The End Is Near
The finale to Black Summer begins with the remaining survivors carrying on their journey toward the stadium. Along with other groups, they shoot stray zombies as they cross their path, intent on making it to the stadium and gaining refuge.
Out of nowhere, Carmen suddenly becomes violently ill, throwing up on the ground and causing chaos to break out all around them. She’s been hit by a stray bullet. As Carmen suddenly turns into a zombie, the group splinters once more as the whole place gets overrun by zombies. Manny, Sun and the curly haired man Lance start shooting wave after wave of zombies as they come at them. Unfortunately, Sun accidentally shoots another survivor but before she can mourn the loss, a bomb dropped by a plane rocks the remaining survivors.
Meanwhile, zombie Carmen runs through the landscape, looking for a fresh kill. Losing his gun to another survivor, Lance is saved by Carmen who bites the thief. The bomb blast from earlier clearly alerted zombies from a wider radius too as more and more undead chase after him down the road. This is the last we see of him in the episode and it seems unclear whether he’ll survive this chase or not.
Amidst the carnage, Sun, Spears, Rose and Valez find each other again as they grow ever closer to the entrance of the stadium. Fighting their way through waves of zombies on all sides, they have no choice but to shoot Valez who is now unable to walk and will only slow them down, hindering their progress. After much deliberation, they shoot him and head inside the stadium.
Once inside, an eerily quiet atmosphere hovers over the episode. It’s empty and there doesn’t appear to be anyone there. Except for one figure in the distance pointing a gun right at them. After a tense showdown between the two groups, a figure appears behind the man who happens to be Rose’s daughter. As she runs down onto the field and embraces her Mum, the episode, and first season, ends.
Although the episode does finish with things left wide open for a second season, in a way Black Summer actually works quite well as a stand-alone season. It’s ironically how I always envisioned the World War Z book to be adapted; with multiple branching storylines all converging and separating at random intervals. The final skirmish as the group head for the stadium is really the stand-out moment of the episode too and the hand-held camera movements during this section are excellent.
It’s not perfect but it is an exciting way to finish the season, a good reward for several episodes of plot development that’s led up until this point. Whether Black Summer will be renewed for a second season is anyone’s guess but if it is, I do hope they ditch the chapter breaks midway through each episode and double down on the atmosphere as there’s certainly potential here for a very good zombie show indeed. In its current format however, Black Summer is certainly enjoyable but also in danger of being lost amidst the sea of undead media fighting for a slice of the zombie pie.