** Spoiler Warning – What follows is one of my rambling discussions of Z Nation’s season one finale, Doctor of the Dead. Read on at your own risk if you have yet to see the episode. **
I’m about a month late and more than a few dollars short, but I made it. After sitting down last night and deciding to marathon through the remaining 5 episodes of Z Nation I had on our dvr, I finished season one. What can I say about Z Nation that I haven’t (probably) already said in another post? The show is an “our world” take on the zombie apocalypse, if one were to happen. It holds its own beside a drama like The Walking Dead because it doesn’t try to beat TWD at its own game. Instead, Z Nation is a nice companion piece to the drama of The Walking Dead. It’s more light hearted in some of its subject matter and doesn’t shy away from some of the more gruesome aspects of an apocalypse. Although, the same can be said for The Walking Dead, this season, as well.
Z Nation let us journey along its bumpy first season of storyline. There were ups, downs and some so-so in between episodes, but overall I was impressed by the freshman season. Which brings me to the finale and the knowledge that this show has been renewed for a second season.
Wow, what a story the finale delivered. Maybe it was a quick rush to end the season in case there was no renewal, but if it were to end on this cliffhanger, then it would be an acceptable close to the story. Well, I’m sure some would complain, perhaps saying the ending was a cop-out by killing everyone with nuclear missiles. But, now that season two has been confirmed, we can assume that either 1) something stops those missiles, or 2) we’re going to get a completely new cast and storyline.
As the episode stands, going into a second season, we were given some interesting glimpses into both our current cast of characters, as well as a few years leading up to the zombie virus outbreak. A mysterious doctor going around collecting brain samples from people suffering various outbreaks (krokodil, ebola, voodoo zombie curse and some other mysterious chemical in Russia.) We then have Citizen Z routing our crew to Colorado to meet with the doctor who initially injected Murphy with the antivirus. Turns out they arrive to find a research compound that seems to serve as the birth place of the zombie outbreak.
We learn bits and pieces of what happened in those final days and meet Patient Zero. The doctor the group was suppose to meet isn’t there, but another gentleman, who we recognize as the doctor collecting brain tissue in the flashbacks, arrives and tries to take Murphy, by force if need be. Turns out, Murphy is something of a super soldier, it seems. His powers include some super strength, and the ability to bring a certain dying team mate back t life with similar super powers and intelligence with just a bite, sort of like a vampire. Murphy also discovers, in the previous episode, that he can control people, initially by spitting into a canteen and having someone drink from it, then it seems by just using his thoughts.
The story ends with Murphy leaving the quarantined facility and setting off an emergency response trigger that launches nuclear missiles towards the lab as well as Citizen Z’s outpost. Murphy sheds his skin and leaves in shadow – we aren’t given a glimpse of our new Murphy, he just high tails it out in a van. The rest of our faithful cast is trapped in the closing seconds, nuclear missiles closing in. Two of our friends are downed by bullets, Citizen Z has no where to run and the rest are trapped in the lab’s entrance with no where to run.
Aside from the boring episodes with Addy and Mac – two characters that I’m not fond of and can do without in a second season – I really enjoyed the first season of Z Nation and though the finale, while rushed in explaining some things and adding new questions (as any good cliff hanger should) was a good ending point. But I’m glad it isn’t ending.
As a bonus, The Walking Dead picks back up the second half of its season February 8th, so we don’t have to wait too long without any zombie action.