Over the past week or so, Z Nation did its job diligently. We spent a lot of time with Addy and Mack. Their stand-alone episode was one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) of the season thus far, and it served a couple of pretty critical functions. The first was reinforcing the strange ties that bind the duo as a romantic couple. We saw Addy call their entire relationship into question, and then Mack, in turn, step up the plate and refuse to allow her to undermine what they have between them. That payoff was pretty immediate. We get why people jokingly call them “the wonder twins.” We get the tangled web of emotions good and bad that keep them together.
The second function didn’t pay off until this week, but it did so with a bang (and yes, that was a joke about how Mack got shot in the leg, because jowly Kelly McGillis had no time for him and his penis-having ways). Addy is officially broken. The revelation about having to grant her family mercy? That didn’t serve to bring her any sort of peace. If anything, it pushed her over the edge. Addy needs to escape the memories of the start of the apocalypse, and the best way to do that is to join a charismatic cult that metes out justice and supports women.
Addy’s decision to stay was of course met with resistance by the rest of the gang, none more so than Mack. You’d think (had we not spent an episode with them alone) that he of all people would understand that he is a painful reminder of her horrors. But Mack doesn’t operate that way. Addy sees the world in an array of problematic painful hues of gray. Mack is an absolutist. So naturally, he’ll refuse to leave, even if she’s begging for it. That didn’t make it any less painful to watch.
The episode brought up some interesting questions about the future of earth as it is being portrayed. Whatever the outcome of humanity’s last fight against the zombies may be, gender is going to play a critical role. It was kind of fascinating (and hilariously reminded me of the Snu Snu episode of Futurama) to find a cult of women well-aware of their reproductive powers. Exhibit Murphy getting some, shall we say, “pie” from a slightly deranged-if-buxom cult member. The balance of power is shifting and whatever they may claim, the women are just as dangerous as the men.