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iZombie 4x11 "Insane in the Germ Brain" Review

iZombie 4x11 "Insane in the Germ Brain" Review

During this week’s episode of iZombie, everything fell apart. And goodness, was it painful. Maybe we should start with Clive and Bozzio, who have been struggling all season to make their open relationship work. I had been wondering for some time who would finally pull the plug, since they were struggling to cope and to communicate about their arrangement. Upon rewatching the video where Liv beats a suspect with a fish, Dale rewinds back the tape a little too far and hears the conversation where Clive expresses to Liv his doubts about their relationship. Dale invites Clive into her office and breaks up with him. Both of them look shattered, but in the end they know it needs to be done. Dale even drags out the “I met someone else” lie.

It’s that kind of awful break up where you know you love the other person, but you know you can’t give them everything they need. Maybe if we ever find a cure for zombieism, these two can find their way back to each other. I’m bummed we didn’t get many lighthearted and cute moments between them this season, and they weren’t able to showcase the electric chemistry that Jessica Harmon and Malcolm Goodwin have. Clive falls into bed with Michelle, the rookie he’s been flirting with on and off. He seems really unsure about the whole thing, but Michelle always seems to make him feel comfortable at the moments where he’s the most uptight, so I’m willing to give her a fair chance. I just hope he’s not rushing into anything he’s not ready for, since his relationship with Bozzio was so intense, even before she became a zombie.

On the other side of the spectrum, Patch and Liv still seem very cozy, and Ravi and Peyton are taking more serious steps. Ravi meets Peyton’s parents, which is a total delight. Peyton’s father needles at Ravi a little bit, and he politely but firmly sticks up for himself and Peyton. It made me cheer out loud.

Peyton is making a trip to D.C., which is certainly something to write home about because not many people get to leave New Seattle with official government permission. Since she’s acting as mayor, she means to improve relations before things get out of hand with this nuclear bomb rumor. Peyton’s parents encourage her to stay in D.C. instead of coming back to Seattle, and Ravi backs them up, which was probably a very hard thing for him to do. Their goodbye kiss made me pretty emotional, because it seemed so final. I’m a little worried about Peyton and her trip, especially because Angus and his congregation might make things a little more complicated.

Don E (on a music video director’s brain) sets Angus up so he could live stream his sermons. Angus quickly goes viral. He spouts more violent rhetoric against humans and how zombies are superior, which seems to incite violence on both sides. One of Tucker’s old human friends shows up at the church, seemingly to assassinate Angus, but Tucker tackles him just in time. A member of the choir is shot through the head. The congregation, predictably, begins to feast on the attacker. Angus asks Tucker who the boy was to him, and Tucker shrugs and says, “Food.” If Brother Love’s sermons start to leak outside of Seattle, it might not bode well for the city’s national image. If Washington D.C. catches a live stream or two, they might not feel like negotiating with Peyton. I’m crossing my fingers that she can whip out those clever lawyer arguments to save them all.

Another relationship with a huge tipping point was Major and Chase Graves. Chase has asked many things of Major this season, but the two big ones were to take care of his squad, and to befriend Russ Roche in order to take down a black market operation. Russ Roche and his Blue Cobra associate AJ tie Major up to test his loyalty. They make him eat a brain that compels to him to confess that he has been spying for Fillmore Graves the entire time. Before AJ can react and kill Major, Fillmore Graves springs their attack on the Blue Cobras.

To celebrate a mission actually going right for once, Chase throws a party, which is fun for all about two seconds. Jordan and Captain Seattle show up and tell Major that Russ Roche got possession of a weapon and escaped. Chase demands to know who the weapon belonged to, and Jordan admits it was hers. In an incredibly impulsive and cruel move, even for Chase Graves, Chase shoots Jordan several times in the chest. Captain Seattle retaliates and shoots Chase in the neck, and then Chase delivers a fatal blow to Captain Seattle’s forehead. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see Major run over to the kids that he’s grown to love and train. He cradles Jordan as a gobsmacked Chase stumbles away.

It was Chase himself who asked Major to take care of these kids and turn them into good soldiers, and it’s been the only aspect of Major’s Fillmore Grave’s storyline that has worked well for me. Chase giveth and he taketh away. The audacity. I’m certain this will be what makes Major turn back to the light and realize that Fillmore Graves won’t have his back like he thought it would. I’m so sad it came at the expense of the children he took under his wing.

 You’re the worst, Chase

You’re the worst, Chase

Speaking of inevitable ends and sad children feels, this week’s episode gave a dramatic and moving send off for Isabel. Sensing her end is near, she begins to act out. Whenever Ravi or Liv left her alone, they’d come back and find Isabel playing dead. Isabel is trying to get a cathartic laugh out of them, as well as deal with her own emotions about her limited mortality, but the gang doesn’t appreciate her humor as much as she hopes. Liv manages to smuggle Isabel’s mom into New Seattle so they could be together — it wasn’t easy; she had to impersonate Peyton to pull it off! — and Ravi offers to be her “personal genie” and teach her how to drive. When Ravi shows up in a bicycle helmet for their lesson, Liv is comforting Isabel’s sobbing mother on the couch. After giving us false starts all episode, Isabel finally passes away. She lays peacefully as Ravi has a heartfelt moment alone with her.

Rahul Kohli gives an absolutely beautiful performance. Not only did I feel like I was watching a father say goodbye to his daughter, but also a doctor who feels like he has failed his patient. It was gut-wrenching. As they slide Isabel into the morgue drawer, Patch tells Liv and Ravi he filmed something he wants them to see. In the clip, Isabel asks Patch how Liv and Ravi will react when she “bites the big one.” She gives them a sweet goodbye, quotes Zombie High, and blows them a kiss. “I love you guys, and I always will.”

This moment really drove home how quickly Isabel found her way into Liv and Ravi’s hearts, and how I’m already going to miss her hanging around the morgue. She gave our characters something new to love, something new to fight for, and she injected such an energy and lightness into this half of the season. In a show about the undead, Isabel reminded us about the beauty and desire for a full life.

I already miss her, and I wouldn’t be mad if she miraculously came back as a zombie. Wouldn’t it be great if we got a call back to her first meeting with Ravi, when he hears her through the morgue drawer? I’m holding out a little hope for her resurrection. One of the last things she did before she died was gift her brain to Liv so that she would live on for a little while, so we have that at least to look forward to.

 Isabel and her mother are able to reunite one final time with Liv and Patch’s help

Isabel and her mother are able to reunite one final time with Liv and Patch’s help

With each passing episode, iZombie kicks it up a little higher. Chase becomes just a little more paranoid, and Angus becomes a touch more erratic. Are Liv and her coyotes ready to go toe to toe with them?

Other thoughts:

  • The look of relief on Major’s face when he sees Jordan and Captain Seattle tugged on my heart a bit.
  • I’m so sad Major never got to interact with Isabel.
  • There was a murder and a brain this week but it felt like an incredibly strange afterthought. We could have done without it this week. And if Liv wasn’t on a germaphobe brain, she would have hugged Peyton goodbye.
  • Between calling out both Peyton’s father and Isabel, Ravi has really been showing his mature side. As much as I love goofy Ravi, a lot of this material feels like well-earned growth and I love what Rahul Kohli has been bringing to it.
  • This episode had a lot of shipper and children feels. Who told iZombie they could have both at once?
  • I’m starting to get nervous about Patch’s videos. I know his personal goal is to make sure that everything is documented, but in the grand scheme of the show’s narrative, I wonder where they will take it.

iZombie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.

Haley's episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝🐝

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