Thursday, May 17, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 11: Insane in the Germ Brain

We have a lot of sporadic plot lines here - but a lot of them are powerful with death being a heady theme.

Peyton plans on leaving town to go to DC on a zombie mission of good will to try and get New Seattle seen less as a threat. Before she goes, she and Ravi have dinner with her parents - including her zombie hating not very nice father. Who Ravi puts in his place and it is GLORIOUS, all hail Ravi, the master of how to eviscerate someone politely over the dinner table

But between the sparring there’s another more earnest plea - they beg Peyton to stay in DC where it’s safe, before violence between zombies and humans flares to all out war.

One of the main people in that war will be Chase Graves who is finally working with Major to shut down the brain smuggling -since they’re losing a massive 40% of their supply. Making Russ think that new security measures are coming in and that Major will be in charge of them, Russ is quick to take Major to see the big boss AJ who is in charge of the brain smuggling. They feed him tortured mobster brain that forces him to tell the truth - giving us a couple of jokey moments (one a gay joke about attraction to Chase because this is iZombie, and this is how close they get to actual representation) and saying his team of four has 3 good members. But that team launches an ambush because Major has swallowed a tracker. And with that the brain smugglers have been shut down: Major is the golden boy and everyone gathers at the Scratching post for a celebration, with Chase singing Major’s praises. Until he hears that Russ has escaped. He stole one of Major’s squads guns and then escaped

Chase is enraged despite every attempt by Major to calm him and demands to know whose gun: Major insists he can handle it but Chase won’t stop yelling: and Jordan admits it was her gun. And Chase shoots her repeatedly in the chest - Captain Seattle shoots back, injuring Chase. And Chase shoots him in the head murdering him

All of the Fillmore Grave soldiers watches with due horror. Is this enough for Major to finally realise how broken Chase is or if he’ll keep loyally serving.

Another increasingly disturbing storyline is Angus, his church is ratcheting up the anti-human rhetoric. Humans are nothing but good. Fillmore graves is the enemy and he’s getting more and more violent. While Don E (for no doubt sinister reasons of Blaine’s) has used a director brains to record a sermon from Angus and broadcast it across New Seattle, perhaps the country.

The rhetoric inflames more zombie human tension - and it’s definitely going to make Paige’s job of reconciliation much much harder

It also swells the numbers in his church to vast levels, so much so that a human friend of Tucker’s - the anti-zombie human who was turned into a zombie - tries to kill Angus. He fails because Tucker saves Angus’s life: and then asks him what his human friend means to him. He says “he’s food.” And joins the crowd in eating him.

More death and ominous foreshadowing of doom to come

And we have Isobel, sweet, funny Isobel who has taken to teasing the others by pretending to be a dead - an especially morbid coping mechanism for her own impending death. She remains bright and funny but we also see heartbreaking moments of her underlying fear and dread of what is coming as well and a creeping consciousness that she doesn’t have much time left.

There’s lots of beautiful bonding moments, some of which are tragic (she wants liv to eat her brain so her memories can live on after she dies)… and they even manage to smuggle her mother in for a lovely reunion (with Liv having to imitate Peyton to make it work) and it’s all looking wonderful… until one of those imitations isn’t an imitation and Isobel dies. For a character who was only on the show for a few episodes, it’s extremely tragic.

More fallout and pain elsewhere: Dale watches a video of Liv and Clive together and hears Clive’s insecurities from the last episode: how he wants to be a dad and how his relationship with Dale can never bring him that. Her face just falls

She calls Clive and calls off their relationship, claiming she’s met someone else (a clear lie and it’s equally clear she’s struggling through so much pain to do this) so he is free… and he turns to Michelle.

I’m both leery about how quickly he turned to Michelle and how much it makes Michelle feel like second choice - but here’s hoping they can build something strong on those foundations

For a show that is normally all about whackiness and odd twists (like Blaine’s goon, Crybaby Carl actually being the murderer in this episode, provoked by a misogynist insulting his wife), this episode was surprisingly dark. And it managed to pull it off - it made the darkness work