iZombie Season 2 Episode 9 – TV Review
Yes, it’s time for iZombie to try its hand at superheroism.
Well, unskilled, unprepared-heroism.
But that rabid mode zombie strength does come in handy.
TL;DR The COW puts Liv on wannabe Kick-Ass brains and crosses her path with Mr Boss; Liv and Major both get new, zombie love interests; Ravi discovers the cure for zombification is only temporary; Liv’s recklessness kills her professional relationship with Babineaux, and her romantic relationship with Major.
A merry Christmas it ain’t.
So the COW is a quirky one, even for iZombie standards: a wannabe superhero named The Fog is found dead after preventing the mugging of a woman by two of Mr Boss’ goons. Liv and Babineaux pound the beat to prove Mr Boss is the nefarious crime lord he is, but it turns out our dear Mugging Victim actually robbed Mr Boss, and the goons were trying to get the money back. The Fog mistakenly intervened, and Mugging Victim killed him when he saw the loot. Liv, still acting on Fog brains at the time, tries taking down a weapons shipment of Mr Boss’, and her zombie strength is a decent answer to getting shot. But she doesn’t count on Mugging Victim, held hostage at the rendezvous, attacking her. But, in a delightful turn of events, Mr Boss comes to Liv’s rescue, and then cleans out the scene before any illegal activities can be tied to him. He makes a good Santa. Babineaux isn’t so pleased with Liv’s caped crusader act, though, and realises he’s been too lenient on her, blames himself for her rash actions, and severs his partnership with her for her own good. Major, too, ends up untied to Liv when they argue about how hard it is to date a zombie. But a bit of Z on a girl doesn’t seem to bother him when he gets cozy with his latest zombie target, a high class call girl who tells Major her story: Blaine turned her so she would service his other zombie clientele, for which he would pay her in brains. Major stops her from committing suicide, and she allows him to freeze her with the promise of a cure on the other side. About that cure, though: Ravi discovers the cured test rat has reverted to its zombie ways. Which means the cure isn’t permanent (get that fake tan ready, Blaine and Major). And Blaine finds himself in possession of a mortally wounded Drake, Mr Boss’ henchman. He gets Liv to zombify him to keep him alive, and they all conspire to get their hands on some more tainted Utopium to continue pursuing a cure.
Also, Drake and Liv flirt.
Compared to the actual spectacle of The Originals, the last minute spectacle of Arrow, and the at least attempted spectacle of The Vampire Diaries, iZombie’s lack of spectacle is a bum note to end its mid-season on.
And no Peyton? Get outta here.
Why I hate this episode:
Oh, so we don’t get any Peyton and Blaine flirting, but there’s plenty of time for Major to snuggle up to Zombie Call Girl? I thought being in a relationship with a zombie was too hard, Major?
All the zombie/human incompatibility stuff now seems moot with the revelation that the zombification cure doesn’t last. So as we inevitably watch a now-single Liv fall into Drake’s burly arms, we’ll have Major’s impending regression to a zombie hanging in our minds. Just wait a couple of months and you can be together, Liv. Don’t let Drake wow you now.
The episode ends as Ravi loses all hope in life when he finds out the cure isn’t permanent. But I don’t understand why he thinks the sky is falling. Couldn’t you just keep taking the cure at regular intervals to stave off the zombification process? Just like any manageable disease? I know they haven’t tested that yet, but it’s weird that Ravi would so quickly fall into despair.
The action scenes with Hero Liv are kind of disappointing. They should have called in a fight choreographer from Arrow or something. Liv never looked comfortable in the outfit. It was just a bit hokey and lame. Which I guess makes it accurate to how hokey and lame a Kick-Ass wannabe would be? Either way: lame.
Oh, and Zombie Call Girl is a Manic Pixie Dream Hooker. Yeah, she’s suicidal and living a life of forced sex servitude, but that doesn’t stop her from being an upbeat, swell gal for Major to pour all his anguish onto, and then happily slip into a comfortable freezer sleep. Golly gosh.
But it’s not all bad:
Major’s relationship troubles with Liv are justified, and bitterly well realised. The fight between them at the end of the episode is ignited by the fact that Major can’t tell if Liv’s pessimism following her dumping by Babineaux is genuine, or just an effect of the brain she’s on. Liv is equally frustrated that she can’t be consistent due to needing to endure the consequences of feeding on brains. It’s a tragedy. Well, at least until Major reverts to his zombie form. Get your bed supports reinforced, babies.
Mr Boss commands the most striking presence this episode. He apparently works as a shop Santa during the Christmas period, as that’s where Liv and Babineaux find him when they first question him about The Fog and the mugging. What an odd duck.
And his saving of Liv at the end is curious. I understand that he likely would have been happy killing Mugging Victim because she was a repeat-offending thief, but he didn’t have to save Liv in the process. I wonder what he’s up to.
The wannabe superhero stuff is all pretty basic, but is cute enough. The Fog isn’t the only one in town: he was assembling a league (of the justice variety, perhaps) to take down Mr Boss’ weapons shipment. Understandably, all of his league candidates baulked at the idea of taking on the ruling mob leader.
One of the superheroes not invited to the league, and an early red herring, is named Hashtag. Kids these days.
The twist in the COW, in that Mugging Victim is actually a thief, is fabulous. We need more goon-level female villains.
When one of the goons who chased Mugging Victim turns up impaled on a Christmas tree mid way through the investigation, Babineaux assumes it’s because Mr Boss killed him. Mr Boss has a reputation for killing any underling that could be charged with murder (in this case, The Fog’s murder supposedly at the goons’ hands), to prevent them from squealing to the police.
Of course, when it’s revealed that the goons didn’t kill The Fog, we find out why Mr Boss actually killed him: because he was crap at his security job, which is how Mugging Victim robbed Mr Boss in the first place. Mr Boss is cheeky like that.
Drake takes a minor detour from his flirtation with Liv to tell her, Blaine, and Ravi about some Utopium they could get their hands on for making more of the cure. Drake knows of some goons who betrayed Mr Boss and swallowed a bunch of bagged Utopium to smuggle. Mr Boss caught up to them first and buried them somewhere. The gang just has to find their rotting corpses, and boom: more Utopium. Grisly.
I recognise Drake from Star-Crossed, a less fortunate CW show. Where he also played a character named Drake.
Liv’s devastation when Babineaux breaks up their partnership is brutal. She gets an anguished best line of the episode from it: “I need this. This is my one thing.” I respect that Babineaux cares enough about Liv to crush her like that, too.
After Major spills everything about his “job” and the Max Rager blackmail to Zombie Call Girl, she tells him that the zombie community refers to him as “The Bogeyman.” Hey, it beats “Major Lilywhite.”
Oh, and the generous egalitarian in me must mention that, despite their opposite genders and the fact that Zombie Call Girl is a zombie call girl, the interaction between her and Major isn’t overtly romantic or sexual. Despite her sexy neck.