With Season 2 of Syfy’s “Z Nation” dropping on Sept. 11, many fans may need a refresher on where the show left off at the end of Season 1. However, for a series that’s had radioactive zombies, nuclear missiles, mind control and a zombie bear, catching up on the intricate and insane events of the finale may be easier said than done.
The episode, titled "Doctor of the Dead," starts out with the intrepid heroes that make up Operation Bite Mark on the back end of their journey to bring Murphy (Keith Allan) to the CDC Center in California. As many who watched the series know, Murphy is the only person known to have survived a zombie bite thanks to a mysterious antivirus given to him by someone named Doctor Merch (Lisa Coronado). Unfortunately, the price of surviving a bite is that his body is starting to turn gray, deteriorate and he’s got an innate and inexplicable ability to control zombies with his mind. Still, he’s humanity’s last hope for finding a cure, so the season saw our group of heroes battling to get him to safety.
After Citizen Z (DJ Qualls), the group’s friend from the NSA, intercepts a transition telling him that California has gone dark, he reroutes Operation Bite Mark to a government lab in Colorado. He assures them that Dr. Merch will be there and she can get to work on making a cure for the zombie virus as soon as they arrive. With Mack (Michael Welch) and Addy (Anastasia Baranova) no longer with the group, it’s up to 10K (Nat Zang), Warren (Kellita Smith), Doc (Russell Hodgkinson) and a wounded Cassandra (Pisay Pao) to escort Murphy through the lab, which is crawling with zombies.
The episode flashes back to the days before the zombie outbreak when a mysterious scientist was traveling around the world trying to find people that were on the brink of death to inject with something he says will help them. The man in question, Dr. Kurian (Donald Corren), shows up in the Colorado lab with two heavily armed guards. He tells the group leading Murphy that Dr. Merch is gone and that he’s their point of contact now. However, Citizen Z does some digging from his remote outpost in the arctic and discovers that Kurian is lying. He’s not the man that will develop the cure for the zombie outbreak, he’s the man that created the zombie virus in the first place.
The group knows it needs to escape but they’re low on ammo and there’s two heavily armed guards standing between them and the exit. That’s when things take a decidedly crazy turn. With the wounded Cassandra taking her last breaths, Murphy sees an opportunity to show off some of his zombie mind control powers and somehow turns the feeble young woman into a hardcore butt-kicking assassin who takes out the guards with little to no difficulty. Still, Murphy isn’t exactly the brave type and took the scuffle as an opportunity to get out of there - the rest of the team was distracted by Doc getting shot in the chest.
Unfortunately, Murphy is leaving everyone behind in a secure government research laboratory. Feeling betrayed by everyone left on earth, he forces his way out of the compound knowing full well that doing so will trigger a tactical nuclear strike designed to stop whatever is in the lab from getting out. With Operation Bite Mark still in the area carrying a wounded member, Murphy on the run, Cassandra caught somewhere between life and zombie, Dr. Kurian on the loose and a mess of nukes headed for Colorado and Citizen Z’s outpost - Season 1 ends on a pretty dramatic cliffhanger.
When Season 2 premieres, it will need to answer the question of how these people survive the nuclear apocalypse and find Murphy to take care of the previous zombie apocalypse. To see how it’s all done, fans will just have to tune in to the Season 2 premiere at 10 p.m. EDT Sept. 11 on Syfy.