Z Nation: RoZwell Doug Jones and Missi Pyle Treat (Review)

Z Nation - Season 2

Z Nation: RoZwell can be seen as a homage to not only Galaxy Quest, where Missi Pyle appeared as Thermian alien Laliari,  but also to The X-Files.  With Doug Jones’ character, Dan Scully, another reference on top of Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith) mentioning the show when they find the sliced and diced zombie,  obviously named after Dana Scully from the FOX  television series and the films, the homage is clear.

Heading back to Galaxy Quest, a character tells Vasquez (Matt Cedeño) that a man from Riverside, Iowa arrived at the “exodus”  thinking he was a starship captain. In the 1999 comedy science fiction film, Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, who, in the movie,  plays Cmdr. Peter Quincey Taggart; captain of a spaceship, a’la Captain Kirk of Star Trek.

The plot of “GQ” is that actor Nesmith goes with his TV crew into outer space and becomes a real starship captain versus just acting like one, in one scene where the Thermians, that Nesmith calls “termites or dalmatians” feed Allen’s character a steak, and he says it tastes like “corn-fed Iowa beef” the implication being that Nesmith, the actor,  is from that state.

This episode of Z Nation, even with its obvious references to the Chris Carter cult favorite, does lean more toward a Galaxy Quest/Star Trek homage. While Doug Jones may not have been in any episodes of Star Trek, or any of the films, the actor had played aliens numerous times, the most recent being Cochise in TNT’s Falling Skies.

The FX in Rozwell are clunky and sporadic with the  use of CG, something  most likely done on purpose, to copy the old and cheap special effects back on the 1960s Star Trek and the film that pays a brilliant homage to the Trek verse and its fans, Galaxy Quest.  At the start of the episode, Bernadette, played by Missi Pyle , is running from a zombie.

This action plays against the New Mexico desert on a dark road at night. Set  to the Jason Gallagher song Powerless, which is presumably on the eight-track tape, labeled “SuperMix,”  that Murphy’s group are listening to. Pyle’s character is saved by a bright light the cuts the chasing zombie into serval pieces. The shot of the “Z” being chopped up shows it now has two heads, which it did not before the bright light starts slicing and after, when the sectioned zombie is given mercy by 10K, the second head is gone.

Later in the show, when Bernadette takes the group down into the bowels of the secret Air Force base, a corrugated metal shield slams down over a window as the room turns into a giant elevator. As the room heads down, the metal shield vanishes and reappears several times.

Z Nation - Season 2

Of course, this is Z Nation and at least one other homage, or nod and wink is given to another “alien film franchise” PredatorThe helmet worn by Scully in the show does not look like the ones worn by the predators in the films, but is released (opened) in a similar fashion. A hissing of air and the front is pulled off, like a mask, revealing the occupants visage after removal.

All that is missing is someone telling Jones’ character that he is an  “ugly mother****er.” Still, the faceplate does resemble a predator helmet.  Missi Pyle, as Bernadette is spacey and off kilter. All smiles and softly focussed gazes while she speaks about the aliens who talk to her through the light. (Is this yet another homage moment? ABC’s The Whispers featured an alien who spoke to kids through the light…)

As Roberta and her crew head towards RoZwell and provisions in their VW Thing and it’s swinging ’70s eight-track tape, the group come across the mutilated zombie and 10K gives it mercy.  Apart from the retro sounding music on the tape, the episode’s score is a combination of oriental and metal drum rhythms.

In the scene where Warren (Kellita Smith) calls out “Never mind aliens. Puppies and kittens, people.” This is a clear reference to season one’s pilot episode and this seems to signal a return to a more business like Roberta.  There is not so much compassion for Murphy as in last week’s episode and she kills the two zombies her end before Vasquez can bring his gun up.

10K takes care of the two approaching him and the entire set piece takes place against the musical clash of metallic drums.  Later, as the group follow Bernadette down to the secret underground facility, and when they leave, the music feels like a tinny version of Inception‘s foreboding score towards the end of that film.

Homages aside, there are great moments, that may or may not be nods and winks to other science fiction films/shows.  Addy (Anastasia Baranova) standing in front of a holographic computer screen, a’la Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, playing with the folders and moving them is a stand out moment. As is the jokey exchange between Addy and Warren:

Addy: “It’s a Unix system. I know this.”

Warren: “Really?”

Addy: “No. I went to art school.”

Warren: “Okay, well can you use it to contact Citizen Z?”

A nice gag and the first time the series has mentioned Citizen Z in ages.  Over and above the Citizen Z reference, Murphy (Keith Allan) has a great little bit where he asks about how odd it is that aliens “mostly speak in English…mostly.” As usual with Murphy, it is all in the phrasing and pronunciation.

Memorable moments:

Roberta Warren taking the “Men in Black” type weapon (Yet another homage?) and blasting the UFO out of the night sky. 

Doug Jones dying as the “not alien” pilot of the spaceship who wants to take Bernadette back to ZONA. 

Honorable mentions:

Dan Scully telling Murphy and the gang that Pluto is not a planet at all but a hollowed out spaceship.

Doc (Russell Hodgkinson)  warning Murphy to be careful: “Murphy, don’t do it! Don’t go! They’re gonna probe you for sure! And not in a good way!”

The second season of Z Nation continues to “up its game,” RoZwell carries on with the show’s creators’ homages. Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler also keep up the tongue-in-cheek delivery that makes this series so much fun to watch.  Murphy’s assertion that there are no aliens throughout is great stuff, especially with his grudging acceptance of zombies.

 

Z Nation - Season 2
Addy with a “Are we there yet look”.

Z Nation has been given the green light for a third season, proof that the show is gaining in popularity and understanding. This alternative version of the zombie apocalypse is addictive viewing as well as great  fun and should not be missed. The Asylum have out done themselves with this one. Tune in and catch The Murphy and his gang…

 

Z Nation: Down the Mississippi – The Return of Sketchy & Skeezy

Z Nation - Season 2

In Z Nation this week; Down the Mississippi, John Hyams writes and directs the episode that sees the return of Sketchy and Skeezy, Doc’s old pals, who outfitted  Addy in the first episode with the Z whacker she still carries. Once again, Hyams rocks it with a homage, or two or three, proving that not only can he impress with a touch of gravitas (White Light) but also with sublime black comedy.

Murphy still has a lot of issues with 10K in this Mark Twain/Deliverance riff. The group are still trying to deliver the increasingly irate Murphy to California and after killing Cassandra last week, The Murphy is not pleased with the young man with the gun.

Hyams crams as many homages/riffs as possible in this episode, tinges of Support Your Local Gunfighter, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, even The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (think Tuco, a rope and Blondie with a rifle).

On top of all the nods and winks to the western genre, Escorpion and the Zeroes reappear. The leader of the cartel arrives later in the episode to preside over a trial carrying a golf club and complaining that he almost broke 80 before being interrupted. Emilio Rivera, as Escorpion is absolutely brilliant, he plays the role perfectly, and somberly, straight and just kills it. 

Sketchy and Skeezy (Mark Carr and Doug Dawson respectively) both come across as a combination of Butch and Sundance and the two ne’er-do-wells who lead Pinocchio astray. The two film-flam men may not sing and dance but Sketchy does both when acting as his own council at the town later on.

Apart from Hyams’ many homages, this episode is mostly about Nat Zang’s character 10K.  He is separated from the group when the boat they confiscate runs into a zombie jam.  After ending up on the wrong side of the Mississippi river he runs into Sketchy who tells him Skeezy is dead, as well as Murphy.

After almost giving Skeezy mercy, the three are approached by a group of locals who believe that Sketchy’s friend is The Murphy and allows him to bite them. The trio then steal the dentistry van that the two men used to kill a couple of travelers at the start of the episode.

*Sidenote*The van reads “DERTISTRY” at the start of “Down the Mississippi” but later, in Burr Town it is spelled correctly “DENTISTRY.” Whether this is an in-joke or just a continuity error is unclear.

10K runs into another pretty young woman, this makes several that have caught the young man’s eye, this Southern flower packs a pistol, however, and almost shoots the sniper before he can explain what he is doing in Burr Town.  While his two temporary travel buddies are busy drinking and telling tales, 10K tells the young widow about his friends and Murphy.

While this episode is all about 10K, it also allows Doc (Russell Hodgkinson) to show some levels of compassion, backbone and temper. When Vasquez refuses to contemplate searching for the missing 10K Doc gets ready to take the mercenary on. Only the strong willed Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith) keeps things from escalating.

It should be pointed out that Warren, despite what Vasquez is apparently  starting to believe, runs the group. She is the leader and when the mercenary gets too big for his combat boots, Roberta reins him in.  The only time that Roberta does back down from any of the group is when Doc insists upon taking a canoe down river to look for 10K.

While at Burr Town, the two deadly dental techs show up and the three amigos are put on trial for stealing the van and the zombies in the back of it. Later on, while Sketchy is “summing up” the locals who allowed Skeezy to bite them also show up to point accusatory fingers at the trio.

Down the Mississippi does a number of things. It allows writer and director John Hyams to cram as many homages as possible into the episode and it reveals the group dynamic of the survivors. At the start of the episode, Murphy (Keith Allan) is angry with 10K for killing Cassandra (Pisay Pao) and can barely keep from attacking the youth.

Z Nation - Season 2

Later on, when they are waiting on the bridge an almost tearful Doc murmurs his apologies to the “kid” and turns to leave. As he passes Murphy the savior of the world tells Doc he is sorry. Before Doc can get into the car, the young lady who almost shoots 10K earlier arrives to let the group know where he is.

The gang head to Burr Town and save the trio from hanging. (Rivera’s performance is brilliant. From “These fools,” to “you’re guilty blood,” the actor sells it effortlessly.) The result of this episode is that even Vasquez may eventually learn to “watch out for each other” as Doc says. If a furious Murphy can keep connected with his “friends” the mercenary can definitely learn to.

As the trap doors are sprung, shots are fired and the three convicted prisoners escape and the Southern belle gives her husband mercy.  At the end of the episode, Sketchy and Skeezy re-enacte the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the little group of survivors move on.

Z Nation does humor very well, not too surprising as the show’s creators do not take the show too seriously. For example, the opening credits for this episode had a nasal chorus of “Give Mercy” over the new Z Nation sign.  This tongue-in-cheek delivery sets the viewer up for those sucker punches that the series creator’s love so much.

It also helps add that touch of surprising tenderness, as when Addy tells Doc she needs him. Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy and is halfway through the second season. Tune in and see what transpires next or just to see if Citizen Z (DJ Quallssuddenly shows up. Show creators Craig Engler and Karl Schaefer are continuing to deliver, as are the cast and crew.

This series just keeps getting better and better. Do not miss the fun and the pathos.

Z Nation: Zombie Baby Daddy – And Then There Were Five (Review)

Z Nation - Season 2
Only The Asylum and Z Nation co-creator Craig Engler (who wrote Zombie Baby Daddy) can  produce an episode that combines some splendid comical moments with a disturbing death.   With a flourish of drama (in the case of Lucy, aka Lulu tinged with a foreshadowing of doom for her “new parents” Ma and Pa Kettle) Engler settles the issue of just what Cassandra turned into.

Of course it was almost preordained that Lucy’s story was not going to end well in Zombaby! last week.  In this week’s episode, which starts in downtown Springfield, Illinois, the expanded group of seven, counting Lucy, are trapped by a horde of zombies who are all attracted to the newly born infant. That Murphy’s offspring draws the undead like flies when she makes any noise, either crying or just “baby noises” is interesting.

Almost as interesting is the fact that since the Batch 47 phyto zombie episode,  Murphy’s ability to control  zombies has faded almost to nonexistence. In Zombie Baby Daddy, he briefly holds the encroaching undead at bay, but his control fades quickly and he throws Lucy to Doc.

The start of the episode gives Russell Hodgkinson’s character the best lines. Grabbing little “Lulu” out of the air, Doc hops on a school bus. Locking the door behind him he realizes too late that the vehicle if full of undead Abraham Lincoln lookalikes. The Lincoln zombies stir when Lucy starts crying, but not before Doc utters a pained, “Holy acid flashback man.”

When Addy and Roberta force the bus door open,  Doc, with Lucy cradled in his arms, leaves the bus and the little group back away from the yellow vehicle as zombie Lincoln’s exit. Roberta says, “What in God’s name?” Doc, with a sense of relief, answers, “Oh good, you see ’em too.”

The group then dispatch the zombie’s with 10K (Nat Kang) getting the visual punch line by shooting the Abe Lincoln zombie with the giant penny attached to its head.  All this before the opening credits roll.

The group are aware, and concerned, that the baby is a zombie magnet.  The child does not just attract  the human undead. In a hilariously, yet oh so creepy, scene Murphy is trying to calm the crying child when a group of zombie animals come out from behind a bit of machinery that Murphy is setting on.  Like many of Z Nation‘s episodes and scenes the event is disturbing as it is funny. A sort of zombie Disney moment, sans the singing critters. (Or varmints as Murphy calls the undead animals.)

Z Nation - Season 2
Murphy and Lucy seconds before a disturbing “Disney” moment.

The group scatter. Vasquez heads out through  the woods and Roberta follows. 10K brings back some fish he caught and Murphy takes Lucy away from the team, leaving Cassandra behind with orders to let no one leave.  The mercenary winds up at a Zeroes “hideout” and as Warren watches, the man is captured and she “bails him out,” but not before the two of them are shot.

Back at the camp, 10K, Addy and Doc attempt to leave by splitting up. Addy is positive that Cassandra will not hurt them badly as she still believes that the girl is their friend. The first time the trio split up, Cassandra chases Addy down and almost breaks her arm. Addy’s cries of pain bring Doc and 10K back.

The second attempt to leave ends with Cassandra starting to break 10K’s neck and, in desperation, he stabs her in the head.

Engler’s episode is shocking. The whole storyline of Cassandra, becoming Murphy’s bodyguard, slave and pet, was at times very amusing, as was Pisay Pao’s performance, with the actress channelling her “inner” guard dog.

*Sidenote*Mad props to Pisay Pao with her performance as the increasingly animalistic Cassandra.  She managed to keep enough humanity in her character that when she dies the viewer is truly upset.  It also has to be mentioned that  only Anastasia Baranova can impress so much with a slow-motion short-hair “shampoo advert” toss of the head. (Springfield, Illinois hair toss outside the Lincoln school bus = win.)

The buildup and then the quick sudden death of Cassandra (made all the more disturbing as it was at the hand of 10K who still seemed to have a little crush on her) is indicative of where this zombie alternative to The Walking Dead is headed this season.  Like the first season, the humor is still there but Engler and co-creator Karl Schaefer are packing in some serious sucker punches this season.

Season one saw the death of Garnett just as he and Roberta were about to “hook-up” and the only other thing more shocking  in the first run of the show was when Addy left Mack for Camp “Sappho.” Season two saw the two reunite only to have Mack die. (Kudos to Michael Welch for his performance in that scene.)  Now Z Nation has lost Cassandra and baby Lucy.

One does get the impression that Lucy will show up later, after her crying (Which we know will draw zombies to the little home of the Kettle’s.) exit while her new parents coo over the cot she is in. Cassandra will presumably not return, her resurrection last season by Murphy is not permanent and death by a knife blade in the brain cannot be fixed in a zombie apocalypse.

Murphy’s decision to leave his baby with the couple in the clearing was a little surprising after his obvious infatuation with the infant. Although this move does make sense for a number of reasons. Not least being the problems of having a CG baby as a repeated character.

Z Nation - Season 2
“Murphy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do…”

The other main plot thread in this week’s episode was  Warren/Vasquez  attraction which resulted in the two  “bonding” over stitches. This pair of “type A” personalities have been getting closer even as they continue to argue with one another. Roberta saving the newest member of the  Murphy group was a nice touch. So too was her starting to slam a scalpel into Vasquez’ brain just as he “recovers.”

Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy and this second season is darker and a tad more…serious. Tune in for the sly tongue-in-cheek humor, but watch out for those sucker punches, they really hurt.

 

Z Nation: Zombaby! These Three Kings

Z Nation - Season 2

Z Nation with “Zombaby!” have delivered  that highly requested zombie  baby that fans have  been begging for ever since season one, episode one. Now The Asylum have come up with the baby goods  and the tyke is an infant “Wednesday Addams lookalike.”   Not that this happens too quickly, first Serena and rest have to get through a Wisconsin cheese day parade of zombies.

Doc has a bit of cheese from  the world’s biggest wheel of cheese and the same object is used to dispatch a load of zombies. “Like Philly” Roberta says and when Vazquez questions it, Doc tells him to watch.  This episode is a perfect blend of comedy and tragedy, dealing with Serena’s pregnancy, Murphy’s reluctant participation and anthrax.

There is also a sort of Malcolm in the Middle hamster in the ball action going on with the giant cheese wheel still rolling across the Wisconsin landscape with an ever increasing amount of zombies grabbed by the wheel. In essence a cross between Dewey’s hamster and a snowball made of cheese…

Zombaby! also introduces sheep zombies, goat zombies, camel zombies, horse and mule zombies and anthrax filled zombies with head’s that explode in a puff of white deadly dust.  There are also Mennonite zombies, Billy Boy condoms (“Don’t be stoopid” Addy says to 10K later in the episode.) and a zombie hoard who all arrive to witness the birth of Lucy, the “first of her kind.”

This episode was one, for and by the ladies being written byJennifer Derwingson and directed by  Rachel Goldenberg. Serena’s pregnancy, the continual projectile vomiting, the screaming, the “monkey noises” while doing the breathing exercises were all very funny, as was Murphy’s reaction to all the above.  Both ladies who delivered one of the oddest, and strangely funny, episodes of Z Nation, did so with a style that impressed. 

There was also the “pregnant” woman rage scene where Serena shoots a machine gun clip of bullets at two ambushers while screaming insults. Hysterically funny.

The two storylines, three counting the shadowy presence of the cartel who still want Murphy, blended together beautifully.  The Mennonites with the rationed drug to combat the anthrax, the possibility of 10K and Addy dying because they inhaled the powder and Murphy actually bonding with his baby momma and the newly born infant, “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do,” worked perfectly.

On top of all the things going on in the foreground, there was the “three kings” gag with the camel, horse, mule and wisemen zombies following the “star.”  Which made perfect sense as a joke, and plot thread because, well…look at the setup  of the episode.

Z Nation - Season 2
Okay, now everybody sing, “We three kings…”

Roberta says, when they arrive at the Mennonite community, “let’s move on there is no room at this inn.” When Serena’s water spectacularly  breaks, they hustle the mother into a barn. Bales of hay make up the birthing area and, well you get the idea.

Very, very funny and obviously a clue as to the importance and relevance  of baby Lucy. Sadly, amid all this humorous peripheral zombie action, Addy and 10K are dying as there is not enough of the drug because the religious community are rationing it out. Serena gives birth, but the baby is tired of waiting and climbs out of the womb.

Things were never going to turn out well for “Pie Girl” and after Lucy come clambering out of the birth canal, mom turns zombie and Roberta has to give the new mother mercy.

*Sidenote* Pisay Pao steals every single scene she is in. Her Cassandra “not zombie” has become a feral creature who, when not sniffing Mennonite women with bowls of water, rests on quivering haunches. Murphy’s creation/pet has become more animal than zombie and each time she appears one watches transfixed, waiting to see what she will do. Pao is just brilliant.

Kellita Smith, as Roberta Warren, goes through some defining moments in this episode, as does Keith Allan’s Murphy, and her character becomes that bit harder. After discussing the issue of 10K and Addy possibly dying because of the rationing, Warren decides to take all the drug from the Mennonites to save her two group members.

There is no doubt that this decision will haunt Roberta and may signal a karmic reaction later on.  Before the end credits rolled, Murphy names the baby, Addy and 10K recover, and the latter gets a box of Billy Boy condoms with the promise from Addy that he will not die a virgin, that “girl” is out there somewhere.

We also learn that Lucy is “Plan B” if anything happens to Murphy.  The Asylum have stepped up their game for Z Nation‘s second season. The humor is still there (after Addy tells 10K “Don’t be stupid” Vazquez points to Murphy and the baby and says, “Yeah not like that guy.” He then asks, “how did that happen anyway?” Doc responds, “Man you gotta understand…there was pie.”) only tighter and that little bit slyer than before.

Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy and now features a baby that looks like a zombie version of a baby Wednesday Addams.  Tune in and see what Lucy and Murphy get up to next and there may just be pie.

Z Nation: Zombie Road – Fury Road on Z Weed

Cassandra and Murphy.

This weeks sees Z Nation leaving the sadder aspect of transporting Murphy to the CDC, i.e. the death of  Mack (Michael Welch) behind and heading back into almost full blown homage territory. Zombie Road, written and directed by Dan Marchant (the man who wrote the best episode of season one, Die Zombie Die…Again) this is an apparent tip of the hat to Mad Max: Fury Road  on quualudes or Z Weed.

The group, sans Mack but with newest member Vasquez, move out and come across a “wagon train.” Doc names this tune in one with his rhetorical “Is this some kind of post-apocalyptic wagon train.” Roberta responds with another western reference “Well, it ain’t the 3:10 to Yuma.”

While the style of the vehicular  “train” is pure Mad Max,  along with the attacking hoards of bandits, the pacing is more like a western (which to be honest is the underlying genre of any of the Mad Max films) although more of the vintage variety versus the high octane delivery of “Fury Road.”  The episode may be titled as a sort of nod and wink to the George Miller Australian film, but it does feel more like a combination The Hallelujah  Trail/The Way West/Fury Road mash up.  (With a touch of Cheech & Chong based humor.)

Keith Allan gets to shine in this episode after his character along with Doc get high on Z Weed, grown  with dead zombie compost…Dude! When the “wagon master” tells off his new passengers along with the somewhat less than “with it” existing member of the train,  Wrecking Ball, Allan gets in some yucks with his “excuse me stewardess, will there be snacks on this flight” quip.

Before the gang bump into the zombie train, there is a splendidly comic moment where Vazquez, acting as the Alpha male, shoves Murphy forward saying “Move.”  Murphy wheels around and says, “you are not the boss of me.” Pointing to Warren, who has moved forward to intercede, Murphy says, “She is.”

Roberta tells Vasquez that she can handle this and pushing Murphy forward she tells him “Move.” After a short pause, Murphy gestures grandly toward the ground and responds, “Gladly.”  Soon after the little band spy the wagon train.

The train is on it’s way to Edmonton when the group step in to help the travelers out.  A new breed of zombie is introduced  into the Z Nation verse; Blasters. Custer says to Warren that these were killed by the atomic blast and hunt in packs.

These radioactive zombies are scarily fast, almost comically so in some instances, and seem to almost “peck” the face off their victims.This obvious reference to the “zombie face eating” incident in Florida.  While the style of attack is pretty darned freaky to watch, and the aftermath is no picnic either, the  fear factor is cut down a bit by the nod and wink to this 2012 incident. Still, these lightning fast creatures are alarming.

Even 10K has trouble bringing these supersonic zombies down.  There is one moment when a wounded Blaster looks to be rubbing it’s bottom on the ground after being shot and one more where a zombie is “running’ bum down.  Murphy learns, to his chagrin, that these new creatures cannot be controlled.

According to another character, these zombies’ brains were melted by the radiation hence there is no point of contact.  This could be why Murphy cannot control the new breed of zombie. Add to this, the “white noise” sound that Murphy hears when trying to contact the zombies, these new monsters are pretty impressive. They do seem to have a leader regardless of the melted brain theory.

At one point a single  Blaster, wearing a long, once-white, lab coat attacks and apparently controls the other zombies.   It looks suspiciously like Dr. Kurian from season one’s finale; who is seen climbing into the fridge as the start of season two’s open.

10K is getting increasingly jealous of Murphy and Cassandra while, at the same time, being concerned as to just “what’ she  has become. Although at one point it looks like 10K may have a fan that is not part zombie or under the control of Murphy. This, however, does not last as repeated Blaster zombie attacks, combined with roaming bandit attacks leaves the young lady dead.

The casualties this week are all centered on the wagon train denizens on their way to Edmonton.  Addy comes dangerously close to joining Mack and Cassandra learns that Z Weed seems to “sort her out.”  Despite the rather slow pace of the vehicles in the train, the  show moves forward quite nicely with its accompaniment of quasi Native American drum beats along with a bass tonal background.

William Sadler is the wagon master, Sam Custer, and  radiation is slowly killing the man while his character tries to get his people to safety. With a touch of Ward Bond in his attitude the leader of the train slow loses his grip on sanity and his ability to lead diminishes as well.

The new zombie threat puts everyone, including Murphy, on the menu and cranks the tension up nicely. Vasquez appears to be slowly leaning toward the less “mercenary” side of things and there appears to be a mutual attraction between the bounty hunter and Roberta Warren.

Zombie Road is a nice slow down from  the intensity of last week’s episode.  The Mad Max attack on the car, with Doc and Wrecking Ball, is low octane; with the vehicle’s moving slowly and the action being almost pedestrian, but it works nicely. The punch line for this gag is Cassandra leaping on the attackers and munching (See what we did there?) on the ambushers.

Line of the episode award goes to guest star Sadler. Explaining to Roberta and Vasquez who Wrecking Ball is (Custer’s nephew) Sam tells the two that “The cheese slid off that cracker long ago.” Priceless.

The Murphy  group, who join the larger wagon train, are the only survivors after the Blaster attacks and the repeated bandit action. In the end they decide to head toward the Z Weed factory mentioned by Wrecking Ball. Murphy, who stole the Charger escapes with Cassandra and Custer’s nephew, and they too are headed for the weed manufacturing plant.

There was no Citizen Z storyline this week and the main group had plenty to keep the viewer entertained without DJ Qualls . It will be interesting to see if Wrecking Ball makes it to the factory, Cassandra does not seem to be too impressed with their passenger. Hopefully next week Citizen Z’s adventures will be revealed.

Z Nation airs Fridays on SyFy, a great alternative to all things The Walking Dead and great entertainment. Amazingly, The Asylum have proven that Sharknado is not their only party trick. Catch this one, it is great television, getting better with each episode.