Airing in the UK on Netflix, new episodes every Wednesday
Writer: John Bellina
Director: Michael Wale
Essential Plot Points:
- Blaine, holding his chest together, holds a gun on his supplier.
- At FG, Clive, Major and Liv are on site. The Justin Tape has gone live and, while the rednecks are still prime suspects there’s no proof. Yet.
- Major is held back by Vivian She praises him for his work in Kumar. And he… because he’s Major, explains he came back more committed than ever. And then she checks his wrist and realises he has a pulse.
- She wants to know how he got cured. NOW.
- Outside, Major levels with the others as Vivian and Fortesen head out to Zombie Island and…
- Their helicopter explodes…
- That night, Team Z reconvene. Liv is convinced that Harley’s behind it. Clive isn’t convinced. And when Ravi finds they aren’t discussing it on the boards it looks even odder. Ravi finds the zombie truthers are meeting that Saturday. He and Liv are going to be there…
- Elsewhere, a YouTube prankster called Finn Vincible and the rest of his Stunted Growth YouTube show’s crew arrive at his high school girlfriend’s house. He vows to win her back by jumping a BMX through a burning hoop while wearing a suit made of hay.
- It goes EXACTLY how you’d expect.
- It turns out that the suit was switched out. The real suit was hidden nearby. Someone killed him, and with 23 million subscribers and a small empire, there are a lot of suspects…
- A newly re-zombied Blaine watches Don E unload a shipment…
- At the speakeasy, Blaine’s dad Angus finds out about the F-G mercs who drink in the bar. He gets an idea…
- The other members of Stunted Growth are brought in, trashed off their gourds. Liv talks them down… by helping them staple things to each other.
- Clive, as the designated grownup in the room, brings them into land. And their camera supervisor surfaces as the first subject…
- It turns out he’s helping Baracus film a campaign ad. He won’t talk. Like Stunted Growth he signed an NDA…
- Blaine is stocking up and preparing for war…
- Don E finds Angus hosting a pitch to Venture Capitalists in Don-E’s office. Angus basically throws him out.
- At the Morgue, Liv and Ravi are watching Stunted Growth. Liv has a vision of Rudy screaming at Finn, yelling that he was sick.
- They bring the Stunted Growth team back in. They claim they weren’t there and that Finn deleted the footage because it was ‘too raw’.
- One of them doubles back and explains that their editor sent them a link to the footage. Footage, in this case, of Finn sleeping with Rudy’s first and only girlfriend. Or seeming to…
- They bring Rudy back in and he claims that he was in on it. He also reveals that he married the woman in the video. And Rudy didn’t sign the NDA. He says Kong’s son attempted to skate off his roof into a pool, missed and was crippled for life. They had to pay out a massive settlement, as Finn was the kid’s hero.
- Ravi secures Liv and himself an invite to the Zombie Truther meeting.
- Liv feeds Justin some of Finn’s brains so they can stay on the same level. They go out for a wild night of partying which involves… throwing lawn darts straight up and laughing when they get hit by them. It’s remarkably sweet. And Liv has a vision of Rudy claiming they were using a ‘new’ flame retardant…
- At the bar, Don E gets a call from Blaine. A very much not dead Blaine. He tells Don E to put his affairs in order. Angus orders them to find him and bring him his head.
- Clive and Liv go to Rudy’s house and are let in by his aunt. They find the flame retardant and establish that it is in fact flame retardant. Rudy’s wife throws them out and we see his aunt tending to Rudy’s son.
- Rudy’s black son.
- Clive closes the case. Rudy’s wife did sleep with Finn. She had his kid. Rudy busts out laughing. He says Finn was evil and, by posting footage of Finn’s death, he got the biggest Stunted Growth video in history.
- At the bar, they take delivery of a new stash. Including Blaine who kills Angus’ staff and fills the older Blaine full of holes. Angus tries to bargain with his son. Blaine tells him to stand in the tub he’s brought with him.
- Later, Angus is suspended over a well on the family estate. His feet are in a concrete block. Angus cooks off, telling his son how much he disgusts him and that he was a waste of his sperm.
- Blaine drops him into the well. Not dead. Not alive. Forever.
- At the bar, Don E arrives to find Blaine in his chair. They come to an accord; Don E gets the bar. Blaine gets the business.
- At F-G, the wake for the fallen is interrupted by Chase Graves. He is intense. Sufficiently intense that when Justin admits to stealing some cans of Super Max he shoots him.
- At the Truther convention, Liv and Ravi go undercover. Which, brilliantly, involves Rose McIver not being in makeup for once. And Ravi sweating a lot.
- They see that blood pressure checks are an entrance requirement and Ravi panics. Liv is chill, thinking she can get her Adrenalin and heart rate up. They’re confronted by Johns who almost recognises her and Ravi bluffs them into a get out for Liv. But he has to go in…
Wow! As we head towards the end of the season the show is not slowing down at all. There’s a tonne of great stuff this episode, and it continues the focusing process we saw last time.
In fact, continuation is the name of the game. The return of Harley Johns, the long-term consequences of Major’s choice and F-G transitioning to a very real threat are all things that have been developing for a while but are now very, very much here. The show isn’t quite a serial but it’s damn close and all the better for it.
Perhaps as a reaction to that, this week’s murder is both very strong and very disturbing. Finn is a terrible human, certainly, but he goes out in a horrific manner. That, the abuse Rudy suffered and the bovine dudebro idiocy of Stunted Growth combine to give a very dim view of humanity this episode. It’s a smart move, but at the same time this episode plays way darker than most recent ones. That’s why some of the jokes, especially Rose McIver getting into ‘disguise’ by not wearing Liv’s makeup, land so well. It’s the comedy of relief as much as anything else.
But the real star this week is Blaine. Dead again and clearly so consumed with disgust at himself and what he was made into by his dad that he’s murderously angry. We don’t believe for a second the truce between Don E and Blaine will last. We are sure we’re never seeing Angus again. Locked up for eternity with just his memories, neither dead or alive enough? That’s the coldest thing we’ve seen anyone on the show do to date.
Plus, lawn darts!
This is a great episode. A strong central story, some great character moments for everyone, especially Ravi who’s been underused so far this year and a definite gear shift. It’s a dark episode and one that clearly pushes things towards the end game but it doesn’t put a foot wrong.
- ‘He was a genius.’
‘We’re still talking about the guy who jumped through a fire ring in a hay suit?’
- ‘Why you ask so many questions, man?’
‘This is an interrogation. It’s kind of the point.’
- ‘Don’t worry. He’s alive and… well.’ This is a terrible pun but it’s earned.
- ‘They’ll mark you as a you-know-what in a heartbeat. A very slow heartbeat.’
- ‘There’s this girl on this show on TV and everyone says I look like her. What’s it called?’
‘Oh yeah it’s got a dumb name. What is it?’ Nicely done!
- Vivian! We’ll miss her. She was fun. And scary. And now you mention it we’re not entirely sure she’s all the way dead…
And The Random:
- The just horrifyingly awful Finn is played brilliantly by Veronica Mars alumni Robert Ri’chard.
- John Bellina has worked on Veronica Mars, Episodes and many more.
- Michael Wale got his start as a cinematographer on shows like Fringe and Smallville.
- JASON DOHRING!!!!!!! Veronica Mars’ number one enemy and frequent boyfriend Logan Echolls makes his triumphant debut this week. Dohring is GREAT, both as Logan and as a fantastically laconic ancient vampire on much-missed one season wonder Moonlight.
Review by Alasdair Stuart