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REVIEW: iZombie 2×08 “The Hurt Stalker”

Written by Brian Corliss

Well, if you were waiting to find out answers to whom the mystery woman was, it did not take long. As suspected, Clive had a history with her but what was pretty shocking is, since the show rarely uses these cliffhangers, that they didn’t try to pad it a bit. They just shot her less then thirty seconds in–with Clive’s own gun to boot.

Big news here folks: Vaughn is back! Finally! And it looks like he has been busy. It seems that in all that time off, put into production at Max Rager is a new strain of the energy drink that continues to be one half of zombie cocktails; but this drink also does what an energy drink should do: makes you faster, stronger, higher stamina–that’s right folks, they’re making Night of the Living Dead zombies into 28 Days Later zombies. Why? Who the hell knows. I could see maybe Vaughn having one of those “zombies have taken over, and here’s the cure!” But money doesn’t seem to be his endgame. That’s more Blaine’s deal.

The first season of iZombie expertly paired Liv’s meal of the week to the overhead story going through the whole season. When Liv eats mystery woman’s, Regina’s brain–the brain of a unstable stalker of Clive Babineaux and known “badge bunny,” she starts to rattle the foundations between her and Major which were slowly, achingly, and carefully being laid back in place. That’s not to say that Major gets a free pass–he has lied dozens of times, slept with Gilda several times, hid a drug habit, and oh yeah has killed a whole bunch of people. Maybe, that is. Is he just saving the zombies with families in that freezer box of his and letting scumbag zombies bite it? That’s morally putrid if so–who has given him the right to play God?

Normally, this archetype: the jealous, overbearing and as immature as a high school tween is boring as all hell to watch in scripted television, however as alluded to above, the pairing that this personality has with what is going on in the larger picture makes this week’s brain appetizing. Something out of Liv’s control is destroying her relationship and it’s a line that she has to walk: be a professional helping the unfortunates of Seattle, or be self-serving and have as normal of a life as she can. Your classic “hero” protagonist, true, but it’s why it has worked for hundreds of years. And it was a personality that negatively affected her at each turn, not everything was sunshine and country songs. She went to jail because of mixing business and pleasure. Well, crazed pleasure. And crazed business, too. So close to zombie-Liv!

For two weeks now we’ve have pretty solid main stories: a tale of marital deceit that ends with the murder of Regina, but what stood out to me is that the writers seemed to have figured out that they had all this time on their hands to flesh out an engaging crime tale even if they are generic while keeping in tact the other story they want to tell. Nothing is compromised. To paraphrase Adaptation, you just have to wow them in the end. In the past two weeks we have gotten at least “ah ha” worthy moments, which, looking back on the rest of the season, is much more than we’ve gotten.

Ravi was prominently portrayed in the episode and as usual he delivered the comic relief and the sincerity of a best friend. He is there for Liv around every step of her jumping sanity and when she was in jail, he was the first to show. There was little to speak about his cure, but there is time. And again, looking at last week, we get a similar enigmatic ending though this one less “oh boy what happens next” and more “ugh, what’s a girl to do?” There was some sweetness to Major’s little ring in the safe bit but it was quickly spoiled by that ole courtesan Gilda.

There were points set up in this episode: the new Super Max, the new problems in Major and Liv’s relationship, the mystery of Clive as a character that the writers are toying around a bit–it was a decent episode where enough small things were done correctly that it added to a well-rounded, though not astounding one. We didn’t get anything with Blaine, and Peyton was a total no show (hey CW–what’s the story with contracts? You guys need to Marvel-handcuff people to your productions).

Final Grade: B

+Hot Dog! Vaughn you sly devil, you’re back!

+Solid weekly story with a good personality for Liv to struggle through

+Some blips put on our radar that could pan out to something interesting…

–…but now it sort of feels like padding

–No Blaine this episode, and that’s just not right I say

–Slowing down, which makes me wonder how long do they plan on moving this story along; does it end this season even?

Extra Thoughts:

–This episode had a ton of references including–the out of place, I felt–Ferguson shout out, but knowing that Clive has an obsession with GoT is hilarious. And no, George isn’t writing.

Just a thought for you who are detailing enough to read pass the letter grade: do you think this Super Max drink could be the anti-zombie serum? Maybe making Vaughn super powerful? A three way cross with Flash and Arrow? I wouldn’t doubt it! Tell me how ridiculous that theory is on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss