Z Nation Season 5 Review: Thoughts & Opinions
*** Alert: Minor Spoilers ***
Full disclosure. I am a huge Z Nation fan. And this is my 7th version of this review. The others were all too “reviewy’. You will find a few spoilers here but not many.
If you have read any of my other blogs then you know I write in a somewhat unorthodox way. Like it or not you will get more of the same here. The traditional formatted review is so…overdone. So, here we go ZWhackers!
It’s A Wild Ride This Zombie Apocalypse
I Tweet this all the time. I am so impressed by The Asylum who produces the Z Nation show for the SyFy Channel. Every season they reinvent the show and are not willing to do the same thing every year.
This takes ballz. And creativity. As unique as the show is it doesn’t make any sense that it would be the same every year. It certainly isn’t.
Due to this, I have never seen a fandom with such diverse season favorites, especially over the first 3 seasons. Fans seemed a bit split on Season 4 but Season 5 has caused an even more polarizing response. I enjoyed it immensely and I know many others who did also.
Talkers, Stalkers, and Smartphones
Talkers. Talkers are the talk of the town in Season 5. The Black Rainbow, which brought on the Black Rain, has drastically changed things. Now people who die turn into Talkers instead of directly into Zombies.
They can still talk and have rational thoughts but they do need Z-Biscuits to keep from changing into a full-fledged Zombie. This is a show changer.
But some people are stalking the talkers. And many of these people have cell phones. Which seems very strange now that we are so many years into the Zombie Apocalypse.
This seems to be a theme for Season 5. It is like “back to civilization ” or “what would you not expect to find so far into a Zombie Apocalypse.”
We get to see smartphones, computers, drones, elections, a medical research lab, power plants, and a library. And this is not even Zona! It is Newmerica.
Hope Is More Than A Four Letter Word
This leads to a discussion about what makes Z Nation different. Hope. Hope is the central message of Season 5 and the series. It is about a team reaching out for something that may be unattainable at times but they don’t give up; they keep trying. The characters keep fighting even if others around them are killed or disagree with their beliefs.
The characters are tenacious and supportive. They encourage each other. They pick each other up when they get knocked down. This is a very powerful message that resonates throughout the entire series but even more so this season.
This hope illuminates, radiates and expands when they need it the most. This Z Nation family becomes a part of our own extended family. Fans watch and share in their highs and lows; with their triumphs and failures.
Warren Is Back!!
I really enjoy that Warren, played by the marvelous Kellita Smith, is back to herself. I didn’t enjoy the automaton she became in Season 4. To me, her strengths are her compassion for others and her ability to communicate effectively. She completely lost those traits in S4.
At the start of this season, Warren even has a love interest, Martin Cooper, played by Mario Van Peebles. Mario is a very welcome addition to the cast. He and Warren are magic on the screen and sure look great together.
Warren, the true Queen of the Apocalypse, is quickly back to leading the group and kicking butt in S5. Although her iconic Season 4 Route 66 sign shield/weapon and her blonde hair is gone, her leadership returns effortlessly.
George Estes Pandora Dante – What Kind Of A Name Is That?
It’s not one name. It is actually 4 names of 4 brand new major apocalypse characters this season.
Georgia On My Mind
George, Katy O’Brian, is short for Georgia who is the bearer of hope and happiness even when both are extremely difficult to hang onto. Her character takes a prominent role in delivering the messages that need to be shared and heard even as the community she is attempting to build crumbles around her.
George is such a contrast to almost every other character on the show. Her positivity stands out like Freddie Mercury of Queen did onstage. You are aware of her presence even before she speaks. All of this makes her a huge immediate fan favorite for many ZWhackers.
Estes Is Da Bomb
Estes, Jack Plotnick, is the “bestes” good guy/bad guy. I didn’t know what to think about Estes during most of the season.
I love the acting but the character just doesn’t quite jive with the story somehow. His role and impact on the show definitely picks up by the end though.
Pandora And Pandora’s Box – Lickey, Sweet, Misunderstood And Really Is A Jar
Pandora. I have 3 things to share about Pandora.
Pandora is very lickey. And when I state lickey…I mean REAL lickey. She also moves in a very, dare I say, lickey slinky way? It kinda freaks me out. Mission accomplished The Asylum.
Pandora is also misunderstood. I constantly make jokes about this on Twitter. She is actually very sweet and innocent. Am I right though? Amirite?! It will take a whole additional blog to properly explain this.
My last real thought is…how the hell did they get Lydia Hearst to play this role? She was a PERFECT Pandora. Creepy. Conniving. Crazed. Crafty. And Completely Contemptible!
Dante Was Trashed
Dante. Dante, played by Zack Ward, is destined to be a part of his infamous inferno. (If you don’t understand that one you will have to stay after class for additional traditional horror tales training.)
Dante rules the roost and loves the doves. He doesn’t exactly do that but I always wanted to share that phrase with someone. Lucky you!
Dante is a very cool character. He never once tells someone to lick a pole in this role thank goodness. During the Zombie Apocalypse, they don’t have much time for A Christmas Story.
The Handout, The Bravery, The Trash Compactor, and The Brains
Love the header? I hope so because all I am going to say is that during the Zombie Apocalypse shit happens and people either move on or they really move on. One character, whom I will not name, gives up everything to save the one they love. It is touching and dramatic.
Are you following me here? No? Go ahead and watch Season 5 and this will all make sense…mostly. We’ll wait for you right here.
What Happens In Limbo, Stays In Limbo And Leads To Getting Stoned
Doc, Russell Hodgkinson, is the Sharp Dressed Man…for a while. Murphy, Keith Allan, is…well Murphy is Murphy as always but this season he expands his empathy and caring for others. It is strangely moving and elegant in a Murphy kind of way.
Limbo is exactly what you think it is. A crazy holding place full of mischief, entertainment, and debauchery. It literally is the Red Light district of Z Nation. I was half expecting the song Roxanne by The Police to start playing during the scenes at Limbo.
Doc and George end up doing their best impression of Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke car trip. I don’t think George has her medical card but Doc still prescribes a Lil something for what ails her. Doc is hilarious as always and delivers when the team needs it the most.
Addison Carver’s Return/Walk-On Music
There are many special moments in Z Nation Season 5 but one jumps out to me as being extremely epic. Addy, Anastasia Baranova, who is one of the main characters but wasn’t in many episodes in S4, has been sorely missed. So her return was highly anticipated.
At the very end of S5 episode 5 Killing All The Books, we see Addy’s weapon, the Z Whacker, lightly brushing against the top of some foliage. During this scene, there is some kick-butt music from Jason Gallagher playing that gets you so pumped up.
You never fully see Addy but that just makes this segment even more powerful and impactful. Fans are primed and ready for her return the very next episode.
Overall Impressionistic Thoughts
Z Nation Season 5 takes the show in a whole new direction. It is exciting. It is daring. It is hopeful. While there are plenty of hilarious one-liners and laughs the overall tone is more serious and contemplative than the previous four seasons.
There is a ZombieNator and very strange history lesson in another episode. Also, the Spirit World Walk is supernaturally cool but this season is missing some of that Zombie Cheese Wheel vibe. Maybe Z Nation has matured and I haven’t? Or possibly while writing for Black Summer, the upcoming spinoff on Netflix, some of that seriousness rubbed off on the writers.
I do know I have lots of fun watching this season. For me, this is entertainment. I watch the show for the pure joy of it. I don’t care which character “gets with” which other characters.
I am not concerned about who gets how much screen time. I enjoy new characters joining the Z Nation Family because it keeps it fresh and opens up new storylines.
I would definitely recommend watching Season 5 of Z Nation. It would help if you watched the first four seasons before Season 5 but it is not absolutely necessary. It is a fun, wild ride! Enjoy!
Z Nation Season 5 ends with many questions answered but opens up a whole world of new possibilities. Unfortunately, as of right now, the SyFy Channel has chosen not to renew Z Nation for a sixth season.
You can check out the #NeflixZNation and other similar hashtags to follow what fans are doing to help encourage other platforms to pick up the show.
This is BrianZFandom searching the Zombie Apocalypse for Zombie shows and movies as well as other interesting horror stories.
You can follow me on Twitter – BrianZFandom @BrianPiotrzkow
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