iZombie: Death of a Car Salesman

"I know what I'm doing."

Just like ‘Death Moves Pretty Fast’ a few weeks ago, this episode milks the winning Liv/Ravi combination for all it's worth. It’s a clear triumph in an otherwise muddled hour of iZombie.

In order to keep Malcolm Goodwin out of the picture so he could prepare for his go in the director’s chair, we previously saw Liv and Ravi team up to solve the case-of-the-week while Clive took a backseat. It was immediately obvious how well Liv and Ravi’s dynamic still works, especially when it’s the anchor of an entire hour. Though Clive is very much the lead investigator this week, a turn on the same car salesman’s brain gives both Rose and Rahul the chance to let their comedy chops shine together once again.

Their competition to sell the most raffle tickets for SPD was a personal highlight in an episode that had more than a few genuinely funny gags. Even the murder itself was dealt with in a fun and fresh way. I especially loved how the toxic masculinity prevalent in the macho car dealership was focused on with just the right level of knowing. This series can still be smart when it wants to be.

It’s a shame the rest of the episode was a bit of a mess, with Liv’s attempts to get to know her father damaging her character. Is she really naive enough to believe that this man she’s known for all of a few days will just kick his Utopium habit without a second thought, just because she asked nicely? And how could she possibly trust him when she’s had to show inordinate amounts of intuition when assessing the applications for asylum into New Seattle? This type of behavior is frustrating for a number of reasons, but most of all because it’s made a smart and admirable person like Liv look a little stupid.

I do have to give it up to Bill Wise, who has turned in an excellent performance so far. That final scene of Martin watching Liv’s renegade video from last season made me a lot more invested in what his endgame for his daughter might be. His frighteningly stoic poker face revealed very little about what he wants from this whole situation. Will Liv play into whatever he has planned for the delegates he had infected during their visit to New Seattle this week?

In other disappointing news, Peyton’s well intentioned, yet completely stupid idea for a zombie-centric TV series finally came to fruition, with Hi Zombie’s first episode dropping mid-way through the hour. Unsurprisingly, it was woefully unfunny, and its existence remains a total travesty of a plot. Watching four of the core characters laugh along to it was almost as aggravating as Liv suddenly dropping several IQ points. Can it just be canceled already?

Plus

Liv and Ravi tied for most raffle tickets sold. It's a shame neither wanted the grand prize.

Blaine is already moving back up in the world. He was able to pay to have the basement of Don E’s stepmother’s house decorated. He’s also reached new heights of gross, and managed to use a pay bump to get his old contacts onboard for what is essentially a human trafficking organisation.

Blaine sent Darcy, one of the Freylich kids he sold, to the Scratching Post to distract Don E, who took the bait.

It was cool to see Don's late twin, Scott, pop up again (in flashbacks).

We see Martin making a name for himself by cooking up Utopium for Stacey Boss, with the bad batch responsible for the "world's worst boat party" making it out of his lab thanks to Scott E.

He Said, She Said

Liv: "You're still on Utopium."
Martin: "I know it must be disappointing to learn your father is an addict..."
Liv: "No, this is on me, Mom told me what you were and I tracked you down anyway. I didn't know what I was expecting, she'd be loving this."

I sound like a broken record this season, but it’s a huge disappointment to see how easily the show slid back into its old habits of placing story progression ahead of character integrity. I hope the series delivers a solid ending, because it has a lot to explain before the finale.

5 out of 10 raffle tickets.

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