Review of “Z-Nation” 103
By A. Zombie
This episode is all about Cassandra’s past. Or is she Sunshine? Whatever name she goes by, her past isn’t easy to stomach.
First, let’s once again ponder why Citizen Z is necessary to the plot . . . . Done trying to come up with something viable? Essentially this character’s sole purpose is to be a long-distance safety net. Only the best he can do to actually provide aid is play music. There’s still no contact with the scientists the group is supposed to take Murphy to in California. Sure, one could argue that Citizen Z is present to demonstrate what isolation can do to a person. However, the writing is so bad, it’s still impossible to feel bad for this guy—who is his own worst enemy the longer he’s without human contact—when he’s pretty set for supplies and even has a dog to pal around with. A dog who eats better than I do.
The group ends up in Philadelphia on their trek toward California. They find the Liberty Bell strapped to a flatbed truck and defaced with graffiti. What are they to do to preserve this chunk of American history? Steal the truck and crash it two blocks down the road. How the hell do these people expect to make it anywhere if they keep killing cars at this rate? At this point, it’s questionable how they can realistically survive in the apocalypse. There’s a lot of TSTL—Too Stupid Too Live—behavior within the crew.
On the outskirts of town happens to be Cassandra/Sunshine’s old camp. It’s a cheery place. Led by a psychopath with an odd connection to a mute woman. For kicks they turn out the girls they bring into the camp, making them prostitutes and con artists. They’re stellar people, really. They’ll even give you the meat off their back if you’re hungry. Oh, sorry. I meant the meat off the back of the men they lure into camp with promises of easy women. It’s easy to get confused.
Of course the psychopath, Tobias, can’t let things lie when he finds out his precious Sunshine is nearby. His guys don’t come back with their target. Instead, they drag Addy back to camp and doll her up to earn her keep. Mack is furious. Warren and Garnett snap into action—threatening Cassandra until she opens up about the cult/camp she lived in before they found her. That’s always the best way to get information. Unfortunately the mystery-inducing dialog to draw out the tension before the big “They’re cannibals!” reveal consists of Cassandra repeating, “They’re worse than Zs. You don’t understand.”
I figured out the Big Secret long before the reveal. It’s not an uncommon one in post-apocalyptic stories.
The dialog in this episode is worse than the previous two, especially for Tobias and his followers. Most of the zombies in the big fight at the end move like bored teenagers. Honestly, the most believable part is when the main crew are scouting for supplies in Philadelphia and Doc has a moment remembering the internet and its special entertainment sites.
As inept as this group is, they’ll be carless and half dead by the end of episode four.
Full Metal Zombie
Review of “Z Nation” 104
By A. Zombie
The brain trust SyFy thinks we want to follow through the zombie apocalypse is at it again. This time their antics start in Pennsylvania—smack dab in the middle of Amish country. Their mission is to locate the Emergency Headquarters Infection Control in McLean, Virginia. There’s more than a few hiccups along the way. Yup, you guessed it, more vehicle trouble. Plus, a special guest star. Like it makes up for all the poor decision-making skills demonstrated during the episode.
We get two glimpses into 10k’s past. Unfortunately they cover the same event in his life. The first instance is 10k simply telling the group about how he struggled after his father died—he couldn’t put him down for good even when he came back a zombie. The second instance comes later as a full-blown flashback to the moments before his father passed. Character development is great and all, but most of these characters get one solid tale in their backstory and everything about them leans heavily on that moment.
Unless it’s Citizen Z. We know nothing about this guy aside from he’s a NSA employee who missed a doomed flight out of the frozen tundra. He’s weird as hell and has developed a new hobby—cyber-stalking Addy. This character has gone from quirky to creep in a blink. He hacks into Addy’s social media page and proceeds to carry out hours of idle chit-chat with himself as her. I know he’s lonely and all, but his behavior is disconcerting. It’s also dangerous. Citizen Z mistakenly sends the group toward what looks like a functional helicopter in McLean, Virginia. If he’d paid attention, he should have easily seen the truth.
The car problems on this show have hit ridiculous levels. In this episode, they end up car-jacked and taking over the thieves’ broken-down VW Bug. Further down the road, they find the original thieves in the middle of another car-jacking, but this time a soccer mom, her husband, and their two kids are the ones who drive away in Warren and Garnett’s truck. Shortly after that, the zombies get the family and our survivors recover their truck. Even though they have wheels again, they still opt to locate the helicopter.
Enter, Bill Moseley. Yeah, the crazy face-wearing guy from House of 1000 Corpses. In this episode, he plays bat-poo crazy General McCandles. Doc is the only one who gets through to the general. After Doc sees not only McCandles’ mental condition, but the nasty zombie bite he’s sporting too, he realizes this may be a lost cause. Except, he doesn’t get to pass the word on. McCandles tosses Doc down an airshaft, where he makes friends with the last doctor to upset the general. By friends, I mean they share a joint and there’s a moment where the undead doctor isn’t trying to actively eat Doc’s face. For a little while, we think Doc got blown up for nothing—the helicopter has no propellers and is surrounded by crates of who-knows-what—but he emerges from the building looking way too close to a zombie for comfort.
So the fast-track to California is out. They’ll have to risk driving to California. With the way they go through cars, it’s honestly a miracle they’re still in possession of wheels not attached to roller skates.