[This is a review of iZombie's season 1 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
After several beatings and a stay in a mental hospital, Major's investigation into the existence of zombies goes cold in the season finale of iZombie. Really cold. With Major locked up in Blaine's freezer with a full bladder and a steadily dropping body temperature, it seems like Liv's attempts at keeping him safe by keeping him in the dark may have gone awry.
'Blaine's World' represents the second half of a two-part murder mystery, continuing the woeful tale of last week's I Know What You Did Last Summer analogs. Bex Taylor-Klaus' character came to an unfortunate end in a motel room, which means that this week Liv has to suffer the side-effects of being... marginally more snarky than she normally is. It's probably just as well that the personality change gimmick is kept to a minimum for this episode, since there's a whole lot of plot to get through as it is.
Clive and Liv's investigations lead them to a new connection between the last surviving teen, Cameron, and the sinister machinations of energy drink company Max Rager. The lead singer of The Asshats got his hands on the thumb drive containing evidence of Max Rager's unfortunate side effects, making him a target of interest both for those who would see the company dismantled and those who would see it protected.
Speaking of Max Rager's known side effects, Ravi has successfully turned the morgue's zombie rat back into a regular rat, but needs the last of the tainted Utopium to reverse-engineer a cure for all the zombies that have been created. This creates a tough dilemma for Liv, who is desperate to shed her hunger for brains and get back to a normal life, but also doesn't want to be responsible for the end of life as we know it.
iZombie isn't great at portraying nuanced villains. Blaine is a fairly one-dimensional greedy criminal type, with an admittedly charming dose of wit, and Steven Weber's Max Rager CEO is an sociopathic rich man stereotype cackling about the bottom line. That said, this season finale does do an excellent job of presenting moral situations for Liv that are far from black and white. Killing Blaine and stopping his operation isn't the straight-forward solution it might seem, since without the zombie crime lord supplying brains Seattle's controlled zombie problem could turn into a full-blown epidemic.
To make matters worse, Major is brutally stabbed by Blaine as recompense for storming into Meat Cute and killing all the zombie employees, leaving Liv to simultaneously face the decisions of whether to kill Blaine and whether to save Major by turning him into a zombie. Almost immediately after that, Liv has to decide whether or not to potentially save her brother's life by turning him into a zombie via a blood transfusion.
'Blaine's World' is an emotionally heavy episode with some really deft writing that's handled well by Rose McIver, who effectively conveys Liv's position of being surrounded on all sides by rocks and hard places. It's easy to simultaneously feel very bad for Liv while also agreeing with Major's accusations that she's indirectly responsible for a lot of the pain he's suffered, and that she turned him into a zombie for her own benefit rather than his. The fact that Liv is kind of selfish makes her, if anything, much easier to identify with as a character.
There was a point in iZombie's early episodes where there seemed to be a real danger of the show turning out to be a dud despite such a promising start, so it's very gratifying to see just how well things have turned around in the latter half of the season. The show's supporting characters - Ravi and Major in particular - are both likeable and have become much more well-rounded, and Liv herself has proven to be flawed, but still easy to root for.
The wishlist for season 2 includes getting to see Clive get the same sort of treatment that Ravi and Major have enjoyed. Clive's role so far has mainly been a functional one, since he's Liv's point of contact within the Seattle Police Department, and the closest he's come to actually figuring out the existence of zombies is giving Liv wide-eyed, exasperated looks every time she does something kooky due to her latest meal. Clive's police work has improved a lot since we first met him as a hapless homicide detective without a single closed case under his belt, so hopefully the next season will see him exploring his own independent storyline in the same way that Major did.
Overall this is been a strong first season and we're definitely looking forward to seeing more from Liv Moore. Bring on the brains.
Liv: This Indian mustard you brought in sucks donkey parts.Ravi: A delight as always, Olivia Moore.
Liv: Hey. Creepy Staresalot. I'm not on a sex cam, I can see you.
iZombie fans, let us know in the comments what you thought of this season finale. Will you be tuning in for iZombie season 2?