Z Nation: Everybody Dies in the End – Fully Loaded and Shocking (Review)

Z Nation - Season 3

Z Nation always manages to pull off season finales that leave the viewers sitting stunned with jaws moving to the floor.  “Everybody Dies in the End” was no exception. Watching the final moments left no doubt that things in the Z Nation verse were going to be changed forever.

After being convinced that Roberta Warren was going to meet her maker at the hands of The Man, only to see her “mortally” wounded by him after Murphy interceded on her behalf was a complete and total “wow” moment.

As Warren herself says, before heading into the mountain to save Lucy from The Man and Zona (or as the hovering craft reads on its side “Zone A”), about going in “fully loaded” the ending was a fully shocking conclusion to this season.

This finale kept to the main theme of grimly comic and the last moments of Doc, Murphy, Warren, Sun Mei, Red and Tomas were pretty damned dire.  Addy, who climbs to the top of the mountain in the nick of time, takes The Man over the edge of the cliff with her. Lucy screams Addy’s name and jumps after the pair and 5K, only recently returned from the dead, leaps after all of them with his feathered arms outstretched.

Duel” was always going to be a hard episode to follow.  But “Everybody Dies in the End” manages to meet the challenge spectacularly.  A lot is inferred and in some ways Murphy’s line of “This could all be a dream [sic]” may be spot on.

Or not…

In season two it appeared that Murphy and Warren were heading toward a sort of grudging mutual respect. It actually got to a point where Roberta seemed to be warming to the awkward savior of humanity.  The final season three throwdown between Murphy, The Man and Roberta Warren ended with Lucy’s father and the lieutenant sharing more than a bullet; Roberta is now infected with Murphy’s blood.

The two have, at last, become a sort of couple. A mother and father for Lucy, now played by Kelly Washington, to replace her all too brief childhood imaginings of storybook parents.  Another startling revelation had to do with Murphy actually being dead throughout the entire three season’s of Z Nation.

Z Nation - Season 3
Sun Mei, 10K, Red

This information was used to bring back 10K, who was dying of a nasty infection. Murphy offers to bite him again but Sun Mei, after telling Murphy that he has been dead all along, explains that they must kill 10K, bite him and then inject him with the original virus.

After a nail biting amount of time, the dead 10K returns, but only after everyone in the audience wail and gnash their teeth.  The sniper with the dual identity (Tomas) comes back and proves that even with two names he has more lives than a cat.

Addy continued her legendary bad-arsery by climbing to the top of the mountain and after a slow motion start takes out her opponent from the previous episode. Sure, the bald baddy may survive the fall, but there is no doubt that Addison Carver will survive it “better.”

Doc continued his awesome character arc in this final episode as well. Only he could double team with a Z (Grandpa) to take out a Zona troop with ease.

(Sidenote: Question for Z fans and fans of Doug Jones: Does anyone else think that the Grandpa zombie was in fact Jones?  He is not listed and despite the actor who played him having dialogue (“Lucy!”) he cannot be found on any sites. Answers on a postcard or failing that, in the comment section below.)

While not everyone dies, not on camera at least as the mounted machine gun on the aircraft only starts firing at the end, it is clear that if Warren does die she will return as a sort of Murphy blend.  There cannot be many who did not scream out “no” when that slo-mo “Matrix” bullet ploughed through Murphy to land in Warren’s abdomen.  Her shocked face easily matched at least one viewer’s countenance during this unforgettable scene.

Z Nation - Season 3
Holden Goyette as 5K

By the end of the episode, Warren and Murphy are down.  Doc, 10K, Sun Mei and Red are in the line of fire.  Addy, Lucy, The Man and 5K have gone off the side of the mountain and it does indeed look like “Everybody Dies in the End.”

The highlight of this episode, for at least one serio-comic moment was the reuniting of Lucy and her father.  His rejoinder to her accusations of abandonment, “You were only a month old a year ago,” as they then hug and make up was all too brief.  We have been waiting all season to see these two come together and while the sequence was short it was oddly satisfying.

Kudos to all the youngsters playing Lucy “through the ages.” Kelly Washington managed to take over the latest version with an admirable ease. Well done.

Z Nation - Season 3
Lucy and Murphy together at last…

This was a splendid end to the season. Mad props to Keith Allen with his brilliant character arc, making Murphy almost noble in the end.  Kellita Smith making her character so much more than the sum of all her parts. Anastasia Baranova continuing her role of “Super Addy” and Russell Hodgkinson keeping Doc’s journey as the most changed character in the show on track.

Kaya’s plaintive cry to the missing Simon was also a nice touch. Writer and director Abram Cox has pulled out all the stops to make this one memorable end for our heroes.

Not since the first season’s nuclear end has Z Nation managed to so thoroughly doom its main characters. While we believe wholeheartedly that Warren and Murphy will survive, albeit much changed, it will be a long wait to see who lives to fight another day.

Well done Z Nation, well done.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

5 thoughts on “Z Nation: Everybody Dies in the End – Fully Loaded and Shocking (Review)”

  1. So glad Matt chimed in… I actually thought Grandpa Z might have been played by DJ Qualls.

    Love this show with all its crazy story lines and the homage it pays to so many different movies, shows and current events! Keep ’em coming!!!


  2. Hey! My name is Matt Davidson, and I played Smiles the Zombie (Grandpa Z)! I’ve been a regular Z extra for three seasons (trust me, you’ve seen a LOT of me over three seasons!), and this role was a dream come true for me! Thanks for the awesome review of this incredible episode, it really was an amazing show, and was the result of a ton of gar work from an incredibly talented crew! Have mercy!


      1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! And THANK YOU for mistaking me for Doug Jones, even if only for a second. That’s high praise, indeed!


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