comedy & parody

[TV Review] Z Nation Season 3 (2016) ★★★★☆

Doc, Warren, Addy and Hector in Z Nation season 3

Z Nation delivers a fun but grim atmosphere while setting out on a new mission.


The second season of Z Nation reinvents itself with a fresh new storyline after the big deception of the CDC. New developments, a new mission, an even more opportunistic Murphy, new adventures, new enemies, new unexpected friends, new problems and a new discovery turn this season into a fun roller coaster with bizarre zombies, but it also takes a sinister turn and the atmosphere is getting much more grim.

This third season consists of 13 episodes each with a duration of 43 minutes. It’s a road trip series full of zombies, but evolves in much bigger storylines and slowly the stakes are getting higher. 


Plot

After they have left Murphy and a dying 10K in the hands of Dr. Merch in the CDC submarine, the Operation Bitemark group witnessed an awful explosion. But before we learn if 10K really died and if Murphy made it out alive, we go back in time.

Two episodes featuring The Man, a mysterious mercenary from a place called Zona is attacking a colony. Operation Bitemark, tries to fight him, which proves to be very hard. 10K makes new fiends with a girl named Red and her little brother Nature Boy who can’t talk but calls himself 5K after 10K. This takes place between the 5th and 6th episode of the second season. 

Then we go back to the present and learn that Murphy turned 10K, just like Cassandra to save him, but 10K reacts differently and fights the control of Murphy. This sets Murphy, now free, on a new mission; starting his own new town Murphy Town and save people by biting them turning them into Blends who are under his control but immune to the zombie virus.

While Hector, formerly known as Escorpion, joins the group as Dr. Sun Mei who is researching a cure, Warren and her team try to get Murphy back. While 10K tries to escape the control of Murphy, Addy is sent on a special mission to go check on the zombaby, because The Man is after the her, but Addy soon discovers the baby is a now little girl and growing fast and is called Lucy. 

Meanwhile Doc manages to get separated from the group and gets himself into the most weird and bizarre predicaments. While Citizen Z and Pup are found by an Inuit girl named Kaya and her grandma and uncle. 


Why you should watch it

The stakes are really high this time, with a mysterious unknown enemy who’s after Lucy and Murphy. So Operation Bitemark has a lot on its mind. And Murphy isn’t at his best, being a megalomanic crazy person who thinks he’s the Savior and he is enjoying every bit of it. Oh, and Murphy is spotted blue now, which makes him even more ambiguous.

The fist two episodes are very grim and serious and with less humor, introducing the new enemy The Man, who is like a Big Boss and very hard to defeat. But the most creepy part about him is that he works for the mysterious Zona. 

Operation Bitemark is very vulnerable, being split up and without knowing if everybody is okay, trying to deal with different problems. Their diversity was a great asset to the series and now is greatly missed, but each of them has big problems of their own, making each of their characters more important individuals, and proving how indispensable they are. 

Warren gets very aggressive, and clings desperately to the new mision to retrieve Murphy and to help Sun Mei making a cure. She’s almost at a breaking point and it makes her character more interesting and human and vulnerable. 

Addy proves to be a real badass taking on the The Man in a ruthless battle, in defending Lucy with whom she gets a special bond. Lucy herself is a very funny brat, annoys the hell out of The Man but truly cares for Addy. Her growing up so fast is very fun to watch. Blink and she’s older again. But she still is blue as a smurf.

Doc gets into the weirdest trouble ever this time. He finds himself in a loony bin, then captured by very creepy amazone-like feminists in a fairytale castle and he shines as never before. 

10K struggles with being a Blend and that is hard to watch especially because he’s all alone. 

Citizen Z finally finds other people, and also love. Kaya is a wonderful character and a great addition and a great help to Citizen Z. She’s in fact his groupie always listening to his broadcasts and she herself is a techie and hacker too and broadcasts her own show ‘Kaya from the skya.’ How wonderful for Citizen Z and for us. Did I mention her grandma and her uncle? They are lovely, but silent people and bring in some dry humor and warmth to the series. 

This third season is a great mix of science fiction, horror, fantasy and humor. But it is also a bit more grim and serious and the stakes are definitely higher. There is much more to loose, much to fight for, namely hope, but the enemies are getting more powerful. Of course the zombies and zombie kills are a hilarious camp fest, the zombie ball is brilliant and the zombie madness is still a big part of the series. 

The fantasy vibe gets bigger, Zona soldiers with blue eyes due to a vaccin, Benders, The Enders who are wild people, all bring in fantastic new developments. But the exhilarating cliffhanger leaves us with a devastating feeling not knowing who will survive and whose game is over.


My favorite part

The episodes when Doc is captured, first in a loony bin and then with the feminists/leatherfaces are the funniest episodes and it’s all Doc screen time. It’s a joy to watch, it’s hilarious and Doc on his own is just what this season needs to bring in some hilarious playful fun. The loony bin is a weird little community on its own that miraculously has survived the apocalypse till now. The patients are really not sane, but the head nurse is even crazier. And it’s where Doc catches up with 10K again, resulting in a very heartwarming but totally weird reunion.

Lucy is a great kid, growing up too fast she’s becoming a very extraordinary girl, while her knowledge and morality didn’t grow that fast. So not an adult, not a child, not a human and not a zombie, she brings in something completely new to the game. And she’s spry and smart and a little obnoxious because of it, at least to The Man, which is cause for a lot of fun friction.


Ratings

Rating:★★★★☆

Fun factor: ★★★★★

Gore factor: ★★★☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


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Cast and crew

Z Nation is created by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler. It stars Kellita Smith (Roberta Warren), Russell Hodgkinson (Doc), Keith Allan (Murphy), Nat Zang (10K), Anastasia Baranova (Addy), DJ Qualls (Citizen Z), Pisay Pao (Cassandra), Ramona Young (Kaya), Sydney Viengluang (Sun Mei), Emilio Rivera (Hector), Natalie Jongjaroenlarp (Red), Joseph Gatt (The Man), Holden Goyette (5K) and Matt Cedeño (Vasquez).

Music: Jason Gallagher. Cinematography: Alexander Yellen. Production companies: The Asylum, Go2 Digital Media. Original network: Syfy.