iZombie: 5.02 Dead Lift
The second episode of the iZombie fifth and final season continues on the same flattish trajectory as the opener. The “murder of the week” setup from the early seasons have most definitely been replaced with a more straightforward linear storytelling style. This is probably to be expected as this final season has to wrap up all the separate story threads in a satisfactory way (hopefully). Liv does actually get to eat a brain in this episode and takes on the persona of a fitness freak. It’s aways enjoyable to watch Rose McIver adopt these new personalties and I imagine must be a fun challenge for her as an actress.
The only letdown in Dead Lift is that the fitness buff brain is completely unconnected to the case Liv and Clive are still investigating from the previous episode. With the victim still having not been found there is no brain for Liv to digest. I hope upcoming episodes can tie the zombie ability to recall memories from eaten brains back into the main plot. It was the foundation for the superior early seasons.
Human zombie relations are still deteriorating in Seattle and Major has his work cut out trying to keep everything from boiling over. The suicide bombing of a Fillmore Graves checkpoint in the previous episode has left a lot of ill-feeling amongst his men with more than a few ready to take matters into their own hands if Major isn’t willing to do so. This storyline dovetails nicely with the “Deadenders” and “CHICS” anti-zombie groups and is obviously going to be the main plot line that is going to take us through to the show's finale.
Ravi continues to be one of the show's main sources of comedy and we get a great scene this time where Clive is hosting a Dungeons and Dragons night with both human and zombie players. A lot of laughs and some social commentary are provided here at the expense of a human who admits his comedy troupe do “whiteface” for their zombie sketches which prompts ‘cultural appropriation’ jokes from Clive. It is testament to iZombie that it’s social commentary, whilst obvious, never seems forced. As well as the usual discrimination allegories this episode also sees the show delving into ‘fake news’ and media manipulation as both sides of the conflict use mind games to sow seeds of discontent. In a somewhat meta moment Ravi pitches an internet show to Peyton to show people around the world that zombies are just like normal people. The title for this show? HiZombie.
Major steps up to the plate in this episode, having to deal with dissidents in his ranks and his grief at the death of one of his closest troops. He gets support from an unexpected source as Liv comes to cook him dinner. It’s a really nice touch and hints that maybe their romantic relationship could be rekindled which would be a nice resolution to their stories. Major also comes good with a plan to help solve the public perception issue and smuggle some people out of the city in one fell swoop.
Overall Dead Lift serves its purpose in tying up some threads from the last episode and giving us a good idea of what to expect as we head towards the stories conclusion. Several supporting characters don’t make it out the episode alive which, while not Game of Thrones levels, reminds us that we are headed towards the end. I suspect many more tearjerking moments will be heading our way before we are through. In the meantime it was nice to see Liv and Major back on friendly terms, a cameo from legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and fitness brain Liv guilting everyone with calorie counts.