Z Nation: Election Day – President Knucklehead (Recap/Review)

 Z Nation - Season 3

After last week’s focus on Murphy and Citizen Z, as well as Warren’s order to split up, “Election Day” follows Doc and Addy.  Murphy is AWOL in this episode but we do hear Kaya broadcasting on behalf of Simon, aka Citizen Z.

This episode of Z Nation sees the return of those two ne’er-do-wells last seen cheating  the  hangman with a noose around their necks in season two; Sketchy and Skeezy.  The two con artists stop and offer Doc and Addy a lift to the next town, Wall Drug.

The Murphy van being used by Doc and Addy has broken down and despite Addy’s clear disgust at having to ride with Doc’s two old pals,  they accept the ride.

The two men, with their mini motorcade, are driving former President Clinton’s stretch limo. “You’d be amazed at what we found in these seats,” says Sketchy.

The latest con being run by Sketchy and Skeezy, or the two knuckleheads as Addy’s calls them, has Sketchy claiming to be the new president of the United States. Or, President Knucklehead, following Addy’s lead.

The con men are going from town to town asking for donations from the communities they visit. It will all go, says Sketchy, towards a wall. One built by Z’s to keep out Z’s. It is all very “Trump-ish” and President Sketchy promises not to make America “great again” but he does promise to make “America, America again.”

As the group arrive at Wall Drug Skeezy announces Sketchy’s arrival. Apparently Sketchy’s real name is Thurston Howell the fourth. Doc points out that Howell was “the guy on Gilligan’s Island.

(Actually, the “guy” on Gilligan’s Island was Thurston Howell the third…)

Initially the building they enter appears deserted, but the occupants are hiding. There is a virus running through the small population and the denizens are dying from the disease.  Once they die they become Z’s.

A young lady named Erin asks the president to help her husband who has the virus and he blows her off. Doc, however, tries to help. Addy says she will watch “Tweedledee and Tweddle-Dumb-A** while Doc examines the man.

The sick man’s pupils are turning yellow and green. Doc is stumped. While  Sketchy gives his speech, another man crashes the political party. John J. Lannister comes in to  challenge Sketchy’s right to be the president. Lannister is a Trump clone; all  bad hair and small hands.

He stops Sketchy mid-spiel by hitting him with a shoe. (Jodi Binstock wrote this episode and he has filled it with political references. The shoe gag is a perfect example. In 2008 President Bush had an irate Iraqi throw a shoe at him during a speech. Bush, however, dodged the projectile.)

Z Nation - Season 3
Presidential hopeful Lannister, aka Short Fingers…

Trump, Lannister proposes an alternative plan to Sketchy’s Z wall and suggests that they have a debate. Addy is chosen to chair the men’s presidential debate.

As President Howell gives his speech, a man arrives in a panic. He tells the assembled group that everyone in Rosebud is dead.  The mayor is upset as this is where all their water comes from.

A Z comes into the town and both Lannister and Sketchy say they will kill it. As President Howell goes out to kill the Z, he and Skeezy have a “Butch and Sundance” moment.

“If I don’t come back, kill Lannister,” says Sketchy. “Happily,” replies Skeezy. Neither of the two presidential candidates can kill the Z so Addy has to. She gets no help from either man as they run out while she beats the creature’s head in.

Sketchy claims the kill and Lannister declares that the president is lying. In the meantime, an RV full of rednecks are driving up to Wall Drug. Doc hot-wires a motorcycle to check out Rosebud.

Addy continues to chair the debate. After Sketchy gives himself one last pat on the back it is voting time.

Doc finds everyone dead at Rosebud and he learns that the water supply is contaminated by a dead Z. (Great FX for this scene actually. Doc pulls out a  Z head with yellow eyes.)

As the two candidates make their closing statements, Doc arrives and tells the citizens of Wall Drug that their water is contaminated.  Lannister pulls a Trump and Sketchy advises the people of Wall Drug to continue drinking the water.

The Mayor collapses and Doc saves her with charcoal. Addy tells Sketchy to stop the act.  Skeezy begins collecting the donations from the town’s people as the rednecks show up armed and ready to start shooting.

Addy’s murmurs, “Uh-oh. Z warriors.”

The warriors claim that Sketchy ripped off their town and a gunfight ensues. As bullets fly across the room Z’s arrive and begin attacking everyone.

Z Nation - Season 3
Another Butch and Sundance moment.

Addy and Doc leave in the middle of the battle to go collect Lucy, Murphy’s baby. Sketchy and Skeezy try to catch up to the stretch limo and doc knocks over a small water tower. The men slip in the mud and Lannister catches up.

The three men start fighting in the mud.

Erin and her husband, cured by Doc’s charcoal, are leaving. Erin asks the mayor who won the election. She tells the younger woman that everyone voted for Doc “The Weed Doctor.”

This episode of Z Nation was a brilliantly sly poke at this year’s election and the candidates. Although Hillary Clinton came out pretty well, Trump got hammered by not one but two presidential hopefuls who were both  “Trumped up.”

Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy and Space.  Tune in and catch this excellent alternative to The Walking Dead, brought to you by those Sharknado guys, The Asylum.


Guest starring Robert Blanche as John J. Lannister, Kirsten Foe  as Gina,  Lisa Carswell  as the mayor and Jesse LaTourette as Erin

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

4 thoughts on “Z Nation: Election Day – President Knucklehead (Recap/Review)”

  1. You left out some obvious asides, such as the very name Lannister, a reference to Game of Thrones. But the best was a reference to The Walking Dead. When Lannister shows up, Sketchy says to Skeezy “I thought you said you saw him die.” The reply was “I saw him go down with the zombies by the Dumpster. No one can survive that”, referring, of course, to the faux death of Glenn.


  2. Not “Z Warriors” for goodness sakes. “Z Partiers” as in the Z Party (it’s on their shirts!) as in a parody of the Tea Party. Every so-called reviewer on the internet seems to have missed this joke.


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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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