Last week, I wondered how the submariner Immunes planned to “take America.” It turns out that they want to do it the old-fashioned way: by a demagoguish presidential campaign. (Hey, that could never happen here!) The Immunes — oh, let’s call them the Five Percenters now — have discovered that the HUD Secretary shares their genetic immunity to the Red Flu, and they’ve coopted him to run their North American franchise.
It turns out that sub commander Sean’s right: HUD Secretary Michener is 12th in line of succession to the Presidency — and to the position of Commander in Chief. (In our time, that would give us President Julián Castro.) That puts the crew of the Nathan James in a bit of a tight spot. They are operating under the assumption that the traditional lines of authority still exist, and hope to rebuild them, rather than operate as a freebooting ship. If Michener has become President by having all of the preceding eleven successors die, then Michener could order Chandler et al to stand down and surrender the ship, and with it the last hope of developing a vaccine to save what’s left of the non-immune (and non-glowing after episode 5). Sean, who’s been feuding with his younger brother Ned over Sean’s decision not to go after the Nathan James, turns out to actually have a strategy after all, although it’s a bit of a long shot.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rachel has been cooking up (almost literally) a new cure in the lab, based on the formulations she found in the ransacked facility in Florida provided by her murdered mentor. With the destruction of all the labs, a liquid-based individual cure is out, so now she wants an inhalant that can be spread in bulk through the air. That has its logistical challenges, too — a ship and its helicopters might be able to succeed at that on the coasts, but it will be tougher to get to the interior, and that assumes they can make enough of the powder. The arrival of helicopters spraying people with an unknown powder may create even more problems for the Nathan James down the road, but that’s secondary to getting people vaccinated.
And that’s secondary to survival. The sub, cut off from communication with its commanders, will almost certainly go on the attack soon. Meanwhile, Chandler needs to figure out how to keep Michener from ordering him to surrender. The preview at the end of last week’s episode provides a big hint as to how Chandler will pull that off, but … I’ll let you discover that for yourselves.
If you missed last week’s episode, “Long Day’s Journey,” you have enough time to catch up with it before tonight’s episode begins. Be sure to register first as a Republimmune or an Immunocrat first, though.