Thursday, November 3, 2016

Aftermath, Season One, Episode Six: Madame Sosostris

I don't know why Aftermath has such a difficult time keeping it's cast on one location.  It's like they feel that splitting the characters up and giving us two different story lines each week makes up for the fact that they still haven't given its audience a reasonable explanation into exactly what is going on. Even the title is misleading because aftermath is what happens after an even of substance.  So far, we have not been informed of some precipitating event which has lead to this situation and we are over 1/3 of the way through the season. 

The episode begins at Sally's funeral.  Karen is almost emotionless as she lights the pyre.  I suppose they decided to go with cremation for effect but it makes less than zero sense given how hot the flames have to be and how long they to burn to cremate a human body.  At any rate, the Copelands feel a tremor but Booner tells them not to worry because apparently, the mountain does this all of the time. 

They all head back to the base, where the Copelands decide now that they are back together, that they should return home. Booner tries to talk them into staying given that he has great man power and supplies but Karen in particular is determined to home and not to take anything from Booner when they leave.  Karen decides to head to Dana's old camp for supplies and Joshua decides to try to track down an academic who wrote about everything which is happening now, so that they can prepare for whatever goes next.

Joshua, Brianna, Devyn, and Jane, leave in one vehicle and Karen, Dana, Matt and Martin in another.  Because Aftermath loves to split their cast up, when they reach the campground, Karen, Dana, Matt and Martin split up.  Karen and Matt immediately start getting together nearby supplies while Dana and Martin head further out.  It's not long before Dana and Martin start talking about having sex, given that it's the end of the world and she will be leaving soon.  Martin questions if this is really what Dana wants, given the age difference between them.  I guess Matt actively seeking consent is supposed to make up for the fact that Dana is essentially a child and at 15, is not old enough to consent to sex with someone that much older than her. They lie down on a pile of hay but its not long before a Jubokko wraps itself around Dana's leg for a little snack.  Fortunately for her, Martin is there to come to the rescue. They don't get time to celebrate because they are quickly surrounded by two female prisoners.  It seems that a group of female convicts have claimed the camp and its supplies for themselves and are not pleased to see Dana and Martin poaching.  This is when the Jubokko appears again and grabs the leg of one of the prison women and drags her under a building.  Dana and Martin seize the break and take off into the woods.  

Joshua decides to leave Brianna, Devyn and Jane behind and heads into the university hoping to find the work of Gloria Douglas.  When he runs into Gloria, the first thing he's forced to do is give an apology.  It seems that before what ever happened starting happening, Gloria had written about this and Joshua and a group of his peers went out of their way to discredit her.  Gloria seems oddly stinted but is listening.  Joshua continues to speak and Gloria attacks.  Joshua manages to escape the swing of Gloria's axe and tries to get distance between the two of them but once cornered, Jane magically shows up in time to kill Gloria.  Gloria dissolves and ends up looking like a puddle of grease on the ground. Joshua explains that this couldn't be Gloria and must have been a shapeshifter.  They head off in search of the real Gloria firm in the belief that the real Gloria must be somewhere close by.

In the camper, Devyn is still acting weird, so Brianna tries to comfort him.  Devyn doesn't want to be touched and he runs out of the RV.  Brianna is quick to follow, so Devyn yells that he can do what he needs to do, if she will look away.  Never being one to give up, Brianna is quick to keep searching and does indeed find Devyn, who has a gun pointed to his head.  Devyn tells Brianna that he's afraid that he is going to hurt her but Brianna argues that if Devyn does this he will hurt her.  Devyn however is determined and so Brianna begs him not to do this if he loves her.  Devyn slowly lowers the weapon and hands Brianna the gun.  Brianna responds by slapping him across the face before hugging him. 

The inmate who survived the attack of the Jubokko meets up with the others in her group and they decide to get revenge.  They track Martin and Dana through the woods.  Dana takes Martin to the place where the camp counselors used to make out to hide.  The convicts run right past them and right into Karen and Matt.  They manage to capture Karen and Matt but don't maintain the upper hand for long.  After being convinced that Karen and Matt are actually accompanied by army rangers, they head back to the truck.  Karen, Matt and the prisoners start to divide the food but the prisoners have a change of mind.  When one of them taunts Karen about killing Dana, Karen reacts by throwing her knife and hitting one of them knee, causing said prisoner to drop her gun. Karen picks up the gun and immediately shoots the next prisoner before turning her gun on the last woman.  The prisoner tries to run away but Karen stalks her before filling her body full of led.  Dana comes across the scene and is horrified by what she sees. Karen tries to explain that the prisoners told her that they had killed Dana. Dana being the hippie of the family, does not see this an excuse to kill three women and turns ice cold. 

Back at the school, the shapeshifter has taken the form of Joshua and knocks on the RV door. Believing she's letting her father in, Brianna opens the door and allows the shifter in.  The shifter quickly attacks Brianna. Devyn pulls the shifter off and a struggle begins. This is why Devyn's eyes shift and for the first time we have proof that something is indeed off with creepy Devyn.  Devyn growls and manages to kill the shifter before rushing forward to embrace Brianna. 

 Joshua runs into the real Gloria and she's not happy to see him.  Joshua of course wants to know how to stop what is going on and how Gloria knew it was going to happen.  Gloria's answers are vague but she does mention that this is all like one big wave.   The one thing she's clear about is that the Mount Rainier is going to explode in the next 12 hours.  At this point, Gloria's biggest wish is to die.  She gives Joshua computer cards containing her research and asks that he kill her in return for how he ruined her career. Joshua is aghast and and asks Gloria to accompany him and his family but Gloria begs again and again for Joshua to kill her.Joshua even goes as far as to promise to protect Gloria. Jane, proving she's just timely with a gun, shows up in the doorway and shoots Gloria, informing Joshua that at the end of the world, if someone asks you to kill them you comply.  Jane is convinced that people know what they want.  Before she dies, Gloria tells Joshua to listen to the voices in the night

The Copeland family reunite at the campground and Joshua is shocked to see the bodies of the women on the ground.  Karen is still acting cavalier about killing three people and she begins packing up supplies, after explaining that they told her that Dana was dead.  Matt takes Joshua aside and tells him how cold and calculating Karen was when she shot the convict who was trying to escape. 

Devyn hops out of the RV and starts to circle it cackling. Matt is the first one to notice that something is wrong with Devyn.  Brianna rushes to Devyn's side and admits that she saw the skinwalker inside him when he fought of the shifter. Devyn admits his body has been invaded and that he's tried to fight it off for quite sometime.  This explains why he tried to take his own life.  Brianna tries to convince Devyn to fight it off, pointing out that he's going to have to keep it hidden from her family. The skinwalker gains control for a quick moment and Brianna backs up.  Devyn wrests back control grabs a gun and shoots himself in the head.  The skinwalker leaves his body and he collapses to the ground dead. Brianna rushes forward screaming and throws herself on Devyn's body.  Joshua moves forward and grabs the gun but makes no effort to comfort his daughter. 

I guess I should be happy that the writers hinted that we might get some kind of explanation for what is going on.  At this point, I feel that they've dragged this out long enough.  We better start getting some answers next week because supernatural phenomenon of the week is getting old very fast.

Unlike the rest of the Copelands, I think Karen's reaction just makes sense. Sure she's barely holding it together but this is what she was trained in the military to do - deal with a crises while keeping her head together. Breaking down is for when things are calm and they're safe.  At some point however, if this continues, I suspect we will see Karen fall apart and that it won't be good. 

I'm still not a fan of Martin and Dana as a couple. He is far too old for her and it disturbs me that neither Joshua or Karen is the least bit concerned about what is going on. Sure, it's the end of the world and maybe some old rules no longer apply but this, this should still be one of them.  The age difference makes any kind equality between these two possible, particularly because Dana is only 15

Bye Devyn I'm not going to miss you.  At this point, I was so sick of the creeper that the first time he grabbed a gun, I found myself whispering, "do it".  I don't even know what the point of his character was?  He certainly didn't help with the development of Brianna's character and the writers had made her so resourceful, she should have been able to escape and survive on her own.  At any rate, I'm not going to miss him.

Also, the big plan to simply return home is ridiculous before they knew that Mount Rainer is going to explode.  How does it make sense to leave a population of people who have military training, who've agreed to work together and share supplies while the world is falling apart?  Clearly this was simply a device to split up the family and for Matt to get some vague hints about the apocalypse.  Aftermath is going to have to start to do better.