iZombie 5x10 "Night in the Zombie City" Review
With just three episodes of iZombie left, we are inching closer and closer to the truth about the cure, and characters are going to more drastic measures as time ticks on.
For this week’s murder, a young sex worker and private eye detective are killed back to back. Liv eats the detective’s brain, bathing the episode in noir. Sad saxophones, light bars across the eyes, and long trench coats. A thunderstorm plays in the background for the whole episode, making every scene feel like a dark and stormy night. The power goes out in the station, giving it a 50’s black and white movie vibe. Bunny, the sex worker, was one of Candy’s girls, so the investigation naturally winds up at Don E Be Good’s. All signs point to the waitress, Jane, who ends up returning to the scene of the crime. Blaine confronts her near the bar, and right before Jane is about to shoot him, Crybaby comes in and knocks her out cold. Blaine eats her brain in hopes of finding out more, and he has a vision. The private eye detective had managed to secure a cure for Bunny, and Jane caught wind of it. Trying to steal the cure for herself, she killed both of them. Of course, getting another cure would be in Blaine’s best interest, and so he eats Jane’s brain in hopes to figure out where she stashed the cure.
Blaine and Liv cross paths at the private eye’s office while working on the case, but tensions finally boil over between the two when they are looking for the cure in the kitchen of Don E Be Good’s. Peyton gets Liv to come out drinking, and Peyton drowns her sorrows and delivers wobbly karaoke. The fun comes to an abrupt end when someone tells Peyton that she was a bad mayor. She tells him exactly what she thinks about that by sockin him right in the mouth. A huge bar fight breaks out. “Seriously? On karaoke night?” Don E moans. If only he knew the knockout, drag-out Liv and Blaine were having in the back. This is certainly not the first time that these two have come to fisticuffs, but this time it gets ugly. Crybaby intervenes again, with more intentions to kill. Right before he brings the bat down on Liv’s head, Clive comes to the rescue. Blaine throws Crybaby under the bus for Jane’s murder, which is what Blaine does, and Crybaby truly should not be shocked about it.
Peyton is also arrested. Poor girl is clearly having a hard time dealing with not being mayor anymore. Now that she’s off the hook for all of Seattle’s problems, what else does she have to do? “Did I ever tell you I wanted to be a paleontologist?” she tells Liv. “Seems hard to get fired from that job.” I hope in the next three episodes, Peyton can get her groove back, rather than taking up an extended stay in Margaritaville and getting arrested for bar fights.
Another character who has been under a lot of stress lately, as well as a new relationship, is Don E. In a bought of frustration, he calls the murders a “hassle” for business, which rubs Darcy the wrong way. Confused about what he said, Liv soothes him while sipping on hard liquor. “Dames got you dizzy, Don E. It’s what dames do.” He has a sweet moment with Candy, where she encourages him to get Darcy back, and it seems a little bit like a final goodbye. Candy has been an unsung hero of this series. She has never had a full plot on her own, unfortunately always at the mercy of the unethical men in her life. We aren’t often in tune with her thoughts and feelings, but she has been with us since the beginning. So when we see her steal the cure for herself and get on the back of a sexy motorcycle, I cheered out loud. Cue the Lucille Bluth “Good for her!” gif! Although it sets our heroes back, yet again ending an episode cure-less, I can’t help but feel like out of all the people to get one of the rare original cures, Candy deserves it the most. Be free, Candy!
Darcy agrees to speak to Don E, and she tells him that she was angry at his reaction to Bunny because his chief concern was finding a replacement for her. Darcy doesn’t have much time left, so she was worried that would be Don E’s reaction to her death as well. Don E has matured the most out of any character on this show, and so when he tells Darcy that he’s hardened by all the death in his life, but still loves her, it feels like a hard won, vulnerable moment from him. He asks Darcy to marry him, which was the perfect mix of corny and sweet. At first I was sure that we would see Darcy die by the end of the season, but I’m beginning to wonder if the show has a future for these two after all. If there’s any zombies standing after Liv and Martin’s showdown, that is.
Ravi wastes no time telling Liv the truth about her father, that he also, in fact, is Father of all Zombie-kind. In turn, she wastes no time confronting him about it. Not only is she angry that he withheld something so major, it also means he holds the key to the cure. He created the recipe for utopium that could be the solution to all their problems. He quickly tells her that he was high all the time in those days, so there’s no way he remembers the recipe. The audience knows this isn’t true, and it’s only a matter of time before Liv and the group find out. But not before Ravi lapses judgement a little and tells Martin he was testing rats with Max Rager, the energy drink that gives extreme psychological effects. When it’s paired with utopium, it turns people into zombies. Ravi explains that it stimulants the frontal cortex. Martin seems incredibly interested at this piece of information, and we found out later that Max Rager is the last piece of the puzzle that he needs to control his army.
At Fillmore Graves, Major is begging for a distraction from the negotiations with the government. His second gives him a note that the keycard system needs to be replaced. While she mentions that it’s “just boring stuff,” it turns disturbing fast. Major catches a janitor with a huge carton of Max Rager with two keycards. When Major tells him that he wants to ask him some questions, the janitor runs into a shower hook, impaling his brain rather than talk. When Ravi hears what the janitor was trying to steal, he brings up to Liv the conversation he had with Martin. Liv proposes sneaking into Martin’s house while he’s in an AA meeting, and boy do they hit the motherlode. Not only do they find the exact recipe from the night of the yacht party that created the first zombie outbreak, but they find the army too. Ravi pulls aside the curtain, hoping for an escape route, and finds a pack of Romeros staring back at him behind a cage.
Meanwhile, two of the weakest plots of the show finally meet each other and seem to resolve. As a little recap, Hi Zombie is the webseries that Peyton got fired for funding. The premise is two families move in next door to each other — one human, one zombie — and they root out all the stereotypes they have against each other. Every clip or scene we’ve seen of this show has been didactic and a little forced, but surely it was a plot device to build some kind of crucial bridge. The threat of nuclear warfare has been looming over New Seattle for quite some time now, and I mean a long time now. I understand this is a big decision, but it’s been stretched to the point of taking the wind out of the story’s sails a bit. I never actually believed that New Seattle would get nuked, and now we know it’s probably not going to. Why? All because of Hi Zombie! The chairman walks in on her grandson watching the show, and leans over to watch it with him for a while. Over the course of the evening, she has a change of heart about the zombie community. When it comes down to a vote on whether or not to nuke the town, she breaks the tie by voting no. “They have the capacity to become monsters” she says, but she can’t base her vote on “for fear for what they might become.” All of this is certainly not good enough for General Mills, who pays a phone call to our favorite local criminal, Dolly. These two make a toxic team up, for sure, but how will they factor in to the grand finale?
Ravi does an amazing noir detective monologue that I can only assume is based off Harrison Ford’s Bladerunner voiceover
Was it just me, or was there extra alcohol in this episode?
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” “You’re already dead.” It seems unbelievable to me this joke hasn’t been played yet
“We’re not talking about your book. By the book. My book.” I’m going to miss Malcolm Goodwin rolling with every brain swing. He’s exasperated by a brain nearly every week, but this one particularly got under his skin. He tells Liv she’s off the case until she eats a brain tube, but that certainly doesn’t stop her.
“That was just a love tap!”
I always feel frustrated when this show uses terribly dated language, like “hooker” and “junkie.” It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
“The classic lamp reveal.” Finally, a brain that matches Blaine for his dramatics.
Don E’s laugh when Peyton starts singing is pure iZombie
“We’re going to Don E Be Good’s.” “Good’s enough!” Again — so obvious but brilliant.
Haley’s episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝🐝
iZombie airs Thursdays at 9/8c on the CW.