Containment Recap

Containment: Is The CW's Viral Outbreak Drama a Breakout Hit?

If you watched the premiere of The CW’s intense — and very bloody! — viral outbreak thriller Containment on Tuesday, then you probably aren’t getting within 4 to 6 feet of someone in the near future. But was the show’s debut contagious in a good way?

Before you weigh in with your diagnosis, let’s recap the pilot:

Adapted by Vampire Diaries/The Originals producer Julie Plec from the Belgian series Cordon, Containment presents a scenario in which hand sanitizer won’t save you: A young Middle Eastern man sneaks a ride to America in the hold of a cargo plane and brings with him a modified version of avian influenza, as later identified by CDC researcher Dr. Victor Cannerts (played by Casualty‘s George Young). Patient zero falls ill and infects his doctor, his entire family… and potentially all of Atlanta. Enter federal official Dr. Sabine Lommers (The Originals‘ Claudia Black), who erects a barrier — known as a “cordon sanitaire” — around a portion of the city in order to keep the virus from spreading.

Inside the quarantined area, we meet Katie (played by Being Erica‘s Kristen Gutoskie), an elementary school teacher who picked the most unfortunate day for a field trip to the hospital with her class (which includes her son). She’s now on lockdown with the kids and hot-headed cop Jake (a super muscular Chris Wood from The Vampire Diaries). On the plus side (for viewers, at least): Katie and Jake are already registering a “10” on the Unresolved Sexual Tension scale, and this is only Day 1 of the “stay 4 to 6 feet apart” rule. And they have a ready-made ‘shipper name: “Jakie”!

Also stuck inside the fenced off area is very pregnant teen Teresa (Spartacus: War of the Damned‘s Hanna Mangan Lawrence), whose boyfriend is on the other side. They’re not the only lovers separated: While his commitment-phobic girlfriend Jana Containment Recap(Nikita‘s Christina Moses) is trapped at work, Dr. Lommers taps officer Lex Carnahan (Interstellar‘s David Gyasi) on the outside to be the trusted face of the quarantine and to keep the peace. He’s reluctant to take on the position if it means toeing the party line, but later realizes being part of the inner circle is the only way to get information about what’s really happening inside the cordon with his girl and his pal Jake.

The disease, which is fatal in 100 percent of its victims, generates big stakes… and maybe a few queasy stomachs, too. With its spewed blood and crud, Containment is one of the grosser things The CW has ever aired. And while in media res openings have been done to death, the show makes good use of its first minutes, which reveal that two weeks after the so-called temporary quarantine was issued, things have only gotten much, much worse. People are looting, the police are shooting the infected left and right, Theresa is laying in the middle of the street, clutching her stomach, and Katie is screaming for help as she carries a bloody child.

What did you think of Containment? Grade the series premiere in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Press PLAY below to watch the Containment cast and producers talk Walking Dead comparisons and more.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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37 Comments
  1. Michelle says:

    Watching this probably wasnt good for my anxiety and paranoia lol But the chemistry between Jake and Katie was enough to bring me back for more next week.

  2. Patrick Maloney says:

    I’m totally hooked! Enough creep factor without going overboard.

  3. Jason says:

    Like Jana, I had a moment of doubt during this episode (apparently something no one else in this show has ever experienced). Unfortunately those moments kept repeating throughout. I enjoy the gore and escalating tension but other than Jake and Katie, I found the characters a bit grating (and even Jake was a bit guilty of that in the early going). There was an absurd amount of office politics and wondering about who is lying about whatever when it seems like they should have been more gung-ho about nipping this thing in the bud. I also found myself laughing at how much everybody seems to be invested in Jana and Lex’s relationship. Also, though I did like Jake, Chris Wood was a lot more fun on Vampire Diaries. Here it seems like he has to fit into the character mold created by this show. Where everybody has to be a bit of a tool. But he’s Chris Wood, so you like him in spite of himself.

  4. wrstlgirl says:

    Limited series means how many episodes?

    • ABG says:

      Means the CW doesn’t have a lot of faith on it and will pretend it was a one-season event if the ratings are bad.

      In reality, if the ratings are good it’ll come back full time next season. This season it’s probably 13 or 10 episodes.

      From the recap it has potential but it’s from Julie Plec who is doing an awful job with TVD and TO so I’ll wait and see with this one.

    • johnhelvete says:

      13 episodes. The CW is actually calling it a “limited series event” and a tip to The CW and NBC (Heroes Reborn), your 13 episode limited series is not an “event”.

      • Don says:

        Um, yeah it is. The X-Files was also an “event series” – are you the final arbiter of different names and types of series?

  5. E says:

    I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I like the high stakes of it. Plus Jake is super hot

  6. AngelWasHere says:

    It was pretty good. What Fear The Walking Dead should have like IMO. I’ll be watching. :)

  7. Courtney says:

    As a public health epidemiologist, I really enjoyed this. I can attest that many aspects of the outbreak in the show are realistic, especially the politics behind such things. I work for the government in Canada and it reminded me a bit of the SARS outbreak in Toronto. Also reminds me of the movie Contagion

    • Annie says:

      Exactly my thoughts. Former local government attorney here – *very* representative of EOC politics.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      Just wondering if you’ve heard of this… You know when NASA says they’re studying the effects of space on the human body(real life)… One thing they don’t like to mention is the effects on viruses when subjected to space…

  8. Lisa says:

    I am hooked. It has an awesome Outbreak vibe to it, rather than The Walking Dead. Lex and Jake became instant favorites for me. I will definitely be tuning in next week to watch it.

  9. James D says:

    it was decent the acting isn’t great but I love epidemic type shows (what’s wrong with me :)) so I will keep watching.

  10. Stefanie says:

    I’m from Belgium and I thought the Belgian version was very boring, but I guess I’ll try and watch this version anyway to see if it’s any better. :)

  11. Sheila says:

    I really hate the portmanteau trend, but why wouldn’t you go with Katie + Jake = Kake?

  12. kirads09 says:

    Hmmm – between Helix and The Last Ship feel I’ve already been there done that.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      I want Helix back.

      • Couch Mom says:

        Yes. A thrid season had so much potential.

        • Phoenix5634 says:

          It had so much potential! I really hope they revive that series. Helix was my favourite show of its kind. It makes me mad becuz it’s the show that basically inspired many others shows since then, who have followed a similar topic. Like if you took all the concepts from Helix, and dished them out one by one, it’s like the other networks were the vultures picking pieces of it for their own new shows. People really needed to follow season 2 in order to understand it, which was its downfall I think. I loved the show tho, and was supremely upset when I heard it was cancelled.

  13. N8frogg78 says:

    After reading a couple reviews I went into this not expecting to be happy. Glad I was wrong. I usually don’t watch CW shows (except The 100) but this really has promise. Being a “limited series event” can hopefully be enough to keep people coming back. I know network tv doesn’t have a great track record when shows like this are put out. This way they know its not going to be forever till they get answers.
    I’ll definitely be coming back for more.

    • Augie says:

      CW is a good network. Flash,Arrow,Supernatural,The 100,Legends of Tomorrow,IZombie,Jane the Virgin,Vampire,Originals. I like almost every show they put out.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        My favorites from CW are Originals, Flash, Arrow, Supernatural, Legends, TVD, and Reign. The 100 is alright, I never really got into it, but I feel I might one day, the rest I don’t like, nor will I ever lol. I’ll be watching Containment too now, it looks to have some good potential.

  14. Phoenix5634 says:

    Pretty good show, I liked this episode, and I’m definitely interested enough to watch again.

  15. David4 says:

    I watched 20 minutes of this mess. I found it incredibly boring and the characters just blah and pointless.

  16. Augie says:

    Read somewhere that the creators r hoping for a second season. So it seems that this “limited series” will go to another season of successful. That being said, this first ep had some solid characters and I will watch again. I will never move to Atlanta. It seems to b a place where u will die if u live there with walking dead and containment.

  17. Its an alright show. The acting isn’t the greatest though. We’ll see.

  18. The Carpooler says:

    I watched The Flash lead-in and found myself stuck to the channel when Containment started. I was hooked right away. Good pacing and story, the effects were fantastic. I did chuckled when I saw Hanna Mangan Lawrence. She played a young teen in Spartacus, too, and that was 6 years ago. She ages well.

  19. AM68 says:

    I thought it was okay. I see some definite room for improvement (mainly with the dialogue that was downright cringe-worthy at times). But I try to give shows the benefit of the doubt with the pilot because they are still figuring things out. Will definitely be watching in the future though.

  20. jj says:

    I was really looking forward to this show but was disappointed with the pilot. I didn’t find the acting or writing to be anything special. I agree with a previous commenter, overall I just found the episode boring. I usually like to give new shows a couple of episodes to find their footing but I don’t know if i’ll be able to get through another episode

  21. Suyesh Rana says:

    The series looks like an old cliché, different twist but follows the same guidlines. The pregnant girl, her baby is going to be the cure for the disease. Since, she will be infected the baby is going to be immune and saves the world. So far so good but now I know how it ends hence, takes the suspense away.

  22. Valerie says:

    Was absolutely glued to the TV set for the first episode. Unfortunately the power went out and I lost the second episode I had set to record. Please tell me it is being repeated. Don’t want to miss one program of this new show!

  23. The part of a Atlanta Police Major is played by an Aftican with an anoying foreign accent. I gues the CW could not find an African-American actor.

  24. Michael says:

    Wandering back around after the series finale. I’ve got to say this series got NO love from the critics, most of the popular sites didn’t even bother to review the episodes. It disappeared unnoticed. I had jokingly referred to it as ‘Under the Dome’ but without the dome, or the hocus-pocus. The pacing was deliberate, the love stories were predicable, the big reveal you could see coming from a mile off. But you’d figure the ‘Walking Dead’ franchise would have inured viewers to slow pace and obvious character development (and spurting blood) by now. I stuck with it through the whole season, enjoyed the acting. Its a shame the show got such little love.