Z Nation: Going Nuclear (1×10)
Synopsis: A minor setback leads to the group making a pit stop to save a large swath of the United States. Also ZOMBIES VERSUS LASERS!!!
The group has made it out to South Dakota on foot, after the truck finally ran out of gas. After being momentarily stopped by the sight of a vandalized Mount Rushmore, they continue on their way. Everyone’s a little taken aback, except 10K, who thinks it’s awesome. I’m with you, 10K. I get it. The Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, continue to show hilarious vandalized national monuments please, Z Nation.
As Warren navigates for the group, they stumble across some warehouses and decide to investigate. We’ve already learned what a great experience warehouses can be, but they break in anyway. Inside they are forced to hide from glowing zombies, though Murphy gives away their location by farting of all things. Doc promises to take Murphy with him if he dies because of that fart. As more zombies approach, two people in hazmat suits storm in and save them. They also urge the group not to touch the zombies, as they’re radioactive, and revealing to them that they’re near a nuclear power plant.
Amelia and Wilbur Grady, the father and daughter team that rescues them, take them back to their base. They reveal to the group that the reactor core is about to melt down, which will level everything within a three hundred mile radius. To this, Murphy is ready to take his stolen backpack and hit the road for safer ground – only everyone’s already thought of that and there aren’t any cars left in town. With less than 48 hours before the meltdown, they share Murphy’s secret with the two and offer their assistance so that they can get moving without being decimated.
Warren, Cassandra, and Doc take Wilbur to fix this mess without being hugged by any zombies on their way – something they do with relative efficiency. Unfortunately, they only have two minutes to get in without suits and are forced to turn around while Wilbur presses ahead. Failing to complete the task, he returns to the group only long enough to turn into a zombie and there’s nothing they can do for him except give him mercy.
Amelia takes them to Homer Stubbens – Homer, get it? He’s a nuclear physicist from the plant that holed up in the woods after his son died and he’s everything those prepper shows warned you about. Warming up to them slowly – mostly because he’s probably dead whether he helps them or not – he arms them with more weapons (and Murphy finds alcohol). He’s also drawn to 10K because of how he reminds Homer of his son.
Back at the plant, Homer and 10K don the safety suits and make a second run for the core. They make it to the control room and determine that something is blocking the rods from going into the cooling tank. Homer explains to 10K that Robbie the robot can go in for them and take care of the problem. Do you know what this means? ZOMBIES KILLED BY LASERS! It’s everything I didn’t know I wanted in a zombie apocalypse as they dismember a few zombies by laser before the robot is picked up and broken.
After this plan fails, Homer tells them he can manually fix this problem, but it’s probably their last shot. They have to get heavier suits in the offices and can go in with more people to get to the rods. Cassandra, Doc, 10K, and Homer go back into the plant while Warren, Amelia, and Murphy prepare a contingency plan for the cure in case this final attempt doesn’t work out.
As a pilot, Amelia can fly the two-person plane that was originally intended for herself and her father out of the blast zone. The only catch is that Warren has to convert the engine to run on vodka, which she does with surprising ease. Their plan is to fly to Wyoming and they even make it off the ground. Murphy actually likes flying, stopping his grousing long enough to realize that he can’t even see the zombies from the air. He’s uncharacteristically hopeful that they might even be able to fly all the way to California. Unfortunately, they hit a rough patch and go down. Murphy makes it out of the crash relatively unscathed, but he finds Amelia already turned into a zombie. He can’t find the courage to give her mercy and instead allows her to start following him.
Warren finally makes contact with Citizen Z again and he conveniently explains the reason for the glowing zombies. It’s even vaguely, surprisingly based somewhat on the truth… you know, if you squint.
Back inside the plant, Homer wants to go in by himself and manually insert the rods into the tank, but 10K insists that he’ll go in as backup. A zombie gets the jump on Homer and takes a bite out of his suit, exposing him to the air. They have a bonding moment over lost loved ones and then it’s on to saving half the United States from a nuclear meltdown. Homer gets out over the reactor tank and manages to push one rod down into the pool. Before he can put the second one in, he tells 10K to shoot him once everything is fixed – he doesn’t want to become a zombie. After the second rod is in the tank, 10K wants to get him out of the tank, but he insists on being shot. It’s traumatizing for 10K, who already shot his father, and Homer ends up releasing his harness and falling into the cooling tank instead.
Only 10K makes it out, upset at himself for not being able to give the man mercy. Warren shows up with a golf cart as their new means of transportation and, as they determine their next move, Murphy emerges from the woods with Amelia trailing behind. When they go to give her mercy, Murphy objects because she’s not hurting anyone and he thinks it might be time for a different kind of mercy. No one in the group really looks convinced by this argument, but get on their golf cart and head out into the sunset, leaving her alone without mercy.
Next week seems to promise the reunion of Mack and Addie with the rest of the group, as well as zombie bears (zombears?) and I can’t wait!