Z Nation Season 1 Review “Doctor of the Dead”

Z Nation Episode 4 Full Metal Zombie (2)

Well, that was a downbeat ending, wasn’t it? Obviously, Z Nation isn’t exactly dealing in happy subject matter, but for a show that frequently injects so much humor into the zombie apocalypse, “Doctor of the Dead” saw things end on a really depressing note. Still, as far as interesting new plot threads, this did serve as great set-up for season two – assuming anyone survived.

One of the biggest parts of this episode was a series of flashbacks to the pre-zombie world, showing us a man we’d learn was named Dr. Kurian travelling the world and investigating different infections. Though these started off intriguing, I think there was one too many of these scenes. It’s not that they weren’t well shot or interesting in and of themselves, but I definitely had a feeling of “get on with it” the fourth time we saw Kurian shoving a needle up a guy’s nose.

We also got a couple of flashbacks to Dr. Merch through several security tapes at the Colorado base, and these were a lot more interesting. It showed us how the base was operating before the big outbreak, exploring the zombie virus and trying to find a vaccine in case Kurian’s bioterrorism led to an outbreak. Even better, we saw a possible future for Murphy in the decayed, legless abomination waiting in the final lab.

The two storylines came to a head as the group was confronted by Kurian and his men. This is where the episode really picked up pace, with several huge revelations – Merch’s death, Kurian’s role as a bioterrorist, Murphy biting Cassandra – all coming out. Of these, the latter was the least surprising, but easily the most entertaining, as Cassandra went full-on River Tam to take out Kurian’s men. She hasn’t been the most prominent character all season, but having her go out in a blaze of glory was nice.

Then came Murphy’s decision to abandon the others, which was actually one of his more understandable moves. Not only had Doc put images of being a human testing dummy in his head, but he’d just learned a possible fate for himself and that the mission they’d been on this whole time might’ve been a lie. Whatever the truth, it’s understandable that he would react so violently. Okay, maybe a series of nukes is a bit of overkill, but it’s not hard to see where his head is at.

And so the season ended with Doc in critical condition, the team left in tatters, and Citizen Z about to get annihilated five times harder than anyone else. It’s hard to imagine who, or what, will be left in season two, but it’s a testament to what a pleasant surprise this show has been that I can’t wait to find out.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!