Episode 5 of To The Lake begins with our survivors crawling past a checkpoint of armed guards, holding their breath and hoping for the best. Sporting gas masks and guns, they bundle up people into buses and watch as the caravan passes.
Silently, the group listen as the walkie crackles into life. The soldiers allow them to pass and decide against taking them out. It also turns out that the people in the buses are being taken to a ranch.
Unfortunately, Boris realizes that they’ve left Anton behind. With the group fractured, Anna and Ira come to blows over what to do next.
In the midst of this, Misha suddenly does the math and realizes they have 2 hours between the servicemen driving these kids up to the ranch. This could give them a decent window to drive past the checkpoint again and find Anton.
Anton, as it turns out, is alone and wandering through the woods. Despite finding refuge in a nearby hospital, he’s approached by one of the armed guards who holds him up at gunpoint.
Meanwhile, the group start trudging through the forest, desperate to find Anton after making it back in one piece. This search sees them head up to the hospital as Ira starts looking through the dead infected outside.
She screams to the heavens but it seems like her son is gone. He’s not among the dead and Pavel does his best to stop her sobbing.
Just then, a helicopter flies overhead and drops a whole load of leaflets out the sky. Promising hot meals, medical attention and accommodation, these flyers confirm this zone needs to be evacuated.
As they continue on, the group find a crowd of people being bundled onto buses as part of this evacuation scheme. Among them is a boy who looks a lot like Anton.
Ira hurries down and pushes past the soldiers, scrambling on the bus to find her son. Only, it turns out the boy isn’t actually him.
Unfortunately everything quickly goes sideways. Ira and Sergey are forced to get back on the bus when they try to leave. Boris interjects and holds a gun up to the soldiers, growling at the pair to run away. Just as things are about to explode into chaos….we cut back 6 hours before.
Anton is saved from his predicament by a doctor called Olya. She knocks out the soldier and promises the boy that they’re leaving together. He tasks him to run into the woods as quickly as possible and off they go.
To hide their footprints, she has him lying on a blanket and drags him along. It’s actually quite a smart move and one in the clear, they get talking about their current predicaments.
Anton explains the complicated family set-up they’ve got going on but Olya too has a dysfunctional band of survivors back home.
Anton is taken to a nearby village and introduced to the fighters inside this cottage. Midway through talking, the group hear a radio broadcast crackle in on the walkie talkie.
The soldiers had to kill a bunch of people in front of the bus and they’re preparing for the next stage of their plan. Dressed in gas masks, soldiers arrive at the village and go door to door, rounding people up to evacuate them.
When they arrive at Olya’s house they don’t do that. Instead, they put a pillow over a sleeping man’s face and kill him in cold blood.
Under no illusion about what these soldiers have planned, Olya rallies the group together when the armed guards leave. She encourages them to take up arms and they begin training, courtesy of a retired officer in the village.
On the back of this, Anton is forced to stay behind with the children. Olya leads the angry villagers up to confront the soldiers as they hum a song on the way.
Interestingly, this coincides with the scene we left off as emotions fly at the buses. Fighting breaks out and a flurry of gunshots and melee hits are traded. Eventually, the ensuing conflict sees the rebels defeat the soldiers and come out on top.
Back at the complex though, the kids force Anton outside. Thankfully he’s safe and sound though, prompting Ira to throw her arms around him gratefully.
As a way of saying thank you, the group hand over a couple of tins to Olya and they say their goodbyes. With 100 miles to go to their destination, Anna suddenly starts coughing and sputtering blood. Oh no.
The Episode Review
On a side note, these soldiers really do remind me of the Helghast from Killzone. It’s a pretty smart move to dehumanize them with the growling and the gunshots but also shows the extremes that people will go to in a situation like this.
The story itself is pretty good and it works well with the overlapping storylines showcased. However, the action sequences do have a fair amount of shaky-cam and at times it’s a bit difficult to see what’s happening.
It’s not Quantum Of Solace levels of bad but definitely worth bearing in mind.
Despite that though, the episode itself is good and the human side of this conflict is beautifully done. I like that we haven’t seen a lot of the infected or the disease spreading. It really helps to keep that fear of the unknown high while giving it a lot more gravitas when it eventually shows up here with Anna.
Quite what the fate of the group will be from here remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – this fight is far from over.
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