DEATH VALLEY “The Hottest Day of the Year” Review

DEATH VALLEY “The Hottest Day of the Year” Season 1 Episode 6 – I can usually handle any amount of gore, but certain parts of “The Hottest Day of the Year,” the sixth episode of Death Valley, literally turned my stomach. From the bloated, exploding zombie to the decapitation via chainsaw, this week was all about the ick factor.

Thanks to John-John accidentally killing an innocent senior citizen the week before, IA has issued a new policy regarding zombies. Now the officers must approach zombies, inform them that there is cause to believe they might have been infected and wait sixty seconds for confirmation before taking further action. Sixty seconds. Sounds like just enough time to be bitten.

Carla and John-John are lucky enough to host the fresh-faced, totally pompous IA officer who came up with this plan on their next call-out. As they’re battling zombies in a plant nursery, the IA dude gets jumped by a zombie and left to die or change, whichever comes first. When the officers find him, he begs them to kill him. They do, but not before they mock him with his own protocols. Classy.

Meanwhile, Joe and Billy are sweltering in heat of a typical Valley day (115 degrees is not uncommon), and the only way to relieve the tension is to run over zombies. It’s gross and unnecessary to the plot, but if you enjoy that sort of thing, who am I to judge?

The only semi-interestng on-going story is Kirsten’s growing fascination with the world of the vampires. This week, she follows Dashell’s niece to another blood party (a job which she was just a little too eager to volunteer for, if you ask me), only to find out that it’s more of a turning party. Rico the Suave Vampire is about to change a young girl into one of his own kind. Does Kirsten use any of her skills or connections to stop this from happening? No. After a half-hearted attempt to get the girl to rethink her choice, Kirsten stands back and watches the ceremony with more intrigue than disgust.

When Rico says she could be next, it almost seems like she’s had the same thought…and it doesn’t bother her. Where’s the Kirsten who took down a zombie in the middle of the police station on her first night? Damn those vampires for being so seductive! And for controlling zombies. Not sure if that’s insightful or useful information, but it is something else we learned this week.

Halfway into the first season, I’m still on the fence about Death Valley. Parts of it are absurdly amusing, yet I still can’t figure out if it’s a gore-fest that wants to be funny or a dark comedy that happens to be gory. Either way, they must spend a lot of money on corn syrup and food coloring.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Do you wish Billy would take his shirt off more often? Is Kirsten going to be a vampire by the end of the season? Let me know below!