Television

iZombie: Season 2, Episode 9 - "Cape Town"

J.M. Suarez

This is the last episode until the series comes back in January, and it offered everything that’s made iZombie essential viewing this season.


iZombie

Airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm
Cast: Rose McIver, Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Eddie Jemison
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 9 - "Cape Town"
Network: CW
Air date: 2015-12-08
Amazon

In what may be one of the most entertaining mystery plots of the series, the death of a vigilante superhero sparks some of the funniest lines for Liv (Rose McIver), and endless glee for Ravi (Rahul Kohli). However, because this is iZombie, "Cape Town" also includes plenty of dark moments, particularly as the episode ends, but it also does an excellent job of paralleling Liv’s own attempts to do good in spite of being a potential killer.

The death of the vigilante superhero, Chris Allred (Jay Hindle), leads to a larger plot involving an illegal guns shipment for Mr. Boss (Eddie Jemison) and a team of fellow Seattle vigilante superheroes. The team, made up of Ghost Cobra (Bernard Lally), Gray Area (Billy Mitchell), Superfly (Garfield Wilson), Mega Fist (Alex Rose), and Blue Swallow (Larke Miller), are all variously invested in their crime-fighting ways but agree that The Fog -- whose catchphrase is the hilariously brilliant "I’m The Fog and tonight I’m thick with justice" -- was singularly devoted to stopping Boss’ shipment.

When the Boss plot is revealed, it immediately puts Liv into action as her new The Fog-induced personality makes her eager to take down Mr. Boss, despite Clive’s (Malcolm Goodwin) explicit orders to not get involved. When she goes against his wishes and tries to take on Boss’ goons and save a kidnapped woman, things quickly escalate and, like The Fog, Liv is outmatched. In ignoring Clive, Liv leaves him no choice but to end their partnership. It’s a moment that’s both heartbreaking, yet necessary. Since the beginning Clive’s willingness to turn a blind eye to Liv’s erratic behavior has been increasingly difficult to swallow, so it makes sense that when a police operation is so clearly compromised, he can no longer ignore the personality shifts.

Liv is devastated by Clive’s severing of their professional partnership, and she finds herself without purpose. Her work in helping to solve crimes gave her meaning even in the midst of so much self-loathing and despair. Without Clive it remains to be seen whether she can find meaning elsewhere. It also stands to reason that Clive’s getting much closer to discovering the truth, potentially distancing them even more, and in turn, setting Liv further adrift.

As the Mr. Boss story is underway, Blaine’s (David Anders) latest lead into obtaining the tainted Utopium integral to finding a cure is complicated. Drake (Greg Finley), who also happens to work for Mr. Boss, is near-death and Liv brings him back as a zombie in order to find the tainted Utopium. She’s surprisingly quick to turn him into a zombie, hinting at the lengths to which Liv could potentially go in order to find a cure. However, it’s clear by the end of the episode that she feels hopeless about the possibility, and ends things with Major (Robert Buckley) again in order to save him from a life with a zombie, as she’s still unaware of his job as a zombie hunter.

Major’s storyline this week contains some of the sweetest moments of the series, unexpected though they may be. His latest zombie victim turns out to be a woman named Natalie (Brooke Lyons), who he stops from committing suicide. When she reveals that she used to be a call girl on her own terms until she was turned into a “zombie hooker” who provides sex in exchange for brains, Major’s both understanding and outraged. He convinces her to willingly go into deep freeze until a cure can be found, giving him even more reason to continue with his alternate plan of getting rid of the zombies on Vaughn Du Clark’s (Steven Weber) list. Their scenes together offer them both the opportunity to unburden themselves without judgment, and Major is especially in need of someone to talk to about his many secrets.

As it always does, iZombie manages to find ways to slip in humor and "Cape Town" was a treat, as Liv-as-superhero one-liners abounded ("I make time for justice", "This city needs more than a symbol", "I’m the nightmare before Christmas"). As always, Ravi’s unbridled delight over this particular personality shift’s a highlight, particularly as he brainstorms superhero names for himself.

"Cape Town" is exactly the kind of Christmas episode to be expected from iZombie. The Christmas elements served more as background than any serious plot point, yet it’s just the right blend for the show. This is the last episode until the series comes back in January, and it offered everything that’s made it essential viewing this season, all the while setting things up for more complications, reveals and, of course, zombie recipes in the new year.

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