Z Nation: The Siege of Murphytown – Collateral Damage (Review)


Z Nation - Season 3

This penultimate episode of Z Nation gives us the long awaited confrontation between Murphy and Roberta Warren. It is, however, quite brief as events are rapidly coming to a head. Doc is left to his own devices in this episode and Addy only makes sporadic appearances in her quest to retrieve Lucy.

“The Siege of Murphytown” sees a number of game changing moves. The actual siege itself is short lived, despite the Red Hand gang shutting down the power with a well placed group of Z’s.

After last week’s more surreal, and in many ways quite comic, episode featuring Doc’s escape from the angels three, this episode heads right into ironic drama and a touch of pathos.  Roberta has taken off the gloves and is ready, willing and able to cause the maximum amount of collateral damage possible in her pursuit of Murphy’s blood.

She also, quite rightly, works out the man who would be king’s Achille’s heel. His new white hair and beard, along with the steadily disappearing blue hue, have not hidden his newfound desire for brains.

We also learn just what Murphy wrote down on Thomas’s (aka 10K) orders. He is to capture Warren and bring her back to his master. Failing that, plan B includes killing Roberta if she cannot be taken.

There is an interesting moment when Warren gets inside Murphy’s “castle” and is confronted by Chaffin’s wife Hope (Kathryn Brown). Just before Roberta removes the brains of the dying blend, Hope sighs “Murphy loves you.” 

Whether this is a revelation of how the “savior of humanity” really feels about his long term captor and road companion or simply a platitude that Murphy shares with all his blends is not clear. It feels, however, like the former rather than the latter. The two were coming dangerously close to bonding toward the end of season two.

The battle of Murphytown ends with Murphy’s forces taking control. The Red Hand and Hopper start off well enough but the mind controlled blends and Z’s guarding the perimeter easily overpower the invaders.

Bowden (Rosslyn Greer) dies rather messily and 10K almost suffers a similar fate after Warren gives him the original vaccine. 

Miraculously, Little Red and 5K turn up and this time they are not figments of 10k’s fevered imagination. The two save him from the attacking Z’s who are drawn to him after the vaccine removes his immunity.  Red kisses 10K to prove that she is real and it is the boost needed to take the young man out of Murphy’s control.

After getting a morse code message from Kaya, who is manning the microphone while Citizen Z flies to the battle area with Uncle in control of the plane, Roberta and Sun Mei get further information from a fast food ordering kiosk.

Roberta has two confrontations in this episode. She smacks 10K / Thomas about to learn what his mission is. She then gives him the vaccine. Later, she gets the better of Murphy only to lose her advantage when Wessen, Chaffin and reinforcements get the drop on Sun Mei.

This leads to Warren’s takeover bid being halted in its tracks. The arrival of Citizen Z and Uncle, who tries to land their plane “Sully Sullenberger” style interrupts Murphy in mid gloat. The news he brings changes everything.

Lucy, he reveals, has been taken by The Man to Zona. Murphy asks the indefatigable Warren to help him get his daughter back.  The two groups team up and Murphy leaves Chaffin and Wessen in charge of Murphytown.

Z learns that Kaya is pregnant and he vows to return immediately to be with his baby momma.  Warren agrees to help  Murphy get Lucy back and Addy follows a set of “Z” clues left by the blue girl.

The destination for Addy and Warren is Puget Sound.  Citizen Z leaves the battlefield and Murphy lies to Chaffin about Hope.

It was nice to see Warren return to the show after an absence that lasted far too long. Roberta Warren is the backbone of the show and her steely strength and determination make her an instrument of destruction. Her vow to let the collateral chips fall where they may was spot on.

Z Nation has managed to deliver female characters who are as strong, and in many cases stronger than, their male counterparts. Show creators Craig Engler and Karl Schaefer have given us women to admire and shamelessly crush on. 

Warren and Addy, and even the most recent female member of the team Sun Mei, are characters we want to see win. Such is their personal determination and charisma.  10K has been rescued by Little Red, another strong female character and Doc has met nothing but strong women in his solo quest.

Kellita Smith proves yet again that she is the fearless leader and   Anastasia Baranova’s Addy shows that she does not need anyone to make her mission go easier. Both these bad-arse female warriors are taking the show to new heights.

Z Nation has cut back dramatically on the tongue-in-cheek humor this season. The series has really stepped things up and is now becoming a possible threat to the long running AMC drama, TWD.

The news that Z Nation has been greenlit for a fourth season comes as no real surprise. The series airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in for the penultimate episode of season three and the show’s upcoming finale.

CAST:

Guest starring  Dylan Vox as Hopper, Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red and Holden Goyette as 5K.

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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