‘Max Wager’ cleverly ties multiple investigations into an important chapter in one of this season’s biggest plots, a plot that just happens to involve a number of key characters in Liv’s life. Things are about to get really complicated.
We open with Harry Cole, one of the dirt bags responsible for Mike Hayden’s death in ‘Love & Basketball’, being gunned down in a drive by, a hit that Clive himself just narrowly escapes. A bit of handy investigation leads him and Liv to discover that Harry had a particularly nasty gambling problem, a problem that put him in the crosshairs of one of Seattle’s biggest crime lords; Stacey Boss. When Harry’s addiction draws Liv into the same betting world, she inadvertently meets Boss face to face and gets a firsthand taste of just how evil he is. His creepy theory of the perfect murder: to force someone to choose between their own lives or their families’ over Skype. Yikes.
It might also be worth mentioning that this is the same guy Peyton just happens to be investigating, and who Blaine is ratting out, for reasons unknown. Mr Boss also paid Peyton a visit in her office to help rearrange her suspect board, and to try and scare her into dropping the case. Was there truth in what Boss said about the DA choosing Peyton over a more experienced law expert? It seems like most of the Seattle justice system is in the guy’s pocket. Will she back down or will this force her to move even faster?
Elsewhere Liv and Major’s reunion is hit with a pretty hard truth; the zombie virus is sexually transmittable. Not ideal news for a couple in the throes of newly rekindled romance. I don’t think their enthusiasm for a sex-free relationship was as honest as they wanted it to be. They really don’t need any more lies in their lives, especially with Major’s nightly routine of zombie snatch and grab still going on. Though, it’s a relief to learn that he hasn’t been killing his victims, just freezing them until he can figure out how to save them. Hopefully he has a lot more of those freezers handy because they will probably fill up pretty quick with all the names on that list of his.
Another story to tie together: Major’s latest victim is Blaine’s tycoon father, Angus. Was his appearance on Major’s list Blaine’s doing? It’s certainly not beyond him; we saw him offing his beloved grandfather with a pillow just to get back at the man.
At this point Blaine is starting to unravel a bit. He’s not just the quipping bad guy anymore, he's a lot more complicated. I’m glad to see that his personal life is getting a little more airtime, though I’m not sure if it will make him more sympathetic or less at this point.
Another Skype appearance: Liv and Major’s adorable attempt at a webcam hookup.
Clive’s fanboy reaction when he met one of his sports heroes, Calvin Owens, was great. I like it when he acts a little less prickly and a little more relatable sometimes.
He Said, She Said
Blaine: “Would you have ever become, uh, Liv Moore, dispenser of justice, if I hadn't scratched you?”
Angus: “You love being human. The food. The sex. You always were a hedonist.”
The decision to pursue a more serialized route of storytelling is really working in iZombie’s favor in this episode, with plots pushing each other along without feeling contrived. It’s a wonderful example of how well mapped this series is.
Originally posted at PandaTV.