iZombie – Season 2 Episode 8
“The Hurt Stalker”
iZombie continues to dazzle with another episode filled with gripping character drama with a witty sense of humour that never ceases to be hilarious.
This week Liv consumes the brain of a intense stalker and it causes her to have serious doubts about her relationship with Major. It has been a difficult time for Liv and Major since they decided to give their relationship another go. They can’t be physically intimate in the traditional side so it makes sense that doubts would start to enter Liv’s mind about his fidelity. The brain causes her to be really paranoid about her relationship but those doubts definitely come from somewhere that she hasn’t been previously expressing.
Instead of playing her personality shift for laughs as is typical, the episode opts to view Liv through a very twisted lens as she acts on her paranoia by investigating Major. She goes through his phone, stalks him on facebook and tries to get into his safe to see what is inside.
It’s fairly extreme behaviour but not entirely outlandish. If someone had reason to suspect their partner of cheating on them then it’s reasonable to assume that they would act in a similar way. There was something hauntingly real about the way she goes about it. As usual Rose McIver plays the part perfectly. Seeing her manage to bring out so much emotion when acting alongside a phone is very impressive. It also works as an effective tease of Liv finding out the truth. Knowing she is a few keystrokes away from stumbling across it is just painful from a viewer perspective.
Naturally, Major is very concerned about Liv’s snooping as he has a lot to hide from her. She has no idea that he “kills” zombies for Vaughn Du Clark and Major doesn’t want her finding out about that. He owns up about his affair with Gilda -or Rita as she appears in his phone- but only when Liv finds messages from her. It’s reason enough to be suspicious considering the timeline of their affair as well as the relationship.
Gilda uses the opportunity to have some fun with Liv because she is a really sadistic person it seems. She knows that Liv will be at the height of her paranoia so puts the idea in her head of punishing Major which she follows up later with texts to Major. I presume she knows that Liv will snoop through his phone so gives her enough information to think that he is having an affair. I really enjoy how much she seems to enjoy messing with people. I hope this character hangs around for a while as her duplicitous nature is a lot of fun to watch.
The case of the week fails to inspire despite the fact that it should have given some real insight into Clive. Several facts are given about him such as his love for cooking or the fact that he plays the piano but it feels like we’re simply fed a list of things that he likes to do rather than it being informed by the story itself. To contrast, his love of sports was revealed through being a significant part of the plot so it felt a lot more organic than it does here. Clive doesn’t have much to do in this story since he is away from the investigation so it is a complete missed opportunity having him be connected to the murder. I did love his statement about George R.R. Martin not writing. iZombie keeping its pulse on popular culture as always.
It did allow Liv to be taken out of her comfort zone when she was caught snooping to clear Clive’s name and put in prison. She is forced to survive a few days in prison without access to brains and it’s clear that it takes a toll on her. Just before she was due to be released she almost gave into her primal zombie urges and it was a fairly scary moment when it looked like she might cross a line. I’d like to see her removed from the easy access to brains more often as it raises the stakes nicely.
I’m not sure what Vaughn Du Clark’s endgame is when releasing an energy drink that grants people super strength. Surely that is just a recipe for disaster and he seems to be entirely motivated by profit at this stage. Maybe he has grander plans than we are presently aware.
Most of the humour came from Ravi and Liv investigating the murder on the sly. It’s a lot of fun watching these characters interact as Ravi is always good for a few laughs. His references to Clive’s “O Face” are priceless and his improv acting method when questioning one of the leads is great.
A solid episode that combines really effective character drama with the trademark comedy that this show has become known for.
Instead of playing the personality change for laughs, the episode views Liv through a twisted lens as she channels the doubts she has about her relationship with Major through the mindset of an unstable stalker. Since they can’t be traditionally intimate it will be on her mind somewhere that Major might be tempted to stray so her extreme reaction caused by the brain isn’t entirely outlandish.
Naturally this causes Major to be concerned as he is hiding a lot from Liv. His affair with Gilda -known as Rita in his phone- is revealed to Liv which makes her more suspicious as the timeline is very suspect. Rose McIver does a fantastic job of putting all this across and manages to emote wonderfully with only a phone as her acting companion.
Gilda shows herself to be wonderfully sadistic as she takes advantage of Liv’s personality by causing her to have doubts. She puts the idea of punishing him in her head and gives her just enough information to convince her that Major is sneaking around behind her back. I hope Gilda sticks around because she is a lot of fun to watch.
Sadly the case of the week was a little bland despite it being the perfect opportunity for Clive to take the spotlight. A number of things are found out about him but they don’t organically form part of the story in the way that his love of sports did. It’s all a bit of a wasted opportunity.
The case does allow Liv to be taken out of comfort zone as she is arrested and forced to live without brains for a few days. This causes her to almost give into her zombie instincts in a scene that manages to be pretty terrifying.
Vaughn Du Clark’s endgame is very difficult to work out at this point. What has to be gained by marketing an energy drink that grants people super strength? I imagine there’s more to come on this but for now it makes very little sense.
Most of the comedy came from Ravi and Liv trying to investigate on their own. Ravi’s one liners are always worth a few laughs and his improv acting was hilarious to watch. It’s great seeing these characters interact.