Fake News is a Central Plot of iZombie’s “Dead Lift”

*Spoiler warning for iZombie season 5, episode 2.

Dolly Durkins on iZombie
Dolly Durkins, leader of the Dead Enders wearing a “Dead Fish for Live People” t-shirt, on iZombie. Photo courtesy of the CW, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

This episode was a little more interesting than the premier last week, as the political situation in New Seattle heats up. Major faces major (pun unintended) push back from his troops, who wish he was more harsh, especially after those Filmore Graves zombie soldiers got blown up last episode. It doesn’t help that the violence between humans and zombies increases, and Peyton, still acting unofficially as mayor, says that DC is just waiting for a reason to wipe the city off the map.

Liv is on fitness freak brain this week, as she and Clive try to track down all of the cellphone owners who pinged the nearby tower at the time of the attack – the one from last episode where a couple of zombies pulled a woman into their car, ate her brains, and the whole thing was caught on video. They thought they figured out who it was last  episode, but she turned up in the woods where she had dropped her cell and coat, high as a kite and cheating on her husband with a hippie.

The lack of progress on the case spurs further violence, as a sniper “Dead Ender” – a gang attempting to end zombie-kind – shoots a couple of Filmore Graves zombies, including Jordan (Jade Peyton), one of Major’s most trusted soldiers. To get back at the Dead Enders, some of the Filmore Graves zombies go rogue, and shoot up a popular Dead Enders bar, where one of the humans there is shot and killed. The team needs to do some real damage control, but it’s unclear how to go about it.

Clive and Liv are baffled when all of the cellphone owners on their list turn out to be alive. They get a break in the case though, when they’re able to track down the car that the woman was driving. When they find, Ravi realizes that the whole attack was a hoax. The blood in the car isn’t even real, and wig is found in the car as well. This was all faked to try to stir up anti-zombie hatred, and it worked. (This explains a lot to me about how the victim was able to get in her car and drive away after getting her head cracked open and her brains eaten.)

They need to come out with the news, but Major thinks it won’t be enough without a patsy to pin it in, and since they have no leads on which humans perpetrated this, they decide to fake it – fight fake news with fake news. They get some of the humans who’ve been wanting out of the city to say that it was them. The police fake arrest them, and put out a statement that the DA promises no less than fifteen years in prison. They then get Renegade to smuggle the patsies out of the city. The Filmore Graves soldiers are satisfied with the retribution, and the humans are calmed by the fact that there was no real attack.

The Dead Enders who actually faked the attack are, of course, pissed, but they can’t say anything about it publicly, or they’ll reveal it was them (well played team iZombie). The woman who played the victim, and clearly isn’t that smart, wants to say something anyway, since she wants the credit for the act. To silence her, Dolly Durkins (Jennifer Irwin), the leader of the Dead Enders give a signal to one of her other followers that seems to be to off the woman.

Continuing the fake news spree, to show the humans that Filmore Graves soldiers will be punished for killing humans, Major re-erects the guillotine. He then has someone “secretly” film him having the guilty soldiers heads smashed, and “leak” it to the press. All the while, Major didn’t really smash any heads, the video was faked, and the soldiers were sentenced to some time as frozen Popsicle in a freezer (how Chase Graves used to punish zombies before he decided to smash heads). The humans, however, are mollified.

Peyton makes her own PR push, by hiring Ravi’s friend’s comedy troupe to make a TV show where a human and a zombie live next door to each other and become friends. The hope is that people will realize zombies are just regular people (the asterisk of that is, of course, as long as they get brains).

One thing that doesn’t go so well this episode is Liv’s smuggling operation. Last episode, Liv sent one of her smugglers, Baron (Francis Capra), to pick up a foster kid who’s sick and has terrible foster parents, but he convinces Baron to also take his two foster sisters with them. Since the foster sisters don’t have fake ID’s, they get caught, but this episode Baron and the kid, Oliver, come up with a plan to get them out. Oliver distracts the police officer who has custody of them, and Baron sneaks into the police car, hot-wires it, and drives off with the girls.

They four of them manage to make it to Seattle, but as they approach the wall, a bunch of Dead Enders drive out in a truck shooting at them. The kids all hide under a bus while Baron leads the shooters in the wrong direction and gets shot to death. The kids make into New Seattle, and tell Liv what happened. Liv scratches Oliver to cure him, but while she’s not looking, Oliver scratches both of his foster sisters, at their request. I guess they think being big and strong zombies is a nice idea, but they don’t realize they’re subjecting themselves to a life of scant brain tubes.

This episode was a roller coaster of political intrigue, as our characters use all of their wits to try to keep the peace. This Dolly Durkins is emerging as a real villain, as are her Dead Enders. Blaine and his crew were not in the episode, which had enough going on without him. All in all, a solid episode.

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Author: Linda Maleh

Entertainment writer, feminist, and New York City native. Personal blog is tvtotalkabout.com.

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