Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Z Nation, Season 5, Episode 12: At All Costs

We’re heading towards the season finale and the big confrontation at Altura. Murphy has been marched into a load of busses by Estes and his cronies. Not to go anywhere just to detain them.

Because buses are secure?

Murphy is not amused and Estes really should pay attention to when Murphy uses his terrifying super powers to control all the Talkers around him. Yes he sounds like he’s joking when he says “undead demigod” but he really isn’t.

Everyone else is sneaking into Altura despite the security, facial recognition and habit of shooting traitors in the head.

Ok, let this rant hereby stand for the whole episode because otherwise I’m going to have to say this over and over and over and over: 5 seasons of canon do not support the technology of Altura. The conditions the Alturans have been living under since the apocalypse do not support the technology of Altura. Computers are dubious from what we’ve seen, computer networks more so and even less necessary, mobile phones are ridiculous and, most of all, all this electronic and cybersecurity makes no sense. The enemy for these survivors has been, for the most part, mindless zombies. You don’t need facial recognition for this - it’s ludicrous that Altura has this kind of security structure

In classic Z Nation fashion they even lampshade how ridiculous this is with Murphy repeatedly being bemused by the fact they have phones. So take my rant as done so I don’t have to repeat it

Inside Citizen Z joins Kaia and they do a fair bit of hackingness while George and Warren are captured - apparently by design. Their presence is convincing Estes that the Talkers are preparing to attack. And he may be right because Doc, Addie and 10k have rescued all the Talkers to take them to a place they start fortifying… and we have a really nice father/son moment with Doc and 10k (in that it’s really real because Doc is all real and emotional while 10k is faintly bemused and doesn’t quite know what to do with all this emotion. The accuracy is painful). Addie is also still not entirely sold on Newmerica, not having enough faith in humanity to have it happen.

Pandora finds Murphy all alone and fails to get him to talk except to snark. I would have liked him to use his super powers on her but apparently not. The most disappointing part of this scene is that Pandora vehemently rejects the idea she’s a Talker. So rather than having some kind of long running sinister plan, it turns out she’s just utterly in denial over what she actually is… it feels like a missed opportunity to have a character more complex than evil character is evil. Anyway she leaves because she hears the vote is on - some dastardly vote of Estes to make himself supreme leader (only the living may vote, of course) so she decides to leave the demigod behind untouched. This is not a good idea

So evil caricature decides to torture George to find out where the Talkers are amassing and preparing to attack, which involves lots of using a taser, lots of mocking Dante’s death (these are useful for torture scenes so they’re pretty clean and you don’t have to get the actors unduly messy) and eventually menacing her with a zombie dressed in rubber fetish gear. Yes, of course, it’s Z Nation.

George apparently breaks and tells them where the Talkers are gathering - which Pandora passes on to Estes who decides to send ALL THEIR FORCES. Which is a bad idea. Pandora isn’t a fan of this either but whatever freaky quasi-sexual control doesn’t manage to stop Estes pursue his convenient plot-controlled self-destruction.

Warren, with some hacking help from Kaia and Citizen Z (With Kaia being clear she doesn’t need help or Citizen Z to do it for her) and a lot of violence, frees herself and together they go to free George… and though she’s not in great shape she has managed to kill the rubber zombie. And while she told them a lot… apparently this is the plan? It seems to be the plan

Another plot line is Sun Mei and Red - and with experimenting on an unliving hand (because Z Nation) have found a cure to zombieism! Or seem to have. But Estes has been spying on them and when Red leaves to help pack up the lab and run, he arrives and demands the cure. Sun Mei refuses - so he infects her with the zombie virus to force her to tell him

She refuses.

She becomes a zombie

Thankfully he has to leave to pursue Warren caused shenanigans, which gives Red the chance to grab the cure to help. Which she does… but not before zombie Sun Mei escapes and attacks. Red uses the cure and it works - Sun Mei is returned to humanity. But she has also been badly injured in the fight. When Warren and the rest arrive it’s clear she cannot flee with them. (Or the plot tells us. I’m not so sure but hey they plot says so). Tragically she asks them to fill her body with poison and take her brain - her brain contains the cure (A talker or Murphy can eat it for the knowledge) and with her body flooded with poison, Estes won’t be able to analyse her blood for the cure

Oh Sun Mei, she had so much more potential than this. She deserved so much more than the long running plot box. You will be missed! But her thinking of the science right to the courageous end.

They leave - with Estes and Pandora finding only Sun Mei’s mutilated corpse.