iZombie – Season 1 Episode 13

Jun 10, 2015 | Posted by in TV

“Blaine’s World”

iZombie brings its first season to a conclusion as Liv finally takes the fight to Blaine…eventually.

There was lots of tension going into this finale with Major captured by Blaine, the possibility of a zombie cure and Liv’s brother Evan being given a job within Blaine’s operation so it’s important to keep the momentum in order to develop all of these ideas properly.

iZombie has upheld the procedural structure throughout the season so it makes sense that the finale would have this as well. The case is held over from last week with the murder of Theresa -finally given a name so I can stop calling her Sin- under investigation. Liv eats her brain and gets her personality but the story doesn’t linger on this for too long. She acts a little more standoffish but for a while but that’s about that. Allowing Liv to have her base personality for most of the episode makes perfect sense for the finale.

It seems that Peyton’s disappearance after learning Liv’s secret last week is the final straw for her. In the early part of the episode she seems at the end of her tether and desperate to be cured of this curse that she’s been living with for a while now. Signs point to positive with the latest cured rat being alive and well so it seems that the cure is viable. It hasn’t been fully tested yet so there’s no guarantee that it’ll even work on a human zombie or if it’s something that could even be survived. Liv is so fed up that she doesn’t care if it kills her, as far as she’s concerned she is willing to risk death rather than continue to live as a zombie.

Her impatience doesn’t quite work for me. I understand that she’s emotional but being this reckless isn’t really her style. It could be something to do with the influence of Theresa’s brain but there’s something that feels off about it. The hope of a cure is enough and the untested nature of it helps to add dramatic weight to later scenes.


Blaine continues to torture Major

Liv has a lot to deal with emotionally in this episode. When Major lies dying she has a difficult choice to make with neither prospect seeing all that attractive. She can either let him die or turn him into a zombie and subject him to the same cursed existence she has had. It seems that it’s an easy decision for her as she scratches him without hesitation and is prepared to deal with the consequences.

It seems that she has such a naive approach to how this would go. She talks as if Major will be fine with his life being altered in such a profound way and will accept being with her now that they are both zombies. Never mind the months of lying and the heartbreak that starts all of this off. His engagement to Liv being broken off informs Major’s character in such a massive way that it’s easy to believe that he would be reluctant to even speak to Liv once finding out why she has been lying to him. I can see it from her point of view but Major’s outlook on the situation is entirely valid. As far as he’s concerned he was entirely devoted to Liv so is very hurt by the fact that she doesn’t seem to share those feelings. Both parties are fairly ignorant to the way that the other side looks at the situation which makes the thing feel more real.

Later when Liv’s brother is injured in the explosion at Meat Cute and needs blood from someone sharing his type to have a chance of surviving Liv has a similar dilemma to the earlier one with Major. She can donate her blood and let her brother become a zombie as well or she can let him fight for his life and spare him from a life like hers. Like with Major her decision not to allow the donation is quick but Rose McIver plays the pain within Liv as she has to decide perfectly. It’s plain that she’s choosing the greater good but really isn’t happy about it. I also like that the show leaves the reaction from her mother as the cliffhanger to lead us into next season. It’s easy to imagine that the reaction will be a confused one because an outside observer would be baffled as to why she wouldn’t want to help her brother so it will be interesting to see how Liv explains why she refuses this.

I really like the whole notion that Liv has to wrestle with whether to play God in this episode. She can choose to give life or take it away. That sort of power is far too much for one person and McIver’s performance shows how profound a decision it is. She rashly opts to save Major but it proves to do more harm than good so this colours her perception when it comes to saving Evan. It’s a lot for Liv to work through and the episode handles the emotional beats of her complicated choices wonderfully.


Liv prepares to use the cure

As well as Liv’s story the finale also revolves around Major who has had a rough time of it lately. He has recently found out that zombies exist and getting to that knowledge has cost him his job as well as his reputation. His life has been completely destroyed because he couldn’t help but care about some missing kids. It’s been an interesting journey for him throughout the season and it’s gratifying to see how strong he is in the face of what must be certain death. The fact that he spends so long locked in the freezer without breaking says a lot about his character and the way he stands up to Blaine is very impressive.

It’s immensely satisfying to see him arm himself and go all Terminator on Blaine’s operation. There’s a bit of suspension of disbelief in accepting that he’s so great with firearms after only getting his arsenal a short time ago but it’s a cathartic moment for Major as the employees at Meat Cute represent the living nightmare that his life has become since this all started. He is cold and remorseless as he tears through Blaine’s employees with the real satisfaction coming from blowing Julien to bits with a grenade. Given how much trouble Julien has been for him is there any other way to bring this tortured relationship to a close? If there is then I can’t think of it.

It’s a little contrived that Blaine would be able to silently sneak up on him and stab him but I didn’t really have a problem with it. It managed to feel like a surprise and I was taken aback by how invested I was in the sequence that I didn’t see it coming. It was probably pretty obvious but the episode managed to suck me in enough to ignore it.


Major goes all Terminator on Meat Cute

When Major is turned into a zombie Robert Buckley gives his best performance so far. He regards Liv with quiet disgust as he can’t bear to look at her for all she’s done. His line delivery is so cold and clear that it’s almost eerie how disappointed in her she is. He asks the question of whether she saved him to her own benefit and it’s a question that she really can’t answer. There’s definitely a selfish part of it as she wants to be with Major so turning him into a zombie is the easiest way for that to happen. Major wanting nothing to do with her is a complication that has no end of dramatic potential. I also like that he’s cured again so has to live his human life with that knowledge while wrestling with the magnitude of what he has learned. I dare say there will be side effects to the cure as well so Major’s story next season should be fascinating to watch.

The investigation was handled well enough with the usual scenes of Clive and Liv going from place to place questioning various people. It was different here as it fed into the larger story much more than usual by leading them back to the Max Rager energy drinks company who are all kinds of corrupt.

It would have been easy to identify Max Rager as the real threat. Battling against rich corporations is a popular thing in television as it’s so easy to demonise a faceless corporate entity as being evil. To begin with it looks as if this episode is heading that way but it is played smarter than that. Max Rager are a part of the puzzle but they aren’t all of it. This is nicely exemplified by the fact that Steven Weber’s Vaughn Du Clark is a cartoonishly evil supervillain with no compassion for anyone beyond himself. He’s fun to watch when he interacts with people but there’s no real depth there. It’s almost as if the show is parodying the classic CEO villain trope with this character. He and his company serve a purpose within the show that still lingers over everything and that’s really enough for now. The fact that they are so easily dealt with by use of a news article to reveal the truth about burying facts about their product being dangerous tells us that they’re not the real threat. As an aside, I love how Vaughn’s motivation for making an energy drink is that there are less regulations that pharmaceuticals. He’s so deliciously evil in a way that’s entertaining and I hope he returns for the next season. It seems that he will with the “we’re just getting started” promise and the desire to wipe out all zombies. I wonder if this will make Blaine and Live unwitting allies next season.


Major prepares for death

Speaking of Blaine, he was handled so well in this episode. He’s always been such a nonchalantly evil guy but here is probably the finest work done on this character yet. The way he calmly deals with Major as he waits for the inevitable breaking point is a lot of fun to watch.  Blaine really enjoys being in that position and isn’t shy about it. His torture of Major really didn’t feel like torture which is a testament to the skill of both David Anders and the writers to keep Blaine a solid antagonist while being likeable and not pushing too far down the camp villainy root.

I found Blaine’s conversation with Liv where he points out how essential he is fascinating. He makes the point that keeping the local zombies fed on a steady diet of brains is preventing the outbreak of a full scale zombie Apocalypse. Blaine has done some really awful things over the past 13 episodes but he sort of has a point. In a very practical sense the evil he is doing is far less destructive than the chaos of a bunch of hungry feral zombies descending on the city. Now that he’s been cured and his operation has been literally blown to bits I wonder how this power struggle left in his absence will manifest. Will he continue his work as a human or will the zombie problem get more widespread? Suddenly the need for a cure is more important than ever as the zombie problem is a much larger scale than being simply about curing Liv. There’s lots to chew on in the next few months and season 2 is already set up to be fascinating as it explores all of this potential.

It’s a shame that both Ravi and Clive had so little to do in this finale. Ravi’s role amounted to basically telling Liv about the cure and informing him that Major was missing. Beyond that he seemed to be very much in the background and received very little in the way of personal development.

Clive is in the same boat here with his role being limited to helping Liv solve the case. It does seem like his character arc will be tied to Major’s next season now that he’s on the case with Major as a suspect for the attack on Meat Cute but we’ll see how that pans out.

Another problem I had with the episode was when Suzuki radioed in an all clear after investigating Meat Cute. There was no way that would prevent any further investigation and I have to wonder just how blind and deaf the people living nearby are to not hear the loud gunfire as well as a grenade going off. Surely someone would have reported it to the police. Him trying to give the police Blaine’s information but having it compromised by the explosion gives them something to work with but plenty of room for development in the next season.


  • 9/10
    Blaine's World - 9/10


A really effective finale that brings the major arcs to an appropriate emotional close while setting things up nicely for next season.

Liv has a lot of complex emotional problems to deal with in this episode. She is faced with the very real prospect of being rid of her curse forever but selflessly chooses to rid the world of Blaine by curing him as well as helping Major after turning him when he nearly dies. It’s suggested that she did the latter for selfish reasons and that she had a very clear idea of what that would mean for their relationship. She expected them to resume where they left off but Major is so disgusted with her for breaking his heart and lying to him for months that he can’t even look at her.

It turns out that curing Major causes her other problems as there are no more doses of the cure left so when Evan is left in critical condition and needs her blood to have a chance of survival she has to refuse as she chose to remain a zombie. It truly shows how cursed Liv is and Rose McIver plays this wonderfully.

Major is a significant focus in this finale as he is shown to be a really strong character when he is locked in a freezer but refuses to break and let Blaine win. Seeing him go full Terminator on the Meat Cute employees is really satisfying as it’s something that Major has definitely earned after all he’s been through.

Seeing him as a zombie briefly was interesting as his eyes are opened for the first time. He can’t forgive Liv for what she’s done and deeply resents being around her. His cold line delivery clearly shows the deep feelings of hurt and disappointment that he feels.

Blaine is as always an engaging villain. A combination of the writing and David Anders’ performance manage to make him menacing yet likeable without ever crossing the line into cartoonish villainy. The idea of his operation being essential in making sure that the zombie population is kept in fresh brains instead of going feral and attacking people at random is an interesting one and blurs the line between right and wrong nicely.

Having him cured has some interesting potential for season 2. Will he continue his operation and pretend to be human or will he do something else? Will there be a power struggle in his absence? There’s lots that could be done here so I look forward to it.

Unfortunately Ravi and Clive are left a little to the wayside with each of them only propping up Liv’s story by telling her what she needs to know. There’s a sense that Clive will be more connected to Major next season but that all remains to be seen. There’s definitely some improvement to be had in the treatment of Clive as the show continues but all told a really solid end to an equally solid first season.

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