Believe it or not, when someone references The Great Pile in this episode, it’s not a pop culture throwback to the mound of dino dung Dr. Sattler dug through in Jurassic Park. This Great Pile stretches for miles and miles, cluttered with abandoned vehicles. Years before, the desperate gathered at the behest of a crazed cult leader who promised they’d be taken to a planet free from the undead. There’s not a lot of bodies lying around, but it’s safe to say no one was beamed up. Going around it is impossible. There’s no road through it. And only the brave know if anyone or anything still reside in the two-hundred square mile parking lot. Not sure if our crew is brave, per say, but Roberta’s gut says head east and the only way to do that is through this no-go zone.
A New Mission: Keep Moving:
Review for Z Nation 404
By A. Zombie
Tensions in the group are high. They’ve lost more people, some to the Zs, others who’re just gone, and those they’ve lost contact with—in Lucy’s mind, she’s also lost her father to the cure. No one is really sure where they’re going or why they’re blindly following Roberta’s visions of a fiery future. After the Pile hits the proverbial fan several times, the group is at each other’s throats and liable to get attacked yet again if they’re not paying attention. Something’s gotta give. That something, everyone decides, is Roberta’s mysterious drive to venture east. Intervention time. She finally opens up to tell everyone what’s pushing her to keep moving all this time. Unfortunately it’s not enough to convince everyone and Newmerica takes top priority again.
There’s a lot of smaller, worrying things weighing on everyone’s minds. Warren’s is obvious, the compulsion to follow her vision undermines her loyalty to the group and their overall safety. This leads her away from the group where she discovers a glitch in the system, so to speak. Are they trapped in a computer or is Roberta’s mind still recovering from a two-year coma? Lucy just wants to help everyone, including the undead they find in TGP on her way to reuniting with Addy. Murphy’s got that ol’ craving for flesh again. Guess the cure isn’t a thing after all. Hope is what keeps 10k moving forward, thriving on the thought that Red is somewhere out there waiting for him. Kaya searches for Citizen Z, who never returned from his ill-fated flight. Sarge, though? It’s not entirely clear what’s pushing her to follow a bunch of strangers wherever they wander, no matter how many times they’re attacked thanks to their own poor decisions.
Keith Allan directed this episode. It’s slightly disappointing to see him handed an episode without much real substance. A lot of the character plot is rehashed lines from the previous episode, down to Doc repeating his dislike for the group separating. Even the fights between Murphy and Lucy are tired, without any new information or any new insight from having one character’s actor shape the episode. The entire season hinges on a vague thing Roberta feels and it’s already wearing thin, then they bring in a guest director and hand him a fat load of nothing much to work with like he can magically make last week’s dialog punchier in a giant parking lot. There’s also the small matter of those wonderful Z-rat POV shots during the chase, but when the Z-rat reveal comes at the end, we realize those shots are impossible. Is it just me or does this season feel far less organized than the others? A lot of what’s coming across wrong or tiresome are things which could’ve been stopped during a third editing pass through the script and consulting a solidly formed timeline. If the gang’s going to stop fire from raining on everyone and killing life as we know it, they kinda need to kick things into gear on the writing side.