iZombie – Season 3 Episode 8
“Eat a Knievel”
iZombie has Liv consume the brain of a deceased daredevil and builds on most of the existing plots in different ways.
I’ll start off with the case of the week as it’s probably a broken record for me to point out that I find it to be the weakest part of the show at this point. I wasn’t a huge fan of the personality she took on this week mostly because I found it more obnoxious than entertaining. The whole Jackass parody angle felt more dated than anything else.
One thing this plot did well was delivering clues in different formats. Normally Liv’s visions are the main vehicle for moving the investigation forward but using videos adds a welcome break from the standard fare of these cases.
Liv’s personality shift did allow for an entertaining first date with Justin who shared the experience with her. Their date consists of throwing darts into the air and waiting to be hit which makes use of the fact that they are Zombies pretty well and Liv’s more devil-may-care attitude allows her to move things along by kissing Justin. I still feel that it might be a little too soon after the emotional upheaval surrounding Major becoming unavailable to her but the brain more or less compensates for that.
Filmore Graves is reeling from Justin being caught on camera in Full On Zombie Mode last week and is prepared for some extensive retaliation against Zombies. Thankfully the video is being treated as a hoax with very few people finding it believable so that buys them more time but it’s clear that it will be considered a lucky escape and the situation will have to be constantly monitored. Filmore Graves are so far portrayed as well organised and competent with Vivian appearing to be a capably intelligent leader.
Her scene with Major where she appeals to his ego by branding him a hero before checking his pulse using a handshake was great. It tells us a lot about Vivian’s ability to problem solve and notice clear signs around her. This scene seems to rule Filmore Graves out as suspects for the theft of the cure as Vivian asks Major how he became human again suggesting that she doesn’t even know about it. Of course this could be a deception but so far the show has ruled out the three main suspects.
After this scene it was a real shock to see the helicopter that Vivian was in destroyed. It looked as if she was being set up as a complex antagonist for this season and her death feels far too abrupt considering the potential she had. There’s no guarantee that she’s actually dead so she may turn up later in the season but if the intent was to shock the viewer then mission accomplished. Replacing her with Veronica Mars alum Jason Dohring is definitely an exciting prospect.
The party responsible for the explosion has yet to be revealed so adds a new mystery to the pile. At the top of the list is the growing anti-Zombie movement but it isn’t being talked about on the message boards so it seems less and less likely. One thought I had is that it’s one of the foreign agencies that they have most likely annoyed with their activities but time will tell on that one.
Other than the beginnings of an undercover mission the anti-Zombie crowd aren’t given much focus but I liked seeing Liv restore her natural skin tone with a wig to complete the look. It’s not quite enough to conceal who she is and she is quickly recognised causing her to leave rather than arouse suspicion which places Ravi in a potentially dangerous situation on his own. This scene created tension well and was an appropriate cliffhanger for the episode.
The highlight of the week was having Blaine back to his old self. After being shot last week he asks a former client to make him a zombie again before going for a direct assault on his father. The implications of Blaine turning back to a zombie are largely ignored which is fine for now but I do wonder if being cured will make a difference in some way. Maybe he’ll go back to being on borrowed time or there could be some other undisclosed side effect. I dare say he’ll visit Ravi before long to find out.
His Trojan Horse plan is nicely done and it’s really satisfying to see him square off against his father. Blaine is merciless and highly motivated. Angus’ reaction is great as well; I love that he tells Blaine that he’s proud of him for showing initiative in trying to bring him down. It’s a really twisted form of validation and it ties perfectly into the established relationship between them.
Blaine punishing him by encasing his feet in concrete and sending him down a well is a brilliant touch and using it as an opportunity to explore some of Blaine’s early coping mechanisms for this abusive relationship. Mentioning that this well is where he would go to throw pennies into and wish that his father would drop dead personalises the gesture of putting him in there. By doing that he is making his wish come true and it’s incredibly satisfying to see Blaine achieve victory in this way. If this is the last we see of Angus then it’s a great way for him to go but I suspect that he will return at some point.
This creates something of a power vacuum that Blaine is all too eager to fill by going back into business with Don E. Last week Blaine had nothing and in the space of a single episode he has completely turned the tables on those who tried to get rid of him. It doesn’t feel out of place and further shows how resourceful he is. I just love that Blaine is back to his old tricks and it looks like this will connect to the Filmore Graves plot when he becomes the main brain supplier for them.
A solid episode that furthers many of the major plots in various ways. The case of the week is the weakest part as usual with Liv’s personality being more obnoxious than entertaining. It did provide an opportunity for an endearing date between Liv and Justin though. Luckily Justin being filmed in Full On Zombie Mode is being dismissed as a hoax but Filmore Graves are on full alert and expecting it to escalate showing that they are competent. Vivian also shows herself to be intelligent and capable when she figures out that Major is human again. After this strong scene it’s a genuine surprise when she is apparently killed which definitely feels before her time in terms of her potential for the show. The anti-Zombie movement don’t take credit for the attack but bear investigating anyway. It’s good to see Rose McIver allowed to wear her natural skin tone and hair colour for the undercover mission which is almost derailed by recognition. This scene builds tension nicely and leaves the episode on an effective cliffhanger.
Blaine’s return to glory is brilliantly handled with an excellent resolution to the conflict with his father. I’m not sure it’s over but it easily could be and would absolutely be considered satisfying if this was where it would be left. It also appears that this will connect him to the Filmore Graves plot when he becomes their brain supplier so it’s an important plot for the bigger picture.