iZombie: Dead Lift

"If they decide that we only have zombie interests at heart, this city will collapse."

Last season, one of my biggest grievances with iZombie was that it was a bit too ambitious for its own good. Budget restraints and the overall goofy nature of the series resulted in plots like Angus’ church becoming a tad bit under realized. This season, the series is trying to double down on its own take on modern political indifferences, and so far it’s just not landing. It’s not necessarily just an ambitious scope that’s the issue here, but perhaps it’s also being a bit too literal with the real world parallels.

Part of the reason for this is the heavy handedness of certain elements of the New Seattle quarantine. We don’t need iffy lines referencing the abuse of “zombie culture”, or the humans’ use of “whiteface” (yikes) to understand the message behind the human vs. zombie conflict. It’s a tiny bit insulting to the audience of a series that has typically been smartly written, not just in terms of its larger themes, but its insanely intricate plotting and story beats.

The silliness of Liv ingesting the brain of a personal trainer seems so at odds with all of this, which is frustrating because this is a show that was so completely at ease switching between starkly different tones. The investigation itself does lend itself to the on-going Seattle conflict, but it just doesn’t gel in the way it should. I did enjoy having Liv being the brain-character of the week again, and a few of the gags were quite funny (I particularly loved Clive thinking Liv was having a vision when she was just kegeling), but it just felt completely unnecessary to the case at hand.

All this being said, I’m generally liking the various elements of the war that’s brewing throughout the city, particularly the introduction of CHICS and its wonderfully awful leader Dolly Durkins who, as it turns out, masterminded what ended up being the faked kidnapping of a human women at the hands of zombies. Major managed to worm his way out of the problem this week by finding scapegoats to take the blame for the staged abduction, and also leaking footage of his own fake-out; the supposed execution of two Fillmore Graves agents.

Backed into a corner, Major had no choice but to fake their deaths. Following the bombing last week, Fillmore Graves was being torn up from the inside. After Jordan becomes the latest victim of the on-going war, Major’s subordinates turn on him and retaliate by gunning down a customer at Warmbloods, a humans only bar. By supposedly showing no mercy to his own people, Major has reassured the people of Seattle that he has no bias when it comes to exerting his authority on the city. Hopefully when he takes his two former agents out of the freezer, they’ll thank him for keeping their entire city from being nuked by the government, who seem to be watching this disaster unfold from their comfy chairs in DC.

Peyton is also doing her best to keep the city going. After an odd suggestion from Ravi, Peyton puts her career on the line to help him produce HiZombie(LOL), a parody web series to help improve the perception of zombies in the press. I’m not sure it’s a good idea, but I do like that Peyton is still willing to put herself on the line for the greater good. Her sacrifice should hopefully keep the zombie problem from escalating to the point of destruction. Well, at least that’s what this show is hoping we’ll believe HiZombie will do.

Plus

Baron (Francis Capra) helped the foster kids from the previous episode escape police custody and got them through the barrier with their sick brother. Unfortunately he was gunned down in the process, which is a shame since I liked seeing Not-Weevil around.

One of the potential victims that Liv and Clive were investigating posted a selfie with a newsflash about the Warmbloods shooting in the background. That was honestly one of the funniest (unintentional) gags of the season.

On their way to the scene of the shooting, Liv and Clive drive right past what was obviously the perpetrator speeding away but make no move to pursue them?

He Said, She Said

Clive: “You having a vision?”
Liv: “I'm Kegeling. Pelvic floor. Tragically overlooked muscle group.”

At this point it’s hard to say that iZombie can make sense of its larger themes, which are about as subtle as 500,000 brains to the face, but I am enjoying a lot of the different moving parts this season. If the writers can embrace the weirdness of this situation and not be so obvious, we could still be in for a fun ride to the finish line. This episode wasn’t that, though.

5 out of 10 brain pasta bakes.

1 comment:

Karmen said...

I want to love this season. I really do. I adore iZombie and the creative and witty writing styles. But I feel like theyve almost bitten off more than they can chew and the concepts all feel fragmented. Fingers crossed that it will come together soon!