While everyone's still goggling at the missiles, there's an electromagnetic pulse, and the power goes out. Permanently. Cut to two weeks later. Dad's still down with what we're continuing to call "the flu," and with no one to give them inspiring speeches, the townsfolk have descended into violent anarchy. Well, not really, but they're definitely getting whinier. And then there are horse thieves. No, really. The Greens' horses are stolen by a guy named Mitchell, who lives on a "compound" with some other ne'er-do-wells. Mitchell knows Jake from his bad old days, and so we learn that the mysterious reason Jake left town -- which Good Cop was teasing him about last week, remember -- might be connected to an incident where some kid got his brains blown out. Good Cop's got a weird sense of humor. Anyway, it turns out that Dale had Mitchell & Co. help him move some of the stuff he found on the train to Gracie's store. Then the guys took everything else from the train, and then, naturally, progressed to rustling. Which answers a few questions, and raises a dozen new ones. Jake and Eric go to the compound and capture Mitchell, but can't find the rest of the salvaged food. While Jake argues that it's never too soon to start lynching people, Mitchell makes menacing noises about how someone Jake used to know is gonna come to Mitchell's rescue. In other news, Allison goes snooping around in Hawkins's bunker, and gets to shoot Vanilla Ice CDs as a reward. Mimi wants to move in with Stanley after her hotel kicks her out. To pay her way, she has Mitchell steal some pesticide from Gracie. Stanley gives it back, and then the whole town heartwarmingly helps Stanley to pick his corn before the icky bugs eat it all. Emily appears briefly, but doesn't talk. Excellent.
Previously: The U.S. was nuked. Zombies roamed the countryside, crashing trains, prank-calling the survivors, and worst of all, interfering with TV reception.
We open where we left off last week. Everyone stares up at the missiles, and Stanley asks, "Are those ours or theirs." Jake says, "They're headed up. Must be ours." Hee. Though I'm not sure that's a safe assumption. I mean, couldn't whoever coordinated the original attack be capable enough to maybe, as a follow-up, use our own missiles to wipe out the rest of the country? Dad says that the nearest missile silo is in Wyoming. Eric gasps, "So this is it? We're at war?" Psst, Eric: I think you've been at war since the attack.
Hawkins races home to his bunker and enters a password into his laptop. Then he sends a message: "What is the target? Ours or theirs? Also, what the hell is my deal already?" The reply he gets is, "I'm compromised." As Hawkins starts typing, "Dude, just answer the freaking question!" Allyson appears in the doorway. Hawkins tells her to get Darcy and Samuel into the basement and wait for him, and then slams the door in her face.
Back on the street, Eric figures that someone must have identified who's responsible for the original attack. Jake says, "Or maybe they just decided to take out one of the usual suspects." I'm shocked at Jake's cynicism. And weirded out by his Members Only jacket. Dad cheerily notes that there might be more missiles headed for them. Then the lights go out all over town just as there's a brief flare in the sky.
Hawkins's laptop is still fine, but a final "end transmission" message appears in his chat log. Hawkins pulls out some glow-sticks and snaps them as he goes out into the basement. Er, wasn't his basement full of lanterns and candles? Granted, glow-sticks are more fun. Darcy figures that something's wrong with the circuit breaker, but Hawkins tells her that it was an electromagnetic pulse. He hands out the glow-sticks and adds, "Fries anything with a circuit board. That means all electronics, appliances; anything with wires." Time to call in Technical Consultant Stephen Granade, who says it's more like "anything with a microchip." He adds, "Whatever, Mr. Former Pool Man. Semiconductors will fry like popcorn, as will other sensitive electronic components. But your cheap Goodwill toaster from the 1950s will probably still work, as will older cars." Darcy asks if another bomb's gone off. Hawkins smiles winningly and hands over more glow-sticks.