Thursday, April 19, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 7: Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Brain

Liv is now part of Leone’s network, pretty much leading it and picking new people to zombiefy. Except that they’ve got a brain shortage with Leone’s usual channels now closed… so they need to find a new source

And some sexual tension between Liv and Levon the zombie who is filming everything. They hear about Brother Love, i.e. Angus and go and investigate. This doesn’t result in much except finding Angus, discovering he’s Blaine’s dad and he has a rather dangerous theology

Alas, we must look at the crime of the week - the dead man is Max. A “pick up artist”, one of those terrible men who try things like “negging” to manipulate women into sleeping with him. And yes Liv eats his brain and becomes this person, coming on to Levon who is quick to put some space between them. He’s happy to pursue a relationship - but not with her on this brain

I like this in many ways - albeit not entirely clear exactly what his issue is. I mean clearly she’s pretty gross like this, but equally her consent becomes questionable when her brain is compromised

This is also something they examine later with Liv warning Levon that she does eat a lot of brains to help her job which means her relationship is always going to be work. Which Levon acknowledges - and then kicks her out because she’s just hiding she’s on arsehole brain and gropes him.

Liv has also taken to tanning and dying - as part of trying to be more low key with the whole secret network now. While on the case with Clive she also manages to steal the equipment that the office that tracks zombies uses to print new ID cards which will allow the new zombies they’re creating to claim brains. It helps that the office is in complete disarray.

The actual case does do a very good job of not just making Liv seem like the worst possible person (and not getting any) but it’s also clear from all of the women he’s slept with that he is the worst. Even if he’s good at sex, he is a terrible terrible person and pretty much everyone wants him dead. Oh and they poisoned his condoms.

Following the chain finds a woman who was turned into a zombie by sleeping with a Fillmore Graves soldier who hid his zombie-ness when sleeping with her and was coached and helped by Max the awful who also lied about her in court. That zombie man is now frozen, Max is now dead and the newly-zombie woman who poisoned him is going to prison. But she doesn’t care because Max ruined her life turning her into a zombie so being frozen is totally worth it

(iZombie - she changed her name after she “transitioned”? You need to stop doing this).

But there’s more drama round the edges - Clive is trying to get laid but has both Peyton and Ravi mock his terrible terrible terrible Tindr game. Ravi is almost as bad as Liv at helping Clive meet women and eventually he employs the services of a sex worker

Which he’s clearly conflicted about but not as much as Dale who realises that Clive has had sex. She asks lots of questions, makes it clear that she’s uncomfortable with him staying the night as it suggests feelings are involved… and when he points out he never questioned her about the men she’s slept with she points out she hasn’t actually slept with other men yet

And it’s all so very very very very very awkward. Again, this is not polyamory. This is a hot mess of cringe.

Meanwhile Chase Graves is… perhaps having issues? He praises Major for the kidnapping which may have saved New Seattle from being nuked - and has now decided Major is his new Vice President in charge of getting things done. Namely following Roach, a particularly unpleasant soldier to try and get proof of soldiers skimming brains

Chase is also checking everything in his office for bugs which looks… paranoid. Very paranoid and worrisome

More evidence of that comes from him freaking out at a local newspaper calling Mama Leone a martyr and criticising him. One of his top staff even asks why they’re so upset about one minor article? Isn’t he overreacting?

Instead he sends Major and Roach to the newspaper to shut it down - with guns. Opening fire to destroy equipment and intimidate journalists (and when one calls him the Chaos Killer, he even accepts the name).

The Mayor and Peyton aren’t thrilled at violent fascist shutting down of the free press - nor with Roach apparently falling in love with the words “fake news” because iZombie is subtle. Major openly lies to Peyton about what happened to justify his use of violence. I think Peyton may be done with him. Hopefully

We also get a pretty scary insight into Chase’s mindset - he embraces Autocracy. Democracy cannot stand when you’re facing starvation, threats and extinction of your species. They’re too endangered for freedom… I think we’re increasingly seeing Chase pretty much collapse under the weight of his responsibility.

Peyton goes home to the apartment she shares with Liv - and catches her printing fake ID cards. And why would she listen to music on headphones while doing this? This is not how one does nefarious tasks.

So we have a not-subtle freedom vs security comparison, a new relationship for Liv, a relationship trainwreck for Clive and a descent into fascism for Chase and Major

Last note - Donnie decapitates the bodyguard who freed Angus from the well (I assumed he’d already died). He plans to post the still living head to Gwyneth Paltrow

Which a) is hilarious (kudos) and b) made me worry what Gwyneth Paltrow would do with a zombie head (given Goop’s disturbing habit of doing worrying things with vaginas) and c) had me waste an hour in the internet occasionally yelling things like “$20 for SALT?!” “$400 for a throw pillow? A single throw pillow?!” so thanks for that time sink, iZombie.