A lot of new shows have been added to Netflix recently and among those is CW’s canceled show, Containment. If there’s a show to add to your binge watching list, it’s this one.
It is enthralling and by the time I turned it off for the night, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t real. Containment looks at some of our current political and societal struggles through a lens of characters on every side of the line. At it’s heart though, is a cast of characters who want to help.
Warning: This post contains information on central themes in the show and some spoilers. (Details have been omitted where possible.)
There’s a lot going on and while we would always like to say whether something is completely right or wrong, we can’t. This struggle is particularly seen through the struggle local police have with government officials – the latter having jurisdiction. It shows us how pride, arrogance, and fear can all get the better of us. It takes a look at the difficult decisions that leaders have to make and their sacrifices.
Containment also takes a look at the blessing and curse of social media, which is something I actually appreciated.
One on going issue the show has is that between a journalist and the police officer who was chosen to be the spokesperson since the quarantined section is locally under him. The officer is withholding (on orders) information from the general public in an effort to prevent mass panic so the quarantine will be effective. The journalist argues that people should know the truth. The problem? The journalist is spinning a story that isn’t fully backed with proof and doesn’t have all of the information. Problem number two? Most of the people in charge don’t know the truth either.
As a result of the journalist who refused to stop when asked by police and the panic social media can create, the government shuts the quarantine residents down. They can’t make calls and there’s no internet/TV, etc. Two characters even comment that it was the first time they’d gone all day without their phones. Now, with this all said I think there’s one thing that this show didn’t really capitalize on that it should and could have.
We can blame social media and the journalist’s questionable tactics, but ultimately this show should make us all examine ourselves. We control how we react and need to acknowledge the impact our actions and words have on others. Instead of following the rules set forth at the very beginning of the quarantine, people decided not to follow them. Most notably is the group of teens who decided to party. Their actions cost them their lives. Even if we assumed that most of the people in the quarantine followed the rules, the actions of a few had a huge impact on others.
Of course, I think this show also does a really great job of showing that the blame can scarcely be laid on one party or group. There’s those who made the initial mistake, yes, but then there’s the dozens of tiny actions others made after they’d been instructed on how to keep themselves safe.
Ultimately, Containment shows us that a situation like this has many layers and that, like the journalist, it’s extraordinarily easy to criticize anyone involved whether it’s the quarantine’s victims who contribute to their own misery or to the initial culprits. Perhaps even more importantly, it shows us that we are all capable of good and bad.