there's very little chemistry between them and they don't even seem to like each other.

 Then there's the natural disasters and the demons.  It seems that the big plan is to mix together myths of different cultures and religions to signify the end of the world. Somehow, I don't think that this is going to end well given that they've already used skinwalkers without a single Indigenous character or any other characters of colour of any note. This already seems like a nightmare waiting to happen.