Black Summer has just dropped on Netflix and this Zombie Horror Show has a hell of a lot to unpack from it. This prequel to Z Nation has a wealth of themes to be taken from it and it really is the perfect introduction to that show.
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the show and it’s ending.
This is full spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t finished the eight-episode run then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way let’s get into my breakdown of Black Summer.
Black Summer Plot Synopsis
The show has one hell of an opener that kicks off the series in spectacular fashion. We follow Rose, who after getting split up with her daughter at a military checkpoint, watches her husband transform into a flesh-eating zombie and sets out on a mission to make it to a Stadium that promises sanctuary and is where her child was headed to with the convoy.
Similar to this are survivors Lance who watches his girlfriend get killed in front of him, Ryan who could’ve made Netflix’s The Silence infinitely more interesting, Spears who’s a quick talking killer that’s as sharp as his name and masquerading as a soldier, and Barbara who is like reverse Grand Theft Auto and is the main reason you should always wear your seat belt.
Whilst we don’t discover the cause of what turns people into the undead, it becomes clear early on that everyone is infected and similar to The Walking Dead, they reanimate upon death.
I guess when there’s no more room in Hell, the dead shall walk the Earth.
Z Nation Prequel
For those who haven’t seen Z Nation, in that show we pick up three years after a zombie virus has swept the world. We follow Murphy who was a prison inmate that is the only survivor of a zombie bite and the show follows his journey to New York where a vaccine can be mass produced.
Barbara, who’s name May be a reference to Night Of The Living Dead, states that she’s been on her own for six weeks which is echoed by other characters, so it appears that this is a widespread epidemic that is slowly making its way across the country.
There’s also a reference to Duel by Steven Spielberg when her and the allies she is traveling with are stalked by a mysterious truck. Lord Of The Flies to kinda shows up when some of the characters get trapped in a school where the pupils have taken over. There are many more and each one provides our characters with a unique danger.
The Power Of Perspectives
What the show does expertly early on is that it instantly makes you gravitate towards these characters and even has a segment where we see the perspective of a zombie on the hunt in one of the best one-shots I’ve ever seen.
The stories are all interconnected and there are some amazing moments where we watch the characters pass by one another, unaware of what fate awaits them. Whilst the Characters are all heading to the same destination it’s the paths they take that allows for variation and showcases their true agendas and mind-state.
Whilst each character stands strong it becomes clear early on that this is a show about unity and though there are several obstacles the cross the protagonist’s paths that attempt to separate them, they survivors work better when they stick together.
Juxtaposing this the humans who separate end up coming to a gruesome end and this is a piece about strength in numbers.
What the show does expertly is that is used perspective to show how different moments intertwine as one to form a collective narrative. Similar to the theme of the show these separate stories when brought together form a stronger plot that echoes the strengths of the characters when they are brought together.
Black Summer: Power In Numbers
This is seen brilliantly in the heist episode in which the group uses decoys to infiltrate a den in order to steal weapons so that they can better defend themselves. The show perfectly balances all roles to show how the group are able to move together as a cohesive unit.
Eventually, the US government begin bombing black areas which are deemed as locales that the zombies have overtaken. This includes the majority of The West Coast which is being written off and plays heavily into Murphy’s journey in Z Nation.
In the end, the group discovers through the military soldiers that Spears is actually Julian James, a conman and murderer but as he’s being escorted out Rose saves him after she realises that there is no law anymore, everyone is trying to survive and the military will probably betray her too.
It’s clear that everyone has their own goals and just in the same way that Rose wishes to find her daughter, the whistling man just wants to find his dog and it’s neat that everyone still has something they are fighting for.
Black Summer Ending Explained
In the final episode, the group launch an assault on the stadium and chaos ensues. They fight through thick and Rose is eventually reunited with her daughter though it doesn’t seem like others will be so lucky.
This shows that no matter what, sometimes the ones in power who we trust to protect us are unable to do so and are powerless when it all comes down to it.
Jaime King, who plays Rose, when interviewed on the show stated that it’s an allegory for the detention camps at the Mexico border which were criticised for holding children.
She stated “when he saw What happened down there [at the border] and what happened to the land, say he said, “That’s it, I’m done. I have to tell this story … ” All this is a metaphor and that’s what I love, it’s metaphorical, but it’s also fun and in your face and it’s also authentic and true. There was this disease, and the disease is absolutely and completely representative of what is happening in our country, and it does not matter how much you love or how much you hate … no one is immune to the separation from each other and that we infect us with prejudices that have always been present, but come to the surface and how does anyone deal with that? “
It’s definitely an interesting take on society and it’s what sets the show apart from others.
This is a unique thriller and I highly recommend that everyone checks it out this weekend.
Black Summer Your Thoughts
So, what were your thoughts on Black Summer, did you enjoy it and what did you take from the show?
Comment below and let me know!