When they first ran the promo for “Home Sweet Zombie,” I must admit I wasn’t impressed. Not at all. I’ve never seen Sharknado and probably never will because I’m not a big fan of the super weird and crazy. Fortunately, I was able to screen tonight’s episode earlier in the week and to my amazement and shock, it actually turned out to be pretty good. And folks, it wasn’t the Z-Nado theme that made the episode so compelling and memorable because that little arc turned out to be a sideshow in the bigger scheme of things.
After starting off the season fast and furious, the series has slowed down a bit to concentrate on the characters and to provide a glimpse into who our heroes really are. Last week the focus was on 10K (Nat Zang) and Doc (Russell Hodgkinson) and tonight we shift to Warren (Kellita Smith). There are also some very creepy developments with Murphy (Keith Allan) and while EP Karl Schaefer had hinted that Murphy’s story line would take a surprising turn, it still was pretty disturbing to watch it play out.
From the looks of the opening scenes, it appears that Garnett’s (Tom Everett Scott) team may have found a little piece of paradise in a small farmhouse in rural Illinois. It may be quaint but it’s peaceful, everyone has their own bed and it’s moderately protected from Z’s by an electric fence surrounding the main house (Question — where exactly is the electricity coming from to power the fence and that coffeemaker in the kitchen?). Of course, it’s short-lived when they are overrun by a horde and are forced to move on.
Quite conveniently, they are not very far from Warren’s hometown of Castle Point and Garnett urges Roberta to go and at least look for her husband, Antoine (did anyone know Roberta was married? I guess I must have missed that memo because I didn’t). Warren wants to just leave the past in the past and move on, but an approaching tornado heading their way forces her to change her mind. Before they know it, they are pulling into the driveway of the home Roberta shared with her husband right before she was last deployed and everything went to hell.
The house is nice — in fact, really nice — it’s well-kept and well-stocked and it has two survivors inside who said that a fireman told them to come to the house because it would be safe there. Well, Antoine is a fireman and if these two kids just talked to him and it is Roberta’s husband, he could still be alive. Warren has always been the pessimist but I think for a second, there was a glimmer of hope. She has to look for Antoine and she has to know.
But still there’s the issue of the big storm that’s about to hit and one of the survivors found in the house has been injured and has a severe concussion. The basement is clear and most of the group heads down there — with the exception of Warren and Garnett who decide to check out the firehouse for medical supplies — and 10K and Cassandra who head into town to look for supplies.
While everyone is gone, this is when things get freaky for Murphy. He gets a glimpse of himself in the mirror and is horrified at what he sees. His skin is becoming pale and aging at an alarming rate. The scars from his zombie bites have turned a disgusting green color. His hair is falling out. And his teeth are rotting and turning black. No, I don’t think Murphy is turning or anything like that, but I do believe he’s morphing into something like a human/zombie hybrid. He knows it, is completely terrified, but says nothing to anyone.
There’s no sign of Antoine at the firehouse but Warren and Garnett do find medical supplies and return home and just in the nick of time too, because a big tornado finally touches down and with it a bunch of flying Z’s land right in Roberta’s front yard. Honestly — and I never thought I would say it — I liked this scene. There wasn’t much zombie action in this episode and so this little scene was to make up for that. This series is very low-budget, but you could never have guessed it because this — and the entire tornado sequence — appeared professional and quite simply, just looked great. Kudos and plaudits to everyone.
The final scene where the tornado overcomes Roberta’s house is especially good, but also a tad bit disturbing. Warren has to have some closure with regard to Antoine, locks herself upstairs and decides that if Antoine is there, then she will wait and he will know even if that means her perishing in the storm. In the midst of all of the flying debris, I’m not sure exactly what Roberta saw, whether it was really Antoine, a zombified Antoine or just a ghost, but it was enough for her because she got to say good-bye. She miraculously survives the twister but her home is completely flattened and so once again, it’s time for the group to move on.
Interestingly enough, the episode ends with what appears to be zombie Antoine staggering through a field. Looks like Roberta’s instincts were right on target.
Really good episode Syfy, Karl Schaefer, Craig Engler, the cast and all involved. Everyone — especially Kellita Smith and Keith Allan who by far were the MVPs of the night — did a fantastic job. The writing was good and the special effects were top-notch and professional.
When we talked with Karl Schaefer before the show premiered, he said that the series would only get better and better after the pilot. If this episode is any indication, then I think that is very much a true statement and we have nothing but great things to look forward to for the remainder of the season.
Most memorable quotes and random thoughts
- Hey, your stalker says a storm is coming –Â Roberta to Addy
- Cloudy with a chance of zombie –Â Addy
- Wow, when was the last time we did it on a bed? –Â Addy to Mack
- Anybody got a mint? –Â Doc, after siphoning gasoline
- I’ll see your Vicodin and raise you one Tetracycline –Â Doc to Murphy
- No, no! We are not here searching for dead hubby –Â MurphyI
- Man, if I see a munchkin, I’m gonna freak –Â Doc
- What what’s up with 10K and Cassandra? Interesting, a relationship between the whore and the virgin. I think it’s sweet, but also a little weird.
- Just last week Mack said Addy was ripe and needed a bath. But he didn’t hesitate to rip her clothes off and get busy tonight. Guess she must have gotten that bath.
Z Nation airs on Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy.
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