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barty 2

This episode starts with a dream, a very unclear dream about a car and people screaming and… something. When Angie Truscott (played by Elizabeth Sellars) wakes up in bed, she is completely unsettled and she doesn’t know why.

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She puts on the loudest record she can find until her husband comes home. (Sidebar: The music in this episode is described as ‘rock n’roll.’ I can now understand why people hated it. Ye Gods, this is awful music.) Her husband Roger is a particularly obstinate middle-aged man who functions in most of this episode as either useless or obstructionist.

Angie is dealing with depression or anxiety or something and is taking sleeping pills which she has accidentally ingested with alcohol. Her anxiety is not helped by seeing a rat, or by her husband’s conversation with a co-worker that there is an unusual rat migration in their area.

The only source of information seems to be a rather jokey radio program hosted by ‘Barty.’ The updates are consistent, but conflicting. Something may be happening, but more ominous is the interview with the local scientist who explains that this particular strain is immune to the most effective poison available, and therefore hard to control.

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While the Truscotts begin to hear increased noise from the floor as the rat population begins to grow and then eat its way from the cellar, Angie advances a terrible theory – what if more than their immune system has been refined by this artificial natural selection? What if these rats are smarter, more savage, and worst of all, unafraid of humans?

The answer is yes.

The plot is fairly straightforward here which is different from the other episodes, but the linear narrative works better for the horror elements of the story. Also, not a rat is shown, which considering the circumstances was the best choice possible.

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