iZombie Season 2 Episode 1 – TV Review
Thank Paris, it’s finally CW season premiere week. I no longer have to endure just Scream Queens and my ABC soaps.
Zombie Veronica Mars is back, bitches. And she knows everything. Because she eats peoples’ brains and absorbs their memories.
TL;DR Liv, predictably, learns a life lesson from the COW; Major now has a sense for zombies after being cured; Steven Weber harangues him into become a zombie hitman; Blaine works on a scheme to still be able to create more zombies, despite having been cured, too; Babineaux is a dog with a bone regarding the Meat Cute massacre.
I was considering calling him Clive from now on. Because it’s a fuckload easier to type. But “Babineaux” is too cool to jettison.
So we’re straight back to our procedural roots, and the COW (Case Of the Week, for you newcomers) involves the murder of a cantankerous old bastard in a rough neighbourhood. Red herrings include his bitter sister-in-law and a local thug, but it turns out his neighbour killed him out of retribution for supposedly murdering their dog, but it was all just a misunderstanding. Liv does learn from the victim’s brains that she needs to work on mending the massive rift with her family following her refusal to give blood to her brother, Evan, last season (he’s fine, by the way). Meanwhile, Major realises he can extrasensorily detect zombies following his cure from zombification. Steven Weber, lord of Max Rager, uses this information to blackmail Major into becoming a zombie assassin to cover up the mess Max Rager caused. Meanwhile, Blaine has become a mortician so he can get access to brains easily. Because Blaine may be cured, but his customer network is still hungry, you know? Liv asks him to help her obtain some more tainted Utopium so she and Ravi can produce more of the cure, but Blaine uses this knowledge to instead enact a scheme to use tainted Utopium (if he can get it) to keep making zombies.
I still find it difficult to believe that a zombocalypse hasn’t broken out yet. But having watched Fear The Walking Dead, it probably wouldn’t make for a good show, anyway.
I recall whining and moaning a lot about the procedural format during the early stages of iZombie’s premiere season. And you’d think that being a from-day-one devotee of Castle (not to mention Veronica Mars herself) would have made me realise that procedurals can still crank out satisfying character arcs. But yet, there I was, bitching away.
Well, I think I can happily say that iZombie’s procedural nature, even right out of the gate for the season premiere, isn’t bothering me.
Why I hate this episode:
The only thing I’m still genuinely concerned about regarding the procedural format is when they inevitably run out of unique personality types for Liv to take on. We’ll see.
Blaine’s scheme sees him acquire a huge batch of pure Utopium. Once Liv comes calling and tells him about how she needs Utopium cut in the exact way it was for the boat party in order to produce the zombie cure, he gets the idea that if he can get his drug contact to do said cutting, then he can keep making more zombies. Because, having been cured, he can’t make them himself. But why doesn’t Blaine just use one of his existing customers to help make more zombies? Unless there’s some lore I’ve forgotten about a zombification chain of command or something, I think pressuring one weak-willed customer into becoming your zombie aide would be a lot easier than trying to create perfectly altered drugs.
Blaine’s roots were showing after being zombie cured in last season’s finale, but he’s back to full on peroxide now. I can’t imagine that he would want to keep looking like a bleached arsehole, so I think that could be an inconsistency.
I’m name upgrading Aly to Peyton. But it’s a bit of a wasted effort, because she’s not back yet. Come on, girl.
Oh, and am I crazy, or does Steven Weber’s secretary look ridiculously similar to Liv? Unless that becomes relevant plot-wise, it’s a complete WTF.
But it’s not all bad:
Secretary, much like other supposedly banal minor characters in iZombie have done, shows a lot more potential than her utilitarian role calls for. She has a little bit of attitude about her, she shows real enthusiasm for what she and Steven are up to, and she appears to have a more-than-professional interest in Liv. She’s undercover as Liv’s new roommate, and the ending of the episode shows her staring creepily at Liv. I’m thinking she’ll be more Single White Female than Fatal Attraction, but I’d be happy either way.
Liv gets stuck with the COW most of the episode, but her adopted personality from the cranky pants victim is fun. The best moment is when she and Babineaux are questioning the neighbour (played by Adam Rose from Veronica Mars) about the night of the murder. He says he was at a pub watching football, which he then clarifies means soccer. Live doesn’t miss a beat by miming shooting herself in the head and rolling her eyes at his hipster bullshit. God, it’s glorious.
There’s not really a best line this episode, but Liv does say “Good God, Lemon” to Babineaux in frustration at one point. Oh, 30 Rock.
The resolution of the COW was a legitimate surprise to me. Adam thought Cranky Kong had poisoned his dog. Liv even has a vision of the guy luring the dog with suspicious meat. So, propped up with some liquid courage, Adam kicked Cranky Kong’s car in anger while he was under it, which knocked it off the jack and killed him. Adam, having confessed, tearfully laments how one second of anger has killed a man and ruined his own life.
The double gut punch comes when it turns out Cranky Kong had only hidden the dog away, after all. It was fine. When Adam kisses his dog goodbye, Liv feels shitty that she and Babineaux have to do their job. Even my withered heartstrings felt the ghost of a tug on them.
Adam Rose is also a major cutie, so. And his dog is a Cavalier King Charles.
Liv’s family have not forgiven her for refusing to donate blood to save her brother. Eva, her mum, can’t stand to look at her. And when Evan groggily wakes while Liv’s in his hospital room and beckons Liv towards him, he promptly tells Liv to fuck the fuck off. Deserved.
Major looks to be overcoming his ball and chain status from last season. He gets the most plot-forward attention as he learns about his Zombie Sense. Steven Weber records a phone conversation between him and Ravi and uses it to blackmail Major to take out the Seattle zombie menace. He also threatens Liv, so it’s nice to see those little sparks of romance are still in there, somewhere.
Major is no slouch, either, as he efficiently abducts his personal training client from earlier (whom he had gotten the Zombie Sense itches from), puts him in a bag, shoots him in the head, and chucks him into a river. Major always said he wanted to kill all zombies. Dreams do come true.
Steven gets grilled by company men about the declining business, but he remains confident in the success of SuperMax, the new product he’s promised. I wonder what kind of super zombies that shit will whip up?
Babineaux thankfully gets a thread of his own, as he doesn’t buy the easy closure of the Meat Cute massacre case. He’s still got his feelers out on Major’s alibi (which Liv is providing), and he’s getting closer to finding out about Blaine (who Liv denies recognising).
Blaine also has Zombie Sense. And, unlike Major for some reason, Blaine is able to sense Liv (Ravi theorises that Major’s familiarity and fondness for Liv is what blocks her for him, btw). I’m imagining a buddy comedy starring Major and Blaine as zombie-slaying secret agents.
Oh, and I’m also imagining some kind of epic smackdown on Secretary when Peyton comes back to reclaim her turf. I just hope Peyton catfights the right girl.