Z Nation: The Murphy “Is It Really Me You’re Looking For?” (Review)

Z Nation - Season 2

The Asylum and SyFy present season two of Z Nation and episode 2.1 The Murphy, could have been titled “Is It Really Me You’re Looking For?” as Citizen Z decides that a BOLO on the savior of the human race is the only way to get Murphy to the CDC.  As Murphy is approached by at least two “bounty hunters,” Z did advertise that the facility would pay a huge reward for the delivery of Murphy, it looks like Roberta Warren and her little band will have some serious competition for the delivery  of mankind’s last hope.

The Murphy opens with some great slo-mo shots of the survivors watching the holocaust of nuclear destruction as it happens. Doc, 10K, Roberta and Murphy watch the warhead descend and the mushroom cloud rise. As the lab escapees watch their world being destroyed, Citizen Z stands transfixed as a missile intercepts his approaching warhead.

*Sidenote* Great homage to the last Indiana Jones film (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), where Harrison Ford climbs into a refrigerator to escape the nuclear detonation. Of course this being Z Nation the character who emulates Indy’s move does not survive.

Shortly after the midair explosion melts the surrounding zombie horde, and those on a crashed plane, Z will post his plea for survivors of the apocalypse to get Murphy to save mankind. He also fights off the newly thawed zombies and after almost being bitten, starts to regroup.

Z Nation - Season 2
Citizen Z, aka D J Qualls.

The episode opens and later  follows Roberta as she treks for water and food. We see Murphy as he sets up a new little nest for himself and his zombie pals. Addy and Mack actually get back together, but not together…He, rather understandably is not overly enthusiastic to see his former flame. After riding up on an ATV, Mack asks a silent Addy what happened.

She explains that the 13 year-old boy banished back in Sisters of Mercy from the all female camp  (“men are animals,” explains Sappho leader Kelly McGillis [who looks stunning in the episode]) realized that he’d been “had” and came back to burn down the whole man-hating camp. As Addy puts it

“He came back and set the whole place on fire…and released the zombie bear.”

As Mack limps back to the ATV, he says to Addy, “You comin’ or not.”  Addy turns, to the background noise of the zombie bear’s roars and mounts the vehicle. As they move away from the destroyed camp, another survivor, apart from Addy and the bear appears. Murphy’s one-night stand from the Sisters of Mercy  heavily pregnant with his “love-child.”

Z Nation - Season 2
Mack and Addy together again…sort of.

*Sidenote*It is nice to see that Addy (Anastasia Baranova) has a different hair dresser, or lost that horrible deadlock wig. While the new hairstyle is a bit odd, anything would be better than that season one “do.” 

Murphy in a short pink kimono and bunny house slippers is the comic high piece in terms of clothing for the savior of mankind. Although his suit, sharkskin, could be seen to be almost as comic. Not surprisingly, Murphy has picked a XXX strip joint as his base of operation and Cassandra has come back to stand by “her man.” (Murphy saved her life in season one.)

Another comic bit is the “new” Cassandra surveying her attire (picked out by Murphy of course) and as he asks her what she thinks of her new “duds” a zombie comes up and starts caressing the gold lame-wearing part-zombie that Cassandra has become.  Before this scene,  she saves Murphy from becoming a redneck bounty hunter’s captive. (Comic gold is Keith Allan’s whole interaction with the taser toting redneck, from his initial “Nope” to him quivering on the floor as Cassandra runs the bounty hunter through.)

Z Nation - Season 2
Pisay Pao as Cassandra, gold lame never looked so good.

Warren, Doc and 10K manage to make it to a scrap yard of vehicles. She goes off to find water and food. Citizen Z’s message about Murphy plays on a loop and Addy and Mack try to find other survivors. The airwaves seem to be full of news about Murphy, both in Spanish and “oriental.” Roberta gets ready to dispense mercy to herself when she hears screaming.

Roberta saves a young girl (Sarah-Eve Gazitt), whose cries for help stop her from shooting herself, and the grateful youngster takes Warren home to meet the parents and her sibling. Kellita Smith proves that not only can she do great “passing out,” she can out-Rambo anyone on the show. 

Murphy’s tastelessness hits a new high, or low, as we are treated to two stripper zombies that he has taught to “make out” with one another. As the two female zombies kiss, they get carried away and flesh is taken. “Ladies, ladies!” Murphy admonishes his two performers, “We talked about this.” A clear reference to the face-eating “zombie” in the real news who was devouring a man’s face when the police arrived in 2012.

As usual, Allan’s character gets the lion’s share of good lines. From “zombie whispering,” to “Come along Mr. I’m so bad-a**.” (The best line, bar none, is Murphy’s unapologetic response to Roberta about almost killing them and the nuclear issue, “Didn’t you get the memo? The apocalypse means never having to say you’re sorry.”) Allan’s delivery makes these gems work brilliantly, although the humor would be lost a bit if the rest of the cast did not play straight-man to his comic “hero.”

*Sidenote* Not that the others in the show do not have their own comic moments, but when Murphy is the set piece in scenes, his comedy takes precedence. 

Z Nation - Season 2
Roberta Warren water bags and reunion.

By the end of the episode the whole team are back together. Mack and Addy have met back up with Doc and 10K at the scrap yard; another splendidly comic moment, “3,999,” shouts 10K as we see Doc waving through a dead zombie’s empty eye socket that the sniper shooting teen has just dispatched, saving Mack.

Z Nation must be the only  show on television that can flawlessly mix brilliant slow motion camera work, check out the montage at the beginning that ends with the camera tight on Kellita’s face as the truck rolls (literally) into the tunnel, with a zombie pole dancer performing while Murphy does his Bob Hope impression (clock the golf club) at the strip club.

(Not to mention including an  exploding zombie and a fire extinguisher.)

So the band is back together, minus Murphy, while his baby momma, with her womb pointing offspring close in on the savior of humanity.  The Asylum manage to walk a fine line between schlock and priceless moments, completely unlike any of the Sharknado films they also produce.

Z Nation is part of SyFy Fridays. Do not miss this funny and irreverent look at the apocalypse.




Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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