While this season is still really exciting and propulsive in general, certain aspects of the different plot strands the show has cooking right now almost got a bit lost amongst the lies and deceit that permeated ‘The Whopper’. It’s a minor complaint, though, since this episode delivered in the emotional stakes by playing on one of the central themes of iZombie, while still delivering some great twists along the way.
The theme in question in ‘The Whopper’ is, of course, lying, and it’s a theme that’s all too familiar to this show. It’s what plagues Liv’s zombie existence. She has to lie to her family about what she really is; she has to constantly disguise her abilities around Clive; and even when her zombie identity is out in the open, she still has to hide certain truths to protect the people she loves, like she did for Major last season. Given all of that, it’s great that the show can directly tackle a subject matter like this week’s, and still approach it in a different way than we it would see it happen normally.
“Big Fish”, the pathological liar and employee of Mr Boss that Liv had the pleasure of eating in an oddly appetising looking cheese-brain burger, told some altogether different lies than Liv. His are embellished with some ridiculous stretches of the imagination, all told to impress other people. That’s why when Liv tells them, they stand out against her usual hidden truths, and the impact of them isn’t diminished, both in terms of humour – Liv’s attempt to trick Clive into getting her a soy vanilla latte was genius “There’s this new study that says caffeine stimulates psychic activity.” – And more serious matters – Major nearly catching Liv with Drake. Though it’s surprising that Big Fish’s proclivity for some un-truths didn’t land her in some serious water by the time the credits rolled.
It must be said that the specifics of Big Fish’s murder case were a bit confusing. I think I got a bit lost as we jumped from hitmen to drug mules and on to dead war vets, but I don’t think it hurt this episode all that much. iZombie has always managed to make the consequences of these cases more significant than the cases themselves, especially in the last few weeks when each one is tied so significantly into the season’s major arcs. I don’t think it made a difference to find out who killed Big Fish in the end, when the reason for this investigation was to lead Liv, Ravi and Major to the two corpses jacked full of tainted utopium. This is especially important now since Major and Blaine’s days are numbered without another cure. We saw what could become of them when New Hope bit the dust.
You could argue that finding a cure is the least of Blaine’s worries right now, with his plan to take on Mr Boss heating up. It feels like we’re heading for something big with this plot which is why I’m glad Blaine’s screen time is being used wisely, with his feud with his father coming into play again. I think convincing his tycoon father to re-write (or re-film as the case may be) the will that left him with nothing will be an arduous task, but the two characters bounce off each other so well that I kind of hope the back and forth between them lasts for a while.
I was surprised that Blaine discovered Major’s role in the Chaos Killer murders so soon, after his men caught him in the act, but it certainly makes things more fun. It also makes the combination of all the different plot strands even more tenuous. I can only imagine there’s a very specific ending in store, otherwise all of these complex story intersections will start to become convoluted.
I’m surprised that Liv has stuck with Drake as long as she has.
I don’t think Drake killed that guy for Mr Boss, but I also don’t think he’s all that innocent.
Another Liar Liar highlight: Liv used to bartend at a place called “Jamaican-me-thirsty”.
How great was Blaine’s prank on his father? I’m not sure how exactly many pop references he managed to fit into his speech, but my guess is a lot.
Gilda posing as Liv’s roommate has still gone unnoticed. She was apparently sleeping when Major visited Liv (another lie?). Considering all the stories that have exploded in last few weeks, I’m surprised this hasn’t come to fruition yet.
Blaine feeds his guys the bad brains. Holocaust survivors and hypochondriacs are just two examples that we know of so far.
I loved that final scene with ‘One Day More’ from Les Mis playing in the background (I had to look that song title up).
He Said, She Said
Major: “A warning: your dad’s still frozen.”
Blaine: “Somebody’s got to make an obligatory Popsicle joke, right?”
Liv: “Everyone lies. It’s a coping mechanism, a key survival trait. Show me someone who always tells the truth and I’ll show you a weirdo. But maybe the most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves.”
Though certain technicalities proved to be a tad frustrating, iZombie is still getting things right where it really matters. The plotting is strong, both the character dynamics and rapport are engaging, and everything is coming together seamlessly. ‘The Whopper’ featured all that plus some pretty funny gags. This show is still delivering.
4 out of 5 brain burgers
Originally posted at PandaTV.