So far, we’ve seen a lot going on in SYFY’s Day Of The Dead. Zombies are rising, body parts are going SPLAT, and apparently, the zombie chomp has been now retconned making for more of a worrisome bark than an actual deadly zombie bite. In episode one, we learned about our cast of characters: Cam McDermot’s wanting to leave town for college, his detective father’s investigation and his patient zero status, the dramatic politics galore of the Bowman family, and how we connect the series’ ending moments back to its beginnings. Which was a lot of plots to take in for a pilot episode.
Episode 2 is a lot of the same. The plotlines at this point are absolutely everywhere making it hard to follow with such a cavalcade of characters. However, I do think the motivations for each person do seem clearer in this episode. You feel sympathetic for these people. Even though it’s low-stakes and oftentimes: very comedic.
The production is also upped in quality regarding the make-up and practical effects of the zombies in episode 2. The zombie kills in this one do feel funnier rather than serious. As the series strides forward with fewer monologues, more moments of excess, and some genuine character arcs and struggles. It’s the balancing who they were then versus who we know they’re going to have to be in the zombie apocalypse world of tomorrow.
Here’s this week’s recap:
Day of The Dead Episode 2: Chum
The episode picks up from last week’s pilot, where Cam and the group of survivors at the morgue notice Lauren’s bitten shoulder. One of them pulls out a gun. Suddenly, a zombie tries to get out of the morgue drawer but Dale stops it and slams the door shut, severing its arm. Later, that same arm sneaks off and opens the drawer latches when others aren’t looking, liberating the zombies. Now overrun, The group runs back upstairs, but Dale is left behind and killed. Things don’t fare any better upstairs, as the zombies try to break in. Lauren offers to leave these people behind, as they’re rednecks, but Cam refuses. He comes up with a plan.
At the retirement home where the elections are happening, Doctor Jai Fisher visits an elderly smoker patient named Mrs. French, whom he regretfully has to tell, is dying. Accepting her fate, the two bond, and Jai shares with Mrs. French about his wedding struggles. She convinces him to stop being afraid and talk with his wife. When Jai confronts Amy about the wedding issues and his parents’ flight delay, they get into a spat, as her father — whose medical practice is the whole reason Jai has a job — already paid for the wedding and so won’t delay nor postpone it. Conflicted, Jai eventually visits Herb at a golf course to confront him, who in turn, pressures Jai to sign a prenup. Helpless, while golfing alone, Jai throws his driver into the woods out of anger then goes out to look for it. When he gets lost, he asks a man for help, only to reveal that it’s no man. It’s a zombie. He then flees the woods.
At the fracking site, Sarah wakes up tied to a chair after having been subdued by McDermott. She breaks free then investigates the facility. Detective McDermott meanwhile, has had his finger bitten entirely off by the zombie. A woman from corporate approaches the site revealed to be Doctor Logan — who seems to be the executive in charge. Doctor Logan reassures Sarah they’ll fix everything, get detective McDermott out and the help he needs. Sarah reveals that she used to be in the service. Doctor Logan tells her to rest as the worst is over. When left alone with McDermott to reprimand him, she orders him to kill her, as she takes McDermott away.
Just outside of the retirement center voting station, Mayor Bowman is approached by the town’s anti-frackers, who are upset by the quality of the drinking water. Pops, her political opponent, calms down the crowd after riling them up to vote. Upset, Mayor Bowman’s campaign aide Nicole de-escalates the situation and then takes Mayor Bowman around back to exit. But when the protestor from outside follows them into a corner in the retirement center, he pulls out a tainted jar of water from his faucet caused by the fracking. Thinking it’s a gun, Mayor Bowman’s husband Trey grabs his pistol then fires a warning shot into the air. The bullet ricochets and shoots the protestor in the head instantly killing him. Trey freaks out as the trio now contemplates how to get away with murder. Trey acknowledges, that as a white man, it’ll likely be an 18-month slap on the wrist and asks Nicole to wait for him while he’s in prison. She agrees, and Mayor Bowman is confused about what the hell is going on. Composed, she comes up with a plan to Weekend at Bernie’s the body away by wheeling it out. Before anything can happen, Pops arrives and blackmails her in private. Trey and Nicole try to ditch the body at a nearby TV room, where moments later, it wakes up: now a zombie.
Elsewhere, Luke Bowman gets Trent’s cousin to lend him a keg of beer. The boys try to carry it into the party area by the lake while sharing a story about the Enfields. The deceased family at the bottom of the lake that supposedly haunts it. Luke then shares with his friend that he worries he’s disappointing everyone he cares about. They drop the keg by accident and it rolls into the lake. The boys laugh, but coincidentally, a zombie pops out by the keg in the lake — possibly one of the Enfields.
Finally, Lauren and Cam leave out the side exit and load a cadaver into the hearse. Cam guts it and then uses the entrails to lure the zombies away from the Funeral Home’s main doors. The people escape the building. A zombie almost gets to Cam but he and Lauren narrowly escape, at least, until they accidentally find a fleeing Doctor Jai Fisher and hit him with their car.