Series One, Part Two
The virus that killed all the adults of the world returns in a mutated form, causing children to rapidly age and die. As panic settles on the tribes of the city, the Mall Rats seek out a cure.
Salene loved Bray, the out-of-her-league popular boy that would have been a quarterback in the old world; but it was never to be. Bray’s attention was split between his perceived familial duties; and Amber, the leader of the Mall Rats, who would have been class president in the old world. The only thing Salene had to recommend her was her openness and availability, but in the end, she simply wasn’t that appealing to the object of her affection.
Ryan is the kind, dopey guy. He’d have been on the football team, but in a non-starring role. He loves Zandra, the would-be cheerleader, but she only has eyes for the bad-boy Lex, no matter how badly he treats her.
Forlorn by her inevitable failure, Salene develops bulimia; eating to dull the pain, but only feeling more shame as a result. Food is scarce in this new world, and she finds refuge in a warehouse where a girl offers her all the food she wants, but it comes at a price. The girl locks Salene in a room, intending to pimp her out. The girl invites the first random boy walking by into the warehouse and leads her to Salene’s room. That boy just happens to be Ryan.
Ryan and Salene’s relationship is one of mutual settling. Salene is not swept off her feet, commenting to Trudy that she thought love would be more exciting, but that maybe this is all it really is. Ryan’s connection to Salene is better described as sympathy than caring. He frequently finds himself adjusting to make her happy. He promises to protect the whole tribe, and then, upon seeing Salene’s disappointment, makes a point of specifying that he will watch over her especially.
The second 26 episodes of series one of The Tribe continue in much the same way as the first half did. Now that the characters are all established, the interrelations between them are given greater focus. What’s nice is that these connections are not simple. They are strained, situational, and they change. Lex has an interesting arc in this volume, as he contracts the virus and decides to follow Tai-San’s prescription of spiritual cleansing as a means of curing himself, which drives him to be helpful and honest without the expectation of reward that had motivated his earlier acts of kindness
The series could be described as a soap opera for its emphasis on relationship drama, but I don’t find it to be sensationalistic in that way. It is, after all, a 52 episode season (the first of five), so there has to be a balance between things happening, and spreading out major plot developments. And that balance is achieved in a satisfying way. The characters keep the series interesting from episode to episode, we learn a lot about the world, and series one ends on a nice cliffhanger.
The 26 episodes are spread out over four discs, with video in anamorphic widescreen which looks like it was shot on video. It’s fine, but not startling. There is one extra, in the form of a ‘making-of’ featurette.