While the final episode of Aftermath ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, the storyline follows a logical conclusion. It is hidden amongst the weird and wonderful characters that the players meet up with, but it is a solid line of reasoning nonetheless.
It is all about string theory.
The season has been full of mythical creatures from other cultures along with scientific anomalies, like wormholes and time differences, that have also affected events and people in this verse.
Initially it seemed that the series was all about the “End of Days” aka the apocalypse. However, with the skin changers, flying demons and man eating plants the world was not just ending but changing to include “boogeymen” from every ethnicity on earth.
In “Whispers of Immortality” Moondog gives us a bit of backstory. Like the prophets of old, the man headed out into the desert.(On a sidenote: Kudos to Ferreira for being a hip physicist version of Wolfman Jack. The man rocks it with that voice and his character’s attitude.)
After 12 years in the Mojave, Bob’s wife declares him dead and the DJ/prophet knows a lot about string theories and how they are affecting the world.
In essence, the final answer is that gravity waves are forcing all the dimensions into one path. “The one is many and many are the one” is not just a mantra by a few people it is the key to what is happening to Earth.
These waves have forced all 11 dimensions to occupy the same timeline. Ergo, it seems, that dimensions are not just variations on one time, one culture, but many. (See what we did there?)
We also learn that the bullet given to Karen by the dead woman in her vision, that later turned into a rock, is a key to the Delphi. (Nice touch with the “Delphi Cafe” being the oracle’s hangout. The crowning glory was the pinball machine being the actual “fortune teller” and not the waitress.)
The keypunch computer cards are finally put to use. When the cards are finally put through the reader, a machine that they imply was last used in 1979 but the keypunch system was still being used in the very early ’80’s, they get their answer.
For those who are not overly religious or not at all, the fragmented message is one of hope. “The End of the World Is Not the End of the World.” It takes the trio a little time to work out this new bit of evidence.
Joshua, the Adept, is the one who makes the connection. He tells Dana and Moondog that in each culture there is a tale of the world ending but, in essence, it does so for a new beginning. In other words, each culture has their version of a “Noah” scenario.
The finale of Aftermath kept up the pressure. Matt is copied by a shape shifter, they are getting smarter it seems, and Dana steps right out of her comfort zone to save her dad and the card reading machine.
When Junkman gets the drop on Moondog and Josh, while a group of bystanders turn the scene into a cacophony amid all this madness, Dana approaches Junkman from behind and shoots him in the arse.
Moondog asks why she shot the man in the nether region and she responds that it is not lethal but is still debilitating. Dana is right, her lack of a deadly response takes the homicidal Junkman out of commission.
Karen learns from the oracle that “she is the price for what she wants.” In essence, the mother must sacrifice herself to save her family and kids.
(One bone of contention here: This feels all too much like the “death is your gift” plot device from Buffy the Vampire Slayer season five. The meaning is exactly the same, in the Joss Whedon season finale that year, Buffy Summers must die to save the world and Dawn. In this episode, Karen must sacrifice herself to save the family and the world.)
On top of string theory being the answer to all the phenomena that has been hammering the planet and the people on it, those wormholes are also part of the solution. Using the tesla tower to attract the holes above the station allows those giant moon rocks to be sucked out of the air before destroying the world in that area.
Of course the downside is that Karen, after repairing the tower’s power supply, is also sucked up into the giant wormhole above her. Brianna swears that they will find their mum but…
Sure, the canary lady’s husband was sucked up in Portland and returned to her here, but if this proves to be what Brianna is thinking there is one small, or very large problem.
If Karen is spat out someplace else those huge earth destroying moon rocks will also be ejected. Mrs. Copeland’s chances of landing safely and alive are, pretty much, non-existent.
Still, as finale’s go, Aftermath gave the viewers one that pretty much tied up all the plot threads. It also allowed each player to reach some sort of definitive arc.
Whether or not Aftermath comes back for another season is still up in the air. Their viewing figures are not bad for SyFy and could well allow the network to greenlight a second season where finding Karen could be the main plot point.
Aftermath started out with a slow measured method to its madness. This did not detract from the show’s all encompassing tale of a family striving to survive the apocalypse.
It gave viewers a strong matriarchal character, in Karen, and allowed the other female members of the family to evolve into strong characters as well. The men, both Levi and Josh, represented male figures who were not afraid to acknowledge that women should be seen as powerful equals in this new world.
Aftermath “Whispers of Immortality” was an excellent end to this fascinating look at the end of the world.
- James Tupper – Joshua Copeland
- Anne Heche – Karen Copeland
- Levi Meaden – Matt Copeland
- Taylor Hickson – Brianna Copeland
- Julia Sarah Stone – Dana Copeland
- Sarah Dugdale as Sarah
- Louis Ferreira as Bob “Moondog” Black.