Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aftermath, Season One, Episode Five: A Clatter and a Chatter

I think I've finally come to an understanding with Aftermath. Yes, it's the end of times but it's also a situation where they throw whatever shit they can think of at their characters without any rhyme or reason.  We know that all of the mythologies of the world for some reason have decided to run amok, we simply have been offered no explanation as to why and offered up the Copeland family as a unit to identify with and root for.  This is a problem because the Copelands are all white, straight, cisgender and able bodied.  Inclusion has obviously been given a minimum of concern on Aftermath.

So, when last we left the Copelands, they were about to face down some fever heads who had escaped from the base. They make a run for it but quickly come across an ocean that has no business being there, thus blocking off the road. You'll note that we aren't offered even a plausible explanation as to why the ocean is suddenly there.  At any rate, they find themselves surrounded with no method of escape, when who should appear but a masked man on a horse with a grenade launcher no less. Devyn, being hyper religious, goes straight up book of revelations, "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him".  No need to worry for the Copelands because it turns out that the rider is none other than Lamar Boone, a friend of Karen's from the military.  Is it me, or does Karen seem to know every single military person they run into?

Boone and Karen have some history, evidenced by the fact that he calls her, "booty". He even has the nerve to do so in front of her husband and talk about how they used to have a thing.  I'm happy to see Aftermath introduce another person of colour and I hope that since Boon is played by none other than Wayne Brady, they don't plan to kill him off right away. It is however worth noting that the death of Doctor Rawlins preceded the introduction of Boone which very much gives this whole thing a T Dog chain feeling.  At any rate, it seems that Boon was one of those survivalist types and now that the weirdness has hit the fan, all of his pre planning has come in handy.  He's created a safe base and invites the Copelands to meet him there.  When giving directions, Boone actually tells the Copelands to turn right a the bodies strung up from the trees. It seems that Boon has no problem hanging people who cross the line which immediately jumps out as problematic to Joshua. I really hope that this is the center of tension between Boone and Joshua and not some love triangle between Boon, Joshua and Karen. 

Aftermath seems to be the kind of show that just doesn't like to keep it's characters together. Last week, Sally chose to stay behind with Cottrell to help manage the feverheads but with the base over run, the two have no option other than to flee.  They head into the woods and that is when Cottrell finally admits to being ill; however, he has some secret stash of meds in a cabin the woods and hopes to make it there on time to stop the progression of his illness. 

Back to the rest of the Copelands.  They head out to follow Boone's directions but come across a crater in the road blocking their path.  They hop out of the RV to investigate and this is when Karen hears the banshee scream for the first time.  She's the only one who can hear it.  Joshua decides that Karen and Brianna will stay behind with the RV while the others look for a path around the crater.  Matt and Devyn are together when Devyn spies a severed hand, freaks out and declares that he's not meant for this type of thing.  Joshua and Dana briefly separate and Dana is attacked by a Jubokko. Yep, Aftermath is once again mining culture of colour for woo woo.  Joshua and Matt manage to free Dana and they all rush back to the RV.  

They decide that they better get moving but unfortunately the RV won't start.  It turns out that the Jubokko has surrounded the RV and even entered the engine.  Fortunately for the Copelands, this is when Martin and Jane arrive/ Martin and Jane throw salt at the Jubokko, which drives it off.  It seems because of the delay arriving at Alamo (Boone's camp) Boone sent Martin and Jane to find out what was taking the Copelands so long.  Martin immediately gets his flirt on with Dana and she's quite receptive, despite the clear age difference between the two. I know the world is coming apart but neither Joshua or Karen is concerned about a grown as man making the moves on their daughter?

Cottrell and Sally make it to the cabin only to find it ransacked already and all of the medication gone. Cottrell gives Sally a gun and tells her that he is a danger to her now. Sally decides that they can make it out of this and heads outside to see if the feverheads dropped the meds on the ground while they were escaping.  

At the Alamo, the Copelands are treated to a huge spread thanks to Boone.  Joshua still has no problem judging Boon, who points out that any of the people here would do what they had to, to protect their sanctuary.  Karen hears another Banshee scream and heads outside to clear her head, only to see a banshee. Yep, someone is gonna die. I really think that Aftermath was far too heavy handed with this story line and so when the death does happen (which I will get to) it feels anticlimactic. 

While Karen is hearing the banshee scream, the kids are eating. Matt and Dana are quick to notice the ways in which Brianna has becomes Devyn's caretaker and she admits that he is in love with her. Brianna however feels the Devyn saved her and so seems fine with it for now.  Martin pops by the table to get his flirt on. When he leaves, Matt points out that Martin is way too old for Dana but Brianna pushes her little sister to jump in with both feet.  

Martin and Dana head to the empty pool and talk, with Dana revealing that she's "stupid smart".  It almost feels like this is something she regrets, as she talks about how it scares boys away from her. Martin, not being a boy, isn't intimidated and is quite happy to take Dana up on her offer to make out for ten minutes before he goes on watch.

Sally shows up to gates having left Cottrell behind when they were attacked in the woods by a feverhead skinwalker. That's right, the demons are taking over the feverheads.  Karen pulls her gun and has to get hostile, forcing Boone to order that Sally be allowed into the compound. 

A little while later, Cottrell shows up and Sally of course goes rushing towards him because they have medicine in the Alamo and she believes she can save Cottrell.  Boone is certain that Cottrell is way too far gone for the medicine to work.  Karen talks about never knowing Boone to leave a man behind and so he relents and allows Cottrell in against his better judgment.  

Brianna has a little chat with Joshua about her fears regarding the feverhead skinwalkers.  She's seen first hand how dangerous skinwalkers are and worries that when combined with something that just wants to rip your face off (read: feverheads) that they could be any worse.  Joshua brings up the fact that Brianna killed a skinwalker and questions how she feels about it.  Brianna responds that it felt good and that he deserved it.  Brianna then brings up Devyn, and the fact that he is in love with her but Joshua sees it all as normal. Yeah he only thinks that because he hasn't seen Devyn in full on creeper mode yet. 

So, the feverheads are beginning to advance and Boone sends his troops to drive them towards the Alamo from a specific direction.  Karen is worried that Boone's troops are all off the base with the impending threat but Boone is certain that he has this handled.  Matt starts handing out weapons and Devyn does not want to take one because the Lord commanded, "Thou shalt not kill."  Matt however suggests that the Lord would want them to defend themselves and makes it clear that there are no free rides. Karen hands Sally a gun and the two sisters reconcile about Sally's choice to join the military. 

So everyone lines up along the fence prepared to shoot. Devyn prays that the evil passes them by.  As the feverheads approach, Boone gives an order to set off the explosions he had previously buried around the compound.  The feverheads explode and the demons fly through the air as Boone taunts them. It's all good and everyone is safe, so Boone gives the order for his troops to head outside of the walls and shoot any Feverhead still alive.

This is when Cottrell stumbles outside and he's got Sally as a hostage.  Karen shoots Cottrell twice but it's not enough to stop Cottrell from snapping Sally's neck.  Karen gives Cottrell a kill shot and his body drops to the ground as the demon leaves his body.  Sally then rushes to her sister's side and lies next to her body as the family and Boone watch. 

I suppose one of the things that makes Aftermath interesting is that we cannot predict what supernatural problem and or creature will arise next for the Copelands to deal with.  There is of course the obvious issue that the monsters so far have been mined from cultures of colour and this week is no different, what with the return of their twisted version of skinwalkers and now Jubokko. This is problematized by the fact that there really hasn't been a significant character of colour yet.  

This week we were introduced to Boone, a military friend of Karen's.  The fact that he's played by Wayne Brady heavily suggests that Boone just might be around for some time.  I do wonder if Aftermath is going to do The Walking Dead thing of having their characters settle, believe they've found a home and then have everything collapse to shit again?  I do know that they've at least set up some conflict between Boone and Joshua around how he rules and clearly his relationship with Karen.  

This is the first week where I really felt the show has started to gel a little bit.  When the siblings sat at a table together they, felt like siblings.  Nothing has been done to improve Karen and Joshua's chemistry however and I don't see them as a viable couple whatsoever.  I'm a little displeased with Dana and Martin having any kind of sexual interaction given her youth.  I don't understand why Matt is the only one who was even remotely concerned?  Yeah I know Brianna told Joshua that they will grow up fast in an apocalypse but how long has it really been since shit hit the fan?

It's episode five and we still have no LGBT people on this show.  It looks like we have yet another dystopian show were the LGBT community just gave up and allowed themselves to be eaten. Yes, that's snark.