Sunday, October 29, 2017

Z Nation, Season 4, Episode 5: The Unknowns

The gang is still heading east following Warren’s visions when they reach an abandoned truck. Murphy wants to search it - but when Warren sees no-one in the cab of the truck - and it still moves to follow them, everyone else is duly terrified and decides to get the hell away.

Which is when the truck releases a terrible, high pitched noise which knocks them all unconscious

They wake in creates - or Warren does. When it opens a woman and a man emerge from their own creates and she promptly kills him for the only crowbar. She explains she’s been there for a month or more and they have to do what the bosses want because they can’t fight the noise. All they do is kill anything that moves - or zombies. This mission includes clearing an elevator - which they do but the woman gets eaten in the process. Once Warren escapes into the lift and begins to ascend, the noise starts and she’s unconscious again. She ends up back in a crate

Doc and 10K have their own crate experience, only they come out together. In a gas filled corridor with only one gas mask to share, they try to close the leaks and kill the charging zombies. While doing so Doc nearly dies and 10K has to resuscitate him while sharing a gas mask. It’s improbably but dramatic

And I’m going to say this here - the whole concept of this episode and the whole way it’s depicted complete with lighting and atmosphere, is absolutely terrifying. There’s a really horrible horror film here.

When the whole gang is gathered in their crates to recap that they’ve all been through these situations. They’re released from crates, kill Zombies, clear an area and then the sound knocks them out again and they wake up in their crates again.

While in their crates, Lucy senses many many zombie, even Warren can sense them. Murphy says he can’t because he’s all cured - but he is eating his own flesh. Which is not healthy

And Murphy has a panic attack - but is talked down by Sergeant Lilley in awesome fashion. She is so skilled at it because she herself has experience of PTSD when she had to hide in the boot of a car for months when her family was turned to zombies.

It’s little reminders like this that tell us every last person on this show has a deeply traumatic past.

Lucy does nearly get out by using her zombie whispering powers - but then get knocked out by more noise, foiling every time they try to escape.

There are more events as they wake from the boxes, sometimes with each other, sometimes with other strangers: many of whom die as they struggle against zombies in a series of lethal encounters. At one point Warren is teamed up with a Zona soldier but he protests none of this is Zona, and several Zona soldiers have been caught up in the same crates. He says this is “bigger than Zona”

Lilley is also teamed with a rapist who she feeds to a zombie. And really why? Yes she wins, but they’re desperately fighting for their lives, was there a need to throw in a gratuitous rapist?

Eventually they all team up in a cage for “feeding time” which involves a lot of dog food. This is the apocalypse - 10K and Doc are super thrilled that they’re getting dog food which they consider good eating. 10K is especially adorable about this. I do like these little reminders of how far humanity has been reduced.

Together Warren collates their knowledge of what they’ve seen of the complex and they manage to put together a map so next time they’re released they try to escape. They reach the surface and see a corn field with a single door in it: this whole complex is underground. And then the sound knocks them out again.

But they escape early this time because of Lucy’s zombie whispering and manage to get out - killing the Zona soldier sent to stop them on the way and make it to the surface. No I don’t know why they don’t unleash the killer noise again.

They escape, pick up their gear and get as far away as they can - but Murphy has been bitten and is dropping in and out of consciousness… while Warren is zoning out into her own visions.