Series: Z Nation
Episode: Fracking Zombies (S1.E2)
Director: John Hyams
Original Air Date: September 19, 2014
The Z Nation crew is in New Jersey, on their way to deliver the “package”, Murphy, to the nearest safe point. As is probably always happening in the zombie apocalypse, the group runs out of gas in one of their three vehicles, and is forced to try to find some more. They come across a parking lot filled with cars, but someone has beat them to the punch as the cars have already been drained of fuel. Here they meet Travis, who claims he can lead them to an oil refinery where they’ll be able to fill up.
The introduction of Travis throws an interesting wrench into the story because we soon find out that he and Cassandra, a sexy stranger the group happened upon in the first episode, have some sort of history together. I love this addition because it adds depth to this mysterious Cassandra character, and though little is revealed here, this is certain to be an interesting thread to follow in the coming episodes.
The group also learns, thanks to Citizen Z, that the nearest viral lab where Murphy needs to be taken is all the way in California, the complete opposite side of the country from their location in New Jersey. This is a great setup for the entire season as I imagine most – if not all – of this season will be dedicated to getting Murphy to California. I also love that Citizen Z gets to play a more active role in this episode. Z sees someone nearing his outpost on a dog sled, and decides to go greet them (gun in hand, of course). He finds no living humans, but does find a couple dogs. Unfortunately only one is still willing to be man’s best friend, while the other has turned into a zombie. These scenes are well played by Citizen Z, and we can already see that he is starting to lose his mind being all alone in this outpost.
Even compared to the first episode, episode two ratchets up the violence and gore, and I love it all the more because of it. Frankly, this series has grabbed me tighter than the start of The Walking Dead because there is so much more action and excitement. The Walking Dead is definitely the deeper show, but my B-movie loving heart has a soft spot for things like Z Nation. The introduction of 10K as a genuine bad ass, and good guy, is excellent as well. I love the idea of him counting the zombies he kills because it is totally something I would find myself doing in a zombie apocalypse as a lover of lists.
Episode two does a great job of advancing the story and revealing, slowly, more about these engaging characters. I feel like if anyone were to die, I would already be upset about it. Z Nation is available on Netflix Instant Queue, so get on there and follow along with me.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.