Water Keepers: Review for Z Nation 909
Review for Z Nation 909
by A. Zombie
You may not see them at first, but trust me, there’s spoilers lying in wait below. Be careful.
Precious few people encounter Operation Bitemark during their adventures and live to tell about it. Now that’s not to say that our heroes are doing anything immoral, but the group is dogged by moments where things going horribly wrong all on their own and it’s resulted in quite a body count left in their wake. Thankfully we can safely say the gang was nowhere near the Grand Canyon, where some of the water keepers lived before relocating to ancestral lands up north, so they—oh, what’s that? They were at the Grand Canyon with this tribe? Well then it’s a good thing Doc and 10k made a pretty good impression on the survivors.
A couple familiar faces emerge from the hostile greeting party, sparing Roberta and the others from also being shot with arrows like Doc. Kuruk and Ayalla embrace the gang and treat them like no time at all has passed. Yet there’s a little more hesitation behind Kuruk’s trust. We learn the reason slowly, but a root cause seems to be that the dead don’t die and she has no way to mentally process this new step in the transition to the other side. Paired with the stress of the apocalypse and sabotage at the dam by unknown parties, Kuruk is far more frayed around the edges than she wants to admit. Doc sees through her attempt to play it off. Their connection from the spirit walk is still strong. Keeping romance alive in tough times is a reoccurring theme on the show. Will Doc finally be the one to not bury their love?
The pair may lose each other sooner rather than later. The sabotage at the dam will be a tough repair, one that may be beyond Kuruk’s father’s abilities. He has faith in his skills. Everyone else isn’t so sure the dam will hold and as our heroes arrive, the camp prepares to head out ahead of the dam’s failure. Chief Eddy refuses to lose his ancestral land again and will give up everything to make sure his people can stay put. Even if that means locking himself in the crumbling dam to work by himself with only a few Talkers by his side. Oh and the Talkers trying to destroy the dam? They sent someone else in to finish the job. The bomber is spotted by 10k and Ayalla while they’re testing a new hand for him, but they fail to stop the guy.
With the doors locked and the worst about to happen, how is the gang going to save the dam? Doc’s brilliant idea is to recreate the insane and improbable spirit walk he and Kuruk undertook back at the place that rhymes with Grand Canyon, but totally wasn’t the Grand Canyon. *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* The water keepers are, of course, not that keen to stand by and watch a white guy mock their traditions, but the medicine man, Ashki, eventually agrees. There’s a slight catch. Roberta has to go with the couple, according to Ashki’s grandfather—his advisor from the other side.
The trip doesn’t go too smoothly. By the time the trio cross over into the dam, Eddy has already been mortally injured. 10k’s attempt to stop the saboteur lands him unconscious in the underbelly of the dam facility, and Doc can’t revive him. When Roberta attempts to change her surroundings while on the spirit walk, she’s booted back into her body. Thankfully her trip wasn’t in vain and she discovers a way for her and George to physically enter the building. While they bring reinforcement, Doc takes a brutal approach to the spirit walk, dang near overdosing on the potion to give himself the oomph to jump into 10k’s body so he can help Eddy with repairs.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate George’s fight at the end of the episode. We’ve seen her fight before, but the intimate camera work and some solid choreography turned their newest addition into a legit action star. Can we have more scenes like that for George? Please? Fans already love her, but when the production team lets her show off her physical strength to match a stellar acting performance, it’s small-screen magic.
In the end, it takes everyone’s hard work to save the dam and keep the water keepers on their land. Our heroes even went one step further than just saving someone’s home. Through their hard work and practicing what they preach, the gang also convinces Kuruk to reintroduce the Talkers into the tribe. Before this, the Talkers were isolated, sent to work, but remain apart from the living. The episode ends with a dance designed to bring the living and dead together in harmony. I suspect this won’t be the last time we see Kuruk and the water keepers. Though it’s a little weird to actually look forward to seeing a group again. Usually once the plot moves on, groups like this falls into obscurity.
Okay, so the water’s back on. Now what do they do? What, exactly, is the next step in feeding an ever-growing population while fighting a mostly unknown enemy?