by Barbara and Alex Doyle
It’s a flashback episode, where we discover exactly how each character learned the zombie apocalypse was starting. The first one unfolds in a pre-Z Washington D.C. where we see an orange jumpsuit wearing…Citizen Z? Talking to his lawyer? Huh? Looking at doing a long stretch for computer espionage, the NSA gives him the option of going to Camp Northern Light to work for them. His mission: looking out for signs of zombies. In the present, however, his mission is tracking down whoever just hacked his network.
As for the rest of the team, the last of the El Caminos has died, and the team proceeds on foot for the day or so walk to get to the CDC lab. As they travel, we get the following flashbacks.
Warren, preparing to roll out her National Guard team, hears an ambulance outside her building. As she checks it out she’s attacked by the very zombified occupant. She runs back in and discovers the rest of her unit hasn’t done much better. She hits all of them with head shots, never missing once, which probably got her a commendation from the Congressional Budget Office for efficient use of government property.
Doc, looking surprisingly square, five years sober and working as an addiction councilor. Let’s face it, the ability to take it One Day At A Time is definitely a bonus in surviving the zombie apocalypse. After an altercation in the hallway results in him leaving his patient and effectively talking down another doctor’s upset client, he returns to find his patient being gnawed on by a wandering Z. Running to save the other doctor, he discovers he’s too late, and, after arming himself with a putter and a handful of Oxycontin, he heads out into the streets.
Addy, at a hockey game when an infected fan breaks it up, which is weird, because nobody leaves a hockey game when they see blood on the ice. Running for the exit, she gets saved by one of the players – her soon to be boyfriend Mack, as he beats a Z to death with his skate, leaving all the Canadian women in the audience to comment “Hawt!” as they escape the stadium.
10K, fishing in the woods. Returning home with his catch, he’s accosted by a forest ranger and she must have had a great Valentine’s Day because she has three arrows sticking out of her heart. Rather confused, he starts running as more zombified hunters show up. He manages to dodge them until he runs straight into a tree, is knocked unconscious, and rolls down a hill. Waking up he calls out for help…and attracts the zombies. He’s saved by his dad headshotting a bunch of them and they run off.
Vasquez, with his arm in a sling, in a funeral home looking at the coffins of his wife and daughter. Hearing a noise coming from the coffins he starts to investigate when the funeral director comes in, looking like his own best client. Vasquez manages to defeat him single handedly (see what we did there) before screaming in horror as his family comes out of their coffins after him.
Clean shaven Murphy, the most shocking thing pre zombie apocalypse, in a prison yard, playing cards. When a fight breaks out and an inmate dies, the Z fun begins. As guards rush in to break things up, Murphy runs out and locks the door behind him, watching the other prisoners get eaten.
Back in the present, Citizen Z has finally traced the hacker to Hawaii and realizes that they’ve been using him to track Murphy. As he starts disconnecting his equipment, the team has made it to the CDC location – which is a diner in the woods? Warren and Vasquez approach with caution to find a woman behind the counter inside. As she offers the two of them tea, the camera pans down and we see what looks like a rather large gun behind the counter. Then … to be continued? Damn it! We’re stuck waiting for everything to go down in next week’s episode “All Good Things Must Come To An End”
Still Alive: Warren, Vasquez, Doc, 10K, Addy, Citizen Z, and Murphy (kinda)
10K’s Kill Count: Something north of 5076
What we loved:
The return of Mack. You are sorely missed, Mr. Thompson.
10K saying ‘El Camino!’ in a sing song. Still funny.
How much younger everybody looked in the flashbacks.
Russel Hodgkinson’s facial expressions while Doc is reaching the conclusion that a zombie is eating his patient.
The hockey game Warren’s soldiers are watching is the same one Addy and Mack are attending.
It’s pretty well established here that dying, rather than bites, turns one into zombie.
Murphy’s internal monologue about not wanting to be the savior of humanity or the king of the zombies.
What bugged us:
Vasquez’s family coming out of the coffins – his backstory seemed to imply that they never turned.
What we didn’t see coming:
Citizen Z was about to do a long stretch for hacking? He is literally the last member of the cast we’d expect to be in trouble with the law. Even 10K now has a record.
Quote worthy lines:
Citizen Z, to NSA officer: Oh. Hey, I love your work.
Addy, to Doc: I love that you’re a glass half full kind of guy
Murphy: Especially when there’s no goddamn glass.
Murphy, on the landscape: Everything looks the same.
Doc: Well four years of zombie apocalypse and a nuke will do that.
Murphy, eating dried rations: This sucks. Even for us, this sucks.
Citizen Z: All right. Let’s see who’s been sleeping in my bed.
10K’s Dad: Hurry up son, shit’s going down.
Warren, to Murphy: There isn’t a happy ending for any of us, but you: you are the one person that can change that.
Zombie Kill Of The Week:
Mack takes it, killing a Z Canadian style.