Fall TV got an early jolt this month from The Swarm, a German series that delivers an urgent message about climate change in the form of a smart and suspenseful eco-thriller. This adaptation of Frank Schätzing’s nearly 20-year-old novel was made even more timely upon its debut by reports of real-life orca attacks, though we’re probably still a ways away from orca-humpback tag teams (we hope).
Now it’s art’s turn again to imitate life — in “Episode 3,” French microbiologist Cécile Roche (Cécile de France) uncovers some disturbing news that could trigger a pandemic. The Swarm has already “treated” viewers to such unnerving sights as voracious ice worms with huge (for their size, anyway) jaws and an exploding lobster that released a contagion upon the unsuspecting kitchen staff at a high-end restaurant. Cécile and her colleague Sophia Granelli (Franziska Weisz) have been looking after one of the survivors, whom they’ve put in a medically induced coma while they figure out the root of the problem.
Things are about to go from bad to worse — really, that seems to be the overall trajectory for Season 1 — for France, and soon enough, the rest of the world. At the end of “Episode 2,” Cécile went to meet with a different survivor, Alaina (Enrica Cortese), at her apartment, only to find her dead in a pool of the same black vomit that others at the restaurant spewed shortly before dying. In this exclusive clip for Primetimer, Cécile learns that the bacteria that’s already killed multiple people within hours has made its way into the water system, just as Sophia watches dozens of infected people begin to swarm the medical center.
There’s no telling how quickly the bacteria will spread now that it’s in the water supply, or if there’s any way to medically combat it. But The Swarm has been tying together its many threads, so it certainly seems like a widespread outbreak is on the horizon — one of the few things scarier than swan-diving humpbacks.
New episodes of The Swarm air Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET on The CW, and stream next-day on The CW app.
Danette Chavez is the Editor-in-Chief of Primetimer and its biggest fan of puns.