Z Nation Episodes

Season

3

Episode

9

Heart of Darkness

Citizen Z and Kaya are broadcasting from Northern Light, though their cute banter is soon interrupted by none other than Murphy muscling in on their channel, preaching his Fear No More campaign and pimping his Murphy Miracle Vaccine. Sheesh, the guy gets the power back on in Spokane and he immediately steals Citizen Z's thunder.

Meanwhile, Roberta, Sun Mei and Hector are preparing to infiltrate Murphy's compound. Sun Mei muses over an experimental vaccine she's been cooking up, one that will supposedly dilute Murphy's mind control whilst still retaining the Z-virus immunity, as Roberta cuts through the fence and scurries after Murphy, who's headed for one of two porta-potties on the premises (one is labeled 'Mr. Murphy,' the other 'Everyone Else'). Roberta takes cover in the one that applies to her when a horde of zombies come a'callin', which interrupts Murphy's quality reading time. "Warren!" he seethes after his goons open the stall and find it empty, the back wall torn out to allow a narrow escape.

10K, who has since been found and recaptured, is summoned by Murphy to answer some questions about Roberta. What exactly does she have planned? 10K's not talking, so he's on Zombie Moat cleaning duty until further notice.

Yeah … what is Roberta's plan, anyway? After the incident in the porta-potty, she knows she can't take on Murphy alone. She needs an army, and there just so happens to already be one roaming around out there, rabble-rousing and dispensing street justice: the Red Hand! Roberta, Hector and Sun Mei come across Hopper, a somewhat excitable fellow who claims to be the Red Hand's drug dealer; he agrees to take them to the man who calls himself Escorpion.

After telling the tale of Escorpion (which sounds a lot like Hector's life story, right down to his current redemption arc), Hopper leads Roberta and friends into a series of catacombs that now serve as the headquarters of the Red Hand. It's a nightmarish place of lamps, torches, crawling severed hands … and neon GUILTY signs, one of which illuminates three humans wrapped in barbed wire. Roberta is appalled by the gruesome, bizarre sight, though she's forced to spring to action after the men turn Z upon being executed by Hopper. After showing off their formidable Z-fighting skills, Roberta, Hector and Sun Mei are finally brought before Escorpion.

So who's this new Escorpion? Holy cats … it's VASQUEZ!

Yes, the long-lost member of Operation Bitemark, missing since the end of Season 2 when we saw him going all Rambo and running into the woods, has apparently lost his mind and reinvented himself as the very man who destroyed his life: Escorpion, the head enforcer of the Zeros gang who killed his wife and daughter in cold blood (and whom he now has as his prisoner). Vasquez is so far gone that he doesn't even recognize either Roberta or Hector, even after they use different tactics to try to jog his memory (Roberta makes out with him; Hector recounts the murder of his wife and daughter through tears of regret).

Hector gets the biggest rise out of Vasquez, who tells his goons to let him go so he can fight. Vasquez stabs Hector multiple times, claiming he's the one and only Escorpion. Roberta retires him from this position — and from life itself — via her machete, though Vasquez seems to finally remember her right before she beheads him.

As Hector bleeds out on the floor, Sun Mei injects him with her experimental vaccine; it seems to work somewhat as he doesn't turn Z when he succumbs to his wounds.

The members of the Red Hand have been watching all of this in stoic silence, though they now seem bound to Roberta as they're seen accompanying her back to Spokane to go deal with Murphy.

The episode ends with a quick check-in on Doc and Addy, who have arrived at Lucy's home in Springfield, IL. They see her playing with a bunch of zombies … right before her adoptive father emerges from the house with a shotgun and takes a blast at the intruders.

Oh, and it would appear that we haven't seen the last of Hector. He suddenly regains consciousness, opening his eyes to reveal cat-like peepers. Oh, man … is this now some kind of new zombie-human blend? WILL THE MADNESS NEVER END?