Black Summer season 1 premiere recap: Human Flow


Netflix’s Black Summer takes a low budget, intimate approach to the zombie apocalypse. The series is broken up into short, themed vignettes that connect individuals and small groups together on their way to the emergency facility at the local stadium. As with The Walking Dead, it’s often not the zombies that are the biggest threat, but the humans who are willing to turn on each other in order to survive.

Black Summer begins in the eerily deserted streets of a picturesque neighborhood, a civil defense siren blares. There is no movement and no activity.

Rose (Jaime King) and her family wait in a house that is not their own, pictures of an Asian family adorning the walls. When the siren stops, she, her husband Patrick, and their daughter Anna collect their few belongings and rush out of the house, joined by several other groups from neighboring houses. They reach a checkpoint where army vehicles and officers await to transport refugees to the emergency facility at the stadium. The daughter makes it onto the truck, but the husband has been injured and seems sick. Whatever is going on, the soldiers consider him a risk, so he and Rose are left behind as they are separated from their daughter on Black Summer.

They take shelter at a nearby home as an airstrike is initiated. They can hear guns firing and explosions in the distance. Once things are quiet, Rose makes a plan to meet their daughter at the stadium, but the sick and injured Patrick tells her to leave him behind. They’ll never get through as long as he’s with her. She refuses to leave him, but the argument is rendered moot when Patrick is killed and turned by an invading zombie. She flees the house, trying to escape him over the fence of a checkpoint but can’t quite get away. She is saved when a man in an army uniform shoots zombie-Patrick in the head. Rose begs him to help her get to the stadium, and he agrees.

More from Netflix

Ryan (Mustafa Alabssi) is a young deaf man who seems a bit more either dazed or calm than everyone else around him. Perhaps it is because he can’t hear all the commotion around him. He comforts a woman dying in the street before he is led away by a frantic Korean woman (Christine Lee), probably saving it from being attacked once she turned. They run together and witness all sorts of chaos: people shooting each other, others being held captive, car crashes, a nonchalant whistling man walking down the street. Now that’s a guy I want to know more about.

Barbara (Gwynyth Walsh) is a sweet older woman who gets turned around on her way to the stadium. She stops her minivan to look at the map and is approached by a man who works very hard to convince her that he and his family simply want a ride to the stadium. Barbara is understandably skeptical. Once he asks her if she’s a Christian, as if it made any difference to anyone’s goodness, you just know that its some kind of scam. Barbara is convinced, though, and is betrayed as soon as she lets the man behind the wheel. She would have been left in the dust if someone hadn’t come along, pulled the man out of the car, and started beating him up. Barbara positions herself firmly in the back seat and watches the man get beaten with satisfaction.

Lance might be the woman who Ryan saw dying the street, it might be her boyfriend who left her behind after she got hit by a car, or it might be the random guy who escapes her after she becomes a zombie. Since the random guy is still around and teams up with Rose, I’m guessing he’s Lance (Kelsey Flower).

Spears (Justin Chu Cary) is the army man who saves Rose, only he’s not really with the army. He started out as some kind of prisoner, escorted by three soldiers and guarded by one as the others look for transport. He claims he’s innocent of whatever they accuse him of and then claims he knows where millions of dollars are that he’ll share with his guard if he lets him go. When this doesn’t work, he’s able to trick and kill him. The soldier’s name is Spears and he takes his uniform.

A mob reaches an access point guarded by soldiers on Black Summer. They try to hold everyone back, trying to explain that the evacuation is complete and that the access point is closed. No one can come through. Rose and Spears try to talk their way through. Ryan, Lance, and the Korean woman are there too. The Korean woman is the first to break through the lines, followed by everyone else. She’s a serious runner!

Next. Game of Thrones refresher: Where they are now?. dark

She comes across Barbara’s car and gets in. Barbara’s rescuer is still in the street, beating up the scammer. When he sees a mob running his way, he abandons his beating, gets in the car, and drives away with Barbara and the Korean woman. Ryan and Lance join Rose and Spears as they continue toward the stadium.

What did you think of the Black Summer premiere? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!