[This is a review of iZombie season 1, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]
Since becoming a member of the undead, iZombie protagonist Liv Moore’s life has taken a turn for the exciting with a fresh brain and a new murder to be solved every week. Still, when the highlight of her day is trying to make an egg salad sandwich that fits her new dietary requirements, Liv can’t help but feel that she isn’t quite living life to the full – and not just because of her tragically slow heart rate.
In this week’s episode of iZombie, “Flight of the Living Dead”, extreme sports and mortal peril collide as Liv’s former sorority sister Holly is found messily impaled on a tree branch in what appears to be a tragic thrill-seeking accident. After mournfully chowing down on Holly’s brains, however, Liv suspects that there might be more to the story after she gets a vision of Holly’s fellow promoter Lowell (guest star Bradley James) freaking out right before the jump.
The fact that it’s not a homicide at first glance means that Liv and Clive have to go through their little routine of arguing over whether or not to investigate – an argument that Liv inevitably ends up winning, since she has iZombie‘s formula on her side. As Clive resigns himself to going along with another one of Liv’s whims, however, he also begins poking around in Blaine’s territory and discovers an alarming number of missing persons cases.
The personal nature of the case gets even more intimate, however, when Liv finds herself falling for Lowell’s charms even as she tries to figure out whether or not he murdered her friend. The plot thickens as Liv and Clive uncover a web of secrets surrounding the promotion of Max Rager, the company behind a new energy drink that sponsored Holly’s last flight, and destroyed video evidence showing her final moments.
Liv’s roommate Peyton returns this week and joins in the guilt-fest over Holly, since both Liv and Peyton voted to kick the girl out of their sorority house back in college. The show is still really struggling to add any real depth to its supporting characters, however, and the fact that Peyton is dealing with the exact same conflict as Liv doesn’t do her characterization any favors. Much the same can be said for Major, who still feels very bland even after going on a solo mission to investigate the transients that Blaine has been kidnapping off the streets.
Luckily Liv has a new romantic prospect in the form of Lowell, who (probably) isn’t a murderer but does turn out to be a fellow zombie with a similar taste for spicy foods and chewy grey matter. Since Liv can’t date living people without running the risk of turning them into a zombie, this means that Lowell represents pretty much her only hope of getting laid in the foreseeable future. Not only that, but he’s a deft hand at making cocktails.
With Lowell’s pre-jump nervousness and odd behavior explained away by his undead nature, the focus of the investigation rapidly switches to the three other skydivers – Eliza, Carson and Ren – with the finger of blame eventually alighting on Eliza when evidence turns up that she purchased the drug that incapacitated Holly and sent her hurtling into a tree branch. It’s not a particularly interesting story, and further reinforces the argument that iZombie might work better as a supernatural drama if showrunners Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero were willing to stray from the crime procedural format.
The resolution to this week’s murder mystery goes by in a bit of a blur, with the supposed killer’s motive laid out in a blistering mile-a-minute monologue from Carson that leaves even Clive and Liv looking confused. By the time Clive reaches Eliza’s house, she’s seemingly gone on the run and that’s where the case ends – for now, at least.
The hasty wrap-up suggests that the matter of Holly’s murder might really be wrapped up yet. After all, Lowell carefully avoided explaining how he became a zombie and there’s only one guy in the city (that we know of) who’s creating new zombies – a guy who also happens to have a grudge against Liv. Is Lowell the perfect zombie boyfriend material that he seems, is he secretly in cahoots with Blaine, or will Max Rager turn out to be the latest source of zombie shenanigans?
Liv: Of everyone here, who would you eat first?
Ravi: I think first I’d ask if someone could spare an apple.
Liv: [Discussing Lowell] I have a good feeling about him.
Ravi: Mm-hm. And where exactly is this feeling originating from?
iZombie returns next Tuesday with “Virtual Reality Bites” @9pm on The CW. Watch a preview below: