iZombie: Filleted to Rest

"We might lose faith sometimes, but we can't give up on family."

There was a moment during this episode where I felt a little overwhelmed by everything I was watching unfold. iZombie has always been a “busy” series, but there was a certain level of chaos to this episode that was quite jarring, with characters making rash and unconvincing choices, and an old dangling plot rearing its head in a confusing and clumsy way.

That plot thread is of course the return of Liv’s mother and the reveal of the true identity of “New Boss”; Martin Roberts, a.k.a. Liv’s long lost father. When Liv ends up in the hospital as part of her investigation into the death of a snobby chef, she runs into Eva Moore. I was initially really taken aback by this. Not only has Eva been absent from the series for over three seasons (we haven’t seen her since ‘Grumpy Old Liv’, the season two premiere), but there’s been nary a mention of her since then, nor Liv’s brother, who she had to lie to in order to avoid giving him her zombie blood. It felt too far left field, almost as if the writers knew it was the biggest unanswered question they still had, and they needed to burn it off before the curtain call in the upcoming finale.

It’s also frustrating that the Moores wouldn’t immediately reach out to Liv the moment zombies became public knowledge. Shouldn’t they know what Liv’s reasons for not helping Evan are now? It’s odd for the series to continue to write Eva (and subsequently Evan) as stupidly stubborn just because they want to keep them at a distance. There was an opportunity for the show to explain their absence with a literal wall between Seattle and the rest of the world. Why make them seem like closed-minded morons instead?

Then there's Liv’s family drama tying into Martin Roberts, the father Liv never knew. Has Liv ever spoken much of her father, or lack thereof? If it had been something the show had picked up prior to this week, this surprising turn of events might have worked, but as it stands I’m just a little baffled. There wasn’t enough groundwork with this one, and there’s already far too much going on to really give a story this intense the attention it should really warrant.

One other perplexing part of the episode was Justin’s turn into a soulless zombie warrior. I get that he’s been burned more than once by humans, but like Liv’s family drama, there wasn’t much groundwork here to justify his sudden choice to betray Major and side with the zombie extremists. It was sad to see him shot down so fast by an emotionless Major, too. I guess it’s something that had to happen to show Martin that Major isn’t as weak as he might have seemed, but I still don’t get why there’s an all-round acceptance that secondary characters have to be completely two-dimensional so the plot can get from A to B. We’ve had throwaway guest stars in the past that have had more substance than they’ve dished out to Justin and Eva this week.

Plus

Michelle reveals to Clive that there’s only a small chance the baby is his. She put his name down as the father in her emergency paperwork knowing this, and Clive was okay with it. Regardless of how bad her child’s likely father is, I don’t think that was an okay thing to do. She should know how decent Clive is and not have lied to him in the first place.

There were a few fun moments with Liv on perfectionist brain. I loved her forcing one of the officers in the station to bring her a “tolerable” cup of coffee.

Martin’s mole is about to be taken outside of the wall, which means we may get to see how his plan will unfold very soon.

As if the hour wasn't crowded enough with family reunions, Ravi helps Dr Charlie Collier from the CDC to track down her twin sister Laila. It’s an odd plot, but it does give Charlie more of a reason to be a part of this season over the many other new faces we’ve been introduced to over the past few episodes.

He Said, She Said

Eva: " You wanna know who your father really is? Just dying to know? He was a junkie. A lousy, lying drug addict. Feel better now?"

‘Filleted to Rest’ isn’t necessarily a damaging episode to this season’s major narrative, but the decision to answer one of the biggest questions of the series in such a haphazard way was seriously disappointing, and a let-down for viewers who have stuck with the show up to this point. There’s potential for the subsequent episodes to mine a lot of drama from Liv and Martin’s unexplored relationship, but it needs to be handled in such a way that doesn’t detract from the show’s more important dynamics that we've watched grow over the last five years.

5 out of 10 frozen chunks of meat to the head.

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