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What You Need To Know Before Watching Black Summer Season 2

Some works of zombie fiction treat the protagonists as little more than mobile snacks for the undead. Others create complex and fully realized characters, making it all the more shocking when they eventually get eaten. Netflix's "Black Summer," on the other hand, manages to do both things. The show has a pretty neat cast of characters, but it also opts for a ruthlessly realistic take on the early weeks of a zombie outbreak. In this show, any stray bullet or unfortunate knock can kill anyone — and, since the city is in the middle of a full-blown zombie apocalypse scenario, you can count on plenty of deadly hurdles on everyone's path.

A large part of the show's allure is that it explores the mass panic that a real-life zombie apocalypse would cause in an utterly unprepared population. Even though it's technically an "unofficial prequel" to Syfy's massively entertaining "Z Nation" (via Digital Spy), "Black Summer" keeps to this mission by avoiding the latter's comedic moments. Instead, every episode is a surprisingly addictive scoop of hard knocks, narrow escapes, and tragic fates. 

"Black Summer" Season 2 is set to drop on June 17, and if the first season is anything to go by, fans of the show are in for one wild, danger-filled ride. As such, now is a perfect time to take a quick look at the gory story so far. Here's what you need to know before watching "Black Summer" season 2. 

The stadium isn't a safe haven after all

From the very first moments of the pilot, the entire Season 1 of "Black Summer" revolves around the main characters' attempts to get to the safety of the city's massive baseball stadium. In the appropriately titled season finale, "The Stadium," Rose's (Jaime King) dwindling group of desperate survivors finally reaches this destination. Unfortunately, they discover that they're not the only ones trying to get there, and that the area near the stadium is even more dangerous than any other part of their journey so far. 

Now, the zombies in "Black Summer" aren't your average, shambling corpses. If you've followed "Z Nation," you know they come in a wide range of speeds and abilities, depending on a multitude of circumstances. Although this vast array of undead potential hasn't been evident in "Black Summer" yet, the show's freshly-turned zombies are a massive problem. They're fast, deadly, and surprisingly durable — and people turn to them immediately after death. When a group of such zombies reaches the masses of armed refugees trying to reach the stadium, the ensuing, bullet-riddled panic ends roughly as well as you'd expect.

The major characters are mostly gone

If there's one lesson you need to remember when you start watching "Black Summer" Season 2, it's that absolutely anyone can die with zero warning. Rose's husband, Patrick (Ty Olsson), becomes a zombie and is gunned down in the very first episode, "Human Flow." The show lovingly sets up Barbara (Gwynyth Walsh) as a major protagonist, only for her to suddenly die in a car crash in the second episode. We spend time with a deaf survivor called Ryan (Mustafa Alabssi), only to see him gunned down by a young boy ... because Ryan couldn't hear that the kid was under orders to shoot him if he moves. 

The Season 1 finale isn't exempt from the "anyone can die" rule, either. Rose has to kill the injured William (Sal Velez Jr.), Carmen (Erika Hau) gets caught in a panicked crossfire, and Lance (Kelsey Flower) is last seen running for dear life, with a horde of zombies on his tail. 

Out of the major characters that debut in the first episode, only Rose, Sun (Christine Lee), and Spears (Justin Chu Cary) live to see Season 2. With the show's track record, it'd probably be wise to avoid getting attached to any of them too much. 

Against all odds, Rose's daughter is back

One of the most significant hope spots in "Black Summer" Season 1 comes at the very end. Throughout the season, Rose tries to reach her daughter, Anna (Zoe Marlett), who gets separated from her parents in the first episode. Anna ends up aboard a military truck on the way to the stadium, and since Patrick dies early on, it's up to Rose to search for her daughter. By the time she actually manages to enter the empty stadium, the odds are so low for her actually finding Anna that it's almost shocking to actually witness a reunion between the pair.

The official trailer for "Black Summer" Season 2 shows that Rose, Anna, Sun, and Spears are all indeed still alive. It looks like at least some of the action will take place in a rural region during winter, implying that they even manage to escape the deadly cityscape. Still, it remains to be seen just how this happens, and you can rest assured that "Black Summer" will keep things surprising. As star Jaime King told ComicBook.com, the show's all about the unexpected. "What I can tease is that whatever you think is gonna happen, will not happen," King said. "It will always keep you on your toes." 

"Black Summer" Season 2 is available for streaming on Netflix on June 17.