It was all too tempting to label episode 9 “The Barbarous King” as “Trouble in Paradise” just for the locale of this segment. While there were some excellent revelations and a reluctant family reunion of sorts, this week in Aftermath we learned more about Karen’s lineage. There was also some character evolution in the family Copeland.
The survivors run into a road block where a grizzled ex-biker is demanding a toll from the family to cross through his territory. To his followers, the biker is known as Ewan. To Karen he is dad. The capable woman introduces her kids to the bandana wearing chieftain, “Kids, meet your grandpa.”
There is no love lost between father and daughter and the old renegade is in the “tetra” (or medicine) manufacture business. He swears that he has gone “legit” but Karen is not buying it.
Josh stumbles onto the truth of the matter, Ewan is making substandard medication and people are dying. He caught snooping and, after being bopped over the head with a shovel, is given peyote and death sentence.
As usual, the villains in this apocalyptic world underestimate Josh. Even as he trips out on the hallucinogen, Copeland kills his executioner easily. The male head of the family is becoming quiet adept at dealing out death.
He learns from his dead father that adept is exactly what he is. Josh’s young father reveals that he and his family are all “Adepts.” They will, the vision says, survive because of this “trait.”
Meanwhile Brianna, Dana and Levi go on a job with Ewan’s right hand “Rafaela” and Raf. they go to a bar for a delivery of ethanol and after a few drinks, Dana drops some hard truths on her sister. She finds out that the Brianna gave her non-alchololic drinks and rips her sister a strip for lying to her.
After their argument, Brianna leaves and is stopped by a skin walker. The woman steals the truck and returns to the bar looking like Brianna. Levi is discovering that he has an unpleasant side to his personality.
The eldest sibling takes after his Grandpa Ewan and the locals at the bar fear him. Back at the camp, as Josh is being set up for the kill, Karen goes with her dad to check on the kids.
As they arrive, the real Brianna returns and fights with the skin walker. Karen aims at the two figures fight on the floor and it is Dana who kills the imposter. The kid who hates guns just used one to save her sister.
Episode nine revealed some hard truths about the Copeland clan. A lot of what makes Karen tick is revealed in this episode. She obviously takes after her father in the “tough” department but did not inherit his nefarious streak.
At the end of the episode, as Josh is coming down off his trip, he begins coughing and Karen sees that he may have blood coming from his mouth. This is a symptom of the “fever” and it looks like Grandpa’s offer of the Tetra was not an idle offering.
Episode 10 of Aftermath “Hieronymo’s Mad Againe”sees a family of four, bar one, dead and “stretched” and Josh is still coughing out blood. Karen starts searching for Tetra in earnest while her husband’s condition worsens.
Josh is hearing voices and interacting with people who are not there. Dana finds a Tetra box and the family head off to search for the drug. First, however, Karen takes Josh’s gun and Brianna reminisces with Matt about video games.
As the women in the family search the pharmacy for Tetra, Josh is handcuffed in the RV and he tries to communicate with Matt. He tries to give his son some reassurance but his speech is riddled with nonsensical words and phrases.
In the hospital pharmacy, the women are not alone.
An man infected with the plague, aka fever, jumps out to attack the three Copeland women, but another woman (Willes) shoots the man dead. She asks the trio for help with the wheelchair patients on the upper floor.
The women are asked to leave their weapons in the lobby as the patients are frightened of guns. Partway up the staircase, Brianna and Dana are sent to collect the Tetra while Karen and the woman proceed further up the stairs.
Josh’s symptoms get worse. Oddly enough, he begins to have intuitive flashes, matching the times of death (of the three corpses found at the start of the episode) and the destruction of Seattle. As he verbal skills deteriorate further, Matt takes his dad for a drive.
The wheelchair bound patients are a ploy. Karen discovers that the elevator works just before the woman knocks her out cold. When Karen wakes up she learns that the “patients” are dead, and have been stuffed, and that both her girls have been locked in on the second floor.
Dana and Brianna try to break out as Josh’s condition worsens. Karen, who has been drugged, is on the roof with the woman and as they watch, the moon is hit by a number of asteroids.
The woman starts coughing blood and as the moon sends debris into space, the fever infected woman tells Karen, “I don’t know how I feel about that.” She is referring to the blood and not the parts of the moon which will obviously start raining down on earth.
Josh has another vision, “The One is Many” has been written on the wall by the missing boy. Brianna and Dana get out of the second floor trap that the woman set and Karen is given a paralyzing agent. She learns that Ewan, her father, killed the woman’s family and stole supplies from the hospital.
The trio of Copeland women manage to kill the woman and escape with antibiotics but there is no Tetra. Josh is still having visions and Dana tell the family that the debris from the moon will hit in about two days.
This episode of Aftermath has been the most macabre of the season. With “Kathryn” aka “the Woman” wearing the face of the patient she kicked down the stairs, (a bit reminiscent of Otis in The Devil’s Rejects) this whole segment was about as twisted as can be.
As both Taylor Hickson and Levi Meaden pointed out in two separate interviews with Mike’s Film Talk, all the family are going through some intense changes in the show. The last two episodes have indeed proven that the entire family are changing as the season progresses.
It seems pretty grim for Josh right now, but his condition seems to be more focused on visions of some sort versus the wholesale madness that most fever heads seem to suffer from.
Karen is still the strong member of the family, but the Copeland clan are rapidly catching up. Brianna finishes off the crazy in the hospital, that Karen shoots first with her hidden weapon. Dana has also gotten tougher.
Aftermath is upping the stakes in each episode. The show’s theme has changed somewhat from “mythical” creature of the week to the family surviving each obstacle placed in their path.
Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy. Tune in and get caught up in the end of the world as we know it.
- James Tupper – Joshua Copeland
- Anne Heche – Karen Copeland
- Levi Meaden – Matt Copeland
- Taylor Hickson – Brianna Copeland
- Julia Sarah Stone – Dana Copeland