Sunday, January 24, 2016

iZombie 2.09: "Cape Town"

“Will you start rappelling down the sides of buildings, or should I expect a personalized spice rack?”

The fall finale (yeah, I know I got way behind on my blogging during the busy season at my day job, but I’m making progress on catching up now!) of “iZombie” was quite the reset button. By the end, both Major and Babineaux had reevaluated their relationships with Liv, and Liv is down a boyfriend and a partner in crime. Even worse, Ravi has made a discovery in his zombie cure research that, once he reveals it to Liv, will be quite devastating for sure. On the case of the week front, Liv eats the brains of a vigilante, and, as my father would say, acquires an overdeveloped sense of injustice. The episode brings up an interesting point of conflict. How much of Liv’s behavior in any given episode is due to the brain she has eaten, versus her true personality. What really is Liv’s “true” personality. I’m not sure if Liv even really knows.

As the episode opens, we see the aforementioned vigilante trying to save a woman from being mugged by two men. He tells the men that he’s “the Fog” and that he’s “thick with justice,” which definitely made me snicker. Unfortunately for the Fog, though, a sanitation worker finds him dead the next morning. Speaking of the next morning, Major and Liv have a huge fight over Liv seeing a text from Major’s ex on his phone. She’s still on paranoid brain, and Major is losing patience. The argument is interrupted, though, when Liv is called in on the Fog’s case. While Ravi and Liv are surveying the crime scene, Babineaux explains that the Fog was a shop teacher by day, vigilante by night. Ravi of course thinks this is the coolest thing ever. Liv is skeptical that being a masked vigilante is actually cool, but she is ready to be off paranoid stalker brain, so she’s glad to have a new case.

Meanwhile, Major is back to work. He goes to a bar and chats up a woman. The hair on his arm stands up, but it’s hard to tell if that is a reaction to the woman or the date she is meeting. Regardless, the interaction between Major and this woman was pretty adorable. Major continues to stalk the woman, however, and we see him watching her at her house. Eventually he goes into her house, and he sees that she’s basically about to blow her brains out. He tries to stop her, and she goes into full-on zombie mode. Once she calms down, the woman explains that she’s a hooker. While she used to have a choice about her clients and she received money, now she gets paid in brains, and she has to hook to survive. She asks Major to just let her die.

Babineaux stops by the morgue just as Liv has eaten some of the Fog’s brains. Babineaux says that the mugging victim was able to ID her assailants, and they both work together. High on vigilante brain, Liv starts giving flowery speeches about great justice. She and Babineaux then go to what appears to be the muggers’ place of business. It’s all decked out for the holidays, with a 20 foot Christmas tree in the process of being installed and none other than Mr. Boss playing Santa. Liv and Babineaux have a quick, unproductive chat with Boss, but when she turns around and sees some kids playing tic tac toe on a car window, she has a flashback. The Fog got into an argument with another vigilante, who we learn is called “Hashtag.” When Liv and Babineaux interview Hashtag, we learn he was upset because the Fog was creating a vigilante supergroup for some big task, and he wasn’t included. Liv asks him who was invited to join the group.

One of Blaine’s minions brings a very severely injured man to the funeral parlor. It appears to be someone Blaine knows, and he’s freaked out about it. At the morgue, Ravi and Liv are contemplating superhero names for Liv when Blaine brings in the injured (really half-dead) man for medical attention. Liv and Ravi don’t think the man will survive, so Blaine asks Liv to scratch him and turn him into a zombie. He says this man is the only person who knows how to make tainted utopium. Ravi reminds Liv of the importance of tainted utopium to his research on the cure, so Liv actually goes ahead and scratches the man. Blaine immediately takes him back to the funeral parlor. When the man wakes up in the funeral parlor, Blaine gives him the “Welcome to Team Z” speech and offers to supply him with brains and other zombie necessities.

Meanwhile, Major and the woman he’s been stalking are now sitting on her couch, and he has told her the real story of what he has been asked to do for Max Rager. He says he does what he does to keep Liv safe, and the woman says Major is a great boyfriend for doing that. Major says that he doesn’t want Liv to know what he is doing because she wouldn’t approve. The woman says that she should be his easiest job, because if he sedates and freezes her like he’s been doing to the other zombies, he wouldn’t be taking her away from any loved ones. Major does indeed sedate and freeze the woman, and she seems at peace about it. She just wants assurances that if the cure doesn’t work out, Major will kill her.

Liv and Babineaux question the remaining members of the vigilante supergroup. They say Fog wanted to get a group together to stop a shipment of guns Mr. Boss was supposed to be receiving. Another detective interrupts to let Babineaux know that the body of one of the muggers has been found. Babineaux and Liv join Ravi at the crime scene. The body is at the top of the 20 foot Christmas tree we saw earlier. There are some suspicious circumstances around this murder, like the mugger having the same address as the victim that leads Babineaux to think it all has something to do with Mr. Boss. Meanwhile, Liv and Ravi visit Blaine and the new zombie, whose name is Drake. Ravi asks for the tainted utopium. Blaine says it’s not ready yet, but he has Drake tell his story. His high school buddy was a drug dealer for Blaine at one point, and he gave Drake a call from the trunk of a car about smuggling utopium. There are two dead bodies filled with tainted utopium buried near a water tower, and Blaine wants to find it before Mr. Boss does.

Some food in the microwave explodes, which gives Liv a flashback to some of the “elves” from Mr. Boss’ holiday display shooting up pumpkins with some serious guns. Liv approaches Babineaux about this, who says he has a lead on the second mugger. He’s diabetic, so he’s going to need supplies soon. Liv, however, is more interested in dealing with the gun shipment. Babineaux wants to follow protocol, but Liv is frustrated. To make matters worse, an officer sent to check on the mugging victim found her door wide open and the place ransacked. Liv, meanwhile, is in full superhero getup, about to try and intercept the big gun shipment.

Babineaux interviews Carlos, the surviving mugger. He tells the real story of what happened. The victim wasn’t actually a victim. She walked into Mr. Boss’ poker game and stole money. Carlos and her colleagues were security, so they had to go after her. After Fogg “rescued” the thief (her name is Mary), she killed him. Mr. Boss later killed Carlos’ colleague, and he probably wants to kill Carlos two, because they both screwed up on the job by allowing the theft to happen. Meanwhile, Liv arrives at Boss’ warehouse and interrupts two goons who are testing out the new guns. Thus begins a rather epic fight scene, where Liv alternates between hiding and attacking. She gets shot, but she’s not down for the count. The goes into full-on zombie mode and keeps fighting, even strangling a man to death. She sees Mary tied up and watching her, so she lets her go. Mary, however, returns the favor by pointing a gun at Liv’s head. Before Mary can attack, though Boss arrives on the scene and shoots her. Liv sees Boss standing over her before losing consciousness.

When Liv comes to, Ravi is standing over her. Boss’ thugs have not been arrested, and all the guns are gone. Mary’s body is still there. Boss phoned the police, and the story he is telling is that he stopped by the warehouse to get his Santa suit, and he came upon Liv being attacked. Liv bursts into the room where Boss is being interviewed, and she demands to know what happened to the guns. Boss immediately leaves and says he won’t press charges. As Boss leaves, we see that Drake is actually one of his top minions. That can’t end well. Babineaux confronts Liv and says she went way over the line. Their partnership is over (for now, at least).

When Liv arrives at home, she sees Major has made her spiced apple cider. He apologizes for that morning’s fight and says he understands what she’s going through. He mentions that there is research being done on synthetic brains, and that might be a way for Liv to get by. Liv doesn’t want to hear that though. What she does gives her purpose, and Major doesn’t get that it’s not just temporary. It’s the new normal. The fight ends in Liv and Major breaking up. At the very end of the episode, we see that things are going to go from bad to worse for Liv. Ravi is observing the rat that is the subject of his cure experiment, and he dictates into his notes that the cured rat regressed after 160 days. What does this mean for Major and Blaine? What does this mean for Liv?

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