by Barbara and Alex Doyle
We open with two guys in a jungle, who (as is the case with two guys in the show’s opening this season) get quickly eaten by Swamp Thing looking zombies in a scene out of Post Apocalypse Now. Turns out it’s not so much a bungle in the jungle as a snafu in a greenhouse, the likes of which is run by a lab coated scientist named Dr. Odegard. The two red shirts ware harvesters trying to reach a patch of something called Batch 47, which Odegard believes is the cure for the zombie virus. He tries to encourage new recruits to head on in there and pick some Batch 47 seed pods. People are really enthusiastic, which surprises us, considering the situation is like cleaning the bathroom: you want it to have been done, but you absolutely don’t want to do it.
And who should show up? Murphy and Cassandra, who were last seen taking off in a cloud of dust in a Dodge Charger with Boss Hogg cow horns mounted on the grill like the Dukes Of Biohazard. Cassandra is wearing Wrecking Ball’s jacket, but there’s no sign of him. Still, it’s a wardrobe upgrade as she looks less zombie pimp and more like a feral version of one of the pink ladies from Grease. Murphy has a proposition for Odegard: he’ll go find batch 47 and harvest the pods, figuring if it is a cure he’ll stop being hunted.
“Well, it’s obvious somebody’s got a green thumb!”
Unfortunately the greenhouse is infested with phytozombies – plant/zombie hybrids that are a group organism, so they can only be killed by ‘pruning.’ The phytozombies share a hive mind, which makes them that much harder to kill. They’re borg-anic. (Do you see what we did there?) Oh, and speaking of “showing up” guess who else happens to be at Z Weed central? That’s right. Dr. Kurian. Despite hiding in a refrigerator he’s kind of melted, which stops him not at all from wanting to buddy up with Murpy and rule the world.
Citizen Z, preparing to put zombies on ice.
Meanwhile? We discover Citizen Z and his puppy are still alive (YAY!) though he’s still pretty cold and being severely annoyed by his unruly, undead roommates. He gets the radio going through a solar panel. Turns out a Spanish speaking someone is looking for him, while he’s looking for Murphy. Speaking of Z, has anybody told him about poor dead Mack yet? Somebody’s got a shot at making it out of the friend zone!
Team Puppies and Kittens arrives at the greenhouse and saves a harvester from being dragged back in (and of course she’s a foster mom with a heart of gold and a sick kid, because we need to be reminded of what Warren, especially, is fighting for). Vasquez is her hero, nearly making zombie kill of the week using a our new favorite non-gun weapon since we met the Z Whacker—a badass club made of bicycle gears.
“Oh! There’s Waldo!”
Thanks to Murphy’s mind melds, he and Odegard manage to get a seed pod from batch 47, which is guarded by the zombie version of what happens when you cross Groot and the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter. Testing the pod on lab zombies, they discover it helps them express themselves as one says ‘brains.’ So, at long last we know what the zombies want. So we’re done here? Right?
Saint Addy the newly anointed finds a radio and gets coordinates for the California CDC lab from Citizen Z, which we see Kurian observe. Of course without Google maps they’re not going to know that 34.03 -118.69 is just south of Pepperdine University in Malibu, but on the plus side, BEACH TRIP!
“Here there be zombies. And over there. And there. And, well, everywhere.”
Murphy gets the crew to go into the greenhouse to harvest the rest of the pods, telling them it’s the cure they have been waiting for with the bonus of it being not him. They go in armed with gardening tools (they should take Cassandra, since she’s dressed like a hoe! Booyah!) During the harvest, the jungle comes alive and tries to kill them. Murphy takes off and runs into Kurian who sells him on a plan to help Murphy take over the world.
As if all of this wasn’t enough we find out the Mexican gangsters from last episode are called the Zeros and they financed Kurian’s work post-apocalypse. They’re the traffickers behind the Z Weed operation. The well dressed (and surprisingly well-mannered ) man with the rocket launcher from episode 2 is El Scorpion, the vice president in charge of sales for the Zero Cartel, and he is more interested in keeping things running than losing people looking for the cure. He meets our crew coming out of the greenhouse and confiscates the harvest, but Doc, being Doc, stashes some in his pocket for “medicinal purposes.”
El Scorpion decides a human test subject for Batch 47 is needed to see if it truly is a vaccine. His underling creates a Zombie Fresco, which sounds like the absolute worst dish in a Halloween themed Mexican restaurant. El Scorpion then vapes Odegard with Batch 47, and discovers the doctor has turned into a—get this—living zombie! El Scorpion accurately points out that “the world needs like a hole in the head” before giving the doctor just that. The Zeroes then find Kurian (and it is not a Peaches and Herb style reunion, it must be said.) They take him away, and set out to burn the greenhouse holding Zombie Groot and the Batch 47 (which is our new band name.) Murphy, ever his Rocket Raccoon, is determined to try to save him. The crew are fast on his tail, and are there to save Murphy when an ungrateful Groot tries to literally tangle with him to his death.
“PLANTS VS ZOMBIES! Kinda.”
10K and Addy stuff his vines in a running fan and create a zombie smoothie for zombie kill of the week. After Doc gives his bogarted stash to Foster Mom the crew escapes with Murphy and hit the road only to encounter the thing Murphy least wants to see in the post apocalypse—Serena his pregnant ex. And yes, in case you were wondering, internal half zombie baby is still hella creepy.
Post apocalyptic 3D Ultrasound.
Still alive: Warren, Vasquez, Doc, 10K, Addy, Citizen Z and his dog (yay!) and Murphy and Cassandra (kinda.) Also, Wrecking Ball (?)
10K’s Kill Count: should have been 3216 with that excellent sling shot, but the hive mind brought it back down to 3215
What we loved:
The bicycle gear weapon. We know we already said that, but it totally bears repeating. That thing is badass.
Doc using a maxi pad as a bandage. We know they already absorb, like, a gallon of blue water. So maybe they’ll work on blood, too. Oh. Wait.
The mystery of Vasquez and his history with the Zeroes. He looks at a Zero’s tattoo and kills him instantly. Clearly he’s got beef, and we can’t wait to find out what it is.
What bugged us:
Addy’s continued new role as Saint TereZa. Sure, Mack is dead. Does she have to become the Virgin Mother?
Women, especially, looking so great in the apocalypse. Seriously—Barbara wishes her hair was that shiny and she’s not even running for her life.
Doc picking a Garden Weasel as a weapon and not getting to use it! RIP OFF! To make it up to me they’d better make an “As Seen on TV” style commercial in a future episode.
What we didn’t see coming:
The hive mind Zs. Killing one? Doesn’t work. They’re kind of like Pokemon. Gotta kill ‘em all. Also, they seemed to hurt Murphy more than sympathetically. Is he feeling the combined pain of his people?
Quote worthy lines:
Murphy: “I don’t want z-weed. (Cassandra growls.) Although she might.”
Odegard: “Look, anything short of turning into a zombie is good, no?” Murphy, eyeing Cassandra: “Eh, don’t be so sure about that”
Murphy: “I love the smell of zombies in the morning. Which way?” Odegard: “Follow the machete marks.”
Warren: “I don’t like waiting. Bad things happen when you wait.”
Addy: “Roger that. Murphy is indeed off mission…and getting weird.”
Odegard: “I wouldn’t take your guns. Bullets don’t kill plants.” Doc: “I’ll take the Garden Weasel(TM). I’ve always wanted one of those.”
Doc: “It’s like some kind of giant shop of horrors.” (Russell Hodgkinson’s delivery killed it.)
Murphy: “You make a good point, but tell me why should I trust an irradiated mad scientist with an ear that looks like Elvis?”
Murphy, to Zombie Groot: “I tried to save you!” Doc: “Dude, it doesn’t care.”
Zombie kill of the week:
10K and Addy turning Zombie Groot into a fanboy. We love it when the kill is zplatter-iffic.