It seems as though Season 2 of Syfy’s “Z Nation” continues to get better as long as things keep getting worse for the series’ main characters. In Season 2, episode 3 of the hit camp zombie series, Operation Bite Mark hits the road in this zombified wink to the “Mad Max” franchise.
The episode, titled “Zombie Road,” finds our group of heroes reunited once again after battling a cavalcade of crazy mercenaries last week. Now, they can finally focus on their mission to deliver Murphy (Keith Allan) to the CDC research center in California so that an antidote for the zombie virus can be made with his blood, which they promptly don’t do.
That’s right, it doesn’t take long before the group’s intrepid hero, Warren (Kellita Smith), discovers a pretty great excuse to sidetrack the entire mission. Op B stumbles upon a caravan of sick people, cars and trucks being attacked by bandits on ATVs. Warren and the rest spring into action, taking out the remaining bandits and rescuing the caravan. Now that they’re big darn heroes, they’re introduced to the caravan’s leader, Sam Custard (William Sadler). He informs them he’s taking the caravan, which is full of people with radiation sickness from the blast that kicked off the whole season, to a haven called Edmonton. He has invited Operation Bite Mark to ride along with him and help out, but warns them of a mysterious new zombie breed known as Blasters.
According to Custard, Blasters got their nickname from being killed in the nuclear blast. They’ve been mutated with radiation giving them super speed and the wherewithal to hunt in packs. As if that’s not enough to separate them from the usual zombies walking about, they also have a proclivity for eating their victim’s brains before they can turn into a zombie -- which is pretty gross to watch.
As Operation Bite Mark is debating whether to stay with Custard’s caravan, his son Wrecking Ball (William Voorhees) approaches Doc (Russell Hodgkinson) and Murphy and practically makes the decision for them. He brings them into his car and shares a joint filled with what he calls “Z weed.” He informs them that it comes from a lab in Minneapolis where they experiment with zombies to find a natural cure for the disease. He claims they use the bodies for compost to make the marijuana.
With the two resident potheads of Operation Bite Mark sold, Warren decides the rest of the gang will ride along toward California. After a few long-distance run-ins with the Blasters, they come across their first spot of real trouble. The bandits that they fought off earlier suddenly return looking for a bit of revenge, as well as some free vehicles. Little do they know that Custard built all of his cars from scratch and isn’t about to let them go without a fight. This triggers what can only be described as a glorious celebration of the “Mad Max” movie franchise, mixed with zombies, as the gang battles for control of the road.
The chase ends with no casualties on the part of the good guys, but Doc and Wrecking Ball lose Custard’s favorite vehicle. They’re riding along when the bandits jump on top of it. It looks like the end of Doc when, out of nowhere, Cassandra jumps on board and starts doing what she does best, biting off people’s throats. For those of you who don’t remember, Season 1 ended with Murphy turning Cassandra only to maintain some kind of permanent control over her with his zombie mind powers ... weird, right?
Driven by a desire to retrieve his favorite car, the groups only water supply and some clear symptoms of radiation sickness, Custard sidetracks the whole caravan to retrieve the vehicle. When he does, he finds Cassandra standing there with blood all over her, having just defeated the last of the bandits. While he’s standing around trying to figure out what to do next, Murphy, Wrecking Ball and Cassandra sneak by and snag the car from him once again -- only this time he’s too weak to pursue.
That ends up being fine because the car, very suddenly, becomes the least of the caravan's worries as the Blasters finally catch up with them. Addy (Anastasia Baranova), who has been riding in the back with the sick, tries to fight them off, but they’re too fast and gaining on the car quickly. Unfortunately, trouble stacks up on top of her when the sick start dying and turning into zombies while she’s fighting. She barely manages to fight her way past as she and 10K (Nat Zang) make their way to the front of the vehicle, chased by the undead.
With the caravan full of zombies, the sick all dead and the truck’s driver slowly dying from radiation, Operation Bite Mark agrees to jump off the rig while Custard makes his last stand. He drives the truckload of blasters and zombies right off the road in a fiery explosion, leaving Operation Bite Mark temporarily safe. However, they’re back to square one as Murphy has now escaped their grasp once again. The episode ends with him, Cassandra and Wrecking Ball heading off to the Z weed lab in Minneapolis in the hope that whoever is working on a natural cure there will be able to eliminate the need for the giant nationwide Murphy hunt.
Odds And Ends
- 10K kind of addressed his feelings for Cassandra in this episode, but it’s really hard to tell what’s going on there.
- “You’re not the boss of me, she is.” -- Murphy, somewhat laying down the law with Vasquez (Matt Cedeno).
- Hearing Doc recall the zombie he got stoned with in Season 1 was the biggest chuckle of the episode.
- Award for best zombie kill of the night goes to Addy for running down the Blaster that dared jump on her hood.
- Something bad happens to every woman 10K makes puppy eyes at.
- Warren seriously doesn’t have a clue how riddles work. Both times she tries she just sort of describes the situation she’s in.