Thursday, May 31, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 13: And He Shall Be a Good Man

Everything’s pretty grim - and going to get grimmer because the anti-zombie faction of congress has decided to send no more brains to New Seattle. Which is going to be troublesome

Ravi, in an extremely moving scene, was super upset and called Peyton urging her to stay in DC where she’ll be safe, while he hears the news of Levorn and Liv about to be killed and things are bleak. Ravi excellently displays his shock and horror here which really sets the tone of the whole episode. Except that Peyton shows up on his door step and their love is super passionate and kind of wonderful.

And after that he remembers he needs to tell her about all the bad stuff going on.

After this it’s time to call Dale and Clive who are still planning to get married and have sex and turn Clive into a zombie… but maybe not quite yet. And that’s all shelved when they’re told about Liv and Levorn

In case anyone missed it: everyone is team Liv here. While Chase Graves is kind of missing this and decides to have Liv tortured - which doesn’t lead her to give up her network. Instead Chase decides to give her mere seconds to say goodbye to her friends - unless she want to buy more time by giving up names. She opts out of that and instead gives them all her instructions to rally the troops: except Peyton. She and Peyton are completely overwhelmed by emotion.

Specifically she asks them to release the documentary Levorn has been preparing of their work to help people. They do check with Ravi to ask if he wants his face blurred - but no, he refuses. And, yes, Ravi is killing it this episode. Everyone is killing it this episode: so much emotion and grief from everyone.

The released documentary goes massively viral and raises huge amount of sympathy for Liv and co. Also it’s narrated by Paul Rudd. It’s watched by pretty much everyone and they’re not happy about her being executed. Even Chase realises a public execution may be problematic. Or Captain Hobb does pointing out that a) they’re going to be massively outnumbered and b) they don’t even know how their soldiers will react to an angry crowd and shooting randomly into the crowd is probably not going to go down so well. Chase is all moody about his lack of public execution but listens to Hobb when he suggests moving the time and the location to somewhere more private.

But Major has someone on the inside: Jordan has gone back to Chase Grave pretending to be on his side in exchange for extra brains for her family (her siblings are starving zombies getting every more desperate) but it does mean she gets to pass one more inside info to Major. Including the moving time

When Levorn and Liv are taking to their execution, even their guards have watched the viral video and been moved by Liv’s story. One of them is Justin with all his history with Liv.

When Major & co here the time of the execution has been moved they panic - and Peyton almost despairs. But she’s also Peyton and the acting Mayor so she interrupts a live television programme to rally the city to the new location

They arrive in force, led by Major and Chase gives the orders to his soldiers to shoot anyone who gets into the warehouse… and they bring Levorn out for execution.

And they kill him

Party of me is unsurprised because he was very clearly a placeholder love interest for Liv and was unlikely to have any real long term staying power. But at the same time this whole episode is so powerful and is so excellently well acted that I was actually shocked when he died.

Major and the mob breaks through before Liv can be executed - and the Fillmore Grave soldiers don’t fire on the mob: if that video didn’t get them then Chase generally being an arsehole and Major leading the charge full on zombie does it… there’s a struggle: Liv, Chase and Major fighting around the guillotine. And Chase ends up squished

Which makes Major the new leader of Fillmore Graves. Because if you kill the general then you become one apparently? At least they all insist he step up because there’s another crisis coming up: Angus and Blaine

They’re not the only ones with a plot - Blaine and Angus have decided that now is the time to launch their attack - they’re helped by Enzo (hey the French detective finally has a name!) telling them the most vulnerable point on the wall (and even returning the crying bodyguard to them). While the whole city is being transfixed by Liv’s execution after watching her viral video, the army of the faithful will make their escape.

Except… maybe not so much. It seems Enzo is another very crafty mole - hey Chase may not be a complete fool - and he’s not a true believer. But he’s used his position of trust to lead Angus’s forces into a horrendous ambush. That ambush has machine guns, land mines, tanks and Enzo there assuring the humans that Fillmore Graves is even willing to sacrifice thousands of zombies if it means maintaining the peace between the US and New Seattle… which may help the PR?

Blaine, meanwhile, wants to live and decides he and Angus should stay somewhere safe while the army charges in. Angus decides they should lead from the front like warriors of god and Blaine is…. Not into that because… death. Instead he reveals that the big holy sign Angus had was actually faked. Angus is duly enraged, shames Blaine and storms out into battle. Blaine decides to stay in safety and consumed with daddy issues.

This is when Major, new head of Fillmore Graves, hears of Angus plans and acts decisively to send more troops to the gate

In the aftermath the US military walks among the bodies of the zombies - a whole lot of bodies, over a thousand - shooting them in the head. Including Angus.

Well I guess that may reduce the population challenge

In the aftermath Liv is done. She wakes with Ravi watching over her, thoroughly traumatised, grieving over Levorn and Isobel and blaming herself for the deaths - which is when Ravi tells her about the cure. She wants it. Ravi gives her slightly judgy face and she snaps back at that

And it’s perfect. Even while every part of me screams no, Liv angrily declaring she’s done enough, Liv angrily rejecting the idea she owes ANYONE ANYTHING at this point. Yes Liv, you deserve this, all praise to this scene. She’s not even guilty about it and she never ever should feel guilty for not being forced to sacrifice herself again.

Ravi wants to talk about how hundreds of unarmed people were willing to charge into bullets and she is the inspirational leader they need to bring humans and zombies together in peace for her but she’s clear - she still saved herself not the crowd and she is done.

Major as new head of Fillmore Graves wants to tell Liv he’s totally on side and she is free to bring in more people and turn them he’ll even encourage it. But she’s still retiring. Also Levorn is dead because Major kidnapped her and she’s not forgiving that

Let us mark this as another awesome moment in the episode. Yes Major led the rescue, he was still an arse and the arse is not removed because of some belated side changing. Liv still thinks he’s a good person (“I know who he is even if he forgets”) but is still angry

And still taking the cure. And to be clear the cure means eating all of Isobel’s brain so only one zombie can be cured… shouldn’t Ravi look at trying to duplicate this rather than just using it?

The cure is delayed because they have something more important - Dale and Clive’s wedding. Which is sweet, involves Ravi as best man and Liv as maid of honour (and Clive teases Ravi) and big dramatic personalised wedding vows (which everyone is duly grim about which is just hilarious - best wedding ever) all about how Clive is completely willing to give up being a dad because he loves her more

And, yes, we all know where this is going. Of course Liv gives the cure to Dale.

While I think poor Michelle has been really really screwed, disposed off and barely regarded as more than a plot device in this whole romance. She deserved better than this.

Liv still goes to the motel to have a pity party. But everyone else, like half of the whole city, turns up to say how awesome she is. Looks like Liv is back in the game - but at least she’s being appreciated.

This is the season finale - and it was a perfect cap to the season. The acting of this episode was really good and really carried a whole lot of heavy emotion. I loved it.

I still think that someone really really needs to sit down and think about the brain situation. Yes Blaine is now smuggling brains for Major for cash and respectability but there’s still a difficulty in supply, still starving zombies as we saw with Jordan’s family (and I hope Jordan remains a regular character)

Plot wise Liv’s brains, again, kind of felt like a distraction than an asset or useful part of the plot but because we had so much else going on, especially after the first half of the season, I think it worked - because we didn’t focus on it. We may have had utterly terrible episodes like the hockey player and the medieval re-enactor but they weren’t the point of the episode.

I think Peyton got more showing this episode which was very necessary given how Liv tends to move in very male circles (and, let’s not twist too far - she still does). I still think more could have been done with her but she and Isobel and Dale were all very welcome.

While I think Liv was sidelined this season, I think Clive felt more backseat this season - but he did have his own storyline and more than a few fun moments as well as continuing to. And Ravi is love. If you don’t love Ravi there’s something fundamentally wrong with you on a soul deep level,

But I do think both Mama Leone and Michelle were very poorly treated and ill used - both characters deserved more and were reduced to plot devices.

It’s season 4 and we still have pretty much erasure of LGBTQ people which is beyond poor.

Next season is the last season of iZombie which I’m kind of disappointed about but I also understand. In some ways I think it was a mistake to make zombies public and numerous. I actually think it was a mistake to introduce a whole army of zombies with Fillmore Graves in the first place as it irreparably changed the feel and tone of the whole show - and they’re not faced with bringing it to a conclusion or radically changing the show