Sunday, December 13, 2015
iZombie: Cape Town
Liv getting to play as a superhero, more destroying Major inside and out, Ravi geeking out, and evil Leprechaun is back! Let's get to it!
The episode opens with a set of muggers fresh off a movie set chasing down a woman with a massive purse. Generic Jon Hamm leaps off the wall and tries to save her. After bashing in our two mugger's noggins, he calls himself "The Fog." I'm guessing all the other superhero names were already taken and it was "The Fog" or "Tastesicles."
Alas, our Fog doesn't last long as his body is found in the dumpster the next day. Turns out his real name was Chris and Clive knew him because, despite being shut up tighter than Fort Knox, Clive knows everyone in Seattle. His fourth of July barbecues are legendary, every single weird person in Seattle shows up regularly.
Our Foggy Chris was also a high school shop teacher, but we all know Ravi's not getting that new spice rack. While Liv chops up a brain sandwich Ravi says: "It looks to me like you have the makings of a hero." He should be punished mercilessly for that pun by walking naked down the street reciting the pun punishment and asking for mercy from the pun god.
All is not happy in Major and Liv land (like that's something new. Have we ever seen them happy beyond a blink and you'll miss it moment?). Liv's still arguing about her breaking into his phone and her texting Rita/Gilda/Poison Ivy (I assume the last one). Major is dead right that the fight is stupid and it was all her doing, while Liv expects him to...I have no idea. Gouge out his eyes with a pin? He hasn't done much of anything, aside from keeping his whole zombie assassin job on the down low. Which, given Liv's tendency to go off the rails at a moments notice is probably a wise move.
They try to set us up to think that after the fight Major's planning on cheating on Liv, but please. That guy's main characterization trait seems to be perfect boyfriend, also kicked puppy. Instead, he's on the zombie hunt again and tries asking a young woman at the bar for the time. But before he can invite her back for a little Netflix and toss into the freezer, an older man appears to take her away. Stick that in your mind, it'll be important later.
Liv's gone full supe while Ravi digs through the Fog's utility belt (I assume Ravi has youtube videos showing how he built his own belt). Rappelling hook (okay, you can get carbines off water bottles), marble (technically a shooter, but fine), chloroform (how the hell does a shop teacher have access to that?), and the most important part of all crime fighting -- duct tape. If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy at binding up thugs.
All of the Supeing out gives Liv a chance to throw on her best Silver Age Batman routing with lines like "I make time for justice" and posing with her chest thrust out. The actors looked like they were having a ball. Half the time I watch this show just for reaction shots. Ravi's of course is golden but so is Clive. He's always on the tipping point of getting sick of whatever crap Liv's pulling now. Is there an Emmy for reacting to wacky shit?
Clive's taking Supe Liv to visit with Mr. Boss. Turns out the two muggers were his little minions. He's playing Santa Claus, as all evil CEOs and crime bosses do. Lex Luthor did a fine turn at Metropolis' Thanksgiving Day parade until he commandeered the sleigh to ram Superman's float. It had to end with Superman snapping Luthor's neck in front of all the kids - you know, real life drama! Liv has a quick zombie vision of a hashtag because kids from the 1980s are playing tic tac toe on the fog of a car window (I assume their phones all died simultaneously). But really, most of this scene was to remind you that Boss is our newest baddy, though his line about "I don't want the kids to know the truth...you know about my being Santa" was pretty forced. He was so delightfully creepy in the episode he threatens Peyton, just keep the creepy. Don't go trying to make him the funny one. Blaine's got it down in spades.
Speaking of our favorite ex-zombie (or is he?), Don E's brought in a dying man to Blaine's mortuary finally giving us a Star Trek line: "Damn it Don E, I'm a brain dealer not a doctor." Blaine zips the guy up into a body bag and takes him to see Liv and Ravi who are trying to pick her Supe name. Our little dying guy who bares a striking resemblance to Vanilla Ice, named Drake, will be singing with choirs of machine-gunning angels unless Liv scratches him. Of course she's all hesitant for a brief second before Blaine points out Drake is the only hope they have to find the tainted utopium and create a possible cure.
Does the Zombie virus also give people diamond studded nails? She doesn't just cut a line into his tissue paper skin, but a deep gash. File your nails down, Liv! How can you even keep nitrile gloves on without shredding right through them? Drake wakes up almost instantly from the zombie magic, and Blaine wants to celebrate with mojitos. But first he zips him back up into the body bag and wheels him out - probably right to party hour.
Back to our brain of the week, Clive's brought in # because, again, the man knows everyone. Seems # sucker punched Zach Snyder, no sorry, The Fog because he was building up a Superhero team without #. (How did The Fog not wear a trench coat and run around spouting libertarian shit like Rorschach? Missed opportunity there dead guy) They bring in the entire super hero team running around Seattle: Ghost cobra, Grey area, Super fly, Mega fist, Blue swallow. I wonder how many names got tossed into the writer's trash bin.
Give me a color. Okay, give me an animal. The Green Sloth! Good, go!
You're the Green Sloth! Figure out your mighty sloth powers on the way out. NEXT!
Liv gives a heart warming super hero speech that I'm sure will pop up during one of the fifty thousand comic book movies coming out next year. This is all to learn that Fog's big plan was to intercept a gun shipment of Mr. Boss. Doesn't stopping a gun shipment seem so quaint now. Are we sure Boss is a crime lord and not just working for the NRA? Or are they one and the same now? The Super Team didn't hear about the plan part, they all thought Fog was nuts for thinking of taking down Boss and wanted no part of it.
One of the two muggers is found on top of the twenty foot high christmas tree with his throat slashed, which is apparently Boss' calling card. So, probably not with the NRA then. What's weird is they found on him a matchbook with Mary the muggie's address on it. Since the muggers knew where Mary lived and one is still "missing," Clive sends some people to check on Mary but she's already flown the coop. No word on the state of her shower curtain or if there's a lasagna in the oven. One day we will get answers for that shower curtain!
Liv and Ravi swing by the mortuary which is probably considered normal protocol for morgue doctors and talk to our newest zombie. Drake seems a little bit shocked about the whole getting shot but not dying thing. Turns out Blaine's massaged the truth a bit about getting his hands on the tainted utopoium right that very second. Seems that it all came about because Drake's old high school buddy swallowed a few condoms full of the stuff, then got shot by Mr. Boss' goons for trying to scam him, and his body is buried somewhere out by the water tower. Drake was a great help, thanks for that Blaine! Though he's still on the hook for needing brains and some other dun dun DUN later.
Don E's hot pockets explode in the microwave because he set the timer for 30 minutes, and Liv has a zombie vision of Boss' goons playing with some anti-aircraft guns (use it for duck hunting). This of course puts her into straight on Supe mode to bust Boss. Clive points out that they have protocol, need probable cause and all those other pesky constitution things. Not to mention the FBI has probably been looking into Boss along with the DA for a good decade and are trying to get him on tax evasion.
Speaking of, has anyone seen Peyton in awhile? I'm starting to think she's gotten locked inside her DA office/ancient classroom and is stuck eating her shoes to survive. For living with Ravi, and Major, and Liv now as well, she's never around. Though, given the tendency for Liv to yell at Major, maybe Peyton wakes up at 4 AM and beats feet before the theatrics begin.
After a day stalking the zombie woman, Major's ready to take her out. But when he turns the corner he spots plastic sheeting and her pointing a gun to her head. He tackles her, but she goes full zombie and holds him down until he confesses that Max Rager is forcing him to hunt zombies or they'll kill his girlfriend. The overwhelming Perfect Boyfriendness™ is enough to tame the zombie in the woman and she lets Major up.
While talking over cocoa, we learn that the woman used to be a call girl before she ran into Blaine. He turned her zombie just so she would service his clients in exchange for brains. Her savings are gone and she doesn't want to suffer the indignity of trading sex for food, so she planned to kill herself. After her sob story, Major shows he's not just a pretty bland face and knows that after he finishes with the list Von's going to just kill him and Liv anyway. He hopes to find some weakness in Von, but apparently the man's gone full messiah with the handful of remaining energy drink users in the world.
What was surprising about this heartbreaking moment between the two of them was that the call girl wasn't treated like the dead hooker trope, albeit an undead one in this case. She wasn't just there to show how seedy the city was, to be killed because lady that likes sex is dangerous. She enjoyed her work before, she talks about visiting places all around the world with the money she made. It wasn't until Blaine got a hold of her and took away her autonomy that her world crumbled. It's a far more nuanced look at sex work than one would expect from a zombie show.
I know I joked about the reaction Emmy, but it's a little sad to know that because iZombie can be rather lighthearted at times and it's in the spec/horror genre, it'll never stand a chance to be looked at. Rose McIver throws her all into each brain, a bit like another sf/f Orphany show that also gets ignored. And Rahul Kohli has comedic timing that would put any sitcom *cough*Modern Family*cough* to shame. But because the industry doesn't like the new or different, off beat things fall through the cracks.
Anyway, my point is this little scene should tug at your undead heart. Now back to Liv. She's gotten herself a superhero costume from the all night Cape Store you know Seattle has to have and is staking out Boss' place.
While we know that it was Mary who offed the Fog, Liv's working in a few more Christmas references. She runs into a nutcracker that all shady warehouses have strategically placed to warn them of invaders. This alerts the guards (just go into sneak mode and wait it out in the back, Liv) and we finally figure out what that marble shooter was for as Liv CGI hurls it into a guy's forehead. She whacks a guy with a plastic reindeer (which I assume was filled with gold for how he goes down) and then she puts chloroform on a christmas themed oven mitt? (they were running out of ideas) to leap on top of another guy and gas him.
Because attacking people Home Alone style is stupid in real life, Liv gets shot in the back. Of course the guy wants to gloat, giving Liv time to go full zombie. Yay! Another zombie knife fight! Okay, it's nowhere near as awesome as zombie knife fight because nothing can be as great as that. It is still fun to watch tiny Liv leaping like an enraged wolverine all over the bad guys. He freaks out and asks her what the hell she is. Full Supe Liv says "I'm the nightmare before christmas" and takes him down.
Then she spots Mary all tied up because they were waiting until tomorrow to kill her? They ran out of cement shoes? Thugs just aren't what they used to be. Of course Liv frees her because she sees helpless citizen, and gives Mary her phone to call the cops. Mary whacks Liv in the back of the head which is the only way to immobilize zombies, I guess. She's about to shoot Liv when Boss shoots Mary from behind.
After obligatory Major put the zombie lady into the freezer scene, we cut to Ravi waking Liv up. All the guns and thugs are gone. It's just her and dead Mary left on the warehouse. Boss phones the police after he shot Mary who was about to kill Liv. Liv's still full of righteousness and demands that Boss be arrested for his minions. Creepy leprechaun does get in the great line "My minions? I'm a CPA, I'm not a super villain." See, stick with the creepy. And then we learn that Drake, Blaine's last ace in the hole, is working with Mr Boss. Which means that Mr. Boss shot him in the gut, leaving him to die, knowing that Blaine would turn him into a zombie. So he knows about the zombies and possibly even the tainted utopium as well. Dun dun DUN!
Clive's rightly pissed as hell at Liv who just set back who knows how many investigations and her storming in to nearly get herself killed. There's some regret mixed in with the sick of her shit from her getting injured because of working with him and Clive dumps her from the force. Did the writers finally realize that the brain of the week storyline is kinda boring and no one cares? It's been getting pushed more and more to the background as the rest of the world opens up, so...oh wait, mid-season finale. We have to shake everything up before the world resets in January.
Speaking of that, Major's making spiced apple cider because he's freaking Martha Stewart in an athlete's body. (okay, that might just be Martha Stewart period. Do not mess with that woman) We get it, he's the perfectest boyfriend to ever perfect the boyfriending, so much so that he's been trying his damnedest to put up with Liv's ever shifting mental state and the whole no sex thing (I assume we're going with the Clinton definition of sex here). He's so perfect it has to be Liv who finally pulls the plug.
"You love the woman I was before, you tolerate the woman I am now. We belong with our own kind."
This would probably be a bit more impactfull if we hadn't already seen this a couple times before. That's the problem with the on again-off again relationships. By the third breakup people aren't going to care. Oh they'll just Ross and Rachel it again, whatever. For Major's sake, I kinda hope this one sticks. Dude needs a hug, a puppy (hey whatever happened to Minor? Is he living with Peyton in the negative zone?) and years of therapy.
Still, Major clings to hope eternal. As he leaves he says that Ravi will find a cure and then they can be together again.
But, we ain't done with the drama bombs yet! While in the lab, Ravi walks past Hope and sees our little rat has gone back to being full zombie. Which means in a few dozen days or so Major and Blaine are probably going to return to their undead state. The episode ends with Ravi all alone searching for the buried bodies musing in a voice over if a cure is even possible.
So Liv's entire zombie purpose is gone, she dumped Major just as he's about to go back to being full zombie, and a crime lord is aware of the zombies running through Seattle and probably has plans for them all. And just as the world implodes we have a month and a half long break.
See you all sometime at the end of January. For now, keep looking for that negative zone full of missing DAs and dogs.
at 2:01 PM