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REVIEW: iZombie 2×07 “Abra Cadaver”

Written by Brian Corliss

The most apparent aspect of this season is the gelling between the three main characters–yes, I do believe that Clive has joined the ranks of the two most lovable coroners, Liv Moore and Ravi Chakrabarti–and how fun they are to simply watch on-screen. No matter what is happening in the story, at least we (and the show) have them to fall back on.

Also, I would like to point out that I had predicted that Blaine and Liv would collude in some partnership, granted I had said that it was to take down Blaine’s father Angus–a very real possibility still, however, here they are, striking an accord for the greater good of Seattle. And Blaine’s increasingly ragged pocket linings.

Let’s get into this week’s main story right away because I think it offered the most wholly realized we have seen so far this season. A small victory, as what is usually lauded is the other ongoings whether it is with Blaine or Major or Liv, Max Rager and the zombie epidemic, and so on. However, “Abra Cadaver” devoted a loving amount of time to telling a murder-of-the-week in a way you would see other shows dedicated to such formats. Plus, the personality for Liv,  that of a magical genius named Syd Wicked with a passion for macabre and death, to play around with this episode is one of the freshest of the whole show: the sleight of hand, morbid showman seems like a fine fit for a show about zombies, particularly when the main character is a zombie. All her reasoning and explanation is wrapped in heavy metaphors, outlandish and poetically erratic, as though every word is spoken to a rain-soaked window, making for admittedly ridiculous but enjoyable bits of dialogue.

Sidebar: how many times have Penn and Teller been copied/mocked on television? I suppose, if you’re going to poach, might as well grab from the best?

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Going back to the partnering of Blaine and Liv: the chemistry of Rose McIver and Blaine DeBeers is phenomenal particularly for a cable show, where usually it feels as though there is cardboard occupying a room with speaker-boxes pointing in odd directions. To be fair, Blaine can jump into that room of cardboard cutouts and still make a scene breathe. And with a capable actress like Rose, their interactions shine. In my opinion, there just not enough of Blaine; here and there is just a tasting, where are the Shakespearean monologues he so rightly deserves, and would properly nail?

We now have absolute confirmation of Clive and FBI Agent Dale Bozzio being an intimate couple, as well as a sneak peek at an unknown woman who left a package at the floor of Bozzio’s house; a plain white envelope with “occupant” on the cover. Does this mean that Bozzio is a faker? A squatter and a liar trying to worm her way close to the Seattle PD at the front lines of the zombie apocalypse? Will she betray Clive and shoot him? Yes, I say! I feel this in my bones.

There is also the continuing roller coaster of a relationship between Ravi and Peyton. Look, Ravi deserves the best for him because he is awesome, and yes, maybe Peyton could be that answer. But maybe Ravi is best suited to be married to the job, to his research (that he felt was okay to take a break from), to being Liv’s partner. Is that fair? No. But it is his job. And with Liv seemingly being in total control of her zombie-self, a stark opposition from last season, Ravi’s counseling and emotional support has been wasting. The writer’s are doing a great job of providing him with endless grade-A one-liners, however, they are grasping by sticking him in and pulling him out of relationships that didn’t really fit his persona.

Ultimately, the ending of “Abra Cadaver” left something to be desire: the reveal of the killer was abrupt, as usual, but had a bit of Chekhov’s Gun in it–which is always appreciated. It was the maid. In the hotel room. With the razor-edged poker card. Where the hell is the sequel to Clue? I had hoped that the week’s iZombie was going to get the gears turning coming towards the end of the season, especially when there are fewer episodes than last year; there was little in this episode in terms of over-arching story. That being said, I mentioned that this episode should set blips for the ending stretch of season two–which, presumably, it did.

The questions coming to the last three episodes are: what will Blaine and Liv do together, who is the “Occupant,” and for god’s sake what in the hell is going on with Max Rager and Vaughn? Did his contract expire? Please, we are mature television viewers, drop us a line or something that will make us nod our heads, accept it, and move on.

NOTICE: iZombie will return after Thanksgiving on December 1st.

Final Grade: B-

+Blaine and Liv: “two people; opposite sides of the law…”

+Promise of something juicy going on with the “Occupant”?

+ *inserts Shia Labeouf’s magic gif*

-Big picture story once again takes a seat

-Liv is kind of being a bore

-No Vaughn still, again, again. People…please…

 

Let us know what you thought this week and let’s start a #WheresVaughn on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss