Mark Watches ‘iZombie’: S02E09 – Cape Town

In the ninth episode of the second season of iZombie, how has everything become this mess. HOW. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch iZombie. 

Trigger Warning: For discussion of sex work, including forced sex work/rape.

What the fuck, iZombie. What are you doing to me?

The Fog

Somehow, this is a show that can feature a murder case about a masked-and-caped vigilante, and one of the investigators on said case takes up the reins of said vigilante, and it TOTALLY MAKES SENSE. Gods all bless iZombie, which consistently flexes and expands the kind of stories it can tell and what genres it can explore. And in typical iZombie fashion, the case relates heavily to the ongoing story of this season. Vigilantes like the Fog are so captivating to people because of many of the reasons that Ravi outlines in “Cape Town.” The idea that a single person can make the world better through bravery and courage is infectious. In a world so violent and awful and oppressive, it’s easy to see why so many people love this notion.

Yet “Cape Town” is about the failure of that idea. The Fog failed to catch the real criminal here because… well, because criminals are complex. The world does not always exist in simple splitting of moral goodness. The Fog saw someone being mugged, and he had no idea that these men were trying to get stolen money back. Of course, they’re not “innocent” men either. So, the Fog stumbled into a complex situation and tried to categorize it in a way that was easiest for him to understand, and he got all of it wrong, and now he’s dead.

So it’s fitting that Liv eats the Fog’s brains and more or less does the exact same thing, and guess what happens? Well, okay, so she’s already dead. YES. But she tries to simplify a deeply complex situation – in this case, involving Mr. Boss, no less! – and ends up screwing it all up. Badly. So much so that she gets nothing that she wants. Mr. Boss is able to secure his gun shipment, all his “minions” escape arrest, and now, the Seattle PD is even further away from catching him than they ever were. Is it any surprise that Babineaux terminates his relationship with Liv? She was reckless and selfish, more so than she’s ever been on the job.

Further Complications

Thus, it was even more fitting that this same episode, which destroyed the simplicity of vigilantes, presented Major with a huge complication. Natalie is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting and well-written side characters in all of iZombie. Even though he’s trying to do his best to buy time to take down Vaughn without murdering people, he still becomes a victim of simplistic, one-note thinking. He could not conceive of someone like Natalie, despite being in a relationship with a zombie. She provides him with understanding, but not in the sense that she exist only for that purpose. No, she is an example of how the zombie virus has spread through Seattle in insidious, awful ways.

Count me shocked that this show presented us with a character who, at one point, was a happy sex worker. Yeah, the language could be better, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sex worker talk about themselves like Natalie did here in “Cape Town.” It’s a shocking thing in and of itself, both because she is allowed agency and because she gets to speak about her sex work in terms that we rarely see. At the same time, this work becomes a tragedy. She’s forced back into it, only this time for zombie clients. It’s horrifying. Unfair. Clearly degrading. Therefore, Major is given a new variable: a zombie who wants him to kill her. A zombie who is tired of being used by men and being controlled by a brain that is unpredictable and frustrating. A zombie who is sick of how the agency in her life has disappeared, evaporated, dried up, who wants to make a choice that is hers and hers alone.

Will Ravi ever find a cure? Will these people that Major is freezing ever get it? Or will Natalie’s worst fear become reality? And what will Major do in that case? Will he fulfill the promise Natalie asked for? I have no idea. I can’t even think that far ahead. I mean, there’s so much shit these people need to deal with in the now. The cure has worn off in a rat, meaning that Blaine and Major will soon turn back into zombies; Liv takes her “break-up” with Babineaux badly and breaks up with Major, too. What of Drake? Will Mr. Boss realize what’s happening right in front of him?


The video for “Cape Town” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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