iZombie: Fifty Shades of Grey Matter


Everyone takes a turn digging themselves deeper into the ground — literally and figuratively — as Season 2 of iZombie reaches, perhaps, its lowest point yet for the collective main cast. Libidos may be running white-hot but just about everything else falls into darker and darker shades of grey.

Our case of the week in “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter” surrounds a librarian who dies mysteriously as a red herring bad seed attempts to kill a co-worker. She coughs up blood and other grisly viscera as she chokes to death out of the blue after feeling progressively sicker throughout her shift. When they look into it further, they find out that she was instead poisoned using the old school favorite: hemlock. Whoever is behind it likely holds ill will towards her fledgling romance novel being published and they look into the pool of suspects involved in her life before sudden death.

Her husband, a former firefighter bound to a wheelchair swears that he doesn’t resent her, which is especially hard since it comes out that they haven’t had sex in five years and the obsession with sex that Liv knows the woman was constantly subduing did not bode well for a long-term happy marriage given the circumstances. There was also the fellow librarian (played by the delightful Christine Willes of Dead Like Me notoriety) who thought her coworker indecent for working on her novel while at work and for how blue the material therein was — she was also a gardener and would-be author herself — and is at one point seemingly framed after it’s discovered that she tried to use the deceased as a connection to get her own lesser work published. Besides the two obvious leads, there remains also the late librarian’s neighbor who was the actual basis for the “mile high club” tell-all that her fictional main character’s life pulls from. In the end, her husband’s heroism as a firefighter takes a back seat when he’s shown to be a lot more controlling than it originally appeared and was lashing out to keep his public image untarnished by his wife’s fictional infidelities.

Apart from the main case, there are even more developments to the ongoing plots this season. Drake, the first zombie Liv ever turned, is revealed to be struggling with his newfound lot in life and comes to Liv for some advice when Blaine blows him off. He’s put off by what Liv has dubbed the “full-on zombie mode” and wants to make sure he’s not alone in his unease. When she sees him, however, Liv is dealing with the romance novel-level sex drive and almost instantly strikes up a relationship with him. The flirting and fantasizing that Liv struggles with throughout the episode doesn’t have the same lid on it when turning the other person into a zombie is off the table — she’s already done so with Drake.

Drake is also desperate for an alternative source for brains, which Liv is partial towards helping him find — no one would want to be reliant on Blaine for anything, let alone your life force — but the matter will likely force her hand to make a decision sooner rather than later given the rest of the episode’s goings-on. Eventually, the pair share a passionate night at Liv’s place and fall asleep in her bed afterwards.

At the same time, Peyton mentions that she herself is going through a dry spell while she continues to finish building her case against Stacey Boss. Unfortunately, that leads her to reuniting with Blaine to find out some additional leads on the organization she’s trying to trace back to Boss and the eventually sleeping with Blaine that night — still not knowing the severity to which Blaine is involved with Liv’s end of things and the harm he’s caused so many.

Later, after Dale and Clive have caught up once again to discuss how sure Dale is that Blaine is her guy, she’s equally confident about the lead they have on Minor — the dog Major stole from one of his many dead zombie hits — which eventually gets back to Major. He excuses himself from dinner at the morgue where the news breaks to him and takes off, breaking to chug some Max Rager out of the trunk of his car, and then parkouring around the city like it’s 2008. He tries to get Minor out of the dog groomers before he’s even had his haircut. The manager is terrified by Major’s countenance — as she should be, he’s behaving like a maniac before you even take the Max Rager element into consideration — and point-blank calls him out for asking her to lie for him. Despite being a total stranger, perhaps because he’s played by the effortlessly charming Buckley, she agrees after Major lies to her that Clive was an abusive owner, hence why he stole the dog and kept it for his own. The story is flimsy at best, but it works, and Major is off with Minor before the cops get there. In fact, they were never going to since the GPS tracker they had was torn off and left all the way over by the park where Major first stole him.

In a devastating and utterly pointless scene — given what we just saw happen, that the cops were in fact heading in the exact opposite direction — Major leaves Minor alone on a bus to be found and shipped off to a new owner. Wishful thinking that it’ll be sunshine and roses for Minor given his age and SPCA overcrowding, but he’s more nervous that he’ll be found out if he stays. It was a close call, of course, but Major is also assuring that there’s now no chance of Clive showing up at their home and seeing Minor in person. That risk is now eliminated.

The other risk, however, the case against Blaine, heats up significantly. Dale has not only confirmed from other witnesses that Blaine has got to be the same guy as the Meat Cute incident, but she’s tried to find harder evidence on him to make the case a slam dunk. What she finds out is that one of the murders that Blaine is being pinned to — which was actually committed, like the others, by Major — is his actual father. His alias, “Blaine DeBeers” was the counterpoint to his second in command, “Julian Dupont” making their names one of the slowest burns of any joke on the show: Blaine’s got dah beers and Julian’s got dah pot. From there, she pieces his real background: Blaine McDonough to a very real warrant for intent to sell that was still floating around in the system and with that, they bring him in for questioning.

During the interview, Blaine overtly threatens Dale by pulling out the name of her neighborhood without prompting, showing that he knows where she lives. Unfazed, Clive and Dale push him to roll on the operation and admit to his seemingly endless rap sheet of crimes. Before things can get to the point where Blaine feels truly threatened, as if to prove his point, Peyton shows up and tells the detectives to cut him loose since he’s a witness to the Boss crime case and can’t be taken off the streets yet. Having just slept with him, the list of wrongs they rattle off to shake Peyton off his side makes her visibly unwell, and even though Blaine walks — she is distraught.

She shows up at Liv’s to tell her the news and is physically ill over the revelation that Liv also finds Blaine repulsive. She worries that’s the risk anyone takes when they sleep with someone, however, that you may not know them at all. Liv goes back to her room, afterwards, and seems equally worried by the sentiment as Drake remains sleeping in her bed.

Ravi spends some of the final moments digging yet another fruitless series of holes and arrives home to be told that Minor is gone forever because his real owners showed up to get him out of the blue. More than a little hurt that Major didn’t let him say goodbye, he takes the news as well as possible, but is clearly unnerved by the casualness with which Major tells him. It’s been a long time coming that the detectives encircled Blaine for the crimes they’ve long since suspected him of committing, but it appears that Ravi might be passed the baton and move towards similar suspicions at Major’s behavior throughout the remainder of the season. No matter how safe anyone may feel someone is going to keep digging.

Stray Observations:

  • “Atta boy!” Liv smacking Ravi’s butt on behalf of America, thank you.
  • Happy to hear Frozen’s Kristen Bell reading a dirty audiobook about having sex in a cockpit. Great decision, casting and crew!
  • Liv also gets in a subtle caressing of Clive. Obviously a lot of paperwork for HR, but also a tip of the hat to multi-shipping fandoms everywhere.
  • Digging the subtleties of low-cut tops on Rose McIver being both hard to miss but easy to forget the underlying relation to the plot.
  • The license plates have got to mean something, right? There’s Checkov’s gun and then there’s anvils dropping from the sky like rain drops. Unless there is some urban legend I’m not aware of that relates, it feels entirely too pointed a plot line to keep bringing up.
  • “Have you guys ever wrestled?” “Have we?” The fan service of Major (jokingly?) not recalling that fact is pretty delightful. Liv is both a hero and a villain for putting that image in our heads.
  • The Major/Minor scene was honestly heartbreaking. Just when Major feels like he’s back to someplace resembling normalcy: he abandons dogs on buses.
  • “I didn’t ask if you’d been arrested, I asked if you’d been handcuffed.”
  • Honestly, putting a potentially re-triggered zombie in prison is disturbing. The outbreak would be instantaneous and the sounds like a prequel to The Walking Dead.
  • “That man you granted immunity to: has murdered a dozen people.” Hmm, “granted immunity to” — is that what the kids are calling it these days?
  • “What happens next is on you.” Clive is a good guy. Also a very good cop: both he and Dale did a lot of solid police investigation this week and this season. They’re still not dead on with the Chaos killing stuff, but they were so close to taking such a bad guy off the streets.
  • Interesting result: if Blaine is off the streets, do the brains dry up? Someone could very well take over the demand with their own operation. If they don’t, however, Clive and Dale successfully putting Blaine away could technically result in a zombie outbreak and uprising. The consequences on this show are so severe and far-reaching, it’s fascinating.

Photo Courtesy of The CW

About Maura Kate

Maura Kate is a twenty something from the “generic M. Night Shyamalan exterior shot” area near suburban Philadelphia. She co-hosts a podcast called The Televoid (@thetelevoid), where she watches all the worst episodes of TV so you don’t have to. She tweets from @maurae.