This iZombie review contains spoilers.
iZombie Season 4, Episode 9
If it wasn’t already clear how much power Fillmore Graves has in New Seattle, the corporation’s declaration of martial law that basically shuts the city down in order to find an escaped killed, Ronnie “Sugar” Cain aka the Zombie Killer, would seal the deal. These sorts of lockdowns have been seen before in the real world—most notably for this Massachusetts resident, the lockdown that Boston went into during the manhunt for the Boston marathon bomber—and they represent the actions of an authoritarian government. The fact that no one in New Seattle seems particularly unsettled by the lockdown not only suggests that it is common behavior for New Seattle, but that they have begun to accept the actions of this authoritarian government.
As this season continues, it becomes clear that New Seattle cannot go on in this way forever, that it is a powder keg waiting to explode—if you’re like Blaine, then you are making moves so that you prosper from that explosion. If you’re like Chase Graves, then you’re desperately trying to put off the explosion, knowing better than anyone just how imminent it all is. We see Chase really starting to lose it in tonight’s episode, smashing a locker when Major gives him some news he doesn’t like. Chase’s response to stress is violence and demonstrations of power; it always has been.
This becomes even more clear in the episode’s third act when, after almost dying at the hands of The Zombie Killer, Chase Graves commands Major to scratch him. Chase’s dictatorship has never been good news, but the hypocrisy of an action like feels like another sign that everything is about to crumble. Not only does Chase Graves have no problem with watching a man bleed out in front of him, but Major has no problem actively breaking the law and going against a dying man’s express wishes in order to turn him into a zombie. Sure, Cain is a cold-blooded killer, but who gave Chase Graves and Major the power to play God?
Well, nature did, I suppose, and also the careful system of power the two have built up around Fillmore Graves. When Liv yells at Major about his culpability in Mama Leone’s death, he yells back that she broke the law willingly; she knew the consequences, he tells Liv. But Major does the same exact thing Mama Leone was killed for later in the episode, and for a far worse reason. He doesn’t respect the law, even if he’d like to think so, he respects the power of Fillmore Graves. He wants to be a part of that power because, for so long and for so many ways, Major has been on the right side of history and lost everything because of it. He has tried to hard to be the little man standing up against the system of power. Apparently, he’s tired now. It’s understandable, even if it’s a tragedy.
It’s also something Major is going to have to confront once it comes out that Liv is the new Renegade—because you know it will. Ravi finds out this episode when Isobel visits the morgue and spills the beans. Ravi seems more upset that Liv didn’t tell him than he does that Liv is actively breaking the law. He’s also very interested in Isobel, who could be the answer to perfecting the zombie cure. Isobel is more than game to give her dying body to science. I’m digging the gumption and selflessness of the teen girl, and the actress really sells it, but it’s all a little too convenient.
Meanwhile, Blaine and Don E. cure the mayor of his zombie-ism only to kill him to prove to any potential zombie cure buyers that the cure is the real deal. It’s a bold move, and one that leaves Peyton as the acting mayor to the city about the explode. Frankly, there’s no one else I’d rather have leading the city than level-headed, empathetic Peyton, who cares less about the lines between zombies and humans and more about the line between right and wrong. And, unlike the previous mayor, it’s unlikely Blaine would kill her, given that in this very episode he was getting Don E. on computer genius brain to hack into her emails with Ravi.
Speaking of love, Clive shares a moment with Michelle. They laugh together and then kiss, something Clive seems to almost immediately regret. But he can’t deny the chemistry that is there and, with things with Bozzio so unclear right now, Clive has some tough choices to make—though, I really hope he talks this over with Bozzio. It’s one thing to be in an open relationship; it’s another to kiss a mutual co-worker. This could get very awkward, very quickly.
All in all, this was a great episode, one that had a real sense of urgency and momentum. The lockdown tied all of the disparate plots together in some grounding ways, and gave Major in particular a chance to check in with characters he hasn’t interacted with in a while. The Blaine and Don E. stuff was as winning as ever and, with our three major plot-drivers—Liv, Major, and Blaine—all heading for a collision course, iZombie Season 4 has never been better.