We’re past Season 2’s halfway point in Black Summer now and the zombie series seems to have found its footing. Though White Horse slowed things down again, the fifth episode didn’t skimp on stakes and introduced a little more emotional depth. Now Episode Six, which is entitled Currency, brings us back to the present timeline. Following the battle for the Manor in Cold War, Currency catches up with the three surviving groups as they struggle to survive the harsh winter conditions.
Currency Introduces Sam and Some Tension on the Bluff
As Currency opens, we see a group of people – the same collective fighting Officer Ray’s militia in past episodes – marching through a snowy forest. And they’re no doing very well. Tired and hungry, one man complains about the hunger, but he’s not getting much sympathy. Things look like they’re turning around when the group stumbles on a large cargo box air-dropped into the woods. Before they can open it up, however, a lone man with a gun interrupts. After he introduces himself as ‘Sam’, the gunman proposes that they work together to haul the cargo over the ridge. When he promises to divide up the food and medical supplies, they reluctantly agree. The soldier wants to work with the group to get over the ridge and have a fair share of the box. In a show of good faith, Sam holsters his gun and shakes hands with a man who calls himself, Mance.
Rose gives him another chance but warns that if they don’t find it by sundown she will kill him.
In the next segment, Bluff, Black Summer re-visits Rose, Anna, and the mystery man from the Manor. Like Currency’s other group, our mystery man has Rose and Anna marching through the snow and cold. He’s a rather eccentric and chatty man who insists there’s a safe space to stay over night. When they find a pile of rocks set up as a marker but no refuge, Rose’s patience and trust wears thin. Though she accuses the man of lying, he insists that they must be close. Rose gives him another chance, but warns him that if they don’t find it by sundown she will kill him.
Currency Finds Rose in Poor Company and Others Struggling with Steep Hills
Poor Sun. Last time we saw her in Cold War, Officer Ray and what was left of his militia dragged her out of the Manor to track down the mystery plane and its supply cargo. In what’s a very brief segment, Company finds Sun still a captive in. At the cargo drop-off in the middle of a field, another small group arrives hoping to split supplies. Not surprisingly, Officer Ray doesn’t share very well. Meanwhile, Push finds Sam, Mance, and the other struggling to, yes, push their cargo box up a steep ridge. And that’s it.
Things aren’t going much better for the mystery man. At the top of The Ridge, he’s pretty upset and confused when he can’t find his safe space. As he continues to insist that there is indeed a safe space, Rose accuses him of dragging them to the ridge to die in the cold. They argue back and forth with the man insisting that his safe space is a ski lodge with power and running water. Unfortunately, Rose isn’t convinced and walks the man at gunpoint into the woods, telling Anna to wait. The man begs Rose, but she tells him to keep walking. Begging for his life, the mystery man earns a reprieve when Anna convinces her mother to spare his life.
Currency Ends with an Offering and Mixed Results in Pull and Sundown
When Currency returns to Officer Ray and the other supply box in Offering, we’re caught in the middle of a standoff. Our new group doesn’t like Officer Ray’s offering of nothing, so they shoot and kill one of his group. With both sides staring each other down, Sun jumps in between them with her hands in the air repeatedly shouting ‘friend’. But zombies forces the competing factions to briefly work together. And yes, it’s a very short-lived team-up that that ends with Officer Ray getting the upper hand. But Sun grabs a bag of supplies and gives it to the other group who leave without any more conflict. While he initially looks displeased, Officer Ray quietly uncuffs Rose for the first time.
And yes, it’s a very short-lived team-up that ends with Officer Ray getting the upper hand.
Back at our steep slope, in the next segment Pull, Sam, Mance, and the others struggle to pull their cargo box to the top. With Sam barking orders, the two women eventually drop their ends of the rope and Mance cuts it. The box slides back down the hill killing one of their members and leaving Sam bloodied and seriously injured. Moments later a zombie finds him and we say a quick goodbye to Sam. On a more upbeat note, at Sundown, our mystery man cries out with joy – his ski lodge is very real. The episode ends with Rose et al walking towards their new shelter.
Currency is All Filler, Very Little Killer
If there’s a definition of a ‘filler episode’, Currency is that definition. Almost nothing of consequence happens here. With only two episodes remaining, Black Summer’s sixth episode serves as nothing more than a reminder as to who survived Cold War and where they are now. Currency introduces a new character and then promptly kills him off. In fact, the only purpose of segments with this group was to finally give one their members a name. As for Officer Ray and Rose, they’re still walking through the snow. Currency doesn’t even tease a future showdown between these characters. For a season with only eight episodes, Black Summer shouldn’t have these sorts of episodes. It’s a big step backwards for series.