Syfy’s “Z Nation” is a series that’s no stranger to action and danger, but those took a back seat in favor of emotions in episode 6 of Season 2, “Zombie Baby Daddy.” The group dynamic of Operation Bite Mark was thrown for a loop as Murphy (Keith Allan) began to care for the half-human, half-zombie hybrid that he fathered last week.

The episode starts with the group facing down a gaggle of Abraham Lincoln impersonators turned zombie. As it turns out, whatever combination of Murphy and a human woman that baby Lucy makes up is attracting zombies in droves. After the battle, the group rests for a while. 10K (Nat Zang) goes fishing, while Vasquez (Matt Cedeno) splits off from the others once again to make contact with the violent drug cartel gang known as the Zeros. Determined to find out what’s going on both on the Vasquez and Lucy front, the group’s leader Warren (Kellita Smith) goes after the former alone and tells the group to see whether Murphy will let them have a look at the baby.

Turns out, Vasquez has taken his connection with the Zeros to the next level, as Warren spots him meeting with three of their masked riders. It appears as if they’re negotiating for Murphy when Vasquez suddenly pulls his gun and shoots one. The others get on top of him and proceed to beat him silly. Although it looks like he’s a traitor, Warren rescues him anyway. They each exhaust their ammo and take pretty nasty gunshot wounds in the process. With the Zeros now turned zombie, the clock is ticking for Warren and Vasquez to find a way to stitch their wounds before they bleed out and become dinner for their attackers.

Meanwhile, Murphy back at camp doesn’t like the way that Doc (Russell Hodgkinson), Addy (Anastasia Baranova) and 10K are sniffing around Lucy. He takes her for a walk without bringing any supplies and tells his superstrong-mind-controlled companion, Cassandra (Pisay Pao), to make sure none of the others follow him. This doesn’t go over well with 10K and Addy, who convince Doc that Murphy is clearly out looking for humans that his baby can feed on -- which is totally not cool, even during the apocalypse.

While Addy is looking out for the baby, 10K makes his final declaration on the Cassandra matter. He says the girl they all knew died the day Murphy bit her and took control of her mind. Therefore, if they have to kill this new monster, so be it. They attempt to run in three different directions, thinking that she’d stop one of them and the other two could go looking for Murphy. Unfortunately, Cassandra is clever, and when she manages to grab Addy, she breaks her shoulder, making her scream loud enough to bring the others back to her rescue. Luckily, the same trick doesn’t work twice. They scatter a second time, but now 10K opts to stay back and hold off Cassandra. The ensuing fight can only be described as epic.

While 10K and Cassandra go at it, Vasquez and Warren find their way to an abandoned hospital. Although it’s crawling with the undead, it’s their only hope to find the equipment they need to stitch up their wounds. As the injured warriors are patching each other up, Vasquez reveals why he’s been in contact with the Zeros -- and, spoiler alert, it turns out he’s not so bad after all.

Before the zombie apocalypse, Vasquez was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, which explains his skills and why he’s going after the Zeros. Apparently, just prior to the outbreak, they offered him millions of dollars to turn on his agency and carry out missions for them. He refused, so they kidnapped his wife and daughter. Now, the cartel’s offer is different. He could work for it, and his family would die fast, or he could refuse and both would die slow. He opted for quick, but the work never came. One of the masked cartel members, who he claims has a tattoo of a face on his arm, killed his family right in front of him. They were the first people he ever saw turn zombie. Fortunately for Vasquez, vengeance is an OK motivation in Warren’s book, so he’s back on the team.

As for Murphy, he’s finding the strains of taking care of a flesh-eating, zombie-attracting child far too difficult. He makes his way to a house in the middle of the woods that seems to have held up nicely against the zombie apocalypse. The owners are a husband and wife who demonstrate an uncanny ability to protect themselves. Murphy begs them to raise Lucy for him, because he’s sure he can’t do the job on his own. They agree, but are immediately freaked out once they realize Lucy is essentially a monster. It looks like Murphy is out of luck when he gets an idea. Similar to the way he bit Cassandra and took over her free will, he does the same to the couple. Now he’s free to roam the zombie apocalypse knowing his daughter is safe and sound with a brainwashed couple who will give her whatever she needs. Which probably includes eating people.

Both Murphy and the Vasquez/Warren party make it back to camp at the same time to discover the winner of the 10K vs. Cassandra bout. 10K was no match for Cassandra’s strength. So, when it looked like he was going to get his head crushed between her palms, he did the only thing he could. 10K stabbed her in the neck and buried her before the others could see. He tells them that he killed her and that he doesn’t feel bad because, deep down, he knows that Cassandra died a while ago. This appears to sit well with everyone, except Murphy, who attempts to attack 10K for what he’s done. Warren stops him, and the episode ends by establishing a new group dynamic, with its focal point being the rift between Murphy and 10k.

Odds And Ends

  • OK, I get that this is the joke, but they’re all way too liberal with throwing the baby like a football.
  • We know Warren and Vasquez are going to get together in the end, let’s just get on with it.
  • Warren slaps the hell out of Vasquez for implying that a woman can take less pain than a man. Ironically, he’s unfazed by the slap.
  • So is Escorpion (Emilio Rivera) the one who killed Vasquez’s family? He said he was wearing a mask at the time.
  • Best zombie kill of the week goes to Warren for reloading with one arm and dropping the scariest Z in the show’s history in one shot.
  • I can’t tell if 10K snapped or just got a lot cooler.
  • RIP, Cassandra.