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Z Nation - Back from the Undead - Review

In 'Back from the Undead' Z Nation gave us one of the most emotional, gut-wrenching episodes of the season, if not the entire series.

Murphy has gone through the most dramatic transformation this season, with his love for his daughter being the main catalyst. It had been only three episodes since Murphy and Lucy were reunited, but in that short time period, Z Nation had done a great job in exploring their fractured relationship.

Lucy hates her dad for abandoning her, but we see glimmers of the love she has for him. At the end of the day Murphy is her father, and he made mistakes he is aware of and is trying to reconcile, and we see she recognizes that behind the cold shoulders and sideway glances.

Murphy, on the other hand, showed a different side of his character this season as he fought to win back his daughter's love. This was most evident in A New Mission as he chased down the kidnappers of Lucy and showed an anger we had never see from him all series. In that same episode, Warren tells Murphy that it will take time to build his relationship with his daughter, only to hit us hard two weeks later with the truth that life is precious and time was not on their side at all.

The scenes shared between Murphy and Lucy in 'Back from the Undead' was heartbreaking, a large part of that having to do with Keith Allen's terrific performance. Lucy sacrificing herself in a heroic act of love, may not be what some fans wanted, but regardless, it did strike an emotional chord that this show only occasionally strikes.

The B-story of 'Back from the Dead' revolved around Warren as she chased the black rainbow through the lab, with Sarge, 10K, and Doc on her heels.

One strong point of Z Nation is that four seasons in and they still have remained true to making the Z's the primary threat and have kept it fresh by introducing variations of the undead.

In this episode, we see the meanest zombie yet as the team is confronted by a four armed, guns blazing 'Frankenzombie,' as the show calls it, revealed to be an experiment gone wrong.

Some tantalizing reveals occur in 'Back from Undead,' without revealing much at all. Warren is now a very dangerous woman with whatever this canister of God knows what in her possession. There are still no answers to the many mysteries laid out this season, but it is that unknown that keeps the proceedings chugging along engagingly.

Despite the emotional stakes in this episode, there was still the humour we expect from Z Nation. Chief among the laughs was the scene of Doc wandering alone wishing he was in a bakery or a dispensary, and not some freaky lab. The poor guy then gets attacked by the finger - Sarge's line, "die, mother finger, die!" was classic.

'Back from the Undead' is testament to why this season has been such a drastic improvement. We still get the wonky humour fans expect, but the show has now upped its game in terms of emotional stakes and storytelling. This comes at a time when The Walking Dead, once a more dramatic and, arguably, superior alternative, is declining in quality at a rapid rate.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Murphy with the death of Lucy. His transformation all series, but in particular this season, has been the heart and soul of Z Nation. With that said, this episode has taken us into the back half of Season 4 with some very emotional and intriguing developments, all while feeling fresh.


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