Season 2 Finale
“We’re in the clear for now!” Lazarus calls, his hand motioning for a militia-followed Jaime to release herself from the cover of the fauna-covered escape tunnel she now knows exists. His rifle in hand, Lazarus approaches a small home, entering its front gates and returning minutes later with a pair of keys in hand. “Get her out of the city” Lazarus directs, the keys to an older-model station wagon being thrown to one of his subordinates.
“I’m not going anywhere!” Jaime replies, her demands to be returned to her home falling on the ears of a man without a car for her comfort, but rather, her safety. “With all due respect, the time for me to take orders from you are not right now” Lazarus replies, insisting the possibility of the mob finding her home address being too great to take the chance on. “We’ll pull everyone else in the house out to you until this all cools over” Lazarus continues, leading Jaime into the backseat.
A militia member to her right and left, Jaime finds herself covered as if she were the president in the middle of a napalm rainstorm. The barrels of their automatic rifles poking her knee, Jaime watches Jordan climb into the front seat, directing the driver towards Mount Cedar-Sinai. “What happens now?” Jaime asks, her power over Los Angeles seemingly meaning nothing now that the militia has taken command of how the city is overseen.
“We let the mob cool down for the next few days, maybe weeks” Jordan replies, his answer sounding more like a prediction, its statements existing without facts. “So we just let them kill each other and then come back and treat it all like nothing ever happened?” the woman replies, her boyfriend looking over his shoulder at her. “Yes” Jordan responds, his face returning to the road ahead as Jaime begin staring aimlessly around the car, wondering why that answer is anything close to okay.
In another vehicle, Alex, Kennedy and Amelia are all taken out of the area, led to the hospital space whilst Chris and Julia lead the pack, nearly at the front gates by the time Jaime left. Hurried through the streets, the vehicles pass by residents of their community wandering the roadways aimlessly until they notice the vehicles, interest in their inhabitants peaking as the chase to catch up with them begins.
Beating the mob to the front gates, the entry is sealed by a massive metal gate and the passengers of each vehicle find themselves entering the hospital lobby. Led to a back room, Jaime and her group, minus Chevy and Kayla, are left to themselves, Lazarus’ militia closing the doors behind them. Tensions having escalated from zero to one-hundred in near-record time, Jaime is left to stare at the people she’s been left with in amazement.
The confusion and loss of direction matched in each other their faces, matched in every one of their hearts, they are left to share the same, withered expression with the woman. The core group she’s fought through the entire aftermath beside before her eyes in the small room, Jaime’s eyes eventually find their way to Jordan, slumped forward in his chair with his head between his legs.
Almost like they’re on a similar wavelength, the man feels Jaime looking at him, his head essentially telling itself to look up. His pout, his exhaustion suggesting he’s had enough of these seismic shifts, Jordan lets his shoulders shrug, his head shaking to signify that he has as many answers for where to go from here as Jaime does. Certainty non-existent and everything she’s worked for threatened to the edge of disaster, Jaime collapses into a chair, her head dropping.
= Dire is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
Los Angeles remains split throughout the day, word of mouth, or lack there of, the only thing keeping thousands of Angelinos from being made aware of Jaime’s current location. Still, the gates of the medical center remain closed, hundreds of aware and angered Angelinos quickly beginning to build into greater numbers, awaiting the sight of the woman they believe to have wronged them.
“Why is this happening?” Jaime asks, “why all of a sudden?” Her boyfriend now slumped backwards in his chair, Jordan informs her that they want their way or no one else can have theirs. “It’s been months, we’ve been doing this for months!” Jaime replies, “why is this only just happening?” The question without a clear answer, silence remains the most abundant element to be found within the walls, the preferred choice to just silently wait it out.
Knowing what her responsibilities entail, Jaime finds herself quickly beginning to lose her composure, eventually pounding away on the locked door keeping her contained. “Let me out of here so I can put an end to all of this!” the woman shouts, the idea of being able to regain control of the mob feeling like a better option than regaining control of herself.
Within a few seconds, Jordan pulls the woman away from the door, the woman giving in almost immediately, refusing to put up a fight. After a few moments, the door is opened, Julia informing Jordan that he is wanted by Lazarus in the main lobby. Doing as requested, Jordan tells Jaime to keep herself together until he gets back, which she answers by returning to Jordan’s seat and keeping it occupied for him.
The room now down to four, Jaime glances towards Amelia, who holds her arms as if she were cold, the weird environment of being surrounded by an entire family she has no connection to making her slightly uncomfortable. “Sorry about your city” Jaime says, the genuine, yet humorous quote being the only thing to come to mind. “Not exactly my city, is it?” the girl asks, the irony of the question being directed at the city’s lead official being well-felt.
Broken glass snapping beneath her boots, Kayla leads Chevy and a small group of militia members through a rundown drugstore, the broken windows seen from the street not instilling them with much hope. “You don’t know what kind of people or what kind of animals are in here” Kayla whispers, a firearm raised in her hand as if she were expecting a murderer to leap out from cover and make an attempt on her life.
Continuing to read off directions to the men behind her, Kayla feels a tapping on her shoulder originate from Chevy, who places a finger to his lip, suggesting she stay focused on what’s ahead. Once behind the counter, Kayla finds the shelving stripped bare, not even a half-empty bottle of aspirin left to take. “Not again” Kayla mutters, the gun falling to her hip as Chevy pats her on the back, directing the militia back the way they came.
Day turning into night, the pair begin ascending the staircase of a beaten apartment complex, the smell of rotting bodies lining most of the halls. Their faces covered, the stench still finds its way into their noses, the fight to keep their lunch down gives them enough energy to keep moving forward. Finally reaching the roof, Kayla slams the door shut once the entirety of the group has followed her lead and locks it, the smell of fresh air finding greater appreciation than ever before.
The light blue having turned to vibrant orange, which itself turned into dark blue, leading into the black night sky, all that illuminates the rooftop is a small fire heating a packaged dinner. “This is not what I thought the apocalypse would be” Chevy admits, tearing the plastic from his package with his teeth before adding some water and letting it boil, his statement finding similarities with everyone else he finds himself in the company of.
“I thought we would’ve gotten zombies and shit” one of the militia mates states, another suggesting a meteor would have wiped most of the people out in an instant. “I didn’t think ‘instant pandemic, followed by oopsie’ would’ve won the bingo card” a third mate replies, the situation being poked fun at in order to keep the morale up. His arm wrapped around his girlfriend, Chevy begins staring at her, the smile on his face matching that of the first time he woke up to her.
Unaware, Kayla continues the banter, listing off the other possibilities that could have befallen them, whilst Chevy remains fixated on her, grateful that she’s there, with him, in that moment. Eventually, the fun stops when a question is raised, one of the militia members leaping up from their seats and walking towards the rooftop’s concrete wall. “What is that?” the man asks, Chevy and Kayla walking up to join him in his curiosity.
Though it mostly remains hidden by the treeline just ahead, a bright, mighty fire burns into the starry night sky, the smoke it brings with it billowing into oblivion. “Was it an accident?” one man asks, the size and visibility of the flames suggesting something massive to be burning in the skies. “Either something went wrong, or someone’s trying to draw attention to themselves” Chevy responds, the only two reasons behind such an attempt being laid out for interpretation.
Returning to the room hours later, Jordan walks up to Jaime and pulls her in for a hug, the relief on Jaime’s face when she notices the man to be more rejuvenated comforting the rest. “Lazarus wanted to run down our options, so that’s what we’ve been doing for the past few hours” Jordan explains, joking that the man is very stubborn about not letting Jaime back into the city until this all cools down.
“So we came to the agreement that you should continue to govern from a little house a few miles out of Los Angeles” Jordan proclaims, the timespan remaining unclear. “They can’t take the risk of the hospital being run down now that people know you’re here” Jordan replies upon Jaime’s insistence that she govern from the building they already occupy. The agreement being made, Jordan tells his girlfriend that he will be with her at every step of the way.
“I’ll be there, with you, we’ll have guards stationed and everything” Jordan continues, “everything will settle down and we’ll go back to the way it used to be.” His hands pressed to either side of her face, Jordan smiles and asks if she trusts him, which she quickly answers with a smile and a nod. Laying a kiss on her head, Jordan turns around to start getting everything into motion, Jaime’s smile turning into a concerned frown when his back is turned.
With a deep breath, Jaime walks over to hug her mother and sister, the same hug being shared with Amelia before Lazarus enters the room. “We’re making accomodations for your family here in the building to keep them away from the mob’s reach” the man informs, the existence of a plan being more than enough to give Jaime hope that everything has the ability to return to normal.
Within the hour, Alex and Kennedy are paired in one room, Amelia given another room next door. After settling in for a short while, Kennedy becomes restless, asking her mother permission to visit Amelia next door. When granted, Kennedy knocks on Amelia’s door and enters, seeing the girl in bed with a book in her hands. “You know you’re supposed to knock and then wait for the person to say ‘come in’, right?” Amelia asks, the girl shrugging before climbing beside her.
“What are you reading?” Kennedy asks, the girl pulling the cover in Kennedy’s direction, the front of ‘My Side of the Mountain’ being read aloud. “What’s that about?” Kennedy asks, Amelia giving a rundown of what she thinks it’s supposed to be about. “I’ve never read it before, but it promised me an adventure, so I hope I won’t be disappointed!” Amelia replies, her laughter bringing out the laughter in Kennedy.
“Is he winning?” Kennedy asks, Amelia chuckling at the remote concept of winning at surviving in the wilderness. “I’m at the part where he made a house inside a tree trunk” Amelia replies, “so clearly he’s living his best life.” Mentioning that he has a pet falcon as well, Amelia begins thinking aloud about how fun it would be to own a pet falcon, which derails the conversation entirely until she almost completely forgets about the book.
Before long, two hours roll by and Alex walks into the room, the sight of her daughter still finding joy in a world that has changed the definition of life itself enough to put a smile on her face. “Oh shit!” Amelia exclaims, realizing how much time she lost track of, immediately apologizing for having kept Kennedy for so long. “Don’t worry about it” Alex replies, walking further into the room and taking a seat at the window.
“My millionaire daughter is pretty much the mayor of a very angry Los Angeles now…” Alex states, a smile on her face when looking at Kennedy, “...at least one of my kids is having fun.” Noticing the disappointment Alex wears on her chest, Amelia reminds her that Jaime has done a great job. “You raised her well” Amelia comes to the conclusion of, Alex looking up to her with a frown in one corner of her face whilst she shakes her head.
“She raised herself” Alex replies, the young girl just dropping her head. Directing her daughter towards the showers in order to get her ready for bed, Alex is left in the room with Amelia, the young girl putting a marker in her book and closing it, leaving it at her bedside. “Thank you for being there for Kennedy” Alex utters, the young girl turning towards her with a smile, “she’s a cool girl.”
Walking towards the door, Alex stops and looks back to the young woman as she prepares for bed. “You’re a good role model” Alex declares, the statement putting a smile on Amelia’s face, who thanks Alex for her kind words. “It’s not just kind words” Alex replies, “you make this world a better place for people like my daughter… That’s just the truth.”
Leaving the room, Alex lets the door close itself, the young girl left with the chip on her shoulder to figure out what comes next beginning to sprout a smile, her efforts finally noticed. Within that moment, as little as it was, the young girl begins to feel her mood turn around, a little good overcoming the feeling of being alone within an instant.
“I’m going to return to Los Angeles” Lazarus assures, making it clear that he will keep the residents under strict supervision. “I’ll have a team sent out shortly, just make it there before sunrise if you run into a flat tire or a roadblock” the man continues, handing Jordan the keys to a van stocked with supplies to last weeks. Shaking the man’s hand, Jordan thanks him for his efforts and splits off, the rear exit remaining the safer route.
Julia and Chris just behind to send them off, Jaime and Jordan enter their final walk throughout Los Angeles for the time being, Jordan playing with the keys to keep from silence surrounding them at every angle. Inevitably, the keys slip out of his finger tips and fall to the ground, the man off-balance as he reaches down, sending him tumbling into a set of cafeteria doors just as the staircase comes into view.
Apologizing, Jordan uses the bar of the door to support himself, his body weight being spared the collision with the tile floors. “I didn’t-” Jordan begins, laughter in his voice as the accident takes on the appearance of something worth laughing at himself over, only until shouts for his attention originate from inside. “What’s that?” Jordan asks, the doors already having been closed behind him as Chris scrambles to pick up the keys.
“Just a schizo patient” Chris replies, his responsibility now resting with calming the patient down. “Jules, you escort them the rest of the way” Chris says, offering his sudden departing words before returning to the cafe, Julia escorting the pair the rest of the way. His smile vanishing, Chris bursts through the cafeteria doors with a scowl, anger encompassing his every motivation as he demands an answer to who was responsible for the outburst.
In front of the man, large dog-sized cages line the walls and ground of the room, many stacked on top of each other. The kennels remain silent, no one answering for their deeds until one voice to Chris’ right owns up to the action. Redirecting himself, Chris approaches the kennel with a man slumped inside, his body positioned in such a way that he’s both standing and laying down.
“Say that again” Chris orders, the man’s head tucked away from sight, aimed at the baron, concrete walls behind him. Slowly, the man faces Chris, disgust entrenching every nose scrunch and lip arch he makes. “It was me” Clayton says, his face bruised from a beating, his lip cut and his eye swollen. Enraged, Chris unlocks the cage and pulls the door out, ripping the man to the ground and beating on him further.
The remaining prisoners silent, fearing the same outcome for them if they were to speak up, all watch the assault happen for themselves, the punches refusing to stop. “Say it again!” Chris shouts, the veins in his neck popping out as spit flies from his lips, Clayton’s collar in his clenched fists as the man struggles to keep down the blood. “I’m sorry” Clayton replies, a line of blood mixed with spit running from his mouth before Chris finally lets go.
Kicking him whilst he’s down, Chris orders Clayton to crawl his way back into protection, the seconds that separate the order and the action feeling like minutes to those familiar with the sight. Once inside, the door slams shut, the metal rattling as the padlock is returned, Chris removing himself from the room and leaving his captives in the dark, only the light of an artificially-fogged window to afford them the luxury of their beaten fellow-prisoners misery.
“I know I’ve been saying it a lot tonight, but things will get better” Jordan says, cutting the silence as Jaime’s head remains pressed against the glass. “What was I supposed to do?” Jaime asks, genuinely interested in what Jordan’s approach would have been if put in the same position. “Should I have caved?” Jaime asks, running down every reason the residents would have had to act in the way they did.
“I know it’s the whole western culture thing that anyone with the power to do whatever they want is automatically some evil dictator…” Jaime continues, “...But what else was I supposed to do?” Making suggestions, Jordan allows the girl every opportunity to argue against them. Giving in would have made her look weak, trying to negotiate would have made her look scared, putting her foot down resulted in already familiar ways.
“Is there no way to win?” Jaime asks, her head turned towards Jordan, who keeps his eyes pressed to the road ahead. “Probably not” the man replies, admitting that he’s gradually come to understand why Django was such an ‘uptight bastard.’ “I’m not saying he was right in what he was doing” Jordan explains, “but I can see why you’d believe the career politician wasn’t born an egregious cunt straight out of the womb.”
Chuckling, Jaime looks towards the man, who asks her what’s so funny about his statement. “I don’t usually hear you swear unless you’re mad” Jaime answers, the man beginning to laugh, the ride beginning to feel like just another late night drive like they used to share. After a few minutes of silence, Jaime’s head lifts from the window again, her face turned towards the man, the words she wishes to speak already on her mind.
“Marry me” Jaime says, the man smiling, glancing towards her for a moment before doing a double take, eventually parking the car on the side of the empty highway. “Are you serious?” Jordan asks, the woman smiling from ear to ear, nodding excitedly as the man responds with a simple ‘okay, I will’.
The car starting again, Jaime sits back into her seat as the drive continues, eagerly keeping her want to jump for joy at a minimum. After a few more minutes, Jordan pulls the car onto the off-ramp, a clearing in the trees made even more noticeable by a massive tower of fire in the distance. “You see that, right?” Jaime asks, the man pulling the car onto the side of the road again, both exiting the vehicle and staring in amazement.
Much like the Grenfell Tower, a massive residential complex burns beneath the night sky almost a mile and a half away. Flames shooting through most of the windows, the building sends off a plume of smoke shooting through the sky, the lack of any other fires making this specific case intentional. “Why would someone do this?” Jordan wonders aloud, the sights horrifying regardless of whether or not the space is occupied.
The sights shocking, it becomes too much to look away from, their eyes locked onto the picture for minutes. “Is this what’s gonna happen to Los Angeles?” Jaime asks, Jordan wanting to suggest otherwise, only for the ever-present sight to make it impossible to be certain. Quieted for the moment, Jaime remains glued to the structure, the thoughts of what people are capable of making her more worried than before she left.
“We need to go back” Jaime exclaims, the man refusing, reminding her of the mob waiting for her and the point of leaving the city to start with. “If this can happen for apparently no fucking reason, who’s to say this won’t happen to L.A?” Jaime asks, the man asking what it could possibly matter. “If Los Angeles goes down, we just leave it behind and strike out on our own again” Jordan replies, “like we were going to do before we started playing god.”
Her hand taking Jordan’s, Jaime tells him that everything about Los Angeles is bigger than the pair of them, or the group itself. “The second I stood up and made myself the leader, they became my group too” Jaime explains, “whatever happens to them is my burdon to live with.” Reciprocating the gesture, Jordan reminds Jaime that these are the same people currently rioting in the streets because she rightfully acknowledged how terribly selfish they are.
“It doesn’t matter what they think of me, it matters that they’re my responsibility” Jaime replies, “and if this happens to Los Angeles, I’ll never forgive myself for running away and letting it happen.” Wanting to argue against it, Jordan takes the approach of trying to convince Jaime that the efforts would mean nothing. “They wanted to fuck over people just as tired as them, and they hate you for not letting them” Jordan replies, “that’s not someone worth feeling bad about.”
“People can’t change, Jaime” the man concludes, “at least not those people.” Telling Jaime that they’ve become far too broken to redeem themselves in a world as chaotic as the one they find themselves in, Jordan pleads with her to let it go and hope for the best. “I can’t let something go when I’ve already sworn to do right by it” Jaime replies, Jordan’s head sinking, “I’m not a hypocrite.”
Lifting his eyes, Jordan bites his lip and looks back to the building, only to glance back towards Los Angeles before returning his eyes to his soon-to-be wife.
The sky beginning to show the expectation of sunrise guiding them, Kayla and Chevy lead their fellow scavengers towards the raging inferno. The burning structure built from concrete, the skeleton refuses to collapse, instead allowing whatever once awaited life to greet it once more, to flood the interior with flames. At the base, the group stands back a few yards, burning debris still falling from the new holes, raining literal fire upon the earth below.
“We’ve got lights” one of the survivors announces, pointing the pair at the very forefront of the journey towards a patch of land illuminated amongst a sea of darkness. By the moment the sun hits the sky in a mid-day heatwave, Chevy and Kayla lead the group to their unintended destination. Having waited for them and any others for months, a makeshift campsite from the remnants of an abandoned town hosts all forms of life just looking for somewhere to settle.
“That fire you guys?” Chevy asks, he and Kayla walking ahead of the group, meeting a man washing clothes in the front lot of a rundown drug store. “It was” a second voice responds, a man dressed in a flannel shirt and blue jeans emerging from the store with a smile on his face. “You looking to settle in?” the man asks, his store being the first and only point of entry connected to a major road, every other side of the area surrounded by woodlands.
“Just visiting” Chevy replies, looking past the man greeting them to find his shelves stocked with all the medication you’d expect a drug store to have. Shelves lined with anything from over-the-counter medication to cheap toys and candy, the store appears as friendly as the man that seems to own it, leaving hesitation within both Chevy and Kayla, knowing what this world does to humanity like that.
“Answer us!” the crowd chants, word having spread to the Angelinos that Jaime had departed the community, leaving only the militia behind to answer for what they believe to be her wrong doings. The doors to city hall remain shut, only armed guards atop the stairs, keeping the public from the slightest thought of making the first steps towards an ascent.
With the roaring continuing, the lack of a response becomes more noticeably intentional, the scene playing out as it had before control of the city had been assumed. In the minds of the residents, they have returned to square one, wanting answers for what they believe themselves to be owed, no one to step up and give it to them.
The chanting continues, the demand to be heard ensues, and suddenly, the doors of city hall open, revealing the inside to the public once more, surprised silence proceeding it all. Stood atop the steps, Jordan by her side, Jaime stands with the same megaphone she earned Django’s attention with in hand. “This isn’t hatred, I hope you already know that” Jaime begins, the crowd silent, as usual, itching to hear what she has to say.
“If you wanna fight each other, get yourselves killed in the process just to get a few extra scraps, go ahead” Jaime continues, “you’re only gonna fuck yourselves over.” Making it clear that the world truly isn’t capable of keeping society afloat, Jaime states that everything has changed, and everyone has to change with it. “There’s a skyscraper burning a few miles out just because a bunch of people wanted to be assholes” Jaime persists, visibly baffled by it.
“We’re lucky to have anything remotely close to a community” Jaime explains, “let alone food and water, protection, minimal electricity guaranteed to us.” Informing the public that there are groups of people huddled outside the city scavenging for extra things to keep the community afloat, Jaime states that this is no longer a world that can rely on entitlement and selfishness to get by.
“The good don’t prosper, and the bad die out anyway, so it’s all pointless” Jaime proclaims, “why bother fighting when we can live in peace, free of charge, enjoying what we’ve got left?” The crowd still silent, Jaime reiterates that she didn’t say what she did the day prior out of hatred for them, it was instead what they had acted like. “I get it. America, the best nation in the world” Jaime continues, “but it doesn’t exist anymore. All we have left is this… right here.”
Taking in a deep breath, Jaime makes it known to the general public that the deal only gets sweeter from here. “When the food we’re already growing starts getting ready, your rations increase, the same with purifying our water, the same with fixing our electrical grid” Jaime continues, moving down the list, “this is only the beginning. It gets better from here.”
“Can we agree to live together?” Jaime asks, “in peace, with consideration for the people we share the time we have left with?” Silent, the mob returns to being a crowd, gathered at the steps of city hall, looking to one another with a mixture of hope and dread in their hearts.
“You failed us!” a single person shouts near the front, the belief shared by only him as he approaches the bottom step, repeating the same phrase a second time. His right foot planted upon one step higher than his left, the man stuns those stood a few feet behind him when he pulls a gun from behind his shirt. Aimed towards the woman, the crowd becomes timid, a large amount of individuals aware of what’s about to happen shouting for the act to stop.
Unable to shoot without firing into the crowd and having been unaware for the presence of Jaime, the militia are forced to ready their aim with their fingers away from the trigger. “Take the shot!” Lazarus shouts, not a single militia guard confident enough in their aim to do so. Within a split second, brave members of the crowd’s front line rushes towards the man with their arms reached out, a single shot fired before he can be brought down by the mob.
Having accepted her fate resting in the split-second decision of one man, Jaime remains put, stood in place with readiness to answer for her rights and wrongs. Her eyes closed by the sound of the shot, time begins to stand still for a second, the red of the sunlight behind her eyelids turning a shadow-like dark, only to return to the same shade of red moments later, no sharp pain or blood running down any ounce of her body.
Suddenly, her eyelids open, the bright sight of the mid-day sun returning as the crowd swarms the man, refusing to allow him another chance to pull the trigger. Her right hand squeezed, Jaime looks down to find the cause, Jordan on his knees with his left hand pressed to the ground. “We’ve got wounded!” one of the militia crewmates shout, rushing to the side of Jordan, Lazarus doing the same, Jaime slowly crouching down until she notices how tight his grip is.
Being turned onto his back by Lazarus, Jordan looks towards Jaime, blood trickling out of his mouth as the middle his white t-shirt is quickly overcome with a rushing red wave. Still holding onto Jaime’s hand, Jordan struggles to speak, the blood pooling from his mouth as the shock still lingers within Jaime. Only the sound of something resembling her name breaks Jaime from the momentary daze, immediate panic flooding through her head as she drops to her knees.
Begging for help, Jaime assists the militia crewmates in trying to stop the bleeding, the man having stood in front of her at the sight of the crowd’s movement, taking one slug to the stomach. “SOMEBODY FUCKING DO SOMETHING!” Jaime shouts, the crowd pressing their weight upon the gunman as the militia diverts their entire focus onto Jordan, his blood running down the stairs, one step at a time beneath the heat wave-inducing, mid-day sun.