iZombie – Season 1 Episode 12
“Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat”
iZombie season 1 has one more episode to go and everything is pretty much ready for what should be a really exciting finale next week.
Sebastian is back after a week long hiatus and is killing people. Having Liv and Clive hunting a zombie that Liv is accidentally responsible for creating was a nice touch as it really ties Liv to the case of the week in a deeply personal way. She doesn’t know it right away so to begin with it seems like a standard case for her. The only deeper connection she feels initially is the fact that it appears to be a zombie doing the killing which obviously sits within her wheelhouse.
As far as villains go Sebastian wasn’t present in the episode all that much but seeing the trail of destruction he left was just as effective. He’s not so much a character but represents a sense of responsibility for Liv. She created him accidentally so is indirectly responsible for any death caused by him. Obviously it’s not her fault that he was created and she had no idea he’d survive being sliced by a boat engine but I doubt that will do anything to shift the feelings of guilt that Liv would feel. She’s the type of person who will agonise over this and it’ll probably cause her to be even more cautious in the future.
Liv eats 2 brains this week and they affect her in vastly different ways. The most entertaining and prominent was the cheerleader brain which created some really entertaining scenes. At times Cheerleader Liv was verging on over the top but it worked really well since it’s pretty much the total opposite of Liv’s default personality. Rose McIver sinks right into this persona and gives it everything she’s got. I loved the scene in the interrogation room where she meets the girl on her own level and “speaks her language” in order to build up a rapport. It was an effective way to get information and was hilarious to watch. Clive’s reactions were almost more entertaining than the conversation itself. He’s probably the most serious character on the show other than Major these days but Malcolm Goodwin always injects the right level of humour into his character while keeping him stoic when he needs to be.
There’s almost the potential for another show in here from the perspective of Malcolm. We’re in the know about Liv’s personality changes and how they alter her personality but Clive only sees Liv now and again so I can only imagine how confused he is by the fact that she acts like a completely different person pretty much everytime he sees her. It must be really jarring for him and I think this episode was the first time it really occurred to me. It was the scene where he was visibly annoyed at the way Liv was acting and wondered what was going on with her. He’s sort of done this before but it seemed more pronounced somehow. I wonder if they’re setting up Clive finding out the truth soon.
The cheerleader brain allowed Liv and Peyton to share a genuinely sweet moment where they both get to be really “girly” for the first time in a long while. It’s a fun scene that really brings some levity to the friendship. I like Peyton and hope she gets bumped up to series regular next season as she’s really not in it enough. I really think there has been a missed opportunity to have Peyton more baffled by the sudden personality shifts in her best friend. Whenever she has been around there’s been confusion but as with Clive it hasn’t been given enough of a focus to really make an impression.
Peyton’s reaction to finding out Liv’s secret is probably what I would expect when a normal person finds out that zombies exist and that her friend is one of them. Aly Michalka does a great job in this scene as her expression juggles fear, confusion and outright disbelief. It’s easy to see what’s going through Peyton’s head at that moment and the fact that she freaks out and runs away is an acceptable way to behave given the circumstances. What she does with that knowledge is the real question and her role in the finale should prove interesting.
Liv’s second brain is that of the murdered band member after he is discovered killed but I feel that this one could have been left for another time. It did give us an entertaining scene of Liv stoned and really irritating Clive during an interrogation and give Peyton something to roll her eyes at but it didn’t factor into the episode enough to feel like it was anything other than superfluous. It did give her and Clive information to suggest that there was something more to the case with reference to “the money” but I think if this had been the only brain for her then there would have been some development in her musical taste and some sort of rebellious pseudo rockstar attitude. I would have liked to see that so it’s a shame that it was a plot device that wasn’t milked for the full potential.
As above, the case felt like there was a little more depth to it with Liv’s connection to it but also because there seems to be something deeper going on. I wonder what “the money” refers to and there’s plenty of intrigue over what happened to Bex Taylor-Klaus’ character -the episode never named her and neither does IMDb so I could just call her Sin since that’s who she play in Arrow– in the motel room.
Many people will compare the whole setup for the case to I Know What You Did Last Summer and rightly so. The opening scene was very reminiscent of that film and the episode directly references it. I don’t really have a problem with it but as references go it’s pretty on the nose. The aesthetic of the whole scene was great though with the dark wooded area and the audience knowledge that Sebastian wasn’t dead creating the sense of dread as we waited for him to wake up. I found the execution strong enough to override the overt referencing. The scene in the hotel where Sin -yeah, calling her that until she’s named- dialed 911 before either dying or passing out as the operator voice echoing over the end credits was really powerful and makes me excited for the next episode.
Now that Major knows that zombies exist his investigation is a lot more focused. His plan to pose as a health inspector to scope out Meat Cute is pretty ill conceived considering that Julien could have easily been there and ruined it for him but it’s good to see him trying to cover all the bases possible for his assault. It was a really tense scene as it always seemed like Blaine was about to realise what he was up to. I also enjoyed Julien’s questions about the health inspector including asking if he had great hair. I just love the comedy in this show.
Major’s predicament at the end of the episode sets things up nicely for next week. It seems as if he’s in a hopeless situation as he’s completely at Blaine’s mercy. The fact that he hears Blaine talking about Liv should prove interesting and having Liv’s brother so close to Blaine’s operation will up the tension in the finale nicely. I also have to wonder how Major found the back alley gun salesman. How does he know all of these dodgy people?
Ravi’s creation of the new zombie rat after the previous one named Hope died keeps moving the quest for a cure plot forward. It will definitely be going somewhere given how it has been bubbling along in the background over the past few episodes. On another note it’s a shame that Ravi and Peyton’s relationship has been developing offscreen. The brief scenes we have seen them share together have been good so it’s unfortunate that there are so few of them. The same applies to Ravi and Major who have a hilarious conversation in this episode.
As with previous episodes there isn’t a lot of development for Clive. He mostly seems to exist to move the case of the week plot along rather than having any development himself. As always Malcolm Goodwin provides some great depth to his performance but he doesn’t have a lot to work with most of the time. Hopefully this will be corrected in season 2.
The fight between Sebastian and Liv was visceral and exciting but it seems too easy for it to end in his death. Since Clive was directly investigating a zombie murder it would have been more interesting for him to come to conclusions based on the evidence that make no sense to him. It just feels so neat for his body to be carted off for Ravi to falsify reports and Clive to be none the wiser. I would like to see him more involved in the whole zombie plot and start to learn the truth.
Another really strong outing for this show one week from the end of the first season. The story is moving towards a really interesting conclusion.
This episode sees the return of accidentally zombified Sebastian and he’s responsible for the death of a cheerleader that Liv consumes. The case is really well done as it has a really personal connection to Liv that the audience knows of really early on but doesn’t become apparent to her until much later. Her connection to it makes it a lot more interesting and increases the urgency since she is indirectly responsible for anyone that Sebastian kills.
His presence is more felt rather than seen with his trail of destruction being the majority of his influence. This was a really effective way to do this as it means that Sebastian represents a sense of responsibility for Liv without having much agency in his own right.
Liv’s cheerleader personality was a lot of fun to watch and led to a particularly memorable interrogation scene where she managed to meet the girl on her level by talking like a popular teenage girl. It was hilarious and furthered the story expertly plus Clive’s expressions were priceless. Her second brain was a little more underwhelming due to a lack of screen time and development of that particular personality.
Peyton finding out that zombies exist and that Liv is one of them is handled really well. Her reaction is about as realistic as you might expect for someone who just had such a bombshell dropped on her. I wonder what she will do with this information now that she has it.
Major’s plan to violently attack Meat Cute is shaping up nicely despite a risky plan to gain information by posing as a health inspector. I wonder how he knows all these dodgy people like the back alley gun salesman. Having him captured at the end increases the tension for next week nicely.
Ravi’s creation of the second zombie rat to further his research into the cure is clearly meant to go somewhere as it has been bubbling along over the past few episodes. I wonder where this will lead but I am really interested so far.
Unfortunately Clive suffers from a lack of meaningful development again. He mostly seems to exist to move the characters through the case of the week and gets very little in the way of character moments beyond the little bits of humanity that Malcolm Goodwin periodically injects. I’d like to see him developed more.
As exciting as the fight between Liv and Sebastian was I would have liked to see Clive learn information that he was very confused by and start him down the path of finding out that zombie’s exist. I dare say it will come in time but it seemed a little neat to have this threat dealt with by Liv before Clive could take a proper look at what was going on.
The season finale is next week and I am incredibly excited to see how all of this turns out. It’s been an engaging season up until now so the finale should deliver in that respect.