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SYFY WIRE Day of the Dead

Recap: As the body count ticks up, Day of the Dead’s survivors question keeping up the fight

Day of the Dead's unbalanced ratio of living-to-undead presents two crises: a health crisis and an existential crisis.

By Seth Garben
Day of the Dead 108 PRESS

The human population in Mawinhaken is dwindling fast, just as the zombie contingent appears to be ever-growing. This unbalanced ratio of living-to-undead presents two crises: a health crisis and an existential crisis.

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And it’s the latter that has gripped the townies holed up at Paymart with unrelenting uncertainty. For when they get a look at their diminished numbers on the inside, compared to the growing mass of zombies out there, they start to wonder: is it really worth trying to persevere?

Of course, the human survival instinct is strong. But in the face of such overwhelming odds… is it a little too headstrong?

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Day of the Dead Season 1, Episode 8, "To Anyone Who Can Hear My Voice."**

War has come to Mawinhaken. The zombies have descended on the Paymart holdout, and it’s only a matter of time before they find a way in. Mayor Bowman (Miranda Frigon), still racked with grief over the death of her husband (the death she orchestrated, mind you), has been promoted to general of that ragtag army of human survivors. It’s the position she was born to fill.

Meanwhile, a severely wounded Bobby Hart (Matty Finochio) has hobbled back into the refuge seeking medical attention. Jai (Dejan Loyola) and Amy (Kristy Dawn Dinsmore) try to staunch his bleeding, but their attempts are futile. Before Hart expires, he asks to be tied to the operating table: In the event that he turns, he doesn’t want to be a threat to others. The good doctor grants his final wish.

The situation is grim, and spirits are low. When Bowman receives a notification on her phone that Luke (Daniel Doheny) has run off, she, Jai, and Lauren (Natalie Malaika) go to find him. Before she leaves, Bowman empowers Pops Parker (Jay Brazeau) to be her second-in-command, and to hold down the fort while she’s away.

In the absence of his bellicose counterpart, Pops tries to instill some hope in the survivors that have become his charge. As long as they keep the barricade up, so goes his logic, they should be safe from the cannibalistic hordes. His theory gets tested when the state troopers arrive, begging to be admitted into the camp. Captain Pike (Marci T. House) demands that they open the doors, but Pops refuses to let them in — if they do, they’ll be signing their death warrants.

Pike draws her firearm on Pops, ordering him to open the doors. He refuses, challenging the captain to shoot him, and while she’s debating the ethics of the situation, the zombies get the state troopers. It was a difficult decision to make, but Pops valued the survival of all the Mawinhakens inside to the lives of two officers whose fates were likely doomed anyway.

Pike was not so sure, and in the aftermath of the deaths of her brothers in blue she’s experiencing some pretty intense survivor’s guilt. She doesn’t know what to make of her own fear in the midst of such extraordinary, and extraordinarily deadly, circumstances. Pops finds her mid-breakdown in the liquor aisle, and tries to console her. He understands that the choices they all have to make are not perfect — but they are pragmatic.

That’s the best they can hope for right now.

In town, Bowman, Lauren, and Jai run into Luke and Cam (Keenan Tracey) on foot after they drove their SUV into a sign and totaled it. After escaping a posse of zombies, they run into Sarah Blackwood (Morgan Holmstrom), and together hoof it on foot to find the nearest shelter. By the looks of it, Mawinhaken is hopelessly overrun, and the humans’ chances of survival are dwindling.

For Cam, the gravity of the situation hits home when he sees a transformed and escaped McDermott (Mike Dopud) trudging through the streets of downtown. Son tries to communicate with Father, but it’s no use: He can’t get through. Blackwood promises Cam that, whatever happens, she’ll do everything she can to help him get through this — it’s the least she can do to pay back McDermott for saving her life.

Just then, some black ops military show up on the scene to save their group from certain death, and Blackwood ducks behind a dumpster to avoid being seen. As the rest of the group joins the g-men, Blackwood stays behind — possibly because her record with the military is less than pristine.

Looks like that promise to Cam is going to have to wait.