Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Z nation: Season 5, Episode 8: Heartland

In what is supposed to be a cute scene but also kind of emphasises how broken their timeline is with George having to have the consitution explained to her last episode, we have 10k and Addie arguing over internet memes.

They arrive in Heartland where the flour with the added brainess comes from and find a farm that looks fairly abandoned, with the farmhands, all talkers and all going very close to zombie. We also learn that this farm also provides most of Newmerica’s grain so it being abandoned is pretty much bad for everyone.

They’re joined by Doc and George and all of them hide in a cottage where Doc helps the adorkable 10k with his stump - which isn’t looking good - treating it with copious amounts of moonshine to make him adorably drunk and disinfected. And we meet Finn, an old friend/flame of Addie’s who has been helping her get Talkers to limbo and safety. He’s also been shoot but Doc is there to patch him up

He lives - because he’s very lucky. As Doc says, he’s a terrible doctor. He and Addie explain a little of their past, do some spiky club flirting. He also doesn’t have much of the additive that goes into making the Biscuits - but says it isn’t brains - they were lost in the attacks, the same attacks that also turned most of his farm hands into Talkers.

Oh and the Biscuits are apparently Bizkits. Yes, I’m not typing that

Someone is trying to shut them down - while George is pretty sure that it can’t be talkers, Warren also points out that starving people are easily manipulated and anyone wanting to take over, Talker or Human could benefit from causing starvation

Speaking of -Pandora and her assistant are lurking round causing trouble, as they do.

We have a naturally silly scene while everyone rounds up the Talker Ranch hands so they can provide them with brains… from Charlie. Charlie is a Talker who apparently volunteered his brain to let the other Talkers live and know. It’s… comedic to begin with. Then becomes darker when it becomes clear neither he nor us are clear whether he actually volunteered for this or whether he’s a vulnerable man being exploited. And then utterly tragic when, his brain nearly gone and reduced to virtually no consciousness, he asks for mercy. And is granted it by Finn

And then we go back to comic again because this is Z Nation and we can’t have a poignant and morally complicated scene for too long.

With the Talkers back they can be taken to Limbo while everyone else goes to cover another mystery - why the Water has been cut off. The water and hydroelectricity is controlled by a Native American tribe and they want to find out why they’ve cut off the supplies

But first Pandora makes her move and Finn is attacked - Addie returns to him and he turns into a Talker while she comforts him. I think the most poignant part of this is how he describes no longer being afraid. For the last 8 years fighting the apocalypse he has been afraid, everyone has been afraid, and now he isn’t. It’s a powerful relief

And Doc gets shot by an arrow

I think Z Nation has a really bad habit of ruining their emotional moments - but there was one conflict running through here - Addie against George. Addie isn’t impressed with what George is trying to build in Newmerica, thinks her ways of going about it are both dangerous and putting people at risk - and holds her responsible for Dante’s death. It’s not just that she finds George naive, but I think Addie has almost given up on humanity - Finn seems to agree with her, saying humans need Talkers more than the other way round and Addie going further, thinking the dead have inherited the Earth. Or perhaps Addie just doesn’t have hope of something better, doesn’t think people are good enough to build anything better. Mixed with this is clearly how Addie respect Warren but isn’t so quick to follow Warren’s insistence that George is a natural leader or what the world needs. Perhaps there’s even an edge of her wanting Warren to take the lead. It is frustrating to see Warren constantly reassuring George, helping George, strengthening George’s resolve when every time she does it shows Warren may be the better leader