iZombie S03E13 “Looking For Mr Goodbrain Part 2” REVIEW

iZombie S03E13 “Looking For Mr Goodbrain Part 2” REVIEW

0 comments 📅30 June 2017, 11:22

Airing in the UK on Netflix, new episodes every Wednesday
Writer: 
Rob Thomas
Director: 
Dan Etheridge

Essential Plot Points:

  • And we’re back. With Johnny reading the news about the explosion. Ravi, Peyton and Liv are watching TV, terrified when Justin and Major come in. They’re alive. And that’s the end of the good news.
  • Natalie’s dead. Most of the squad too.
  • Justin asks where Liv was and she tells him. He is not cool with it. At ALL. And storms out.

  • At The Scratching Post, it turns out that choreographer blue brain is a BIG hit. A spontaneous dance number has broken out which is cute and funny and Blaine does not care even the tiniest little bit.
  • Even more so when it turns out his Russian brain shipment was picked up by the Feds and Tanner, Don E’s major doom, has been picked up.
  • At the lab, Clive tells Liv and Ravi about Patrice and the possible FG connection. Especially as Chase Graves apparently sent Patrice the 13-year-old zombie to Paris to bring his dog across…
  • Liv puts it together. FG always have a shortage of brains. An outbreak of deadly flu would be the perfect way to up that supply. Ravi figures out how he used the dog’s collar to spread the virus, Liv confirms the dog is still wearing the collar and…admits she slept with him.
  • On a nearby street, what’s left of one of Major’s squad drags himself along the road and is run over…
  • Blaine is making a pitch to Chase to be his new brain supplier. Chase shuts him down, literally. He feels Blaine’s stock is putting his men in danger so has declared The Scratching Post off limits.

  • Major comes in as Blaine goes out. Major wants back in. As a soldier. As a zombie. Graves makes it clear Discovery Day is coming and they may have to do things that can’t be undone. Major doesn’t care.
  • Outside Chase’s new place, Liv and Clive are getting ready to gather some evidence completely illegally. It instantly goes badly. Chase is surprisingly chill. He lets Liv use the shower, brings Clive in and chats to them. They accuse him, and in doing so he gets them to reveal everything they know. They don’t have much on him, and he knows it.
  • The Scratching Post is all but empty. Blaine is pretty certain the game is up.
  • At Baracus’ office, Ravi is sitting in on a meeting about the Aleutian flu. The word is not good; the virus has mutated and tens of thousands will probably die even with vaccination.
  • That night, Johnny reports on the mandatory vaccination. Clive, Liv and Ravi are watching the news story and when Ravi mentions a symptom being sensitivity to light, Liv has a vision.
  • Carey Gold killed Katty Kupps.
  • At FG, Chase calls Carey into his office. He asks her if they’re still on the same page. He’s figured out that Gold has instigated Plan B ‘The Doomsday Plan’. Chase reveals that Carey got Chase the dog and asks if she really needed to kill so many zombies to get it to work. It turns out Fred, Wally’s dad, had discovered a disloyal faction in the company and wanted to talk to Chase about it. That got his entire family killed.
  • Carey cooks off at Chase. She tells him Zombie Island would never have worked, it would have got them all killed. He orders the security team to take her away and…they…don’t…listen.
  • Carey orders him killed.
  • Chase executes all three guards and Carey with ruthless efficiency just as Clive shows up. Chase explains everything. Clive is crushed that he didn’t get to bring the killer in but as close to happy as he can be that she’s dead.
  • The next day Johnny is returning live from one of the vaccination points. It being Johnny, he bullies his way to the front of the line to get the shot.

  • Clive arrives at work to find Special Agent Bozzio at his desk. She explains that she snagged the crate of brains at the docks and the person she picked up? Is Clive’s CI.
  • She takes him to see the CI and of course it’s Tanner. Tanner, it turns out, made one phone call; to Blaine’s funeral home. And worse still, he used to be one of the kids Major worked with. Bozzio has had enough. She wants the truth. Now.
  • And Clive tells her. After turning the cameras off, closing the blinds and punching Tanner so he rages out in his cuffs.
  • At the lab, Liv finds Ravi synthesizing more cure. Katty, it turns out, had two evaporated vials of boat party utopium in evidence in her belongings and there might JUST be enough to d something with them. As soon as Liv does she has a vision of Katty ringing the doorbell at the Gold house and being chased off.

  • Liv goes there and breaks in. She finds a phone buzzing with messages about Discovery Day being an all you can eat buffet. She rings Peyton to warn her and…Tatum is behind her. Liv comes clean with the girl and asks what happened. It turns out she was at the party and was used as leverage. Liv buys it and that’s when Tatum and Patrice both jump her in full rage mode. Liv rages out, stops them and runs for it.
  • Liv heads to the holding site for the vaccine and sees FG troops injecting zombie blood into every single vial. They’re going to turn everyone into zombies.

  • On the way out, Liv is spotted by Justin. After a moment, he raises the alarm. She runs for it.
  • At the vaccination lines, Clive and Bozzio are waiting. They’re also kind of back together. Sort of. Liv rings and tries to warn Clive but keeps breaking up. Clive goes outside, gets the warning but it’s half a second too late. Bozzio has been injected. Now she’s a zombie too.
  • Liv barges into Johnny’s studio. She explains to him that he’s a zombie now, thanks to the virus. This explains the new white streak in his hair and the new found obsession he was with brains…
  • Johnny buys it. And on Liv’s suggestion, Johnny goes public.
  • Across the city, at every vaccination point, the report is on.
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • Johnny to his absolute credit begs for calm and unity.
  • It doesn’t take.
  • And then Chase and FG show up at the station. Chase asks the station manager to run a video he’s brought with him. He refuses.
  • Chase shoots him.
  • The video runs.
  • As Chase explains everything we see:
  • Patrice and Tatum get picked up by FG
  • Clive dyeing Bozzio’s hair
  • Major saving an Aleutian flu victim by scratching her
  • ‘Willing donor’ brains handed out by FG.
  • Don E picking up business at the relief points.
  • Tanner at the newly crowded Scratching Post.
  • Major and Justin killing a wave of human protesters. Neither are okay with it. Neither stop.
  • Baracus being given the news by Peyton.
  • Liv is disgusted. Justifiably so. Chase refuses to apologize, noting that while the Aleutian Flu was intended to create more zombies, the other option was letting people die. He complements her on her new, dyed, tanned look.
  • By the time Liv gets back to the lab she Has white hair and skin again.
  • Ravi has done it. He’s found a vaccine. Just enough for one dose. And he takes it.
  • Liv asks how he’s going to test it. He makes this almost illegally adorable face.

  • Liv refuses and Ravi explains that it has to be her. He explains what he wants, why he wants it and…she scratches him.

  • The screen goes black. Ravi moans like a zombie.
  • Liv says ‘Don’t be a dick.’
  • See you next season.

Review:

And that’s how you completely upend your show. Wow.

WOW.

We get so used to TV shows teasing massive changes (COUGH. The X-Files. COUGH) that after a while it just becomes old hat. This episode changes everything! For this episode! Nothing will ever be the same again! Aside from everything that will be exactly the same!

Not this time. This time, D Day is here, the cat is out of the bag and nothing and no-one escapes unchanged.

What we loved most about this episode is how complicated the situation is for everyone. The way the comedic sight of Johnny moving to the front of the vaccination line becomes tragic and his courageous, compassionate news report and how little good it does is are great examples of that. Johnny was the star of his own movie but, just for this episode, he’s the hero of Seattle.

And speaking of heroes, Major makes a terrible choice for a good reason. Natalie was his way out, his happy ending and now he doesn’t have that, or much time for humanity, anymore. Back on Team Z, Major and Justin both close the season with innocent blood on their hands. If anything, Justin is hit harder by this. He’s disgusted that Liv would sleep with Chase but he still works for the man after all.

No one is right. No one is wrong. Even Chase, it turns out, was acting on the best information he had and with no choice but to follow it through once the plan was revealed. All his training, all his intellect and he still got outmanoeuvred.

There are so many little moments we love in this episode. Liv’s symbolic return to ‘old school’ zombie, Bozzio and Clive back together (And the moment where he’s dying her hair!), Major ‘saving’ an Aleutian flu victim by scratching her. A million tiny catastrophes, a million personal apocalypses, a million opportunities.

Which brings us to where the show started, with Liv and Ravi. It’s easy to see this as a series finale, and it will be immensely satisfying to end the show here. But instead we’re treated to something truly amazing; the two scientists and best friends having one last moment together before Ravi does something extraordinarily brave, extraordinarily stupid and extraordinarily him. We don’t know if he’ll join Team Z next year. We do know this scene, and the tremendous sweetness to it, is a season highlight.

So where are we at the end of the year? Liv is the poster girl for D Day and couldn’t care less. Major is on the side of, if not the bad guys then certainly the people forced to stand over there, Clive and Bozzio have new challenges ahead and Ravi’s dare to be great moment is finally here. Every single cast member, even Don E and Tanner, get their moments in the sun as this episode twirls towards its oddly polite and chilling conclusion. A hell of an ending to a hell of year. We can’t wait for season 4.

The Good:

  • Johnny Frost, hero of Seattle!
  • Jason Dohring getting a chance to let his inner Logan Echolls out once more. No one does cheerfully amoral banter like that man.
  • Just how ethically complex this episode is. Who are the good guys now? Who are the bad? Does it matter?
  • Bozzio! Hopefully back as a regular!
  • That agonising moment where Justin finds Liv and waits before calling for the others.
  • The entire closing sequence. Rahul Kohli, like David Blue on Stargate: Universe’s season finale, does an amazing job of being thrilled, terrified, happy and serene all at once.
  • The closing moment after the screen goes black. A perfect sign off for the show and a perfect gateway to season 4.
  • ‘Are you charging me with something? Or am I charging you with something? This is so confusing.’-So much more of this man being an eloquent, funny possible dirtbag next year please.
  • ‘No freaking way. You did it?’
    ‘I don’t know. Maybe. I think. I don’t know. Who knows?’-Rahul Kohli’s delivery here is brilliant, funny and heartbreaking all at once.
  • ‘What I want more than anything is to feel like I left the world a better place…And that for doing so I was richly rewarded with a medical patent worth billions of dollars. Which I would then drop into the ghettos barrios and favelas of the world from my helicopter with CHAKRABARTI painted down the side.’-GET THIS MAN A HELICOPTER

The Bad:

  • The point of Major’s squad mate being killed again was what exactly?

And The Random:

  • Rob Thomas is of course, one of the show’s creators along with Diane Ruggiero-Wright. He’s also the creator of Veronica Mars and has written for Dawson’s Creek, Party Down (which he co-created with John Enbom, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd) and others.
  • Dan Etheridge, as well as co-creating Party Down, has directed, written and produced for shows like Cupid and The Carrie Diaries. He’s also appeared as an actor in ER, Dogma and others.
  • Notice we don’t know who stole the cure yet? That, and just how human Ravi is, are apparently the first order of business for season 4.

Review by Alasdair Stuart


Read all our other iZombie reviews

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