Friday, March 30, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 5: Goon Struck

We finally catch up with Peyton - she’s doing her job working for the local government, inasmuch as there is government given that Fillmore Graves pretty much controls everything. One of her local councillors is trying to have a bus driver fired for being a zombie - obviously that’s not going to fly and is very much against Fillmore Graves’ policies. She does notice that the bus driver is starving and he tells her his family, also zombies, are similarly suffering. Which brings some more ominous to this setting and highlights that brain shortage is the main pressure on this city

But the crime of the week brings a new pressure - one of what kind of city New Seattle is. Liv, Clive and Ravi are investigating the murder of 1 human and 3 zombies when Fillmore Graves’ investigator - a man with an intense French accent, tries to take over. There’s lots of snarking over jurisdiction between them and an accent battle between Ravi and the man. Clearly no-one is friends with this guy

So Liv consumes the brain - which turns out to be a Canadian hockey player - which comes with some weird accents and lots and lots and lots of violence, but not a lot of intelligence. Investigation means she does a lot of attacking people. Though the hockey match amuses Ravi and Clive to no end.

They discover one of his team mates is a zombie and knows he worked for Mama Leone/Renegade… and Liv gets a vision of Blaine committing the murders. Of course zombie visions aren’t admissible in court and Blaine is very wiley but they could have built a case

Except Fillmore Graves shuts them down, scapegoating an anti-zombie gang despite the killings being far too obviously professional for such a gang. Just as Liv and Clive realise that Blaine had no reason to target Renegade (more zombies means more customers) but Fillmore Graves certainly would.

Through this, the dead man’s team mate is very clear that there is no justice or order in the city any more.

We see the other side of this following Chase Graves who is becoming increasingly desperate and troubled trying to run the city and make some very difficult decisions. He also seems to be losing the faith of his followers

There’s a US general pushing to have New Seattle nuked - and he is gaining support which is making people fret. And they continue to have a desperate shortage of zombies - Chase is frustrated by the lack of progress in stopping people diverting the supply but everyone else is pushing to stop new zombies being produced

Which brings us to Mama Leone. Chase is planning to have her frozen in zombie prison rather than allow the messy public execution as an example his board members demand. He is worried about the “bad optics” killing an older, helpless woman would bring

They also had a pretty layered conversation with Leone poking his leadership and even seeing if he has a messiah complex thinking he’s creating a better world. His cynical reply clearly expects a wasteland not a better world. She tells him of the simple joy of helping people which he should try - but also how they need good PR. Because they’re relying on the rest of America to donate brains… and the supply isn’t great

As for his other problem - he has sent Major and Donnie out of the city to kidnap Sloane… the daughter of general Mills who wants to nuke them. Of course Major isn’t experienced at this and donnie is pretty useless at everything and even manages to get himself recorded in zombie anger in a convenience store. So well done Donnie. They also both fall asleep long enough to give Sloane chance to accidentally overdose

This is most certainly not the most successful kidnapping ever

They decide to scratch her so she can still be used as a bargaining chip when they’re smuggled back into the city where she will be monitored and basically used as a hostage

We get more of Chase being extremely troubled - which becomes even more of a conflict when he hears about a bus crash and goes to see the bodies. (And points here for Ravi not having Chase’s rudeness and insisting on his title and artfully setting Chase down). The bus driver Peyton saw passed out behind the wheel from hunger. People died in the crash and the smell of brains sent him on a rampage - followed by one of the survivors shooting him. All because of brain hunger - but all causing even more bad optics. And more disasters and less faith from his followers

Which may be why he decides to execute Renegade. Mama Leone goes to her execution scared and grieving but also dignified - I like that she isn’t a super noble martyr at least because that would be even worse for the Inspiration Trope

Peyton is disgusted, Liv is enraged - she sees the execution and can’t stop it. But she does give Major a look. And tell Mama Leone’s followers that she’s going to step into her shoes.

Hey, remember when Liv’s brain powers provided insight, perhaps examined an interesting characteristic or were even disturbing like the psychopath brain? Especially as otehr storylines become more powerful she is rapidly becoming irrelevant. Of course her stepping into Mama Leone’s shoes may change

But if we’re going to talk optics, having a rebel/revolutionary moment be started by a Black woman who then dies in a martyr/inspiring fashion so as to drive the white lady to step up and lead the rebellion instead? This is not good optics. This is tired optics.

We see more of the conflict over the city - but Major doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Because… he’s gone awfully deep end here. It’s not so much that he has decided to follow Chase’s “Necessary evil” awfulness… but he seems to be even less troubled by this than Chase. I mean the whole episode has made a really heavy point that Chase is being torn apart by the decisions he’s making, that he’s trying to be good and is basically falling to hopeless despair… then in comes Major who looks… marginally guilty when Liv gives him a look? He went on a kidnapping run with Donnie and his main concern was how ANNOYING Donnie was