Last week on Z Nation, Vasquez was one injection away from becoming Murphy’s slave. In Audios Muchachos Warren steps in and saves the mercenary by suggesting that Dr. Kurian (Donald Corren) be injected with the vaccine instead. As the doctor protests, Murphy sits watching the proceedings with obvious delight while eating popcorn and drinking wine. The expression on his face says it all, to Murphy, this is better than television.
It appears that the vaccine works, as Kurian survives not just the injection but the “test” as well; a box with some zombified creature that bites the doctor pretty enthusiastically. Things become interesting for the gang when La Reina (Gina Gershon), after getting her injection, tells Kurian to give the cure to Warren next.
Murphy steps in and offers to give Roberta the shot himself. La Reina agrees and Murphy gives the shot without ever breaking skin. Kurian is then ordered to inject the rest of the Zeros and all, except for Escorpion (Emilio Rivera) who goes to beat Vasquez some more, get the vaccine.
La Reina’s right-hand man learns that the “mercenary” is the DEA agent whose family he killed. Later though, he lies to the Zeros leader and says that all of the group, including Warren, are part of a plot to kill La Reina.
Keith Allan gets to take Murphy to new levels in this episode of Z Nation. Gleefully controlling Kurian, “Whoops did I do that?” Later, he shows off to Roberta by controlling the doctor effortlessly. After the “would you like a drink” scene, Murphy manipulates La Reina and orders Warren to kill Escorpion.
In between Murphy’s controlling Kurian and talking for La Reina, Roberta splits up the remaining group. Doc, Addy and 10K are to find Vasquez and Roberta is in charge of Murphy.
Murphy watching Kurian at the start of the episode, grinning between mouthfuls of popcorn and clearly very entertained by the doctor’s predicament.
Murphy controlling La Reina, talking for her and clearly gesturing for her, the arm flailing when Warren forces him to back down is a classic Murphy gesture.
Escorpion and Vasquez with their big battle at the end of the episode.
Warren and Murphy continuing their bonding exercise, these two are slowly coming to respect one another. Clearly Murphy likes being ordered around by a strong woman. Roberta is coming to feel more compassion and in the process is starting to understand “The Murphy” and the two enjoy a little give and take exchange:
Roberta: “What the hell is wrong with him?”
Murphy: Jesus Warren! Give a guy a heart attack!”
Roberta: “Really? You can still have a heart attack?”
The Doc and Addy interchange:
Addy: “My brains, 10K’s gun and Doc’s…”
Doc: “Dumb luck? Good Karma? Funky mojo?”
Addy (Nods once): “We can get him.”
Kurian losing his head.
10K and his “El Camino” and the dusty drive into the Z Nation sunset and his leaning out of the moving vehicle to shoot a drone from the sky, all set to Scott Metzler’s Sock Full of Quarters performed by WOLF!.
Vasquez being suspended at different heights during his Escorpion beatings. At least half the time the ropes holding his arms were too long allowing the actor a chance to dance limbo if he so chose. This lack of attention to detail overshadowed the two men’s impressive interaction together during the interrogations scenes.
When Murphy is “talking for La Reina” as the camera shifts later in the scene so that Murphy and Warren are talking to each other, instead of via La Reina, each time the camera shows Roberta, from Murphy’s POV, Gershon is seen sitting on her throne with arms crossed.
As the camera focuses on her comic “Murphy speak,” she gesticulates as Murphy but each time the camera moves back to Roberta and Murphy (for that POV/close up shot), La Reina is once again sitting arms crossed. Continuity error? Someone falling asleep in the editing room? Who ever let this happen should be put in the cage that first Vasquez and then Escorpion inhabit with the chained zombie.
This episode can be counted as the one having the most “how cool is that scenes.” Apart from the above mentioned stand out moments, there was Kurian having a Ghost Ship or Resident Evil “head-slip.” Another was a brilliant bit of comedic acting from Gina Gershon as La Reina when, after getting the injection, she sits on her throne, legs up and growls: “I feel strooonng. Don’t you feel strong?” All the while holding two golden chicken claws in her hands.
Warren and Murphy share an El Camino at the end. This clearly indicates a shift in the group dynamic. Murphy, who slo-mo punches Roberta in the shoulder when she asks why he did not inject her, “I like you just as you are,” he says. Murphy even says that he will continue to California despite having an army of “blends.”
Warren is quick to point out that this is not such a great idea, “Yeah because you could control Cassandra so well.” As it turns out he does not get a chance to control his blends, at least not for long, but does get to finally influence a horde of Z’s to kill the group chasing them from the Zeros’ lair.
Mad props to Emilio Rivera who just kills it in this episode and kudos to Matt Cedeño for proving that his chops are up to the job of acting with Rivera, despite the faux pas with the ropes. Kellita Smith and Anastasia Baranova continue to prove that strong women are sexy as hell and the rest of this cast put the “E” in ensemble.
Abram Cox, directing his fourth episode of the series shows that he has got that touch, in spite of the afore-mentioned “boo-boos.” There are two episodes left in this season and with that big twist at the end:
Kurian’s head: “It’s you…y-you’re alive.”
As La Reina’s two hands reach down and grab Kurian’s head up and away from the dead bodies on the floor.
No doubt, the queen of the Zeros is going to be heading out after Murphy and the gang. Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy tune in and see where the show heads next and whether or not Citizen Z will make an appearance before the end of season 2.