Sunday, September 4, 2016

Z Nation Season 2

The second season of Z Nation is even more full of zany situations, bloody zombie gore, and drama than the first season. Here are my spoilery thoughts on what I liked and what I didn't like.

The Good

* Addy

Addy goes through a lot in this season. Her utopia cult place (Sisters of Mercy) didn't work out when she found out that they were basically leading their male children to slaughter and being generally crazy. She rejoins with Mack and things just aren't the same after her betrayal. It was a mistake, but Addy is flawed like everyone. Then Mack dies suddenly, making Addy's worst nightmare come true as she is forced to give him mercy. I like that unlike The Walking Dead, there isn't any huge sudden character development to make his death seem more tragic. His character is established and people die all the time due to crazy random happenstance. It's sad that he died, but they were stuck as a couple and couldn't get past their obstacles. It opened up a new chapter in her life after she mourned. Addy is later revealed to be bisexual, discovering an attraction to woman. Shockingly, neither of them died and even though the relationship didn't continue, it showed that Addy will continue both in life and romantically. Here's to hoping she survives the next season.

* Cassandra's death

Notice I did not say Cassandra. After she was bitten and turned into a special Murphy slave zombie, Cassandra completely became a slave. There was nothing of her left and it was really disappointing. Her death at the hands of 10k was so touching and perfectly done because he cared about her enormously.

* The Over-the-top gore and humor

What really sets this apart from shows like The Walking Dead is the humor and the hilarious amount of gore. The Asylum really stepped it up this season with some pretty impressive effects like an eyeless zombie and crazy bloody zombie kills. The humor can get downright dark, but it's no less funny. The group runs into a Lincoln lookalike event with lots of zombie Lincolns that they are then forced to shoot in the head. Also, a giant cheese wheel crushes a whole slew of zombies. The characters are also less gloom and doom than the usual zombie apocalypse show. They are quick to see the humor and have some actual fun sometimes. The times Z Nation chooses to go emotionally is few and far between which I find refreshing.

* Doc

In the first season, I was indifferent to Doc. I remember an episode where he almost died and I didn't really care either way, but this season, he really flourishes as a character. He's an earnest person who cares for his friends. Generally, he tries to avoid conflict with others, but will throw himself into the fray if there is no avoiding it. I love that his credentials are in psychology and any knowledge he has is from watching ER. I really enjoy when he's onscreen and I hope to see more of him next season.

* Weird situations and more danger

Every week seems to have a crazy situation to get out of. Each episode has it's own off the wall situation: a CDC hating scientist, a zombie collector, people dressing up like aliens, Mexican gangsters, and a Zunami (zombie tsunami). The added danger comes in different forms as well. The mutated zombies exhibit different behaviors and seem to consciously work together. They are hardier than regularly zombies and more aggressive. Beyond zombies, the group is exposed to anthrax, a zombie baby, and almost a phony zombie cure.

* Tensions rising

Not all is serene with the group. 10k, after having to kill Cassandra, hates Murphy and only refrains destroying him as he's humanity's only chance for a cure. Murphy resents him for killing Cassandra who he viewed as just fine. In other tensions, Roberta and newcomer Vasquez have some heat between them, but he leaves after choosing to spare the man who killed his family.

The Bad

* Zombie Baby

I really liked Pie Lady who gave birth to Murphy's weird zombie kid and I was sad when she died. The baby was fine at first, but it attracts zombies, looks bizarre, and wouldn't shut up. I was pretty happy when Murphy left her with a family he bit to do his bidding. At the very end of the season, she looks quite a bit older which is so annoying. Why does everyone have to have super fast aging kids that will predictably stop the accelerated aging when they get to adulthood. I'm not sure what effect she will have in the future, but I don't think it will be good.

* Cassandra

Cassandra was an interesting character last year and she was reduced to a mind controlled slave. I really wanted her character to somehow break out of it and take advantage of her cool new zombie abilities, but she died instead. Much of the time, she dressed as Murphy would have wanted in stripper type clothing she never would have been caught dead in in life. I miss her, but I would rather have her dead than literally enslaved.

* Weird group mentality

At one point, the group doesn't want to go back for 10k when he was separated from the group. It was suddenly a huge deal to the group that it was wasted time. Seeing that he's a core part of the group not to mention a sharpshooter and they have detoured for much less, I felt it was completely out of character for the group. It was one incident, but it bothered me.

Z Nation is a fun, light hearted show that I hope will get even bigger and more ridiculous as it goes on. I can't wait for next season, especially after the bullshit season final of The Walking Dead.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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