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REVIEW: iZombie 1×10 “Mr. Berserk”

I’ve given up on trying to keep up with iZombie‘s characterization problems. Instead, I’m just going to judge the show on the parts that actually make sense. “Mr. Berserk” was another installment that was “meh” when it could’ve been so much better. I’ll give it credit for having some good moments here and there, but ultimately, it fell flat. (spoilers ahead!)

The main problem with this episode is that it ties back to a story from a few weeks ago. Remember “Flight of the Living Dead”, that episode with the parachute incident? It turns out that there was more to it than we thought. The corporation that sponsored the jump, Max Rager, had a hand with this week’s murder, and it may just be responsible for the entire zombie outbreak at the core of the show.

Liv bites into the brain of Rebecca, a reporter who worked with Major to slam the Seattle Police Department for their poor investigation tactics. Rebecca, as it turns out, was an alcoholic. The effects of the brain combined with her depression over Lowell’s death causes Liv to spiral into a deep hole of alcoholism.

Usually, when Liv suffers from the effects of eating brains, we see it impact the plot of the episode. For example, in the last episode, Liv used her new-found sniper skills to hatch an elaborate plan to execute Blaine. Now, it seems that the alcoholism only provides a coping mechanism for Liv as she struggles with Lowell’s death. While it did a little for character development, the brain-munching wasn’t exactly crucial to the plot in this episode.

You know who actually did a good job this week? Major! Mind. Blown. At first, I just saw him as this pretty-boy, side character who was more of a comic relief. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, he’s become a major (no pun intended) asset to the show. He’s tracking down the man responsible for the deaths of the children, and after last episode’s confrontation with the Candyman, things are getting a little too intense for him to handle. Major claims that he shot the Candyman multiple times, but all the evidence is going against him, including the fact that the Candyman was seen benching his bodyweight at the gym shortly after the supposed attack. Detective Babineaux recommends that Major checks himself into a psychiatric ward.

There’s a moment when Major reveals this to Ravi, and the two have a heart-to-heart about the decision. For once, I thought Robert Buckley gave an outstanding performance. You see the pain and confusion in his eyes as he tries to make sense of what his happening in his life. It must be so frustrating for him to see these things going on and for nobody to believe him. If only he knew someone who could shed some light on the matter…

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Oh, wait! Ravi and Liv know EXACTLY what’s happening. Why won’t they tell them? Because Liv is apparently scared of how she’ll break the news that she’s a zombie to Major. If someone like Ravi is able to take this fact in so casually, why can’t Major? To be honest, I’m still shocked that absolutely nobody realizes how strange Liv has been acting/looking over the past several months. They had to have known something weird was happening. Major would probably be like “So THAT’S why you look like a corpse! Silly me!”

Liv’s next excuse is that she’s afraid that once Major discovers that the Candyman is not only killing kids, but he’s eating them as well, he’ll go vigilante and risk his life to catch the perp. Major is already being committed to a psychiatric ward and he’s questioning his own sanity. Are you really worried about his safety at this point, Liv? She’s lucky that Major hasn’t become self-destructive or suicidal yet. At least let him have closure so he knows that he’s NOT crazy.

Don’t worry, though. It just so happens that one of the people committed to Major’s psych ward also understands what’s going on. He straight-up tells Major that the answer is “zombies”. So at least we have that bit of a cliffhanger to hold onto for next week.

Back in Liv’s story, there’s some stuff that goes on involving Max Rager covering its tracks to prevent people from knowing that its drinks take the brand name a little too seriously (sometimes causing drinkers to have violent outbreaks and psychotic episodes). Toward the end of the episode, we find Liv on a boat with a Max Rager enforcer named Sebastian Meyer (some toolbag who has his initials on his wallet). Liv goes full zombie, knocks the dude off the boat, then runs over him with the propellers – one of the coolest “deaths” we’ve seen on the show. But is Sebastian really dead? Dun, dun, dun….

I think I would’ve liked this episode more if it aired right after “Flight of the Living Dead” since they both tie into each other so well. At the very least, we could’ve seen more references with Max Rager last week and how the brand figures into the overall story arc. I had almost completely forgotten about it, and when this episode brought the name up, I had to pause and check earlier plot summaries to see what they were talking about. Even if we can skip over all this confusion, “Mr. Berserk” was okay at best.

Final Grade: C

+ Buckley killed it as Major this episode.

+ The ending shot of Sebastian was neat.

+ There were occasional funny lines scattered throughout – “I’m the murder-victim-whisperer!”

– There was no point to Liv’s alcoholism this episode.

– Liv’s stubbornness to tell Major the truth annoyed me.

– The episode should’ve aired earlier when the Max Rager plot-lines were still fresh in our minds.

Extra Thoughts:

– Now the show is more than just “Liv vs. Blaine”. It’s more like “Liv vs. Blaine vs. Max Rager”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the finale has Liv and Blaine teaming up to take on Max Rager.

What were your thoughts on “Mr. Berserk”? Let us know how what you think in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!