Z Nation “State of Mine” Review
This was a good week to look forward to Z Nation. With most of the major destinations for the production of bizkits visited, there was little left to actually expect from where this next step would take Warren and company. Nothing really comes to mind when you try to think of what the secret ingredient to bizkits could be. The best question to guide you into this episode is why Talkers mining? And why a hazardous waste landfill?
It was tough taking in the life of a Talker from a less fortunate point of view. That the Altura militiamen would stoop so low as to force Talkers to mine for the secret ingredient to bizkits was all you needed to know about the line drawn in the sand in tolerance for their existence. While there was that, this episode also took big steps forward in giving us a worldly treat that took the form of something we have never seen before in this show, and capable of something that we have never seen before either. Just when you think that you have seen everything? Boom, they make you think again. It’s a great feeling because there is not a soul who can really say that Z Nation digs into an empty well. They embrace the impossible and for that they grant us the most satisfaction as viewers in turn. Most weeks we tend to anticipate seeing that one zombie who is both original and unique to the genre. They thought outside of the box this time around when it was somewhat of an abomination that was brought to life.
A step further was taken once we came to realize what the secret ingredient to bizkits was. Everyone else came to realize this by the end of the episode, but the truth was something you could pretty much piece together all on your own. Am I fine with what the ingredient turned out to be? I would say yes. As I said above, this is not one of those things you could have guessed for yourself before this episode. Half the fun is being caught off guard like everyone else.
As with most episodes so far, it helped that pacing has always been kept in mind. There was nothing that got in the way of Warren and company getting from the Water Keepers to this landfill. I contrast to the other destinations, this time around they were hands on from the very start. There was no trying to figure things out aside from the secret ingredient to the bizkits. They knew who the enemies were, and that made it easier to jump in without having to walk on eggshells.
With that said, they were also quick to splitting the group up to tackle this mission. I enjoyed where everyone was placed considering their strengths. Warren and George are more than capable of being on their own, but Doc and 10K together is always welcomed for the humor shared between them. It also makes more sense that 10K is partnered with someone when he is still technically in recovery mode despite finally finding a way to be useful again as a sharpshooter. The shenanigans that they got themselves into was worth the team-up. The answers they stumbled upon came easier, but they finessed better than most others could in their position. As for George, it was fun to see what she could do when a bit more driven to take action. Normally it might take a nudge from someone else to spring into action, though here she was ready and willing to step up to the plate when it mattered most. There was no better time to showcase that actresses skill in agility.
Warren being the one to encounter this abomination was fitting. Who else but her to stare that nightmare in the face and live to tell the story? Any of them could have been put in her place, but you probably would not have taken things as seriously. It said a lot about how terrifying this thing was when even she could be shaken to her core.
Between the Altura goons and this monster, there was no time to breathe. An exhilarating feeling when no one is safe from the other. Altura is a threat, the monster is a threat, and they bother are a danger to each other. That creates an atmosphere where just about anything could happen. When the team was forced to throw themselves into the mic, it was crazy how they handled things where others failed. They may not have had power or muscle on their side, but there was a dynamic that couldn’t be beat. Well, for the most part that is. How they brought this confrontation to a close was clever. It is refreshing to know that not every solution has to be killing the other person deemed a threat.
Z Nation “State of Mine” was equal parts horror and endearing. A big difference in experience compared to the farm, water keepers, or the factory. So much of this episode was simply smart writing. Unique situations, dangers, and solutions to problems. When even Warren is fearing for her own life, that is when you know that this is all real.