Wednesday, February 28, 2018

iZombie 4.01: “Are You Ready for Some Zombies?”

“One day they decide to put up a wall and seventy-two hours later we’re living in Bagdad.”
- Blaine

We are back for season 4 and it’s a new world, iZombie fans and honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. A part of me is glad that Liv doesn’t have to hide her visions at all anymore but I kind of liked seeing her have to explain to the uninitiated how she came up with information. But, it does present some interesting issues moving forward in terms of the procedural aspect of the show. Aside from the case of the week, we have some interesting developments with Major and Chase Graves and a little bit with Blaine. Basically, Blaine is now Chase’s lap dog. If he wants to keep his businesses open, he has to feed Graves information. He bitches about this to his dad who is still stuck down a well but Daddy eventually gets free and thinks that Blaine’s voice from above the well was God and now he’s going to lead a zombie religious army or something. Honestly, I’m so ready for him to be gone. I’ll admit, I haven’t really liked a character Robert Knepper has ever played, which probably means he’s good at playing the villain. I just don’t think we really need him running around being crazy zombie guy when we have the general social inequality of humans and zombies and Blaine being a grey hat in all of this. We have enough external factors to act as antagonists that we don’t need Angus, too.

Major is tasked with getting some homeless zombie kids off the streets who’ve been kicked out of their homes by their parents. Ultimately, Chase wants to find more soldiers because they’ve apparently instituted a no scratching rule (punishable by death via guillotine). Major ends up having a soft spot for a couple of the kids and so he selects them to join up. I suspect he chose one of the kids because she’s got two younger zombie siblings who are starving and soldiers get extra brain rations and have access to the vending machine with brains in it. I hope we get to see more of these kids and let them develop some more personalities. Oh, and we learn Ravi’s fate. The cure works … mostly. Every few weeks he turns into a zombie for a few days so he’s working on improving the cure. At present, he’s eaten the brain of a professor who was also apparently a nudist. Lovely. It did provide a few laughs along the way but it was a little unnecessary to pull the "let’s hide his junk behind things” gag twice in relatively short succession.

The case of the week involves a diehard Seattle Seahawks super fan being murdered by being ground up in a giant mixing bowl at the newly established brain packing plant. Because, of course they now have a brain packing plant. Liv eats his brain and becomes nauseatingly annoying with sports and smack talk. She and Clive pay a visit to the widow (and son) and it’s clear that everyone knows that Liv’s hair and pale complexion mean she’s one of the undead. And they aren’t overly excited by that fact. But, the wife points to a guy at work whom her husband had a fierce sports rivalry with that resulted in damaging each other’s cars. They bring the guy in and he’s seen going back to work on security footage even though he said he was at home. He says that someone put brain tubes in his bag and he was going back to return them because the punishment is severe if they’re caught.

Eventually, Liv has a vision of two Filmore Graves soldiers talking about selling brain tubes on the black market. The one guy she could get a sketch of is ID’d by Major but he’s not much use in answering questions because he’s on Shakespearean actor blue brain. We also learn that Blaine is operating a restaurant and he’s also clearly pining after Peyton. Who is now dating a lawyer guy named Derek who seems rather bland. I’d honestly prefer her with either Ravi or Blaine if I had to choose. Liv is super in the zone watching a game (she’s done up in ridiculously elaborate face paint and wig and everything) when Peyton gets home and Peyton has to drag Liv out into the hallway to show her that people are spray painting Z on suspected zombie doors. God, this just brings up images of Nazi Germany … and probably isn’t far from what some people in this country would like to do to their fellow man. But, it gives Liv a breakthrough and they go back to the victim’s house. They discover that there’s a suspected zombie living there and it turns out to be the son. Liv has a vision of the victim finding out (he was super against zombies) and throwing him out. The wife ultimately confesses that her husband made her choose between her husband or her son and so she killed him and framed the guy he had sports beef with. As motives for crimes, it’s relatable. I do find it interesting that the courts have had to consider whether zombie visions are admissible in court and when you have to tell someone you’ve eaten their loved one’s brain and had said vision.

As I said, I have mixed feelings about this episode. Part of me wants to like some of the new dynamics and the openness on the force about working with humans and zombies. But the parts that are the darker side of society are hitting a little too close to reality right now. I’m interested to see how Ravi progresses with the zombie cure and how that effects the story overall. I also am looking forward to seeing Clive and Bozzio work out their relationship now that she is a zombie, too.

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