Previously on Z Nation, “Murphy’s Miracle”
Z Nation – S3E4 – Escorpion and the Red Hand | Kellita Smith, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Nat Zang, Russell Hodgkinson, DJ Qualls, Emilio Rivera, Sydney Viengluang | Writer: Steven Graham | Director: Jason McKee
BITES AND MORSELS
In an excellent episode of Z Nation, the group is split up by marauders called the Red Hand, led by a person called Escorpion. That doesn’t sound right… While Warren and Hector seek answers from a pair of shady guys and a Hand-maiden, Addy’s life rests in Doc and Sun Mei’s hands after weeks of withholding a crippling ailment. Up in Spokane, Murphy is unable to maintain order and his inner circle turns against him.
ZOMBIE ROLL CALL
It was not a good week to be a Z. If they weren’t hanging under a highway by their intestines, they had their heads sliced to bits like scalloped potatoes by Warren. And let’s not forget about that poor soul being strapped with dynamite. That’s one way to clear a room.
Just when we thought the third season of Z Nation had already taken a dark turn, it’s latest episode dragged us further down a shadowy alleyway and mollywhopped us on the back of the head for good measure. “Escorpion and the Red Hand” was The Asylum at its peak, giving its viewers a fantastic balance of compelling narrative and shocking twists mixed with generous helpings of blood and guts. So much guts… Typically, every lead has the spotlight shined on them in particular episodes during the season yet in the case of “Escorpion”, writer Steven Graham gave each character a fair amount of screen time with his sharp lines and nonstop suspense.
A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
The gang’s trek through the Pacific Northwest stalled after running into a trio of shady characters that mistake them for members of the Red Hand, a band that’s made a name for itself for its brutal “justice” against those that wronged them. Regrettably, Roberta and the others are guilty by association in the eyes of the Red Hand and seek shelter from their thunderous drumming and seemingly unlimited supply of molotov cocktails.
Emilio Rivera is finally given more to chew on this episode, providing the emotional depth that’s been lacking since Hector’s road to redemption began in season two. Escorpion has been divisive character for understandable reasons. He committed a number of unforgivable acts for the Zero cartel – and the ZA further compelled Alvarez to discard what grace was left inside him. After literally pulling himself from the depths of hell, Hector has ample potential to be the key to our group’s continued survival. Try as Hector might to make up for his life as a killer, it’s those particular skills he honed as an Zero enforcer that may do some good and protect his newfound friends. It’ll be fascinating to watch how Rivera shapes the man formerly known as Escorpion in future episodes. It’ll be a jagged path full of guilt and strife as he discovers himself – and the identity of the person who’s reining unholy terror across the land under his old alias.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
While the unseen force of the Red Hand was established as a lingering threat for season three, the intrigue within Castle Murphy quickly reached House Lannister levels with Dr. Merch (Lisa Coronado) and 10K planning to escape the hypnotic influence of Big Blue. From the jump, Z Nation has continued to improve upon their pleasantly bizarre zombie mythology. It’s bad enough that our survivors have to deal with a growing horde of Zs along with rival gangs, Enders, Zona and its rival factions. Now the puppies and kittens may have a faint awareness of their past lives, and worse yet, are the ultimate form of hangry as some have begun to eat one another. Lovely.
That horrifying sight witnessed by 10K and Murphy in “A New Mission” gave the latter a look into his possible future. According to Merch, Alvin’s condition will continues to worsen without periodic injections of the original vaccine. If not, Murph will be begging to be put out of his misery Alien: Resurrection style. For Murphy, losing his humanity is a damn steep price to pay for his expanding powers… yet sacrificing the individuality of others? No problemo!
It’s obvious Murphy no longer has any love for humans after two harrowing years on the road, being treated as nothing more than a glorified blood bag full of magic antibodies. Now that the tables have turned, Murphy freely spreads his blue magic among the masses. The question remains: what are his true motivations? Say he turns everyone into a blend and reunites with his daughter. What then? Eventually, having control over every person on the planet will lose its appeal. In any case, it’ll be difficult for the Murph World Order to begin with Dr. Merch and 10K conspiring to destroy the blend vaccine.
Sadly the duo’s plans bite the dust as soon as they were executed; Tommy managed to go on the lam (with doses of the original vaccine) but poor Dr. Merch sacrificed herself to ensure Murphy cannot create any more blend vaccine. Seeing as Z Nation is known for killing off characters that appeared safe, it wouldn’t be too surprising if one or a few of Team Warren take a dirt nap due to Murphy’s desperation to retrieve H-ZN1.
Not to put horribly disturbing notions in your mind. It is the apocalypse though… anything can happen!
Z Nation S3E4