Thursday, December 3, 2015

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 8: The Hurt Stalker

Liv shares with her room-mate Gilda (who still reminds me so much of Zelena from Once Upon a Time) that she and Major are getting back together. Since Gilda and Major had a kind of thing, Gilda is not a happy nemesis.

This week’s crime of the week has a man attack a woman called “Regina” telling her to “stay away” from someone. Regina is not putting up with that and nearly stabs her attacker
To the crime scene – and Clive is hit hard because he knew Regina, they dated once. And she was shot with Clive’s gun. To make matters worse the detective in the case is Kavanagh who everyone rightly hates (well Ravi – and since Ravi is awesome I’ll say rightly). Sadly Kavanagh’s also not wrong when he points to a fair whack of evidence pointing to Clive (though, honestly, there’s a bit too much for a murder planned by a cop).

Brain munching time (not that Clive needs it honest, but yeah just in case). And Ravi, being Ravi, raises the possibility of Liv having a vision of having sex with Clive.

Regina was also the woman who left the package on FBI agent Dale’s doorstep which she now hands over to Liv and Ravi (in the hope of a vision). It’s Regina’s rather obsessive stalker diary. Yes, the horror dawns that Liv has just eaten the brains of a woman unhealthily obsessed with stalking Clive.

In between this horror, Ravi and Liv also realise that Clive’s habit of keeping his professional and personal lives separate means they know absolutely nothing about him – Dale certainly knows him better.

Liv doesn’t become obsessed with Clive – but she does become all jealous and extreme with Major. Even knowing it’s her brain playing up she checks his phone. Not a good idea, nope nope.

Major is duly annoyed that she has decided to invade his privacy this way. She explains the brain but also recognises that isn’t an excuse and she has to resist it. Of course when she goes, Major realises he has to hide his zombie-killing items. This leads to more Liv paranoia from the brain.

At the police station Clive would prefer they not make the case more difficult by interfering but he does go into details about why their relationship ended – she had a fetish for cops which he didn’t like. He points them towards a potential suspect – a dissatisfied customer (Reina was a wedding planner).

And Liv gets a vision that Regina and the husband of the happy couple, Michael, had a relationship and she sent one of her obsessive stalky kits to the wife. He was also a cop.

Liv continues to fight stalker brain – and Gilda encourages it. She does use her stalker insights to try and pursue leads and finds that another of Regina’s ex’s was a police chief. This clumsy investigating ends up with Liv in prison where she is worried – that she will hurt other people.

Ravi and Major visit Liv and she’s worried about her growing hunger. At least her stalkery-ness is fading.

Liv is released just before she eats other prisoners and Ravi is waiting for her with a brain smoothy – which, alas, is more Regina.

Still the investigating did give them some clues and lead back to the disgruntled client and her brother (who is injured – he was the man who attacked Regina and was stabbed for his trouble).

They catch their suspect and Liv, against all procedure, gets to be in the interview so Clive can show the Chief of Police that Liv is a damn good investigator and an asset especially for a Medical Examiner. Also, it helps that by letting Liv off the hook for breaking into his car, the scrapbook showing him and Regina can also be kept quiet

On stalker brains, Liv goes home and begs Major to open the safe… inside which is her engagement ring (he has removed his zombie killing tools).

That night when Major’s phone buzzes she answers his texts – and gets Gilda (under the name Rita) pretending to be planning to hook up with Major.

We have a return of one of the Big Bads – Vaughn. Gilda is still gloriously scathing of her dad/boss. She’s worried that Liv being close with Major may expose the zombie murdering plot and then use her police contacts to cause problems. Vaughn annoyingly, rightly points out that’s unlikely as Liv has a vested interest in keeping the secret – though Gilda does raise the happy idea of Liv eating Vaughn’s brains. She seems to be quite happy with the idea too

Her contempt is glorious. Yes, I like her. Also in the zombie lab they’ve found a way to make their terrible drink make rotting zombies super fast and strong (not compared to unrotting ones –or ones who go full-on zombie). Of course Vaughn would much prefer this to be sold to humans with a much larger, richer client base.

Major still has to work as Vaughn’s personal trainer – and Vaughn tests the new drink on himself and does give himself super strength. I imagine there will be a side effect – which appears to be vicious rage. He gives Major some more drinks to help him hunt zombies with.

Part of me wants to raise my fists and cheer Regina for nearly killing her attacker, even if it didn’t get her anywhere and female physical strength does need to be seen more often… except… Regina was a Black woman and the strong, violent Black woman (especially one who ends up dead anyway) is, if anything, far more prevalent than the image of a delicate, fragile Black woman who needs (or deserves) protection. Is this furious defence a subversion of the trope of female weakness or a perpetuation of the trope of Black women being unwomen?

Especially since the other noticeable Black woman on this episode was a loud angry prisoner who exists to be as annoying and obnoxious as possible. She is literally there just to be the source of all things annoying in Liv’s presence in prison.

Note as well that, by the argument of the killers, Regina's furious defence of herself is WHY she was killed. Her strength is not even presented as an asset to her

I’m also not loving where we’ve gone with Gilda here – skilled, brutal, highly intelligent, deliciously sarcastic – but in this case almost sabotaging herself because of jealousy?