This week on iZombie, Liv dips a stiletto-wearing foot into the socialite pool and pulls off a solid pitch for a new hit Bravo show Real Housewives: Zombieland. With Major still circling the self-esteem drain and a pointed lack of Blaine, her family, and much of the mythology, it’s a much welcome break from the episodes nearer and drearier to our hearts.
From the beginning, this week’s brain could be described as “a bit over the top,” whether referring to her body’s arc through and across the glass, cliffside balcony wherein she plummets to her death and her laughing off “friends” being too dramatic in response to her drinks being thrown in their face. Liv is decidedly more gossipy from the moment she takes her first bite and this is certainly the kind of show rife for plots to gossip about. It’s hard to keep track sometimes of exactly who knows what about zombies, Max Rager, and whatever the hell Major is doing at any given moment. In its closing moments, this is exemplified by three major characters sharing a conversation where it’s unclear what they were even discussing if not these major personal tragedies and traumas, given their history. We’ll have to wait to see exactly how clear-cut everyone will end up when the dust settles next week.
In the meantime, Liv researches the death of this so-called trophy wife and the backstory to her would-be assassin who ended up on life support after also going over the edge. Clive does much of the heavy-lifting this week — as he often does when Liv’s brains keep her distracted besides vision sharing — leaving Liv to make a new friend in one of their questioned subjects. Slowly, Liv warms to the idea of hanging out with someone new again after she laments about having no friends. It’s easy to forget that even though Liv started out the series in a tough place with many of her friends and family, this season she’s taken things to a whole different level. She welcomes the new gal pal to drink and dish with as they go boutique shopping after her initially being cleared of wrongdoing. As the episode progresses, however, it becomes clear that although her fabulous new friend wasn’t directly behind the murder (which was an honest disappointment because I loved her chemistry with Liv, even if it helped make their fist fight all the more) she was pulling the strings as it were as a former hook-up through an online dating site for finding sugar daddies she could manipulate for their assassin skills or exorbitant bank accounts. The rich sugar daddy that she’d landed and had this week’s victim killed to avoid sharing alimony checks happened to be on the board for Max Rager. This also lead to a very upsetting vision where Liv imagines his dead wife having an affair with Vaughn Du Clarke. Warn a girl before we go in for the tantric POV shot, visions (Liv agrees).
This marks the long-awaited return of Aly Michalka as Peyton to the plot and the character’s life. Peyton is now heading the DA’s investigation into Utopium, something that last season would’ve seemed like a convenient human-developed solution to the (mostly) unknown zombie problem. Instead, we know that she is merely the poster child for what’s meant to prop up Blaine’s run for kingpin. It’s a tangled web being woven that many of our major players aren’t even yet aware of and hopefully her reintroduction will help close that gap in knowledge sooner rather than later.
Unsurprisingly, for an episode surrounding a faux “Real Housewife,” much of the plot surrounds Liv’s neverending complicated friendships, just as the recently deceased used base her whole life around. Between her new friend being a murderer, her old friend having fled after seeing her revealed as one (along with the whole zombie thing), and her fake friend/roommate Gilda being an ongoing betrayal waiting to happen, there’s a lot of juggling going on in Liv’s social calendar.
Gilda’s betrayal now extends to encompass more than merely spying for Max Rager as she does more than blackmail Major this week. When it’s revealed that Du Clarke has been messing around with his volatile board member’s wife, it sets the redhead off. It’s hard to pin this entirely on any one reason — her perhaps harboring her own feelings or relationship with Du Clarke separate from their work or her commitment to the cause itself being put in reckless jeopardy — but she takes it out on Major’s mouth. The pair hook-up while he’s continuing to ride the Utopium high from last episode and pumping iron at the Max Rager gym. He’s committed another murder that resulted in a literal lost puppy (which he, in the classic Major way, surreptitiously adopts it) in the name of zombie slaying and is not much better than the rock bottom we left him at. They make for a very steamy hookup in the company gym with a “we hate everything, let’s burn it down” kind chemistry that lends itself to the situation. Earlier, Gilda assured him that his work was necessary as Du Clarke’s original plan was to ship off all 300+ potential zombies to a cruise liner and sinking it. While we all probably have questions about whether that would kill a zombie or whether you’d end up with hundreds of zombies running across the Pacific ocean floor towards land, it reminds us of the ruthlessness that Du Clarke (thanks to Stephen Weber’s eternal cockiness) hides well below his calm demeanor. This is the guy who had that same board member (whose wife he was having the affair with) responded to a threat about hostile takeover by having him eaten alive by one of the SuperMax test subjects. Turns out that isn’t just good or extra energy!
Although absent is a face-to-face reconciliation scene, Peyton surprises Liv with a birthday cake in the refrigerator. This fact was only revealed by the episode’s midway mark and rarely mentioned, even by Liv and Ravi. It’s an odd choice but a telling one from the writing staff to make her birthday such a non-issue. Even when Liv is the one to attempt to initiate plans, she gets blown off by Ravi and Clive. In their defense, they — like the audience — may not realize the significance of the specific date she’s asking to go out for dinner, but it’s sad to see her face fall in response to the universal snub all the same. Let’s hope that Peyton can help put back the pieces that have resulted from the main cast’s slow and steady fracture.
- “A long time ago, we used to be friends.” Oh, did you?
- I feel bad never including enough Ravi in this reviews. Unfortunately his highlights are often Rahul Kohli’s ability to deliver dialogue and plot like a champion. So much of his moments gets rolled into backstory or left off jokes. He is especially excellent in this episode. So much high quality physical comedy that is tough to capture offscreen.
- Major found a non-zombie on that list so here’s hoping the next few dozen are all humans he doesn’t have to murder. If this is a Voldemort situation, Major is dangerously close to splitting his soul into nothingness.
- Glad Rose McIver is paid to wear those dresses (and heels) because she did indeed look the part. “That is so cute, I literally want to die just so that I can be buried in it.”
- Feeling pretty sad about the Major scenes in general, still. Him pulling that dog’s tag off and throwing it out the window was somehow the darkest moment he’s had yet despite having a body count higher than anyone but Blaine.
- I love Blaine, but I appreciated the break from the campiness he brings. All good things in moderation.
- Shout out to the retail workers being the only people wishing Liv a happy birthday.
- Still sad that Bethany was the monster of the week. I want her back. Jazz Raycole was terrific. She was giving some serious straight talk that the rest of the characters don’t really have the luxury of doing with Liv. Would’ve been nice to get some more of that before her fall from grace.
- I definitely thought Du Clarke was watching a video on his zen meditation posing right up until he said goodbye and closed the video chat out.
- The liquor store clerk wishing her a happy birthday and assuming she’s having “quite the party” was probably shade, but Liv telling him that yes all of her friends will be there and going home to no one was so bleak who knows how dark this show is trying to be versus how dark it inherently is on its own.
- Someone is going to drag that river and find 55 dead zombie bodies, aren’t they?
- If Liv finds out about the Major/Gilda hook-up she’ll no doubt be upset, but if they show her the company security footage of her doing yoga I bet she’d get it.
- “What is this, Driving Miss Crazy?” Clive never puts up with Liv’s moods and it’s great.
- Poor Peyton quickly showing her lack of info asking Ravi if Major knew about zombies. Everyone in the audience no doubt screaming at their TVs: “Uh, girl. He was one.”
- Reasons not to answer calls on speaker: you might be told the person you’re planning a girls night out with hires assassins to kill enemies.
- Can’t get the visual of hundreds of zombies crawling across the ocean floor out of my head.
Photo Courtesy of The CW