Previously on Z Nation, “A New Mission”
Z Nation – S3E3 – “Murphy’s Miracle” | Kellita Smith, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Nat Zang, Russell Hodgkinson, DJ Qualls, Emilio Rivera, Sydney Viengluang | Writer: Michael Cassutt | Director: Alexander Yellen
BITES AND MORSELS
Roberta, Hector, Addy and Doc on hot on Murphy’s trail but make a supply run in a small town with a lone survivor. Sun Mei attempts to contact her people and inadvertently makes contact with a familiar voice. Murphy, 10K, and Dr. Merch establish roots in the Pacific Northwest and lay the foundations for the blended kingdom. Simon and Kaya – with help from Uncle Kaskae – are motivated to rebuild the network and get Citizen Z back on air.
ZOMBIE ROLL CALL
“Murphy’s Miracle” is filled with your standard-issue Zs yet the crew formerly known as the Westward-bound survivor group have noticed an eerie quality to the walkers that occupy McCloud, California. It appears that Zs aren’t exactly a lumbering mob of ravenous brain gobblers. Traces of their final moments may affect their transformation, and who they go after for their first meal. Oh, if only Dr. Kurian were around to torture a few dozen subjects to prove we’re on the right track with this hypothesis.
As for Murphy’s abilities, they continue to be refined as evidenced by Dr. March and 10K maintaining their pre-bite personalities. Alvin (he does have a first name) can effortlessly control any wayward Z within his sight so it’s clear the self-proclaimed Zombie Messiah is much more comfortable in his role . It wouldn’t be surprising if Murph discovered a few more tricks up his sleeve this season.
NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN NOR HEAT NOR PAIN OF DEATH
It’s been a good while since the gang encountered a person who is far worse than a horde of undead cannibals, and buddy, this episode’s villain takes the cake. During their search for supplies, the group became acquainted with McCloud’s sole survivor Barney Becker (Carl Johnson), a postman who lives by a strict ‘no Mercy’ policy and keeps his sanity by reading through his former neighbors’ mail. Of course the guy appears a little unhinged since he’s been on his own for some time, yet Warren and Sun Mei suspect there’s something more to Barney than he’s letting on.
All the poking and prodding Dr. Mei did on Becker wouldn’t account for his pure evil: once the outbreak tore through the country, it was the moment Barney was waiting for to exact his revenge on, well, everyone. Becker was slowly going postal before the zombie apocalypse and killed all his co-workers and neighbors to turn them, so they could finally know his pain. Wow. Looks like someone finally bumped The Collector from his top spot of king of the aholes. Although that overzealous fanboy was equally demented as Barney, the postman was truly full of hate. All Becker had in his life was feeding his “friends” chunks of meat he chopped up in his basement survivor slaughterhouse. When the only way you can feel bliss is by killing everyone in your path during an apocalypse full of dead folks… you definitely have a few screws loose. Yowza.
LET THERE BE BLENDS
And on the sixth day, The Murphy laid the foundation for his personal z nation, chose his throne room via feng shui and took a nap. Praise be! It didn’t take long for Big Blue to turn high and mighty and boy, is it fun to watch. Alvin finally reached his Shangri-La – Spokane, Washington – and waxed nostalgic about his early years strolling its idyllic streets, drinking its pristine waters and cherishing its wondrous landmarks. Dr. Merch and 10K couldn’t care any less but when the boss literally rules your life, there’s nothing one can do but listen to his giddy ramblings.
It isn’t all fun and games for Murphy. He remains dead serious about turning the remnants of humankind into a subservient new species. The hate Tommy (Nat Zang) feels for Murphy couldn’t be any stronger and it may be the key to him resisting his commands. At least it appeared that way when he stared at the roaring Spokane River and contemplated jumping in. In any case, it won’t be a comfortable situation for a while. With no resources, equipment or manpower, all Murphy has at the moment are his unwilling travel buddies, one bodyguard (RIP other guy) and recently deceased body of an already funky Ender.
Although there is that family… After encountering a young couple and their daughter clinging to life, Murphy bit their little girl and saved her from certain death. As soon as they were out of sight they were out of mind, yet here they are again, desperate for hope and some semblance of order in this crazy world. It’s bad enough they came to Murphy for peace of mind but now the wife wants to be bitten as well? There’s no shortage of cults, sects and communes across the country… the first two seasons can attest to that. Murphy might as well set up shop and give the people what they think they want.
LIFE AFTER UNDEATH
Way up North, Simon is put on a training regiment to regain his strength and, hopefully, his motivation to resume his duties as Citizen Z. Much to Kaya’s disappointment, Cruller simply doesn’t have the heart to go on, now that Camp Northern Light is toast and Operation: Bite-mark was supposedly a tragic failure. Not to mention there isn’t a single reliable piece of equipment to be found in Kaya’s encampment.
It feels like we’re going through the motions that’ll eventually have Citizen Z back on the air, but the journey has been very satisfying to watch because of Ramona Young. It’s about time Simon had an immediate support system (other than his pup) and Kaya has become an everywoman for Z. If it wasn’t for her determination and zeal, there’s no telling what condition Simon would be in now. Well, he’d be dead, actually. Anyway, Cruller and Kaya futzed with Uncle Kaskae’s old radio and made brief contact with Addy. Hope is restored!
Alas, with every gleam of sunshine comes a burst of grey clouds. Simon learned that his hosts are practically out of food and Kaya has been giving him the biggest portions because of his importance to the world. It’s a huge sacrifice Kaya’s family made for their new friend and the critical moment Cruller needed to finally flip his switch. Driven to keep his new family alive, Simon wants to return to Northern Light for supplies and rebuild the network. After a season of isolation and waning resolve, it’s been great to see Citizen Z back in his old form thanks to Kaya. She better not die to save him in a future episode, Z Nation… don’t do that to us!
Roberta’s new mission is off to a rocky start but it’d take more than a fruitcake-loving serial killer to put her down. In fact it may take a village, led by a egomaniacal blue-hued narcissist. Or an intimidating baldie that stops for no one until his mission is completed. Either way, the gang will be roughing it for a while.
Z Nation S3E3 = 9.5/10