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REVIEW: iZombie 2×13 “The Whopper”

Written by Brian Corliss

Firstly, there is something to be said about the inability for Clive to push further into the oddity that is the relationship triangle of Ravi, Liv, and Major. He is an incredible detective–by the book you can say–but being that he should know to trust his gut and run with feelings that lead down the spider’s thread; for all the sideways, cock-eyed looks of amazement he gives the three of them on a weekly basis, why hasn’t he thought to ask? Surely an old photo of Liv would have her all plucky and alive. Not to mention that he questions nothing about how dead on she is with every vision that she has–granted any port in the storm, we’re fighting the same fight, I just want to know why it’s not addressed. Even if they told him, would anything happen? I’m not saying anything has to either, but here and there bits of detailing has been lost this season when looking back to how tightly executed the first season felt. Why doesn’t Ravi object to anything, Clive should ask? What is Major still doing around his ex-girlfriends work? And, perhaps that it’s been so long that I have just completely misplaced this bit in my brain, but what in god’s name happened to Liv’s mom and brother, Evan? The one that was blown up at the end of the first season? There’s been nothing to report? Anyway… **(I should note I wrote this part during the opening credits. Maybe keep your mouth shut Brian?)**

Holy hell in a hand basket! Talk about burying the lead, huh? Blaine’s life has clearly been a rough and tumble go: the under-achieving, disinterested son of a local magnate with Nurse Ratchet for the stay-at-home maid. Not exactly happiness and sunshine, not unlike anyone to fall down the path to sinfulness. Maybe he just needed that sign to set him on the path and turn his life around–becoming a zombie was his re-imagining on life. With his father’s death, perhaps all that suffering would pay off: he’s running his second successful business, he is in relative safety which basically means he is staying out of jail, and he is about to inherit the family fortune.

Except he won’t. Because of Major. And now Blaine has Major (once again) locked up. This time with a bit more of a chip on his shoulder. Oh man, this is what we were waiting for all season: some genuine danger for one of the show’s major (sorry) characters at the hands of one of the show’s finest bad guys, dare to say, one of the most lovable bad guys on television, one who makes pseudo-evil saucy and attractive. Ah, but we all know that Blaine’s dad, Angus, is not exactly as deceased as everyone thinks and for now that is Major’s only card to play.

They just give all the best scenes to Blaine. That helps, I suppose. The scene where he thaws out his father was probably one of the funniest of the entire series.

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Once again we have a victim where they are somehow looped into the main story arc, in this case, the murder of liar and possible scumbag Big Fish by an enemy of one Mr. Boss, who, as it were, was Big Fish’s boss. This puts Liv on the path of white-lying and harmless deceit, even finally earning a prompt from Clive who calls out how she takes the personality of the victim. Dammit you were right there! Similar with last week, the A-story and B-story are nearly intertwined, instead of having Liv parade around in cowgirl outfits playing songs for some awful reason, the victim opens a door to another aspect of the shady Seattle underworld that lies at the foundation of the Utopium and brain trade, the serial murders, and the entire existence of Zombies.

On to Drake, who is getting a bit of the Pretty Woman treatment: he plays for the rival but is dating your teams cheerleader captain, and it is adorable. But there have been so many allusions to Drake not being completely honest with Liv, not that he is lying, he just isn’t being full upfront with Liv–some would say that is just as bad as lying but the fact that Drake has been shown to be resistant to total depravity keeps him close to our side on the character Venn Diagram.

So what can we take away from this episode? Well, that might be a bit of a tricky question to answer as not a crazy amount happened, that is to say that last week it seemed that we took a huge leap forward in the story’s progression, but this week felt less, a step. There was no pointless side story that filled in the time around the parts that were important so it felt just fine; the biggest player in this week’s episode was Blaine, clearly. We got the full resentment that has built up over this season through multiple set backs and half measures that never filled. He forged a shaky alliance with Major that will undoubtedly explode in someone’s face, thawed out his father to have him tortured, but outside of personal gain, as of this moment hasn’t jumped forward in any truly meaningful way.

The main three: Ravi, Liv, and Major made the biggest impact on story with the discovering of the two bodies fill with tainted Utopium, which they will use to forge a cure for the zombie epidemic. Outside of that, nothing new to report on Du Clark and the horrible company that is Max Rager, and perhaps that isn’t such a knock, there is time and the writers look to finally be on the path once again.

 

Final Grade: B+

+ Blaine, through the entire episode. “Future” scene in particular

+ Hey, they found those guys with the drugs in their stomachs! Cooking up a cure!

+ Characters that matter are getting the dues in spades and shining bright

– No Vaughn and no Max Rager

– Main story progression was slow

Extra Thoughts:

– The episode had some incredible moments that just made you feel good in a bad way. Though nothing spectacular happened narrative-wise, it was a solid hour of entertainment that made us fall for the show in the first place. Likely a episode that was tighter on budget to save for previous or upcoming episodes. I’ve said that I’ve given the show crap this season, but it looks as though the series is back to being what it was: pure, self-aware fun.

How has the last few episodes felt? Better? Worse? Better right? Yeah, say that in the comments or tell us on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss