Reviewed by Alicia Glass
So, when we last left our intrepid zombie-killing heroes, Warren and pals had finally, finally, delivered the still-blue Murphy to the CDC submarine. Or did they?
Because no, here at the beginning of Season 3, the subs been blown up and Murphy escaped with some newly bitten friends, while Warren and the rest of the gang have acquired a new Pan Asian doctor-soldier to the group, Sun Mei. We’ve met The Man and his List in a previous episode, and we learn pretty quickly that The Man is now hunting Murphy, for reasons he never quite goes into. Oh and our beloved Citizen Z has been rescued by Inuit super-fan Kaya and her family out there in the frozen wasteland.
So let’s get into this! Murphy has himself a brand new mission, nevermind Operation Bitemark, which hasn’t worked terribly well so far anyway: to build his own utopia in Spokane with his own bitten soldiers he calls Blends. The Murphy has been known as the Messiah beforehand, Miracle Murphy and plenty of other names, but here in his town he has people begging him to bite them, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that all of this went to Murphy’ head. Murphytown starts small but oh does it get ambitiously large, and with water-powered generators Murphy could in theory spread his Blends and plans across the nation like, well, like a new plague of zombie-ism. Never once though, does Murphy forget about his daughter Lucy; there’s even a pivotal scene between Murphy and Warren in a room obviously set up as a nursery for Lucy, in screaming violet everywhere.
Moving on, the team has more or less split up, with the main leaders of Warren, Sun Mei and a devastated Scorpion trying to hunt down wherever Murphy’s gone, poor 10K has had his mind and loyalties all discombobulated by too many injections of who-knows-what, and Doc and Addy going their separate ways to hunt for Lucy, Murphy’s wayward blue daughter.
Lucy isn’t any kind of normal child, and by the time any of our heroes catch up to her adoptive parents, she’s at least in appearance, like five years old now. She demands things, she can control Blends and regular zombies, and oh yeah, she ages when she gets excited. The Man, who has by now taken a measure of Murphy’s mettle and decided what he really needs is Lucy instead, actually gets to Lucy first, despite the sincere herculean efforts of both Addy and Doc. Over in disintegrating Murphytown, Warren and Murphy have set aside their differences for the moment, learning that The Man is after Lucy, so now everyone is after Lucy!
The little side romance between Citizen Z and Kaya in the Skya is cute and a nice mini-distraction, just another day in the apocalypse, as Doc would say. Many of the 2nd circle characters got their own tribute episode this season, including Escorpion’s gangster redemption and Doc’s side jaunt through feminist Texas Chainsaw Massacre-world. And I personally absolutely loved the makeup job that visually stimulated Murphy’s evolution – blue to violet then albino, but in a natural, believable progression.
Listen, we don’t need to visually flog the audience with the worst of humanity that just happens to be set in a zombie apocalypse. You can if you want to, but for me, Z Nation never fails to be irreverently funny, dramatic and heartfelt too, vibing its own groove, as Doc might say. We need to remember to scream and laugh in the same breath right now, and the show gives us that.
Catch up on the many different zombie shenanigans at the Syfy.com website, Z Nation returns to TV later 2017!