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Z Nation - S3E13 - Duel

Previously on Z Nation, “The Siege of Murphytown

Z Nation - S3E13 - “Duel” |  Kellita Smith, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Nat Zang, Russell Hodgkinson, DJ Qualls, Emilio Rivera, Sydney Viengluang | Writer and Director: Jennifer Derwingson

Photos: Go2 Z/Syfy


Finally, the confrontation all of us has been waiting for! Addy and The Man go toe-to-toe for the one-of-a-kind prize that is Lucy Serena Murphy. While Lil’ Blue switched babysitters a few times, she vented her frustrations about her dearly departed mother and how her undead friends are more alive than everyone realizes. Meanwhile, Doc continued to pedal his way across the Northwest - with help from Lucy’s “breadcrumbs” - to catch up to his roughed up teammate.


The Creature from the Black Lagoon has nothing on those boatyard zombies! Corrine Foster‘s FX and makeup has been a study in all season. It’s possible nothing can top the bedaZZled zombies from “Doc’s Angels” for a long, long time but what can’t be denied is the level of detail Foster puts into every variant seen in Z Nation. The coral through the cheekbones was an especially nice touch!

Per usual to season three’s exploration into zombiekind, “Duel” managed to enlighten us about the remnants of humanity that lingers in every rotting, shuffling muncher. It’s understandable that Addy wouldn’t take Lucy’s proclamations seriously. After all, she’s a) an 18 month-old trapped in a fifteen year-old’s body; b) skips around dangerous situations with heaping amounts of naivete. Not to mention Addison has seen plenty of things while roaming through the ZA, and no puppy or kitten has revealed a glimmer of their former selves.

Then again, Lucy is a very special girl, attuned unlike anyone in the world… even her father. She should be given the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard to take a rapidly developing girl-baby seriously when she plays with fire and has a tantrum every 7.3 seconds.


Pardon us for being a bit sappy but if one wanted to look up the definition for ‘badass’ in a dictionary, they’d have to look in A for Addison Carver. No doubt there would be an engraved image of her bloody, smiling face as well. It’s been a good while since Anastasia Baranova lead the charge on Z Nation and “Duel” did not disappoint in the slightest.

Like an unending game of D&D, each of our heroes had been tasked with a quest that catered to their strengths in their solo episodes. Roberta’s paladin-like integrity has been repeatedly challenged first by The Red Hand and then Murphy’s chaotic evil. 10K temporarily found his freedom and retreated into the woods as any respectable ranger would. Then there’s Doc, with the charm and versatility of a bard, managed to get himself in and out of some deadly situations. The only lead that wasn’t featured in season three was Addy - our warrior princess - who was more than ready to sacrifice her life for Lucy’s safety.

It’s always a good time whenever Carver displays her physical prowess in cutting down Zs. Knowing that she’d soon be confronting a seemingly unstoppable agent like The Man (Joseph Gatt) is a true testament to Addy’s inner strength to do what’s best for the good of her squad and what’s left of humanity. There’s no denying that everyone in the survival group has experienced their fair share of blood and death in Z Nation’s run. For all that, we’ve developed a unique connection of sorts with Addy, who had developed an ‘everywoman’ persona since the earliest episodes. Although she and the others were constantly on the move and inches away from being torn to pieces on a number of occasions, Addy tried her best to maintain some normalcy in her life, be it in her relationship with Mack and the frequent reports from Citizen Z.

Since those good old days in season one, the grief and pain has piled on Carver and tempered her into an effective slayer of deadheads and sinister men alike. Yet we all know The Man isn’t your typical villain. He put Addy through the wringer in this episode and then some, leaving her a broken woman on all accounts. Of course a dislocated arm, broken nose and concussion aren’t going to stop Addison from completing her mission!

It’s episodes like “Duel” - written and directed by producer Jennifer Derwingson - that have maintained Z Nation’s loyal viewership. In a world that’s inundated with original programming, it’s mostly bereft of series with well-rounded, powerful female characters who can throw back as hard as they can take it. Strip away its thoroughly enjoyable yet indisputably outlandish premise and Z Nation remains a prime example for shows that can provide compelling narratives that diverge from oft tread themes, and most especially, feature a diverse cast that doesn’t play to any tropes or stale formulas.

You best believe anyone and everyone can kick your ass in this show.


If there was anything we learned in “Duel”, Lucy better get her chocolate! Unless you want to become roadkill, go check every counter at 7-11.

Lucy was precocious as ever thanks to the dual threat of actresses Bea Corley and Caitlin Carmichael. Obviously LuLu was a special child before her birth when she assisted Serena in finding Murphy across the Midwest. The accelerated growth continues to throw viewers for a loop with Lucy aging faster the more she’s exposed to the depressive state of the world. In Springfield, she had everything a young girl could ever need. After her encounters with The Man and Addy, Lucy has suddenly realized life isn’t one big tea party. Granted, she’s only a baby with a massive growth spurt but Lil’ Miss Murphy became a quick study due to The Man’s torturous ways.

No longer tolerating The Man’s abusive behavior, Lucy’s rebellious streak finally gained focus. Using her undead brethren to her advantage, Lucy created an effective blockage and got a crash course in driving from a kindly zombie mechanic. It wasn’t enough to deter The Man but Lucy is hastily discovering her place atop the food chain. She always believed herself to be a princess yet couldn’t understand why she was so coveted by multiple factions until now. From the look of things, Ms. Murphy has only scratched the surface of the power she wields. That’s not a good sign for anyone.


  • OK, that Back to the Future moment… bravo, guys. Bra-vo. Shame it didn’t actually happen… or did it? In any case, the hooch and weed the ladies gave Doc in their compound is definitely still in his system.
  • FYI, kids: The only time you don’t want to be like Addy is knowing to double tap an unyielding killing machine in its noggin. Yes, a pleather vest is so ugly one is compelled to shoot it first… but do the smart thing!
  • No Citizen Z or Kaya this week. Hopefully he gets back home real soon.
  • How many of us thought that girl at the end was going to have a chunk bitten out of her? Be honest now! We’re all relieved she knew how to handle a sidearm (a little too well) and reunited with her mom. Something tells me the two of them may have some choice words for Addy once season four premieres in late 2017.
  • Lucy sure did become acquainted with a lot of Zs during her road trip with The Man. It was a nice touch to hear some of the names that have entertained us over the years. Shame they didn’t survive though.
  • Was the zombie Lucy bit on the arm really a grandpa? If you look past the sloughing skin and yellow teeth, he appeared awfully spry. It probably was one of those ironic sweaters.
  • Absolutely no one likes the title of the season finale - “Everybody Dies in the End”. Should we even start a death pool? No way! Nuh uh! That’s a terrible idea! … five bucks says all the Blends eat it.
Z Nation S3E13 = 9.6/10
  • 9.5/10
    Plot - 9.5/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Zombies - 10/10
  • 9/10
    WTF-Ness - 9/10
User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Rexlor Graymond (493 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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