Dr. Nancy Jaax ( Julianna Margulies ) is a colonel in the US military. Instead of focusing on the CDC, a civilian organisation, this story focuses on the US military's biological weapons unit in Maryland. Her cow-orker, and antagonist of sorts, is Dr. Peter Jahrling (Topher Grace - American Ultra ). He is the typical kind of character Grace plays these days - smug, smarmy, the typical negative stereotype of the straight white male. He is a know-it-all who mansplains things all the time, even though this is his job description as a senior scientist who has to educate the more junior members of staff. This comes across as quite unpleasant when he provides exposition to an African-American subordinate ... while the female protagonist is allowed to come off quite well when she provides similar exposition to a junior white male.
Jahrling gets a tissue sample from local veterinarian Walter Humboldt (Robert Sean Leonard - House). It is organs from an African monkey that died in the Washington DC zoo. He assumes the infected animal died from a simian virus which is not contagious to humans. Jaax, however, considers the worst-case scenario. It may be a virus that is dangerous to humans. The only one who will help her is zookeeper Frank Mays (Nick Searcy - Dark Skies ).
As the protagonist becomes more obsessive, everyone around her retreats into denial. Her mentor, Wade Carter (Liam Cunningham - Game of Thrones ) will not even answer her phone calls.
Wade Carter (Liam Cunningham - Game of Thrones ) joins the US military's team.
The virus may have broken out of the zoo's containment. The protagonist and her cow-orker, Dr. Peter Jahrling (Topher Grace - American Ultra ), start to take responsibility for the mess.
The virus may have broken out of the zoo's containment. The protagonist and her cow-orker, Dr. Peter Jahrling (Topher Grace - American Ultra ), attend a meeting where they brief senior US Army officers.
Dr. Nancy Jaax ( Julianna Margulies ), Colonel in the US military, recruits and briefs a group of soldiers. Her husband pulls her out and replaces her, because he considers himself more expendable.
In the flashbacks, Wade Carter (Liam Cunningham - Game of Thrones ) takes his CDC sidekick and Melinda Danport ( Grace Gummer ) to another village. The helicopter pilot will not return to collect them for three days, so they will have to make the most of it.