“274” picks up right after the end of the previous episode, “Vector”, with Alan finding Julia unconscious in the shower. She doesn’t reveal that Peter attacked her, as it seems that she doesn’t quite remember the assault. After Alan leaves her, he hears movement in the vent, and ends up confronting Peter, who surrenders, pleading with Alan “Help me’ before collapsing. In other catching up on Day 3 at the research facility, we see that Sarah has the shakes, apparently still shaken by being taken hostage. Doreen’s monkey sample goes missing, and Balleseros gets her another from the field of frozen monkeys outside the base (nice that served a purpose). Hatake is still hiding something, though he does make a revelation to Alan. And panic ensues when one of the Vectors (the name given to those infected that violently attack others in order to spread the virus) escapes isolation and attacks security and kills one of the scientists.
Yep, things ramped up a bit in this episode, though it didn’t have as many creepy scenes as “Pilot” or “Vector”. We learned what killed the monkeys, as Hatake revealed to Alan that they were working on a cure-all vaccine. Problem was, while the vaccine did kill all the viruses it was tested on, it also had a mortality rate of 75%, hence all the dead monkeys. The question still hasn’t been answered if Hatake specifically had a virus created and let loose on the staff at the research station, but it’s still early in the series. The virus did grow quite quickly in an incubation chamber, as Doreen found out with her sample, though it is curious that Balleseros would tell her to keep that quiet for now. Seems to me that would be an important thing to reveal, especially how quickly the virus seems to grow, but Doreen does indeed keep quiet about it in the end, telling Alan that her tests were inconclusive for now.
By the episode’s end, we have a few more questions to go along with the raised stakes for Alan’s CDC team. Two of the members we know are now infected (Julia and Sarah). Alan had to shoot a woman in the head when she was threatening Julia, and we see how he’s shaken by taking the life, even though it was something he needed to do. We learn what the 274 in the episode’s title stands for (it’s the amount of people Alan has seen die from disease) as Alan grapples with killing someone. It was a nice twist, considering how he chastised Daniel earlier in the episode for shooting the same woman in the stomach, and it looked like Daniel was going to shoot her when she attacked again, except he dropped his gun. The scene worked having Alan pick up the gun instead, giving a character that so often takes the moral high road a case where he had to take an action he wanted so desperately to avoid.
We still have to wonder just what Balleseros is up to, as by the episode’s end he blows up the base’s communication dish. It seems that the Army may have a hidden agenda as well as Hatake, and Hatake did look none too pleased when Alan told him that he’s lost control, and wants to call the Army in for help. Still curious where they’re going to go with this.
In all, it was a fairly solid episode, settling in to having the base feel more isolated as they find the test for infection proves to be flawed. Again, the episode ended strong, with Julia trying to alert Alan that the test doesn’t work when all of the base’s communications go dead. The cast is all filling in their roles nicely, and the episode was well paced, as you do get the sense of urgency in the need to find out just what they’re dealing with at the base. It still feels somewhat familiar, but it is intriguing enough to make us want to tune in next week to see what happens next.
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