Friday, October 16, 2015

Z Nation, Season Two, Episode Four: Zombaby!

The crew is running through the streets trying to stay away from zombies, as Murphy and Cassandra stroll calmly taking up the rear. Vazquez questions Murphy's abilities to control the zombies and Murphy responds that there are too many of them and that he is unwilling to do it for Vasquez. Though his reason might be wrong, I think Murphy is right not to trust Vasquez. Doc stops at the worlds biggest brick of cheese and cuts off a hunk.  Thinking about the Liberty Bell, Warren gets the bright idea to to loosen the cheese from its block and send it rolling down the hill.  Warren and Addy set the wheel of cheese rolling and it picks up zombies as it rolls down the street.  Warren instructs the group to deny that they were anywhere near Wisconsin.

The group are driving down the street when Addy tells Warren to pull over. Addy supports Serena as she pukes into the long grass.  Doc tries to encourage Murphy to go and comfort Serena since she is the mother of his child but Murphy, being Murphy, isn't interested.  Addy joins Doc and Murphy and tells Murphy that Serena says that talking to him makes her feel better.  Warren has to order Murphy to comfort Serena.  An irritated Murphy listens as Serena tells him about the zombie bear before being sick once again.   Murphy walks away to ask Warren if they can just leave Serena behind. Warren responds that they have to find a safe place for Serena because if anything happens to Murphy, the kid will be plan B. Vasquez suggests a Mennonite community that he ran into a few months ago.

The conference is ended when a group starts shooting at them.  Vasquez suggests that they are being targeted because of the car they are driving. Yep, they still have the drug dealers car. Warren starts to issue orders but before the team can implement her plan, Serena grabs an automatic gun and starts shooting, all the while screaming about the child she is carrying.  After killing them all, Serena refers to the shooters as rude. Serena's action gain her the interest of Doc and Murphy.  Warren decides that it's time for them to get a new vehicle. The group head toward the truck of the shooters and Vasquez sneaks a radio out of the truck and places it in his bag.

In the truck, Murphy finds a McDonald's burger that hasn't degraded (big surprise there) and Serena scarfs it down claiming that the baby wants it.

When they arrive at the Mennonite farm, Vasquez notes that something is wrong.  Warren splits up the team to check out the area, not wanting her team to go in blind.  As soon as he is alone, Vasquez pulls the radio out of his bag and listens to a message in Spanish.  10K makes his way into the field where he sees a Mennonite family farming. 10K and the family are attacked by zombies and when 10K  kills one, a white powder appears on his face.  The family is attacked by zombie animals.  The moment the coast is clear the family takes off running, causing 10k to give chase.  The family locks themselves in a barn, as 10K tries to explain that he is not trying to hurt them and is in fact looking for help.

Serena and Murphy are getting cozy in the truck when 10K returns.  Cassandra sniffs 10K and he says that the people ran away from him and that there are zombie sheep.  Warren notices the white powder on 10K's face and instructs him to wash it off. Warren orders her team to move in but warns that they should be careful because something doesn't feel right. Vasquez catches up with the group and claims that he was delayed by zombies.  Vasquz tosses the ham he found to Doc and hands Warren and Addy bottles of strawberry jam. Warren asks Vasquez why he doesn't have any White powder on him given that he claimed to have been confronting zombies.  Before Vazquez can answer, a zombie family exits a house.  Addy shoots a zombie which causes it to release a puff of white powder, which she breathes in. 10K kills another one and once again White powder is released. Warren gives the order for her group to pull back.  10K and Doc work together to take out the zombies and in the process, 10K inhales more white powder.

Warren speaks to Jacob, the Elder of the Mennonite community. Jacob makes it clear that they shouldn't be here and Warren explains that one of their people needs help.  Jacob reiterates that it's not safe for them here because the white powder is anthrax.  Warren orders her group to pack up, telling Jacob that she is sorry for his trouble but before they can leave, 10K collapses.  Doc wants to take 10K away but Warren points out that there's no place to take him.  Vasquez suggests that what 10K needs is antibiotics and Doc runs to his stash to look for some.  Proving that all luck can be bad, Serena's water breaks and she tells Murphy that it won't be long now.

With the help of one of the Mennonites, Doc escorts 10K to the sick cabin, followed by Warren. There are several people lying on the beds.  A woman rushes toward 10K and gives him half of an antibiotic that the Mennonites found on the next farm over. Jacob assures Doc that it will help but explains that 10K can only have half a pill because they need enough for everyone. It's Vasquez who points out that this will not be enough for everyone to recover.

Outside, A Mennonite woman brings water and she is stopped by Cassandra, who sniffs her and then sticks her tongue in the bowl. Umm are they ever going to let Cassandra act like a person again?

Serena doubles over in pain and tells Murphy that while it might not seem like a good time to have a baby, there never is because before the apocalypse there used to be things like Russians and nuclear weapons. Addy and a Mennonite make a bed for Serena to give birth on.  When Serena screams in pain, Addy asks the Mennonite woman to go and get Doc. When Serena asks to have her back rubbed, Addy has to order Murphy to do it.

Vasquez takes Warren aside and explains that 10K will not make it because the Mennonites don't have enough drugs for everyone. Vasquez believes that rationing the supply only slows down death and that unless some people are picked to live, all of them will die.  Warren points out that 10K isn't one of them and asks about near by towns.

In the barn,  Serena screams in pain as Murphy hides behind a post.  Doc rushes in with his bag in tow.

Jacob tells Warren and Vasquez that most towns are along route 22, which leads Vasquez to realise that they would have already been picked over by now.  Jacob brings up Edgefoot, saying that not many English know this town and that there's a small pharmacy there.  Warren questions why the Mennonites haven't gone to check it out and Jacob explains that it's too far and dangerous without a buggy and that their horses have been lost to the zombies.  Jacob asks to go with them saying that the town isn't easy to find and that there might be things necessary for his community.  Addy and Jacob make small talk and she offers him her weapon for him to try.

Serena continues to scream as Doc instructs her to take quick short breaths.  Murphy finally comes out from behind the post and encourages Serena to scream.  A frustrated Doc speaks with Warren and she reminds him that this is a natural process. In the background, Murphy and Serena howl together. You won't see this on The Baby Story.

Addy, Vasquez, and Jacob have arrived at the pharmacy.  The sheelves have been picked clean. Jacob picks up a box of condoms and Addy explains that they are for sex.  It seems however that Jacob already knows this.  Addy is surprised and asks if Jaocb has to be married and he says yes. Jacob explains that he wanted to but never tried because the apocalypse happened and now, no woman wants to marry.  Addy calls the apocalypse "a total cock block" and Jacob is unfamiliar with the phrase.  They come across a junkie in a full nod.  It seems that the junkie has shot up everything he could find hoping to die.  The junkie asks Addy and Vasquez to kill him because he cannot do it anymore.  Addy refuses to end the junkie's life and he charges Addy. Vasquez warns him off and the Jumkie realises that if he charges Vasquez, he will get his wish.  Vasquez shoots, killing the junkie and Jacob is horrified. Vasquez tires to explain his actions as self defense and Jacob suggests that they believe it is better to kill than to die. Addy explains that this is just what they have to do now, but clearly, Jacob does not agree.

Serena is still in labour and Murphy asks the Doc for some drugs because he doesn't feel right.  Doc tells Murphy that it's just nerves and assures him that he will love the baby even if it looks like him. Murphy is not pacified, so Doc hands him a piece of nicotine gum.

Addie, Vasquez and Jacob return to the farm.  Jacob is notified about 10K and tells the group that they have to see 10 K immediately.  Before they get far, Addy collapses to the ground.  In the sick area, 10K is now coughing up blood.  Vasquez and Warren help Addy into the barn and Doc is shocked to see Addy down.  When Doc asks about Warren and Vasquez, Warren explains that she is fine because of a standard military vaccine.  Doc explains that he is fine as well and that he served in the military.  Warren says that none of this will help Addy or 10K.  Doc suggests dosing 10K and Addy with Murphy juice and Warren is quick to reject this idea, saying that the only thing which will help them is more antibiotics.  Vasquez suggests another run but Warren points out that they have the drugs here.  Vasquez points out that if they take it from the Mennonites, they will die. Doc asks if they do this kind of thing and Warren says that the Mennonites will die anyway because of the rationing.  Doc leaves the decision up to Warren and she explains that it's about the mission. Vasquez assures Warren that she is doing the right thing.  Vasquez points out that he counted 7 people of which the majority are meek mild Mennonite women.  Warren orders Doc to stay here while they go and rob the Mennonites.

Doc tries to comfort a screaming Serena but Serena wants Murphy and says that the baby is searching for him.  The baby moves around and a hand becomes visible.  Murphy places his hand on Serena's stomach and it calms both mother and child.  Doc picks up a weapon just in case.

Armed and ready to go, Warren and Vasquez prepare to rob the Mennonites.  With weapons pointed Warren and Vasquez enter the barn.  Jacob tells them that he thought they might come for the medicine.  Warren puts her weapon away and explains that her team has to get to California because Murphy is immune to the virus.  Warren tells the Mennonites about the lab to make a vaccine that will save a lot of people.  With hands in the air, Warren approaches the drugs.  Jacob says that they practice not to resist even through violence and war.  Jacob adds that God has called them to love their enemies and never seek revenge.  Warren apologises and asks for forgiveness and then walks out with the drugs.  Jacob wishes her peace, as the rest of the Mennonites pray.

Outside, Vasquez tells Warren that he would felt better if the Mennonites had at least tried to kill them.  Warren explains that only in a messed up apocalypse was what they did right. Vasquez and Warren bring 10K into the barn with the rest of the crew as Serena continues to scream. The baby makes an appearance and it's not head first. Doc realises that the baby is not waiting to get pushed out and is actually pulling itself out.

Zombies steadily make their way towards the Mennonite farm.  Outside the barn door, they look like weird Wise Man and this is heavily inferred by the way the moon sits over the barn and the zombie camel they travel with.

The baby cries loudly, as Addy notices the zombie  wisemen enter the barn.  Addy tries to get the groups attention but they are too caught up with the zombie baby.  It seems that Murphy now has  a daughter.  Warren notices a cleaver in Doc's hand and he explains that it's for the umbilical cord but before Doc can cut the cord, the baby simply bites it off. The baby has blue skin just like Murphy.  Murphy asks to hold his daughter, and Serena hands her over as zombies continue to gather.  Warren finally sees the assembled zombies just as the baby screams.  The zombies move forward and the group start shooting, while in the field a zombie camel eats grass.  Doc suggests that Murphy do his zombie voodoo thing but it's not working because the zombies are drawn to the baby.  Murphy backs away with his daughter in his arms.

Though she just gave birth, Serena stands up and screams, "get away from my baby you damn dirty zombies." Serena begins to fight off the zombies, as Warren orders everyone to get to the truck. Murphy gets to the door with his daughter in arms and turns in time to see that Serena is completely surrounded.  The zombies turn Serena into a zombie and she starts to move towards Murphy and her baby. Murphy asks for Warren to do something and Warren shoots Serena in the head giving her mercy, as the baby screams.

Away from the farm, Warren heads to speak to Murphy.  In the bed of the truck 10K regains consciousness.  Warren calls the child pretty and then hands Murphy Serena's list of baby names.  Murphy looks at the list and quickly crumples it up.  In the truck, Addy hands 10K the condoms promising him that he is not going to die a virgin. Addy tells 10K that when his big moment happens that he shouldn't be stupid.  Vasquez points to Murphy as an example and asks how it all happened. Doc simply says, "there was pie."

Murphy decides to call his daughter Lucy after his mother and dubs her the first of her kind.  Murphy is all emotional and crying and Warren hands him him a handkerchief.

Z Nation continues to be confused.  It's really not sure if it wants to tell a serious story about a zombie apocalypse or be a comedy. This week, we had zombies killed by a big brick of cheese, an invocation of Planet of the Apes, and a play on Christ's birth in Bethlehem, including zombie camels and zombie sheep.  Then Z Nation gave us the Mennonite community who despite the world falling down around them still chose to hang onto their religious convictions.  The farming family didn't even kill the zombies which approached them.  So in among zombie wisemen we have the question of do one's religious convictions still apply in a zombie apocalypse.  Also the question of whose life matters and is it ethical to kill the few to save the many?

My first and ongoing complaint about Z Nation is its treatment of Cassandra.  Each week, she seems to become more and more animal like.  Cassandra actually sniffed people and lapped water out of a bowl like a dog.  Was any of that really necessary?  Do the realise the problematic nature of comparing POC to animals like this? At this point, I am thoroughly disgusted with what they have done with her character.

We all saw Serena's death coming but that didn't make it any easier.  Yes, like everyone else, I was completely repulsed by her character, particularly when she ate her own vomit and the stale McDonald's hamburger.  The problem is that other than being comic relief, Serena's only purpose was to give birth to Murphy's baby.  Did we really need a walking womb?  We didn't learn anything about Serena beyond her name.

Onto Vasquez.  Didn't I say this dude is shifty.  Who was he listening to on the radio and what is his agenda.  Oh there's something going on here. He has already made one slip up and so I assume it's only a matter of time before Warren catches him.