Z Nation: Season 3
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Z Nation: Season 3

It is undeniable that trends dominate the entertainment industry. This observation encompasses both film and television as themes and genres wax and wanes in popularity. At one time, you couldn’t flip through the TV channels without landing on a western. Currently, the content that has exploded through the television landscape are zombies. The decaying, undead creatures lumbering in search for any flesh to eat are almost as prevalent as doctors or lawyers as the central characters on the most popular television shows. When the modern zombie first entered the collective consciousness of the public back in 1968 with George Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead,' few could have predicted that these creatures would provide the platform for such a broad spectrum of material. As is the case with many genres, the zombie series as afforded the storyteller the opportunity to critically examine a myriad of aspects of humanity’s emotional and psychological composition. The foundation of these considerations is almost always one of my favorite plot devices to drive the story, placing a reasonable man in the most unreasonable circumstances possible. Among the current selection available one of the most fascinating in its approach is ‘Z Nation.' Unlike most shows in this category ‘Z Nation’ incorporates on of literature’s most enduring topics, the noble quest. The central theme in this instance the ragtag group of survivors is bound together with a tangible objective, to bring a man who cured of the zombie virus to world's last known functioning Centers for Disease Control research lab in California. Their mission to save humanity is in its third season with the premiere of the fourth on the horizon. Throughout its run, this series has consistently provided uniquely imaginative and highly entertaining twists on the archetypes and tropes the genre has engendered.

Murphy (Keith Allan) is the individual that managed to survive deliberate zombie infection because of an inoculation with an experimental vaccine. He was a criminal trading his participation in the study for a reduction in his sentence. This piece of the backstory is crucial to the progression of the story as it lays the groundwork for Murphy’s personality. He is self-serving, conniving and perpetually looking for a way to benefit his interests, greatly exasperated by a few unexpected side effects of his immunity. Murphy can exert coercive control of the undead making them pawns in his schemes. His blood is critical to the immunity and sought after by everyone with a pulse. When the public discovered the truth about this reluctant savior, an endless bounty placed on him, now referred to as ‘The Murphy.' Significantly adding to the unique twist contained in this variation is a character unlike any found in the usual post zombie apocalypse story, Murphy is a father of an undead little girl. Lucy’s ‘birth’was among the most discussed scenes concerning zombie lore in a very long time. With every incarnation of the zombie genre, it is vital to define the parameters on the flesh ripping antagonists. The speed they can attain, the ability to act collectively are just a few. The composition of the zombie as delineated here are significantly different than the usual thanks in large part to the introduction of The Murphy.

Typically most zombie films or shows depend upon a sizable cast to create a microcosm of society. In ‘Z Nation’ the focus is on a small cadre of survivors that still conveys the essential diversity efficient and concise fashion. The de facto leader is Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith), a lieutenant in the National Guard when the outbreak started. She continually works through the pain of losing everything to the arduous task of holding the group together maintaining focus on the mission, getting Murphy to California at all costs. The youngest member is known simply as a 10K nickname given in recognition of his goal, the killing 10,000 zombies. This efficiency is a sniper is on par with anything Special Forces can provide. He holds an unyielding hatred of Murphy because he turned a friend of his, Cassondra (Pisay Pao`), join the group after being rescued from the community living by cannibalizing any human being they happen to encounter. The young member of the travelers is Addy Carver (Anastasia Baranova) was hardly ever seen without the makeshift mace made by an aluminum bat augmented with heavy metal spikes. Of all the member of she’s the one that shows the most symptoms of posttraumatic stress syndrome. Addy serves as the second-in-command for Roberta thanks to her ability to overcome her PTSD serving as a robust and decisive leader. The oldest member of the group is Doc (Russell Hodgkinson), a former psychiatrist and recovering drug addict he performs the function of the medic and tribal elder.

By this point, Murphy Bailey looks human due to an undead pale blue complexion. He is a constant source of consternation was traveling companions, and his acerbic and egocentric personality makes it difficult to find any community they encounter to extend a peaceful welcome. During the feature length opening episode of the season, they encountered Dr. Howard Teller (Frank Boyd), a research scientist in a facility called Mercy Labs. It was the last person on a list held by the antagonist of season three, ‘The Man’ ( Joseph Gatt). This mysterious and the various person is a collector, abducting people reading him to Zona, an organization located on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'. One of the primary targets desired by The Man is the Lucy Murphy (Cora M. Abdallah), Murphy’s daughter. This character presented an opportunity for the writers to rip a page out of the playbook traditionally used by almost every soap opera ad on television. Since infants are problematic due in large part to numerous legal requirements governing their performance, it is a commonplace for the child to undergo rapid aging inexplicably. Less than a season Lucy ran from a zombie baby to the zombie toddler holding tea parties with all the ‘Z’s. By this season she is a young woman, of sorts. It is implied that every time Lucy is openly agitated it initiates a growth spurt.

Dr. Teller is a particular person of interest to Zona since with the help of his wife has been working on a fungus based painkiller. It turns out this research is only a ruse concealing the real purpose of the research project. When Murphy finally reaches his lab defines two grotesquely deformed people locked in a room, begging to for mercy. One of the experimental subjects happens to be Sarah, Teller’s wife. The season also introduces one of the strangest characters ever seen in a zombie series, or in fact any TV show ever, a young boy known as Nature Boy (Holden Goyette), was about eight years old and was raised by crows. I have to surmise that the writers thought that wolves or any other mammal were overdone as a plot device in an attempt to insert a novel twist decided on an avian approach to parental surrogates. The boy immediately attaches himself to 10K starting to dress and behave in a similar fashion to his hero. In recognition of his deadly aim with a slingshot, Doc nicknames the child ‘%K.' The resiliency of the characters and the eagerness of the writers to force the group into almost outlandishly strange situations ensure that this series is not likely to ever become mundane. The series has never shied away from killing off a regular character in the story arc of the season because the audience to a cliffhanger of epic proportions your ovary with baited breath from your season for the discovered just which of our favorite characters continue on the journey.

bulletMaking of Season 3
bulletA Look at Special Effects Makeup
bulletLearn to Count5 with Z Nation

Posted 03/13/2017

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