Warren, Hector, Sun Mei, Doc and Addy all get a break this week as Z Nation focuses on 10K and Murphy. “Little Red and the WolfZ” follows 10K as he runs from Will Chaffin and what appears to be pack of hybrid wolves. He gets help from a friend, Red but she exists only in his mind.
Last week, Hector had to face ghosts from his past and now 10K has a “ghost” helping him to escape the wolves and Chaffin. The scope of this episode was almost Shakespearean as Murphy has a long soliloquy in front of a dead Dr. Merch.
His long soul searching session includes questioning himself, Merch (who cannot answer verbally) and whether there is something wrong with him. Murphy yells at the dead doctor that if there is some fault in his nature that she put it there.
Throughout his long self analysis, and desperate attempt to learn how the vaccine works and if he can replicate it, Merch’s brains tempt Murphy. Finally he caves in and starts eating them.
Borrowing a leaf from iZombie, or even from Planet Terror, “I’m going to eat your brains and gain your knowledge,” once Murphy munches on Merch’s brain he understands her notes on the serum and he has gained her knowledge.
Poor 10K spends the vast majority of the episode running. He is also injured and has more than his fair share of karmic moments.
For instance: He steals a motorcycle and a gun. 10K leaves the bike’s owner tied up, chewing at his bonds. The guy is going to be Z food if he cannot get free. Not long after 10K steals the bike, he triggers a booby trap, has his gun and motorcycle stolen and then he is restrained. Z’s come at him and he must fight for his life while chained to a car.
Karma or what?
Will is never far behind 10K, and the “wolfZ” are hot on his trail as well. Although Little Red steers him clear of both for most of the episode, ultimately though Will catches 10K.
The two men then go after the stolen motorcycle and the bag full of Murphy’s “cure.” 10K escapes from Will again and fakes his own death with the aid of a dead deer and a sheer drop.
After Chaffin gives up and begins his journey back to Murphy, 10K is visited by Little Red again. She tells him that 5K must be saved this time and she directs Murphy to the woman with the medicine bag.
10K hears the boy cry out and follows the sounds of his cries and the attacking wolves. Using a metal fence post 10K kills the attacking pack. Turning 5K over, 10K discovers that he has rescued the woman and she is now a Z. He gives her mercy and grabs the bag.
10K also discovers that the “WolfZ” were soldiers, dressed in ghillie suits. He gives himself another dose of the original vaccine and loses himself in dream with Little Red and 5K.
“You know I’m not real, don’t you,” she asks while caressing his face. 10K does not care as he finds peace in the vision.
Chaffin tells Murphy that 10K is dead. Murphy asks if he saw the body. Will says no and Murphy tells him that “the kid” is not dead. He explains that 10K has more than 10 thousand lives and that he will be getting Warren and the others.
Murphy then tells Will that they will have to fortify their castle as Roberta and the rest will be coming to get him.
There was a heavy dose of irony in this Z Nation episode. After all of 10K’s effort; being carried down the river and all that running, he never gets further than five miles away from Spokane and Murphy.
(Sidenote: Merch’s eyes kept changing from half-lidded to wide open. A little disconcerting and a tad annoying this did not, however, detract from Keith Allen’s soliloquy.
Nat Zang and Keith Allen were kicking major “acting” booty in this episode. Murphy was given a lot of depth and we were allowed to peek inside of 10K’s head a little.
This season of Z Nation has kept the humor subtle and the overall theme darker than usual. Although Murphy gets the comic line of the episode when he does a not so subtle Star Trek “Bones” line:
“Dammit Merch. I’m a saviour, not a scientist.”
Right now it appears that the “battle for humanity” will take place in Spokane. Now Warren and her band of survivors just need to get there before “The Man” does.
Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy.