This Z Nation review contains spoilers.
Z Nation: Season 2, Episode 4
It is here where I must admit to you, gentle reader, that after weeks of self-righteous moralizing I’m back on the Murphy bandwagon. Maybe it’s because I find Keith Allan dreamy. I’m a known sucker for a pretty face — even if said face is made up to resemble a living zombie. But I think it’s more than that. As the season progresses, sociopathic Murphy is taking a backseat to Murphy Zombie Savior. In tonight’s episode, his sympathies — both emotional and physical — to the pain and plight of the phyto-zombies he meets at the greenhouse cannot be ignored.
Is Murphy still a righteous douche? Totally. His ass-hattery was on full display this week as well, don’t get me wrong. When the mad scientist partially responsible for Murphy’s state finally catches up with him, Murphy’s quick to mock the guy’s irradiated ear saying it looks like Elvis (if anything it looked like an aging Mario Lanza, but same difference). He’s also beyond eager to leave his baby mama on the side of the highway rather than own up to his responsibilities as papa dearest to whatever exactly the thing gestating inside of Serena’s womb may be. To sum up: Murphy is still Murphy.
But he is also grappling with his almost entirely unique situation: He’s basically The Last Unicorn. Sure, folks the globe over might be trying to hunt him down for a big chunk of change, and yes, that and the ability to control zombies might have made Murphy go a little power-mad initially, but things are changing. When he receives word that it is HIS kind — not the zombies or the humans — who will survive in the end, he takes it seriously, without bravado, adopting a level of gravitas that we haven’t seen him muster up before.
It was Murphy who carried the show this week. That’s not to say the rest of the gang gave weak performances, but they weren’t there much and when they were onscreen they were unfortunately overshadowed by the half-villain of the week, a Z Week loving scientist who is sure he’s found an herbal vaccine against becoming a zombie. The performance is ham-handed and irksome enough to distract even attention viewers from missing an interesting development. Batch 47 might not be a cure, but it is changing the zombies — we heard one moan “BRAIIIINS” and it was truly splendid. It’s also changing the people. When the same scientist is forced by a drug lord to test the batch on himself he becomes part zombie without being killed first. There’s a new breed of being walking around the post-apocalyptic United States — and they look a lot like Murphy.