Thursday, May 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'iZombie' - Liv and Ravi Work a Murder Investigation Without Clive in 'Death Moves Pretty Fast'

The CW's iZombie - Episode 5.05 "Death Moves Pretty Fast"

While investigating the death of independently wealthy, 19-year-old, Harris Miller, Liv attempts to cheer up Ravi who has been spiraling after learning some unfortunate news. After a nasty fall at the crime scene, Clive is forced to continue his part of the investigation via FaceTime. Things are suddenly going from bad to worse for Blaine.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's iZombie.

"Death Moves Pretty Fast" was written by Bob Dearden and directed by Linda-Lisa Hayter

The final season of iZombie so far has been very erratic and scattered. It hasn't presented a strong hook for the concluding episodes of the show. It remains fascinated on the dynamics that have been a part of the show for a long time. That's not inherently a bad thing. And yet, it doesn't feel like there is a ton of urgency at the moment either. That can suck the energy out of the proceedings completely. There is some momentum building. However, this hour is largely interested in the case-of-the-week. It has always been admirable that the show commits to that structuring device even though it has largely moved beyond the brains helping Liz solve them. Now, it's just more important to see how all of the personalities change who she and the consequences that come from that given her even more serious work as Renegade. Here though, it's simply incredulous that Liv and Ravi would be tasked with a murder investigation. Clive is completely sidelined because he slips and hurts himself at the crime scene. Of course, the audience doesn't see that accident at all. As such, it's easy to suspect that something must have happened behind-the-scenes that required Malcolm Goodwin to largely sit this episode out. He still has some amusing moments as Clive is somewhat kept in the loop via FaceTime. It's mostly just funny because he's high on his pain pills. The show seems to be saying that Liv bulldozes her way through this investigation simply because it's the brain she is currently on. The murder victim was an independently wealthy kid who is obsessed with the '80s and playing pranks. It's a little too straight-forward as a mystery though even though the show presents several people who could have the motive to kill him. Instead, it was just a little too inevitable that it would be the sidekick who feels like he is never fully appreciated. But again, it's just insane that Liv and Ravi are leading this investigation with no supervision whatsoever. There is a throwaway line about Liv forging Clive's signature to grant overtime. But it's ridiculous because someone in this system should have known it was important to get an actual detective on the case. Someone who actually knows the Miranda rights and can recite them to the killer after he is caught. Instead, it's mostly just a storyline all about the punchlines. The brain isn't as overwhelming to Liv's personality as some of the extremes have been as of late. That has always been very erratic over the course of the show as well. Elsewhere, the show leaves some open questions about how the brain tubes could have been manipulated. The Deadenders poison the tube supply by feeding the zombies some brains with dementia. That paralyzes Major and Enzo takes advantage of that. Even then, that emphasizes how one antagonist needs to go away while propping up a new threat. The tension is obviously rising in Seattle with the Deadenders recruiting more to their cause while the new criminal boss has several full romero zombies. It's just unclear how all of that will connect back to the potential cure that Ravi and the CDC are working on. Plus, this hour also features the big expos√© of Blaine. At first, it seems like he is a suspect in the central case. That is quickly dismissed though. But all of this is also lackluster because it's just the new reporter Al who puts all of the pieces together to take down Blaine. That's not all that satisfying given how complex his relationships have been with all of the main characters over the course of the series. Al could expose the shortcomings of everyone involved. But it's ultimately up to the characters the audience is invested in to ensure that this reveal has actual merit to it.