Welcome back. Ah, yes, thank you Blaine for pulling us back in.
It’s the holiday season in the cloudy city of Seattle and iZombie has given us all a present, this is finally starting to feel like there is a well thought out vision for major storytelling, bouncing quickly between characters, inclusion of time jumps to weed out some of the crap filler that has been bloating far too many episodes this year, and wonderful new direction that feels well paced and refreshing.
For Christmas, Major gives Liv the truly thoughtful gift of the “Zombie High” DVDs, a show within a show about, well, the overwhelming struggle that is getting through High School and the social impact that it has on different the sectors of associated personalities that are cliques and the like, with the added pressure of acing the “ultimate test: survival.” Really, what it did, was open the writers to poke fun at their own creation and “Method Head,” the first of what is hopefully the climactic final leg of the second season, shies not away at every corner to jab at iZombie and the pop-culture obsession of corpse-ruled entertainment. The fourth wall was never iron-clad in the show, but after a long break (not speaking to you bingers out there) it revs up a bit of earnest excitement–helped by the machine-gun pace at which this episode spat them without becoming stale or lazy.
As alluded to in previous reviews and above, the idea of the big picture felt stretched and aimless which really hurt some of the stories that could have been more sharp and concise. This break may have been just the ticket to kick them back into gear, and with the announcement of additional episodes, the writer’s have more time to work with but also have that finish line to look forward to.
Things continue to be sour between Liv and Clive, though Clive has started to make the effort to bring her back into his extremely closed circle. He’s a wonderful character with strong morals, you cannot expect him to shake something like vigilantism off. It also shows how much he truly cares for Liv and her safety, even though she doesn’t exactly need to worry about getting shot or beat-up, he sees her as a young, brilliant woman that needs him as much as he needs her.
Vaughn (now forever going by VDC–how did I never think of that?!) and Major are becoming quite chummy, with a quasi-paternal aura brewing up between them. VDC pats him on the back while acting normal–near vulnerable–showing that he’s sore and not trying to act like he is some love-child of Scarface and Elon Musk. That soreness could be a side-effect of the new Max Rager energy drink and Vaughn is trying to hide it. Maybe not, but we’ll see.
Getting to the main story of the episode; Jordan is a method actor and the face of “Zombie High,” a cross between Glee and Walking Dead. He, like method actors are, is a huge ass and every one on the show’s production staff has some reason to punch him in the face–or like our culprit, use the old prop-gun is now a real-gun swap-a-roo, and one fatal take later Jordan is a goner. The episode is slow to get into it because they were front-loading the episode with some much-needed exposition. Overall it is solid and like the stronger throwaway stories of the series have a few one-off characters that are genuinely enjoyable.
However, the story of jealous actors and actresses gets buried in the wonderful over-arcing story finally getting it’s due diligence. The ticking clocks that have begun for both Major and Blaine possibly turning back into zombies. Major is making moves towards exploitation or even sabotaging Vaughn and Max Rager. Blaine goes from king of Seattle again to the deep end in the last minute of the episode where Agent Bozzio shares a crushing bit of information to bring Blaine in as the suspect in the Meat Cute massacre. Ravi, Liv and Clive are only waiting in the wings for their inevitable moment of action, which looks to be coming to blows soon.
Final Grade: A-
+Excellent humor coming back out of the gate
+Finally feels that the main story is blossoming
+Major coming out of his lull like last year to become the biggest part of the season (hopefully)
+/–Main story was good but sparse due to the big picture squeezing it to the side
–Issues behind-the-scenes bleeding to quality of show?
–Now that we’re in part two of season two, and logistically complete as it were, I believe that the vision of the show writers will be much more focused to show the true talent of everyone involved in the production. Yeah, I do give the show a ton of crap, but this episode has shown me that they are not the one-trick pony.
Head’s up everyone–the next new episode of iZombie will be back on February 2nd. Does that seem fishy? Like they may have just started to plan and write and shoot and edit each new episode only recently? I may be blowing this out of the water, but what the hell is going on over at The CW that they only tell their creators halfway through airing their second season that they now have more of their second season to produce? Sure they probably had plenty of ideas, even spec scripts ready to go but then what the hell was the point of those first nine episodes? Do you think HBO would pull that nonsense? Bless Rob Thomas and his crew that they can handle the ups and downs because this is the sort of thing that kills shows.
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