Black Summer wastes no time getting right to the heart of the drama. A siren wails in the distance and as the camera turns, we’re introduced to our first of many characters, Rose.
Along with her husband Patrick and daughter Anna, they pack their things silently and prepare to leave the house. As they hurry down the street, they’re greeted by hundreds of other people with the exact same idea. An army blockage stops them in their tracks though, lining people up and checking their eyes for anyone infected. While Anna boards the truck, Rose and Patrick are checked. Unfortunately, Patrick is concealing a nasty wound on his stomach and the soldier immediately points a gun at him and refuses entry onto the truck.
As chaos breaks out, the truck speeds away leaving the remaining survivors to fend for themselves. As planes roar overhead, Rose and Patrick bundle into a nearby house where he tells her to go on without him. As he fades from consciousness, he returns as one of the undead, chasing her toward a fence which she climbs in a desperate bid to get away, only to be saved at the last second by a soldier who shoots him.
We then cut back in time slightly to see Ryan who finds a dying woman on the floor. Alarmed, a Korean woman takes him away and they keep running together until they come across a house with 3 people tied up hostage. Deciding against interfering, they hurry on and keep running.
Keeping the focus on the survivors, the scene cuts across to Barbara next whose approached by a man while in her car. He asks if she can take him and his family to the stadium and as she’s also headed that way she agrees. Unfortunately, the man is being deceitful and as he gets into the driving seat, he commands her to get out the car. As she gets out the car and watches on helplessly, another man shows up and beats him up.
We catch up with Lance and his girlfriend as they try to figure out where to go when a car hits her. He leaves her as she bleeds out on the floor only to be approached by Ryan and the Korean woman whom we saw earlier approach a dying woman on the floor. As she spits up blood and changes into one of the undead, we follow her around the town as she looks for fresh victims. After taking a shotgun blast to the chest, she rises back to her feet and bangs fruitlessly on the door of the house before continuing her hunt, ending with a fresh kill.
We now jump back again, this time seeing the man that helped Rose earlier dressed as a soldier. He’s handcuffed and taken away by the soldier who takes him to a house. He eventually manages to distract one of the soldiers after telling him he needs the toilet, beating him up and subsequently shooting the man in the head. Stealing his outfit and identity, the man dons the persona of Spears and hurries out the house.
At this point the episode then sees all our characters converge at the checkpoint. The soldiers aren’t letting anyone in however the Korean woman manages to shove past the soldiers and push the gate open. As a barrage of humans run down the street, the Korean lady bundles into a car that appears to be Barbara’s while the rest of the characters watch on.
Black Summer’s opening episode is really a sign of things to come in the season and will either make or break your experience with this show. For the most part, Black Summer does really well to balance all these characters although it does feel like there’s a few too many characters showcased. Despite this, Black Summer gets off to a pretty good start, keeping many questions hanging over the direction the series is likely to take going forward.