Review for Z Nation 303
By A. Zombie
Never fear, the postal service runs no matter what, or so Barney Becker from McCloud, CA would have the group believe. He’s bizarre out the gate, demanding no zombies be harmed while he helps the group get back to the Great Murphy Hunt 2.0. The town is deserted, save Becker. Plus, every last zombie follows the guy around like he’s wearing eau de Murphy. Maybe it’s the fact that he feeds them meat scraps like a pack of stray dogs at a campsite.
Probably not. Nothing’s ever that simple on this show.
Up north, but not too far north, Murphy and his mobile world-domination unit set their eyes on Spokane, WA as Ground Zero for the Murphy World Order. First, they have to get through horrible rush-hour traffic. Okay, it’s one car, but it’s in Murphy’s way and he’ll have none of it. A couple’s sick child is on the brink and the father knows they have to give her mercy. Impatient, Murphy solves all their problems by biting the girl so they can all move on with their day in gorgeous Washington. The way he talks about Spokane, one can tell he’s spent time there during far, far better days. Can you imagine tiny Murphy bullying his way down the path to see the river first? It’s almost endearing. Then the moment’s broken when 10k and Murphy butt heads yet again over this whole zmurph takeover thing. The naysaying does not a thing to color Murphy’s excitement. He practically skips into town, his sights set on the perfect building to call home. They are settling in nicely. But what’s this? Guests at the door already. Someone else wants on the zmurph side of life, and he’s not going to deny them.
Way, way up north, the housing situation isn’t nearly as ideal. Simon, a.k.a. Citizen Z, hasn’t a clue what to do. Kaya insists he can recover, get back on the air, and make a difference. The closest they come to touching the outside world is discovering a music broadcast and hearing Addy call over the radio, but it’s a one-way street. Addy doesn’t hear Simon before the battery Dr. Sun provides dies. Now everyone is officially cut off from the other groups. Not one to despair, Simon sets to fixing the one problem he knows is possible—food. Kaya, her family, and Dog join Simon for a trek through a snowstorm to the one place he knows still has supplies.
It doesn’t take long for the gang to grab the gas Becker promised, along with the side trip to contact Simon. Dr. Sun strikes out when she calls her commanders. The music Simon and Kaya find is actually a signal that the Chinese have given up and there’s no more survivors to cure.
The problems in McCloud don’t really start until Becker’s true relationship with the dead townspeople is questioned. Then the non-zombie corpses are found at the post office. Becker’s a shorts-wearing, card-carrying psychopath. Shunned by the town while they lived, his resentment boiled over on outbreak day when he realized they’d eventually become a threat. So he shot every single one. Because that makes sense if you want to keep supplies intended for a thousand-plus people for yourself while simultaneously punishing innocent people for living without pandering to your ego.
Becker deserves what he gets. In a surprising twist, Dr. Sun is the one to mete out justice this time around. Her practical, inventive nature will either be a blessing for Roberta, or a liability when their personal goals eventually clash.
The zombies are evolving on Z Nation, beyond the mad scientist mashups highlighted over the seasons—nuclear, plant, the freaky glowing-brain Zs from the season opener, etc. They recognize Becker, not the food he gives them, to the point they completely ignore the gang several times. Something of their humanity is either coming back or was always there, but the story never lent itself to this development on-screen before. Maybe the group can eventually use this information to help capture Murphy, or at the very least save their own backsides down the road. Or it’ll be an interesting story bit which is used once and dumped, much to my disappointment.
Murphy’s army is growing. How much trouble can he cause before the team tracks him down for Dr. Sun to run her experiments? Too much. The answer will always be too much trouble. We wouldn’t want Murphy to behave any other way.