iZombie – Season 1 Episode 11

May 27, 2015 | Posted by in TV


With only 2 episode if the first season to go, iZombie deepens the main story in preparation for things to start coming to a head.

The central figure to all of this at the moment is Major. Arguably he makes the plot of this episode and the season as a whole move forward due to his personal connection to the whole thing. In the previous episode he had checked himself into a mental institution to get over the apparent delusions he had been having. We of course know that everything he saw was real as do Liv and Ravi but as far as Major’s concerned something has snapped in his head and he needs help.

He’s told by Scott E (Bryce Hodgson) that zombies are real so this starts his investigation down that path. When Scott is found dead it only brings Major further into the investigation as he tries to figure out what his connection to all of this is. This causes him to further look into Blaine and Julien which in turn leads him to finally discover the truth.


Liv’s delusion starts to manifest

This is played really well as Major has been on the right track for weeks now but never quite had enough information to make the proper connection. The mention of the word zombie seems to have given him enough to go on and allows him to fill in the gaps himself. His actions in this episode lead him to the inescapable conclusion that it must be true despite how insane it really is.

Instead of having the case of the week be all but unconnected to the arc the investigation of Scott E’s death becomes instrumental to all of that. The resolution of it all was a little underwhelming and easy to work out but the journey to get there took some interesting and unexpected turns.

It is established early on that Scott E was more than a little prone to delusion which apparently manifested in him talking to an imaginary devil that told him to do things. Since Liv eats his brain she is afflicted by the same thing and it shows itself early on by having a cartoon devil on the front of a crisp packet casually insulting her. It was supposed to be funny and some of it was but I found it generally disturbing as the show tried to portray mental illness in a semi palatable way that didn’t seem too grim. I feel that it had the opposite effect but never quite went into the realm of being tasteless. I like that Liv was visibly disturbed by it and how she felt that her hold on reality was slipping away.


Liv realises that she’s been hallucinating

Having her delusions seem so apparently silly was a clever cover for the real twist in the episode. Liv works with Johnny Frost (Daran Norris) who apparently had a close relationship with Scott E. He leads Liv through all of his haunts and helps her investigate things with the benefit of his knowledge. When it turns out that Johnny was a delusion concocted by Scott E’s unbalanced brain it was a genuine surprise as I had assumed that the extent of her delusion would be an offensive cartoon devil. Thinking back the clues were there throughout but they were wonderfully subtle. The most glaring one thinking back is Johnny’s repetition of the temperature as if it’s warm but Liv’s constant insistence that it’s cold. It’s not an obvious clue but works well. There’s also the fact that Johnny doesn’t actually interact with the physical world in any way. Delusion or not, Daran Norris is always a fantastic presence in any show. Here he chews the scenery expertly and has such natural chemistry with Rose McIver who bounces off him perfectly. Their scenes are a lot of fun to watch.

Johnny Frost isn’t the only manifestation of her delusions and the other one is equally as surprising. Major is a big presence in the episode which made the reveal that a lot of their interactions are delusions all the more surprising. There were some scenes that I thought were a little too perfect such as Liv’s confession of the truth to him. I understand why she felt it was time to tell him but I felt that he took it a bit too well. I thought there would be more disbelief or shock with perhaps some fear thrown in but he took it like a champ. I was ready to chalk that up to somewhat lazy writing to move the plot forward but it just shows that the misdirect worked like a charm. When Major turns up at the end with evidence of zombies and declaring that he was going to kill every last one of them everything suddenly made sense and I have to applaud the writers for having two major -no pun intended- twists in one episode that I didn’t see coming at all.

Major’s newfound knowledge presents a problem for Liv as she may now find herself right in his crosshairs once he learns the truth about her. She must know that it’s only a matter of time as he’s too tenacious to not find out plus I fully expect Blaine will level with him when Major inevitably has him cornered. It’s all certainly building to an interesting crescendo.

Speaking of Blaine the writers continue to surprise me with the portrayal of his character. Having him turn up in the morgue was a surprise as I certainly didn’t expect him to show up waving a flag of friendship. He knows that Liv is onto him and Liv knows all about him now but neither want to admit it to the other out of perception of having the upper hand so instead we get these uneasy scenes of them pretending to be friends. Scenes like that almost made me forget that Blaine is this show’s version of evil incarnate. It’s a real testament to David Anders’ acting ability that he can instantly seem likeable after being so deliciously evil over the past few episodes.

When it comes to Blaine’s operation I continue to be impressed by how this is portrayed within the show. I found it interesting that he has managed to kill an astronaut and turn the experience contained within his brains into a business opportunity. It didn’t really move the story along in any way but was an impressive piece of world building. I like the idea that zombies will chase experiences and pay good money for them. It deepens the zombie aspect of the show in ways that I didn’t really see coming.


Blaine flies the flag of peace

The rest of the cast take something of a backseat this week but I really enjoyed Ravi’s dialogue with Peyton. I like that he’s not shy and awkward around her simply because he has a crush on her. He’s confident and self assured like he’s always been so it’s refreshing to see a romantic subplot handled in such a way. Sadly Clive only really does the investigation side of the story which again represents a missed opportunity to develop this character. Malcolm Goodwin injects plenty of character into the scenes that he does have but I wish he was more than simply the information guy.

Ravi’s continued research into the zombie cure comes across as organic. He’s taking a very scientific approach which makes sense as he’s a scientist and this episode constitutes some real progress in that area. I do wonder if signs are as promising as they initially seem but I’m guessing that it won’t be long until we find out.

Liv seeing the video of the party that led to her becoming a zombie gave a fresh perspective on the whole thing. Seeing how disgusted Liv looked when she saw herself feasting on a fresh brain like an animal really brought it all home and gives her something to be really worried about. She has already been the thing she fears becoming so that should give her some really powerful emotions to deal with.

  • 8.5/10
    Astroburger - 8.5/10


A really strong episode that nicely develops the story with only 2 episodes to go until the first season is over.

Major is the focal point of the story here as he is the one who is connected to both sides of it in a very real way. His friendship with the murder victim sets the stage for Liv and Clive’s investigation as well as getting Major on the path of thinking about zombies as a very real possibility.

His discovery of the truth creates some interesting problems for Liv as he seems to be on a mission of extermination which might extend to her once he inevitably finds out the truth about her.

Liv’s particular personality trait absorbed this week is the delusions of the murdered Scott E which initially manifests as an offensive cartoon devil on the side of a crisp packet. It’s over the top and cartoonish but manages to distract the viewer from the other delusions that serve as some really impressive twists.

Johnny Frost is a great character and all of his scenes with Liv are an absolute delight to watch. The two actors bounce nicely off each other and he’s a welcome scenery chewing presence. The reveal that he’s a figment of her imagination leading her through the investigation was a legitimately clever one that made complete sense and managed to fool me. The other reveal that consisted of an unrealistic reveal of the truth to Major being met with acceptance was really nicely done as well and intensified the shock of Major’s statement at the end of the episode.

Ravi’s dialogue with Peyton worked really well for me. I like that he’s still confident and self assured despite his crush on her and that he doesn’t descend into a stuttering mess around her. It makes their flirtations seem nice and real.

Blaine showing up at the morgue flying the flag of friendship was an interesting development. He knows that Liv is onto him and she knows all about him but neither want to give the game away just yet so they plead ignorance for now. David Anders manages to turn on the charm and relatability perfectly while being deliciously evil elsewhere in the episode. It’s a dazzling combination of solid writing and excellent acting that makes this whole thing work.

Liv seeing the video of herself feasting on a fresh brain as well as the promise of a zombie cure raise the stakes in such a way that means I can’t wait for the next episode. This series is must watch TV currently.