iZombie – Season 2 Episode 7
After a few intense weeks, iZombie slows things down a little with an episode that still moves the plot forward but not in hugely significant ways. It’s about as close to filler as this show gets.
The slower pace of storytelling thankfully didn’t come at the expense of the characters who still shine as brightly as ever. We get plenty of development of both Clive and Ravi who both have significant progression in this episode.
Ravi goes through a lot of changes as he breaks up with Steph because things aren’t working so well between them. We have to take his word for it as there has been little evidence of their relationship beyond a couple of brief scenes and some anecdotal evidence. Steph seemed really cool when she did appear so having her turned into your typical “crazy girlfriend” seems to do her a disservice. At least she didn’t stick around to listen to the breakup speech and called Ravi out for waiting until the morning after a romantic evening.
Apparently Ravi has been having conflicting feelings with Peyton back on the scene as evidenced by the fact that he eyes her up in the kitchen when she isn’t looking and makes a move on her right after her splits up with Steph. No red blooded heterosexual male can disagree with the guy leering on Peyton relationship or no relationship if I’m honest and the fact that he liked her a lot last season makes him feeling uneasy about her being back and living with him perfectly reasonable. I just wish there had been clearer evidence about that before now.
Clive and Dale have started a relationship or at least have started sleeping together and it’s a good fit for Clive to have more to him than simply his job. Of course she is connected to his work life as their investigations are along the same lines but she also represents something that Clive has for himself not related to Liv. We don’t see much of them together this episode but Clive is clearly frustrated when he reads the faked report about the brain that he gave to Dale to get the FBI lab to run tests on. He clearly doesn’t like to be wrong so it’s a shame that his hunches are correct but he is being misled.
He was also responsible for a lot of the comedy in the episode as his hatred for magic really shone through. Malcolm Goodwin’s delivery and timing of a simple “No” when Liv asked him to pick a card was absolutely perfect. Much of the rest of his scenes were the usual police work but Clive’s lack of tolerance for this case really came across.
Liv consumes the brain of a magician who is obsessed with death. After some subdued personality changes in recent weeks this one becomes really dominant which allows Rose McIver to really cut loose with an entertaining and over the top performance which involves a lot of magic tricks and strange comments about spiritualism. It’s a lot of fun to watch and Ravi’s reaction as he calls it the “best brain ever” is priceless.
The case itself was a little underwhelming as it mostly seemed to hang on the surprise reveal of the killer which was painfully obvious thanks to a really terrible disguise. I wasn’t fooled for a second and I don’t imagine anyone else would be either.
Liv and Major are trying to figure out how their relationship will work without a normal physical aspect to it. Major seems alright with that part but clearly has issues with her personality shifts despite what he says. It’s obvious that her personality shift this episode creeps him out in a way that he wasn’t anticipating and leads him to avoid her despite her best intentions to keep the personality as in check as possible.
Major talks to Ravi and Peyton about their experiences with zombie Liv and they both have different perspectives on it. This isn’t a conversation that could have been had last season but it’s refreshing to see other characters talking about her without her present as it provides a really unique perspective on the situation and gives Major advice that he can think about.
The highlight of the episode was Liv and Blaine teaming up to look into Dale’s investigation of the missing zombies. Liv is concerned that she might be next and Blaine is concerned that he is losing customers as well as being a target since nobody knows that he is actually human again. Self-interest has always been a powerful motivator for Blaine so the team-up makes a lot of sense for both of them at this point.
I love that Blaine is so casual about all of the horrible things that he is done as he dismissively talks about murdering the 4th guy to walk on the moon not being a big deal as nobody cares about the 4th person to do anything. David Anders is incredible in his scenes as always and his more carefree attitude is an effective contrast to Liv’s more serious nature. Together they make a good team but don’t get any further forward in figuring out who is responsible. If only Liv had sat at the other side of the table she would have seen the picture of Minor –Major’s dog- and started to piece it all together. It’s clear that Major will soon be outed for what he is doing and it’s only a matter of time until that happens.
Despite the fun loving and carefree attitude there are signs that Blaine is conflicted in a lot of ways. He is seen competently singing “Danny Boy” at a piano which could be some way of him honouring his grandfather after needlessly killing him. The musical connection was made in their relationship before so it would make sense. I also like seeing him and Peyton interact as there seems to be a flirtation there. It’s unlikely that they would ever be in a relationship but I suppose nothing is impossible.
A slower episode compared to the intensity of recent weeks but still an effective development of the characters.
Ravi has a lot to do this episode as he is conflicted over his attraction to Peyton while seeing Steph. He splits up with Steph who is disappointingly shown as the “crazy girlfriend” when there was no indication of that in her brief early appearances. Ravi having trouble resolving his feelings for Peyton now that she lives with him is perfectly reasonable but I wish there had been more evidence of this previously.
Clive and Dale are in a relationship –or at least sleeping together- as confirmed by this episode. This is good for Clive as it gives him something that can develop him independent of his interactions with Liv and the rest of the cast. Dale is still connected to cases he is working on but it’s a good opportunity for Clive to have something on his own. We learn that Clive is frustrated when he isn’t right as puts a lot of faith in his hunches. He is being misled and he is right but he doesn’t know that.
He gets a lot of the comedy for this episode as he shows a lack of tolerance for the magic themed murder mystery that he is involved in. Malcolm Goodwin’s perfect line delivery of the word “No!” when Liv asks him to pick a card is absolutely hilarious and his general frustration with the whole thing is great to watch.
Liv consuming the brain of a magician obsessed with death provides some solid entertainment. After a couple of subdued personalities it’s good to see a dominant one shine through and allow Rose McIver to really cut loose with her performance. It’s really entertaining to see her getting into magic and enjoying showing people tricks.
The case itself was very underwhelming with it all hinging on a surprise reveal that really wasn’t all that surprising. It was far too obvious and easy to see coming so it just didn’t work.
Liv and Major are trying to make a relationship work without a physical side to it. Major is fine with that but definitely has issues with Liv’s shifting personalities. He has problems with it to such a degree that he actively avoids her while she is under the influence.
Major’s conversation with Ravi and Peyton about their experiences of zombie Liv is great to see as it isn’t a conversation that could have been had least season. Having it all out in the open and getting different perspectives on the situation works wonders for the scope of the show.
Liv and Blaine’s team-up is the highlight of the episode. Blaine’s carefree attitude is a good contrast to Liv’s more serious outlook and David Anders chews the scenery as ably as he always does. His casual mentioning of the horrible things he has done as if they are normal is great to see.
There are shades of depth for Blaine as he sings “Danny Boy” at a piano which possibly references his relationship with his grandfather. It has been previously established that music was a big thing for them so it would make sense. His interactions with Peyton are great as well as they seem to have a hint of an attraction between them. It likely won’t come to anything but it’s interesting to watch for now.