iZombie 4x05 "Goon Struck"
I have to admit, I was a little nervous going into this season with some of the directions iZombie was going. In the past, the show has struggled to merge its lighthearted procedural side with its overarching, world building plotlines, and I was worried that the “case of the week” format I love so much would end up bogging down some of the more ambitious stories that iZombie was taking on. We’re still in the first part of the season, but I’ll say that I felt like all the elements of this season dovetailed in a really satisfying way in this episode, and it makes me excited for what’s in store.
A Fillmore Graves inspector visits Liv and Ravi’s morgue, explaining to them and Clive that three zombies and one human have been killed. The inspector supposes it’s the work of the Dead Enders gang, but Clive suspects it’s a professional hit. All will be revealed, of course, when Liv consumes the brain of the human — a Canadian hockey player named Gordie. The second Liv serves up the brains as poutine, it only gets increasingly Canadian from there.
Liv laces up and starts viciously zipping around the ice, slamming into Gordie’s teammates while she questions them. Clive and Ravi look on from the bleachers, proud and amused. At first, it seems like charging the hockey players is more for Liv’s enjoyment than actually being productive police work, until it sparks a vision. Liv sees Gordie and his teammate Patch getting into a physical fight.
The bring him in for questioning, and he admits that he’s a zombie, too. Patch claims Gordie was his best friend, but seems unconcerned about solving his murder. “It’s Chinatown,” he says, referring to a film noir about a corruption so absolute that all hope is lost. Patch is quickly ruled out as a suspect, however, when Liv has another vision of Blaine shooting Gordie. Liv excitedly tells Ravi that if they can get Blaine to admit to these murders, they could finally put him away for good. While interrogating him, Blaine accidentally lets it slip that he was at Renegade’s laundromat. Liv puts it together that Patch and Gordie were working for Renegade, but she’s confused why Blaine targeted them. Wasn’t Renegade creating more customers for Blaine? Patch points out that Blaine and Chase Graves are actually in cahoots, and suddenly everything falls into place.
Liv rushes back to the precinct, just as Clive and Peyton are being forced to let Blaine go. The Fillmore Graves inspector called the mayor’s office, claiming he solved the crime, so they won’t be able to put Blaine away. Liv laments to Ravi about the state of New Seattle. She’s witnessed so much corruption firsthand this season, but none of it is going to stick. Liv started out solving crimes so she could do something good after she became a zombie. But in these new times, it’s not enough anymore.
She’s not the only one feeling that way. Peyton helps a starving zombie bus driver keep his job, but it results in a horrific incident she could not have even imagined — the bus driver passed out from hunger and crashed the bus. When he came to, the dead passengers sent him into a frenzy and another passenger shot him in self defense. Ravi reassures that the tragedy wasn’t her fault. Fillmore Graves isn’t solving the starvation problem fast enough. The brain tubes are scarce and diluted, and it’s causing issues that are making zombie and human relations even worse. The timing couldn’t be more terrible, because Fillmore Graves is desperate for a show of strength because a general from the Department of Defense is threatening to nuke Seattle.
On the outskirts of the city, Don E and Major are taking a road trip. At first it seems like they are leaving Seattle, but it turns out they are actually headed back in, with a young woman named Sloane. As they are waiting for smugglers, Sloane overdoses and Major has to turn her into a zombie to keep her alive. When she’s delivered to Fillmore Graves, Chase reveals that her father is General Mills, and he plans to use Sloane as leverage against her father’s intimidation.
Just when you think this man can’t sink any lower, Chase’s team points out that he made creating new zombies a capital offense and pressures him to follow through. He has to execute Renegade. Chase clearly is uncomfortable with this, but this was all his idea in the first place! Chase delivers her death sentence: public execution by guillotine. Renegade breaks my heart when she whispers to Chase that she’s not ready to die. Chase looks guilty as sin, but he feels like he’s doing what needs to be done. The crowd screams, both in support and disgust. Liv and her friends arrive, and they look on in horror as Renegade is executed.
Liv makes eye contact with Major, who is there as Fillmore Graves security, and he seems distressed to see her there. How has Major fallen so far? As he gains more and more of Chase’s trust, he’s starting to lose his soul. It’s hard to see him on the other side of this issue, and even harder to see how he justifies his position in all of this. It’s only going to get tougher based on the decision Liv makes next.
She taps Patch and tells him to round up Renegade’s people. They’re going to pick up where she left off. I felt such a thrill to hear Liv say this. As much as I love all the crazy antics and all the brain swings, sometimes Liv has such a lack of agency in her own story. To see her take charge like this feels overdue and exciting. It’s the level up she’s been needing. I hope New Seattle is ready, there’s a new coyote in town.
- I’ll never be over how Liv pulled out an envelope labeled “one of these should work — Ravi” and that envelope was full of teeth. Can you tell these people work in a morgue? Can you tell it’s been approximately zero days since there has been office nonsense?
- Why don’t we call Clive “Babs” all of the time?
- This week Rose McIver did a Canadian accent on top of an American accent, and I really just have to give her major props for that.
- I love that Clive got moments with Ravi and Peyton this week. Sometimes he feels a little more isolated from the cast, which is a shame because Malcolm Goodwin has chemistry with literally everyone.
- I’m very intrigued by Patch’s character, and if IMDb is to be believed, we’ll be seeing him for the rest of the season *shady eyes emoji*
iZombie returns on Monday, April 9 at 9/8c on The CW.