Monday, November 6, 2017

Z Nation, season 4, Episode 6: Back from the Undead

Last week Murphy was bitten, the gang got him into a car and Warren drove off - she continues driving now. She’s in complete vision mode, seeing the giant arch ahead of her and not hearing everyone urging her to slow down. As Murphy struggles in and out of consciousness and everyone panics about what to do Warren keeps driving, faster and faster

Her visions changes and seems to have an electronic display guiding her, telling her when to turn down a side road which she does at terrifying speed, only breaking at the last moment when they reach a biomedical facility.

Murphy staggers out the car, he’s sick and can barely walk. Inside they see little that can help him and struggle to resuscitate him. In desperation Lucy bites him - and it seems to perk Murphy up and make him better. Her bite still has healing qualities - but Lucy has also clearly aged from the bite. She shrugs it off, clearly having experienced accelerated aging before, but everyone else is more concerned

Warren, driven by visions, explores to facility which has ominous posters about universal donors and infinite prosthetics. Some of the dead also seem to be deformed, bodies with multiple heads… and more. She takes a key and goes deeper in. When she reaches an electronic keypad the numbers to open the door flash before her eyes. She eventually finds something and injects herself with it, and takes a cannister of something out of a locked container, again guided by her visions. She ends up in the office of a Dr. Caligari and reads through his files complete with ultra disturbing pictures of people with multiple limbs, heads, other parts and general awfulness.

The rest of the gang go looking for her after Lilley and 10k (now up to 8,001) finish clearing the zombies out front, leaving Murphy and Lucy together. Inside they find lots of disembodied zombie parts wiggling around, restrained zombies with bits missing and other science shenanigans. As Doc observes, science in the zombie apocalypse has taken a distinctly unpleasant turn

There’s also a moment with disembodied moving zombie fingers and Doc’s open wound and I’m just going to NOPE NOPE NOPE this whole scene, thank you very much.

And then they face a zombie with four arms that uses a machine gun - because Z Nation they all flock around trying to kill it but it’s stubbornly resistant and looks ready to kill them - until Warren arrives and addresses the giant zombie by name

He’s Charles, Dr. Caligari’s assistant. She asks the zombie where Dr. Caligari is and he understands and turns and shows him - in a Total Recall twist, Dr. Caligari is a head embedded in Charles. He and his team were experimenting on grafting zombie parts to humans to provide prosthetics and immortality and because there’s nothing so foolish some human won’t do it somewhere. When Charles and Caligari were bitten and Charles died, Caligari cut off his own arm to stop the infection and replaced it with Charles’s zombie arm

And the zombie cells infested his system and grew a whole new Charles out of Caligari creating the frankenzombie of awfulness. Ooookay then. Moving on

Warren asks him if he’s ever seen her but he hasn’t, he has no clue who sent her here or why or why they wanted the canister from his office (he doesn’t tell her what it is and she doesn’t press which just seems a bit weird that she wouldn’t push through some of that crypticness). He knows nothing about why she’s there

Before they leave he asks for one thing - for them to mercy him and Charlie so they don’t have to endure the living hell any more. They do with surprisingly little poignancy.

Probably because we’ve saved it for the main event: Murphy and Lucy. They talk about Lucy’s mother, about how much Murphy loves Lucy, and he insists she not bite him. He insists his life is less important than her’s, that he’s her father that’s how it works… they talk and it’s emotional and really powerful and the kind of scene Z Nation occasionally pulls which is amazing and moving and even haunting

In the end Murphy wakes up from unconsciousness apparently healed - and Lucy is a very old woman and dying. She bit him multiple times. Warren and the others arrive for an extremely powerful and emotional goodbye before Lucy dies

It’s a powerful scene and I can definitely say her death was portrayed with the utmost gravity which is always an important point. I can also see why they’ve removed her - her powers, her opinions about zombies as living, sentient beings etc could make her difficult to be around and hark back to an earlier storyline too much - the idea of a cure - when clearly we’ve moved past that. A clean slate made Murphy human and killed off Lucy. As far as character death went, it was well done - and with Tilley in the group and established we haven’t quite turned to an all male band either (though where is Abbey and Dr. Sun?)