Z Nation Episode Review: A New Life

Synopsis: When Murphy (Keith Allan) arrives on the farm while searching for her, Warren (Kellita Smith) chooses to leave Cooper (Mario Van Peebles) and go to Newmerica. In Newmerica, long-time friends are reunited but tensions begin to flare up ahead of a vote for a new constitution.

Review: My wife and I once again made a "date" to watch this season 5 episode last night, while the kids were reading and getting ready for bed. After watching it, my opinion of it was a bit mixed.

I'll start out by saying I didn't hate this episode. In fact, this show and The Walking Dead both (by coincidence?) have plots that involve the survivors discussing a new constitution (or, in the case of The Walking Dead, a charter). Of the two, I am liking this show's version of that story better, mostly because there seems to be a little more action.

I am also still intrigued by the introduction of zombies that are able to talk and reason. As this episode demonstrated, even though there is an effort to include them as Newmerica citizens, they can still be dangerous if they don't eat. As a result, letting them within the walls without any sort of buffer between them and the surviving humans does seem like a disaster waiting to happen, especially since there are those who don't seem overly interested in creating a new civilization.

My biggest problem with this episode is I think it tries to do too much in too short amount of time.
The part with Warren leaving Cooper, for example, could have been an episode in itself, and an interesting one at that. But, instead of having Cooper locking Murphy in the barn and using him as a way of keeping Warren from leaving, the episode resolves everything in a matter of minutes (though I do suspect we'll see Cooper again). Heck, we don't even get to see them traveling to Newmerica, something I think would have been entertaining to watch. Instead, they ride into the sunset on a tractor and somehow arrive just as Doc (Russell Hodgkinson) were getting settled in, despite the others having a huge head start. How is that even possible?

The same could be said about Newmerica and the election. There were hints of tension throughout the episode but, because it was trying to do everything at once (including having some character reunions), the viewers never get to see the full picture. Is it just a few people who are opposed to Newmerica? Or, is the opposition actually large enough to prevent the new nation from happening? I think this is something the show could have dragged out at least until mid season so we had a better understanding of who was on what side.

I am also still holding out hope George (Katy M. O'Brian) will turn out to be a bad guy. So far, however, that doesn't appear to be the case and, if she really is who she claims to be, I'm going to be very disappointed. This show already has enough heroes. It needs someone (especially an old friend of Warren's) to be a competent bad guy.

Final Opinion: As I said, I didn't hate it. But, I do think this episode tried to cram in too many storylines and would have been better as two or maybe even three separate episodes.

My Grade: B


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