Z Nation – Season 1 Episode 6 “Resurrection Blues”

Z Nation (Photo: Oliver Irwin/Syfy)

Z Nation‘s accountants realized they couldn’t afford to keep a semi-famous name on the show so the gang is now light one hero.

Recap

I jinxed it. I predicted last week that the Syfy lawyers don’t understand contracts and therefore all the main cast would stay on Z Nation. I did not foresee the Syfy accountants communicating with the Syfy lawyers. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened and my the only reason to watch this show died.

In their continuing quest to get to California, the gang stops at a small compound that one of Garnett’s old comrades/friends runs. This guy explains to the group that a religious zealot broke off from the compound with a rogue group of equally crazy religious nuts. These nuts infiltrate the compound they left in order to turn everyone they can into zombies because they believe zombies are the holy army of God? The chosen ones? It’s not really explained. All that’s really clear is that these crazies want other people to become zombies because zombies are somehow religious, yet these wackos want to stay alive. It’s Syfy, stop looking for complete explanations. At the end of the episode Garnett sacrifices himself to save Murphy. R.I.P., Garnett/Tom Everett Scott’s future career offers.

Nailed it

Last week, Murphy started loosening his grasp on reality. While at Warren’s house, Murphy went into a bathroom and realized he’s falling apart, literally. His hair started falling out in clumps, and he was able to pull a tooth out of his mouth with no resistance. He’s looked the roughest of the group since the first episode, but it’s finally been addressed that there’s a reason why Murphy looks as though he’s half a step away from becoming a zombie while the rest of the group looks like they’re only 2 hours into a luxury camping trip. It’s because Murphy IS turning into a zombie!  Whaaat?!

It turns out, the writers of Z Nation actually have a trick up their sleeve. Because Murphy was injected with the cure for the zombie virus, he’s been immune to the plague. But now, it seems that the cure is killing him. His body is falling apart and not only are strangers mistaking him for a walking corpse, zombies are too. Murphy escapes death-by-zombie numerous times this episode because zombies think he is one of them1. Now, the clock is really ticking for the gang to get Murphy to California before he dies. Way to work the angles of a story, Z Nation.

So close

Garnett and Warren do it. Just want to throw that out there because lord knows the writers just threw it out there. I called it from the first episode that there might be something between Garnett and Warren because of how they seemed to emotionally depend on each other. However, the writers seemed to quickly turn their relationship into a gray area of camaraderie overlapping with shared trauma. Two close friends becoming lovers due to lack of other suitors and traumatic events if nothing new2, but there is usually either a slow build or the characters address the suddenness of their relationship as desperation for wanting to feel alive when death is omnipresent.

Z Nation looked at that and said, “Thanks but no thanks.” Z Nation dropped the Garnett/Warren romance angle until the very end of the last episode when Warren told Garnett she was glad she was alive because she was alive with him – immediately after she survived her suicide attempt that she believed would reunite her with her dead husband, because screw you logic and typical human reactions.

This week, the group members admit that they’ve noticed how fond Garnett and Warren have been of each other for a while now.  Apparently, Z Nation did not feel they needed to show these moments to the audience. So, out of the blue, Garnett and Warren decide to get up from the lunch table in the middle of a cafeteria after not having eaten for two days and leave to go consummate their relationship since everyone now knows they have the hots for each other. You could’ve done a way better job of setting up this romance, Z Nation writers, if you wanted us to believe Warren and Garnett have fallen in love like they claim. The way it was written, their hookup would’ve only made sense if they were both drunk or were Monica and Chandler3.

I love you, Syfy

Oh, Radar 2.0.  You are the best worst character on this show.

Last week, Z Nation gave us a lesson on the power of subtlety by slipping in a quote from a Maya Angelou poem. It was powerful; it was restrained; it was gold. Then, this week happened. Radar 2.0 is shoehorned mainly into the beginning and/or closing of each episode because he will probably be an important character in future seasons so they need to set him up now. Unfortunately, for now, he’s mainly just a creepy drunk who drops in randomly to help the gang deus ex machina-style. This episode opens with Radar 2.0 narrating his thoughts on the zombie virus origin over clips and still photographs of global chaos. One of his theories? Public fascination with zombies in pop culture willed the zombie virus into real life. Um, that’s not how virology works. That was an eye rolling moment. The face palm moment came immediately after, when Radar 2.0 offhandedly remarks, “It reminds me of a poem by Yeats…” NO! It doesn’t! You don’t get to repeatedly drop famous poets into all of your episodes, Z Nation! You know what undermines originality? Repetition. The impact of the use of Maya Angelou’s amazing poem is retroactively lessened by this terrible, forced moment of “look! one of us took a poetry class in college!” by the writers.

As you noticed, this section is not a loving embrace of something dumb Z Nation did this week. I just needed to rant about this absurd use of Yeats and decided to take a cue from the writers and shoehorn an idea into a section where it didn’t logically fit.

Predictions

The writers are going to keep trying to prove Z Nation is more than a schlock fest on Syfy by referencing more poets, maybe even branch out into other types of literature as well. Can’t wait for a character to offhandedly reference how watching zombies shuffle around reminds him of the hopelessness that permeates Tolstoy’s writings4.

  1. he even put his fingers in a zombie’s mouth to prove this and the zombie didn’t bite him  
  2. The Walking Dead has done it in the television show and comic books numerous times  
  3. now I want to see a show where Chandler is living in the zombie apocalypse. Could that show BE any funnier?  
  4. Note: actual depiction of Z Nation writer describing his favorite Tolstoy novel  

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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