To err is human, to forgive divine, and to devour your friends and family in a crazed, insatiable feeding frenzy distinctly zombie.
But the differences between the living and their undead counterparts run deeper than just their respective dietary preferences. And in Episode 7 of Day of the Dead, we get a sense of what those differences really boil down to: the forming and practice of rituals.
Whether it's planning and then canceling the (expensive) union of two souls in marriage, burying their dead, or banding together to figure out how to rid themselves of a hostile presence running amok in their village, human beings have a capacity to defy the chaos of the universe that zombies just don't.
But is it enough to survive?
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Day of the Dead Season 1, Episode 7, "This Evil Was Our Evil."**
It's a somber 44 minutes in Mawinhaken.
The survivors have gathered in the alley behind the improvised refugee camp at the Paymart to pay their respects to one of their own: the fallen Trey Bowman (Christopher Russell), the Mayor's (Miranda Frigon) cuckolded husband and Luke's (Daniel Doheny) maybe-father. Amidst all the chaos, the townsfolk have still found time to honor those age-old human customs of affording their dead proper burials even if instead of a coffin, they've dumped Trey's body in a dumpster.
After some brief words of eulogy, Bowman takes no chances and lights the dumpster and Trey along with it on fire. Whether it was out of an abundance of caution, or she was just destroying the evidence, Trey's going out in Viking style. You won't see zombies performing such rituals for their fallen. They'd just as likely eat them, un-barbecued.
Cam (Keenan Tracey), whose mother died some years ago, tries to console the grieving Luke, and it appears as though the two who have been on particularly shaky ground after Cam threw a rock through Luke's SUV window are on their way to burying the hatchet. But when Cam brings up his mother's death, Luke bristles: Why is Cam always trying to one-up his pain?
Meanwhile, Jai (Dejan Loyola) and Amy (Kristy Dawn Dinsmore) have crossed paths inside the Paymart, and have a moment to talk. Jai is still pretty shaken after having lost his patient, and frustrated with Amy's apparent indifference to the situation. Whether it's Jai's words or all the carnage, Amy has changed: She's serious about changing her life around, and she wants to do it with Jai. Does this mean they're back together? The deep, prolonged kiss they share would indicate yes.
Out in the woods, an injured and shaken Blackwood (Morgan Holmstrom) has summoned just enough energy to hobble her way to a nearby house, enter, and pass out on the living room floor. Luckily the house belongs to her grandmother, but Blackwood senior is only slightly less peeved than a stranger might be. She hasn't seen her granddaughter Sarah for over three years, and this is the reunion she gets?
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When Sarah wakes up, she shows her grandmother the mask she picked up off the zombie in the drilling hole, and her grandmother is mortified. In the Lenape tribe, there was a legend of a monster that plagued the Indigenous people almost as much as the white colonizer. The monster, a zombie, was turning white men as well as Indigenous folk, and the Lenape and their colonizer formed a temporary alliance to vanquish their shared enemy and imprison the O.G. zombie in the hole. Why imprison Patient Zero in a hole? The white man was afraid to kill the root evil. That's white Man, Jesus-freak, messianic logic for you.
And though Mawinhaken will probably not be witnessing the Epiphany anytime soon, they will get a chance to watch some good old fashioned matrimony. Back at the Paymart, Jai and Amy have chosen to go through with their wedding, and spouse-of-the-century Mayor Bowman officiates. She gives a rousing, and not a little hypocritical speech to the newlyweds about the sanctity of marriage and the paramount importance of love.
This is too much for Luke to handle, and he erupts in an explosion of truth about his parents' failed marriage, and even Trey's stepping out with Nicole. Then he drops the real big one: He comes out as gay, and he doesn't think his mom even cares enough about him to be interested. After some harsh words and even some physical violence, Luke storms away.
But this bit of uniquely human drama will have to be continued later. The zombies have breached the perimeter. It's all hands on deck.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero