Blind, wheelchair bound, and sick–David (Connor Linnerooth) is a young man just trying to survive the apocalypse. Thankfully, he’s been living in this safehouse for as long as he can remember, with his mother, Lisa (Anne Ramsay), who is everything you’d expect in a protective “mother bear” type. She gives everything she has to David, caring for him in the midst of global destruction, illness, raids, and unending violence. David does his best to keep himself moving forward every day–he keeps a routine, makes his bed and does his workouts. He tries to keep himself entertained, especially when Lisa has to go out for supplies. Things are getting desperate out there in the world above, and David can feel a shift coming – and so he begins to prepare.
“Zone 2” is the first episode of this season of ETHERIA that doesn’t center entirely around women. In direct contrast to the episodes before it, it centers on a man–but not in a misogynist or typical sense. David is disabled, but empowered, and is able to intelligently maneuver himself in a world that doesn’t want him to succeed. Both David and Lisa are cunning, resourceful, and their mother-son love is palpable. Even so, living in a matchbox, even with someone you love, can be trying at best and disastrous at worse, and soon the cracks begin to show.
Claustrophobic and calculated cinematography by Derek Bauer and brilliantly grungy art direction by Lawrence Kim build a believably lived-in world that feels just a little too close for comfort. The idea of underground bunkers, gas-mask laden mothers making supply runs–and scarcity and famine and illness–hits just a little bit differently in current times, and fits with a definitive “click” into the world of ETHERIA—as definitive and final as the closing of a vault door on your underground bunker.
6 out of 10