iZombie: Thug Death

"Time's nearly up for zombies."

This was a strange episode, for me.

All of iZombie’s four season premieres up until this point have made very clear mission statements. Notably, season four’s ‘Are You Ready for Some Zombies’ had the grand task of setting up a completely new version of Seattle that had been walled off from the rest of the world, and it did it well. ‘Thug Death’, the start of iZombie’s final season, feels more like a continuation of what came before it. Nothing felt all that different, and we spend a lot of the hour dancing around elements we had grown to understand last season. On top of that, the episode doesn’t spend enough time with its more impactful moments to let them truly resonate. A shaky start isn’t something iZombie has ever had before, and it’s a little concerning heading in to what should be the show’s last opportunity to show us what it does so well.

Several months after the events of the fourth season, this episode starts with all of the characters pretty much where we left them. Major is now the commander of Fillmore Graves, and struggling to maintain order; Clive is still holding down the fort at Seattle PD, but still enjoying what he can of his married bliss with the now expecting Bozzio; Blaine is a king amongst zombies and men, as he has control over the main channel of brains into the city; Peyton is still Chief of Staff for the former Mayor, but as far as Johnny Frost is concerned, she is the Mayor of New Seattle; Ravi’s “monthly” zombie outbursts are still a thing, as is his stagnated research into the cure he found in Isobel’s brain; and Liv is still Renegade, and is reviewing all of the applications that are pouring in to find asylum in New Seattle.

The latter’s actions this week are probably the strangest of the hour, mostly because they were all completely Liv. No brain and no visions factor into her investigation into the disappearance of a human girl, supposedly at the hands of a group of zombies. It’s nice to see the show rely completely on Liv herself and not a gimmicky trait to sell the episode, but with Ravi taking on the brain-of-the-week it forced Liv to take somewhat of a backseat. The writers do ensure that this investigation is laced with the tensions of the human/zombie inner war, though a decision to extend the case beyond this episode meant we didn’t really get into something concrete at any point during the episode.

Ravi, suffering from his monthly zombie outbreak, takes what was meant to be Liv’s last taste of “Thumb Breaker” brain. After that, we spend most of the episode watching Rahul Kohli having a lot of fun with something very close to home for him, but not necessarily very integral to the plot at hand. It did lend itself to some hilarious problems for Johnny Frost, who got a little handsy and weird with Peyton during a televised broadcast with our new least favourite Seattle resident, Dolly Durkins, leader of an anti-zombie organization known as Concerned Humans Imposing Common Sense.

The actions of CHICS lead to some serious problems for Major, after they stage a bombing on a Fillmore Graves hot spot. We don’t see much of said explosion – those pesky budget constraints rearing their ugly head again – but we also don’t see a whole lot of the aftermath either. Like with the investigation Liv and Clive are embroiled in, this feels like a second casualty of a decision to split the story over more than one episode.

We do get some resolution where the cure is concerned. As we discovered last season, Isobel’s unique brain provided a full cure for the zombie virus. A new doctor working for the CDC, Charli Collier, comes to the same conclusion. With Ravi on a pretty impersonal and insensitive brain, he doesn’t help matters when Collier tries to bring up this discovery with her fellow CDC colleagues. Ravi convinces her of the ramifications of doing so before it’s too late, though. It makes sense to introduce someone like Collier at this point in the game. With a handful of episodes left until the end, we need to get a viable cure on the table, and it seems like Ravi has exhausted most of his resources at this point, and Collier seems like a natural ally, despite what Ravi might have done on “Thumb Breaker” brain to harm that potential alliance.

Plus

Liv's reaction to Ravi's attempts to overcome "Thumb Breaker" brain was hilarious: " I feel like I just watched the Gollum-Smeagol scene from Two Towers."

Thumb Breaker brain wasn't happy with Aly Michalka's new haircut, but I sure as hell am digging it.

Justin is still a part of Fillmore Graves, and is second hand to Commander Lilywhite.

Liv decided to help a foster kid get into Seattle, but the kid in question chose to bring his foster sisters with him and they were caught before they could get into the city. Maybe we'll see more of this plot play out next week, which would be great since Francis Capra played a big part in it, and I relish any chance to see a former Veronica Mars alum in action.

He Said, She Said

Ravi: "Liv, it's happening. I should've known last night when I was more interested in eating the pizza guy than the pizza itself. My monthlies."

Blaine: "I wanna keep my hands clean. It's taken me so long to get them this way."

I was hoping for a bigger and better start to iZombie's final season than this, but it did throw a curve ball by closing on a "to be continued" screen, essentially cutting of the stories mid-stream. Next week should give us a clearer idea of what this season is trying to accomplish.

6 out of 10 fish and chips trucks.

No comments: