[This is a review of iZombie Season 2, episode 8. There may be SPOILERS.]
As happy as Liv and Major’s romantic reunion in this season of iZombie has been so far, it seems like there’s only a matter of time before it crumbles apart. After all, Major is harboring a freezer full of zombies whom he was supposed to kill while working for Liv’s enemies at Max Rager, and there’s also the rather sticky subject of his relationship with Liv’s roommate and secret Max Rager spy, Rita/Gilda.
The latter comes into play this week in “The Hurt Stalker” after Clive’s obsessive ex-girlfriend shows up dead in a parking lot, killed with Clive’s gun, and Liv gets a dose of bunny boiler brain. To make matters worse, Clive’s status as prime suspect in the case means that he’s not on hand to help with the investigation, which means that Liv and Ravi have to go rogue in order to clear his name. Along the way they learn that Clive has musical talents, enjoys cooking, and once cosplayed as Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. No wonder Regina was obsessed – that’s perfect boyfriend material right there.
Despite the heavy relationship subplot, iZombie‘s humor is on point this week with everything from brilliantly executed N.W.A. references to Ravi speculating as to what Clive’s ‘O’ face looks like (“I bet it’s super angry.”) The episode also sees the return of the sporadic Max Rager storyline, though the only new development is that Vaughn du Clark decides to test out the company’s experimental Super Max energy drink on himself and gets an extra dose of strength – and rage. That’s definitely going to end well.
Rita, when she’s not trying to decide how she’ll redecorate Vaughn’s office when she gets his job, is somewhat affronted after being spurned by Major and seems interested in winning him back – though whether her cool facade hides a secret longing for romance or whether it’s simply a power play remains unclear. It doesn’t make much difference to Liv, whose newfound stalker tendencies lead her to discover some sexy texts on Major’s phone. What’s particularly interesting is that it’s unclear how much of her prying can be blamed on her latest meal, and how much is coming from Liv’s own paranoia.
On the crime-fighting side of things, Liv and Ravi learn that the recently deceased wedding planner was a ‘badge bunny’ who developed a series of relationships with cops, which she carried on long after they became one-sided. She really doesn’t get much characterization beyond ‘crazy stalker lady’, but that’s pretty much par for the course with iZombie victims; they only ever seem to pass on one personality trait, and Liv unfortunately gets the stalker trait rather than the wedding planner trait.
While the case does offer some fun insight into Clive’s life, the actual solution to the crime is pretty dull. A wife murdering the woman who had an affair with her husband isn’t exactly the plot twist of the century, though it’s slightly made up for by the capture of the criminals featuring a burst of “Karma Chameleon”. Really, arrests would probably be a lot more fun if a poetically ironic song played every time the perp was put in handcuffs.
In keeping with iZombie‘s pattern of swapping supporting characters in and out, the return of Rita and Vaughn means Peyton and Blaine are shoved out of the picture again and Stacey Boss is still nowhere to be seen after his stellar introduction earlier this season. Moreover, while this episode would have been a great opportunity to have Clive and Bozzio digging deeper into the Meat Cute case during Clive’s downtime, that particular plot thread is still dangling in the breeze.
Instead, the runtime is filled with a pretty pointless detour of Liv being thrown in jail for breaking into a cop’s car, briefly being tempted to eat the brains of her fellow inmates, and then being set free before anything bad can happen. This could have been interesting if it had been the focus of an entire episode instead of just a pocket of time filler, but if nothing else at least we saw the return of full-on-zombie-mode Liv.
Since The CW recently ordered more episodes of iZombie, the show has a fresh need to stretch out the season arc even further. That’s fine, since iZombie‘s filler episodes can be very entertaining. They just need to be a bit better than this.
iZombie returns next week with “Cape Town” next Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW. Watch the promo below.