Thursday, November 5, 2015

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 5: Love & Basketball

Liv and Major are making out but Liv still has worries about whether zombieness is transmittable and after sexy questions about mouth sores and toothbrushing, she calls time. Major is still eager but Liv is firm in the face of sexy Major’s sexiness

Liv has a lot more self-control than me.

We then see a random guy get murdered. Ok (I’m going to assume that this isn’t just iZombie looking at its fellow shows an thinking “damn, we don’t have enough dead Black people” and this is the week’s murder).

The next day Liv checks Major out for deadness and reveals she is an unholy abomination – she can’t make coffee. Liv continues to worry about how they cannot possibly have a future together. Major continues to be horny (despite Liv’s coffee murdering ways).

Liv’s called out to the murder and, yes, dead security guard called Mike is this week’s murder. Ravi makes a Bon Jovi based pun over the body and reminds us all that he’s totally totally awesome. He and Liv continue to be gloriously sarcastic.

Clive also demands psychic visions – before Liv’s have chance to snack on gooey brains. Naturally this achieves nothing before she creates another of her disturbingly appetising recipes. Now all brained up, she comments on basketball (Mike was a basketball coach for kids) and Clive has another of her big personality/knowledge changes and at some point he’s really going to have to notice something wrong with her.

Those kids he coaches have an idea who may have killed Mike – a rather over the top parent. They really really hate this guy.

Off they go see the man, TJ, who is grossly unpleasant, violent, homophobic and generally needs a good axe-murdering. Liv has a vision of TJ hitting his kid and Mike calling the CPS over him. Clive decides to visit TJ that night to warn him about hitting his son – and when TJ pokes him, Clive punches him – repeatedly.

Clive is still suspicious about the end of the last season and all the drama there – and his questions to Suzuki’s widow ruffle feathers which gets him in hot water with his boss, Lt Lavore. It doesn’t help that fun FBI agent makes him laugh through the window. Bad FBI agent! No cookie!

She later asks why Clive was taken off the case of Suzuki’s death – and he tells her how the official story is neat and makes for cool headlines… his digging for a messier truth was not popular. She is still following up the missing rich people (that Blaine was selling for brain experience snacks) – and found the hair of said rich guy at Blaine’s charcuterie where Suzuki died.

There’s another connected murder which means Clive, Liv and Ravi are on a field trip to Tacoma where they are not popular (especially not Ravi since he successfully got the job this pathologist wanted). There is a lot of sarcastic sniping (+10 points to Ravi for “you have high rises in the shire” line. And “the citizenry doesn’t suspect witchcraft?”).

More investigation finds said dead man is an enforcer for a book maker and leads to a guy in Mike’s company who had gambling debts and likely killed said enforcer. He crumbles and testifies that they basically killed Mike as part of the clean up of murdering the enforcer – killed by their “fixer.” What firm has a “fixer” on staff? And why doesn't mine?
Over to Max Rager, Villain #1 where Gilda and scientists are trying to test the intelligence of a zombie who has gone all rotten and finding only slightly more brain power than at a Trump Rally. As Gilda puts it (because this show has the best lines) “it’s like watching my mother try to re-fold a map”. Like me, they’re immensely frustrated watching the ineptitude. Evil scientist demands a “functional” zombie (is it just me or does Gilda look kind of like Zelena from Once Upon a Time?). Evil scientist wants Liv’s blood.

Major goes to work for Gilda both flirting and pushing Major to do more murders for her. Dr. Irwin (evil scientist). Major describes the heartbreaking begging of his last victim – Irwin is curious at such lucid behaviour from a zombie. We have now established she is very evil indeed.

At home, Major is still ready to take Utopian but is interrupted by Liv being all coach-y and insists that Major be her friend. She’s also drafting Major into being the kids new coach with hers.

Liv catches up with her evil room mate Gilda who talks about the loud sex she’s having with Major, without Liv knowing it’s Major she’s talking about. She’s a considerate house mate at least, keeping her loud, murdered-cartoon-character sex should not bother housemates. But then she hears that Liv made out with her ex-fiance... that stabbing was a ploy to steal Liv’s blood and totally not jealousy.

And Major senses another zombie – this one with a young son. Oooooh angst. Major tells Gilda than none of the candidates are zombies (and that he doesn’t want to have sex with her any more). Gilda doesn’t buy his lie.

At home he flushes away the utopian he has. He also tells Liv he is definitely not happy with just being Liv’s friend

Over to Blaine, our oh-so-evil villain #2. He turned Gabriel, the born-again drug dealer, into a zombie last week to make him tell what he cut utopian with to turn it into a zombie creator (and therefore allow Ravi to make the cure). Face with a choice of eating brains and helping make a cure, Gabriel has gone with the latter.

He then has his minion deliver said Utopian to Ravi. Who, despite Liv’s eagerness, insists on slow rigorous testing. Blaine also drops in to demand more speed – and brings Gabriel who injects himself with what he thinks is the cure - but it actually the zombie-causing concoction. This turns out to be lethal to zombies. Well, no, Ravi takes this to mean that this substance isn’t actually what creates zombies. And now he worries about having a bottle of instant zombie killer – and fights with Blaine over the bottle. Neither of them are going to win any martial arts tournaments – but Ravi succeeds in breaking the bottle.

And back at the police station Mrs. Suzuki goes back to see Clive – and agrees her husband could actually be suicidal. She also went looking round the house – and found brains in the freezer.

Ravi’s sarcasm and snark give me life. I wanted to shamelessly cheerlead his epic slicing and dicing of his fellow pathologist.

I am curious about Major suddenly clinging to Liv again. It’s not completely impossible, certainly not. I can see the character interactions and process that would have him hate zombies, fear zombies, come to terms with zombies, realise he has no stones to throw as a zombie murderer and reconnect with Liv as the woman he had always loved and was once engaged to – but I want to see that full journey. And I want it to be a journey. I don’t want him to go “I hit rock bottom, buying drugs from kids I used to tutor” to “totally fine and awesome” after one kiss.

Are we about to see Clive stepping on the path to the truth? I hope so

iZombie does a weird thing for crime shows – it has a crime but increasingly that crime is… background? It’s not the focus and I kind of like it. As we said when reviewing Forever there’s a risk in crime shows (a very very very oh-so-very saturated genre) being generic (even with a supernatural twist). I think iZombie’s greater meta-plot and powerful character focus really helps prevent that.