Thursday, June 15, 2017

iZombie, Season 3, Episode 11: Conspiracy Weary

We left it on a massive cliffhanger last week with Ravi standing between Donny and Harley and the zombie hunters – Harley can’t bring himself to kill Ravi – but he can knock Ravi aside – so they can begin torturing Donny to make him zombie out for their followers on youtube

Which is when Liv and Blaine arrive, journalist Rachel runs for the kills, there’s a smoke bomb that hides most of the action and a few people get eaten. Harley manages to escape but everyone else gets gunned down by the belatedly arriving Fillmore-Graves zombie soldiers. There’s a brief attempt from Jace Graves the new head of the zombie army to criticise Liv for letting Harley escape – but Liv’s not having that, pointing out that the zombie soldiers are so very very late. I do love that Liv is just not impressed by Jace at all –especially as Jace is becoming more and more paranoid about the zombies being revealed to the world.

That leaves Liv, Blaine and Donny to help themselves to fresh brains from Harley’s brother’s head (and share some with a zombie soldier). Ravi’s expression is priceless and wonderful. Just how casually they’re all reaching into this guy’s head

Poor Ravi then gets to go home and see Major and Shawna’s sex fort is still in place. Which is when Rachel tracks him down all tearful and traumatised and Ravi reassures her… and nearly kisses her. Ye gods Ravi, BOUNDARIES man. And informed fecking consent! When women are distraught and emotional and traumatised is NOT the time to make your move. Ravi’s brain turning to relationships whenever he sees a woman who is vulnerable is creepy and needs to end.

Then Rachel see his housemate is Major the Chaos Killer and runs screaming into the night. This affects poor Major’s self-esteem a little more which is why he’s very reluctant to go out dancing with the selfie-loving Shawna since people will see him.

Back to Liv and Clive is treated to Liv, Donnie and Blaine all having simultaneous visions – and all obsessing over conspiracy brains. Remember the man they ate is the one who rambled to Ravi about zombies being created by the Shah of Iran.

Is this the first time we’ve had zombies on the same brain? Because they work really well together, bounding off each other, having simultaneous visions etc. From Harley’s abandoned car they also find several guns – which, using an off-the-books ballistics expert (since this is not Clive’s case) confirms these guns were used in the attempted murder of Mayor Baracas and the death of the zombie family Clive knew.

Zombie soldier also has a vision from the brain he ate – revealing the location of Harley’s secret cabin which he tells to Jace while he’s getting his body spray (iZombie thank you for the visual) – Jace naturally plans a raid because he’s not a subtle man.

Thankfully for them, Liv gets a vision telling her that Harley knew about the bug on his car, knew he was being followed and knew the zombies knew about the cabin – and that it’s booby trapped. She sends a warning through Major saving most of Jace’s soldiers – but two are still caught in the land mines.

Time for Liv to take her conspiracy brain to everyone else – and we have Liv both fighting against the brain and Ravi, Peyton and Clive all trying to get her to think through it. I missed this- for most of this season Liv has kind of just run with whatever brain she ate – no matter how ridiculous. Part of the main point of season 1 was Liv having to navigate the brains, use them or work round them when possible – not become a slavish avatar of whatever she has eaten.

I especially love how she rambles away to Peyton who just asks “Liv, whose brain have you eaten?” It makes me wish for non-meta episodes of just Peyton, Liv and Ravi living with zombieness, the normality of it

Peyton is still checking in on the Weckler case, after Liv confirmed that he both did kill Roxanne, the dominatrix and he was killed by someone else. Going through his personal effects she finds a key to a security deposit box and tries to get Tatum, his zombie daughter, to let her see the contents. She’s initially reluctant and Peyton has to convince her to finally let her be there and take the much sought after memory card.

While doing so Tatum has a vision – and Peyton notices. (Which is a little odd because we saw Tatum and her friend eating Fillmore-Graves style brain paste which is supposed to be vision-less).

The memory card reveals that while Weckler did kill Roxeanne – he also did it because someone was forcing him to. Who? Liv has a whole elaborate conspiracy theory about mayoral candidate Baracus

But it’s not entirely implausible – Tatum the zombie daughter suggests maybe she was turned to give Baracus leverage over Weckler. Baracus visited Roxeanne and proof of that would sink his political career.

Of course, part of this elaborate scheme is Liv’s conspiracy brain – but Peyton can see some possibility in it. Which is troublesome because she, Liv and every zombie just voted for him- and made him the new mayor

Another secret Liv’s conspiracy brain has managed to unearth is Shawna’s tumblr page – all about her relationship with Major the Chaos Killer, pictures of him half naked in bed with her, their texts, including highly sexual ones and it’s generally awful. Major is appalled by what he sees as an attempt to cash in on his notoriety and dumps her – even as she tries to sell the page as a way of “rebranding” him – which he rejects as he wants to sink into life as it was before – obscure and unknown

I think that it’s excellent Major stuck to his guns and insisted on dumping her – but more was made of the fact Major wanted to sink into obscurity than of the fact his sexual messages and pics of his half naked body were shared without his consent. The anger felt both not nearly as much as it should be but also aimed more at “hey I didn’t want to draw attention” than “you violated my privacy”.

I almost wrote that you can’t redeem a serial killer in the public eye just because he looks hot. Then I asked myself where this weird and completely ridiculous faith in humanity came from. Of course you can.

I also feel that, even with the local radio and newspaper stations stirring up controversy about him “marketing” his crimes, we do live in the era of the 24 hour news cycle. “ZOMG THE CHAOS KILLER HOW DARE HE SHOW HIS FACE” is likely to quickly sink out of popular knowledge after the next major crisis, disaster etc or the next Trump tweet.

He fact his fellow soldiers see it as a joke seems awkward to begin with – but then he turns to partying with them. Everyone else sees this and condemns him as the chaos killer trying to cash in on his crimes – his fellow soldiers see it as a joke for ribbing and teasing: but no malice.

Another media issue is Rachel the journalist who comes back to Ravi, asking to understand and Ravi returns to his previous terrible judgement: and tells him everything

Which she then prints.

Back to Liv and Clive and Clive throws in some detective work – Harley has a noise complaint about construction at his run down cabin. But a brief look at the place confirms that cabin has gone a loooong time before any work was done on it.

They find an outhouse – in a building that has indoor plumbing already. Sure enough they find a bunker underground where they find Harley, hiding in bed with a gun – he tries to shoot Clive and Clive shoots him.

Only then Liv has a vision, seeing Harley outside the house when the zombie family were killed and heard the shots – he wasn’t involved. Clive is worried about killing an innocent man – when Harley wakes up – because he’s a zombie.

Well that's like twist on twist on twist on twist - that's a whole lot to unpack next season.