iZombie: Eternal Sunshine of the Caffeinated Mind

“Maybe this is God's way of saying, ‘Whoa, Seattle, too much coffee.’”

There’s an incredible number of moving parts on iZombie right now. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s to the series’ credit that all of those moving parts are churning out endlessly entertaining material each week. The previous few episodes benefited from the case of the week tying into the serial arcs, with connections to Mr Boss and Blaine’s underground war, which helped to drive those stories forward. Although the case here is more segregated, there’s still a lot of progression to go around, and more than a few great gags to boot.

In ‘The Whopper’, we watched Liv take on the personality of a man deeply embedded in Mr Boss’s criminal activity. That alone explains how tightly bound it was to this season’s story machinations. The previous week dropped a heavy case in favour of focusing our most of attention on what was going on elsewhere. Again, that episode was all about what had been happening since the start of the season. This time around, the grisly murder of an overly optimistic coffee shop owner takes centre stage, and it’s a welcome distraction to the madness that’s taking over Seattle.

Focusing on the case first, it was a classic example of Liv’s temporary personality traits offering mostly light entertainment over a deeper impact on her life at large. While I enjoy those brains that take us on an emotional journey into how Liv’s inner self functions, it worked in this episode’s favour. Her sunny optimism was fun to watch was we burned through each of the suspects in Lesley’s murder case. That optimism almost seems out of place considering the grim circumstances of not just this woman’s death, but Liv’s life in general; one could even consider it a sly representation of iZombie’s clashing genres at play. The ending proved to be anything but positive, with Lesley’s daughter Cher successfully pinning all the blame on her gullible, love-struck boyfriend. It’s an interesting way to close the case, especially considering how open and shut most of the investigations have been in the past.

Most of the episode’s runtime is taken up by coffee power plays and inappropriate positivity, but there’s still time left over for more than a few twists, like Drake’s true role in Mr Boss’s organisation coming to light. I can’t say I considered him being a cop even for a minute. It’s a clever turn of events, considering how likeable he is, and how close he’s gotten with Liv. Now we can like him as much as she does, though I doubt he’ll make it out of this season in one piece. Hopefully his supervisor will, because I need more Rico Colantoni in my life.

Unsurprisingly, Blaine didn’t make it out in one piece himself. Mr Boss offed him after he finally discovered that he was the one who had been moving in on his utopium market. I knew right away that Blaine wasn’t going to stay dead for long, but it was a lot of fun to watch him rise back up as a zombie like he did; covered in dirt, in front of a group of girl scouts. Can’t say I’ve seen that on television before.

Plus

The new cure made the test Rat turn into some kind of uber zombie. I hope for all the characters' sakes that doesn't make it out of Ravi's lab. I hope for all us viewers that it does.

Ravi’s face after he discovered that barista hadn’t seen Star Wars was amazing.

Liv finally caught Gilda out, thanks to Major’s intentional (?) slip of the tongue. Unfortunately she only knows about what happened between her and Major in the bedroom. She’s still in the dark about her position in Max Rager.

Major came close to confessing, which was a huge step in bringing him out of douchebag territory. I hope he actually comes clean sometime soon. I hope Liv doesn’t let him off the hook, either.

He Said, She Said

Liv: “I choose to believe she's in a better place now.”
Clive: “Than under an air conditioner, you mean?”

Cher: "Love makes you stupid."

‘Enternal Sunshine...’ straddles the line between suitably busy and unsuitably overloaded, but it doesn’t lose its way. There’s a lot to be said for writers that can tackle so many stories at once, and those writers continue to do just service to everything iZombie has going on at the moment. Hopefully they won’t get too carried away by all of the potential stories they have cooking right now, and remember to keep things grounded. They could easily lose us if we happen to invest ourselves even a small bit less than we normally do.

4 out of 5 uber zombie rats

Originally posted at PandaTV.

4 comments:

migmit said...

I have yet to see one episode of iZombie that is not at least good. I mean, come on, even Buffy had bad days.

I honestly expected Blaine to stay dead. That would be a MASSIVE game changer, of course, but such things do happen on TV. Will Gardner was killed in a random shooting, for example. But yeah, Blaine zombification is even more of a game changer.

Good thing Ravi is so scientific. Major in full zombie mode is not something I want to see.

And yes, this slippage — definitely intentional. Major is too smart to make such a mistake.

Doubt said...

Not specific to this episode but...

I can't help but wonder, since Ravi determined that the zombie "virus" can be transmitted during sex even with protection, whether it could be transmitted from Blaine or Major in their "cured" state - since they aren't really cured. Which may make things *very* interesting for Rita or Peyton...

Panda said...

Doubt, I never thought of that. That's such a good theory, it'd be a lot of fun if it were true! Imagine a zombie Peyton or Gilda...

Thomas Ekström said...

Happy to see this one has been renewed.