by Barbara and Alex Doyle
Previously on Z Nation: Vasquez was about to get injected with Kurian’s Murphy mind control juice. Currently on Z Nation: Warren quickly reminds La Reina that Kurian is not to be trusted, pointing out that “He’d tried to cheat you once before, right? One way to make sure your food isn’t being poisoned is to have your chef taste it first.”
Seeing some logic in that, La Reina agrees, and we get to see a completely delighted Murphy eat popcorn and watch Kurian inject himself. After Kurian doesn’t die, the formula is declared a success, and all the Zeros except Escorpion partake of it. When La Reina tells Warren that she’s next up for the formula, Murphy requests the honor of injecting her and discreetly shoots the contents of the needle past her arm, later explaining to her “I like you just the way you are.”
As the party breaks up, Escorpion takes Vasquez downstairs to play another game of human piñata where Vasquez finally spills his guts and admits that he’s there to kill Escorpion. This gets Vasquez locked in an iron maiden that’s closer to Iron Maiden, as it puts him face to face with a chained up version of the band’s zombie mascot. When Escorpion goes to find La Reina we cut to…
Warren, now La Reina’s BFF, learning over drinks that Mexico locked the border during the early days of the ZA, and that La Reina inherited the Zero cartel when her husband died soon after. This also provides a satisfactory answer to the question: “Who died and made you queen?”
Meanwhile, Murphy is back in the lab where Kurian is “trying” to inject himself with an antidote to his serum. We say “trying” because Murphy manages to mind control him first. By the time Warren comes in, Kurian has started to fester, in that he literally looks like the Addams Family’s Uncle Fester. Warren is none too happy to learn that all the Zeros are going to be the vanguard of Murphy’s half-human/half-zombie blend army, and goes off to find the rest of the team. But kudos to Murphy for trying to make a blended army work.
When Warren catches up with Doc, Addy and 10K, she tells them it’s time to go, and to go find Vasquez, right before a masked Zero summons her to La Reina’s throne room.
When she gets there, the side effects of Kurian’s serum are becoming apparent as the whole group looks shambolic. Escorpion reports that after successfully torturing Vasquez, he’s discovered the team is a group of U.S. government assassins sent to kill La Reina. As things start getting tense, Murphy sneaks into the back and mind controls La Reina to have her order that Escorpion be dragged off, and that Warren should be taken to Vasquez.
When Warren finds Vasquez, she also finds and nearly shoots a disguised Doc, 10K and Addy. Vasquez and Escorpion swap places in the cage, and we know he’s going to be back, since any adversary that doesn’t die on screen is always back, and in this show, even if they do die on screen, they’re frequently back.
Speaking of back, back in the throne room, Murphy’s plans of a zombie army are dashed when the Zeros start giving him the look starving cartoon characters reserve for their companions. Discovering his mind control has stopped working, and preferring not to play the role of giant drumstick, Murphy cuts himself and flings his blood on the floor. This distracts everyone long enough for him get back to the lab, where he discovers Kurian has developed a taste for blue meat as well. Fortunately, Kurian is too engaged in trying to eat Murphy to notice Warren sneaking in and until she’s cut his head off…which doesn’t kill him.
After Warren and Murphy leave, Kurian, rather than changing careers and seeing if David Byrne has any openings, yells for help, and is picked up by La Reina and her court, who are still consumed with consuming Murphy.
As La Reina and company chase the team through the tunnels under the border (which hold the zombies the Zeros are using as a power supply) Murphy uses his mind control to bust out the zombie hordes to slow his pursuers. Conveniently buying them time and providing another example of Chekhov’s Gun: any zombie horde contained at the beginning of the episode must absolutely be cut loose by the end.
When the team finally gets to the surface, they find Escorpion has survived and wants to go mano-a-mano with the badly injured Vasquez. Still super pissed at the guy who killed his family, Vasquez rallies and gives Escorpion the shaft, tossing him into the tunnel to get eaten by the Zs.
Staggering away from the border, the team gets the Oprah ending when they find a fleet of pimped out El Caminos. Doc gets a car! Addy gets a car! Everybody gets a car! This also implies that the safest place to park in the ZA is in a zombie infested field, and that an untapped reservoir of badassery is valet parking attendants. And while they drive off into the sunset, back in the tunnels we see Kurian’s head being picked up by La Reina’s hands. Presumably not to be used for a rousing game of fútbol.
Still Alive: Warren, Vasquez, Doc, 10K, Addy and Murphy (kinda), La Reina (sorta) Kurian, (1/6th )
10K’s Kill Count: 5075 + something + at least one + a drone.
What we loved:
The spaghetti western touches, from the music to the cinematography.
Murphy eating snacks while waiting for Kurian to inject himself.
The character of Escorpion, who could have been a very two-dimensional villain, was a very three-dimensional character that was doing what he had to, like it or not. Between him being clearly upset when reminded of killing Vasquez’s family, and telling Vasquez that they’ve all lost people, and that they’re exactly the same, that ‘We’ve all got an apocalypse’ – it’s just that they just had to make different choices. The writers and Emilio Rivera really did a lot with a small part.
Addy is clearly Warren’s second in command.
10K Putting the goggles on, locking his wheel, leaning out the driver side door, and nailing the drone with his slingshot while driving.
When Murphy raises his hands to control the zombies, there is a visible cut on his palm from distracting the blend zombies with his blood.
What bugged us:
Vasquez took that level of beating and was still able to drive?
What we didn’t see coming:
Kurian’s formula creating halfway zombies that wanted to eat Murphy, rather than just killing them outright.
Quote worthy lines:
Murphy to Kurian: “Hey, doctor Mengele! Can I still have a heart attack?”
Addy, on Murphy’s blended army: “So, zombie slave strippers weren’t enough. That’s the dark side of ambition.”
Addy: “Let me guess, Murphy’s zombie army plan went horribly wrong.”
Doc: “Could have been worse: it could have gone right.”
Murphy, retreating from the throne room: “Looks like everybody needs a booster shot.”
Doc: “What better way to fight half zombies than with full zombies?”
Vasquez: “Well, I can think of lots of better ways, but I guess if this is all we’ve got…”
Zombie Kill Of The Week:
10K Zeros in with his slingshot and adds one to his count.