Sole Survivors

    Well, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I liked this episode in spite of all the stupidities. Isn't that a sign of the apocalypse? Peckinpah directs this ep and actually does some decent, if not exemplary, work. I think I'll just sneak off and shoot myself now...


  • None I could find. The performances were generally pretty decent this time. Even Maggie wasn't all THAT bad, though she is the weakest of the cast. Her anti-Wade dialogue gets a bit grating at times, but that isn't Kari's fault (her delivery, however, is).


  • Obviously zombie movies, such as George Romero's excellent trilogy (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD) where society is overrun by flesh-eating zombies.

  • I AM LEGEND, by Richard Matheson and/or the movies based on it (LAST MAN ON EARTH with Vincent Price - closest version to the novel I've seen - and THE OMEGA MAN with Charlton Heston, in which he shows off a new rifle every scene).


  • Quinn this time. When he grabs the fence and pretends it is electrified, he looks ridiculous (especially the way he swings his head around). This is also very out of character, but then again, so is much of S3 Quinn.

    Apparently one of the zombies enjoyed his performance so much that he decided to emulate it when Zombie Quinn pushes him into the really electrified fence. He even sounds the same!


  • With the danger of being eaten alive by flesh-eating zombies, Quinn takes time out to goof around by pretending to get electrocuted, making enough noise to bring every zombie on the western seaboard to their door.

  • The female survivor seems to take an incredibly long time to conclude that Quinn and Maggie aren't zombies. She says she counted four of them, implying she had been watching them for some time. She hears them speaking (which the zombies don't do) and she points her light in their faces for quite some time. Talk about a tough sell . . .

  • The doctor trying to get a blood sample from Maggie locks her in a room with a man who is turning into a zombie. He gives no good reason for why he would do this instead of just talking to them. Not the best way to go about saving the world, is it?

  • Selling weight-loss bacteria? I doubt that would work since anyone could culture their own and sell it themselves. Also, the idea that such a disaster would occur seems a bit unlikely (unless this world has REALLY loose standards for testing drugs, etc before allowing them to be sold. I can't see a flaw like "zombie-ism" being overlooked in the testing phase. "Side effects include minor headache, high blood pressure and a desire to consume human flesh. Sounds like a good product..."

  • I find it hard to believe that some evil company could outlaw caffeine tablets because they are simple and affordable. Caffeine is an appetite suppresant though, if I recall correctly, so I am pretty impressed this got into the story.

  • Why on Earth did the zombies pull open the hoods of all those cars?

  • Rembrandt says "Except for those creatures at 2:00" but the direction he nods to is actually straight ahead, or 12:00. And what are the zombies doing out that early anyway? They say it will be dark soon, but it looks just as bright outside as when they first left Debra's base of operations. I also guess Remmy forgot about Debra as he doesn't seem to be in any rush to help her repair her generator as he promised he would . . .

  • Did we really need the second ending where Debra is kidnapped? It is thinly disguised filler segment because they couldn't stretch the episode to fit the full time (or so it seems).

  • Quinn's super-hero tendencies seem to be as infectious as the bacteria on that world, as Wade suddenly starts beating up a zombie in the sewer.


  • "Yeah, well maybe you saw somebody in your head." - Maggie to Wade as she dismisses Wade's belief that someone was in the building after sweeping her flashlight across one room, one time. Convinced me.

  • The cornball lines about the "rules of sliding" like "There is no downtime. We treat things on the fly, something Wade has mastered." Puhleeeeeaaasse! It's not like they're imparting any profound wisdom with this dialogue. Kinda like a second rate KARATE KID, or something.

  • "All I see is weakness." Maggie talks tough about Wade. This could be the best possible phrase to summarize my reviews of these episodes. :)

  • "Next time, you get hurt."
    "Not much of a threat."

    What a comeback! Maggie also emphasizes the word "hurt" a bit more than necessary and sounds rather funny as a result.

  • "All I'm about is survival..." - Maggie again talking tough.

  • "It takes more than a military mindset to survive sliding." Rembrandt delivers this sliding rule, though what it is based on is beyond me, especially since Maggie never demonstrates anything even comparable to a military mindset. Then again, none of the military in S3 exhibit a military mindset - notably Rickman, yet even he got through that world without a scratch! Maggie may be onto something when she says their system sucks...

  • We get dialogue about Quinn saving Maggie's life and her having to pay him back. We get this again later in DINOSLIDE as well, and perhaps in a number of other episodes.

  • "Go on, can't you see he's trying to protect you?" Not a bad line in itself, but the way Kari delivers it, you'd think it was.

  • "I'm not afraid of you, I'm afraid FOR you." Just what B-movie did the good doctor lift that line from exactly?

  • The brand name of the slimming medecine, 'Lipron,' is variously pronounced LIE-pronn and LIPP-ronn by various people in the episode.

  • "You won't bite nobody else sucka." Rembrandt gets this line and does as good with it as anyone possibly could. Not very, that is.

  • "Using somebody's antibodies isn't generally one of my concerns, you know." Maggie gets lumbered with this line (I can even let it go that she didn't mention the other woman, given what she has to take care of, even though it had occurred to many viewers some time before it did to her). Very clumsy writing on that line though.

  • "I gotta laugh to keep from cryin'." - Rembrandt explaining why he finds being stranded in a city of zombies funny.

  • "I'm beginning to see what you mean about sliding." Maggie to Rembrandt. Did she really have to validate those stupid rules of sliding by acknowledging that? She never showed much indication of having any emotional struggle or tough decisions to make (she never gives the impression of being terribly concerned about the notion of killing Quinn).


  • Opening shot of the desolate city looked pretty good. Too bad it's followed up by an obviously back-lot shot of the hippy-man's home (a bus).

  • Quinn's leg has teethmarks in it (as in the zombie's teeth pierced his flesh), yet there are no holes in his jeans!!!! The zombie didn't pull the leg of the jeans up to bite Quinn before he was kicked off, so we can only conclude that his teeth can penetrate solid matter without leaving a trace. Just like in real life... :)

  • That stuff Debra passes around to block the smell of rotting flesh? It's a roll of Carmex brand lip balm. You can tell they went all-out with the budget this week . . .


  • How stupid are these people? The human monster with glowing eyes just bit Quinn, yet when they find the remains of someone on the street, the first thing they suggest attacked the person was a wild dog!

  • Maggie just happens to have "lost" her gun on the previous world. Her accusation that Wade took it is rather pointless to everything except to give the two actresses something to bitch at each other about for a couple seconds.

  • There seem to be a lot of defective generators on this world. The Hippy guy's generator goes down first, then the female survivor's goes down next - all within minutes of each other. Perhaps Quinn and friends exude an aura of entropy.

  • Why the doctor hides from Quinn and company when they enter the hospital is anyone's guess as it is obvious they aren't zombies based on the fact that they speak normally and are out in the daylight. He doesn't have any qualms about hiding behind a bunch of zombies (at least one which was still alive).

  • What kind of a quack is this doctor anyways? He seems to enjoy sedating people, yet he makes errors twice when it comes to how long Quinn will be out from the dosage he was given!


  • Defiance of the rules they set up this time. When Quinn is about to go over the fence, the zombies rush up and attack him even though the spot lights are on anyways. He gets rid of them by pushing them into the light which had originally been keeping them away from the building in the first place!

  • Quinn's aversion to light develops between scenes rather quicker than seems possible. It seems to vanish when he goes outside during the daylight.

  • Maggie shoots a zombie with the shotgun, blasting the zombie into the air and back several feet with enough force to knock over a set of shelves. Sorry, but a shotgun blast wouldn't be capable of doing that at any range. Maybe if Maggie had been firing a cannon, but not a shotgun. The blast also doesn't put any holes in the zombie or his clothes. The ammo must be made of the same material as the teeth of the zombie that bit Quinn and the bullet that killed Arturo.

  • The zombie that Maggie shoots is also lounging on the floor when it grabs the female survivor, yet manages to get fully to its feet in the time it takes Maggie to grab the weapon (which slid to her rather easily given the way the survivor fell over).

  • How the zombies develop night-glow eyes is anyone's guess. Also no explanation of how the bacteria causes the tongue to swell.

  • How a syringe of sedative to the leg knocks Quinn out in less than 3 seconds is also anyone's guess.

  • Debra's generator goes down and Quinn repairs it by putting a couple hoses back on it. If she couldn't fix that herself, she deserves to be eaten alive.


    Maggie gets the lion's share of these, a sure sign of things to come and a good indicator that Kari wasn't hired to be Maggie based on acting talent.

  • Maggie does something intelligent by throwing her coat over the wire on top of the fence at the beginning of the episode, thus giving an excuse to show her in a revealingly tight shirt that shows a lot of cleavage.

  • Following Quinn getting drugged, the camera zooms in at Maggie leaning over him.

  • THE defining gratuitous shot of the season for me, as this was the most obvious. When Maggie knocks Quinn down with the rifle, she leans over him after taking off her coat (quite unnecessarily, I might add) and we get "treated" to a shot looking straight down her shirt. Claaaaassy.


  • Maggie comes across as the caring individual she really is, dismissing Wade grieving over Arturo's death by saying "She's all broken up over some old guy she wasn't even related to." Well, I suppose we should be glad they included even THAT much continuity, but still, it's not the best way to endear the fans to the new character.

  • Wade goes psycho and clubs a zombie (seemingly to death) with her light and breaks down emotionally. After the death of Arturo and now Quinn's condition coupled with their inability to find a doctor, I could see that. It is when she throws in that she feels like she's losing everything to Maggie that it falls apart (she seems more concerned over this than the fact that Quinn is turning into a zombie). The further discussion with Rembrandt on the subject where he concludes "It's not us, it's the lifestyle" is actually done pretty well and almost compensates for the previous digression.


  • Rembrandt's sanity. The scene where he laughs when the car overheats begs explanation. I wouldn't see much humour in being stranded in a city of zombies near dark without transportation. He never really explains what he finds so funny. On a related note, it never occurs to Wade or Rembrandt to use another car. There should be plenty lying around somewhere along the way.


  • Generator or not, it seems pretty dumb for that Hippy guy to be sitting around in his bus at night. It's not very defensible, especially when he shows his inability to hold off the zombies long enough to fix his generator when it breaks down. Granted his repair efforts consisted of jiggling the big hose attached to it a few times, but still...

  • What was the deal with Quinn being tied to a cross when he came out of the wormhole? His rising up like Count Dracula (or Frankenstein's monster) is also a none-too-subtle pointer as to the direction/style of the episode and much of the season.

  • Quinn's reaction to being bitten looked more like he was doing a bad John Travolta impersonation (who knew Quinn was so into disco?) than suffering the effects of a zombie bite to the leg.

  • Another coincidence as Zombie Quinn shows up to repair Debra's generator and she can't seem to load/fire her gun. Lucky for Quinn, especially given how slow she is to realize that he is trying to help her (he gets one or two hoses put back on it and she still tries to tell him to get away from it).

  • When Maggie yells "Get the antidote" she seems to turn her head too far to the side to yell at the doctor. This scene is followed by Quinn wrestling with the cameraman, resulting in the camera following Quinn as he spins around.


    Overall, a better than average episode. It seems to have a lot of needles and injections in it for a non-Rickman episode, but still holds together better than most S3 fare. Not to say that I think the zombie theme fits the show, but this was one monster-based episode that almost works, due to far fewer stupidities than, say SLITHER or BREEDER. As it is, I'm stretching to find things wrong with the episode, apart from some obvious things like the lame segment where Debra gets abducted, for example.


    2.5 out of four.

Back to Reviews
Back to Gate Haven