Previously on Z Nation, ‘Zombie Baby Daddy’
Starring: Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Russell Hodgkinson, Nat Zang, Pisay Pao, Matt Cedeno, Mike Carr, Doug Dawson | Director: John Hyams
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
The crew find passage on the Mississippi and pick up a pair of familiar faces in the process. Their ride is cut short and 10K is stranded on the opposite side of the river with grifters who aren’t exactly the best company.
Doc is in conflict with Murphy and Warren on how to find 10K, if they ever can. Putting the mission and his own life at risk, Doc goes on his own to find his friend.
ZOMBIE ROLL CALL
No variants or boss types this go around. However there sure were a buttload of them jamming up riverways and clogging outboard motors (great prosthetic work in that scene, by the way) A few were doing their Conan the Barbarian thing, spinning a wheel to power a shantytown. Poor buggers.
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
During their ramshackle river jaunt, the group bump into the unsavory twosome that are Sketchy (Mike Carr) and Skeezy (Doug Dawson). No one but Doc is excited to see the miscreants, who unsurprisingly pissed off a whole mess of folk upriver. After looting Graceland and getting on the bad side of an Albanian outfit, Sketchy reveals their latest con: passing Skeezy off as The Murphy.
Say what you will about the duo, their survival skills are second to none. Their conversation is cut short thanks to a zombie jam and 10K is separated from his clique early on in “Mississippi”. Now landlocked without any supplies or weapons, Tommy has to rely on Sketchy’s oozing charisma and nonsensical chatter to get them through the wilderness. Watching Sketch and Skeez in action turns out to be a worthwhile education for 10K: the guys provide insight on how to think on one’s feet or else it’s your ass in the dirt.
Their skills are put in full display when they’re held up by a quartet of good ol’ boys; Sketchy easily turns the tables and convinces the yokels Skeezy is Murphy, who believe he can give them immortality. Poor Skeez is usually the goat in Sketchy’s plans and has to do something ridiculously unhygienic to save their skins. Seriously, it’s gross. Eventually the three make their way to Burrtown, which is how I imagine the Tea Party envisions the future of America. No gov’ment is gonna tell us how to distill OUR moonshine! Fingers crossed that we’ll eventually see a Trump zombie…
THE MAN OR THE MISSION
Meanwhile, Doc and Murphy aren’t seeing eye to eye about what’s more important: the team or the mission. After being mostly on the sidelines the last two episodes, Doc was in the forefront defending his best pal and essentially trying to keep the gang together. If Roberta Warren is the den mother of this wayward collection of cubs, then Doc is definitely the Crazy Uncle who isn’t exactly the best around kids but will do everything he can for them. 10K is like a son to him and even though the mission is paramount, he couldn’t give up on any of them… because they’re all family. Well, except for Vasquez. He’s still iffy and way too trigger happy.
¿QUIÉN ES EL JEFE?
With Sketchy, Skeezy and 10K way over their heads in Burrtown, the resident provide a reception for their Head Gangster in Charge, Escorpion (Emilio Rivera). With a 3 wood in hand and sporting the sweetest goatee in all the land, Escorpion gives the boys a chance to argue for their freedom. with an extremely hilarious yet batshit insane appeal (Dred Scott v. The City of Sacramento? Really???) Carr’s portrayal of Sketchy during this scene in particular was absurdly awesome. After years of being on the road conning his way from town to town, Sketchy use every idiom, axiom, proverb, catchphrase and fictitious court precedent at his disposal to win over the town. Entertaining as they are, ol’ Scorpy has enough of his bullshit and orders them all to be hanged.
There but for the grace of editing, Doc, Addy and the others save 10K and the hustlers in time from terrible ropeburn, release the slave Zs and hightail it to the bridge. In uncharacteristic fashion, Sketchy and Skeezy stay behind, ready to mow down the zombies in a hail of bullets. Is it truly the end of our favorite crusty crooks? As the late great Stephen Hawking once uttered, “Time will tell, bro.”
See what I did there?! I was doing my Sketchy thing. Because all throughout the episode, he was… the guy… *sigh* you know what? Nevermind.
NOTES OF THE LIVING DEAD
- Rollie and Cornelius’ Dentalmobile. How about no, with a side order of NOPE.
- Everyone apparently wants to get 10K laid. Shame his puppydog eyes are a curse. At least this episode’s love interest didn’t croak.
- “Not only did you steal from Mr. Burr, you stole from the Zeros, and you robbed me of the greatest golf game of my life.” I’d murder them dead too, Escorpion.
- Props to Russell Hodgkinson for adding a great deal of inner turmoil and emotion in “Mississippi”.
- Murphy appears a little too eager to get to California. What’s his game plan now that Cassandra is gone and Lucy is hidden away?
- Oh yeah, what the hell has Citizen Z been up to all this time?!
The journey to the West presses on in “The Collector” Friday at 10/9c on Syfy!
Z Nation S2E7
Z Nation continues to excel in twisting genres and creating satire all for our benefit, as evidenced in this week’s “Down the Mississippi”. Although nothing significant occurred in the main storyline, providing a majority of the screen time to recurring minor characters was not only entertaining but beneficial in further fleshing out the hellish world they reside. Hopefully both Carr and Dawson will reprise their respective roles later this season or in the next. As for Escorpion, Warren and company most definitely have the attention of the Zeros now. Their influence is massive and when they figure out The Murphy is within the group? Look out.