This week’s episode is a mash up of Westerns, Mad Max movies and…the SATs?
We open in Wyoming with establishing shots of a zombuffalo (adorable) and Devil’s Tower to discover two bandits getting their faces ripped off by fast moving zombies. Something ain’t right here, and we’re about to find out what.
Our crew comes across a convoy being ambushed by bandits. Warren’s future Love Interest gets a name and it is Vasquez. Vasquez wants to be mercenary and let them fight it out and pick off the survivors while Warren decides they’re going to help. After a brief battle it turns out the survivors are heading to fallout free Canada where the cold will ward off the zombies (somebody should ask Citizen Z how that’s working out.) They’re led by a man named Custer. Hey, a guy that shares a name with a West Point general? This is bound to go well.
Turns out the convoy is in various stages of radiation sickness, and is carrying the more advanced cases as wagonload of Wanna-Zs, which Warren accurately predicts will be a zombie bomb waiting to go off. Addy (mentioning Mack 0.0 times in this episode, it must be said) volunteers to ride with them and when did she become Mother TereZa? Doc and Murphy meet Murphy’s ultimate fanboy, a simpleton named Wrecking Ball, who has heard the bounty hunter stories of a man with psychic powers that make him a zombie whisperer. Wrecking Ball hooks them up with Z-Weed, which brings out Cassandra’s personality and makes Murphy likeable. And we thought aspirin was the wonder drug.
Custer, being a literal buzzkill, throws SAT questions at Wrecking Ball to determine his mental state, though, to be fair, we’re not sure the average person could answer them even if they weren’t dying or stoned. Addy rides in the back administering to the sick, still mentioning Mack not at all, and Barbara wants to know where the hell she is getting eyebrow pencil in the zombie apocalypse.
To further complicate things, the convoy is being chased by Blasters (and not the cool Han Solo kind.) The Blasters are zombies killed by the nukes and mutated by the radiation. They hunt in packs, only eat brains and faces, and seem to be more cognizant of their surroundings than the average zombie. Also, Murphy’s zombie control over them is about as effective as a stern look from Dad.
After another bandit attack, the car that has their water supply is stolen, with Cassandra riding like a badass on the trunk. Further up the road they find the car, a blood soaked Cassandra, and a whole lot of corpses—which strangely enough don’t seem to be trying to eat anyone. They’re just…dead. Murphy, Cassandra and Wrecking Ball take off in the car, heading for the agro lab that might have the herbal zombie cure, and, more importantly, a crap ton of Z-Weed, making Vasquez accurately point out, “Well, I didn’t see that coming.”
Custer is starting to show symptoms of radiation sickness but insists on driving on. The convoy is attacked by Blasters, the zombie bomb in the sick wagon goes off, and after a running battle that ends at the front of the truck when our crew is forced to jump off, the wagon train careens over a hill and explodes in the distance, leaving our survivors hitting the road to Minneapolis looking for Murphy. Again.
Still alive: Warren, Vasquez, 10K, Doc, Addy, Wrecking Ball, and Murphy and Cassandra (kinda.)
10K’s Kill Count: opens at 3,098
What we loved:
Warren drops another movie reference – “It ain’t the 3:10 to Yuma.”
In this episode Warren has an extreme Zoe Washburne vibe going on and damn, we miss Firefly.
Cassandra’s sentient reaction to the Z-Weed indicates they might be close with a zombie cure, or maybe a medication that makes it manageable.
The touchstone of what is left of Cassandra’s humanity seems to be her fondness for 10K. That said…
The love (?) triangle between Cassandra, 10K, and Murphy. It’s a classic story of the pining for the girl the nice guy loves, while she’d giving it up to the controlling a-hole that’s ruined her life. It’s a fresh take on a classic trope.
What bugged us:
Cassandra dressed as a Go-go Hooker was funny in the strip club, but seems rather impractical going cross-country. Can we get her an outfit she wouldn’t get caught undead in?
Where’s Citizen Z?
10K taking three shots to kill a blaster. Sure, it’s a fast moving target and he’s aiming from a moving vehicle over dubious road, but two complete misses? Not our boy.
Being fished in to thinking convoy rider Athena might be 10K’s new love interest—right up to the point where she, in a shotgun kind of way, bites it.
What we didn’t see coming:
Murphy and Wrecking Ball, grabbing a car and going all Dukes of Hazzard as they hit the road for Minneapolis. They may not have the paint job, but they’ve got the Dodge Charger and a girl in Daisy Dukes.
Quote worthy lines:
Murphy: “You’re not the boss of me—she is.”
Doc: “Murphy, don’t make me have to explain the term ‘failsafe doomsday weapon’ again, please?
Vasquez: “Think less like a missionary and more like a mercenary.”
Warren: “We may not be able to save the world. But we can save them.”
Custer, looking at the convoy: “This is my retirement now.”
Custer: “We call him Wrecking Ball. He’s my sister’s boy. Cheese slid off that cracker a long time ago. I think he fits in pretty well these days, though.”
Doc about his soup: “Cream o’shrooms, dude!”
Wrecking Ball. “Those guys were nuts. Being able to control zombies with your mind? I mean how badass would that be?” Murphy: “Um… supremely badass?”
Custer: “We can afford compassion for the ill. Only because we have rules.”
Doc, about Minneapolis: “Marijuana, zombies and GMOs. What could go wrong?”
Vasquez: “You people really do attract it, don’t you?”
Warren: “A caravan of twenty refugees leaves Seattle’s blast zone for Edmonton. They meet six survivors and one Murphy. How many refugees survive?” Addy: “Not one.”
Zombie kill of the week: Unlike the season opener, which had too many potential winners to list, this episode was mostly straightforward headshots, which makes this Blaster who is looking pretty run down the ZKOTW.