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iZombie: Spanking the Zombie

"This is torture and I'm not even enjoying it."

I’ve discussed it numerous times before, but one of iZombie’s biggest strengths is how easily it balances zany comedy and heartfelt drama. This episode is a shining example of that, shifting back and forth between one of its most absurd cases to date and the rush to save a principal character’s life. Tonally it shouldn’t work, but the writers of this show handle it with aplomb. Who would have thought that an episode where Liv turns into a dominatrix would end up being one the saddest episodes of the season?

The case here is pretty much hand made for iZombie, and throwing in two Veronica Mars alums only sweetens the pot. Considering the subject matter I was expecting the series to be a little harsh towards the victim (and her clients’) sexual preferences. Thankfully, the series steers clear of putting anybody down, instead opting to have some fun with Liv’s new traits, and her “dominating” attitude in the interrogation room.

It was so great to see Ken Marino and Daran Norris back on the show; the latter in particular always seems to brighten things up when he appears. They fit in so well with the case here, and it’s great to see that iZombie is continuing to build a world of fun supporting characters around its principal cast. One of my favorite parts of Veronica Mars was how all of these people Veronica came across in her PI work would float in and out of her life, and it would make sense that the same would happen to Liv considering the role that she’s in.

While it was wonderful to be provided with some not-so-subtle euphemisms, and the wonderful image of Ken Marino in a Catholic boy’s school costume, elsewhere things took a turn for the worst. Major’s health deteriorated while on a mission after he’s stabbed in combat, and the time finally came around for him to take the new cure.

His acceptance of losing his memory was so heartbreaking. I loved that he made the most of his last night as himself, getting close to Liv one last time and telling her how he was looking forward to falling in love with her all over again. The memory loss may not be permanent if my theory about Blaine lying about his memories is true, but it doesn’t make what happened here any less important.


Liv asked Vivian to pay their prime suspect in Wally’s murder case in order to quiz him on what he knows. We didn’t find out a whole lot, only that he isn’t alone in his hatred for zombies, and was floating around the night Wally and his family were killed.

How funny were Liv’s scenes with the sketch artist? “Draw the nipples, Jimmy”.

Donny opened up The Scratching Post and made a new friend in a sub-par Utopium dealer. It was almost sweet.

The memory serum caused Liv to have some intense visions. Will she use it more regularly now?

Ravi and Liv pretending to be a couple was one of the highlights of the case work this week.

He Said, She Said

Brandt: “Detective, can you tell your partner to stop verbally abusing my client?”
Liv: “Tell your client to stop asking for it.”

Major: “Once I'm new me, keep reminding me of what we meant to each other? And give me a new name, one that's less silly.”

‘Spanking the Zombie’ was probably this season’s strongest episode so far. It had all of the masterful storytelling that only this series seems to manage, with some great character beats along the way. Major taking the serum at the close of the episode was hard to watch, but it was the first step in kicking the memory loss plot into gear, which was about one week away from becoming dull.

4 out of 5 whips.

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. Jimmy: "Is she single"?

    Well, I'd say that Kate Beckett's take on the dominatrix was funnier and somewhat more convincing.

    But you right. Dominatrix stuff aside, this episode was beautiful and sad.

    Two problems with Major. 1) If Blaine is really faking, and the memory cure works — why would they give it to Major if they are certain it doesn't? OK, maybe Blaine will slip. Or maybe he was faking the whole time. 2) If Major falls in love with Liv again, it would be a BIG problem. Liv is a zombie, and I don't see that ending anytime soon. OK, maybe temporarily.

    No Blaine, no Peyton this time.

  2. I guess the fact that the serum made Liv's visions longer is a sign that it actually works and Blaine is faking now, but it will take them time to figure it our and Major will have to be memoryless for a while.

    I'm also pretty sure that the remaining 15 cure doses are not long for this world. If Fillmore-Graves find out about they will want to destroy it. The zombie mercenary biz is too lucrative when almost none of their operatives die in action.

  3. According to Tv-guides renewal list, iZombie and the Originals are renewed for next season. Can't post this on an Originals review since I'm not up to date yet. :)

    Also story:



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