iZombie – Season 2 Episode 15
“He Blinded Me With Science”
iZombie returns with a really busy episode that touches base with all of the different plots that are being developed both in the foreground and the background.
The focal point -if there is one- is Blaine and his newly restored undead status. I loved the way this was handled as it allowed David Anders to devour every piece of scenery he had and further shows how great a character this is. Seeing him on the bus covered in mud casually wrapped in a blanket without any shame is something Anders is able to pull off perfectly. I also loved the scene where he went to Ravi groaning for brains like zombie stereotypes most of us will be familiar with. Even in the face of a life altering change like this Blaine is able to keep a sense of humour and remind us why he’s such a great character.
It’s not all fun and games as Ravi has to deliver the unfortunate news that death won’t be far behind now that he has reverted to being a zombie. Blaine is on a clock here and a solution needs to be found quickly otherwise the show will lose one of its best characters. Not to mention that Major is on the same trajectory and probably doesn’t have long left himself. Surely a cure of sorts will have to be found as both characters can’t wind up dying the same way. My prediction is that Ravi will find a way to stabilise them as zombies rather than actually cure them because if Liv manages to be cured then there’s no show and we know that there is going to be a season 3 now so that can’t happen. Maybe the idea of a permanent cure was being worked towards in the event that season 2’s finale would be the last episode but who can say?
Blaine’s reaction to his mortality is pretty much what you’d expect from the character. He takes it seriously but with a light touch as he does everything else and starts to make arrangements for the inevitable. He leaves his business to those he trusts the most and asks them to keep it going in his honour without stepping on the toes of Mr. Boss. Blaine may be ambitious but he’s not stupid and it’s clear that he doesn’t want to see those he trusts be hurt by the wrath of Mr. Boss. As a character Blaine has so many layers that it’s impossible to see him as a simple villain because he is so much more than that. Hopefully Ravi’s refined cure won’t dispatch him completely as there’s plenty more that he could be doing next season.
Liv consumes the brain of a scientist this week and it has a fairly subdued effect on her outwardly. Inwardly it changes her way of thinking in her approach to her relationship with Drake. She is still having trouble trusting him so decides to perform a study to determine if he can be trusted. This involves her going to his place of work to observe him and collecting data from what she observes. It’s a clever way for the relationship to develop and to show the personality shift caused by the brain. I like Drake and his relationship with Liv is really interesting so seeing them interact is always enjoyable.
I also like that the show is playing with the knowledge of the audience being superior to that of the characters. This comes into play through Liv’s doubts about Drake. She sees him associating with Mobsters and jumps to the conclusion that he is as bad as he appears but she doesn’t know about his undercover work. Liv also thinks that she is another girlfriend who is being stood up by her no good boyfriend but we see that Drake is talking to his mother before being kidnapped by Major. It’s an ingenious way to show how things can appear suspicious when you don’t know the full story and it’s fun to see Liv and the other characters missing big pieces to a puzzle that we know the solution to.
This plays out through Clive and Dale’s investigation of all the brains they are coming across. They finally learn that the lab report was faked but they don’t know why that is or who did it. Before this point the assumption was that the brains they were finding were cow brains but this revelation brings them ever closer to the truth. Will Clive learn that it was Liv who doctored the report and is knowledge of the existence of zombies in his near future?
Major is also a victim of not knowing the full story. In the last episode he learned that Gilda -or Rita, come to think of it what is her real name? I don’t think Vaughn Du Clark has ever identified her by name when he’s around her, correct me if I’m wrong- is Liv’s roommate and lets Liv in on the fact that she is the one he slept with by calling her Rita as he leaves. This gives Major enough information to confront Du Clark about using Gilda -I’ll call her that until this is cleared up- to spy on Liv despite the fact that their deal forbids him from interfering with her. He also assumes that seducing him was part of the plan but Du Clark doesn’t know anything about that. In this one scene Du Clark learns that piece of information and Major learns that Gilda is his daughter so a lot of pieces are starting to fall into place and plenty of information is now coming out. I love the way Du Clark reacts to his daughter’s affair with Major and the reaction Major has to Gilda being Du Clark’s daughter is also priceless. This is all enhanced by the typical comedic flare I have come to expect from iZombie with Du Clark being under the influence of a potent experimental energy drink.
Speaking of comedic flare I have to mention the scene where Clive comes into the Morgue and sees the dissected rat partially covered up by Ravi and so much is put across with absolutely no dialogue. The looks exchanged between Clive, Ravi and Liv where Clive is slightly horrified by what is going on and Ravi clearly has no reasonable explanation with Liv having nothing either. It’s a wonderful display of acting skill to have so much conveyed with nothing but facial expressions.
The case of the week was fully in the background this week which is fine because it wasn’t all that interesting. I did like the twist of twin sisters making everything look more normal than it actually was and that the case was solved by actual police work more than the visions giving clues. I hate to keep harping on about the cases being uninteresting but they do seem to get in the way of the more interesting stuff going on.
Liv’s brain of the week didn’t really help the case all that much but it did put her onto the fact that Du Clark has a secret basement that needs special clearance to enter. He passes it off as something all businesses have which actually seems reasonable but we all know that he is experimenting on zombies down there. Thanks to a handy vision Liv knows it too but doesn’t know how to legally prove it. This will be a problem that will slow her down for a while as she has no way in without a warrant and Du Clark is very good at covering his tracks. Liv’s investigation of Max Rager was particularly memorable as she used makeup to look like her pre-zombie self. It must have been great for Rose McIver to ditch the zombie makeup for a little while. I also enjoyed that Liv’s more natural look was unsettling for Ravi and that her alias was Gwen which is the name of the zombie character from the iZombie comic.
The scene in the basement where the zombie got free and went after Gilda was really good and showed how casually self serving Du Clark is. He is willing to sacrifice his daughter as long as he’s safe and the quick look that basically said “sorry” shows that he doesn’t regret it at all. Gilda does manage to escape but it’s unclear if the blood she is covered in belongs to her or if she managed to defeat the zombie without being scratched. One to ponder over the next week I suspect.
In general the storytelling in this episode was incredibly well handled but there was a lot of potential in Liv and Blaine being on the same brain that wasn’t explored. There was some technobabble said by both characters around Ravi but beyond that there was little in the way of shared added personalities. It would have been interesting to see a contrast in the way Liv and Blaine approach being influenced by the personality of someone else.
An excellent episode that manages to keep all of the plot plates spinning without dropping any or becoming overwhelmed. The characters all play to their strengths and there is some great comedy thrown in for good measure with many of Blaine’s scenes and a great moment involving nothing but facial expressions. Some potential was wasted in having Blaine and Liv on the same brain and as always the case of the week was uninteresting but it had a clever twist that meant it didn’t bring the episode down much.
- any scene featuring Blaine
- how the episode plays with audience knowledge vs. character knowledge
- that hilarious moment delivered with nothing but facial expressions
- the potential of Blaine and Liv eating the same brain not being fully explored