Summer is here and Netflix has given us season two of Black Summer, the Z Nation spinoff set in the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse.
Season two throws us into an abandoned town in the dead of winter. We begin with Lance, a young survivor from the first season, who is in the middle of syphoning gas for his car when an infected zombie quickly approaches. What follows is a seven minute handheld long take of Lance’s murder and resurrection as a zombie. He is on a ravaged hunt for Luke and Sophie, the parties responsible for Lance’s death.
This pattern of handheld long takes continues throughout the episode, specifically with intense fight scenes and zombie chases. “The Cold” reestablishes characters including Rose and her daughter Anna, who live by themselves and, after a couple minutes of convincing, begrudgingly let a stranger named Forest into their home. Sun is the prisoner of a militia group that is suddenly attacked by zombies, and she is one of the few who make it out alive. Meanwhile Spears, formerly known as Julius, is by himself in the middle of the forest with a severe stomach wound, and we don’t yet know what’s to become of him.
“The Cold” is a rather choppy story for a first episode. While the action is sublime and filled with great intensity, he long takes are also overused to the point that the action sequences begin to lose their power, and this is coming from someone who loves long takes. The fragmented storytelling mixed with all the random action sequences becomes distracting. It feels as if too much is happening all at once but none of the story is moving along. Of course, this is only the first episode of the new season, so the show needs to set its footing somewhere; hopefully in future episodes the story will tie together without being so discombobulated.(3 / 5)