by Barbara and Alex Doyle
There’s a woman running down a desert road with a frisky Z in hot pursuit. Suddenly a beam of light from the sky picks up the Z and cleanly dismembers it. As the light shines on the woman we see our team driving down a desert road. When they find the dismembered Z from the opening (the second weirdest thing so far, right after the Super Sweet Mix 8 track tape playing in the car.) As 10K puts a bullet in its head, they realize they’re in for some freaky(ier) business, which wastes no time in showing up as their car loses power and they’re buzzed by a bright light.
Somewhat disturbed, they continue into town, where they find a circular crash site of what looks like a flying saucer. Further in, they find the only hotel has been occupied by flying saucer cultists, led by white garbed Bernadette, who we last saw five minutes ago being saved by a saucer. She has been told by the aliens (or as they apparently prefer to be called: visitors) to wait for a group of travelers with an emissary to help everyone one to arrive before the aliens will beam the chosen ones out of the apocalypse, and our group matches that description, with Murphy in the title role.
While they’re debating their next move, a member of the enthusiasts introduces himself as Dan Scully (I want to believe we’ve heard that somewhere before…) and suggests the team get out of town before something really goes wrong, before making himself scarce. While discussing the lights in the sky, 10K mentions a nearby abandoned air force base, which Warren concludes might have a plane and crew that can fly them to California, and when Bernadette mentions she goes there all the time to communicate with the aliens, it isn’t long before the whole team is off to investigate.
Apart from a few Zs, the base is mostly empty, but when pressed, Bernadette takes the team into a room that is actually a (not so fun) funhouse ride express elevator to an underground facility. Walking around, they encounter an alien figure in a mostly bulletproof spacesuit. 10K is having none of that, and, whipping out the big gun, drills it through the head for Zombie Kill Of The Week As they go to investigate, a beeping noise warns them off before the alien explodes leaving unidentifiable parts behind.
Next up is a holographic computer room, accurately described by Warren as ‘some sci-fi shit.’ Addy, Doc and Murphy stay behind to see what’s in the computer, finding surveillance footage and a ton of files on Murphy, as well as references to a place called ‘zona’, which, judging from the map, is somewhere around Arizona.
The away team made up of Warren, 10K, Vasquez and Bernadette goes off to see some aliens. Along the way they find the corpses of some Men In Black, with inoperative high tech guns. 10K sums up his analysis of the weaponry with: “can’t tell if it’s out of ammo or batteries.” Further on they encounter another alien. While Bernadette is trying to make contact, another alien comes up from behind and blocks the team’s retreat. It advances, shrugging off bullets until 10K puts one through its eye. When it self destructs , they realize Bernadette and the alien are missing. Chasing after, they find more expired Men In Black, and 10K picks up one of their guns (damn right he does) and this one is loaded/charged. Chasing them up endless flights of stairs, they find themselves on the surface, in a hangar with a UFO trying to tractor-beam up Bernadette. They are joined by the rest of the crew and the saucer tries to vacuum up Murphy too. A firefight with the saucer is ended when Warren picks up the Men In Black gun and unleashes a finishing move on the saucer.
In the wreckage they find a Scooby Doo ending by unmasking a mortally wounded Scully, who explains he was sent to get high tech Air Force equipment out of the base and back to ‘zona’. He developed a crush on Bernadette and used the ‘ya wanna see my spaceship’ line to convince her to go with him (though to be fair, who hasn’t ? Amirite?). The other aliens were just Zs in kickass flight suits. Wait – you mean all this UFO stuff out of Roswell was just based on people misinterpreting experimental Air Force technology? Like that would ever happen.
As the team hits the road, we see Bernadette return to her flock and tell them that humanity is not ready to join the cosmic carpool…yet.
Still Alive: Warren, Vasquez, Doc, 10K, Addy, Murphy (kinda)
10K’s Kill Count: 4243
He was pretty much an unstoppable killing machine in this episode, dropping Zs like a narcoleptic in a mattress factory.
What we loved:
The ‘Previously On Z Nation’ summary using clips from the entire series run and set to Sketchy’s courtroom monologue from Down The Mississippi.
The James T. Kirk reference from their greeter: ‘We had a guy from Riverside, Iowa show up. Thought he was a starship captain.”
Addy quoting Jurassic Park with ‘It’s a UNIX system. I know this.’
Addy’s not wearing the brace anymore.
Bernadette’s creepy stalker ex girlfriend ability to appear and disappear suddenly.
What bugged us:
Despite showing up in the Previously On Z Nation montage, no return of the Killer Wheel Of Cheese.
Still no Citizen Z. Come on, it takes more than the end of the world to put the NSA out of business.
What we didn’t see coming:
That Dan Scully was behind the whole thing. Also, what’s going on in ‘zona’ such that experimental Air Force technology would be helpful?
Quote worthy lines:
10K, serving the Z neatly cut into pieces: “I want whatever did that.”
10K Shooting the dismembered zombie: “4234…and a third.”
Doc: “Take the whole kill, kid. You deserve it.”
Murphy: “Last time I got in a plane it didn’t end so well.”
Addy: “Does anything in your life?”
Murphy: “Are you serious? Are we actually talking about going to an abandoned Air Force base, in Roswell, to see if we can find a UFO to fly us to California?”
Doc: “Well, when you say it like that…”
Murphy: “You mean, in English?”
Murphy: “These aliens are stalkers. From space.”
Doc, after an alien self-destructs: “Next apocalypse I’m wearing a paper jumpsuit.”
Murphy, channeling Newt from Aliens: “Don’t you think it’s unusual that these aliens mostly communicate in English…mostly?”
10K: “If it’s a zombie it wants brains, if it’s an alien it wants to probe us. Either way I’m killing it.”
Bernadette, taking the alien’s helmet off: “What if he can’t breathe our air?”
Warren: “Well then I guess he came to the wrong planet.”
Zombie Kill Of The Week:
It’s our boy 10K, putting an alien’s eye out like he’s wielding a Red Ryder BB Gun.