Thursday, April 20, 2017

iZombie, Season 3, Episode 3: Eat. Pray. Liv

The brain of the week was another filler so let’s run through it quickly

The murdered guy is a “Mindfulness coach” which basically means a guy meditating and spouting random deep-sounding and pretty meaningless sound bites while looking vaguely stoned which seems to be the go-to way of presenting someone at peace.

Liv eats his brain and is equally zen. But since she’s actually a really minor character in this episode it basically ends up with her occasionally spouting the odd phrase that could come from a cracker or fortune cookie.

This show is also not going to have anything like a discussion about how there’s a whole industry around white people taking big junks of Asian religion, philosophy and culture, mooshing them around and deciding they’ve found (very profitable) enlightenment and an inspiration for, if they’re lucky, tattoos spouting meaningful phrases in languages they don’t speak and if they not, a selection of creative profanity or gibberish depending on the tattooist

One interesting element of Liv taking a back seat is we have a murder entirely solved by Clive’s detective work rather than her visions with added insights like him refusing to make the uniforms do things he won’t.

That’s the murder

On to Major. He’s not exactly doing great as a soldier as he has no experience and no amount of pretty chiselled muscles are going to make you military trained. He makes friends with Justin, another zombie there who was a DJ before his zombieness who helps reassure him through his steep learning curve.

He’s also not a big fan of the processed brain mush. So invited Justin home for brain and dance games which is cute and fun J. What’s less cute is the zombie cure is catching up with Major and he’s dying –he can take the second zombie cure, but that comes with amnesia

He’s also still looking for Natalie which he sets Blaine on – who gives a possible address

While Blaine meets his newly defrosted father (with the support of Peyton), he quickly realises that a happy family reunion is not on the cards even as he returns his father’s wealth. The more Blaine hears about the many he used to be, the more he hates that

Which brings us to Ravi. Who is pretty much destroyed in this episode – seriously his characterisation is so awful his every appearance makes me cringe. Finally poked by Liv into speaking to Peyton he goes to apologise – which turns into a ramble about how the thought of Peyton and Blaine together makes him so unhappy and how evil Blaine is… she shuts that down right away. The Blaine she knew was never evil (either lying or amnesia) so she has absolutely no reason to be ashamed, she doesn’t need him to guilt her – she most certainly does not need or welcome his opinion on this. She rightly sums this up as Ravi pretending to apologise but secretly hoping for an apology from her.

The gang gathers in the hope of testing the memory loss cure on Blaine so they can see if it works for Major. Blaine says no – not because he fears side effects, even death – but because he doesn’t want his memories back. He doesn’t want to become the terrible person he was. He prefers who he is far more. I can’t say I blame him. Major, Liv and Peyton understand

To which Ravi goes all in, savagely shaming Blaine with his past – and, ok, look nothing Ravi says is WRONG, not even close. But at the same time we all know Ravi’s motives are not altruistic here: he’s focused on Blaine as his romantic rival and is itching to tear him down

And there’s a huge knotty moral quandary about how responsible a person is for actions he doesn’t even remember.

Blaine agrees to be the guinea pig

While Peyton confronts Ravi to demand an explanation for the epic arseholishness – to which a not-entirely-sober Ravi finally confesses his love

Peyton’s response is excellent – she points out that she needed him and he wasn’t there. She was held at gun point and kidnapped, thought she was going to die and he’s done nothing to support her in that in the aftermath. He made her victimisation all about his pride and jealousy

All, awesome awesome points

She also points out the only thing stopping a relationship between them is him – to which he admits this and kisses her. And it may be romance back on if Peyton doesn’t discover the half naked Katty Cupps in his kitchen.

Ok, I love Peyton in almost all of this up to the kiss. Because she’s called out Ravi on every las bit of the bullshit which he has pulled, which is awesome, but then kind of just… absolved him of it? Put it aside? I think I’d have been happier for her epic smackdown of him to have led to a period of reflection or space, or needing him to bridge that and do better – rather than us drag out the conflict with the convenient villain Katty Cupps (who, let’s face it, is a caricature who has been created for the express purpose of us hating her).

Blaine’s evil daddy whose name I will have to remember again is also doing evil things – setting up a new zombie club with new demand for brains and a completely evil scheme to ship in cheap brains from Bangladesh (for poor, desperate hospitals with high mortality rates) for poor zombies and murdering custom-order brains for the rich. Which is basically Blaine’s evil plotting, upgraded for more evil.