What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)
Today, General Hospital was replaced by football, and Once Upon a Time was replaced by Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. So in keeping with this week’s theme of gratitude, I’m thankful Z Nation was on.
To make this an easier read, the show flipped back and forth from the past – a zombie attack at a television station – to the present – Operation Bitemark discovering the station.
We see a weather broadcast. All seems normal.
Kaya locks herself in a safe room, and watches as the Zona soldiers look around. She tells Nana that they won’t find them unless they know where to look. She turns on the monitors. She wonders what they’re looking for, and says Simon would know. She gets on the radio with a mayday from Kaya in the Skya, requesting assistance. She tells Citizen Z if he’s out there, she needs him. The main dude looks at the camera, holding up his radio.
Doc wishes they could do something. Murphy says they’re even, since she can’t help them either. Roberta says they need to find a way to boost the signal. They see the remnants of a small plane in the street, and looking up, a huge satellite dish on a roof. Roberta says that ought to boost their signal.
The building is barricaded from the inside. 10K says the town must have turned fast, and suggests breaking down the doors, but the others are concerned the noise might alert the zombies.
Breaking news. The weathergirl, Carly, sits in the anchor’s chair, and talks about the flight crash, and says terrorism hasn’t been ruled out. She gets applause from the other staff, and intern Doug tells her it was very newsy. Station manager Bruce says it’s not about her, just deliver the information simply and with empathy. He tells the staff disasters mean eyeballs glued to the screen, and it’s action news time. Jack, the real news anchor – a Ted Baxter (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) type – walks in, and asks if he missed a memo, thanking Carly for keeping his seat warm. He’s. Bruce wants a live report, and two guys run out to the news van.
Doc opens the same van. They find a lot of supplies, along with some gas. Roberta says the van isn’t going to drive again, but she has the keys to the news station. They go inside, and she says somebody made a stand, and never left. 10K hopes it’s not a trap. Murphy asks if they heard that. They didn’t, but we did. A zombie flies out of one of the rooms in attack mode.
Carly cries in the bathroom. She gives herself a pep talk, telling herself to embrace her moments. Someone starts banging on the side of the stall. She sees their shoes, and asks Helen if she’s sick, adding that sometimes Taco Tuesday fights back. She talks to herself in the mirror, saying it’s showtime, as Helen makes zombie gurgling noises inside the stall.
Doc comes out of the same stall that Carly did, and sees a zombie trying to get out of the adjacent one. He opens the stall, and whacks Doug in the head with a hammer. In the hallway, he tells Murphy something horrible happened in there, and Murphy says to have some dignity. Doc says that’s not what he meant, but Green Bay is the TP capital of the world (I verified this – it is), and the first to develop splinter free TP.
Kaya watches the men searching the place, and wonders what they’re looking for. She sees someone open the secret door, and gets her gun ready. She watches as they come down the ladder, and cracks them in the face with the butt of the gun. She tells Nana to stay back, and prepares to shoot. She asks what they want, and turns the man over. He says he wants to see his boy. It’s Citizen Z. Finally. She tells JZ that it’s his father, and the boy embraces him.
Simon wonders if he’s really there. He’s dreamt of this moment for two years. He says it was a long walk. She says his stupid little plane went down, didn’t it? He says the pilot did everything he could, but was mercied on impact. He tells Nana that Kaskae was a great man, and saved his life. He gives her a necklace that Kaskae wanted her to have. He asks about JZ’s name, thinking Kaya named him after the rapper, but she says it’s Junior Z. She totally named him after his dad. She tells him that he owes her 600 diaper changes.
Operation Bitemark goes to the basement, where they find a gas-powered generator.
Bruce tells someone on the phone that he doesn’t care if everything is grounded, get the chopper in the air. They have survivors, and they’re going live to the crash. Jack tells the viewers that there was a plane crash near Green Bay, and preliminary reports say there are survivors. They go live to the crash site, where we see the two reporters running as zombies are attacking them. Jack keeps asking them to describe what’s going on, and they lose the feed. Carly tells the viewers that they’re having technical difficulties. The scene is chaotic, and they’re working to verify any information. Jack asks why the reporters were running from the story, and the lights go out.
10K gets the lights working at the station. They look around, and Roberta says it looks like nothing has been touched in eight years. Murphy says zombies are bad for your health; film at eleven. Roberta tells the group to look for anything that can help them contact Kaya.
Kaya tells Simon that they have uninvited guests. She wants to make it clear that she thought he was from Zona, and her hitting him wasn’t a passive aggressive move. She asks what they could be looking for, and Simon tells her it was a top-secret base for thirty years; it could be anything. Kaya hasn’t intercepted anything from them in a while, and Simon wonders why they would leave a rich, hermetically sealed Z-free paradise. Why are they here?
Roberta and Lily try to adjust the satellite dish. Murphy says, everyone dead; film at eleven. He tells them he’s just a natural. Doc asks if being a zombie messiah not enough; he wants to be an anchor too? Murphy starts reading from the teleprompter about the crash, and they hear zombie noises.
The reporters come back from the field, one bleeding badly. The other says everyone is going insane; someone bit Mike. Bruce says that the survivors must be in shock, but the reporter says he doesn’t think so; he’s the one that’s in shock. Mike tells them to stay inside; it’s not safe. Bruce decides to put him on the air. The other reporter thinks he should go to a hospital, but Bruce says they’ll just bandaid him up. Jack says it looks brutal, and announces a special report. He says their reporter, Mike, has just returned from the site of disaster. He’s going to tell them in his own words what he saw. Mike just stares at the camera, and Jack says he knows it was a harrowing experience, but try to tell the viewers what it was like. Mike looks like he’s about to pass out, and projectile vomits on one of the staff. Jack calls for a medic, and Mike grabs the other reporter, biting him. He starts to grab and bite whoever is closest. Jack says they’re going to a commercial, and to call security. He books, but Carly stays at the desk, telling the viewers a curfew has been issued, and to stay indoors. It’s not clear if the mob behavior is related to the crash. Bruce calls for a first aid kit, but gets bit instead. Doug tells Carly they’ve got to go. She asks what’s happening, and he thinks it’s zombies. Mike comes toward them, and they run. Carly says they need to get to the roof. They grab cameras and run toward the stairs. Jack is trying to sneak out, and is stopped by Mike. He tells Mike that what he needs are antibiotics. Jack sees Bruce coming toward him from the other side, and asks if it’s a problem with contract negotiations. He’s won nine Emmys, and is the face of the station. Bruce and Mike converge on Jack, and feast on his neck.
Doc crowns a zombie with a hammer. 10K joins him and Murphy, showing them an Emmy he found. Doc thinks the place went down during a newscast, and it would make a helluva blooper reel. Zombie Jack pops up from out of nowhere, and 10K tosses the Emmy to Murphy, who puts it through Jack’s eyeball. He says now he knows what local Emmys are good for.
Kaya tells Simon that she can reroute power and lock them in. She calls the leader the man with a plan, and they watch the Zona emissaries on the monitors. Simon wonders again why they would travel from a secure paradise to a wasteland. He sees a zombie he calls Scampy, and says he thought he’d lost him. He’d run a pipe through him – we see it’s still through him – but he won’t die. Kaya says he’s one of the mad Z’s. She’s had unconfirmed radio traffic about them. One of the Zona soldiers shoots him, but it only pisses Scampy off, and Scampy attacks him.
Kaya and Simon venture out. Kaya says it’s a real bummer, and Simon tells her it explains a lot. Scampy sees them, and Kaya tells Simon, here comes your friend, but he says it’s more like an acquaintance he keeps murdering. Scampy waits at the bottom of the stairs. Simon tells Kaya he’s smarter than the average Z, and she says, let’s hope we’re smarter.
Simon asks Scampy, what’s up? and says sorry about the pipe. The pipe gets stuck in the stair railing, preventing Scampy from getting to them. Simon and Kaya take off. Simon tells her that he thought he’d lost Scampy seven years ago. She says for someone who’s been through eight years of a zombie apocalypse, he’s unrealistically optimistic. Scampy makes it up the stairs, and they run, but the end of the hallway has no stairs and it’s too high to jump. Simon tells Kaya to get back, and shoots Scampy in the knees. I say the eff-word out loud because this doesn’t slow him down any. He’s like Yul Brynner in the original Westworld; he just keeps coming. Simon keeps the pipe between them, and bends Scampy over the railing. Kaya helps to push him over, and he falls, but he’s lying there still alive dead undead. Kaya asks if this is for real. She sees the man with a plan, and yells to him, asking what he wants. She and Simon head in other direction.
Lily and Roberta decide to go to the roof.
Carly grabs Doug, and pushes him into the ladies’ room. They block the door with a garbage can. She starts to put soap on a paper towel, and tells Doug to get toilet paper. They can make the floor slippery for those things. He opens a stall door, and before Carly can stop him, Helen comes out. She kills Doug, and starts to go after Carly, but slips and falls on the paper towel Carly dropped, cracking her head open. Before Carly can take a breath, Doug gets up. She whacks him with her purse, and shoves him into a stall. She goes out into the hallway, and there are zombies everywhere.
In the hallway, Operation Bitemark is confronted with the zombie news team.
Kaya tells Simon that he’s not just smart, but impossibly brave. He says he didn’t come all this way to die in front of her. He kisses her, and she says, two years away, and he’s a better kisser. He tells her absence makes the heart grow fonder. She says she’ll kill the power; he can capture the dudes. He leaves, and she says she loves that man. Me too. I’m so glad to see him back. Where’s Pup though? Did he die in the crash, or did he not go with Citizen Z? If not, where is he? The important questions.
Roberta tells everyone to run for the stairs.
Carly runs up the stairs, the zombies following her. She falls, and drops her phone. She hears the chopper pilot say that he’s approaching, and she somehow grabs her phone, the zombies grasping at her. She says she’s coming, and slams the roof door in their dead faces.
Kaya looks on the monitor, and sees someone in the control room. She tells Nana, who’s just been calmly smoking her pipe through the whole thing, to stay quiet. She goes to the control room, and sees the man with a plan fiddling with the computer. She cocks her gun, telling him that she’s Kaya in the Skya, and he’s in the wrong control room.
She fires a warning shot, and says now that she has his attention, who is he and why is he there? He says it’s of critical importance, and she asks to whom. She hears Simon and gunshots, and the man starts to get up. She tells him to sit right there, but he says it’s time for him to go. She keeps the gun on him as she’s backing into the hallway, and he sits back down. Simon is methodically shooting zombies in the knees. Scampy is back – come on now – and they struggle. Another zombie grabs Simon’s leg, and Kaya whacks Scampy from behind. They proceed to beat both zombies to a pulp. They see the Zona helicopter take off. Simon tells Kaya that they have to figure out what they were looking for. Kaya says she had him, but had to let him go; sorry. He says she saved his life, and she tells him that he owes her one then.
Carly tells the pilot she’s at the landing pad, and he’s her only way out. He tells her he’s inbound, and will be there in five minutes. She sets up the camera as zombies bang on the door. She says it’s an Action News Nine special report from the top of the broadcast center. The crash pales in comparison to the epidemic of the dead or something, whatever they are. Because she’s a professional, she’ll broadcast when she can, but they should take care of each other and be safe. It’s all they can do now. The helicopter starts to descend, and the roof door starts to open against the barricade.
Operation Bitemark goes out onto the roof. Roberta says they’ve got to make a long-distance phone call, and Lily hooks up the equipment. Zombie Carly comes at Roberta, who shoots her. Murphy says the door was barricaded from the outside, and Roberta says she died alone on the roof. Doc says she was waiting for Chopper Nine to rescue her. 10K says, that is harsh.
Kaya tells Simon that whatever was on the disks has been wiped clean and transferred to a hard drive. Nothing is recoverable. They hear Roberta’s voice coming through. Simon says it’s Citizen Z there, with Kaya in the Skya. Roberta says she heard Kaya’s mayday, and asks if she’s okay. Kaya says she is now; Simon’s home. Simon asks what their status is, where’s Murphy, and how about Addie and the others? Roberta tells him that they lost contact with Addie, Lucy is dead, and she and Murphy escaped Zona. He says that Zona just attacked them, and stole all of their files. They don’t know what was on the disks, but the name on the files is Black Rainbow. Roberta says black rainbow is real, and we see her black rainbow vision.
Next time, the last sliver of paradise, and barbershop zombies.
Ted Baxter’s Ad-Lib Eulogy for Chuckles the Clown
Ladies and gentlemen, sad news. One of our most beloved entertainers, and close personal friend of mine, is dead. Chuckles the Clown died today from – from uh – he died a broken man. Chuckles, uh, leaves a wife. At least I assume he was married, he didn’t seem like the other kind. I don’t know his age, but I guess he was probably in his early sixties; it’s kind of hard to judge a guy’s face especially when he’s wearing big lips and a light bulb for a nose. But he had his whole life in front of him, except for the sixty some odd years he already lived. I remember, Chuckles used to recite a poem at the end of each program. It was called “The Credo of the Clown,” and I’d like to offer it now in his memory – “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” That’s what it’s all about, folks, that’s what he stood for, that’s what gave his life meaning. Chuckles liked to make people laugh. You know what I’d like to think, I’d like to think that somewhere, up there tonight, in his honor, a choir of angels is sitting on whoopee cushions.
Quotes of the Week
He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only. – C.S. Lewis, From The Weight of Glory, Compiled in Words to Live By
Fashions fade, style is eternal. – Yves Saint Laurent
If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present. – Roy T. Bennett
We all have chapters we’d rather keep unpublished. – Lord Grantham, Downton Abbey
Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart. – Roy T. Bennett
Yul Brynner in Westworld, obviously the bad guy