iZombie Season 4 Episode 5 Review: Goon Struck

iZombie hits a major turning point, as Liv and co. must choose a side.

This iZombie review contains spoilers.

iZombie Season 4, Episode 5

iZombie turned the dial up all the way in the final moments of “Goon Struck,” leaving all of our characters on either side of a pretty defined line: those who are supporting Fillmore-Graves’ increasingly totalitarian state and those who, well, don’t. Let’s start with the first group, shall we?

Major Lilywhite, you beautiful fool. The most tragic aspect of Major’s character is you understand how he ended up where he ended up. He just wanted to find some missing kids. Then, he just wanted to protect Liv and the other zombies on Vaughn du Clark’s list. Then, he just wanted to have a job that helps people. The thing is… he’s not helping people. Not anymore. And just because we understand how Major ended up standing in solidarity with Chase Graves as he executed Mama Leone, doesn’t mean he is absolved of his actions. 

If Major’s choice to stand idly by while Mama Leone was executed wasn’t enough for you to give him the serious side-eye, then his kidnapping and subsequent scratching of Sloane Mills probably will. Again, you understand why Major is doing it. He wants to keep New Seattle safe and, by using General Mills’ daughter as a hostage, Fillmore-Graves more or less ensures that. But there comes a point when “the ends justify the means” mantra stops being true and, based on how miserable Major looked during his little road trip with Don E., I think he is beginning to realize that he has passed it.

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Another character is this category is Chase Graves himself, who seems to more or less believe that what Fillmore-Graves is doing to keep New Seattle safe is worth the terrible moral price. At the end of the day, he’s the one with most of the power in this city; he is Fillmore-Graves, which is the crux of the problem. No one should have that much power. It’s not only dangerous, it’s stupid. 

While Chase may waver in his decision to execute Mama Leone, proving that he has some perspective on the situation left, he ultimately makes the decision to do it. He’s desperate to prevent the kind of tragedy that occurred when a zombie bus driver passed out at the wheel because he didn’t have enough brains, then proceeded to eat the brains of some of the injured passengers.

The thing is: Chase is plugging holes in a sinking ship. His hubris in thinking that this is his problem to solve, that he could ever begin to figure out New Seattle’s future on his own, is his fatal flaw. And, in the end, his plan didn’t even work. Watching Mama Leone die while she could do nothing has seemingly spurred Liv into radical action. She plans to take over where Mama Leone left off, placing her firmly in the second category. This is an exciting move for a show that has never really understood how best to dramatically use their main character. Is this who Liv is? A revolutionary. If so, I am all for it; I’m just looking forward to seeing Liv get more to do outside of her brain-of-the-week antics.

It seems like Liv will have a new ally in her corner: Levon, a man she first meets in the context of a murder investigation, but whose political interests in New Seattle are hinted at in this introductory episode. He was helping Mama Leone smuggle people in and out of the city, and was seemingly recording some of that story, presumably for activist purposes. We know that Levon will be a love interest for Liv, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is he a babe, but he is one of the people standing in horror and disgust when Mama Leone is killed; he is one of the people who refuses to look away because someone needs to bear witness.

Here’s the part of the review where I admit that I set this article up with a false dichotomy. Because, like in comparable real-world situations, there aren’t only two sides to this struggle. The vast majority are not people who are actively supporting or working against Fillmore-Graves; the vast majority of people are those who are someone in the huge swath of grey in the middle. They are the Peyton, Ravi, and Clive’s, who are implicit, to some degree, in the system of power. They are the starving zombies who can’t feed their own family, let alone find the energy or time to help organize resistance.

This is why Liv’s decision to actively fight against Fillmore-Graves’ dictatorial rules is so important. Before, she was one of those people who was casually implicit in a system that is hurting people. Now, she is something else. It’s pretty fitting that Liv didn’t get the Chinatown reference. May we live in a world in which we all reject the Chinatown reference.

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3 out of 5