Z Nation: Season 3 (All Episodes)
September 20, 2016 6:49 PM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Lord Whittleby returns to Farthington to claim his inheritance. Meanwhile, Margareta loses her dowry and the triplets hate their new boarding school. OK, not really. It's more post apocalyptic zombie nonsense.
posted by DirtyOldTown (16 comments total)
Thanks for posting this - I got interrupted by real life halfway through the pilot, which is why I didn't.

So far, I'm very curious about why it's a flashback movie, but I assume it'll be clear by the end. Also, bird boy is hilarious. I'll be back after I finish, (hopefully tomorrow - lousy life, interfering with my ability to watch schlocky TV.)
posted by mordax at 10:14 PM on September 20, 2016

I'm about halfway through myself. The only indicator I can see that it's a flashback right now is that they still have Lucy. Didn't Murphy ditch her with a couple he murphy-zombed out?

Also: Joseph Gatt! The actor playing The Man, aka that British guy who makes alopecia universalis look cool, was also on Banshee, where he was featured in a fight scene so brutal and upsetting, I'm not going to link to the clip even in a thread about a horror show rife with zombie gore. You can find it on the YouTubes by searching for "Banshee Hood albino fight" if you want.

Anyway, he's terrific.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:12 AM on September 21, 2016

DirtyOldTown ok... i admit you had me going until the second sentence. Wouldn't a Downton Zombie be glorious, the first half is a dinner introducing all these fine stuck up upper crust and more stuck up servants. Then they are all eaten and the second hour is just zombies wandering the beautiful countryside.
posted by sammyo at 5:06 PM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lucy and Cassie are both gone in the current timeframe - Cassie died pretty tragically, and Lucy was left with the old couple, presumably to Antichrist another day.

This was... interesting. Scattered thoughts:
* The only reason I can see to offset the episode in time is to include the aforementioned missing members of the group, but Cassie and Lucy are sidelined basically the whole time. I found that a puzzling choice. Nothing else seems to lean on events since they left, except for geography, I guess?

* While Z Nation is a zom-com, I still felt bad seeing the whole town die. Crow-boy was right out of The Tribe, and him latching onto 10K and Warren made his death particularly sad. Red, too: she got more character development than half the people ever to appear on The Walking Dead.

* The Man will presumably be back, to which I say: good. He was just the right level of menacing and implacable.

* I assume everyone caught the reference to La Zona with The Man and his crew.

* Fungus zombies were extra creepy. (I still love zombie variation in Z Nation. Other shows could use Blasters and whatnot.)

* I'm curious what the deal is with the Pool Party People, of course. One detail that interested me there was them not being after Murphy - it's an interesting and strange change of pace, all things considered.
posted by mordax at 10:40 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

One thread for the whole season?

Anyway. Last season ended on a cliffhanger, with our heroes being ambushed by a mysterious group of soldiers. After this flashback episode, I'm assuming that The Man is the one doing the ambushing.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:52 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

One thread for the whole season?

May or may not be appropriate. We can always adjust stuff if we need to. (Personally, I don't know why this show isn't more popular - it feels like the closest thing to a Zombieland TV show as we're ever liable to get. Also, we need a Zombieland rewatch thread at some point. Also, it seems like Syfy getting something right is worth more attention generally, haha.)

Anyway. Last season ended on a cliffhanger, with our heroes being ambushed by a mysterious group of soldiers.

I somehow missed one or more episodes or something. The last thing I remember was all about them finishing up the Zeroes. Must go back and fix that. Also, not sure how that happened.
posted by mordax at 10:43 PM on September 22, 2016

So, I missed the finale and just forgot the penultimate flashback episode until I watched the first scene again. Lucy sure is growing up fast, and I hope 10K isn't dead. Also, I agree that The Man is likely leading this new group of soldiers.
posted by mordax at 10:28 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not sure where to draw spoiler boundaries, but episode two aired last night...

The ambushers were Chinese, it turns out, and they also know about Murphy. Citizen Z got rescued by some random Inuit fangirl.

Aaaand... Jeeze, ok, so apart from La Reina, this show has been fairly good about getting actual Latinx and Native actors to play Latinx and Native roles. That's now extending to hiring actual Chinese and Laotian actors for Chinese and Laotian roles. I believe the Inuit characters were also played by actual Inuits, though that's not 100% clear in the case of "Kaya", Citizen Z's new fangirl. Anyway, on the one hand, brownie points for that.

On the other... The Chinese characters claim to be representing some kind of unified "Pan Asia" centered in Beijing and uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yikes. And the Laotian character talks about shaming her ancestors when it looks like her mission has failed. Yikes, yikes, yikes.

I love that this show keeps putting non-white actors on screen, but they really need a few (more?) non-white folks in the writing room as well, I think.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:33 AM on September 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

We should probably just begin by stating what episode we're on, dropping a line and continuing. That said, I'm responding about Episode 2 as well.

Starting with the bad:
The race stuff was, indeed, cringe inducing. Pretty much started with them 'falling back to the Forbidden City,' and continued throughout. I agree with this:

I love that this show keeps putting non-white actors on screen, but they really need a few (more?) non-white folks in the writing room as well, I think.

Portraying the doctor as such a weak, stereotype spouting character was my least favorite bit. The ancestor talk was terrible, and her being ready to roll over and die was harmful to my willing suspension of disbelief - I can't see them sending someone like that into the field. They'd want her to remain where it was safe. (Or, better still, she should have been written as tough as nails, because anybody surviving this long into the zombie apocalypse would have to be.)

Which is a shame, because if they could clean that up, there was good stuff there too: I did like that China had managed to keep such a large population intact, had advanced, (if hideously impractical) technology and so on. I really wanted to like all of that, but... yeah. :(

Other stuff:
* Murphy's plan is solid, from a Murphy-centric point of view.
At this point, it makes sense for him to go the full villain route. He has, after all, been flirting with it since he found out about his psychic/infectious abilities, and having the rug pulled out from under him by Zona at the end of last season would push anybody's buttons.

Sad to see 10K get blended, but that also makes sense: it's easy for Murphy to tell himself he's doing the kid a favor, even though it's tragic, and I remember how that ended every other time.

That part worked for me. Murphy's stuff usually does, (although the premiere was a reminder of how creepy everything with Cassie got - it was just in character).

* Enders and the weird Katamari Damacy zombie pile were great.
Per the usual, this show does gonzo weird mutant zombie stuff pretty well, and is something other zombie fiction could stand to learn from.

* Nice to see The Man back on the case.
Guess this will become a three way battle at the very least: Zona, Team Warren and Team Murphy.
posted by mordax at 11:13 AM on September 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here to agree that the blending of 10K is tragic. Enders are a nice take on the Quisling idea from World War Z, so kudos for that (although I doubt they'd look like cannibalistic roller derby refugees, but... whatever).

I really like The Man as the season's Big Bad. Literally nothing is more pompous and self-assured than constantly strolling through the Zompocalypse in nothing but flip-flops, and since I personally abhor them as footwear, A++ for that being his telltale wardrobe choice.

Murphy SHOULD go full villain at this point, since it's the only way his continued existence is 100% assured, and I've been waiting for that to happen for awhile. My real question is, what's the better outcome for the human race in general?

Because previous Murphy converts have ultimately gone feral and/or simply converted to Full Zombie status. Therefore, their current "blend" status appears to be simply a larval stage of some kind. If Dr. Merch can find a way for the blends to retain rational thought and speech without degrading into full-blown Zombism, that might be an agreeable outcome.

I've always thought that the insistence that mankind remain the alpha species on Earth in its current embodiment was driven by hubris, but the blends don't yet have the capacity for any kind of longevity or retention of free will, so I'm curious to see how Zona and The Man might help to pivot that plotline in a different direction.

Was anyone else super-annoyed by the Chinese soldiers' inability to aim for headshots only? I mean, yeah, cool for the zombie rave lazer ball of death and all that, but it seems like a real waste of ammo on their part. Plus, everyone on their team got z-wasted in the end.

I don't think it's a mistake from the writers' perspective to have the Laotian leader be weaker than expected; otherwise, it would create leadership tension in the group once she joined up with Warren. Warren is clearly the alpha leader of the group -- even Hector (nee Scorpion) has fallen in lock-step behind her. WHICH I LOVE!!! I think he makes a great addition to the overall group (especially as a proxy for 10K now that he's gone), and I look forward to seeing the rest of the season.

The flashback intro really worried me -- I didn't HATE it or anything, but I was hoping it wasn't some "oh well, who the hell knows how all these dead/grievously injured/missing people are back together, this is what people like!" gratuitous fanwank season they were trying to pump out before it got cancelled altogether. I'm glad the show's plot and groups are back on track and that Citizen Z now has other living things to interact with besides Pups and the former Project Bitemark team members.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:11 PM on September 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Soooo... did anybody actually watch Episode 2? I didn't, I'm just curious if people found it an improvement on the weak opener.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:20 AM on October 5, 2016

Tobascodagama, yep sure did. Mordax, me, you all did based on our comments... pretty sure you mean episode 3? (I get what you're saying, though. First ep was a flashback Scooby Doo movie BS move, so ep 3 is the real ep 2, basically.)

Annoying postal worker is annoying. Again with the Scooby Doo vibes -- he would've gotten away with having a supervillain complex and undead town all to himself if you sane kids hadn't showed up and ruined everything!!!!!

Literally the only good thing was him calling them walkers (TWD reference?) and saying they were so slow you'd have to be a moron to get killed by them. And, of course, that's what happened in the end.

I find it mildly hysterical that Citizen Z -- who was so fiercely protective of his "real" identity before -- introduces himself as Simon now, but he's roomies with a family of native Inuit people who literally don't speak to him with the exception of Kaya. He's been longing for real human companionship forever, wanting ANYONE to talk to, and now there's this family, and I don't think I've heard Grandma say a single word. LOL. Grandpa muttered one sentence, but that's all I can recall.

Very sad that they're close to starving to death, but they're now on the march back to the overrun Northern Lights compound, which I expect to be the plot of the next ep. My prediction is this: Kaya and Simon will make it out (didn't he say something like he had 10 years' worth of steaks, MREs, a water filtration system, etc. and the reason he left was because he ran out of ammo and the Zs had breached the compound to a degree where he couldn't reinforce it/keep it heated throughout alone?). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was pretty vague from what I remember when he left at the end of S2.

I think Simon+Kaya will either clean out the compound and reactivate NL's base as a couple team, or load the sledge with supplies and move south looking for other survivors. That part where he ALMOST got to talk with Addie was a bit emotional. They've always had a nice connection, and I know he misses her. Kaya would cut that bitch, tho. Be careful, Simon!!!!

10K not knowing he's a blend... man, I think that may be what drives him to shoot Murphy. He may be able to resist for a second and nail Murphy, finally. I guess we'll see...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:04 AM on October 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm caught up through... Escorpion and the Red Hand.

Unicorn on the cob: yeah, the movie screwed up my sense of episode order.

Thoughts about the latest one:
* I still find it weird that they just swapped in Escorpion for Vasquez, and assume that was some behind the scenes wrangling to make up for losing an actor or something, but it's still nice they're doing something with his backstory. Having someone pretend to be him is funny.

* I appreciate Warren as the leader. Not only is she a woman and a POC, she's all about loyalty. When Escorpion is so desperate to get her back, it's easy to see why, and that's nice.

* Giving Addie a toothache was handled in a very Looney Tunes way, but it's still something I wish zombie fiction would tackle more: without modern infrastructure, a lot of people would die to things like abscessed teeth or tainted water or the like, and 'serious' fiction like TWD never even touches that. So, props to Z Nation for even pointing out it would be a problem. (Z Nation often has a Old West vibe that I feel is earned: that's about where I would expect us to be, if a zombie apocalypse legitimately hit.)

* Having a fight at some sort of novelty/joke factory is classic Z Nation. I'm glad that, even as they get darker and more serious, they're not afraid of their giant-wheel-of-cheese roots.

* 10K and Dr. Merch's story sure got dark. I was sad to see her kill herself, but it was a very sensible plan. On the plus side, it might mean 10K actually survives the season, instead of going the way of, well, every other blend we've ever seen. Also, while this stymies Murphy a bit, 10,000 doses of blend serum is still a pretty impressive stockpile - he could have the largest standing army in human civilization pretty soon. I'm sure that'll go well.
posted by mordax at 6:26 PM on October 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Catching up on this show via the Netflix, and @ 3/4 of the way thru the season I have to say I'm liking this season much better than the 2nd. Last season got goofy at the expense of the characterization, and while this season is the darkest so far they haven't lost the humor.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:07 AM on February 28, 2017

Oh wow. Season 3 went full on silly - and it's glorious! The themes remain dark and and given sufficient depth.
posted by porpoise at 7:55 PM on June 28, 2021

And I love that Lucy's doll is is zombie-coloured like she is.
posted by porpoise at 9:20 PM on June 28, 2021

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