Z-Nation’s Season 5, Episode 3: ‘Escape from Altura’

After last week’s extreme cliff-hanger, fans of Z-Nation were anxious to see what had caused the massive explosion at the voting booths. It was a great relief when Roberta’s A-Team were the first to get back up. Warren, George, Doc, and Citizen Z were all the first to start helping others who weren’t as lucky, one man, in particular, was impaled with a table leg!

But before the first responders could start helping all the wounded and providing the newly ‘undead’ with their very much needed Z-biscuits, a hoard of deadly Zs storm the voting room. However, the threat is quickly dealt with by our team of badass survivors; shout out to George who took down a Z by bashing them in the head with a bible.

After a moment’s thought, the team realizes that the explosion combined with the hoard of flesh-hungry Zs was no coincidence. Altura and Newmerica are positioned so far up North in North America that the cold prevents many fully dead Zs from coming within a close radius. Therefore, an attack on the camp this far North was not a mistake, it had to be planned.

Additionally, as a result of the explosion, many of the alive humans that were gathered as delegates have now joined the ‘talkers’ rank. The numbers are now starting to shift in Altura, once the living outnumbered the talkers, however, now the ‘undead’ headcount has significantly increased.

Another major point that was obviously portrayed in this episode is that Pandora is without a doubt the new villainous character for this season. As viewers, we get clear proof that the bomb was planted by someone working with Pandora as she boldly, and creepily, proclaims that seeing all the havoc in Altura makes her ‘aroused.’ But as for the characters within this apocalyptic world, the suspicion falls on Dante, as he was said to been seen leaving the voting booths minutes before the bomb went off and no one has seen him since.

Altura’s leader, Roman Estes, orders a complete lockdown of the camp but that doesn’t stop Murphy from fleeing once he hears the announcement, fearing that people will start to point their fingers at ‘the red guy.’ I think it’s entertaining and clever how the writers decided to make Murphy’s skin change to red, with many other characters calling him ‘Lucifer’ or ‘Satan.’ A special gold-star goes to anyone who got the reference to Murphy’s late daughter, Lucy (which isn’t too far a jump from the sound of ‘Lucifer’).

With a complete disregard for the lockdown state of Altura, Dante escapes by crashing a van through the front gates…with Murphy holding onto the back. We are offered a great cinematic moment when as the van drive past, the scene goes slow-motion and George exclaims ‘Dante!’ while Roberta lets out ‘MURPHY?!’ I was left wondering why Murphy would go through all the trouble to find Warren, just to flee the camp and leave her behind. But I’m sure, as always, Murphy’s self-preservation tendencies will eventually lead him back to our beloved group of survivors.

In addition to the lockdown, Roman has also ordered that all talkers be rounded up and contained…however, this doesn’t include Pandora, who later takes it upon herself to give us viewers a truly uncomfortable scene by seductively licking Roman’s ear. But with all the talkers locked up and Dante gone, even more havoc ensues. With the lack of Z-biscuits, the talkers turn full-zombie and start to attack each other and any living people who are close enough.

It’s also good to see Sun Mei back in action who saves her medical assistant by finding a few spare Z-biscuits (personally I can’t wait for the much-anticipated return of Addy). At this point, I was wondering what else this episode could possibly throw at us and soon I deeply regretted that kind of thinking.

When 10K tries to escape with Sun Mei, Sgt Lily, and Red, he takes a seemingly quick detour to help save a young girl trapped by a pair of Zs. However, once he dispatches of the first two, many more appear and back him up against the wall. Red and Sgt Lily hear his screams and rush to help only to see that they are too late, 10K has been bitten, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to pull him out of the mess and kill the rest of the zombies.

With the bite on 10K’s right hand, Red does the only thing she can think of…she chops it off. 10K and Red are able to break free of the hoard but look back to see Sgt Lily overrun, with Zs taking bites out of her neck, there is nothing they can do to save her. Time slows down again, and Sgt Lily pulls out a grenade and takes herself down with the zombies who have started to rip her apart.

A shower of blood rains down on them and for a minute, everything is silent. 10K’s trigger hand is gone and he is losing a significant amount of blood. Sgt Lily has just sacrificed herself and Red has saved 10K’s life…but at what cost?

The episode ends with Murphy getting approached by an old blend he made multiple seasons ago and being taken to a new place called ‘limbo.’ Additionally, Warren, Doc, George, and Citizen Z are left trying to follow the trail of Dante and Murphy, while being completely unaware of the horrors that have just occurred back in Altura.

This episode was jam-packed with action, shock-factor, and destruction. By the end, it has left a main character dead and another one stripped of their very identity. The major question blaring in my mind, ‘What will 10K do now that he can’t effectively kill Zs? That’s the whole reason he’s called 10K!’

With episode three ending in an even more shocking manor than one and two combined, I can only hope the show doesn’t completely destroy our optimism for the overall survival of the gang during this week’s new episode.

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