iZombie: Cape Town

iZombie

This week we enter the midseason finale of iZombie with an episode that makes it look like the rest of the CW’s superhero lineup is leaking. At night a young woman is being chased by two creeps and a masked and caped man swoops in to save her by fighting them both off. His skills are certainly wanting and although it seems as though they may get the best of him, he overtakes them in the next moment and rather ridiculously stands up in classic superhero fashion to announce that he is The Fog and he’s thick with justice. Before we get anywhere close to a DC spin-off, however, we cut to the following day where “The Fog” is discovered by a sanitation worker dead in a dumpster.

Picking up from last week, Major and Liv are having it out about the sexts from Gilda/Rita. It seems as though in the interim, Liv has waited til morning to come clean with Major but she rightfully told him everything — even the creepy unlocking his phone using his fingerprint stuff that was more thanks to the stalker brain she was on last week than not, let’s hope — which he does not appreciate. Major makes decent points and he’s more or less right on most counts of the ex-girlfriend side of things but him shaming Liv hardcore that he’s of course telling her the truth are pretty brutal considering the other things at play this season. They both don’t realize that the girl in question — Gilda or Rita — is playing them both simultaneously however, so while that is it’s own betrayal to be discovered it’s not so much a secret as another shoe left to drop. Ravi apologizes for interrupting round three thousand plus but they have a body to get to.

Clive knows that the mugging we saw The Fog preventing earlier in the episode was successful since the victim was down at the station still looking over mugshots when the body was found. So he thinks that maybe one of the two criminals went back to finish the job and it got the would-be superhero killed. Ravi is upset that he didn’t even know about the real-life vigilantism going on in Seattle. The great thing that slowly becomes clear here is that Liv with these brains is going to be a show in and of itself. Clive shows up to let them know that the criminals were in fact both in the system — as part of the Boss syndicate — so their lead is strong to find them. They find Stacey Boss in a Santa suit smiling with children and it’s intensely menacing. He claims not to recognize either men and asks them to be on their way. Liv sees a flash of another superhero getting in a fight with The Fog and they decide to try other avenues before coming back at Boss without more evidence of his involvement.

We take our first trip back to see Blaine at Shady Plots in a while, but only end up there long enough for Blaine to bring the car around. Apparently, one of his lackeys brought a dying guy — the bleeding out from mortal wounds kind of dying — to get emergency treatment. Blaine is none too thrilled especially considering who the mystery man is and in turn zips them all over to the morgue where he demands help. It’s another refreshingly intense glimpse into Ravi in action as both he and Liv rush to try and help him from dying. Liv is doubtful that he’ll make it through any major surgery without a proper emergency staff but Blaine reminds her there’s a quicker fix that only requires her to lift a fingernail. When they refuse, he tells them that this is their last chance to find the tainted Utopium from the boat party, thus their only shot at a cure. While skeptical that’s even the truth, Liv very grimly scratches his throat and they make plans to meet back up for that Utopium later.

Getting rid of Blaine in time for him to miss Clive showing back up, Liv goes down to meet the other hero at the station. They ask why the two were in a fight and this hero — rather depressingly self-titled “Hashtag” — claims it was because he heard that The Fog was putting together a team of heroes to take on something big and he wasn’t invited to join, which was a huge marketing opportunity missed. Someone who named themselves Hashtag seems the type to take marketing very serious. They bring in the full team and Liv hysterically compares Clive to Jim Gordon (Clive wants no part of this) and assures them that having a cop who likes you is a good idea.

Back with Blaine and crew, the newly zombified and totally not dead guy adjusts to being alive. Blaine gives him a rundown of what it’s like to be a zombie and although he’s rusty with the speech, it goes over pretty well. After Liv is finished at the scene, she and Ravi head over to check on him. She’s thanked for saving his life and when she tries to tell him to hold off and wait a few weeks before saying that, she gives a peace offering of hot sauce on his first batch of brains. Our new guy, Drake, explains that unlike Blaine promised his lead on where to find the Utopium is a little less than one hundred percent. He had a friend who used to deal for Stacey Boss but a while back he called him from the trunk of a car sure that he was about to be killed — only he and a colleague were smuggling the Utopium out of the country and had swallowed tons of the stuff — the last thing Drake heard from them was they were near a water tower and gun shots. Based off of Blaine’s intel, Boss is still looking for the Utopium himself, so they didn’t realize at the time it was inside either guy. So somewhere, out there, are two bodies full of tainted Utopium buried near a water Tower.

Liv has a flash of the gun shipment that the superhero team told them about earlier and rushes off to inform Clive. Although he’s thrilled at the lead, he has his own, one of the muggers was diabetic and he put a uniform on his aunt’s place since she’s a nurse and the mugger might try to bypass getting insulin from his normal sources since he’s in hiding. Liv is ready to storm the scene and prevent the guns from getting into the wrong hands but Clive tells her there’s protocol to follow. He turns his back for a second and she’s gone.

In one of the crazier and darker plots in a while, Major is back on the hunt for a new zombie to kill. This time it’s a pretty woman who he chats up at a bar. Later, when he’s followed her home and watched her warmly decorate her house for Christmas — refill her bird feeder — he slips in through an open window upstairs. It’s a very creepy scene that makes the murderous Major seem especially sinister combined with the chipper holiday music as well. When he gets down the hallway to find her, she’s got a gun to her head and is about to commit suicide before he knocks it from her grasp and tells her who he is. She tells him her story: former high-end escort who loved her job until one of her Johns infected her with zombism. Now she craves brains and was told to keep getting them she has to sleep with his high-end zombie clients — she might not be talking about Blaine, but odds are she is — which is extremely gross. She explains that before everything she traveled, she screened clients, and loved what she did. Her savings are gone and she has sex for food. She spends her days being controlled by a pimp or being controlled by a brain — either way, she’s done with it — which Major begrudgingly seems to understand better than he has earlier this season. Liv can’t control her brain intake and that’s not her fault. Now that she’s explained herself, she politely asks for her gun back or wonders if Major would like to do the honors instead.

On the lightest of notes in contrast to that, we have Liv all suited up and ready to save the day. She spectacularly sneaks into the warehouse where the guns are being held and takes out the guys in charge, one by one, and frees a woman who has been captured and tied up.

It’s the same woman from earlier at the mugging, but the mugger who Clive has the lead on contradicts his earlier story. She’s no innocent victim and instead was behind the mugging in the first place — over $50,000 in winnings at a poker tournament hosted by the biggest bads in town — the “muggers” were working security and trying to repay Stacey Boss for screwing up by catching her with the money. Liv lets her go not overhearing Clive’s interrogation since she jumped the gun and went in without backup and the woman is seconds from putting a bullet between her eyes since they went red during the first fight and it’s obviously nothing normal for anyone let alone a criminal. Before the other woman can shoot a knocked down Liv, however, Stacey Boss shows up and shoots the former kidnapped woman in the chest.

Major argues against shooting the zombie hooker because she could still stand to get the cure and it turns out that you’d be right to assume that icy storage locker was meant to signify that he isn’t killing those people and is instead waiting it out until they can all be brought back to life. Probably should’ve been doing that with everybody from the get-go but that’s rather here nor there. They share a touching moment where she thanks him for everything but wants to make sure that if there ends up being no cure, she doesn’t want to come back at all. He agrees and puts her down for the deep sleep for now.

Liv wakes to find Ravi there to look at the body of her would-be murderer and informs her that Stacey Boss is downtown testifying that he was simply protecting Liv from being killed. All the guns have vanished and when Liv interrupts the interrogation and tells Clive that there were hundreds of thousands of dollars in a briefcase and loads of guns all over the place, there was nothing there by the time the cops arrived. Stacey warmly informs them that the only crime was Liv’s trespassing, which he won’t press charges on because it’s the holidays and he’s a nice guy. They have to let him walk and it’s revealed that Drake is actually Stacey’s right hand.

When they leave, Clive lays into Liv for blowing the case. If they had followed protocol there is at least the possibility that they could’ve caught the guy. Clive apologizes for treating her too much like a cop since it obviously went to her head and now he needs to end this partnership. Liv pleads with him to reconsider but he refuses.

Liv returns home completely destroyed and Major is there with cider to apologize for their earlier tiff, saying that he understands now that she goes through a lot with each brain and he’ll try to be empathetic. He’s been researching synthetic brains in the meantime and wonders if that’s a way for her to do all of this without the constant roller coaster ride of emotions. She is furious at him albeit sadly because there is no world in which Liv will be eating brains and not utilizing that ability to save lives. Major wonders if that’s her or the brains talking and that adds fuel to the fire since she assures him it’s her and he still presses her that he’ll never be totally sure. In a sad conclusion, Liv explains that being a zombie has changed her and he loved the woman she was while only tolerating the woman she is. The truth is, according to Liv, they belong with their own kind since this is pretty much how she will always be as a zombie and he will be as a human. They (mostly) amicably decide that perhaps this means breaking up is the best thing to do and although Major says that Ravi will find a cure and this won’t be the way it is forever, Liv seems a bit less optimistic.

The episode ends with another of Ravi’s test rats reverting to zombism and using a metal detector to hunt down the buried bodies in the bleak but resilient effort to keep some hope alive.

Stray Observations:

  • Kind of sweet that Ravi let them go three thousand and seven rounds fighting without saying anything.
  • “Were you thinking I would lay the body bag out and wait for The Fog to roll in?” Oh, Ravi.
  • Stacey Boss doesn’t want the kids to find out that he’s “not really Santa” and wow, that’s creepy as hell.
  • There’s such a nice parallel to the police scene with a fellow cop walking in on the interrogation room filled with superheroes in costume (why they’re in costume is beyond me but perhaps because it adds to the absurdity) compared with not just other CW shows but the very saturated superhero media content we’re currently awash in. This is comedically ridiculous but in many ways it’s more realistic than some of those shows since this is likely how real world crime in our real world lives would actually be treated — at arm’s length with wide eyes. The show also takes another good swing at this since they are set in Seattle and hipster superheroes who work at juice bars during the morning hours are all the rage.
  • Thank you, show. Although heavy-handed to use a self-proclaimed “zombie hooker” as the in, it’s incredibly refreshing to have the role of agency in these zombie turns finally get called out more directly beyond just the scratching. Even darker considering Liv scratched not only a new person this episode, but Major previous to this. Consent is important! Ask for it.
  • Eddie Jemison as Stacey Boss is truly a delight. Never would’ve thought he could be so maniacally creepy, but boy is he always.

Photo Courtesy of The CW

About Maura Kate

Maura Kate is a twenty something from the “generic M. Night Shyamalan exterior shot” area near suburban Philadelphia. She co-hosts a podcast called The Televoid (@thetelevoid), where she watches all the worst episodes of TV so you don’t have to. She tweets from @maurae.