I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: “funny” Murphy I could take or leave, “dramatic and/or scheming Murphy?” That’s a character I would follow to the ends of the earth and back, and I would not need to imbibe his stealth-saliva to do it. Having said all of this it should therefore come as no surprise that I adored this episode. In the past, the time we’ve spent with Murphy has been fraught with the development of his, you know, conscience. This week, his sense of right and wrong (and more importantly his allegiance to his band of companions) was firmly established, making it more fun than ever to watch him try and extricate himself from his conflict of the week.
One of the best (in terms of humor) elements of the show is their ability to present new and weird-as-balls takes on zombies. This week we got golf zombies, meth zombies, and zombies with boners. It was a veritable glut of humor, and frankly, felt a little extreme. I get that they were going into a pharmaceutical warehouse, but just one new type of zombie would have been enough to sustain the viewers’ interest, especially since the story of Murphy exercising his mesmeric powers over his captors was totally compelling.
This week begged the question: What the hell was in that vaccine?! It’s been long established that while the vaccine successfully protected Murphy from the bites of eight (count ‘em, eight) different zombies, it’s also slowly turning him into something like the puppies and kittens. His skin has changed composition, his eyes are changing, his teeth are falling out, the zombies regard him as some sort of untouchable savior. The idea of Murphy as Uber-Zombie has been well-established. Less well-established, but actually more interesting, is that this vaccine has made him simply Uber. His ability to control the actions of the young teacher aligned with those responsible for kidnapping him was incredibly compelling. It also upped the stakes for Murphy: He is becoming stronger and more powerful and aware of those powers. How he uses them going forward will be fascinating to watch.
I do need to mention this gross thing, which I apologize for in advance. Remember how last week Murphy had unprotected sex with one of those crazy broads from the compound? Well I doubt – given it is the apocolypse – that they used protection. This doesn’t just mean that sooner or later a little baby Murphy is going to emerge, it also means that in the exchange of fluids, Murphy could probably control his baby mama, right? I’m curious to see how that all factors in. You know that Kelly McGillis, Mac and Addy are bound to return. This week their absence was practically more ominous than last week’s stand-off. The show is nicely building to a conclusion that could be the perfect fusion of what the show does best: Delving into humanity’s worst, and kicking zombie butt along the way.