What an opening gut shot. More often than not, the opening segment for Z Nation is a stunner. Whether the stark violence demonstrated is what gives pause or a desire to spend more time admiring how beautifully the bloody scene is shot, I go back to those first two minutes often. This week’s opening scene is no slacker. It leads wonderfully into the plot, and gives the gang a chance to whack some Zs before the story really begins. The entire episode is a fight, with few lulls to check in with Murphy and set tension amongst the group on his trail.
First, they’ve got a new menace to sidestep.
Escorpion and the Red Hand
Review for Z Nation 304
By A. Zombie
After seeing the Red Hand’s message strung across freeway overpasses, one would think Roberta’s instinct drags her far from the battle-torn warehouse nearby and the jumpy men occupying it who’re in the Red Hand’s sights. Joke’s on her. Not only is she now ensconced in a fight she has no side in, but apparently it’s being led by the guy she’s taken on as her right-hand man. Oh and there’s no weapons to be found anywhere, lest they fancy throwing bags of flaming rubber dog poo—which they don’t, to my disappointment. To say they’ve really stepped in it is an understatement. They’re surrounded by people throwing Molotov cocktails, who aren’t afraid to strap dynamite to zombies. At least no one needs to clean up these messes in the apocalypse.
One mess in desperate need of a good scrubbing is the one Murphy continuously makes for himself during his quest to better mankind . . . by making them inhuman. Until Roberta’s crew catches up, Murphy’s operation spreads pretty much unchecked. 10k wants to resist, but is incapable of breaking the compulsion to follow his maker. Enter science. Dr. Merch followed orders for a long time. She’s pretty much done being told what to do by psychotic men with inflated egos by this point. Despite constant monitoring from Murphy, she works out a way to break the compulsion, and gives it to 10k as well. Only one of them has the chance to really use their newfound freedom. In the process, the pair manage to put a serious roadblock up for Murphy’s long-term plans. The cost is a life. Time will tell if the sacrifice is enough to prevent the remaining humans from becoming zmurphed.
At the fun factory, things take a twist. The people who’d painted themselves the victims aren’t. They’re the ones being punished. This faux Escorpion fashions their persona after Robin Hood, punishing the greedy and protecting those who simply want to survive. The message reaches far, with the Red Hand’s numbers beyond what anyone can accurately tally. They certainly know how to run a guerilla-style battle, hitting hard and fast before disappearing just as quickly. There’s no evidence who’s in the militia, let alone the identity of their leader—except for one injured Red Hand member they pry for information before she dies, and her information is inconclusive. Is Escorpion 2.0 someone we’ve seen before or a new person who admires Hector’s ruthless ways? That’s a mystery for another day. Once the real bad guys are dealt with, the fight with the Red Hand is over. It’s a little too easy for our heroes. I’m leaning toward this imposter being friend, not foe.
Tensions in the Murphy Chasing Squad are tightening. Addy’s distrust of Dr. Sun nearly cost her life during this episode. Having a second Escorpion on the warpath can’t sit well with Roberta. How much does she really know about Hector? He appeared out of the blue when they reached the bar on the coast with supplies to last them all a month. If he pre-meditated providing vital gear for the bedraggled crew in their ultimate time of need, could he orchestrate the Red Hand from their midst? That’s a tad far-fetched, but this show is rife with break-neck plot twists. There’s just enough intrigue to make yet another Let’s-Get-Murphy story line to feel somewhat fresh, but if they don’t make contact soon, this season will drag on and on.