No Mercy: Review for Z Nation, Season 3 Premiere by A. Zombie


Step into the way-back machine with the Z Nation gang for this special 2-hour flashback event. How many viewers were totally confused because they missed the opening gag with Doc? I’d hazard a guess and say, quite a few.

No Mercy
Review for Z Nation season 3 premiere
By A. Zombie

zn300-2Once the story smooths out, it’s more than obvious when in their history we’ve landed. Unfortunately, that time frame didn’t give us another chance to see Mack, but we get ample time with Zmurphed Cassandra and newborn Lucy—a pair who shouldn’t be left together, honestly; it leads to weird story beats and makes Cassandra a babysitter instead of any part of the team. Which may explain why, not long after this additional story takes place, 10k has to put her down for good. They couldn’t contain the rabid dog once she completely changed personalities. There’s only so much to do with a primarily non-vocal predator to make her interesting.

Z NATION -- "No Mercy" Episode 301-302 -- Pictured: Joseph Gatt as The Man -- (Photo by: Daniel Sawyer Schaefer/Go2 Z/Syfy)

Z NATION — “No Mercy” Episode 301-302 — Pictured: Joseph Gatt as The Man — (Photo by: Daniel Sawyer Schaefer/Go2 Z/Syfy)

Since hearing about this flashback I’ve wondered, why take them so far back in the time line? What is so important, it has to be said now? It’s far easier to strip an unused script and redistribute the information throughout the upcoming story than to cut together a movie explaining vital information about the incoming probably-bad guys. Except it seems The Man and his mysterious handler—possibly top-ranked Zona personnel—are vital to upcoming events. The unseen man has the markers for Zona leadership, judging from what Dr. Merch told Murphy before he double-crossed her in the season 2 finale. Two-hours of The Man ramming through a small settlement like a tank is a tad overkill. Entertaining, but overkill. The inevitable outcome was set in stone, leaving much to be desired from The Man—like his bald head on a platter.

zn300-3The story is one we’ve seen before. The gang rolls past a settlement, desperately low on supplies and devolved to bickering nonstop. Unbeknownst to Operation Bitemark, the poor survivors inside are being harassed, threatened by someone far more powerful than them. After a crow-raised boy is abducted, the settlers call on the gang to help, since they’re so ferocious and all. The rest really is just various stages of planning and executing the plan, with some close-calls, another abduction, and mass murder.

Oh, did I mention the glowing, exposed-brain zombies locked in a contaminated laboratory? They’re kinda important. Dr. Howard Teller is the only reason The Man is interested in the settlement to begin with. To The Man, Harold is just another name on a list he’s tasked with gathering. For Harold, there’s so much more at risk. His wife, Sarah, is one of the not-quite-zombies locked in the lab. The reason the fungus-infected lab team aren’t dead is because Harold is the only soul brave enough to feed them. It’s not until Murphy translates their plaintive cries that Harold understands she’s been begging him to give them mercy for four years. Murphy’s interaction with these poor souls is heartbreaking. Kudos to Keith Allan for an incredible performance.

zn300-4The opening sequence is tense and beautifully shot. People overlook this show often when searching for simply beautiful footage when they shouldn’t. The team behind the camera is brilliant.

On the flip-side, the writing team needs their ability to write puns stripped for a little while. If I took a shot for every crow joke said at the kid’s expense, I’d have no brain or skull left.

I wanted to be irritated over the flashback, but in the end, saw the necessity. It’s still not cool to leave us hanging with 10k’s fate. We want to catch up with the others, too. I mean, Citizen Z finally met another living being without fur! Plus, Warren and her team have a new ally in Hector . . . except he’s also cornered on the beach by Chinese soldiers. Murphy and Vasquez are the only ones with the freedom to do what they want. Will they return to save their former travel companions? Guess we’ll have to tune in on the 23rd to find out.