Looking for Mr. Goodbrain (Part 1): Review for iZombie 312 by A. Zombie
Where to begin? Let’s just go for the jugular, shall we? Did anyone else get the impression Chase Graves intentionally dosed Liv with Katty Kupps’ brain? It’s no secret within the company about what, exactly, Liv does for the police department in order to solve murder cases. Chase obviously knew Kupps, and with no effort at all he could figure out why she was in town. He also must have figured out that the woman possessed absolutely no impulse control when it came to romantic encounters with strangers—were at the same hotel since her arrival and even the staff knew Kupps liked to entertain a new date every night. Long story short, Chase roofied Liv. Possibly on purpose. Liv talks herself out of sleeping with every other man Kupps’ brain drew her toward except Chase, and that’s because he manipulates her in the bar by playing flirtation games to keep her on her toes. Everything about the encounter screams date rape, down to Liv’s reaction once her adrenaline levels out after. But it’s okay, because Chase is a dog guy. Dog guys don’t dose zombie girls with brains with high sex drives.
I’m going to punch a wall because this episode is so frustrating.
Ravi finally, finally gets to act like the senior morgue staff member and is invited to sit in on interviews with the folks involved in Kupps’ current CDC investigation. He gets maybe thirty seconds to act like a professional, then Liv has a vision from Ravi and Kupps’ ill-timed tryst. Of course she did. Off the bat, Ravi is undermined by his sexual impulsiveness, and then keeps bragging about it for the entire episode. Then they just roll into Racist Old White Woman Land out of the blue. Yeah. No. Knock that crap off. It’s completely unnecessary. We know these people exist, but giving them screen time just to point out that your lead actor has brown skin is bull. You gave hate enough attention with the Truthers. Often writers fall into the trap of, “I’ll just show them how bad they look!” It’s not that easy to erase deep-rooted racism, folks. All you’re doing is advertising hate speech at this point. And for what? A laugh at the expense of the kindly father she railed against? Give me a break, already. Racist Granny #3 wasn’t necessary for the episode at all.
Baracus is in deep with Fillmore-Graves, but may not be the one ordering the executions, as Liv theorized last week. Either that or he’s one hell of an actor. While they all ponder how involved Baracus is in the D-Day preparations, and the murders to keep it all under wraps, Peyton has something else on her mind—a shiny new job as Baracus’ chief of staff. The gang tells her to take the offer, at the very least it’ll give them an inside man.
Natalie makes a comeback to give Major something to do other than mope on the couch after Chase Graves outs him as human and fires him on the spot. Like before, their scenes are a calm in the storm. The two just click in a way Major and Liv never did, and this new relationship is purely platonic until almost the end of this episode. Which makes the episode’s surprise ending just so much harder to watch. Major is outside with Justin when his farewell party is bombed. With Natalie inside.
Harley Johns has had quite a cruddy few days. Catches a zombie. Proves to some in the world there might be undead amongst them. Then zombies attack, and give him his dooming injury. The same zombies find his secret hideout, only to drug him and lock him in a freezer. The topper is when two other Truthers, including ex-guard Billy, break into the bunker. They defrost they guy, thinking he’s dead, and steal his beer. Probably the best part of Johns’ day is when he realizes delivery arrived just in time for breakfast. His hatred for zombies leads him to strap on a bunch of explosives. Johns is the one who blows up the party. Because we really needed a white terrorist act to round out this . . . morally questionable first half to the season finale.
Let’s just get next week over with. Maybe time away from the table will give the writers something other than racism and misogyny to lean on for plot points. But I’ll tell you right now, my patience with this stuff is wearing really thin.
Welcome to Murphytown Review for Z Nation 307 by A. Zombie
There’s a wolf hidden amongst Murphy’s flock. The Man makes his grand comeback, posing as a newcomer to town. That game lasts a heartbeat until Murphy spots the big, bald guy and has him brought in for a private audience. Things don’t progress as predicted, seeing as Murphy is distracted by his stomach. What I thought for sure would be a boot to the backside, turned into a trust exercise, capped off with a grey matter snack for the men. Funny, and disgusting. The chunks TM blows after the scene are, well, chunky. What a waste of a good meal. But he’s passed the test. The Man found his footing in Murphy’s organization less than an hour after entering the gate. Impressive. Also shows a huge, gaping hole in Murphy’s world domination scheme—his ego doesn’t account for his failing grip on humanity and reality. Instead of bringing in a known, trusted team member, he snags the new guy—who helped mow down an entire settlement of peaceful people—and gives him an easy way to manipulate Murphy to his will. After all, the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
The action in Spokane becomes a mental dance between The Man and Murphy. If TM gets his way, he’ll have Murphy on the road to Zona before sunset. Murphy just wants someone ruthless and non-judgmental to deliver brains for his meals. The Man makes a serious miscalculation, ending with the men in a tussle. Murphy handcuffs The Man, but it doesn’t last long. TM even takes the time to leave behind a message. It’s not long, but the meaning is crystal clear.
10k and Doc are picked up on the roadside like stray pups left in an abandoned shopping cart. Roberta’s team is whole once again, this time with an ace up their sleeve. If 10k can get over the nightmares and constant urges to express loyalty to Murphy, he should lead them to Spokane in no time. They’re not even that far away. There’s a problem in the plan. Lucy. She also has the potential in her blood to create a cure. Dr. Sun would have an easier time handling a child, as well. But they really do need to stop Murphy from amassing a larger army. Time to divide and conquer. Addy and Doc will get Lucy. Everyone else trudges on to Spokane.
They arrive just in time to witness Murphy’s greatest triumph yet: City-wide electricity. How does one stop a man who continuously delivers on his promises, therefore securing the loyalty of super-powered and desperate people? Roberta has a lot of work on her hands. Hopefully the side mission doesn’t take long. It’ll require all hands on deck to overtake an electrified, well-populated Spokane.
It’d be easier to get everyone back together if the NSA compound were fully functional once more. Citizen Z, Kaya, and her family work to restore power in the facility. The radio even broadcasts a signal strong enough to reach out and touch someone—too bad Addy can’t respond. My problem with dragging the Citizen Z story line along is mostly because Kaya’s jealousy over Addy is seriously off-putting. Can’t they just leave Kaya to be a person and not a stereotypical fanatical female fan?
All hands will also mean Roberta needs to sort out what to do with 10k. She knows about his bite and wants to help, but he’s so paranoid—from the additional cure or Murphy’s degrading sanity leeching through their bond, I don’t know—that his only answer to her offer is to bolt like a frightened rabbit. When we catch up with them again, it’ll be interesting to see how she talks him off this particular ledge.
Team Zombie rolled into San Diego for Comic-Con 2016, looking quite sharp, I might add. Wardrobe aside, the gang was down a man. Robert Buckley couldn’t make it. However, newly-christened series regular Aly Michalka joined the cast, along with show creators Rob Thomas and Diane Russiero-Wright. They were in good spirits, despite the usual chaos at the con. For a good reason, they began filming for season three this week. Matter of fact, I think I saw Rose McIver post a video from the set on Wednesday with Buckley in tow. The zombie ball is rolling. But how are they going to deal with the fallout from the season two finale?
We said goodbye to our main Big Bad. His company was taken over by Vivian Stoll and her undead army. Rob Thomas said Stoll comes into the show in a unique position. “I’m not sure I file her under Big Bad” Going into season three, Stoll is a reactionary presence to the impending zombie problems once the public finds out. Only, instead of having a standing army to defend humans, this army is made from the undead to carve out a place in the world for them once the truth flies. Power like that can be corrupted. It’ll be interesting to see which side of the fence Stoll lands on, or if she can carefully navigate the line between and remain lawful neutral. Adding so many new zombies to the mix poses some ethical questions for Liv. An example given later in the panel pits Liv’s shocking white hair and pale skin against Stoll’s brood who strive to always blend in, covering the very thing which makes Liv unique.
Team Z will regroup stronger than ever. Liv is determined to keep everyone on the same page. No secrets. Out the gate, they dig into Stoll’s company. Some B-stories aren’t following through right away. The Boss story line will take a back-burner to establish new characters and dynamics. Major will search for Natalie and fulfil his promise to her. Not sure if that’s a solo mission or not. I’d assume not since they finally have everyone on the same page. We’re not done cleaning up the Chaos Killer mess, either. There’s one more Popsicle to defrost. Robert Knepper will return as Angus DeBeers in episode one this season. I’m thrilled. The DeBeers family reunions are a things of beauty.
The creators promise a shift in the story style. Season three will play out more like episodes of Law and Order, where Liv and Clive catch the bad guys, Peyton prosecutes. It looks like more of the crimes will tie into the zombie thing, at least from the way Thomas phrased the style rundown.
Other random tidbits dropped during the panel include a promise from the creators to McIver that they will not kill Liv’s next romantic interest, even if it is Major. This isn’t Supernatural. The hot lead actor can’t keep dying and coming back via some miracle.
Yes, there’s a love triangle with Ravi, Peyton, and Blaine. No, none of them know where it’s going. Though the cast joked about making it an open relationship, including Clive, and dragging Liv along as the fifth wheel.
Don’t get your hopes up for a working cure. Thomas said if Ravi creates a cure, the show is over. He also enjoys writing Blaine’s memory loss too much to give up cure 2.0’s side-effects and move on to 3.0 just yet.
We learned that McIver got to veto one potential brain for season three. From a list of about fifty. Then the night before the SDCC panel, they informed her she would get to play dominatrix this season. Guess that one isn’t up for negotiation. It better be the most integral part of the story this season or I’m going to roll my eyes at yet another excuse to dress Liv down in any way.
The new zombie blood will shake things up for the show, along with a new story format. If they keep the momentum from the finale rolling through the first couple episodes, it should be a fun ride. iZombie returns to CW in October.