iZombie: Bye, Zombies

"I want this over on our terms."

One week from the end feels like the perfect time to throw the standard formula to the wind and get right to business. ‘Bye, Zombies’ did just that, and then some. It upped the action, cleared the decks and made time for all the right character moments along the way.

I wasn’t certain what the outcome was of Martin’s confrontation with Enzo was last week, but it looks like he really did bite the bullet, literally. With her father dead, and her only hope resting on a cure that’s out of reach thanks to greedy higher-ups at the CDC, Liv starts this episode all out of hope... and patience. But after a clumsy brainstorming session with Ravi, she finds the perfect channel for her frustrations: a mission to get the tainted Utopium back using all the right brains.

It’s a flimsy plan, no question, but I kind of love that this episode used the iZombie brain formula and amped it up for the purposes of a quick and dirty action set. I also love that the operation got all the gang involved in some way. Liv and Ravi were at the center of it all since they’re the ones with the ninja/hacker/thief skill sets; Major is the guy holding down the fort; Clive, initially a token back-up guy, takes point; and Peyton risks more than she realizes to stand watch over Renegade’s safe house and the recently rescued Freylich kids.

The Oceans references were incessant but Rose McIver and Rahul Kohli sold the hell out of each of their personas. They have such wonderful chemistry, and this episode milked it for all it's worth. If there’s one thing I’ll miss most about this show when it’s gone, it’s watching these two work together. Their dynamic was also a bright spark in the otherwise messy first half of this season. Thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better of late, but they still stand out, even when the show is going at full speed.

Major also has a lot of sparkage with Liv, even after all that’s happened between them. They had a tender kiss while digging up the brains Liv needed for her undercover op – only iZombie can pull off a set piece like that – and also vowed to start fresh. They’ve had a complicated few years, so it speaks volumes that they were able to reconnect again and push past it all. It felt right for both of them considering where they’re both at in their respective character journeys.

Even Major’s misjudged arc over the last couple of seasons has come to a rather organic crossroads. Through all that’s happened this season, Major has at least remained firm in his beliefs, something he wasn’t last season given the clunky development he was subject to. He’s been slowly losing his grip over the city since he took up the hot seat at Fillmore Graves, and now with Enzo pulling the remaining officers to his rebel cause, Major’s all alone and without access to the last remaining ingredient for the zombie cure: Max Rager. He’s also in pretty bad shape. Will he make it out in one piece next week?

Peyton is also in a bad situation. Blaine and Don E have managed to locate Renegade’s safe house and the Freylich kids, and now they’re holding them all at gunpoint. Peyton is a trooper and is standing her ground. She’s probably the most powerless of the core characters but she’s always been a voice of reason; that’s why Liv had to include her in the construction of her insane plan to get the tainted Utopium back. She’ll need to keep her head in order to keep Blaine occupied until the rest of the gang get back from Atlanta. Blaine clearly still holds a torch for Peyton, even as a soulless asshole, so she has something to use to her advantage if she needs to. I really hope she pulls through.

If everyone can get out of their respective sticky situations, there’s a huge mess to clean up. Enzo has riled up the whole city with a transmission of Martin’s engineered zombie soldiers turning human extremists and forcing them to feed on their own. They may have super powers, but the zombies don’t know about the arsenal that CHICS have at their disposal thanks to general Mills. It’s going to be a very messy conclusion next week, regardless of a potential cure being within reach.

Plus

If Blaine did kill Darcy, Don E definitely doesn’t know it yet. He's still playing his lackey, even with all the secrets they're currently hiding from each other.

I love that Clive didn’t realize how badly he needed to be a part of Liv and Ravi’s plan.

Last season, the writers really reached for the sky and couldn’t pull it off thanks to the show’s small budget. There was certainly an element of that here with the off-screen dissidence in New Seattle, and the explosion in the Fillmore Graves van that may as well have been off-screen. It all still worked, though.

He Said, She Said

Liv: "The cure is coming. I have to believe that everything is gonna be okay because what's the alternative?"

Liv: "We keep fighting and trying to fix things, and it's always two steps forward, 40 back, and I'm done with it. I want this over on our terms. This doesn't end with Saxon and some company profiting from zombieism. It ends with us saving Seattle and getting our lives back."

Liv: "We don't need Ocean's Eleven to do this job. We just need the right brains."

Blaine: "You're not that great with boyfriends, are you?"

Don E: "His hair makes me so angry."

Clive: "We are in the south now. You don't put stolen jewelry in a black man's pocket."

So much of this season has felt unnecessary, but ‘Bye, Zombies’ did a remarkable job of eliminating the less impactful material, and focusing on the elements that are actually working. It was certainly an episode that felt like it was all about getting from A to B, but it got there so effortlessly; a true facet of iZombie writing at its best. I’m so ready for the finale.

9 out of 10 ninja brains.

1 comment:

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

Glad this season is finally getting good. I wonder if some of the inconsistency in the earlier part of the season was due to Rob Thomas dividing his time between this and Veronica Mars? Though given season 4 of that, I'm kind of nervous about what we will see in the finale.

With so much death in this show, it's mind-boggling that we haven't lost any of our core cast up until now. Everyone who has ever been in the credits (except for Blaine's dad in season 4, who didn't really seem to belong there anyway), is still alive (or a zombie).

If they do end with mass-producing a zombie cure (as it seems to be where they are going), there will probably be some sacrifice along the way. I hope it's at least meaningful. And I want most (really all, but that's not realistic) of the characters we've loved for 5 years to get their happy endings.