Thursday, April 27, 2017

iZombie, Season 3, Episode 4: Wag the Tongue Slowly

The characters are beginning to split up to various plot lines this episode. Ravi may be the only one who dodges between the different storylines

But only because he doesn’t actually do anything but mope. And mope. And mope some more. And he still doesn’t really seem to grasp that he’s done something wrong so much as just wallow in big pit of self pity. I am really not a fan of what Ravi has become this season, I’m really not.

He does join Major occasionally but only so he can mope in a corner and distract us. While Major is faced with a lot of conflicts – he’s dying. He has the cure that will save him but in doing so he will lose all of his memories. That’s a damn hard decision to make – and he is running out of time to make it.

And in that time he’d like to find Natalie, the suicidal zombie he froze when he was a fake-serial killer and now wants to rescue but she has been sold, possibly, as a sex-slave to a vicious dangerous mobster zombie and his zombie dangerous men with guns who are quite willing to threaten him with guns.

Perhaps because there is a sense that he doesn’t have so much to lose with him having to choose between death and amnesia; Major isn’t deterred despite the death threats being thrown at him. He does track down Natalie – and she is terrified. She doesn’t think she can run away, she thinks they’re far too dangerous and there’s nowhere she can run to – even with Fillmore-Graves as an option. And if this guy is too dangerous for a legion of zombie mercenaries then that’s a bad sign

Major gives her one out – the zombie amnesia cure. Allowing her to escape being a zombie and, presumably, be controlled in exhcnage for losing her memory

I’m not sure how this is an escape? I mean, sure, if they were controlling her solely by controlling her supply of brains this would make sense. But she was just offered an infinite supply of brains by Major and an army to keep her safe – but she’s too afraid. So how does amnesia humanity help? She will be physically more fragile and would have no memory of even needing to escape. Maybe it’s because it’s all Major felt he could possibly offer her?

Speaking about that serum – Ravi tests this on Blaine and that brings Blaine and Peyton into a huge amount of complexity between them which is really well done. Peyton is very attracted to – and very much likes – this Blaine. The good, brave, genuinely decent man he has become. She is not looking forward to him being replaced by the Old Blaine who could be an utterly different and horrible person

Part of her wants the serum to fail so she can keep this Blaine. But she also realises what a terrible thing that would mean for Liv and Major and how it’s easy for her to think that when she isn’t eating brains. Similarly Blaine is terrified because he doesn’t know if he can manage the memories he gets back – can the decent person he is now deal with the memories of the atrocities he has committed. These are big meaty questions that are almost lessened by Peyton initiating sex – and Blaine saying no because if he does become a terrible person she will hate herself for having sex with him. Again we see Blaine’s ultimate decency now.

Of course she then says “yes” when the next day he doesn’t have any of his old memories. I cynically think that if Blaine has gone back to his evil ways he’s quite capable and willing to hide the fact from Peyton in order to sleep with her. Please do not do this, iZombie. Please.

So to Liv and Clive and the case of the week – which interestingly feels like it is becoming more and more irrelevant to the greater plot of iZombie even to Liv. I mean Liv eats the brain but, like last episode, doesn’t actually help them find the killers in any real extent. And yes, this is excellent that we see Clive being an actual policeman and show his skills and it’s also fun how he’s now in on the big secret and can enjoy/understand/be exasperated by Liv’s brain drama.

It also kind of makes Liv much more sidelined. You could actually remove Liv from this episode – and the last episode – and not appreciably changed the plot. The one piece of meta is tracking down one of the zombie-hating group. He’s an all round bigoted monster – and he had a brother who died in Max Rager so he actually knows zombies exists and has lots of guns – which is worrisome indeed

For the actual crime and brain? We have a gossipy lady which means Liv gossiping about lots of non-secrets. Through a series of unpicking all the secrets that the dead woman exposed and gossiped about Clive finally puts together a plot involving three of them spending a truly ridiculous amount of time and energy into pranking their colleague only for it to accidentally kill her when they spike her yoghurt with narcotics. Also that’s not a prank, that’s poisoning.

Hey this is iZombie’s second token gay/bi inclusion. Yay, one episode blink-and-you-miss-it-portrayals, let’s put a rainbow on it.

I’m liking this season of iZombie but I also feel like a lot of things that make iZombie are kind of missing – specifically Liv is missing. Liv as a central character, living as a zombie, eating brains et al. In fact the first two seasons centred Liv and Ravi and their relationship in many ways, now both of them feel faintly irrelevant. And what else is there is still good… but it’s still missing that.