When an epidemic breaks out in the US city of Atlanta, a ‘cordon sanitaire’ is instituted in an attempt to stop the unknown virus from spreading. However, events rapidly spiral further out of a control, as people both inside and outside of the cordon discover a conspiracy reaching the highest echelons of government. Police officer Lex Carnahan (David Gyasi) struggles to maintain the peace on the outside, as his girlfriend Jana (Christina Moses) and best friend Officer Jake Riley (Chris Wood) are trapped on the inside.

'A multitude of storylines'

containment is an American remake of the Belgian Flemish-language show ‘Cordon’, first broadcast in 2014.

The thirteen-part series plays out a multitude of storylines, both inside and outside of the cordon, developing a variety of characters from a pregnant teenager, Teresa (Hannah Mangan-Lawrence) to Leo Green, a journalist who works with Lex Carnahan to discover the truth behind the origins of the virus. However, perhaps the most important character is the virus itself, a disease passed through the transfer of bodily fluids, and in the words of the Dr. Victor Cannerts of the CDC (George Young), is ‘fatal in one hundred percent of its victims’. The virusis of course the central tenet of the storyline, uniting some, but equally dividing others, on both sides of the cordon.

Conspiracy theories

But Containment is more than just a ‘disaster’ series.

The lies and secrecy surrounding the virus’ origins enshroud the show in political conspiracy as the plot progresses, and those who viewers originally thought had nothing but good intentions began to look increasingly guilty. There are also romantic undertones within the show, between Jake Riley and teacher Katie Frank (Kristen Gutoskie), Teresa and her boyfriend Xander (Demetrius Bridges), and Lex and Jana, separated by the cordon.

'Patient Zero'?

As the truth about the virus and the real ‘Patient Zero’ is revealed in the final few episodes, we as viewers have become increasingly invested in the characters, and watch with growing anxiety at any point where they come into contact with someone infected with the virus. With only three episodes remaining to be aired in the UK (E4, Wednesdays, 9pm), dedicated viewers can only wait to discover the fate of the characters, and the conspiracy that threatens them all.