It looks like iZombie is doing what most CW series tend to do after a bit – it’s turning into more of a soap opera type thing. There’s a lot more interpersonal drama going on. I’m a little disappointed about that, I was liking the crime-of-the-week/brain-of-the-week format, and the way that the characters were developing. But I wasn’t liking that the little dramas between them were taking over the stories so quickly. I preferred the more subtle development approach. I think I started feeling that way right about the time that Liv and Lowell started getting more serious about their relationship.
I’m not sure how I feel about this season’s opener. There was a lot – A LOT of witty banter back and forth between the characters, and a lot of “Ooohh… damn, did he/she just SAY that out LOUD?” moments. But that alone isn’t enough. I was hoping for more focus on the MaxRager/zombie cure storyline, and more on the “Where in the world is Payton?” storyline. As with last season, the various storyline connections are made through little details that make for “AHA!” moments later on – but there are so many this time that it makes things feel rushed. I had a hard time watching this because of it. I enjoyed the dialogue much more than the visuals – I could listen to just the audio track and still get the whole story. I was just hoping for… more…. I don’t know. More of what made the early part of the first season so much fun. It seems to be getting more and more predictable. I’ll keep watching, at least until I can decide if I want a new soap show or not.
Previously on iZombie: Last season’s ender was a bit of chaos. Ravi made a cure. Blaine hired Liv’s brother Evan. There was a showdown at the MeatCute – Major went there to take out Julien and any other zombies he could find. Liv showed up to confront Blaine and rescue Major. During the ensuing fight, Liv injected Blaine with half of the cure before it could be tested. Liv also infected Major to save his life after Blaine stabbed him. She took him home, and explained everything to him. Major got upset with her, and questioned her ethics. Payton left the apartment after Liv killed Sebastian in front of her in Zombie mode, standing up Ravi who was waiting for her to go on a planned getaway. The next morning, Liv’s brother Evan went to the MeatCute for his first day of work. As he stood outside, looking at the carnage, the building exploded. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and rushed into surgery. Liv met her mother at the hospital, and was asked to donate blood since they needed Type O blood. She refused. Read on for the season 2 premiere:
Season two picks up three months later. Liv has given Major the cure, and they are still waiting for possible side effects – they also don’t know if the cure is permanent. Ravi is still observing rats. Evan is still in the hospital, enduring surgery after surgery to remove more shrapnel from the explosion. Liv goes to visit him, and gets into a heated discussion with her mom. Still upset over the fact that Liv refused to help her brother when he needed it, Eva asks her why she refused. Liv can’t tell her. Eva tells her to leave. Evan wakes up, and beckons Liv to his bedside. “Liv… Liv… Go away. Don’t come back,” he tells her.
Blaine now runs a funeral home. That in itself is funny enough to just leave here…
Lt. Suzuki’s body was found in the wreckage at the MeatCute, and he was awarded a medal posthumously for his service. Goddammit!! I was just starting to like the guy!
The crime of the week is an old guy who was killed while working under his car. The jack was dropped, and crushed him. Clive was at the medal ceremony for Suzuki when he got the case. When Liv gets back to the morgue from the hospital, she and Ravi have a discussion about Major and Peyton and Liv’s new roommate while she has a lunch of spaghetti with old guy brain sauce – the victim from Clive’s new case, whose name is Wendell. Apparently, Wendell was an old man who had a lot of issues with a LOT of things. Her brain-induced dialogue is pretty much socially inappropriate for today but was largely considered normal conversation back in 1970.
Clive goes to the morgue to get Liv, and finds her napping on the couch while an old war movie plays on TV. He wakes her up, she shoots off some crabby old guy remarks and goes with him to interview the tipster, a guy named Byron. When they get there, the dude is reluctant to talk at first because he doesn’t want to get involved – he says that he’s afraid. Liv tells him to grow a pair and speak up about what he knows. Byron tells them that a kid from two blocks over was egging the older man’s house, and when the old guy came out and yelled at him, the kid threatened him. So the old guy tazed the kid. While Liv and Clive investigated the crime scene, an old lady on a motorized scooter chair rolled up. She identified herself as the sister-in-law of the deceased. They ask her some questions about his temperament, and she tells them that he wasn’t always like that. his behavior changed about 30 years ago – he got fibromyalgia, and was unable to work. So he got bitter about life in general.
Liv has consumed the brain of an old man who had a lot of issues with a LOT of things. Her brain-induced dialogue is pretty much socially inappropriate for today but was largely considered normal conversation back in 1970. She gets back to the morgue after the interview with the witness, and apologizes to Ravi for being late. “We got stuck in traffic behind an Asian driver.” “Uh… hello, Archie Bunker -” he says, pointing to his own face. “Maybe you can tell your people how to use a turn signal,” Liv quips. He asks her to prep a body for transport to a new funeral home. Liv looks at the form and recognizes the owner’s name – John Deaux – “a known alias for my least favorite of our cured zombies.”
At the funeral home, Blaine is looking at casket selections on his computer when he feels the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He turns around, and Liv is standing there. She came to have a talk with him. She tells him she needs him to get more of that “boat party night tainted Utopium.” Blaine says he will inquire. As Liv leaves, one of Blaine’s new lackeys informs him of a new delivery downstairs. It’s a casket full of pure, uncut Utopium vials. Liv warns Major that Clive is questioning his alibi for the night of the “shootout at the MeatCute Corral,” as Blaine called it. Clive sent a sketch artist to the hospital to get Evan to provide a description of the guy who hired him. The drawing matches a drawing that the sketch artist drew based on Clive’s description of Blaine from a month prior. He shows both of them to Liv. They interview the thug from the neighborhood, who is drinking a MaxRager energy drink. More snark from Liv and incredulous looks at her from Clive.
Meanwhile, the board of investors is not happy with the connection between the drink and the zombie outbreak and the slow progress on the research and development of the SuperMax drink. They want assurances that there won’t be the same side effects from the new product.
Major is now a personal trainer. He’s going through a rough time since he got fired from the shelter, and hasn’t been able to find any other work. He goes to the house of a new client, and the client’s daughter answers the door. She leads him through the house, and introduces her father. The hair on Major’s arm stands up. He senses that this guy is a zombie – even without the pale skin and white hair. So I guess that this “hair standing on end” phenomena is some kind of “zombie proximity alert,” like “Spidey-sense.” When Ravi gets home, Major tells him about it.
While at the precinct discussing the suspect’s statement with Clive, they get interrupted by the sketch artist. Some more back and forth with the sharp tongued comments from Liv and she gets a vision of Wendell’s sister-in-law having an argument with him and then keying his car.
Blaine goes to a house. He knocks on the door, and says he’s there on business. He says he knows the Utopium was cut with something on the night of the boat party. He says that he knows who did it – “it was either you or your twin,” and offers “a payday” for the one who can show him how the Utopium was cut the night of the boat party. The door opens. It’s Tom E., the guy from the mental institution that Major was at last season. He says he didn’t do it but he knows who did and asks for a finder’s fee.
Liv and Clive go to question the victim’s sister-in-law. but she has witnesses present who give her an alibi. Then Liv gets another vision, of the victim luring a dog (a Spaniel) with poisoned meat – punishment for it pooping in his yard. Liv makes a connection to the tipster – the guy had paintings of Spaniels on his walls, and dog toys all over his house. Clive says that he didn’t see a dog when they went over there before. “Exactly! What if Wendell poisoned Byron’s dog?” They go and question Byron again, but Byron is able to produce the dog.
Clive checks out Byron’s alibi. He looks at the video surveillance from security cameras at the pub that Byron said he was at during the time of the murder. Everything checked out – except, predictably, that Clive finds out there was an entrance to the pub that was not monitored, on the side of the building. He also finds a “Missing Dog” poster at the pub that Byron had put up. From there, the case wraps up rather quickly. They figure out that Byron tried to pin the murder on a neighborhood punk, so they go back to Byron’s with a search warrant and find Byron’s boots. They are a match for a bloody footprint found at the crime scene. Byron admits that when he discovered the dog was missing a few days prior, he thought that Wendell had killed it because he had threatened to do so. So Byron went to the pub, had a few drinks, searched the neighborhood, and confronted Wendell as he worked under his car in the driveway. Byron accused Wendell of killing the dog. “Well, that’s one dog that won’t be crapping in my yard anymore.”
Byron kicked the jack out, and the car fell on Wendell, killing him. Byron said he heard a barking coming from Wendell’s basement workshop. He opened the door, and his dog was fine. So he called in to the crime tip hotline, believing it was anonymous.
At the morgue, Liv finds that the city is going to have Wendell’s body cremated. None of his next of kin wanted to claim the body. Liv decides that she’s not gonna be that guy – the bitter person who let life get the best of her. She goes to see Evan at the hospital again.
At MaxRager headquarters, the CEO is telling Major that he wants to have him kill the zombies. He has a list of 322 people who are suspected zombies, based on credit card records for hair coloring services and tanning salon charges on their credit card records. He plays a recording of Ravi telling someone about what Major told him regarding his new personal training client. He alludes to the zombies killed at the MeatCute, with the clear implication that he knows Major killed them.When Major refuses and starts walking out, he plays a recording of Liv’s end of the phone call she made to Major warning him about Clive’s suspicion. Apparently, he had the morgue bugged. He basically blackmails Major into doing the job. “We know of one zombie… Liv Moore. We don’t have to start with her… but we gotta start somewhere…”
Liv is at home, reflecting on the past year of her life when her new roommate interrupts her thoughts with an invite to watch “Zombie High” with her. Reluctantly, Liv agrees. The gossip a little about a new guy at the IRS where the new roommate works. Liv yells at the TV “ZOMBIE! Dumb! Dumb zombies!” and her roommate looks at her. Does she know something about Liv that hasn’t been said? Hm.