iZombie: Killer Queen


Clive tries to ignore the newest weirdness and do his job

Things are both ratcheting up and winding down as the end of iZombie comes closer and closer. They once again manage to balance an entertaining murder of the week and the major plotlines moving forward. My only major complaint about the episode is that, while it fit the show perfectly, “Killer Queen” makes me think of the Queen song, which, of course, this had nothing to do with. I’d have liked a nod to it at least, but maybe it was a rights issue.

iZombie rarely does cliffhangers, but they did last time. Liv and Ravi got trapped in Martin’s basement, and discovered a cage full of Romeros. I’ve always wondered how that kind of thing works. How, exactly, do you get a big steel cage/jail cell built in your basement without attracting attention? Even if you have all the workmen on your side or kill them after, that’s a lot of odd materials going in to a residential home. At any rate, Martin realizes he’s had unwelcome visitors, and Liv and Ravi do something desperate to escape. Not managing to catch, or even identify, the intruders, Martin calls for the place to be abandoned. This is not going to help the father/daughter dynamic with Liv and Martin.

The murder of the week gets setup and happens in short order, with a horrified discovery of the body. Safe back at the morgue, Ravi exalts over having an original sample of the Utopium that started the entire zombie issue (something else Martin lied about). There’s banter about the Holy Grail and who is which part, and then Ravi goes back to blaming himself about the now five missing Freylich kids. He hopes to be able to send this sample to Charlie at the CDC and get a cure mass-produced. Clive comes in to discuss the murder, the odd weapon of choice, and Liv’s off to bake another special meal and go through another major personality shift. Since the victim was a drag queen (hence the title) and the deed was done in a drag club, you know this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Many of Liv’s comments this week get backed up by the various characters connected to that industry, and she gives Clive a lot of smug looks, starting with her outfit choice and going forward. With the usual colorful outbursts from Liv, Clive interviews the club manager to start getting the lay of the land around the victim and the club. Liv overhears something interesting about another case, makes a few connections, and sets up the unlikely team of Cavanaugh and Ravi to run down something unrelated to the main case, but very important.

The case Ravi and Cavanaugh are working ends up having some business impact on Blaine, who is having a rotten run of luck lately, but that might be karma catching up with him. He gets some expected bad news from his financial manager, and Don wanders through all atwitter about his upcoming wedding. Blaine tosses out several good lines and sends his newest thug out to line up more buyers, since Crybaby Carl has gone the way of so many of Blaine’s employees.

Clive and Liv interview Gary, the victim’s partner in the act and former co-owner of the club. Gary is a font of gossip, apparently honest about his own bad business choices, and points them to a rival drag queen who was trying to buy the club. We never do get a real name, but apparently they go by “Bitchkraft.” I suspect Clive spent a lot of this episode rolling his eyes. Since the only way to make contact is attending a performance, we know where Clive and Liv are going that night. Ravi sets up a special meal for Major and then asks for his help running down the lead he got from his case with Cavanaugh. Hearing what’s at stake, Major agrees.

Liv checks in at the Renegade safehouse, supposedly to pick up a coat, but mostly to let us see another plot involving Riley the plant from Martin’s organization, Graham their blackmailed accomplice, and some new characters. Liv and Clive’s night out goes as expected, with an interview proving this queen earned her name, and a critique of the act, as well as some unusual evidence. Major gets Ravi’s plan going, playing his part well and getting to use some of the cool toys he’s so happy about from Filmore-Graves. Which bring something interesting to mind: F-G is paying for brain smuggling, training, arming, and paying their troops, and acting as a backup police force for the city. Who is paying them?

Enzo complains about the way Martin is doing things, obnoxious even without the cape and with his accent toned down. Liv and Clive interview Bitchkraft again, and Liv gets a vision. Bitchkraft’s reaction makes me think there are no zombies in that one’s life. Liv and Bitch actually team up briefly to work something out, and then they get another clue from a cop I don’t think we’ve seen before. Major and Ravi go into action, in the grand action show style of not having backup or much of a plan. Major outlines what’s going to happen, Ravi of course ignores the “stay here” part, and they both make some important discoveries and do some “liberating.” This, too, has an effect on Blaine’s business, and his flailing around for a way out leads to a discovery that both impresses and annoys him.

Clive has done some good detective work, and he and Liv go arrest the actual killer. There’s an impassioned defense of their actions and an admission, and an assumption about the future that doesn’t sound right to me. Liv gets called in for the next body (are she and Ravi really the only medical examiners in Seattle, New or Original?) and eventually works out who this is and the connection to her other job. While she goes to deal with that, Don’s wedding has an unexpected outcome with some really murky possibilities about what actually happened.

Reilly’s infiltration team gets to their target, and it’s not at all what you’d expect at first. Thinking about it, though, there are several reasons Martin might want people in this particular place. As it turns out later, everything I thought of here was wrong, but it was a damn clever plan. Liv goes to talk to the person connected to her latest body, and learns several disturbing things. Furious, she calls Martin and demands he stop the scheme, which he explains in supervillain manner, but a lot nicer. Enzo overhears all this and decides it’s time for a coup, but he doesn’t know about Martin’s unique defense he’s come up with. Things go badly as a horrified Liv can only watch over video chat. I do not see any way at all for Liv to stop this scheme at this point, and it could literally change the world, or at the very least the country.

What I liked: This show has always had great writing, and this is no exception. Rose McIver’s many new personality traits over the years show she has a lot of range, and they are almost always fun to watch. I feel bad, as I so often do, for Clive suffering through all this, but the man is an amazing detective. He’s working the field a bit too much considering his new position, but that could be due to an overall personnel shortage. Major and Ravi were great. I dislike Martin and his plan, but it was fairly brilliant.

What I didn’t: I get not everyone needs to be in every episode, but these characters are so intertwined personally and professionally that, for example, it feels odd when we not only don’t see but don’t get a mention of Peyton this week. As I said, I’m suddenly wondering how Fillmore-Graves is keeping their doors open. I presume she was cut for pay/pacing reasons, but just as weird as Peyton’s absence is the lack of mention of either Dale or Michelle.

They are really setting the stage for the end here. I will admit I have several ideas how all this is might end, and no clue which, if any, are more likely. I’ll give this episode a 4 out of 5. We only have two left.