Z Nation – Season 1 Episode 5 “Home Sweet Zombie”

Z Nation (Screen: Syfy)

Z Nation experiences a natural disaster so catastrophic, not even Al Gore could’ve seen it coming: that’s right, it’s a zombie tornado – a Znado.

Recap

Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy night1. Syfy decided this week that creativity is for the birds, so they just looked at their ratings history and said, “Duh! Sharknado! Open that script, search ‘sharks,’ and replace it with ‘zombies.'” And thus, this week’s episode came into being.

Z Nation‘s Znado happens in Warren’s hometown of Castle Point, Illinois2. It turns out that Warren was married when she deployed years ago at the start of the zombie outbreak. Her husband, a firefighter, was on duty when she left, so she never had a chance to say goodbye. She’s avoided coming home since then because she’s afraid of what she will find or that she won’t find anything.

Nailed it

Throughout the episode, Warren continues to show strain like a piano wire being pulled too tightly.  When zombie tornado strikes, Warren snaps.  While everyone else piles into the basement, Warren waits behind then puts her husband’s chair in front of the basement door and sits down in it. She slides her wedding ring on her finger and opens her wedding photo album. On the inside cover of the photo album is a quote from a poem written by Dr. Maya Angelou.

This is yet another example of how Z Nation uses tiny moments to make huge impacts.  The excerpt used from the poem is “And suddenly we see / that love costs all we are / and will ever be. / Yet it is only love / which sets us free.”  These lines, combined with Warren’s actions the rest of the episode, perfectly explain why this woman has deliberately made the choice to die in her own home surrounded by the memories of the love of her life. Seeing the tough facade of this character crumble away to expose what that facade had been protecting is heartbreaking, which is a confusing emotion to have when watching a cheesy zombie show on Syfy.

So close

Warren’s breakthrough and decision to die is completely undercut by her surviving the tornado Znado.  Almost the entire house is destroyed and debris covers the entire area when the gang emerges from the basement after the storm passes.  Not only are there no zombies3 nearby, but Warren is alive and well underneath some rubble nearby.  Garnett simply pushes some light detritus off of her, shakes her awake, and she’s completely fine! The series could have added a lot of emotional weight to the rest of the episodes by allowing Warren to die, but instead, chickened out and let another character survive yet another impossible deadly situation.

I love you, Syfy

Two survivors are hiding out in Warren’s home when the gang arrives. The male survivor has a bad concussion and is in and out of consciousness. Once the gang moves him down to the basement, they realize he is completely unconscious now. What will they ever do?!

Surgery, that’s what. Doc states that he saw an episode of ER where they had to relieve the pressure building inside a concussion patient’s skull due to the patient’s brain swelling. So, Doc grabs a rusty drill and gets the drill halfway into the man’s skull before the drill bit breaks. I know, but it gets better: Mack then hands Doc his gun and Doc uses THE LOADED GUN to hammer the broken drill bit into the man’s skull. This, of course, works. And how do they get the drill bit out?  Duh, just yank it out!

Enjoy your tetanus, staph infection, aneurysm, and blood clot, dude.

Prediction

Syfy’s lawyers will never figure out the correct way to draft contracts. As such, any main character signed on at the beginning of a season will remain on the show4.

  1. I’m so, so sorry for dragging you into my terrible attempt at comedy, Joseph Mankiewicz  
  2. Can we talk about what good progress our gang is making across the country? I’m beginning to hope that season 1 will end with their arrival in California, setting up the rest of the series to be more than Zombie Road Show. Of course, everyone remembers what God said about hope  
  3. not even a single body part  
  4. Z Nation has trumped The Walking Dead in a few ways so far, but at least TWD has the guts to kill off main characters in recognition that not everyone would survive the zombie apocalypse  

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About Becca Marshall 36 Articles
Becca has been writing about film and television since convincing her junior high English teacher that comparing and contrasting the film and stage versions of Romero and Juliet was a good idea for a term research paper. After getting her BA in English and film studies, she doubled down on liberal arts and got an MA in television, radio, and film from Syracuse University. Becca is incredibly proud to be an Aggie and entertains her non-Texan friends with Southern colloquialisms. Her hobbies include watching Golden Girls and her interests include all things zombies - she's simple, not basic. Email: becca@whatelseison.tv