iZombie Season 2 Episode 5 – TV Review
Come on, immune system. Do your job.
TL;DR The COW brings Liv and Major together, but they struggle to make any relationship decisions; Blaine fails to get his Utopium cut properly; Babineaux makes ground on the Meat Cute investigation; Gilda isn’t impressed that Major is considering other vaginas.
I keep telling you, Gilda. If you cut your hair off and bleached it, he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Get creative.
We’ll put the COW first, as usual: an office building security guard is shot dead while on the job. Although the investigation takes us through some of his personal life and his position as a kids’ basketball coach, the culprit ends up being a debt-riddled gambling addict lawyer from the office building who hired a “fixer” to clean up another murder he’d already committed, and poor Security Guard was collateral damage. Liv does bond with Major over sports stuff, however, and she has him fill in for Security Guard as the kids’ basketball coach. It gives Major renewed purpose in life, helps him kick his Utopium habit, and convinces him that he does want to be with Liv. Despite the complications. Meanwhile, Blaine’s cutter comes crawling back and mixes up some Utopium, which Blaine delivers to Ravi so he can start synthesising more cure. Blaine and Cutter get impatient, however, and it turns out the Utopium concoction is actually an instant zombie killer. Oops. Meanwhile, Gilda is upset when she hears Major and Liv have a reunion in the works, and secretly collects a sample of Liv’s blood for the Max Rager scientists to use in their experiments. And Babineaux struggles against his new captain in his pursuit of the Meat Cute massacre truth, but he gets help from that new FBI Agent, as well as Suzuki’s widow, who has found brain bits in Suzuki’s beer fridge.
What a legacy he left.
It’s sad to see Peyton absent so soon after her spectacular return, but Blaine jazzes up any supporting character’s subplot he can tangle himself in. So although I wanted to see more of his villainous flirtation with Peyton, I’m happy to settle for the uneasy cure arrangement he has with Ravi.
And their scramble fight set to The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love is the highlight of the episode.
Why I hate this episode:
A failed cure experiment shouldn’t be the highlight of a second season episode of iZombie. Considering how relatively easy the cure was to come by last season, I’m frustrated that we’re now faced with padding to keep if off the table.
This episode chews up a lot of time getting through the COW. Balancing the case-of-the-week with the arc elements is always a challenge for any procedural-lite show like this. But iZombie is at its best when the COW isn’t an arbitrary treadmill to give the characters something to do for forty minutes.
The arc-relevant stuff to come out of the COW is that Liv’s basketball memories and enthusiasm from Security Guard spur her into getting Major that coaching position. But Major mentoring underprivileged youths is pretty old hat at this point. And none of these kids even tried to sell him drugs. Boo.
Do Gilda, Steven Weber, and the Max Rager research team really have so little access to functioning zombies that they need Gilda to steal a drop of Liv’s blood surreptitiously (or order Major to get some from a contract kill) to continue their experiments? You’d think they’d be ruthless enough to simply infect one of their employees and study them, instead. Have they learned nothing from the Umbrella Corporation?
Major resists one of his contracts this episode because he sees that the zombie guy has a child. Bitch, you killed your first contract, and he had a family, too. Hypocrite.
Oh, and this hate is more directed at myself, but I hadn’t realised that Blaine’s new bald goon is the twin brother of Scott E, Major’s friend and zombie true believer from the asylum. I’m a professional nitpicker, so I’ll concede that I deserve a slap for that oversight.
But it’s not all bad:
He is yet another minor character that is elevated above just being a bland tool for the plot. iZombie continues to impress.
Major and Liv’s stuff this episode is ground already covered, and their shared indecision is disappointing, but I do believe in the sincerity of their yearning to be together. The episode starts out exactly where we left off last week, their makeout session, before Liv quickly stops Major out of fear that she could infect him. She says they should try just being friends, but at the episode’s end, Major declares that he wants more. Good luck saying no to that, Liv.
Babineaux gets some much needed time in the spotlight this episode. Most importantly, he’s still tugging at the threads of the Meat Cute case. He contacts Suzuki’s widow to question her about her husband’s behaviour around the time he died. She reports him to the captain, who chews Babineaux out. But the widow eventually shows up and gives Babineaux a container with a piece of brain that she found in Suzuki’s beer fridge. You’re getting warmer, B.
Babineaux also keeps his minor flirtation with FBI Agent going. She is interested in the Meat Cute case because a hair from astronaut Alan York was found at the scene. And during Babineaux’s dressing down from the chief, FBI Agent appears in the windows behind the captain and does those “walking down the stairs” and “rowing the canoe” mimes while her bottom half is obscured. It gives Babineaux a giggle. Me, too.
And we get some implied backstory when one of the red herrings for the COW, an abusive father of a boy on the basketball team, unnerves Babineaux. Babineaux later returns to the man and beats the fucking shit out of him. It’s powerful.
Liv mentions Hearst College at one point. Tee hee.
Ravi may fail at making the cure, but he succeeds at having a fun, but still actually really serious, tussle with Blaine over the zombie-killing formula. Ravi makes the heroic choice to smash the bottle, rather than let it fall into Blaine’s hands. Though, I’m not sure how valuable it’d be, since if you just shoot a zombie in the head it’ll still die. And I imagine guns are easier to come by.
We see Max Rager doing experiments with a full blown zombie this episode. Gilda and Dr Irving are frustrated that the zombie is stupid, and they need another test subject (or their blood, at least) to keep working on making the super product Steven wants.
Major reports to Gilda that all the potential zombies he investigated this week were not actual zombies, which we know is a lie. Gilda doesn’t hide her skepticism, but chooses not to act on it.
Oh, and Gilda finally gets some time to do evil Max Rager business stuff without Steven looking over her shoulder. Girl power!