Saturday, November 19, 2016

Z Nation, Season Three, Episode Ten: They Grow Up So Quickly

At this point, I'm not at all certain that the writers of Z Nation know what they are doing. They are working so hard to create laughs that it's all beginning to wear incredibly thin.  Z Nation was always meant to be a little camp which is an original take on zombies; however, after three seasons even Doc cannot maintain the silly enough for it to amusing let alone funny. I think that what we are watching is the death knell of Z Nation

Once again, the cast is split up.  This week we focus on Doc and Addie who've gone to collect Lucy and Murphy in Spokane and his attempts to break poor 10K

Doc and Addy are surprised the Lucy is no longer the infant they left behind but a five year old with her own wants and needs.  Lucy has created the perfect environment for a little girl, including zombies dressed up in character for playmates.  Lucy's Blend adoptive parents, don't trust Addie and Doc at all and were it not for Lucy's intervention, Doc and Addie would be dead.  Doc tells Lucy a version of how her parents met and got together which lasts entirely too long for my taste since we already saw this all play out.  Lucy who has been very sheltered embraces the lie about her parents as King and Queen of the zombie world and rewards Doc and Addie by asking them to play with her.

The problem of playing with Lucy becomes apparent rather quickly, her playmates are all zombies. Lucy, being Murphy's daughter has never developed a fear of zombies.  Why be afraid of something you can control?  Lucy doesn't understand that Addie and Doc cannot simply join her and her playmates in an innocent game of hide and seek.  Doc is forced to kill one of them which enrages Lucy enough to take off running.

It's Addie who manages to track Lucy down when she hears Lucy scream because she's being attacked by and Ender. Enders you recall are humans who've survived the zombie apocalypse but along the way lost their sanity.  This interaction is played for all it's worth with the Ender growling in rage at Addie and Addie growling right back.  It's Addie's defense of Lucy that causes the little girl to see her as a hero and someone to be trusted.  This is telling given that Doc and Addie's plan was never to simply bring Lucy to Murphy but to use her as leverage against Murphy. 

Unfortunately for Addie and Doc, they don't manage to grab Lucy because the Man kidnaps her after knocking Addie out.  Lucy sits in the back seat and like all five year olds, she delivers a stream of constant chatter which gets on The Man's last nerves. He responds by tasering Lucy which of course she loves.  Finally in frustration, The Man tosses a bag over Lucy's head and chokes her with a rope around her neck.  What he doesn't know is that Murphy feels all of Lucy's pain in Spokane. This reveals that the connection between Lucy and Murphy is a lot stronger than just father/daughter.

I know that we are supposed to think that The Man is a horrible person for tasering Lucy but who hasn't wanted to occasionally taser a kid who just won't take the hint and shut up? The difference is that most of us won't actually do it, thus making The Man evil.  It's only when he begins to choke Lucy that the violence of his actions becomes real, thus causing the viewer to judge their initial support of The Man's actions.  This turned out to be one of the better scenes from the overly long episode.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this recap/review, Murphy went to work on 10K this week. For some reason, he simply cannot accept that 10K is not happy being one of his mindless little Blends. He decides to show 10K the power he has over him by renaming him Thomas.  Then he has 10K (I refuse to call him Thomas) pick up a knife and stab it between his fingers faster and faster, occasionally causing 10K to cut his hand.  A single tear rolls down 10K's face a sign of the pain Murphy is actively causing him.  At this point 10K has zero control, so much so that he cannot even stop his own hand from moving. Every shred of his free will has been stripped and this is what that tear represents.  I do think that this interaction went on for far too long and screams as an effort by the writers to drag out this episode but I cannot fault them on having 10K cry the way he did.  

What I do wonder is why the writers seem unwilling to have Murphy have any personal examination during this process.  Murphy, as we know, cannot stand the idea that someone doesn't like him or want to be one of his new Blends, yet at the same time, he cannot tolerate the fact that this means he cannot have a legitimate conversation with any person because they cannot disagree with him. Why does he so desperately want to break 10K, the only person in his world who is capable of disagreeing with him?  I really want to see the writers delve into this more because I do think it could lead to some compelling growth in Murphy which is really needed at this point.  

In the end, 10K is ordered to go and take out Warren.  Does Murphy really believe that Warren won't see 10K coming a mile away or that 10K won't find some way to potentially resist his orders?