Z NationSeries: Z Nation
Episode: Home Sweet Zombie (S1.E5)
Director: Luis Prieto
Original Air Date: October 10, 2014

The cheese finally catches up to Z Nation in episode 5, entitled Home Sweet Zombie. This episode finds the group of survivors in Illinois, near Warren’s hometown. Citizen Z warns of an approaching storm, and the crew can tell that the weather is about to take a turn. They decide – basically against Warren’s will – that they will head to her hometown to take shelter in her old basement. See, Warren doesn’t know the actual fate of her husband. Is he dead? Is he still waiting for her at home? She doesn’t know. When they arrive at her house, they find two other survivors, and they tell her that a firefighter sent them there (oh, Warren’s husband was a firefighter, but we don’t find that out until after this moment, which is odd). Clearly this episode will be focusing in on whether or not Warren’s husband is alive or dead.

The problem with this episode is that it tries to be really sentimental, but the writing is at its worst. I normally enjoy the dialogue amongst the characters in this series a great deal, but this episode misses the mark. I don’t see this being a trend, though, but more like this was just a poorly written episode. Given the right character and the right situation – frankly, I don’t really care too much about Warren, so her backstory was a bit boring – the series can find its stride with sentimentality.

And then there was a zombie tornado, and a Sharknado reference, and I immediately remembered why I love this series so much. Even amongst the garbage, you can always count on something fun happening in these episodes. Though this was the weakest episode to date, I will still remember it because of the over-the-top zombie tornado sequence.

Another downside to this episode, though, is the love stories that the series is trying to force. One between Warren and Garnett, and another between 10K and Cassandra. To be fair, I like the story between 10K and Cassandra as that feels like it could actually happen (they’re both young, good looking, and outsiders), but I’m not a fan of Warren and Garnett falling for each other. It was something that you could see shades of from the first episode, but the writing hasn’t really developed this enough yet, and this episode forces it into the storyline. This isn’t a huge problem right now, but I hope it stays in the background as we move west toward California.

Home Sweet Zombie proves that even the best series can have down episodes, and I hope that’s all this was: a down episode. I look forward to episode six righting the ship.