Die, Zombie, Die… Again: Review of Z Nation episode 109 By A. Zombie

The episode focuses on Addy and Mack, who have yet to catch up with the escort crew after the zunami separated them. Citizen Z has tried and failed to reconnect them, leaving the couple in Four Corners, Utah with virtually no resources. Luckily, they find a creek to get water–at least they have a hand-up on the others, who relied on Murphy’s ruthlessness to obtain a two-day food/water supply.There’s trouble in paradise. Addy refuses to talk about the memories haunting her. Mack is frustrated. He doesn’t understand why she won’t open up to him, trust him with everything. Their argument is cut short when they move on from the creek. Addy wants to stay, it’s beautiful and relaxing next to the water. Mack points out, “Beauty attracts trouble. You should know that.” He’s got a point, even if it’s a slightly snippy way to say that Addy’s a magnet for trouble.

Maybe leaving the creek isn’t such a good idea. Their motorcycle runs out of gas down the road. The couple set up camp at a rundown warehouse—in front of said warehouse, not inside under an actual roof. Because that makes sense. Sleep out in the open with only a couple broken steel sheets to make a tent. The downtime gives Mack a chance to pry into Addy’s problem again. She finally tells him about the flashbacks. She thinks it’s a memory, but isn’t sure. Mack may be the guy fighting a zombie in these mental hiccups, but again she isn’t sure. With a total lack of nothing to go on, they devolve into an awkward game of Twenty Questions in which they realize they know nothing about each other—meanwhile they’ve failed to secure food, water, gas, and electricity so they can contact Citizen Z.

“We never stood a chance, Mack.” Addy points out that without the zombie apocalypse, they would have never made a logical couple. They have little to nothing in common. Heck, she doesn’t even fully remember the night they met. Addy can’t see a future for herself, let alone a future with Mack. Kids and marriage? Impossible. Mack wants to prove her wrong. He asks her out on a date. While he’s fashioning their meager supplies into a gourmet “dinner,” Addy sleeps in their makeshift tent. Mack comes back and opts to let her sleep. He dozes off, as well.

This is where the annoying part comes in. Everything from here on out is a series of dream sequences. Mack wakes and hears Addy scream. He runs after her, encountering a trail of dead zombies who’ve been bitten by something—a rattlesnake. There’s also one live zombie left. In each dream sequence, Mack fights the zombie in some way and dies. In dream four, he survives long enough to find a random wall with a door in the middle of a warehouse before he’s killed.

It’s not until dream number five that things notably change up. This time Addy is still in their tent when Mack wakes. He tells her he thinks he’s been dreaming about the future. They hear the same zombie roar from Mack’s dream. They run off, taking the same path from the dream, but everything is different. No dead zombies. No snake. The door is still there, along with the live zombie. They break through the boards on the inside of the door, but not in time. The zombie bites and kills Addy. Dream six, Addy is gone again. Mack goes straight to the mystery door. The zombie waits, but doesn’t interfere. The boards behind the door are gone, allowing him to rush down into a basement. There’s a dying kid, bitten by a female zombie who attacks Mack. He stabs her repeatedly in the torso.“Why won’t you die?”

Addy wakes Mack from the dream because he’s yelling at the dream zombie woman. He asks Addy where the necklace came from. Suddenly we’re in Addy’s dream sequence, not Mack’s. She goes to the door. She kills the male zombie which has killed Mack so many times.

Down in the basement, Addy is the one who stabs the female zombie. After the zombie finally dies, Addy opens her hand to reveal her necklace. Suddenly we’re back at the creek. Mack sleeps beside the motorcycle. Addy weeps hysterically down by the water. She remembers the first night of the zombie apocalypse now. Remembers she didn’t know how to kill a zombie and that her mother was the first she gave mercy. Forty minutes of a reoccurring nightmare—which we thought were Mack’s for thirty minutes—just to tell viewers she’s having issues about killing her mother. 10k killed his father and they handled it with two or three flashbacks.

Addy and Mack aren’t characters who can carry off their own episode, let alone an episode where the writers decided to play with weird story-telling techniques. The next episode better have more than two main characters. This was ridiculous and did nothing for the main plot.

Zunami: Review of Z Nation Episode 108

Thirsty, hungry, and hesitant to stress their truck, the group hasn’t made it far from the massive zombie horde sweeping westward across the central states. Matter of fact, the horde moves faster than our heroes.

Well, except Murphy. Dehydration hasn’t done a thing to tarnish his shining personality.

Desperate to survive the zunami—zombie tsunami, coined by Citizen Z—everyone clambers into the town’s mortuary. Seeing as it’s made to store corpses, not keep animated ones out, the building isn’t anywhere near secure. Roberta has one choice: make her people climb into the morgue’s refrigerated body storage or watch them overrun and eaten alive. Again, except Murphy. Everyone reluctantly agrees to chill out and hide until the undead move on. They clear the storage shelves, making room for Doc, Cassandra, 10k, and some random guy who ran into the building with them. Roberta is left without a cubby to hide in when she fails her gut-check and can’t move a dead zombie. Left with no time to spare, Murphy tells her to climb into a body bag. It’s almost touching, Murphy standing over Roberta, his presence unnoticed by the dead as he protects her.

Then Murphy walks away.

His affinity for the dead guys gives him free pass to surf the zunami without care. In the minutes during the heaviest wave of the zunami, Murphy finds two survivors holed up in an apartment building, food and water, and his inner not-giving-a-damn. Yes, the savior of the human race robs a terrified mother and child, then leaves the building’s door open so the undead husband/father may rejoin his family. What a tender-hearted guy. I’m getting the warm-fuzzies.

It’s not all bad from Murphy. He doubles back to the mortuary. In the nick of time, too. A particularly bright zombie takes a closer look at Roberta’s body bag and realizes, “Ooo, a burrito!” Using his zombie mojo, Murphy calls the dead guy off and saves the day. The group, grateful for the water and food Murphy found, finally accepts him as more than a sarcastic burden to haul across the country. Their time is running short. Murphy is becoming more zombie than human. What does this mean for the cure?

Up in the middle of nowhere, things get weird . . . er. Citizen Z stops a cyber-attack on his system. Moments later, an unidentified object falls from the sky, landing near the NSA base. Turns out, there is a guy inside, an astronaut from the International Space Station who was stranded up there for three years during the zombie outbreak. Yuri is convinced the air isn’t safe in the base. Citizen Z brushes it off, inviting his new guest inside for copious amounts of vodka, video games, and a round of indoor golf.

golfNo amount of distraction placates Yuri. His actions grow odder; what he says make no sense to Citizen Z—not because Yuri’s mother language isn’t Engligh. Yuri snaps, attacking Citizen Z, forcing him to listen to the same question over and over: What’s wrong with the dog? Turns out, the HVAC system for the base malfunctioned. There’s virtually no oxygen. Yuri never existed. He is a hallucination coughed up by an oxygen-starved mind.

I have to admit, it’s a cool way to mix up the scenes in the base. However, the repetitive dialog for these scenes makes it feel like it was written by someone likewise suffering oxygen deprivation.

Welcome to the Fu-Bar – Z Nation episode 107

Their mechanic is out of commission—Roberta checked out after giving Charles mercy and isn’t planning to come back anytime soon. The others want to give her space to mourn. Murphy knows if she falls down that rabbit hole, they’re all doomed to follow suit.

“She’s got post-traumatic stress? The whole world’s got post-traumatic stress. Actually there isn’t anything post about it; we all got plain ol’ present-tense all traumatic, all stress, all the time. What makes her so special?”

Roberta is allowed to marinate in her feelings for the majority of the episode. Once 10k patches the radiator hose—and Doc stupidly dumps their entire water supply in the radiator—they find a trading outpost, where Warren proceeds to drink her weight in moonshine. Literally. That’s all she does until the last five minutes or so of the episode. Then when facing off with a zombie bartender, suddenly she’s ready to talk. Not to the living or the bar tender, but her lover, Charles. She blames him for dying and abandoning her to hopelessness, burdening her with a “beautiful lie” about the possibility of a better future with him by her side. In minutes she goes through half the stages of grief, landing on anger. Her anger transforms her into an efficient killer. But has she really moved on from the grief?

Mack is more than ready to move on. After the truck broke down, he and Addy scout ahead, looking for a place to pick up parts or even a mechanic who’ll do more than nap in the broke-down vehicle. Of course, they find nothing. Major Williams warned them, there isn’t much west of where his camp had been. Seizing the opportunity, Mack suggests he and Addy take their mysteriously-located motorcycle and run off together.

“Addy, the only promise we ever made was to each other—stay alive.”

She can’t leave Warren, can’t leave the memory of Garnett and how he saved her from the cannibals. Most importantly, she can’t trust Mack to not decide he’d be better on his own a week or two down the road. Reasonable. He’s willing to cut-and-run on people who’ve kept them alive for weeks. Who risked everything to save Addy when it wasn’t in their best interest. Mack can’t handle turmoil. With the weird flashbacks Addy’s had over the last few episodes, turmoil is all she’s got to offer. She needs the solidity of a large group in case she freaks—it’ll save Mack’s life at the very least. He agrees to go back. Senses there’s something she’s not telling him. It doesn’t matter. By the time they make it back to where they left the others with the truck, everyone is gone. Better yet, there’s a wall of zombies heading their way.

Cars are the number one fatality on this show. The trusty ol’ truck is showing some wear and tear—again. So of course the solution is to enter 10k in a live zombie-shooting contest at the outpost they found on accident. The prize is a .50 caliber rifle, which they plan to trade for a functioning car. The deal-makers are named Sketchy and Skeezy. I’m feeling huge waves of trust from these guys. Doc knows them from back in New York and vouches for their intentions. Spoilers: The plan doesn’t work. Of course. These guys aren’t allowed to have a reliable car, it’d make it too difficult to cause problems for them plot-wise.

Murphy is nervous and getting dumb with panic. He attacks a guy, Forman, to steal his car. During the struggle, he goes rabid, biting Forman’s neck. A little blood. One ticked-off drunk. And now there’s a witch-hunt on for Murphy. That’s when everything goes downhill—and how Roberta ends up chatting with a zombie bartender. Forman and his posse catch up with Murphy during the shooting contest. Doc, who’s been at 10k’s side with Cassandra, hears a ruckus and they dart off to save Murphy’s backside. A few misfired guns take out three or four innocent bystanders—including one poor sap using the outhouse and Forman. They turn zombie instantly. Except Forman. He’s just dead. Murphy inspects the bite mark he left and finds his tooth embedded in the wound. Turns out he is the cure after all. Here I thought they’d go through all this trouble for the cure to fail catastrophically upon arrival in California.

There’s still time for things to go wrong. They have to stay ahead of the zunami, first and foremost.