A review by Nalini Haynes
During the pilot (review here), Contagion repeatedly showed scenes in the future, of riots and infected people with blood and snot streaming out of the orifices. This episode largely spared us those images.
Instead, we follow Katie Frank (Kristen Gutoskie) as she cares for the school children she brought to visit the hospital. She seems to have a budding relationship with police officer Jake (Chris Wood) in spite of his temper tantrums.
Major Carnahan (David Gyasi) phones Jake but Jake rejects his calls — withOUT blocking the caller — until, eventually, he doesn’t. Carnahan sends Jake on missions to find sick people not yet in isolation.
A teenage party is now the land of the zombies because one of the partygoers was the Syrian boy’s girlfriend.
Turns out that blaming the Syrian and calling it terrorism may have been premature. In the pilot I thought other people died before ‘Patient Zero’. Although the CDC says he was the first to die, Katie saw bodies in the morgue before his death. Dr Victor Cannerts (George Young), the CDC guy inside the containment area, fobs Katie off, spouting some bullshit about different people’s immune systems.
Sounds like a government conspiracy to me.
It’s difficult to say much about this episode that won’t sound similar to my review of episode 1 because the same melodramatic themes are repeated while escalating tension. People move to different locations. Jana (Christina Moses) returns to work for someplace to stay (I’m not sure why she couldn’t go home because I got the impression she lives inside the containment zone). She knows she’s supposed to stay in isolation but she lets a work colleague with a total stranger into the offices. A pregnant girl goes home to mom then visits grandma before realising she came in contact with someone who had the virus so now she’s panicking. That kind of thing.
Although I love Claudia Black as Dr Sabine Lommers from the CDC, her appearance conflicts with her personality. She won’t touch anyone, not even to shake hands, but her loose hair takes up so much space it would, inevitably, come into contact with other people. I can’t see a science-focused, safety-focused woman wearing skirts and such high heels without feeling her character has been undermined in favor of making her visually appealing to the audience.
Likewise, Jana has to wear a full-body suit even covering her hair to enter a ‘sterile’ room where she repairs computers. However, her hair is wild and free, long ringlets with little restraint. Why doesn’t she habitually wear it in a pony tail or up in a do while at work? Even with her hair scraped back, she’s still gorgeous.
So far I’m tentatively enjoying Containment but I’m concerned they won’t be able to sustain the story for long.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Director: Charles Beeson
Writers: Julie Plec (developer for American television), Carl Joos (creator of the European television series ‘Cordon’), Elizabeth Peterson
Stars: David Gyasi, Christina Marie Moses, Chris Wood