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REVIEW: iZombie 2×04 “Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues”

Written by Brian Corliss

Let’s knock the first reference off the list: Zoltar, who Clive called Liv at the crime scene is the fortune-telling machine from the movie Big. Now that you’re caught up…

I love Clive, but it is getting a bit ridiculous that he is such a persistent detective with a weekly success rate of absolutely bagging his man, granted with a bit of supernatural help; but how in the hell has he not caught on to the fact that Liv is lying. Granted, birds of a feather, possibly he gives the benefit of the doubt to someone on the force–simply looking pass the effortlessness of Liv’s perpetually accurate presumptions, but how has this not been hinted at? The incompetence is becoming a distraction. And how would he react? You have to figure a few episodes of a shaky alliance followed by a “whatever gets the job done.”

There is a slow building of a main story, nudged a bit more this episode with the introduction of Dale Bozzioan FBI agent investigating the disappearances going on around Seattle–which we know is thanks to the lovable and new dog-owner Major. Lacy has already shown to be a bit of a flirt–feigning the way that a Black Widow courts her own mate–but hopefully this doesn’t come at the detriment of Clive’s purpose in the show. He doesn’t have to be this multi-dimensional pile of sentiment and an epicenter to a supernovae of story-lines. Clive is a Police-lifer, leave him so.

Blaine comes back in beautifully Blaine way; now that he is mortal he seems to be more desperate–desperate to grab back the financial prosperity born from that powerful “I have what you need” business model. Mortality is perhaps pushing him to more outright brutal tactics to get what he needs instead of using that silver tongue and cleverness that he flexed in the first season. This is actually a great turn of theme, it plays contrast to the character that keeps him fresh. At the core, Blaine is essentially working towards the same endgame, but how he is going about it is just different enough that we don’t feel we are watching the same progression. And then his meeting with Peytonthat is classic Blaine; a wonderful turn of the hand to take out the competition and possibly something else there between the two is brewing outside of bringing down international drug-rings?

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Once again the main story is fine enough. Though this season seems to want to distract you from logical problem solving by showing you something shining in one hand while fumbling around with the other. Crimes in iZombie are solved with a hop, skip, and a jump to a solid conviction. Lacy Cantrell is the unfortunate Texan who finds herself a victim of wrong-place, wrong-time from a criminal fugitive. To summarize, there was a bank-robbery and it takes forty-three minutes to have it be “oh, yeah, it was this guy.” This is sort of lazy writing where the show just needed to answer their own question in a few steps as possible. Liv being on Lacy’s brains did nothing for me. They put her up with a twangy accent and gave her a guitar but that was about it–nothing bled into the story line, a device which they handle much better last season. It reminds me of Flight of the Concords: the episodes in their first season were crafted around the songs, really because those were pre-recorded and the band had been touring them for years, making every episode as sound as you can find. But the second season they had to pigeon-hole the songs to fit the episode. It seems iZombie is shoe-horning character stereotypes for Liv to just prance around in, neither contributing to any plot-line nor being as fun or interesting as they were last year. And that is not a knock on Rose McIver who plays her part great–it is the fault of the impotence for proper story structure.

The biggest moment of the episode was the long-gestating confrontation between Liv and Major. Normally I would begrudge these “right here, right now” moments because it always ends in a swell of orchestral pomp and some wet, maudlin-like embrace. This however, and probably par for the course with iZombie, it was a grounded, rational argument between two former partners that ended with TKO from Major. You can say he is being much too cruel but think about all he has been through in the last year, it isn’t too unreasonable that he is still scolding. Also, yeah, he has pretty serious drug problem.

Thankfully, with the of-late burden of Liv needing to be carried through each episode, the rest of the cast shines through in humor, emotion, and simple intrigue saves this episode from being put to pasture.

Final Grade: B-

+The pieces are starting to settle into position for Blaine

+Comes back with some solid comedy–mostly from Ravi of course

+Major’s conflict has some weight to it–a mature turn

-Liv was a dud this episode

-Main story was nothing to speak highly about

-Not digging the bi-weekly bad-guy swap with Blaine and Vaughn. Figure out a way to include them both–their stories are much better then whoever on the slab’s was

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About the author

Brian Corliss