Mark Watches ‘iZombie’: S02E11 – Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

In the eleventh episode of the second season of iZombie, I WASN’T READY. NO ONE WAS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch iZombie.

Trigger Warning: For extensive talk of sex and consent.



This show is really turning into tension built on inevitability. IT IS, Y’ALL. There are a ton of serialized plots unfolding over the course of this season, and each of them derive their tension from threat that the inevitable will eventually happen. I’ll start with Major’s plot first, because it’s a great example of this. I didn’t even address the fact that Dale mentioned that they’d be turning on the GPS tracker that Minor wore in the last episode. AND HERE, THAT INEVITABILITY BECOMES UNBEARABLE. It’s honestly one of the more intense sequences this season because Major gets so close to being discovered as the Chaos Killer. Yes, I mentioned how focused Major was post-sobriety, but he’s also been rather sloppy with this one detail. He’s been parading around the victim’s dog!  Even worse, he wasn’t exactly subtle here, given that he left upon news of the tracker, and then behaved bizarrely when Ravi asked about Minor.

So even though this one loose end was tied up, it sort of wasn’t. It was replaced by a new inevitability: Ravi is too suspicious. How much longer until he figures out what his roommate has been up to?

Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

First of all, BRAVO FOR THAT TITLE. Bravo!!! Yet again, this show skewers something lovingly and with wit, and I WILL FOREVER THANK IZOMBIE FOR GIVING ME KRISTEN BELL READING SMUT. DID I KNOW I NEEDED IT? NO. AM I BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF IT? YES. However, through this tale of jealousy and resentment, the writers find a way to address the complications of sex and sexual desire. Grace’s story is so tragic because her work did not actually harm anyone. Muriel was jealous of the attention that Grace got, and she resented that Grace was getting popular off something she considered disgusting and gross. Even worse, though, was Grace’s husband, who projected his own issues on his wife and then MURDERED HER BECAUSE OF IT. He claimed that she didn’t care about him, but I’d argue that it was most certainly the other way around.

So I saw a parallel in Peyton and Blaine, since she comes to realize that Blaine most likely manipulated her into having sex. Maybe he was genuinely attracted to her, and she was clearly attracted to him. But she can’t un-know what she discovers from Liv at the end of this episode, and it’s so fucking tragic and upsetting. How can she trust anything else he’s ever done or said? Yeah, he might have been telling the truth about Stacey Boss, but that’s it. And even that was done to advance himself, not to do something good for the world! Now, Peyton’s granted immunity to someone who used that to cover for his monstrous crimes. That’s why I pointed out during the video that if you could see Blaine without his past attached to him, he would be charming. But you cannot divorce him from what he’s done. Peyton did that by mistake, and it’s not like I blame her for that. If someone like Blaine came into your life, handed you all the answers you needed for your job, and treated you with respect and humor, you’d probably begin to develop some sort of feelings for him.

I just hurt a lot for Peyton. It’s easy to judge her from a distance, but it’s not fair. She had limited information because Blaine is a liar and a manipulator. It’s what he does. So I was really happy that Liv treated Peyton as she deserved to be treated: with empathy and support. She’s gonna need a lot of it in the future, too, because… well, she can’t stop working with Blaine, can she? She’s built an entire case against Mr. Boss with him! Oh my god, this is going to be unbearable, and that’s what I mean by inevitability. She cannot avoid him; she cannot see him without knowing what he’s done. Their next interaction is going to be brutal. And what of Blaine??? He now knows that the FBI and the Seattle PD have a case against him, and, armed with this knowledge, he’ll be able to further protect himself.

What a disaster, y’all. HOW DID THIS ALL HAPPEN IN ONE EPISODE??? I didn’t even talk about Liv and Drake hooking up yet. But hey, at least there’s a positive there: they both openly spoke about consent and brain-influenced sex, which is pretty fucking cool. I’m glad that it happens because it’s an interesting case! If brains make a person behave differently while on them, can they truly give consent? Liv says that in this instance, she can’t. It’s too creepy because her brains might be affecting her judgment to a degree she’s not comfortable with. Now, she’s still allowed to regret sex with Drake while off brains, and I’m interested to see the ramifications of this.

This episode was A Lot, y’all. A LOT.

The video for “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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