Previously on Z Nation, “No Mercy”
Z Nation – S3E2 – A New Mission | Kellita Smith, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Nat Zang, Russell Hodgkinson, Emilio Rivera | Writer and Director: Dan Merchant
BITES AND MORSELS
Thanks to last week’s flashback movie, viewers not only were happily reacquainted with our favorite survivors both past and present, but got a taste of the urgency and impending doom Warren and the gang immediately faced as the third season officially kicked off. And boy, writer/director Dan Merchant wasted no time in dragging them through the mud.
“A New Mission” picks up seconds after the season finale with Roberta, Hector, Addy and Doc being held against their will by a well-armed foreign team who are on the hunt for Murphy (surprise, surprise). Speaking of, Big Blue is trying to put as much distance between him and the latest scene of the crime with 10K, the Zona sub captain and Dr. March in tow. Add the predicament of fresh supplies dropping from the sky and “Mission” becomes a bloody free-for-all that ends with an ominous revelation.
ZOMBIE ROLL CALL
It’s only the first episode of the third season so we shouldn’t expect any variants until the group is further down the road. Nevertheless Murphy and 10K were witness to a sight that was, far and away, much much weirder than a giant zombie-stuffed cheese wheel. Bursting through the thick forest of Northern California was a katamari-style ball of zombies. Dozens upon dozens of undead constantly moving as they feast on each other – and probably anything they pick up along their destructive path.
When it’s getting so bad that the puppies and kitties are tearing each other apart, the chances for red-blooded humans to survive this savage world has dropped precipitously.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
The bad luck continued with Warren and Murphy’s groups encountering feral bands of survivalists nicknamed “Enders”. It was pretty damn obvious that the world had gone to hell in a hand basket since the first episode. However there have remained pockets of civilization – some more weirder than others – attempting to preserve some semblance of order in their own way. Of course it couldn’t be like that everywhere, so it’s not too surprising that huge swaths of humanity have begun to unravel. Chances are the longer humankind endures the zombie apocalypse, the more they’ll begin to emulate the undead, living on nothing but their baser instincts.
Still, it was fun to watch the different tribes (from your traditional wild men and militia folk… to wayward derby girls?) stalk, raid and maim for every scrap of resources they could carry. It never ends… add another active threat to the growing list of folks willing to murder Warren and the crew hard and fast!
NEW FACES, SAME MAYHEM
“A New Mission” also introduces a pair of new faces that instantly add a greater dimension to Z Nation’s overall narrative. For most of the episode viewers became acquainted with the cryptic Dr. Sun Mei (Sydney Viengluang), another wannabe savior of the human race determined to synthesize a vaccine from Murphy’s blood. At least that’s the story she told Warren in a very suspicious manner. Dr. Mei leads a small team of mercs who risked everything in their journey from Beijing to California and so far, no good. Though both teams were able to quickly establish an alliance, Mei’s men, strapped to the teeth though they were, displayed a baffling ineptitude in taking down a few crazed bandits. Heck, even when facing Zs Hector remarked they used way too much ammo to take them down.
Unfortunately for Dr. Mei, her hit squad earned a big L and like Roberta, she’ll have to learn to make the best of any given situation. With no radio, no back-up and not even a single MRE, Sun Mei played the one option on the table: join Warren and the others. Welcome to the big time, other doc! We hope you’re a quick study.
Meanwhile at the northernmost point of the world, Simon Cruller aka Citizen Z (DJ Qualls) is alive and well! He and his pup were saved from an icy death by his self-professed biggest fan, Kaya (Ramona Young). Things got real cozy real fast for Z and Kaya – and her nana and uncle. Awkward. It’s a respite that’s well deserved considering the multiple near-death experiences in Camp Northern Light Simon faced last season. Now that he has support of sorts, Z has a chance to return to the airwaves and be the voice that keeps hope alive.
ANOTHER SHADE OF BLUE
On to the meat of “Mission” which is Keith Allan’s increasingly sinister take on Alvin Bernard Murphy. It was never easy for Murph. Between the violation of his civil rights, being turned into a lab rat, Operation: Bitemark’s dismissive attitudes, dehumanizing torture and experimentation on the regular, we can thoroughly understand why Blue wants to go on his own and let the last vestiges of the world – Zona in particular – consume itself. With Dr. March and 10K at his side, Murphy admits his bright and shiny vision for the future: the last survivors of humanity will be made into ‘Blends’. Half-human, half-zombie and 100 percent under Murphy’s control. Yeah, no thanks.
Naturally, 10K wants no part of Murph’s new world order and attempts to resist him. Keyword: attempts. Unfortunately for him, it appears Murphy bit 10K before or during the boat ride to make him another slave to his cause. As much as they hate one another, Smurphy cannot deny 10K has unique skills that are harder to come by each passing day. Besides, after Tommy killed Cassandra, what better revenge could Murphy have than making 10K his right hand man?
Oh yeah, and there’s the finely tailored flip flop wearin’ follicly-challenged terminator known as The Man (Joseph Gatt). We all figured he’d play a big part in season three but not this soon. He didn’t care about Murphy a few months back, but guess what… you’re numero uno now, buddy! Zona is coming for you and it’s nearly a certainty that no amount of Zs, Blends, or small caliber ammo can stop him.
Just when we thought things had already gone from bad to worse, “Mission” proves the world doesn’t even know what bad juju is around the corner. Things appear grim for Roberta, Doc and Addy now that Murphy has gone rogue. But it’s nothing they can’t handle… right? One thing is assured: season three is going to be a crazy ride.
Z Nation S3E2