Where to begin unpacking the baggage in this episode? There’s just so much . . . wrong. The writers’ attention span is notoriously short sometimes, but this episode displays troubling ways they can and will derail this show. If the sexist leanings in the emotional subplots don’t get kicked to the wayside, iZombie will end up in hot water with fans. Surely I’m not the only one ready to throw a skull through the screen during pretty much every Ravi scene for the last four episodes. His fixation on Peyton’s personal life isn’t even the biggest problem with the script this week. How more insane can it get after he snapped at Blaine?
Wag the Tongue Slowly:
Review for iZombie 304
by A. Zombie
This review discusses adult content.
Fasten your seatbelts. The muck is deep on this path.
Let’s just start with the case. A lot of the seriously harmful language toward women comes in during the latter half of the investigation when Clive and Liv bring in coworkers harassed by Cheryl, the office gossip monger who accidentally overdosed from Utopium-laced yogurt. While under the influence of Chatty Cathy, Liv has one vision. It’s a scene from an adult film outing coworker Rhonda as a porn star. That wasn’t the first time the character had been outed; in the backstory, Cheryl exposed Rhonda by sharing her films with the entire company—likely via an illegal download so Rhonda didn’t even profit from the sales. Yeah. Okay, no. That’s not a quirky plot point to exploit for some cheap giggles when The Guys find out the case involves porn. For sex workers who are outed, it’s rarely something they can just brush off. The stigma behind the work instantly pollutes their new work environment. They’re almost expected to perform in some sick corner of their coworkers’ minds. For someone who may want to move past that stage of their life with a clean slate, outing means uprooting and finding a fresh place to start life again. Rhonda doesn’t even react to the second outing, this time to the police and morgue crew, in a believable way. She fluffs her chest and draws focus to her body, indicating that the attention thrilled her in a way. There’s the performance I mentioned, used this time to, I don’t know, talk her way out of the cops looking at her movies? It makes no sense for a former sex worker whose been outed twice in professional settings to wave it off with a flirt. Frustrated? Yes. Angry. Totally. And I don’t buy that crud excuse that she’s hiding her part in the prank-gone-wrong. It’s careless writing which put the character in such a horrible position. They could have done literally anything else when Rhonda formulated a comeback to Clive’s questioning, but by choosing the exploitive route, they’ve failed to uphold the safety of women foremost. The week before Liv traipses down Domme Road, writers demonstrate how much of a train wreck it’ll be by failing to handle Rhonda’s story with any consideration for sex workers as humans.
Then there’s Ravi. At this point the character has to go, or the writers need a good talking to about how to stop enabling awful male behavior by depicting it through a character who used to have a moral compass. They’re obsessed with Peyton’s sex life since Liv isn’t having any and it’s not good television. I pity these women who were brought onto a show which could be so unique, but the story lines written for them are the same two or three plots we see for women in most entertainment. And now Ravi has a terminal case of creepy guy syndrome. If Ravi were a real man, no woman in his social circle would date him at this point in his life. He’s fixated on Peyton’s sex life, without any consideration for her feelings, and fueled by his righteous indignation that she dare sleep with anyone else. Ravi publicly humiliated Peyton and blackmailed Blaine to test a serum he didn’t know would work or kill the guy. He’d rather get drunk and wallow in his sense of betrayal than help a friend do what could possibly be his last mission before he loses his memory. Sleeping with a woman Ravi hates is more preferable than a heartfelt conversation to clear the air with Peyton, but it’s her fault for catching him in the aftermath of the act. The topper is the instant Ravi heard there is an adult star under investigation by their team, he’s practically a walking cartoon penis. Obsession comes hard and fast, and after Ravi binge watches hours of Rhonda’s films, he’s rearing to get his stalk on. The audacity of the writers lies in that they felt no guilt over Ravi stalking a woman who’d been endlessly harassed by the deceased and her coworkers, only for the police to dredge it up again. Yes, Cheryl died from Rhonda’s actions. It was reckless to prank someone with drugs. No one should ever be dosed without consent. That doesn’t give writers license to treat a sex worker with so much disrespect, though. She’s still a human, not a physical embodiment of all sexuality and its perceived evils.
In other matters, Major finally has a solid lead on Natalie. He’s also too close to death for Ravi’s comfort. With that in mind, the dynamic duo band together and bumble through tracking Osborne Oates—some scum-sucking jerk who apparently is way into human trafficking. Through him they find a scary as hell security guard, but most importantly, Natalie’s hideout. There’s a hitch in the plan. Well, other than Major having nothing left to lose and making rash decisions right and left. Natalie won’t leave. She refuses to endanger Major. His last ditch effort to help is to give her his syringe with the cure, plus a warning about the memory loss. While he does escape Natalie’s guard squad, he’s likely heading straight into another mess when his zombie squad deploys on its first mission the next day.
Clive and Liv do make progress with the anti-Z message board. They track a local gun range owner who piques their interest with his posts, and the zombie-heavy advertising for his business. The plot strands tangle again, almost wonderfully so, when Harley Jones turns out to be brother to the Max Rager employee who, literally, lent Clive and Liv a hand at the doomed party. Jones is pretty much who you think he’ll be. White. Not in great shape, but large enough to be threatening. Mouth runs off without his brain fully engaging. The only difference between Jones and other crackpot racists is he has insider information about zombies and poses an actual threat. Despite that, he says he’s not the one who pulled the trigger on Wally’s family. I believe him. He seems to type to brag about horrific decisions. And now I’m going to throw up my eyeball pudding at that thought.
Next week, Domme Brain. I’m honestly not looking forward to it.