Aftermath: A Clatter and a Chatter – Strange Days (Recap/Review)

 Aftermath - Season 1

The weird and disturbing world of Aftermath continues this week with “A Clatter and a Chatter.” The Copeland’s, and  Devyn are facing some strange days (as Boone says later on in the episode) and Aunt Sally turns up on the doorstep with Jeff Quantrell and things end badly.

Some of the new threats include a Japanese man-eating plant from mythology and bits of ground that look like fast acting quicksand. Other weird and wonderful changes in the status quo include demon possessed fever heads and what appears to be a Banshee.

The family outdistance the fever heads that were chasing them last week but  have run out of road.  Their attackers catch up.

A man on a white horse rides to their rescue. Devyn mumbles the “death on a pale horse” quote from the bible and the rescuer turns out to be an old Air Force flame of Karen’s.

Lamar “Booner” Boone has a base where he and a few others are keeping the fever heads and skinwalkers out. He is overjoyed to see Karen and Booner invites the family back to the base for some food and relaxation.

Her kids are somewhat dismayed to learn that their mother’s nickname was “Booty” and Joshua is not overly impressed with his wife’s old friend. Aunt Sally and Quantrell are running from the compound as it has been overrun with fever heads.

Quantrell is getting the fever and they rush to his cabin to get medicine to counteract the disease. They find the place ransacked and Sally pretty much forces Quantrell to take her to Karen. She is convinced that Booner will have more than enough medication to cure him.

Dana has a new fan, the young man who helped them get rid of the Japanese man-eating plants that were invading the RV. She asks Brianna for advice and Matt is not thrilled by this turn of events.

Aunt Sally has her hands full keeping Quantrell from going full fever head.  His conditions worsen on the trip. The car breaks down and they walk through the wood toward the base. Jeff is attacked by a skinwalker and he tells Sally to run.

Booner spends all his time visiting with Karen and does not go out of his way to be friendly to Joshua. Boone is clearly an alpha male and he is not happy that Karen is married.

Sally makes it to the compound. She stands at the gate asking to be let in. A sentry points his rifle at Karen’s sister. She points her gun at the man and threatens to shoots him.

Things get very tense and after a moment Sally is let in. Quantrell follows soon after.  He is clearly ill with the fever but Booner lets him in anyway.

An entire group of fever head skin walkers heads for the camp..  Booner sends out some of his people to drive them towards the compound. When they reach the compound he has explosives set off and they are all killed.

Quantrell gets free, he was restrained, and he kills aunt Sally.  Karen then kills him. The family watch as she lays down next to her dead sister.

“A Clatter and a Chatter” keeps the tension up. There were moments where things were a bit  “iffy” however.  For instance, the scene where aunt Sally and Quantrell have evacuated his compound. The expository line from Sally “So they overran your defenses and took over the base,” was almost laughable, but it worked…barely.

Another example was the “horde” of fever head skinwalkers being blown up. All the camera focuses on are the treetops and the “demons” rising upward, obviously cheaper than using a plethora of extras to show the massive amount of skinwalkers.

The man-eating  Japanese plant was a nice touch but the Banshee was a tad much. But it is, after all, the apocalypse and all sorts of myths have been brought to life.

Guest star Wayne Brady, better known by audiences as an affable gameshow host, knocked it out of the park as the bluff and somewhat earthy survivor who ran the camp.

So the Copeland’s have lost one of their number and Devyn is, so far, a poor fit.  The sheltered lad is having a hard time adjusting to life outside the commune and he could well be the next casualty. He does still dote on Brianna who feels responsible for the boy.

Aftermath continues to allow its characters to grow as each episode passes. Dana still has issues with guns but in this episode she fired one quite easily, although it was while going through a bit of a meltdown.

Matt is still not keen on Devyn and Joshua continues to maintain his low level sense of confidence which is quite impressive considering that he is married to a female version of Rambo.

Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see what other new creatures and strange hazards will be introduced in these end of days.



Guest starring Wayne Brady as Lamar Boone and Steve Bacic as Jeff Quantrell


Aftermath: Fever of the Bone – Fighting the Apocalypse (Review)

Aftermath - Season 1

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.

Aftermath - Season 1

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.

Aftermath - Season 1

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.


‘Wayward Pines’ The Truth: Is This ‘The Matrix?’

While early the series Wayward Pines felt a lot like The Prisoner revisited, or to be more exact reimagined, the latest episode, The Truth, feels like The Matrix. Matt Dillon’s Ethan Burke may not be Neo and Toby Jones is definitely not Morpheus although he might be the Idaho version as we learn later just who his character really is.

In this segment, we learn just what those “animals” are on the other side of the fence. Last week, Ethan tells Ben somewhat unconvincingly that the animal they saw was a “wolf.” This episode proves that off all the woodland creatures they could be, a non domesticated canine is not one of them. The show takes a severe left turn in this episode.

The Truth has Ethan climbing the mountain in a desperate attempt to get help in Boise, Theresa starts her new job and Ben becomes a member of the First Generation. While it sounds like some sort of pop group, it is not. These youngsters are all learning the “truth” about Wayward Pines and finding out who the new savior of mankind is; David Pilcher, aka Dr. Jenkins, played by Toby Jones.

According to the headteacher, or is she the only teacher, at school, the world has moved on. Giving the three kids in Orientation a coin each, she asks them to inspect these “old” relics that are no longer worth anything. Ben finds it is a quarter dated 2048. The three then learn what the rest of the school kids know already, that the animals in the wood are people who have regressed to a more savage state.

As they learn that Wayward Pines is an ark in a post apocalyptic world where humans have become animals, Ethan crossed the mountain top, gets attacked by one of the “abbies,” short for abnormals, and when he gets to the edge of Boise, he finds ruins covered with vegetation and a helicopter.

Meanwhile, Theresa learns that the towns newest denizen was also in a car accident before being admitted to hospital. This new arrival needs a home and she finds that her real estate jobs does not included selling houses but giving them away. In a town where retirement means death, it is anyone’s guess who lived there before, most likely Peter.

The new addition speaks to Mrs. Burke about what he saw after his accident, a lot of what sounds like cryogenic capsules and this ties into what Ben learns at school. Apparently the world has ended except for these chosen few who have been spared to ensure the human race survives in a more civilized state.

As convincing as all this seems, one has to remember that just last week, Dr. Jenkins was in a civilized Boise talking to another Secret Service agent about the Burkes. If, as he and the teacher, Wayward Pines is all that is left of civilization where was Jenkins/Pilcher when speaking to Ethan’s supervisor.

It is taking this into consideration that makes the whole thing seem like a sort of Matrix scenario. At the very least this appears to be some sort of experiment. At one point, the man from Boise’s Secret Service agency says that Burke is not handling things well, except that he gives Ethan a number, there is that reference to The Prisoner again which this does not appear to be at all.

This week’s episode of Wayward Pines, The Truth does feel like a trip into The Matrix. Now that Ethan is on his way back to the town the rest of his nuclear family are learning their own truths after he has learned what Pilcher claims to be true. One thing is for certain, this show continues to keep the plot line twisting and turning, becoming one of the most addicting programs on television.

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