Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Z Nation, Season 4, Episode 8: A Crisis of Faith

Remember northern light! Well Kaya is still up there with her baby and the calmest of grandparents - unfortunately she’s also up there with Zona invading and has no choice but to hide and call for help

Considering how much Zona collapsed they’re still managing to send troops all over

Our main gang has arrived in Cannabis country! Or, as more aware people point out, those leaves are maple leaves. They’re in Canada (yes I will be mocking a certain Canadian with this).

They are attacked by strangely nice zombies, hoosiers, mounties and hockey players. I think we’re down a moose and an irate goose from a full set of stereotypes here.

They end up barricaded in a church with lots and lots of zombie nuns to squish. Doc, a product of catholic upbringing, has all the guilt and a fear of nuns. Which, as far as I can remember, is pretty much the point of a catholic upbringing.

They end up barricaded in a church and I think it’s kind of a wonderful call back to all of those horror films where people are barricaded in surrounded by zombies trying to get in. Murphy is just done with everything. He loved Zona, he thought everything was amazing and now he has to confront this terrible reality with extremely dubious “hope” offered by Newmerica which everyone is duly cynical about.

I can really see this with Murphy, everyone else has been just surviving for a long time, he had a holiday from it for 2 years and coming back is so gut wrenching.

Meanwhile Warren is still having her dreams/visions but is getting more and more torn by doubt. She still doesn’t know where these visions are from and if she can trust her - she even confronts Murphy about them; he was awake what did Zona do to her? Of course he doesn’t know - I can’t picture him taking too much interest. She wants to know - because if her visions are real, nowhere is safe, everywhere burns: including Newmerica

They decide to let murphy read her mind, a thing he can do because of cure and blood and stuff, he only sees a placid landscape - not seeing what she sees. But he does feel what he feels - the horrendous agony of burning to death. He’s horrified and sympathetic to Warren who was tears in her eyes - showing just how utterly terrible it is. He holds her hand - perhaps a new understanding between them

We also have a survivor messing around playing with church bells and causing zombies to act up. After capturing him, stopping an over-enthusiastic Lilley from questioning him (something she’s disturbingly eager to do) and escaping into a tunnel under the altar they learn his story

Louis is hunting religious artefacts and relics, he is carrying hundreds of them. He shares his story as to why he started, but ultimately they give him purpose. Because he hopes that one day all the apocalypse will be over (if he doesn’t hope for that he seriously asks why they don’t just huge a zombie… and you can see a point). And then people will care about these, people will value them

Warren desperately asks him why - how does he know he’s not being delusional? How does he know the apocalypse will end? How does he know people will even want these objects at the end of the apoclypse? What if it ends up meaning nothing

And he answers that he doesn’t.

But this is obviously a clear message to Warren and her own doubts - but his answer is telling. The basic answer is “why not?”. Or, more starkly “what else is there?” Because if they don’t have Warren’s mission what else are they going to do? Because this is Z Nation, to a degree there has ALWAYS been a mission. Usually curing the zombie plague. Now they have no mission. Now Warren can either follow her visions, follow the mission on the chance that it’s real - or the chance that, yes, it’s not. Or she can… what? Go to Newmerica and have another rough settlement to cling to?

In some ways there’s a drive that comes from having no hope - because then you may as well clinging to anything, no matter how slim

Warren seems to take this to heart and makes a big effort to help him find his relic - as does Murphy after Louis has some kind inspirational words about Lucy.

When they eventually escape (helped by zombies being caught in bell ropes), they find the body of a little girl, she’s been mercied. And she’s holding the relic (in a totally not subtle sunbeam) which looks all meaningful

And as they leave Warren is clearly back chasing her visions. Sometimes you have to believe. Except they also receive Kaya’s emergency call.

I do like this meaningful examination of the nature of the apocalypse and the sheer lack of direction that comes with it. Especially if immediate survival may not be that much of an issue. I mean, we’ve established this gang isn’t under that much threat from zombies, they could probably wander around and survive as they are doing for a long time - but what are they doing? What is the end game? And if you don’t have an end game then, as Louis puts it, why not hug a zombie?