Holy crap, now wasn’t that an awesome season finale! I know some may think that the season 1 finale is perfect and couldn’t possibly be topped, but honestly, I thought they did just that tonight. Just like season 1, the episode had the cliffhanger and set the stage for some major storylines for season 3. Granted, no nukes, but we’ve got some Asian baddies, and now, they have our group. Of course, the big shocker is the return of El Scorpion, which I was totally not expecting but which I also absolutely love. Yes, I know, I know, he is/was a horrible wretch, but I like good stories of redemption, and most of all, Emilio Rivera is a top-shelf actor. And, of course, that final scene! “Drink your tea! Drink your tea!” I screened the episode 2 days ago, and I still get tickled thinking it.
You may have seen my earlier interview with Showrunner Karl Schaefer where he teased what we should expect for tonight’s finale. However, I also talked with him after I screened the episode, and he gave some fantastic deets on the awesomeness that is waiting for us in season 3. Check out what he had to say:
TV GEEK TALK: It was very, very surprising to see El Scorpion/Hector come back like after seeing him supposedly killed a couple of weeks back. Can you talk some about that? Is Hector really on the level, found God, and all that good stuff?
Karl Schaefer: “Well, you never know. It is “Z Nation,” and it is the apocalypse. But, I do think his character’s turnaround is the kind of thing that could only happen in the apocalypse, where blood and violence washes people clean in a certain way. What you did before the apocalypse doesn’t really matter, or what you did yesterday doesn’t really matter. What does matter is who you are right now and what you’re doing right now. Characters would have mental breaks where they have a personality change due to trauma. And, we wanted to explore that and take a character who you think is really horrible and turn him into a good guy. So, then again, having the unexpected being our hallmark, seeing a character who is so unredeemable be redeemed somehow. I suppose you’ll never be totally sure of him, but things change in the apocalypse.”
TV GEEK TALK: Should we expect to see the character again next season? That is, has Emilio Rivera signed on for season 3?
Karl Schaefer: “Oh, yes, and he’s going to be travelling with the group now.”
TV GEEK TALK: You know, I interviewed Keith Allan back at the end of October at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta and asked him about Baby Lucy. He said that he felt confident we would see her again and that she probably would age quickly. So, the end of the season finale didn’t surprise me much, but I will say it was hilarious. Tea Party! I love it! Can you talk about that final scene and whether it was a hint we are going to see more of Lucy in season 3?
Karl Schaefer: “Oh, you’ll definitely see more of Lucy in season 3, but she’s going to continue to age quickly. It’ll be an interesting X-factor that we’ll add to the new season. And, actually [Lucy] has a very dramatic, high jeopardy storyline with a lot of emotional impact on Murphy and the rest of the crew. She figures in big-time into season 3.”
“And, the idea of the tea party I need to give [Producer] David Latt some credit and also my wife who is also a writer. They both decided that Lucy should be having a tea party with the zombies. And, we were actually lucky because finding a 3 year-old who will not freak out because of the zombies isn’t easy. We had someone who actually works with us all the time Jeremy Lindholm, and it’s his niece. And, the other zombie is the little girl’s mother. The little girl had been at the set before, had seen zombies before, and to her, it’s just her uncle and Mom. So, she just had a great time, and we actually were able to get a 3 year-old to do a comedic scene. She got what we were doing and played it up really well. For someone her age, we were really surprised we got as much as we got.”
TV GEEK TALK: Another character that has become a big question mark is Vasquez. He left the group at the end of the episode and seemed a little unhinged. Can you talk some about that character and whether there are any plans for having Matt Cedeno return next season?
Karl Schaefer: “Well, the bandana that he put on had a picture of his wife and daughter in it, and he’s basically in my mind decided that he has nothing to live for. He’s not going with our guys, he can’t kill El Scorpion but he also can’t be around him. So, he’s going to run off into the apocalypse and kill as many zombies as he can before he goes out. He doesn’t really have a plan or knows what he’s going to do.”
“Now, we do have some interesting ideas, but we haven’t decided yet. It’s only like day 3 of season 3 in the writers’ room. But, we have some really good ideas for a very dramatic turnaround for [Vasquez]. He’ll come back crashing into our storyline in a very unexpected way down the road.”
TV GEEK TALK: I heard from Maxine this morning that you guys are officially back in the writers’ room! Yay. Now that planning for season 3 has begun, can you give any other hints as to what to expect when the show returns? Like what will be the theme for season 3?
Karl Schaefer: “Well, Murphy has decided he’s done with the human race. We saw at the end of the finale that Murphy has kidnapped Dr. Merch and is heading off deep into zombie territory. And, instead of making a vaccine for humans, he’s going to make a vaccine based upon his blood to inject into humans to make them zombie-proof, but a blend that puts them under his control. Basically, he’s going to build himself a zombie army.”
“Meanwhile, our team is captured by a team of soldiers from some Asian countries who are here to look for Murphy. So, they’re going to team up with a new doctor from Asia who is also looking for Murphy. 10K, who are heroes don’t think is dead, will make a comeback. There’s a whole storyline with Lucy and bounty hunters going after Lucy. So, there’s a lot of great stuff going on in season 3 that will surprise people.”
“And, we open season 3 with a 2-part episode that will sort of set everything up for the past that will come crashing into season 3.”
TV GEEK TALK: Do you know of any recurring characters that you definitely would like to bring back for season 3? I especially loved seeing Sketchy and Skeezy again this season. They’re hilarious!
Karl Schaefer: “Oh yeah, Sketchy and Skeezy will be coming back, and they’re on the whiteboard. We love those guys and definitely want to bring them back again for season 3.”
Z Nation returns for season 3 in the Fall of 2016, with filming to begin on April Fool’s Day.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com