On the D/L – iZombie

Apr 1, 2015 | Posted by in TV

Season 1 Episode 3 – “The Exterminator”

iZombie gives viewers further insight into Liv as she solves two connected murders in the space of the space of a single episode.

After her more artistic brain consumption last week we’re given an interesting contrast when she ingests the brain of a sociopath contract killer. This causes her to feel cold and detached from the world around her to an interesting degree. It’s timely because of her making a pass at Major last week which caused her to realise that it’s finally over between them. Up until this point she hasn’t allowed herself to feel it so having the opportunity to avoid doing that for a while longer is really appealing to her.

I am continually impressed by the acting ability of Rose McIver, She manages to fold in these different personality traits while still feeling distinct as Liv perfectly. She also has great chemistry with both Rahul Kohli and Malcolm Goodwin who both bounce off her in really interesting ways.


Liv gets a look at what she could become

Clive in particular is the perfect sort of character to compliment Liv’s off the wall traits. He manages to find the balance between disbelief and acceptance in a way that feels really organic. I love the way he looks at her when she says something he finds a little difficult to believe. Malcolm Goodwin has such great comic timing that meshes perfectly with Rose McIver. Any scene they share is really engaging.

This episode does a great job of doing some world building. Ravi and Liv find a friend of Liv’s named Marcy who has unfortunately become a zombie as well. The unfortunate twist is that Marcy is the kind of zombie we’re all very used to seeing. Ravi comes up with the idea of running an experiment involving feeding Marcy brains to see if that can reverse the symptoms. When it turns out that it doesn’t work Liv gets an uncomfortable look at what she could turn into. Passing a point of no return is a potential problem that she has to deal with.

Not only that but she has to face the fact that she has killed what used to be a good friend of hers. She didn’t have much of a choice when Ravi’s life was in danger and did the right thing but it’s still not something she’s getting over anytime soon. The scene where she wrestled with the notion of eating more sociopath brains to delay feeling the weight of it all was great and shows some real humanity to Liv. Sometimes people do want to run away from their problems so I like that the show gives us that side of Liv.

I enjoyed the scenes she spent talking to her roommate Peyton. It’s interesting how she causes issues for Peyton in her career by destroying her case completely. It is mentioned that it’s her first big case so it’s upsetting for her when her friend ends up sabotaging this for her. It makes it worse when Liv is unable to apologise sincerely and puts the friendship at risk a little. Liv is self aware enough to realise what she’s doing but finds it difficult to stop it. There’s a lot of complexity in the way her absorbed personality traits contrast with her own and I genuinely can’t wait to see what she will get next.


Liv goes full on zombie to save Ravi

The case of the week format is working for me as it works as a framework to make the rest of the show work. The murder investigations are secondary to Liv’s internal struggle but still manage to be interesting in their own right. I really liked this particular case as it felt a little more layered than the others so far.

It managed to remain interesting throughout with the different twists being thrown in. I got a lot of laughs out of Liv remembering random minutiae to the absolute confusion of others. The facts that she is suddenly aware of are so obscure that they can’t help but turn heads.

There is some development to the Blaine storyline as the two of them are moving swiftly towards antagonist. I get the sense that Blaine has a very defined plan that remains a mystery to me at the moment but his charisma manages to keep him from becoming unlikable. He’s an engaging villain so far and so fun to watch.

  • 8.5/10
    The Exterminator - 8.5/10


Another strong outing for this new series that manages to build the characters and themes in really interesting ways.

Liv is a great character and Rose McIver does a great job of building the absorbed personality traits into her personality without losing the distinctive quirks that she has without them. It’s great to watch her interact with any other member of the cast.

Having her absorb the personality of a sociopath was very timely given how she threw herself at Major last week. Giving her the opportunity to not feel the weight of what that means for her was an interesting temptation.

This episode did a nice job of world building by showing Liv what she could become when seeing her friend Marcy. She has become the type of zombie we’re more used to seeing and the revelation that there is apparently no way of reversing the process once past that point of no return. It also gives Liv the opportunity to deal with the guilt of being forced to kill her.

I like that the case of the week format exists to prop up the really strong character elements rather than overpowering the show. Everything is about Liv and the murder she needs to solve is secondary to that. This show remains very fun to watch and I look forward to seeing more.

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