Saturday, March 24, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 4: Brainless in Seattle Part 2

Liv and Clive are still hunting down the coyote who is smuggling people into the city and killing people, which involves tasteless jokes about skulls, of course and figuring out exactly how he gets in touch with his victims. Ravi has found a website he uses to connect to rich, desperate people looking to get in and out of Seattle

They also find Liv’s missed connection post trying to find the elusive Tim - Ravi and Clive are duly mocking of her eternal desperation and this very annoying desperate romantic brain.

Ravi sets up a fake account as a rich Englishman stuck in Seattle desperate to leave, complete with over the top accent (which Clive apparently can’t differentiate from Ravi’s actual accent).

Liv also checks in on Renegade to see how the best way to lure in the coyotes are - and she doesn’t tell them anything new (desperate and rich). But it is a good chance to get her story. She was turned into a zombie before Fillmore Graves, she doesn’t know how. But a man helped her with her brain needs, though the visions made it clear he was killing homeless kids

Which sounds a lot like Blaine’s old operation

She went to the police, who naturally did nothing since they didn’t believe in zombies - and in retaliation the bad guy (Blaine I presume) killed her husband. She shut down and went quiet - which led to more guilt when Fillmore Graves and the mass infection happened. She did see Liv though, working, trying to make a difference, trying to be useful - which is what she’s trying to do

Which is all the more poignant when we catch up with Blaine. He is trying to get Renegade’s location from the Brain which also comes with an unfortunate and rather hilarious loose lips effect - which has Blaine being radically honest with everyone: employees, customers, pretty much everyone. Of course, he’s such an awful person no-one believes the terrible things he’s saying

But he does get a vision leading him to Renegade (after realising there’s more than one Laundromat in the city since he’s rich and never had to deal with them before). His goons capture her and deliver her to Chase Graves…

Which isn’t going to make them very popular - what’s also not making the popular is how the Fillmore Graves soldiers act with impunity, beating up even zombie destitutes who don’t fit their standards

We also have Major, Captain Seattle and Jordan off to find the missing phone with the video - after Chase Graves finally seems to care and emphasises just how worrisome the whole PR disaster of the video would be. They head to a bar in a very zombie hostile part of town

Tucker, the newly scratched man, finds the bar, clearly a place where he’s usually a regular. People who once welcomed him are now hostile. His friends seem willing to accept him - until one childhood friend gives him a gun. His idea of watching his back is to give him the means to commit suicide… and he can’t bring himself to do it

In some ways it’s rather a shame that this story has more of Liv’s love life than it does Tucker’s rejection because this is a powerful, painful look at what Seattle is becoming. And also shows how vulnerable people can be preyed upon as he goes looking for somewhere to belong and finds the Prophet’s church: with it’s message of zombie superiority and humanity as good. He becomes a fanatical adherent

Major eventually tracks down the phone, through the hostile bar (he tries to offer money but after lots and lots of hostility and provocation he resorts to threats and gunfire which will probably not help PR at all). They arrive at the zombie church and the worshippers are super hostile to them and really really creepy chanting hostility and ominous promises of revenge for Fillmore Graves, who feasts while they starve. They gather around Major, CS and Jordan and it all looks very ominous

Only the Prophet intervening saves them - and Major recognises Angus. The Prophet is willing to let them go because Major did so much to rescue and help suffering zombies - but has ominous threats for him wearing Fillmore Grave’s uniform. Tucker does give them his phone - because more ominous scary things are coming

Ravi’s plan of becoming bait does work and they successfully capture the murdering coyote so they can focus more on romantic issues

Ravi and Peyton are definitely getting closer together though Peyton denies it - she Ravi and Liv are an excellent group together. When Liv openly tells Clive to split up with Dale his temper finally snaps: he’s not tolerating that kind of invasion or interference and he’s really not accepting “brains” as an excuse for Liv ignoring such a blatant boundary. I think I like this - brains is used a lot on iZombie to justify a lot of poor behaviour - I do like that lines are being drawn to ensure that it isn’t an excuse for everything. There are still roads, there are still lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

Liv does reveal that Dale is cheating on Clive and it turns out I’m right - they have an open relationship to get past the whole can’t have sex thing. And Clive hates it but considers it necessary - which is exactly how not to do a polyamorous or open relationship.

Liv also chases down Tim - only to find out he’s a really awful zombie supremist who thinks humans are food. She dumps him. And Major makes nice - even if they do have their differences, they’re still friends. He shouts. On weird wrestler brain. Because iZombie. Which ends with a whole zombie human dance in the Scratching Post

The lesson of this episode; the lesson of this series so far, is how everything is pretty much falling apart: there are groups of zombies who loathe humans. There are groups of humans who hate zombies and whole sections of the city where it’s not safe for zombies to go. We have the Prophet adding fuel to the fire and Coyotes good and evil causing more problems.  But one thing that seems to unify everyone is that absolutely no-one likes Fillmore Graves  - even Liv - so pretty much everything is going to eventually fall apart.

The flip side is the Scratching Post - the zombie human nights Liv, Major et al thought would be an utter disaster which they’re now attending because they’re great fun and they do show zombies and humans working together and getting along. It’s a nice balance of ominous ominous ominous - here hope! A shred of hope!