iZombie: Thug Death

Thug-Death

Ravi gets a makeover that no one wanted.

 

When I first heard about the iZombie show, I had some doubts. Something or other about it interested me enough to watch the first episode, and I was hooked. I’ve seen them all since, and I’m sorry this is the final season. One thing I have to give them credit for; this show changes their status quo more than almost any other show I can think of, with the arguable exception of The Walking Dead. Even if it is for last time, I’m glad Liv and company are back.

The new season picks up six months after the last one, according to our handy subtitles. Seattle has been sealed off from the outside world since the zombie problem became public knowledge, and, if this gas station/convenience store is anything to go by, supplies are getting a bit thin. A clearly anti-zombie cashier chats/boasts/flirts with a woman who comes in, and finds out that nothing is going his way that night.

 

Checking in with main cast, we see that even Liv is having a few brain supply problems, and Ravi, with his bizarre side effect of his cure, steals her brain for the big character change of the week. Thumb-Breaker Barnes was not a nice man, and it’s a big switch for Ravi to be actually a bit intimidating. Most of the characters, used to brain side effects by now, shrug it off. Blaine, on the other hand, is living like a king, with lots of brains to spare, and the general rock-star life style. Don E and Candy are continuing to bicker, but that’s nothing new. Major drops by to hold Blaine accountable for the brain supply being light last week, and remind the crook his ability to keep Seattle’s zombies well-fed is all he’s got going for him. We also hear about a convenience store surveillance tape which shows some out of control zombies attacking a woman, which is bringing the life-challenged some serious bad press. The banter between Blaine and Major is good, but wisecracking repartee has always been something this series has excelled at.

 

Most of the good guys meet up in Dale Bazzio’s office, a task force formed to look into the video mentioned above. Ravi’s bizarre behavior is explained and dismissed, and there’s a truly odd rap/commercial from Blaine before they can view the video online. The difficulties they are facing include not only not knowing who the zombies were, but not being able to identify the victim. Hungry, raging zombies don’t leave a lot to go on. We see that Dale and Clive’s relationship has progressed in these six months before she gives him a mission that’s hard if not impossible in the current times. Clive, Ravi, and Liv go to get the original of the video, and meet up with a rabidly zombie-phobic human, who Ravi stares down. I guess his new persona has some uses. Reviewing the unedited footage, they make a new discovery.

 

At the Filmore-Graves offices, Major is going over applications for people who want to leave the city, and there are some odd reasons. Jordan, the soldier he’s been shepherding along for a while now, comes in with some interesting and disturbing news. On the flipside of the coin, Liv and Peyton are looking at pleas from various people wanting to get into the quarantined city in hopes that the zombism will cure their various medical conditions. Liv picks one after tearfully reviewing the video.

 

While we see Liv using Renegade’s elaborate tunnel network to give out some new assignments, Peyton is on tv with local lunatic Johnny Frost. Peyton is debating Dolly Durkins, a business owner and anti-zombie racist. Dolly is a very unpleasant woman. Outside Seattle, a new character pops up. Dr. Collier is a new hire at the CDC, and talks with the staff there about Ravi’s early work. Credit to the CDC, while they did fire Ravi for his initial paper on zombies, they’re working with him now, and Collier is apparently a big fan. In a very disjointed scene, Ravi deals with Collier for the first time, argues with a delivery man, and has a run-in with Blaine and his current head thug, Crybaby Carl. Ravi ends this by charging off after taking offense to something Frost did on tv.

Liv and Clive are going through the unglamorous but effective process of narrowing down leads on the missing woman from the van attack at Clive’s desk when Blaine strolls in. He’s as insufferable as ever, and effectively offers them a bribe to do what they’re already doing. That’s just bad business, Blaine. Peyton wraps up her interview with Annoying Woman, and Frost ends things under Ravi’s uncomfortable glare. Liv/Renegade’s operative Baron finds the person he’s been sent after, but there’s a big complication.

 

Ravi’s heated call to Peyton’s voicemail gets interrupted when Dr. Collier calls him again. For someone who seems to know a lot about zombies, she seems very ignorant of the personality shifts from eating brains. They science babble at each other for a while, and she ends up on a right, but dangerous, track. Ravi explains the problems this line of research could create, but she remains unconvinced. Liv comes in at the end of the call, during which Ravi and Thumb-Breaker’s personalities have been struggling for dominance, and compares it to Gollum vs Smeagol. Ravi is very worried about what Collier might do.

 

The plot takes a nasty twist when Dolly Durkins meets with a man at a food truck. His special order is clearly a code, and the questions she asks him give a pretty clear indication of what’s coming, even before he gets in a van with a very special cargo. Major, out on patrol, is trying to deal with reports of missing border agents when a soldier reports to him that there are people taking pictures of zombies at a “brain line” waiting for their meal and threatening to “out” the zombies by posting the pictures with as much biographical information as they can get. Major goes to take a look, bring his patrol with him.

 

Clive and Liv get a visit from a man who might be connected to the missing woman, and he gives a typically Seattle coffee request, getting an eyeroll from Clive. Major figures out what’s going on just a bit too late as the man from the food truck does something horrific but very believable in the modern day world. Clive and Liv get a lead, but the disaster we just saw pulls them away from following up on it.

 

Blaine has a very uncomfortable (for them) meeting with the five Border agents who have been on his payroll. Their sudden change of heart after the van video is what’s messing up Blaine’s pipeline. Blaine points out that he has honored his end of the agreement, and makes some very unsubtle threats. Most of them give in, but one resists loudly. Ravi and Collier work together to prevent a potential disaster via conference call with some other scientists. Major hears that four of the five missing Border agents have returned to work, and frowns when one of his aides thinks he was involved. Baron’s mission gets messed up by the kid’s complications and someone ratting them out. Liv and Clive finally get to follow up on their earlier lead, reminiscing about other times they’ve been in this location. They make a surprising discovery to end the episode with the three dreaded words “To Be Continued.”

 

What I liked: I missed this show. The banter was just as good as I remembered. It was an interesting change with Ravi, instead of Liv, not quite being himself. The toll the quarantine is taking on Seattle was pervasive and made a lot of sense. It’s always fun to see Johnny Frost, even if he was fairly restrained for him. The development with Dale Bazzio was an interesting one. Peyton and Liv are doing the best they can with being in charge of their respective groups.

 

What I didn’t: While Dolly Durkins is believable, I loathe her as a character. She typifies so much of modern politics, exaggerated only a bit. I know they have a short final season, but there was a lot going on here, and some of it felt rushed.

 

Still and all, I’m glad to see Liv and company again. I’ll give this a high 4 out of 5. These next twelve episodes are going to go too quickly.

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