iZombie recap: ‘Cape Town’

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

“Cape Town” Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

It’s a bird. It honestly felt like we were watching yet another CW superhero crossover for a second there in iZombie’s midseason finale, as Liv’s weekly brain-induced drug trip took her to the rooftops of Seattle to emulate the alter ego of the latest dead guy who went by the name of “The Fog.” As soon as we managed to stop laughing after we heard his catchphrase—”I’m the Fog, and I’m thick with justice”—we found ourselves enjoying an action-packed episode that both thrilled us and broke our hearts, just as all the best superhero tales are supposed to these days. We discovered that while Liv actually does have the skills to make superhero-ing a regular gig, she also has that problem that superheroes often have: they can’t hold down a relationship.

We thought we were getting a goofy adventure poking fun at the rise of superheroes in popular culture set against the backdrop of the holidays, but what we got was a much more somber affair. And in its midseason finale, iZombie has chosen to tackle it, well, head on — leaping tall buildings with a single brain! — by feeding Liv a superhero cerebellum so her outer persona matches her inner need to save the day. No matter how hard he tried, Major just couldn’t get behind Liv’s zombie-ism. “We belong with our own kind,” she told him, and he took off, leaving Liv alone with the spiced apple cider he’d been warming on the stove. (Can Robert Buckley come over to our house to make holiday staples for us please??) The break-up, however, was not the episode’s biggest bummer. Not just because the holidays can be depressing, but because there’s been a darkness creeping over iZombie all season long, and although this wasn’t the sucker punch I was expecting, it was potentially much worse. Not only did Clive ban Liv from police work, but Ravi discovered that New Hope, his cured zombie rat, was back to being a zombie rat, meaning the cure is definitely not permanent, which is bad news for quite a few people.

It’s a lethal combination and, for the audience, a revealing one. iZombie has done an amazing job of creating this expository loophole in which it can both show and tell without being heavy-handed. We hopped on the phone with executive producer Rob Thomas to find out what’s to come when the show returns in 2016 (which he shared…to an extent) and provide us a few words of comfort (which he did not). It paid off on some of iZombie’s long-simmering arcs, like Liv and Major’s relationship struggles, while also pressing forward on some others, like Mr.

So now they have a basic idea where the tainted Utopium might be, and it’s a rush to find it.” There can’t be a perfect cure, at least not on this show: “Season three, just a straight medical examiner show,” Thomas joked, and honestly that is a show we’d still watch. “There are spaces in between the cure not working and it working perfectly. And the one thing she counts on to make those things bearable—her “superhero” moments of helping to solve murders by eating the victims’ brains—might have been taken away from her for good. And at the end, the show snuck in a series of well-placed punches to the gut that could potentially unravel everything the show and Liv have been working toward this entire time. This week’s episode was loaded with drama, but with the delicate balance between dark monologues and Ravi’s reactions, Major’s pain and Liv’s superhero zingers, the show has become not only an expert in plot pacing, but an expert in emotional pacing as well. There is room in between those two things, so yeah, three episodes from now, we will not have completely cured zombie-ism, but there will be developments on the cure front.

After Liv chowed down on the brain of a man who was a shop teacher by day, vigilante by night, she dressed up in her own crime-fighting costume and said some hilariously dramatic things that Ravi joked would be good to use in her character’s graphic novel (I see what you did there, iZombie). That nickname is not Ravi’s best work.) Liv and Major didn’t seem long for this world once Liv started secretly texting with Rita while pretending to be Major, but what I like about their downfall is that it happens so frankly. Certainly, I like these two together, but they’re facing some real uphill battles, and we kind of wanted to show the audience in these episodes that they were together what kinds of challenges they were facing.” Major will not become a zombie and get back together with Liv (at least not yet): We had beautiful dreams of this happening, but Thomas told us that whether the Liv/Major relationship would work if they were both zombies is not even a thing that the writers are thinking about. We skip right from Liv texting in the previous episode to her fighting about it with Major in this one, and it’s clear that it’s one of those fights they can’t seem to extricate themselves from.

It’s humorous in light of how saturated with superheroes popular culture has become over the last decade, but it’s especially funny when viewed through the lens of a show like iZombie that is equally unbelievable in its premise. Major will also not spiral out of control and get into drugs again: Despite the fact that he and Liv are broken up once more, he’s in a different place now. “You won’t see him go into a drug hole again. Liv thought the Fog was crazy for his nighttime activities as a caped crusader, but Liv is a zombie who solves murders through the visions she receives after eating the brains of the deceased victims who pass through the morgue where she works.

The first part of the season is kind of floundering and trying to get his bearings and trying to get his head above water, and kind of becoming a man of action, you know, becoming the person who decides, OK, I’m figuring out how to get out of this situation. This story is the deepest exploration yet of what the brains actually do to Liv beyond allowing her to help solve crimes; they infect every bit of her life, ingraining themselves so deeply into her own brain that she can’t tell sometimes where they stop and she begins.

And this week, iZombie was all about putting things into perspective, whether it was Clive realizing how dangerous it was to allow Liv to consult on cases or Major finally coming to terms with how a brain affects a zombie, things were becoming clearer but also changing, and not necessarily for the better, for our ragtag group of heroes. This season might as well have been subtitled “The Redemption of Liv,” as she finally began to claw her way (quite literally and disturbingly during this episode as she sires her second zombie) back up from the affliction that hijacked her life and happiness.

Like many superhero tales, “Cape Town” ended with Liv standing on a rooftop surveying the city she was trying to protect, and although it was fun while it lasted, the particular brain put Liv in a dangerous position when she went to one of Mr. This return to normalcy seemed like the perfect antidote, or a good enough substitute while the actual antidote was out of reach, but it took a desperate attempt to rekindle her former life to make Liv realize that it just wasn’t realistic anymore. So it’s very much a topic of discussion in the writers’ room, and we are going to learn that Clive has some insights that he isn’t necessarily sharing with Liv. Boss’s warehouses to stop a gun deal and after overpowering a few men with marbles, chloroform, and her built-in zombie rage, was nearly killed by the murderer, who’d been robbing Mr.

When he gets killed trying to break up a so-called mugging, Liv then gets a chance to go full-on superhero instead of full-on zombie, and this brain ends up being worse for her than even the stalker. Liv has done some questionable things as a result of whatever brain she’s eaten that week, but has she ever been quite so needlessly reckless as she was this week? Flipping the script, the story features a hero (The Fog) unknowingly rescuing a criminal (small-time thief Mary Contreras), who tries to kill a hero (Liv), who’s rescued by a villain (Mr.

Liv has gone above and beyond the scope of her duties before, but when Liv tracks the guns to a warehouse and gets entangled with Boss’ crew, it’s far worse a transgression than she’s ever committed in the past. Getting in a fight with a bunch of mob guys gives her a good reason to go full zombie and demonstrate some fighting skills, but like The Fog, Liv is no superhero. As Major tiptoes through the house of his latest prey — an Alison Brie doppelganger who turns out to be an unwitting zombie hooker — to the strains of Christmas music, he’s no doubt asking himself the same thing. Before their heart to heart culminates in Major icing her with the others (if he wasn’t putting her in a freezer, I’d definitely say sparks were flying), she laments how horrible it is to have to take on the characteristics of people whose brains she eats. Having a so-called psychic running around and putting her life in danger in his name isn’t something he can allow, either legally, morally, or professionally.

It means she suffers through visions of someone else’s life for no reason, it means her personality shifts are for nothing, and it means that she no longer serves any purpose. But Liv truly breaks it down for Major in the heart-tugging final scenes: If he can’t understand how to differentiate between Liv and brain of the week, then imagine how she feels.

Liv’s actions allowed Boss to become the hero of the story, allowed him to clean up the guns and hide them forever, and prevented Clive from getting any real evidence. To his credit, Major was so sure that they’re meant to be together that he’s willing to wait and was certain this latest hiccup in their long, rocky road to happiness will be overcome. But on the other hand, by viewing Liv’s zombieism as a temporary roadblock, that sent a message to Liv that he loved the woman she used to be and only tolerated the woman she was now. It’s hard to say if Liv would have ended things with Major this week if things had gone differently with Clive, but it’s not as if they weren’t already headed down this path. As for Major, he spends most of the episode in his own little strange, sweet meet-cute, as he tracks a beautiful zombie from his list and ends up saving her life.

That’s both helpful and harmful; Sticking by someone is admirable, and I hope that Major sticks by Liv to help her through this next challenging phase, but refusing to accept that things have changed will likely do more harm than good. What happens next is like a mini-indie rom com, as Major gets to know this sad zombie woman who has been forced by her zombie benefactor into basically indentured sex servitude in exchange for brains. It’s sad and tragic, and exists to both soften what Major is doing (he’s working through the list as slowly as possible) and also give him some perspective on what Liv goes through when she eats brains. He’s doing it to ensure Max Rager doesn’t kill Liv, and he’s keeping it from her because he’s pretty sure she would be horrified by what he’s doing. Every time someone has to list all the things that happen when you turn into a zombie, they do it in such an awesomely eye-rolling way. “All the tropes,” says Blaine dismissively while giving Drake the lowdown.

In a way, we’ve gone back to the start with “Cape Town,” with Liv mourning the loss of the life she once had and Ravi once again on the hunt for the cure. The world of iZombie has grown so much in just a short amount of time and although Liv may potentially be regressing, the show itself is still moving forward.

When you factor in that Major’s gig as a human zombie detector could be up very soon and that Vaughn will have no reason to keep Major or Liv alive, the potential stakes only keep rising. Violent Night and Santa Claus Is Running The Town are great Christmas-themed comic panel titles, but no title has been or will ever be as good as One Tree Kill. However, I rather like that A) the zombies have started calling Major the Boogeyman, and B) that the show actually addressed zombie suicide this week. These are the names he came up with for Liv’s superhero alter-ego: Super Dead, Mighty Whitey, Doctor Power, Dead Power, Doctor Dead, Snow Woman (cause she’s ice cold, potentially deadly, and a woman), and Old Scratchy. – Proof that Seattle could really use Cisco Ramon, these are the names of the show’s “superheroes”: Ghost Cobra, Gray Area, Super-Fly, Mega Fist, and Blue Swallow. I would say it is his father, but he’s in the deep freeze and Blaine thinks he’s dead so I was under the assumption Blaine took his brain business back.

The long term arcs on this show are generally strong but this one has holes. iZombie has addressed the issue of spreading the zombie virus by sexual contact even if condoms are used, but I feel like they’re sweeping the potential consequences of this under the rug a bit.

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