Z Nation: Doctor of the Dead Review

The mid-season finale Z Nation was so good our reviewer bowed before the television. Here's our review...

Annnnnd then there was the time Murphy ripped the heads off of super-zombies, Cassandra became some sort of half-zombie, and the entire gang (including Citizen Z) faced the imminent threat of being blown the eff up by a whole mess of nukes. Oh, did I mention that they also met the dude responsible for the whole Zombie epidemic to begin with? Because that happened.

This mid-season finale of Z-Nation was so good I basically turned into both Wayne and Garth, bowing down before my television wailing repeatedly that I was not worthy. It confused and upset my cats. But the dog seemed amused, so there’s that. 

When your noble crew of zombie-killing crusaders start talking about their plans for their post-Murphy life, that’s when I got worried. I’ve been on Pinterest and as such I am more than a little familiar with several dozen cheesy quotes like this one: The best way to make God laugh is to make plans. I repinned this sentiment as the gang started talking about the future, but clearly they don’t follow my “Notable Quotable” board, and as such, did not realize that they were in imminent peril. 

I’m not usually a huge fan of flashbacks, but watching the crazy doctor in the past interspersed with the gang’s present adventures made for a great way to build suspense. It didn’t add a lot in terms of plot (Citizen Z, as always, filled in those blanks nicely) but it didn’t take anything away either — so that’s something. Since the stakes on the show have always been exceptionally high, I wouldn’t have thought that kicking them up a notch would serve the show, but I was dead wrong. Get it? Dead wrong. Like zombies. The evil doc’s work with Ebola was a nice touch, and again, kudos to the writing staff for that prescient bit of storytelling. That said, I’m a little weary of all the press Ebola is getting, especially since the news cycle seems to be insistent on driving us all into full hysteria-mode. 

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Speaking of full hysteri-mode — with nukes headed right towards them, Cassandra’s bizarre transformation, and Murphy’s disappearance (MURPHY NAAAAOOOO), there is nothing that could, conceivably, go more wrong. Oh wait, Doc also got shot, so yeah, NOW things couldn’t go more wrong. In the first half of its first season, Z Nation has proven itself to be something rare: A smart, funny, well-paced zombie show. Comparing it to The Walking Dead makes no earthly sense, they could not be more different beasts. But if I was forced to choose just one to watch, I think I’d go for Z Nation. The Walking Dead offers gritty, desperate realism. Z Nation offers another world entirely where the only thing familiar is personal interaction. Give me escapism anyday. Until January! 

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4 out of 5