Z Nation: Murphy’s Miracle – Short Pants (Recap and Review)

Z Nation - Season 3

Only Murphy would honk his vehicle’s horn at an unmoving car in front of him and his little entourage in the middle of the apocalypse.  Z Nation sees Warren and her team are tracking the elusive Murphy who pauses to work a miracle on a dying “apoca-billy girl.”

The blue wanna be caesar will let nothing get in his way. Murphy is heading to Spokane, aka “The Lilac City,”  where he plans to center his new “blends” empire.

Warren and the rest meet a postman, Postmaster Becker,  who seems to have his own pet Z’s and Kaya continues to look after Simon.

This episode is essentially one long gag about an apocalyptic postal worker who went “postal” on Day one.  Hats off to Craig Engler and Karl Schaefer (and to Michael Cassutt who wrote the episode) for slipping in this sly bit of very black humor. 

(Sidenote: This episode marks the second time this season that the name Mrs. McGillicuddy is used. Obviously an in-joke as the name was made famous on “I Love Lucy.” It was Lucille Ball’s character’s maiden name. It must be a further play on Murphy’s “Lucy” who may still have “some ‘splainin’ to do.)

10K has a moment where he almost figures out that he is now a “blend.”  Back at the postal center, the postmaster explains to the group why he refuses to kill the zombies in the town.

He offers the group help in return for push starting his mail truck. Sun Mei wants access to a two-way radio and learns there is one at the motor pool. Addy is intrigued.

Sun Mei finds the radio and learns that all the rest of her team have died. Addy tries to reach Citizen Z and while he can hear her, she cannot hear his replies.

Simon now has hope and after learning that Kaya and her family are running out of food he relocates them all. Murphy meets his first “ender” and inadvertently kills the man. This happens after he orders 10K to do it with an “empty” gun.

It is interesting that Murphy’s new blends are not like Cassandra (Pisay Pao). Dr. Merch and 10K are reluctant followers of his orders. They lack the mindless obedience of Cassandra and are very articulate.  Both of them also seem to be able to think pretty clearly as well.

Z Nation - Season 3
King Murphy

This may signal a problem behind Murphy’s plan to build an army.  His new blends are not just able to think more clearly but 10K can still be rather derisory of his new “leader.”

“Did he just say throne?”

Becker turns out to be a mass murderer who killed all his customers turning them into Z’s because he hated them all. The zombies that he has protected are trophies, as Sun Mei points out, and not beloved neighbors at all.

She also outwits the madman and the zombies kill “Short Pants” (as Hector calls the postman).  Hector actually told Becker that his neighbors would kill him early in the episode.

As the team leave the postman’s town, Doc gets the line of the episode:

“That postman licked the wrong stamp.”

This episode looks as though it may reunite Citizen Z and the gang.  There was no sign of  The Man although it is certain that he is not far behind the group.

Z Nation “Murphy’s Miracle” continues the slightly more serious vein prominent in this season.  The black humor is still there however.  Hector’s fight with the Z proves that.

Firstly, only Hector (Rivera) could beat a Z to death with a “cancelled” postal stamp. Secondly his line, “Don’t you look at me,” is a direct quote from SlitherIt is what one of the Grant Grant creatures says to Mayor MacReady (Gregg Henry) before he is turned. 

The episode ends with the apace-billies coming to thank Murphy for saving their daughter and the father asks Murphy to bite his wife.  The camera zooms in on the  new world leader’s smug grin.

Z Nation has changed things up somewhat. Murphy’s break away this time may be more successful because of his blends but with both The Man and Roberta Warren on his trail, it will not last long.  Simon seems to have found love with Kaya and her truncated family and Sun Mei may have a hard time producing a vaccine if she is the last surviving member of her team.

Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in and “Z” out.


Guest starring  Carl J Johnson as the postman.

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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