iZombie Season 2 Episode 10 – TV Review
I don’t know what changed, but after the last two episodes, iZombie seems to have lost some of its shine.
The news of extra episodes ordered hasn’t helped the feeling of treading water that this saggy season middle has been stinking of. And with the Max Rager/actual zombie stuff taking a back seat to the COWs, I’m simply not that interested right now.
Pick it up, guys. You’re Veronica Mars’ successor. You’re capable.
TL;DR The COW involves a teen horror romance show, so takes predictable digs at the CW; the COW does not feed the overall arcs at all; Dale and Babineaux realise Blaine is the Meat Cute suspect; Major gets a leg up on Steven; Liv contributes nothing of value.
It’s not a good look when your main character, a somewhat-psychic detective at that, is just twiddling her thumbs all the time.
So we’ll start with the COW, as we do: an actor is killed on the set of Zombie High by a not-so-prop prop gun, alla Brandon Lee. Suspects include the costar who fired the gun, another costar whom the victim was blackmailing, and basically anyone else involved in the show, because Jordan, our victim, was a huge douchebag actor clichè. It turns out to be the prop master, who was having an affair with an assistant director who died a year before due to being run down from Jordan’s perfectionism and crashed her car. Whatever. Liv’s acquired traits of being a method actor don’t illuminate anything about the arcs, so what a waste. Meanwhile, Babineaux reluctantly allows Liv to help on the case because she’s a big fan of the show, and he reinstates her as his sidekick by episode’s end. Meanwhile, Major plays mind games with Steven, and successfully bugs him so he can listen in on his and Gilda’s chats. Meanwhile, Ravi breaks the news to Liv, Major, and Blaine about the zombie cure being only temporary. And Dale, in the course of investigating the missing high roller zombies around town (she doesn’t know they’re zombies. It just looks like a serial killer to her and the authorities), encounters Blaine. She recognises his face as Babineaux’s Meat Cute suspect sketch later.
Dale is an endless spring of good fortunes for Babineaux.
So yeah, like I said, this episode doesn’t feel like essential viewing. The only things that propel the overall arcs forward are the last second sketch realisation from Dale, and Major’s surprisingly bland gambit against Steven.
Much like this year’s Fant4stic became a game of “Spot The Wig,” iZombie, with the announcement of the extra six episode order, is becoming a game of “Spot The Filler.” And this episode is textbook filler.
And, even more worryingly, if this isn’t one of the tacked on filler episodes, then that means that there are still another six land mines waiting for us in the season’s back half.
What happened, iZombie?
Why I hate this episode:
Liv really is the least valuable player this episode. Rose McIver struggles to sell the Obnoxious Actor character. And the only time that personality trait has any impact on the episode is when she reads lines with Wyatt, the shooter costar, and she gets really into it and draws the attention of the crew. But this doesn’t even go anywhere. My fears of iZombie exhausting its well of personalities is coming true.
Peyton is absent again. And the war on Mr Boss is only mentioned in a bit of throwaway dialogue.
The continued hold-off on the Gilda/Rita reveal is starting to grate on me. Can’t Major just show up at Liv’s apartment unannounced and catch her, already? She’s been cute as a sneaky little double agent, but I want to see what she’s like when she has nothing to lose.
Ravi gets benched with a hand wave subplot about testing Major and Blaine’s blood to try to determine how long they have until they revert to zombie status. Snooze.
The digs at Zombie High are very thinly veiled bite-the-hand jibes at the CW. They’re kind of cute, but don’t get any more savage than “Omg, the actors are young and hot but not that good at acting.” Yeah, we know.
How does the Zombie High show even work? They’ve been going for multiple seasons, yet the characters always wear the same clothes and are apparently confined to a single high school. Do they do it 24 style, with only a couple of days passing over the course of the entire show? It bugged me.
Oh, and the resolution to the COW is lazy. There wasn’t enough indication that the prop master had any involvement with the dead assistant director until it came up during the denouement. Weak.
But it’s not all bad:
The relationship between Babineaux and Liv is repaired pretty hastily, but I appreciated it nonetheless. I like them as a team, so I’m glad they’ve patched up their shit.
Their fake good cop/bad cop argument to eke Prop Master’s confession out is pretty sweet.
Dale could be firming as a new favourite. She’s the one who kicks Babineaux’s floundering Meat Cute investigation back into gear. And she’s hot, blonde, and super chill. So expect her to be killed off soon.
Major is mortified that he’s going to revert to being a zombie, but Blaine is pretty whatever about it. I don’t think it would bother him either way. What a stone cold boss.
Ravi, Major, and Liv all dig together to try to find the dead drug thief with the tainted Utopium inside. They don’t find them yet, but the sight of the three of them out looking for drugs inside a rotted corpse is adorable.
The actor being shot by a not-so-prop prop gun reminded me of the finale of Cult. But that was one of the good episodes, so it’s okay.
Major’s gambit against Steven is simple, but effective. Major is approached by a Max Rager scientist who claims he’s going to expose the company, and asks Major to back him up if things go south. Major, shockingly, snitches to Steven, who then almost kills the scientist (with no objection from Major) using the lab zombies. After the charade, Steven is satisfied that Major won’t sell him out. Which means he has no reason to suspect the not-Fitbit that Major gave him earlier is actually bugged.
Although, given how nefarious Steven is, I doubt he’s that easy to dupe. Watch out, Major.
There are a couple of references to the Power Rangers. Which is cool, because Rose McIver used to be one.
Gilda refers to the feral zombies as “Romeros.” I like that.
Oh, and Liv’s reaction to Babineaux’s confirmation that their partnership is back on is uplifting. It almost makes me forget how she limped through the rest of the episode.