iZombie – Season 2 Episode 18

Apr 13, 2016 | Posted by in TV

“Dead Beat”

iZombie prepares to close off season 2 with the situation becoming more dire for Major and reveals that will change the show forever.

This season of iZombie ended with a double bill so as per my policy with Agent Carter I’m going to review this episode before I watch the next one. I like to do it that way as it means that my opinion of the first episode isn’t coloured by future knowledge.


Major is at the mercy of the law

I have been consistently surprised by the ability of this show to hit with a cliffhanger that seems as if it might go one way and take it in a completely unpredictable direction that still feels satisfying. The writers working on this show are very good at subverting expectations in really interesting ways.

In this case, Major’s arrest at the end of the previous episode which ended with him about to lose control and turn full on zombie was something I expected to go very differently. It seemed likely that the episode would open with him using his superior strength to briefly overpower the police and perhaps escape. I never thought he would turn any of them into zombies or even seriously hurt them as I don’t think the show would want to make him responsible for any deaths even when not in control of his actions.

Instead the episode went down the route of attempting to prove that Major is guilty of what he has been accused of. There isn’t much in the way of evidence as all Clive and Dale have is completely circumstantial and only allows them to arrest him on suspicion. There are no bodies and no other proof can connect him to the disappearances so they really don’t have much.

This is highlighted by the Max Rager Lawyer Brant Stone (Ken Marino) who is sent to defend Major and becomes the latest Veronica Mars alum to appear on this show. Any scene that Stone appears in is great and it feels like this character could only be played by Ken Marino. He’s arrogant and doesn’t take anything too seriously which makes him perfect for this sort of story as it stops it being bogged down in the legality of it all. We see that Stone isn’t the least bit worried that he will lose this case and that’s enough to assure the viewer that Major will probably not end up in prison for all of the crimes he has technically committed.


Peyton flirts her way to a favour

Brant Stone makes an impression right away, especially in his scene with Peyton. She asks him to smuggle in a protein bar that has some brain in it so that Major can keep himself together and Stone uses this as an opportunity to blackmail her into going out for drinks with him. It’s a hilarious scene with a great performance from Aly Michalka who proves to be the master at pretending to flirt and be slightly seductive but not too much. It’s good to have Peyton around just to provide some fun for the episode.

The most significant issue is the fact that Major needs brains and can’t get access to them. His condition slowly deteriorates throughout the episode and Robert Buckley’s performance as well as the excellent makeup work clearly shows this. Towards the end of the episode he’s barely holding it together to the point that it looks like he’s moments away from completely losing control. Despite how laughable the case against him seems the threat of him going full zombie creates a sense of urgency in proving that as quickly as possible.

The situation creates problems for Ravi and Liv as well when the search for evidence in the house turns up the tainted Utopium that Ravi has been hiding. This is enough to get him and Liv suspended from the morgue as a connection to Major is suspected which cuts off access to a supply of brains for Liv. This further dials up the urgency as clearing up the situation restores Liv’s supply of brains as well.

Liv also has to deal with the fact that Major is accused of being the Chaos Killer. This includes the possibility that Major killed Drake and Liv really can’t understand why he would do that. Ravi tells her the whole story but the whole thing still baffles her. Interestingly she doesn’t hold the lies told to her by both Major and Ravi against either of them as she is more concerned with making sure Major is freed and doesn’t lose control in a confined location.


Liv shows Clive the truth

Major being in prison is a far bigger problem than simply having him lose his freedom. If he loses control then everyone in the prison could become zombies and the situation could become apocalyptic really quickly. The fact that this could mean the end of the world is brought up and it definitely is a risk. This forces Liv to tell Clive the truth so that he can help. She has no real choice here as she has completely ran out of time to get Major his much needed brains and the cure definitely isn’t an option for her since she doesn’t want Major to lose his memory. The idea of a fresh start might be appealing to him but Liv doesn’t consider it an option.

Clive learning the truth has been a long time coming as there are things that don’t make sense to him because he doesn’t know that zombies exist. When Liv tells him the truth Clive’s first reaction is to not believe her which makes sense as the idea of zombies existing would seem like lunacy if the rest of your life is fairly normal. Clive does believe that Liv is a psychic so is better able to quickly accept this when Liv gives him an undeniable example.

It’s a shame that we don’t really see his reaction or the resulting conversation that shows how he tries to process all of this new information. It must clear up a few things that didn’t quite add up before at the very least. It would have been a good thing to see as it would give us an idea of how their dynamic will shift now that Clive knows the truth.

Seeing the consequences of his reaction went a long way towards making up for the lack of a reaction. Clive used his influence to move evidence around and get Major out of prison. This comes at great cost as Dale immediately works out that he has abused his position to do this but she doesn’t know why. This is out of character for Clive as far as she is concerned and the whole thing really confuses her. She makes it clear that his career is basically over after this as well as their relationship. Clive has put a lot on the line for this which shows that the truth is more important to him than his job. This has been firmly established before now so his actions here make complete sense to the viewer. The scene with Dale is a tough one to watch as Malcolm Goodwin conveys Clive’s feelings about lying to Dale perfectly through his facial expressions. It’s clear that there’s so much he wants to say but can’t if he wants to uphold his principles as well as his loyalty to Liv. He’s doing the right thing by his friends and that is basically enough for him.


Clive finds out what his actions have cost him

The end of the episode makes it clear that Vaughn Du Clark and Major’s victims will be the focus of the finale. I really liked the scene in the morgue where Liv was attacked and Ravi rushed to her defence which resulted in him killing someone by accident. Legally he’s fine as he was attacked but it doesn’t make it any easier for Ravi to accept. Rahul Kohli’s performance showing how distraught the experience made Ravi was really raw and powerful. Killing isn’t something he takes lightly and it’s clear that it will haunt him. It’s great that this episode completely focuses on the characters and lets everything that has built up over the season carry the episode without bringing in any other elements.


An excellent episode that definitely qualifies as a game changer. Having Major’s arrest be the focus of the episode that touches everything else going on works really well by creating a really significant sense of urgency throughout the episode and there are lots of great character moments such as Clive finally finding out the truth about Liv and Ravi coming to terms with having to kill someone. The penultimate episode of season 2 is entirely carried by the characters and it works really well as a result.

  • 9.5/10
    Dead Beat - 9.5/10


Kneel Before…

  • the sense of urgency building throughout the episode
  • Game changing moments for characters like Clive and Ravi
  • Ken Marino

Rise Against…

  • Not seeing Clive’s reaction to finding out the truth
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