15th May2019

‘iZombie 5×02′ Review

by Xenia Grounds

Stars: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders | Created by Diane Ruggiero, Rob Thomas

izombie-art

Season 5 got off to a great start last week but iZombie falters with its second episode where it feels like they’re trying to do too much, too soon. There is a lot of plot to cover in the second outing and not all of it is done very well.

During ‘Dead Lift’, we have a few character deaths (Jordan and Baron), Liv and Clive find out that the video about zombies murdering a human was fake, Peyton wanting to drum positive PR for zombies, Major pretending to kill some of his own soldiers but ices them instead, the foster kids from the premiere make it across the border to New Seattle after Baron is killed off, Liv and Major have a dinner together, Liv eats the brains of a fitness guru. Basically, it’s a lot for a 45-minute episode and that’s not even all the story beats.

Zombies are being used as a metaphor for social and political commentary which was made clear in the premiere, but this episode does stretch it a little instead of how believable it felt last time. It’s touchy territory and this episode does more telling than showing in some regards and it feels rather half-hearted. Additionally, if this were to comment on what it’s like for vulnerable minorities then it’s a little contradictory when the zombies and our main characters are the ones with a lot of power when you think about it. Major leads Fillmore Graves, Blaine (who doesn’t appear) is basically one of the richest men in New Seattle thanks to his brain supply, Liv is best friends with the acting mayor and Dale has connections to the city government. You could make the argument that they don’t want to abuse the power they have but they choose to do that very thing by the end.

The group choose to cover up what happened with the convenience store video and use it to their advantage by finding a few desperate people to take the fall for it in return for safe passage out of New Seattle. It can be an exploration about how good intentions by those in power can get out of hand, but the writing doesn’t suggest that the characters are too aware of the moral ambiguity to what they’re doing is.

‘Dead Lift’ does show that Fillmore Graves can be just as problematic as the terrorist groups like Dead Enders are. However, it’s nothing that wasn’t established in Season 4 and it critiques agents in organisations going rogue but not an institution that could be losing its way. The Season 5 premiere was bold and brazen enough to point out the problems with terrorist groups and how wrong they are but it seems like its tiptoeing around military organisations being flawed. No side is completely innocent or righteous in this by any means and it would be better if  iZombie starts recognising that in the story because it must go both ways.

I still highly believe in iZombie and it has great ambition to depict in a show that used to be a lot more comedic. I just don’t want this series to be another example of where it approaches the end only to jump the shark or not have the pay-off fans having been wanting to see. Hopefully, the next episode takes a step back in the right direction.

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