iZombie Season 2 Episode 15 – TV Review
iZombie was hankering for a bit of a status quo change. And while it’s certainly not on the Bates Motel-level of status quo changes, everything moves forward far enough to satisfy.
Could this be the end of the network-mandated filler?
TL;DR Blaine gets out of the drug business and is facing imminent death; Ravi might finally have a working cure; Gilda and Steven face the flesh-hungry truth about working with zombies; Liv discovers Drake is a Mr Boss lackey; Babineaux and Dale realise they have human brains involved in their cases; the COW is pleasantly secondary.
And the brain of the week is vital this episode.
So we’ll get the COW out of the way quickly, because the show certainly did: a badly burnt body of a female scientist shows up at the morgue, so Liv gets overly analytical and all that from the brain. She and Babineaux first investigate a woman who was scarred when the scientist negligently tested an acne medication on her, but she alibis out. And the scientist’s disgraced partner and enemy also proves fruitless. Memory flashes lead Liv, interestingly, to Max Rager, and it turns out the dead scientist is Karin Konoval’s character. Liv goes undercover and learns Max Rager has a secret basement lab, but it turns out Karin Konoval was actually killed by the twin sister of the acne burn woman. Out of revenge. Liv’s brain also sends her spying on Drake, and she’s devastated to find out he’s working for Mr Boss. Meanwhile, Blaine, fresh from his execution and rezombification, realises that Mr Boss is too ruthless, and shuts down his Utopium operation. His condition worsens, and Ravi (thanks to a tip from Liv’s scientist brain) gives him a new, maybe working dose of the cure. Blaine sets his affairs in order, but I don’t think he’s one to go out without ploughing a syringe into his arm, right? Meanwhile, Major worries about his own impending rezombifcation and death. And he abducts Drake, as he’s on a new list of potential zombies from Steven and Gilda. Meanwhile, Steven and Gilda relish the results of SuperMax on their lab zombie, but it breaks free. Steven leaves Gilda in the basement to die, but she emerges victorious but very badly scratched. And Dale and Babineaux find human brains in a cabin owned by Robert Knepper. They also realise that the results of the testing on the brains from Suzuki’s fridge were fudged, and they were human, too.
Now, to make the leap to the zombie conclusion.
With only four episodes left on the slate, I’m vibing that we’ve come through the filler patch resulting from the late order of six additional episodes for the season. Let’s hope it’s all a terrific race to the finish from here out.
And we’re already rocketing along (for a CW show, anyway).
Why I hate this episode:
While I’m not sad to see the COW shifted so firmly out of focus, it’s a sign that the show is fighting against the format it chose. The COW is tied up three quarters of the way through the episode, and with the twinanigans reveal, very sloppily. When this element feels like an obligation, I think it’s time to consider jettisoning it.
Peyton doesn’t appear this episode. My hope is that they’re saving her up for the home stretch, and the episode is already pretty full (Major barely gets time to do anything at all), so she wasn’t necessary. But I still miss her whenever she’s not around.
Liv’s big moment of shock to discover that Drake is a criminal felt off to me. I mean, she met him through Blaine, so I think it was safe to assume that, right?
I’m still not sure whether Steven is actually drinking SuperMax, or just putting on a show for Major. I forget.
There’s a not-so-subtle dig at the gun control debate, of all things, when Steven, Gilda, and the Max Rager scientist are discussing the violent side effects of SuperMax. They’re talking about how a human on SuperMax would be unstoppable in rage mode, and Steven snidely remarks that then they can be taken down by a hero also on SuperMax. It wasn’t necessary.
Oh, and why was there no barrier between the lab zombie’s treadmill and the viewing gallery? What the hell? You’re literally using a drug on it to make it faster and stronger. Figure it out.
But it’s not all bad:
In an episode filled with great moments, this leads to the episode’s best moment. The zombie breaks free and kills the scientist. Steven flees to the lab lift, but Gilda, having already tried fighting it off with a cattle prod, trips like a good horror movie victim. Steven offers a meek shrug of the shoulders as he closes the lift doors on his pleading daughter and she’s left to face the zombie. Steven then sits, shaken, in his office, and out of the lift comes a bleeding, scarred Gilda (down to only one stiletto) screaming at him to let her in. To see the genuine shame and fear on him is powerful.
Props to Gilda for killing her some zombie ass, too. And now she’s even more like Liv again, as she’s going to become a zombie. Single White Female 4lyfe, baby.
Speaking of Liv as a zombie, once she’s had the memory flash of Steven, she resolves to go undercover and interview as a scientist at Max Rager. So she has to put on makeup and hair to look like a living human. She looks good as regular Rose McIver. Though, Ravi is horrified by it. For laughs.
Steven catches her, and when she grills him for info on the secret basement lab she’s heard about, Steven cleverly retorts that Max Rager is a big business. And all big businesses have secret research labs for their products, dummy. I liked that little dose of reality.
Blaine steals the show with his turnaround following his assassination, rezombification, and realisation of imminent death. He shuts down his Utopium business, but leaves all the resources Not E and Eyepatch Goon will need to keep the brain business going. Because nobody wants hungry zombies to trigger a zombocalypse. Ravi echoes this sentiment, too, which is why he gives Blaine the possible new cure.
Ravi is able to make that cure thanks to help from Liv on scientist brain. It’s important to keep the brain of the week relevant.
Blaine is later seen donating money to charity. And contemplating using the cure. Though it’s implied that maybe he’s going to accept death, we know Blaine. He won’t. He’s gonna shoot that shit up without a doubt.
Interestingly, Not E and Eyepatch Goon spend time this episode salivating over a huge haul of Utopium they were going to sell. And they don’t seem very enthusiastic about flushing it down the toilet. Will they sell it regardless, and risk Mr Boss’ wrath?
Dale and Babineaux contact the lab for results on a brain they found in Robert Knepper’s cabin. The tech tells them it is indeed human. Just like the last one they had tested. They’re catching up, Liv. Time to tell him.
Major doesn’t get to do much, but he makes his screentime count. He meets with Steven early on and airs his anger that Gilda was staying with Liv while she was screwing him. Steven didn’t know his daughter was screwing Major. And Major is surprised to discover Gilda is Steven’s daughter. Such hijinks.
And Major abducts Drake. So that ought to be an awkward pre-freezer conversation.
Oh, and Gilda spots Liv skulking around Max Rager and sees straight through her Clark Kenting. Or is it Kara Danversing if she’s on TV?