Thursday, October 15, 2015

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 2: Zombie Bro

Major gets to watch the children of the zombie he murdered tearfully appeal for any information about their poor dad. Have ALL THE GUILT WEASELS!
Now to as frat party involving drinks and fancy dress (see, I did do a lot of drinking at university and not all of it was particularly well clothed but is this fancy dress drinking an American university thing like those plastic cups and beer with virtually no alcohol in it?) One of the partiers, Chad, gets stabbed. I’m assuming this isn’t normal party behaviour (though an understandable response to being offered American beer)

Liv and Ravi show up for some nice snark and investigation – and possible utopian (zombie drug) link with more snark and Clive appealing for Liv’s psychicness. And by psychicness we mean brain eating visions and getting in the head of a frat boy

There follows interviews with far too many “bros”. Liv is enjoying herself a lot – Chad has a lot of friends but also pulled far too many pranks. We do get a vision about one guy who isn’t so happy – because he made the guy streak; unknowingly past a primary school which got him arrested and labelled a sex offender. That’s pretty much a career killer, he’s still in the frat for the connections to have some future. Ouch.

They do identify the costume the killer was wearing and poor Clive has finally begun to comment on how random Liv is due to her diet adjusted personality

A personality that also pushes her to prank Ravi while he’s asleep – poor Ravi (the make up can be removed, the “fart” written on his head less so). This leads to a vision identifying another potential suspect

Meanwhile Ravi is giving Major a post-cure check up and explaining why his beard has glitter in it – and how Ravi is having trouble working on the cure. He tries to convince Major to help his research by taking drugs and/or watching Ravi take drugs and isn’t above blatant guilt tripping to make it work (these two are so much fun together. But then everyone is fun on this show). Him being there means he runs into Liv for an awkward we’re-not-ready-for-a-reunion-reunion which isn’t exactly helped by Liv’s casual mention of being on frat boy brains – Major tries to make a thing of it but Liv very rightly says “it’s a fact of my life.”

It doesn’t end well.

A few steps later  and Liv and her spy-room-mate Gilda go to a no-clothes frat party in Chad’s name. Of course. Liv instantly falls to partying and having immense fun before discovering one of the more misogynist events the frat partakes in – the “dog fight” where they invite ugly girls to party

While Ravi and Major go through with Ravi’s plan to buy drugs – except they’re both ridiculous inept at it. They do manage, almost despite themselves, and Ravi takes the drug and logs his feelings while on it. Then Major takes it as well. Of course.

This ends up with Major passing out in a toilet and Liv being called to collect him and Ravi – still dressed in police tape. Major throws away Liv’s phone making a vague comment about “them always listening” which likely refers to Max Rager.

Liv plays doctor (which she is, we recall (to poor Major and he even asks her to stay. And cuddles with her (d’aaaawwww). He also promises not to let anything happen to her (extra d’aawww).

The next day they follow up on the “dog fight” lead and a new suspect, though Liv is rightly upset that telling the woman why she was invited would be pretty crushing to her.

Blaine is still running his funeral home as a cover for drug dealing – and muscling in on the Utopian trade (with a more intense product) to take down “Mr. Boss.” He also shows one of his new human minions that zombies exist. He dispatches his minion, Speedy

Ravi finds writing up his notes difficult given the state of his voice notes (or the state of him when making his voice notes) when they bring in the guy who sold him drugs – dead after torture. We have a brief cut to dear Speedy panicking to Blaine who quickly cuts him off. Looks like Mr. Boss is unthrilled with someone trying to muscle in on his business.

Blaine decides to respond by going to the DA (a contact because he is a zombie) and enlisting his help to bring down Mr. Boss – though he’s so very powerful that the DA doesn’t think he can do it – but Blaine has craftily forced him into it.

Blaine also visits his dad, Angus, a very wealthy man who he has turned into a zombie (yes, he turned his dad). Yes his dad is pretty much an awful person which is no surprise.

Back to the crime – in a twist – Liv and Clive finally get the real killer when they realise the killer made a terrible mistake and actually killed the wrong Chad (yes there are two Chads which is a very depressing thing), drawing on clues that were there for a while but I missed. Nicely done iZombie. The killer is pretty devastated to realise he killed the wrong man

Liv makes another attempt to connect with Major after their night with him lying on her lap – but he refuses to see her. He is in his room, taking Utopia.

Major and Liv I actually quite like – it would have been easy to have Major get over his angst over Liv pretty quickly – but it’s more real to have him continue to be struggling. He isn’t over it and can’t just swallow the idea of Liv eating brains because – well, who would? Realistically that’s a lot to swallow. At the same time I quite like Liv’s response – he’s now in on the big secret, she doesn’t have to lie to him, in fact her lying to him was part of the rift between them. So when he comments on her altered behaviour she tells him the truth – because how else do you explain Liv’s personality swings? And if they are going to move on and have any kind of relationship then, yes, he needs to understand that Liv needs to eat brains and they won’t be moving on if he sinks into denial.

I find the way they represented the “dog fight” also interesting – it would have been predictable to just use it to point out how much of an arsehole Chad was, but instead I think the prime concern for Liv and how the show presented it was how it hurt someone.

Blaine’s plotting is both Machiavellian and excellent social commentary. He deliberately set up a situation where the crime boss would kill his dealers – affluent, white, attractive men. It’s a pointed note – especially along with the zombie victims last season (homeless, often POC, poor) – about which deaths matter, which will be ignored and who society actually cares about. “Protecting rich white kids is your job.”