Recap: ‘The Hot Zone’ Episode 5 “Quarantine”
The Hot Zone returned for episode 5, “Quarantined” and MFST is back with another recap. If you have missed our recaps of previous episodes you can catch up below…
Episode of the limited series kicked off with the USAMRIID troops barreling down a suburban street in unmarked white vehicles. A man fetching his newspaper sees them wondering what is going on. Elsewhere The soldier stationed outside the Hazelton building has fallen asleep listening to his walkman. The reporter from the Washington Post pulls in and begins snooping.
He bolts from his car to call dispatch to abort the mission. Eventually, he gets rid of her and tells dispatch to continue. There is a flashback to 1976, Zaire. Carter is smoking and talking to Travis. Carter fears Ebola will become dormant in the human body and will then cause the host to be a carrier only killing the people the virus is spread to. Much like you hear doctors say he’s a staph carrier. He fears by the time they realize it, it will be too late.
In the present, Nancy is at the soda machine when she’s approached by Bruce’s wife. She asks Nancy point-blank if her husband is going to die. Nancy for a moment hesitates to answer. She doesn’t want to lie but can’t give her the answer she seeks. Later, Travis and Nancy bicker back-and-forth. She wants everyone outside the immediate family members to be tested. Travis will not allow it.
The troops roll into Hazelton and have one last briefing before suiting up and getting down to the mission they came to do. Nancy checks in on Gellis and Peter. They look horrible and she demands they test themselves. Peter will join her in bio level 2 testing the employees and their families blood.
Bruce’s room is sealed off in biohazard plastic and tape. Tension both at the Hazelton facility and at the USAMRIID lab are at a high. The troops suit up and one begins to hyperventilate. They are setting up a decontamination station.
During this tension, the lights are flickering on and off. The heat is like an oven. You hear walkie-talkies, respirators, and music in the air. Monkeys screech. At first, the monkeys are quiet and one has died from Ebola. The others decide to become violent. They throw feces hitting one of the female soldiers.
The protocol is for one soldier grasp while the other sedate. They get blood samples, then euthanize. The monkeys will then be autopsied, triple-bagged, and then incinerated. The drainings is to be bleached constantly.
Jerry wants to only euthanize the sick monkeys but Carter tells him all must die. You can see the pain etched on Jerry’s face as he walks away. Elsewhere, Nancy finds two new Ebola cases in the other two monkey caretakers. She phones Travis. With sickening realization, he knows Carter was right. All the workers infected have had no signs. Just mild flu symptoms or no symptoms. It’s not the Ebola he’s studied. He breaks the news to the two carriers.
Zaire, 1976. Carter refuses to help Travis deliver the dying woman’s baby. Melinda must be Travis’ only helper. Carter knows the baby is already dying or dead. Carter comforts a teen tribe member outside the hut instead. The mother and baby die in childbirth.
From Bad to Worse
Back in the present, the monkeys are being destroyed by the virus. After 12 hours, the team is exhausted and hot. Some appear weak. One of the monkeys is dying, but the team doesn’t see the second. It escapes, ripping up Ormond’s hand. He is taken back to base and put in quarantine.
Peter collapses in the decontamination room and Nancy has to wake him up. Both Gellis’ and Peter’s blood samples are negative but both are getting sick. Whether its Ebola or the flu at the moment is anyone’s guess. Later, Nancy tries to calm Ormond down. He is not just upset he could die from exposure but that he feels like the monkeys had souls and this should have never happened to them.
Meanwhile, the escaped monkey is terrorizing the troops. It climbs through the air shaft and up to the roof. Two soldiers in the nick of time pull a tarp over it. It must go back down the shaft where it is caught and sedated. A neighbor witnesses it all. Nancy calls Jerry and hears the strain in his voice. General Dyer grants Nancy permission to help Jerry. Carter finds a sample from ‘Cell K’ nothing but mush. He leaves to go to the office to look into the monkey’s files. He finds something alarming.
Jerry gives his troops permission to take a break and get food. At the dinner, its clear people know something isn’t right by their presence. Jerry collapses just as Nancy arrives. He is about to be loaded on a stretcher. Nancy fears her world is about to fall apart.
Jamie Nixon covers entertainment for MFST.