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Episode Recap: Zombies With a Chance of Fire
It was only a matter of time before the Thr33 Days Dead crew set an actor on fire. Buckle up, recap readers, because that moment arrives in this episode.
The last time we saw Bryan, the lead actor in Thr33 Days Dead, he was jumping out of a second-story window. In this episode he's engaged in something even more terrifying (for him, anyway): auditioning for a local commercial. Bryan is a professional actor but he confesses that this is only the second audition he's ever gone on ... the first being for Thr33 Days Dead. Bryan says his anxiety is "off the charts," and it shows ... even though there's probably not much competition for acting gigs in Jasper, Alabama.
After auditioning, Bryan makes his way over to the latest Thr33 Days Dead production meeting where Tina announces that, for their next shoot, they need to set a body on fire. Terry, the FX expert, asks her to clarify if she means a living human body, and she confirms, yes, a living human. Terry says he's not cool with doing that and Tina should find someone else to set an innocent actor on fire.
In an astonishing turn of events, Bryan actually books the commercial acting gig for Gabe's Man Cave, though this good news gives him a paroxysm of anxiety. In an attempt to ease his jangled nerves, Bryan signs up for a tai chi class in the park. It turns out that he's about as good at tai chi as he is at acting, which is ... well, you know. Bryan says he thought tai chi would be like The Karate Kid and that "Maybe I'd get to wack on and wack off." Someone needs to tell Bryan the correct dialogue from that movie.
Because Terry won't set an actor on fire, Tina and Laura go to Bayou Fresh Seafood (Jasper's gas station/sushi restaurant) to ask Chance, the local pyromaniac, if he'll do it. This meeting gives Chance the opportunity to say Town of the Living Dead's best catchphrase to date when Tina and Laura enter the restaurant: "Aloha, bro-has." Tina says she needs to light someone on fire and, without missing a beat, Chance asks, "Is this for the movie, or for revenge?" Chance says he'd relish the opportunity and has a friend who'd love to help out, too: an ex-con named Trap who went to jail for burning down a Burger King.
On the day of Bryan's commercial shoot for Gabe's Man Cave arrives, our leading man is an absolute basket case as he stumbles through his lines and can't deliver one good take. Finally, he asks the director for a few minutes to go outside and practice some tai chi to calm himself. The director follows Bryan outside and allows him to shoot his scenes outdoors if it helps him. Bryan eventually says his lines properly but also manages to shoot a spear gun at his own car.
If you remember from the last episode, Chase refused to jump out of the second-story window, forcing Tina to hire a stunt double. Because he backed out of the last stunt, Chase seeks to redeem himself by volunteering to be the actor who's set on fire. Chance's friend Trap shows up to orchestrate the man-on-fire scene and, according to John, he looks like a serial killer. Trap sports a Mohawk and a muscle shirt and dispenses bits of philosophy like, "Fire's like a really sexy woman: It'll burn you sometimes."
For the first shot, Trap throws a Molotov cocktail at Chase (which Tina mistakenly and endearingly calls a "Mazel tov cocktail"). Chase then dons a body suit and Trap torches him. The shot looks spectacular but Chase starts screaming soon after the flames engulf him. Terry and Gary blast him with fire extinguishers while Chase screams, "My ass is on fire! Somebody give me some ass cream!" John and Tina watch the playback of Chase burning up and, indeed, it looks amazing.
The cast and crew start celebrating ... and then notice that a nearby barn is in flames. The episode ends as everyone tries in vain to put out the blaze, giving us our first To Be Continued… cliffhanger of the season.