In the fifteenth episode of the second season of iZombie, I am in awe of this show. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch iZombie.
What an incredible episode, y’all. I don’t understand how season two keeps getting better, but here we are, fifteen episodes along, and I am MESSED UP. Let’s chat.
Out of all the brains/personalities that Liv has inherited, Dr. Cash is the most muted of them all. It works, though, especially since she’s able to push forward the cure plot and act in a more observational role. And for where she is in this story, that’s key. Is her relationship with Drake worth pursuing? We see her boundary issues pop up again, since she plants a phone on Drake in order to track him. She hasn’t quite learned what behavior is acceptable or not, and the scientist brains don’t help. To her, she’s merely acquiring data to be used to test her hypothesis.
And initially, the data supports the fact that Drake is everything he claims to be. The irony, of course, is that Liv is biased, and she can’t even see it. She does not have all the information, and she makes a judgment call based on that. Granted, there was hope that this could be resolved; perhaps Drake would reveal who he really was to Liv. But he never got the chance, since he was coincidentally frozen by Major. WHICH IS GOING TO BACKFIRE, I PREDICT IT NOW. Aren’t his buddies in Vice going to realize he’s disappeared? OH GOD, THIS IS BAD.
Seriously, give Liv a break. I FEEL SO BAD FOR HER.
His transformation in this episode is a goddamn spectacle, y’all. After spending so much time getting used to his arrogance and certainty, “He Blinded Me… with Science” presents us with a new version of Blaine: one who is frightened by his own mortality. We’ve never seen it before because Blaine always believed he was immortal, that he was bulletproof, that he could face down anything life threw at him. And now, he could die at any moment because of the cure that Liv gave him.
As he realizes this, he changes. David Anders still gives us the wit and snappiness of Blaine, but it slowly drains out of the character throughout the episode. It’s fascinating to watch because the other characters (and the audience) keeps waiting for the inevitable joke or condescension, and it doesn’t happen. Go watch that scene with Chief and Don E. again. Their reactions are so vital to understanding the shift that happens here! They’ve pretty much never seen true sentimentality from Blaine, and it just weirds them out.
How long will this last? Will the new cure actually cure him, or will it have even worse side effects? It’s eerie to think of how quickly he began to get sick after resurrecting as a zombie, so… will this go wrong even quicker? I DON’T KNOW.
It was satisfying to get a case-of-the-week that tied so heavily into the normal mythology while having a resolution all of its own. There are hints of other plots within the burning of Dr. Cash. I totally saw the fake results thing as a reference to Liv faking the test that Dale had gotten on the brains found in Suzuki’s fridge. The whole case was about how Jenny felt the need to take on Annie’s problem without consulting her, which was quite similar to Liv donning a wig, make-up, and glasses in order to infiltrate Max Rager without consulting Babineaux.
Yet it’s the details about the inner workings at Max Rager that interested me the most. I still can’t praise Steven Weber and Leanne Lapp enough; they’re just so perfect as Vaughn and Gilda, respectively. In particular, this episode highlights just how desperate Vaughn’s become. He knows Super Max makes himself aggressive, and he doesn’t care. (That scene where he blames Major for Gilda’s black eye is HORRIFYING.) He is excited by the progress his research team has made, despite that it’s now inevitable that Super Max will create a veritable army of hyper-aggressive people that can only be stopped by OTHER PEOPLE ON SUPER MAX. In this, iZombie tackles corporate greed, albeit in a ridiculous way. The kind of calculations that Gilda mentions – factoring in the cost of lawsuits – is something that major corporations do all the time. It’s why so many business repeatedly violate laws and codes; they know their profit margins will be untouched by regulatory fines or the cost of lawsuits, so why do the right thing?
But I’d argue there’s another layer to this: as a person, Vaughn Du Clark is heartless, a truly, despicably selfish human who only cares for his own gain. This episode’s most shocking moment is Vaughn’s sacrifice of Dr. Lockett and his own daughter to the zombie that breaks free of its confinement. (And note that it broke free specifically because Vaughn kept torturing it.) We knew he was cold and self-serving, but given how quickly he came to the defense of Gilda at the start of the episode, I thought that maybe he had some sort of need to protect her within him.
However, in the end, he didn’t care. He let her get attacked, and she could have died. Well… I guess she technically did? There’s a 0% chance she’s not a zombie now. OH GOD, HOW IS THE SHOW GOING TO DEAL WTIH THIS? How is she not going to kill her father for what he did to her?
Whew, this show is so great.
The video for “He Blinded Me… with Science” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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