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REVIEW: iZombie 2×12 “Physician, Heal Thy Selfie”

Written by Brian Corliss

Talk about night and day. Makes you wonder if there are two production teams working on this show: the professionals that made this week’s episode, “Physician, Heal Thy Selfie,” and the high school drama kids that made last week’s fiasco “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter.”

What a wonderful concept to break past the stigma of the last (and final time I’ll make mention of it) complete dud of an episode, a triple-beheading, forcing Liv to work through wit and actual crime solving instead of jumping from point to point thanks to visions and evidence that has a giant neon sign stating “Guys, lookie here,” and a large white gloved finger pointing straight down. This feels like a return to form to the first season was Law & Order if it was written by the people over at The Soup. Then again they rehash the “millennial’s sure are funny with their phones and pictures.”

Peyton truly comes into her own this episode, finally growing a spine and moving out of side-kick to stand up for herself against Blaine and his (oh boy, tempting) advances, that as of now–and as usual–seem earnest. Perhaps I have put Blaine on this pedestal where he’s absolutely conniving, an undead Iago, constantly laying the tracks and spinning everyone’s wheels to his destination. For now, he has time to make good on my expectations, but can he honestly be that good? How much can he possibly gain at this point? Short of strangling Mr. Boss himself and full-on Walter White-ing something, just seems that he wouldn’t get more then half way back to his super-stardom.

“Physician, Heal Thy Selfie,” feels fluid: having the victims be players in the larger picture allowed both story arcs to meld together where each scene feels important instead of just servicing a thin plot filling minutes on the CW schedule. This is evident by the inclusion of near all the show’s major players; when wasVaughn, Gilda, Mr. Boss, Blaine, and Peyton were all in the same episode? Let alone one of any relevance.

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Going back to the millennial/social media aspect of Liv’s character this week. I actually didn’t feel it was too aggrandized. Some digs were close to bordering on eye-roll, but they quickly backed it up by tearing them down from the other side, balancing what could easily have been a languishing joke in a point of the season where they are having a bit of an identity crisis. Are we CW supernatural love story? Or are we the quirky outlier who took art electives and was opinionated to a fault before our opinions became mainstream? Furthering the last bit, this episode was funny, the first one in a long time that I could share such an glowing judgement from iZombie.

And FINALLY! We have some evil-to-evil interaction! Blaine and Mr. Boss! Was Mr. Boss and Blaine’s father Angus in cahoots back in the day? See this is what makes comic book shows so fantastic, even if they are sometimes so absurd they border on soap opera: the villain’s are always the focus and they are in plenty. Megalomania is often a trait they share and they revel in it, even when they go monologue to monologue with each other. This show though plays light with the villain, relying on Blaine’s charm rather then his insanity to convey character. The second season has has neither a crazed “we need to stop him” villain nor a “I kind of want to see what he can get away with.” And it seems as though there’s a shaky alliance being forged undead Legion of Doom.

The true wild card is Drake, he should be a bad guy but he helps his poor mother with the leaky plumping, and Liv seems to approve. She doesn’t have the best radar for staying straight on the happy path, but maybe she is getting lucky picking the one bad guy trying to go straight.

We now know (at least strongly implied) that Major has been stowing bodies without throwing them into that final abyss. What does this mean you ask? Well, likely a bunch of pissed off zomb-sicles may be released from their Canadian-y bonds, one being the very stern, old-Hollywood looking Angus, to roam about looking for revenge–doubtful that the would take it out on the one that spare them, but possibly Vaughn? Blaine? Mr. Boss? Who knows what could happen with that? Hopefully the writers as they have had time to finalize the season, am I right?

Ending this week’s episode was a genuine “oh, snap,” moment with Liv realizing that Blaine is now once again the main Seattle scoundrel. Even if there hasn’t been any true allusions to what his intentions are, this is one of the few times I’ve been excited for next week’s episode. Damn, thinking about it now, Major is really pulling it out in the end. After another season of hear and there bits of whether you care for him, he’s coming out guns blazing towards the last legs of the season to make the biggest splash.

Here we go!

Final Grade: A-

+ All around solid episode that featured all the major characters, and with purpose!

+ A great plot that balanced a fine main story and pushed the over arcing story forward

+ Superbly funny

+ Great character progressions

+ Major! You dog, again! Just like last year, coming up strong on the final lap!

– Some things left up in the air

Extra Thoughts:

– The best character this episode was Tanner, the CI. First time in several episodes I genuinely laughed like an idiot, between the Sally Tiny Tears (Google it) and the Helen Keller joke, he got more laughs in one minute than most of the show’s lifers. Not Ravi of course. Speaking of–that first moment with Ravi and Peyton was a lovely touch and well played out; they had a great moment that wasn’t embellished, melodramatic, or forced; the interaction of two formerly intimate people feels similarly. No obscure indie song playing as they stare longingly at each other as they lean in for that kiss punctuated by the crashing cymbals.

See I like some episodes, they have to be deserving! Are you enjoying the every other episode being amazing? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss