Thursday, April 14, 2016

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 19: Salivation Army

Wow… this episode brought all the action!

With Major and Liv on Jenko soldier brains, they plant to enter Max Rager and free all the zombies he has kidnapped

We do have a reason why he has kidnapped them though – he wants to experiment on them to make a cure for Rita (apparently the Rita/Gilda debate is settled – Rita is her real name) who is less than appreciative of his terrible efforts. Oh, her “you’re doing all this for me but couldn’t hold an elevator door for 3 seconds” may be one of the best lines of the season.

On ruthless soldier brains, Liv and Major want to chop off Jenko’s hand and use it to get into the basement via the security lift. Clive, who is getting a great crash course of what it means to be a zombie which is kind of awesome, vetoes this. So instead they’re sneaking into Vaughn’s party and relying on Major having some good friends still there to help them sneak in.

Oh and the party is “prison themed”. Clive’s comment: “White people.”

To the party – and things rapidly go wrong and Clive ends up joining them as he worries over them being late. That leaves the three of them in the party and caught by Vaughn and his guards

Luckily for them but unluckily for everyone else, some of his scientists have been taking Utopian to party. And drinking Max Rager. Max Rager + Utopian = mindless raging zombie. The three now get to move through an awesome zombie action movie (even considering turning Clive – which was so tense and could have been really awesome – so his brains don’t attract them) as Clive gets a crash course in many more zombie elements: zombie skills, different kinds of zombies, what happens to zombies like Liv and Major when they go without brains and it’s generally all kinds of awesome.

And yes, they do chop off a hand. Of course they do

Among all the chaos and awesomeness they make it to the basement to find Rita – who helps them find the rest of the zombies Major put on ice. Unfortunately, Vaughn is still alive and decides to interfere with them all with Rita finally realising what an utter arsehole he is. Yes she already kind of knew but he confirms it.

For trying his many shenanigans he gets shot in the hand and then eaten, thanks to Rita and Major. Eaten by Rita for that matter. Rita later tries to chow down on Clive and Major puts a bullet in her brain. That’s a shame, Rita was kind of fun. But that’s the Max Rager contingent out of action.

More poignantly, Liv finds Drake – but he’s been used to experiment on… and has become a full on zombie. Liv tries to reason with him but he tries to eat Clive. To save him, Liv shoots Drake. Powerful, tragic and Clive got to live!

Time for a twist! Along the way they were rescued by Vivian Stoll, the owner of the military contractor and one-woman-rambo with many many guns. Her company, by the way, is called Fill More Graves

Fillmoregraves. No, really, the military contractor that Vaughn has sold his company to is called Fill More Graves. That’s either in the worst terrible taste or hilariously awesome.

She also helps them cover up the massacre afterwards – because she’s a zombie, along with all her cohorts, and she intends to turn Seattle into the new capital of a zombie homeland – and she’s recruiting Liv. Ooooh this looks fun.

Time to look at Peyton and Ravi and Blaine

Now that Stacey Boss knows that Donny and Chief are muscling in on his business again, he sends the goons to kill them. Surprisingly Donny manages to survive by speaking quickly and relying on his zombiness to survive. Who knew he had it in him!? Chief isn’t so lucky – they also learn that Blaine is alive…

Blaine runs and hides with Peyton and Ravi which ends up with Ravi unconscious and Peyton kidnapped… Blaine has some cool toys to help in the rescue though (and, yes, new amnesia Blaine is still snarky but still willing to help people unlike old Blaine). He does save Peyton – which means Ravi is all sad because he thinks Peyton and Blaine are going to get back together now

Nooooo… choose Ravi! Choose Ravi!

With all this action and twists I am definitely looking forward to next season.

I do think that this season hasn’t necessarily been as great by Ravi and Clive, especially as the recurring POC in the show (especially since the show still has a bad habit of taking POC brains and washing over a lot of what would be implied by that). Not that they’re minor by any degree –but Clive not knowing the secret has always separated him from Liv, especially as more people around Liv – Peyton, Ravi, Major, Blaine, Vaughn – know the big secret. That’s a huge number of storylines Clive has to opt out of by definition. In season 1 we had more focus on the individual crimes and less people knowing the big secret – and Liv and Clive were almost as big a factor as Liv and Ravi. Now we have more meta that Clive isn’t part of and less crime focus so he takes a step back. They give him some of his own storylines and avoid him becoming an antagonist. But next season I hope for more – and the fact they’re already pulling him in gives me some hope for that.

Ravi, of course, is much more prominent, in on the secret from the beginning and maybe the second most important character here except for Liv herself. And I love him, every scene he is in he effortlessly steals. The only issue? He’s somewhat Liv focused. Ok, nerdy interest gives him his own motivation but this is why I like his friendship with Major and his relationship with Peyton. Too many shows have a central character and then everyone focused on them – Ravi having relationships with people beyond Liv makes him more of a character. Now, more Ravi! More Ravi storylines!

I also think Liv badly needs more time with Peyton. I mean their relationship is awesome – but she’s the only woman in Liv’s life – the other two women on the show are not present enough and definitely not really connected to Liv. Liv needs to spend some time around women – she has a very male world. There’s also, again, no LGBTQ people.