Black Summer Season 1: Ending Explained

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Confused by the ending of the first season of Black Summer? If so, we understand. For any burning questions you may have about the ending, allow us to help you with that. Here’s your ending explained to Black Summer Season 1.

Black Summer is a Netflix Original horror-thriller series based on the world of Z-Nation. Set years before the events of Z-Nation, Black Summer is a much darker and intimate story than that of its sister series.

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In the darkest days of the zombie apocalypse, a mother must band together with a group of strangers for survival if she has any hope of finding her daughter.

What happened to the army protecting the stadium?

The sad and simple answer to that question is the army was overrun by the zombies. Without being bitten, if a person were to die they would still reanimate as a zombie. The army was not trained to fight hordes of the undead, so even with their training, nothing would have prepared them for that.

It only would have taken a few infected to cause utter chaos, as seen at the end of the finale. The number of undead would have easily outnumbered the army too fast for them to handle the situation.

Why didn’t the evacuation of the stadium happen?

Nearly all the soldiers and civilians in the area had become undead. With so many undead in one area, the army would have blacklisted the site and canceled any evacuations they had planned. Not only is evacuation unlikely, but the area could be targeted for an air strike.

How did Rose’s daughter survive?

She was on the transport that safely arrived at the stadium. At the time the stadium and surrounding area wouldn’t have been overrun. When the army protecting the stadium was overrun, survivors may have been locked inside or took shelter while the army tried to fight off the undead. She was seen with another survivor who likely took responsibility for the teenage girl.

Spears, Rose and Sun made it to the stadium – Copyright Netflix

Why were there so many survivors outside the stadium?

To the surprise of many, there were still many survivors (most armed) attempting to get to the stadium. The stadium was known to survivors within the surrounding area as the evacuation point. Naturally many would have thought getting to the stadium would be their greatest chance of surviving.

Unsurprisingly the number of survivors in the area attracted the infected, which didn’t take long for chaos to ensue.

Why did Carmen turn?

When a civilian was attacked by a zombie, a stray bullet from said survivor hit Carmen, which in turn killed her. With her death, the virus took over and turned her into one of the undead.

Why did no one shoot Carmen when she turned?

That question is a little harder to answer. We’ve put it down to poor writing because realistically the number of people around her with weapons, at least one person should have been smart enough to put a bullet in her head. But the only logical answer would be the people panicked and nobody had the foresight to shoot her before she attacked.

Why were the survivors rubbish with guns?

The most likely scenario would be that most of the survivors would never have used a gun in their lifetime, let alone had to shoot a moving target which just so happened to be another person. Zombies aside, this was still at the early days of the apocalypse with many survivors yet to become hardened by the new world.

With so much chaos ongoing around them, most of the survivors had no idea who to shoot. A great number of them died so fast, only adding to the sheer number of zombies in the area.

Ensung chaos and panic caused by the undead – Copyright Netflix

What happened to Lance?

How Lance survived the journey to the stadium was a miracle in of itself, let alone surviving the chaos in the finale. In a state of panic, Lance was separated from the group and tried to outrun the infected chasing him. He almost made it to the stadium before an air strike knocked him off his feet.

After being dazed by the blast, Lance came to his senses, got back on his feet and continued running away with many infected on his trail. Lance’s fate is still unknown at this point but his survival is slim at best.

Was Velez infected?

Velez was never infected, but he did have an injury that was causing him to limp. Many may have suspected he was lying and was bitten but now we will never know.

Why did Rose shoot Vellez?

Mercy. Velez was never going to make it to safety and was dragging the survivors down. Instead of leaving him to be attacked by the zombies, out of mercy Rose shot him in the head so he wouldn’t have to suffer.

Some of the zombies ignored his body but it’s likely that some would have feasted on his flesh.

Will the gate hold?

For now of least, the gate should be enough to hold back the zombies. This, of course, depends on any larger numbers that arrive. Zombies have been shown to get bored and wander off, so this could also happen. One thing to consider is there are multiple entrances to the stadium so of least that entrance is safe for now.

What are the motivations of Spears and Sun?

Sun’s motivation is simple, all she wishes for is to survive and be evacuated into a safer area.

Spears is a harder character to understand as his motivations from the start were always cloudy. Having escaped from his captors (and killing a man in the process), the first person he found was Rose. As to why he helped her is still unclear, but perhaps helping a civilian dressed as military personnel may have given him the idea it would help him get to the stadium for evacuation too.

Once Rose had saved Spears’ life from the two soldiers, he would have owed Rose big time. His motivations would have gone from just surviving to do whatever he could to help Rose find her daughter.

Bitter Sweet Ending

Entering the stadium, it was evident that any army presence had either left or were currently undead. With the entire stadium empty, all hope seemed lost of finding Rose’s daughter. When a man emerges from the stands, with a gun in hand it startles the remaining survivors. The man lowers his weapon and so do Rose and the other survivors, showing they aren’t a threat.

Another figure emerges from the stands, a teenage girl. The girl is revealed to be Rose’s daughter who gleefully runs towards her mother before the episode fades to black.

While the ending is happy, the taste is bittersweet. Most of our survivors are dead or in Lance’s case soon to be dead, but the survivors within the stadium are now trapped. With the dead roaming the streets around the stadium, the army presence dead and likely no evacuations happening, how long will the survivors last? After all in Z-Nation, Black Summer is infamously known for the lack of food, causing mass starvation adding to the ever-growing undead population…

What are your thoughts on the ending of Black Summer Season 1? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 as a fulltime writer having worked in numerous other industries until that point. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering new anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom.

 Poster Rating: TV-MA
Language: English
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Cast: Justin Chu Cary, Jaime King, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr.
Season Additions:
  • - Season 2 was added to Netflix on June 17th, 2021
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on April 11th, 2019