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Well, it has to be said, that as mid season finale’s go, Z Nation managed to pull out all the stops to leave fans of the SyFy show gasping, and the show’s end credits say they will be returning in 2015. Really? Looking at the last few frames of the show and Citizen Z’s “I hate the apocalypse,” there won’t be too much to return to. Although on the bright side, Mack is still alive, so apparently all that gunfire back in the Sisters of Mercy episode missed its intended target. It does look as though Addy and Mack are not together, but at least there are two of the “save Murphy” crew left.
At the beginning of the last episode this year, Doctor of the Dead, Cassandra was not looking good at all, her leg wound is infected and it is killing her. The gang learn that Colorado is the new California and as Warren, Doc, Cassandra, 10K and Murphy head to the lab, Doc manages to freak out the saviour of mankind by telling him that he will become a needle filled guinea pig. Once Roberta gets him to shut up about the needles, Doc asks what everyone’s plans are after dropping Murphy off. Rather forebodingly, the one member not asked, is Cassandra; a real signpost that this girl is not going to live much longer.
Once they reach the small white building that houses the lab, where Murphy will save mankind, they find a group of zombies standing transfixed in front of it. Warren handcuffs Murphy, so that no one will mistake him for a zombie and seconds after, the waiting undead in front of the lab surround the van. Murphy has to come back and rescue the group.
The mid season finale of Z Nation started with a look at the world pre-apocalypse. The entire episode felt like the end of the series and not just season one’s mid way point. The promise that it will return in 2015, feels a little hollow and when it does return, what will Murphy be like? The show’s backstory flashbacks, where a bald headed man of science is collecting fluid from the brains of the dying, are interesting and creepy. Tying the zombie epidemic in with ebola, like the media has been doing for some time now in the real world, makes this bit disturbing.
With the bald doctor scenes being dispensed throughout the episode, the audience know that this guy will be part of the problem at the Colorado facility. Inside the building the group learn that the lab was overrun with zombies, created by the scientists manning the place and they run into a few of these creatures who are very different from the “run-of-the-mill” Z’s that Murphy can control. Warren and her dwindling group learn that if they do not follow decontamination protocol, a nuclear missile will be launched at the lab and it will be “incinerated.”
Locating Dr. Merch is still the gang’s main objective and after watching video evidence that shows something went wrong at the lab, they decide to continue looking for the doctor. One of the more comic moments of the show occurs when the group have to be decontaminated in their birthday suits and Roberta forces everyone to keep their eyes off of her naked form. Once they get in, Cassandra’s condition gets worse and they put the dying woman in a room to rest. Murphy goes in to say “goodbye” and then the gang moves on.
After learning the fate of “patient zero” the bald doctor comes in with two armed soldiers. Roberta, Doc and 10K have no ammo and when the doctor tries to take Murphy Cassandra shows up with a new Murphy bite on her cheek. The dying woman is not at death’s door any longer and now has more strength along with Murphy’s eyes. He tells Cassandra to kill the doctor and she takes out the two soldiers. The bald scientist shoots Doc and as Warren and 10K try to resuscitate him, a furious Murphy heads out of the medical facility.
Citizen Z, aka Simon, tries to stop him, but Murphy is convinced that Z set them up to die and when he leaves without being decontaminated, he triggers the nuclear missile. It turns out that this nuclear attack is not just focussed upon the lab, but every defensive governmental post in the United States. In the Z Nation mid season finale, it looks like the eye in the sky as well as Roberta, Doc and 10K will be turned into piles of ash. Even with the promise that the show will be returning in 2015, who will survive apart from Addy and Mack? Seeing how close the nukes are to both Warren’s small group and Simon, as well as Murphy, the two former lovers may be the only ones left. It should be pointed out that the now skinless Murphy should not survive this mini nuclear strike since there is no way he got away quickly enough in that Mesa van. It is going to be very interesting to see what transpires on the show in the new year.
By Michael Smith