iZombie Season 1 Episode 10 – TV Review
See, I told you I’d be more on time this week.
I literally have nothing else going on, if you must know.
TL;DR The COW circles us back around to the tainted energy drink company; Liv mourns Lowell; Major is convinced he’s going crazy; Liv might have unintentionally released the zombocaplypse.
It was bound to happen sooner or later.
Following a couple of filler COWs, this week we’ve got Rebecca, a dead reporter. That same reporter friend of Major’s, in fact. Liv and Babineaux originally think she was killed for investigating some college prank gone wrong, but it turns out she was actually onto Not-Red Bull (hereby name upgraded to Max Rager. Have I ever had to name upgrade a non-character before?), and how their drink causes violent psychosis. Max Rager killed Rebecca to silence her. Liv almost ends up silenced, too (as she defied Babineaux’s advice to stay off their radar), but uses her zombie power to escape an assassin. Who washes up zombified and rabid at the episode’s end. Oops. Meanwhile, Liv is pretty broken up about Lowell’s death. She drinks a lot to cope (mainly inherited from Rebecca, though). Meanwhile, Babineaux proves to Major that the Candyman is alive and well, so Major, now assuming he’s going nuts, checks himself into a psychiatric care facility. Ravi begs Liv to tell Major the truth about zombies, but she refuses. And Liv, again, resolves to kill Blaine.
Might wanna get that trigger finger some goddamn conviction this time, baby.
This is the first COW that I could say isn’t necessarily a COW at all. If it wasn’t for the established format of iZombie, it could easily work as just an investigation-heavy episode of a regular soap opera.
It feels right.
Why I hate this episode:
Liv’s refusal to tell Major the truth is such a dick move. He had earlier spent time being there for her over Lowell’s death, even driving her home from a bar when she was wasted. And doing some back rub thing for her that isn’t something you should be asking of jilted, former lovers. But when Ravi is like “Hey, Major actually thinks he’s crazy and is going to check himself into a loony bin. Maybe we should tell him he’s not crazy?” Liv is just like “Nah.”
She reasons that if Major was willing to stalk people and break into their cars and buy guns from alleys when he merely thought the Candyman was killing people, then it would be worse for him to know he’s eating people. Umm, no? Because he only did all that reckless stuff because he didn’t have a support network of allies on the case with him. Maybe you could all work together? Just a suggestion.
I’d always hoped that Miss Shill, the Max Rager employee who mysteriously vanished in episode 5, had been killed and eaten by Lowell. But alas, it turns out she was only silenced (presumably) by Max Rager themselves. Boo. I wanted Lowell to have some layers, dammit.
Suzuki pressures Ravi into ruling Lowell’s death a suicide so that Blaine is appeased. Ravi wants to accept the order, both because he and Liv would do well to destroy evidence of fucking zombies, and also to keep Blaine off their trail. Liv spends the entire episode agonising over whether or not to assent. Bitch, be practical. And, like, you barely knew Lowell. Sheesh.
Rose McIver’s drunk acting isn’t very exciting. I could teach her a thing or two.
Oh, and Ravi should have just told Major the truth himself. He lives with him. Liv is just the needy ex-fiancé.
But it’s not all bad:
Major is extra cute when he’s under the crushing pressure of thinking he’s losing his mind.
And all hope might not be lost, as once he’s in the psychiatric care facility, he meets another patient who believes his story about the Candyman, and says he’s encountered them, too. Encountered what? Zombies.
Liv’s reasoning for withholding the truth from Major has one fair point: at least Major will be safe while he’s inside the facility for a couple of weeks. So she cares. Just not very much.
The COW is the surprise standout of the episode. It starts off as a pretty cool college prank conspiracy. A boy named Jason had had a mental break and killed a couple of people. Rebecca was investigating his case, so Liv and Babineaux looked into what happened to him. They find out that his college buddies, jealous of his smarts, had gotten Jason drunk and made a girl friend of theirs up to look like he killed her while blacked out. So they could “save” him from the situation by covering it up, thereby making him indebted to them. That’s awesome.
Of course, we instead find out that Jason’s mental break wasn’t caused by stress over supposedly murdering someone. It was actually the energy drink he’d been chugging: Max Rager.
Babineaux surmises from Rebecca’s research that Max Rager has likely been silencing anyone who discovers the negative side effects, and commands Liv not to go after them. As she’s inherited both Rebecca’s self-important journalist instincts, and her alcoholism, she goes after a Max Rager executive, played by Steven Weber. I’ll always remember him fondly from Reefer Madness. Which also starred Kristen Bell.
Liv is later contacted by Sebastian, a source from Rebecca’s story who is worried now that Rebecca’s been silenced. He encourages her to find the mystery, second source and prove Max Rager’s danger. The second source turns out to be Steven’s secretary, and Sebastian turns out be a Max Rager-employed assassin. Twisty.
Sebastian kills the secretary and dumps her body in the ocean. He tries to do the same to Liv, but makes sure to be super creepy to her and taste her blood first. Because assassins aren’t the most well balanced people. Liv is forced to use rabid mode to push him overboard, and then he gets mauled by the propellers when she drives away.
In another case of iZombie allowing its minor characters to have some interesting characterisation, Sebastian reveals to Liv that the secretary was blackmailing Max Rager, and wouldn’t have given Liv the evidence she needed, anyway. Sebastian appreciates the play, too, as he pockets the incriminating USB for leverage against his employers for later.
Ravi’s concern about Major is nice. As is Babineaux’s. Babineaux is the one who suggests Major volunteers himself for psychiatric treatment. Before someone else has him committed.
Babineaux had earlier found the Candyman alive and well at the gym. The Candyman lies that he didn’t attack Major, but he makes a fair point when he asserts that Major is in fact the one doing the stalking. Which is true.
Babineaux also shows some endearing concern for Liv when she’s being interviewed about Lowell’s death (a neighbour called the police about the gunshot, natch. Blaine must have scurried off, and Liv apparently took Lowell’s body down to his apartment). Thankfully, Suzuki steps in and rules Lowell’s death a suicide.
Oh, and it’s proven that Blaine’s fingernail isn’t the only method to propagate more zombies, as Sebastian washes up scarred and rabid at the end.