Returning for its second part on the first night of a scheduled triple bill, The Hot Zone continues this viral drama with another action-packed episode. We begin in Kenya, 1976. Wade asks if anyone has been infected at a remote Kenyan village but the man replies that the forest is bleeding, leading our characters to wonder quite what is happening in Africa.
Meanwhile, back in the present Nancy has car trouble en-route to delivering the monkeys so on the side of the road, she double bags the corpses and pours bleach all over the boot in a bid to stave off the virus. After some deliberation, they’re finally on the move. When they arrive at the lab, Peter lets Nancy in and begrudgingly agrees with her, given what his research is saying. This is Ebola as he feared.
After experimenting on the corpses and drawing the same conclusion, Peter goes and gets tested, being careful not to let anyone know about the potential Ebola outbreak or that he may have contracted the virus. While the doctor shows him how to draw blood, back at the lab Nancy bemoans her ability to get through to Wade until we cut to see him heading for the base.
We then skip back to see Wade in Kenya, administering injections to locals before being given instructions to head up what the locals refer to as ‘Ebola River.’ Once there, we see the origins of the Virus itself and the effect it’s had on one village, as they arrive to find the whole place burnt down and the villagers themselves burnt to a crisp.
Back in present day, Wade makes it to the base and, after exchanging some pleasantries with Nancy, asks what the situation is. Together, they go and see the monkeys, determined to try and stop the spread of infection while Peter keeps the blood tests a secret, convincing his lab partner to do the same. Unfortunately, it appears they’re all too late, as another monkey falls sick in the cell, leaving Wade, and us, to worry that the infection has spread exponentially.
Once again, The Hot Zone continues to deliver it’s fast paced viral drama. I’ve seen a fair few comparisons to Chernobyl from many people and that’s certainly a fair judgment, although both shows are completely different animals. The production value is so much higher on Chernobyl that The Hot Zone really pales in comparison when you try and compare the two. It’s hard not to though, especially with how grounded and realistic that show is compared to the illogical and irrational decisions from our characters here.
Having said that, there’s still enjoyment to be had here and the drama is certainly engrossing and keeps you watching to find out what happens next. If you liked the first episode, The Hot Zone continues to deliver more of the same, with Liam Cunningham’s excellent acting doing well to enhance this one too. Quite where The Hot Zone goes from here is anyone’s guess, but for now there’s enough here to keep you glued and watching the next episode.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!