CONTAINMENT Review: “Yes Is The Only Living Thing”

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Viewers of the Belgian series that is based on will not be surprised to learn this, but KATIE IS DEAD.

There, I said it. What’s worse than Katie being gone is the fact that Jake actually has to clean her body and cremate her. Ouch.

Returning to our regularly scheduled Containment-bashing feels hard, and not just because of last week’s losses. The later episodes have slowly grown more intense, engaging and sophisticated, although first impressions have clearly doomed the show to a one-season run.

Jana, Suzy and Sam part ways with Teresa and Xander; the latter two have decided to wait out the quarantine with Micheline and Bert. Meanwhile, Jana and the crew search for anything they can use as an incentive to get Officer Meese to help them escape. Jake wants to escape too, from reality, and visits Treys shop to drown his grief in a bottle.

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Xander and Teresa arrive at Micheline and Bert’s house, bringing up a strange inconsistency that’s getting harder to ignore. Despite a wealth of interconnected characters, the show rarely finds a way for them to collaborate in any meaningful way. When Teresa visits her grandparents, we wonder why they haven’t checked on them before, even if they couldn’t make physical contact. When Jana runs into Jake at Trey’s convenience store compound, she sympathizes about Katie but continues with her plan to escape. Over and over again, the ensemble isn’t really an ensemble unless it’s convenient, like when Jana needed to be rescued or when Teresa needed to give birth. Otherwise, they’re on their own.

Following Leo’s trail of breadcrumbs to a remote warehouse, Lex finds an envelope with a mysterious name: Katrina Hobbs. Turns out Katrina is the mother of an ex-US soldier, Noah Hobbs, who died in a mysterious “work” accident in Atlanta, years earlier.

Meanwhile, Sabine Lommer’s press conference is broadcast inside the cordon, including her lie that Victor Cannerts’ created the virus. While crowds somehow find time to create a bloody effigy of the scientist, Trey and his men storm the hospital. Jake barely holds them off with a promise that if they help him protect Cannerts, they’ll be first in line for a potential vaccine.

Micheline convinces Teresa and Xander to leave the cordon, giving them her pearls to use for bartering. At the same time, Jana and Suzy find a diamond bracelet in Dennis’ safe, hoping Meese will accept it as payment. But Lex makes the biggest discovery of all, an abandoned lab on the outskirts of Atlanta, where Noah Hobbs created the original virus with the backing of the CDC. He confronts Lommers, who freely admits that they continued the research even after Hobb’s died of exposure.

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Containment has always been fairly philosophical. Lex and Lommers are perspectives, not characters. While Lex stands for the idea of doing what’s right, Lommers stands for the idea of doing what’s right, no matter how far wrong you have to go.

Jana, Suzy, Sam, Teresa and Xander run into trouble as they prepare to leave with Meese, whose testosterone levels know no bounds. Meese refuses to take them unless Sam stays behind. Meanwhile, Jake makes the difficult choice of staying to protect Cannerts, and letting Quentin make the journey alone. In the end, an incredibly volatile group of Jana, Suzy, Teresa, Xander, baby Leanne and Quentin set off with Meese, while on the outside Lommers shows Lex her latest triumph, a cordon escapee shot dead. Though there were no significant deaths this week, Containment is setting up for a big, bloody finale. It’s been a long ride, but finally the answer to “Are we there yet?” is “Yes.”

TB-TV-Grade-B+
Season 1, Episode 12 (S01E12)
Containment airs Tuesdays at 9PM on The CW

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Heather makes things for TV by day and writes by night (also sometimes by day). She is a fan of all stories that reflect life, but it doesn’t hurt if they’re set on another planet or in another time.
Twitter: @Elianarra

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