Aftermath continues following the Copeland family as they try to find each other while crossing the increasingly strange apocalyptic landscape. “Fever of the Bone” sees the family reunited but only after some close calls and a possessed “Reverend Brother” who chases Brianna and her new friend through the woods.
From day one of this “end of days” series, the main protagonists, like many of the people they encounter, matter of factly face whatever horrors the end of the world scares up. Their main goal is survival and only one family member, the highly intelligent Dana, even mentions the biblical context of what they are facing.
But only in passing.
This is not, however, a verse by verse ending of the world as we know it. Not only are there “skin walkers” that inhabit human bodies but mythical creatures from other countries are appearing. Flying dragons and what appear to be giant leeches are also on offer.
Added to all the crazy creatures enveloping the world are those humans who come down with the fever. Those afflicted are mad as a box of frogs and infinitely more lethal.
Out of the entire Copeland clan, it is hard to tell who has the rougher row to hoe. Brianny, who has been on her own from episode one, has managed very well. Despite her frustration at being separated from her family and bumping into a number of weird and wonderful people, and flying dragons, she has done very well.
However, Karen, Joshua and the remaining Copeland clan have also muddled through rather well. Although Karen’s sister does act before thinking more often than not.
Joshua proves to be just as deadly as his trigger happy wife; he killed three survivors with cyanide in a tense standoff. Karen does shoot first and ask questions later but she has not been wildly spraying the world with bullets, her shots count.
Matt is becoming more worldly, and forgiving of his little sister, after the weird Maori experience in Grandpa’s house. Dana has survived being savaged by a rabid dog and finally gets over her aversion to guns.
In this episode of Aftermath the main family come across some bodies blocking the road. When Sally checks the corpses for some sign of life, long slimy looking parasites crawl out of the bodies. The family flee, but not before Sally is infected.
Meanwhile back at the Amish-type commune, Brianna has not gotten her gun back and Devyn become even more infatuated with this blonde newcomer. Despite initial appearances the group are not “kindly villagers” taking in strays. They are judgemental and superstitious, claiming that Brianna controls the flying creature.
The Reverend Brother turns out to be possessed and he has plans for Brianna which do not include welcoming her into his fold. Devyn cannot keep away from his new obsession and eventually he helps Brianna escape from the barn and brings back her gun.
After getting a frustratingly short cell phone call from Brianna, the family attempt to reach her. Cutting across the local airport causes problems when Karen drives the RV through a locked gate. The drive shaft is uncoupled and things get tense when Dana and Matt run across a group of fever heads and a couple of soldiers.
The two kids take the men back to the broken down RV and Joshua explains they need to see Dr. Rawlins as Sally is ill. Karen covers the little tete a tete with a rifle and learns that the soldier is an old colleague from special ops.
Sally is treated and Rawlins cuts out a worm which quickly turns into several. Karen seals off the room and later Rawlins traps a group of fever heads in it. They are being consumed alive when the doctor is shot by another infected man.
Joshua fixes the RV and as the family start to leave the compound Sally decides to stay behind and fill in for the dead Rawlins.
Brianna and Devyn flee through the woods with the Reverend Brother following. The family finally all get together after Brianna kills the possessed man. As the Copelands, plus one, start to leave an armoured vehicle arrives and its occupants begin shooting at the family.
Clearly from the compound, it seems that the men in charge have been overrun. Sally may well be lost.
(Aunt Sally has been, thus far, a major irritant. Although her name alone conjures up visions of Worzel Gummidge, she was annoying to the point of distraction.)
Aftermath takes a grounded look at how an “average” family would face the end of days. The show deals with a very non-religious reaction to all the madness surrounding the apocalypse.
It is an interesting take on the end of the world. The characters are slowly evolving and the storyline allows room for a multitude of strange and scary scenarios to develop. And so far there are no zombies littering the landscape.
Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see how a more capable family survive the apocalypse.