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REVIEW: iZombie 2×16 “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie”

Written by Brian Corliss

Well, the producers certainly wanted to kick this episode off with a proper tone, after last week’s climactic ending in the Max Rager basement paralleled with the melancholic (possible) ending of Blaine, they were dangling the carrot in front of the horse. Thankfully, they jumped right back into it–Blaine is still alive and Gilda most certainly isn’t. After the beginning creepiness though, “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie” settles back into the tone of the series, with not seven minutes before getting Liv into a skimpy dress and dancing to any one of the Jock-Jams CDs.

Now, the eye-rolling I complained about during “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter” appeared to be repeated in this week’s episode with Liv wolfing down full-on stripper brains. Yes, was Rose McIver shaking it and surely sending the mind of everyone with a pulse racing, sure, but this week’s hot-tempered dancer fueled an attitude that Ms. McIver pulled off flawlessly; genuine hilarity and no-nonsense vivacity were much more enjoyable to shallow than the last go ’round with this. Actually, I would say this was one of the best directed and wittiest of the episodes of the season, particularly when the finality of the season is looming overhead.

The murder of an exotic dancer sends the team to exploring the strip scene of Seattle while balancing some hanging threads from last week, chiefly the disappearance of undercover Cop and playing for multiple bad guys Drake, Liv Moore’s boyfriend. What I appreciated was that this was constantly brought up by different characters, sort of as a “hey, did you hear anything?” which makes the writing feel organic instead of awkwardly structured or forced. Head-to-toe, the episode was expertly written.

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Blaine’s story-line is another mark to the talent behind the script; we know him to be the silver-tongued goofball with a sharp eye and unceasing craftiness. Now, he is the vulnerable boy who cried wolf, he is human again and it’s the most humanizing point of his entire character, I immediately felt awful for him. And hey, why not? What has Blaine truly done this season that makes him worse than anyone else?

Does it make him any worse than Major? Not directly as the man on top never gets his hands dirty, and Major is no where near being the man on top. And even though he has shown to keep his targets alive, people are still going missing, people with lives and families and responsibilities, but now they are poof–gone. He doesn’t sit around and watch the repercussions that these loved ones have to go through, take Drake’s Mother, a broken woman sipping whiskey and reminiscing that her baby boy is gone. The biggest scene with Major this week was the final scene where Ravi (who had an incredible episode) confronted Major about being the Chaos-Killer, with both Rahul Kohli and Robery Buckley putting on their finest acting display. Culminating in the final shot, Major going red-eyed, crazed zombie before being put to sleep.

This episode left several questions hanging, and is likely to be a stepping stone to the last few episodes. The murder of the week was decent where the actual whodunit wasn’t all that incredible however the interaction of the once-over characters was excellent. All of the shade being thrown between the dancers, the return of weatherman Johnny Frost, and Blaine’s right hand man Donnie looking to make moves in the underground, were above all, fun to watch. However the complete absence of Vaughn and Mr. Boss (though he was mentioned a bit) has to be noted especially after the last episode. And while we know that Vaughn is a maniac, Mr. Boss is losing his appeal to be a villain–of sorts–as we barely see him on screen and what we do see of him is not exactly pulling a John Doe in Seven.

 

Final Grade: B

+Excellently written and directed

+The final moment with Ravi and Major

+Stripper brains ended up being a hilarious turn for Liv

–No Vaughn and Max Rager

–Didn’t flesh out the story to the potential from last week

–Mr. Boss is seeming less and less menacing

Extra Thoughts:

With the continued trajectory of iZombie for several weeks now, there is no reason not to be excited about what the writers and producers have in store for the finale, though i do have concerns about them losing sight of some aspects to make room for the bigger ones, and vice versa–focusing on what isn’t necessary instead of what is. “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie” would have been a great breather episode; you had your heavy punching moments last week but now you need to dial back a minute and get everything lined back up. Except, after last weeks episode, you need to ride that high and the beginning of “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie” looked to do just that, but then it sort of petered out.

Do you think that any of the “villains” are living up to the villain-ness this season compared with Blaine and season one? I don’t really think so–he killed Liv’s boyfriend Lowell! Anyone feeling the drag? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss