iZombie, Season 2 Episode 5: “Love and Basketball”

The thing I most wanted to do when I got home from work today was watch iZombie, but I didn’t even do that for a couple of hours. I have my hashtags muted on Twitter, and I was radio silent for a few hours, so I had no idea what was happening other than that Clive was awesome. After last week’s reunion between Liv and Peyton, iZombie spends “Love and Basketball” exploring Liv and Major’s broken relationship. It does that the best way it can – by using the brains Liv eats to have her connect with Major in a way she hasn’t before – through basketball. Meanwhile, Ravi is ready to conduct some more tests with his new batch of tainted utopium, and Clive is getting closer to the truth.

We’ll start with Liv and Major because they’re finally making some progress. In her review last week, Carrie Raisler posited that Liv and Major both react the same way when they’re hurt – they pull away. Liv pulled away when she became a zombie, and Major pulled away and spiralled following Liv’s revelation that she was a zombie. I’d never thought about it that way before, and I seriously doubt that Liv and Major had any screaming matches before the whole zombie thing. Or maybe they did, and Liv pulling a way was a symptom of her zombie-ism. I don’t know. Anyway, Major wants to get back together with Liv, but Liv doesn’t want to turn him back into a zombie because she’s not quite sure how the virus is transferred. Can he become re-zombified if he’s already been cured? Liv maintains that they should stay friends for now, and this new friendship is facilitated by her latest brain, that of a dead security guard who also happened to be a kids basketball coach.

What we learn tonight is that Major obviously wasn’t as dependent on utopium as I had thought. Since this is a fictional drug, we have no idea what the closest real world analogue is. How addictive is it? That doesn’t matter. The most important thing Major did was tell Liv about it, and she gave him an incredibly sweet pep talk, combining their history with some sports metaphors, and it was great. Then they watched Hoosiers, which Liv had refused to watch with him previously, and then she made him the coach of the victim’s basketball team. It looked like he was doing a pretty good job, and he now has a passion project instead of just working for Max Rager. Speaking of which, he’s decided to stop killing zombies, which is great (for now), but maybe he should have told Liv about that as well and they could have come up with a plan.  At the end of the episode he tells her they can’t be just friends. As I said last week, I think these two are endgame, so I’m not particularly concerned with this particular plot.

iZombie is a fascinating show because the zombie problem is being examined from three different angles: there’s Liv and Ravi, who are trying to cure it, Blaine who is profiting from it, and Max Rager, who want to eradicate zombies to increase profitability but also use zombie blood for their new super energy drink that means people won’t ever have to sleep again. I realise they’re a company trying to turn a profit, but do they not understand how wonderful sleep is? Meanwhile, Gabriel has agreed to cut the utopium for Blaine so long as he gets the cure. Suffice to say, this doesn’t go well. Scott E’s brother delivers the tainted utopium to Ravi, and Blaine and Gabriel show up the next day expecting the cure to already have been manufactured. Do they not understand how science works? Just as Ravi is about to inject the rats with his utopium/Max Rager solution, Gabriel injects himself with the stuff and instantly dies. Blaine and Ravi realise that they’ve created a zombie killer at the same time, and there’s a great rough and tumble sequence where they both try to grab the bottle of zombie poison before Ravi breaks it. It seems our zombie cure is still some way off.

Most importantly, it seems that Clive is getting closer to the bottom of the Meat Cute case, but not before offending his dead captain’s widow by asking if he seemed suicidal. He’s reprimanded, and the pretty FBI agent wants to know why he was asking. It turns out that Alan York’s DNA showed up at the Meat Cute, so Clive gets confirmation that the truth is not the pretty story that Seattle PD cooked up for the media. At the end of the episode, the widow shows up at Clive’s office and said that yes, her husband had been acting strangely, so she looked around his things, and she found some brain in her bar fridge. Clive is a good detective – we know he’s right – but what happens next depends on where he takes his information: to the FBI, to Ravi and Liv for testing, or to Major. The biggest barrier to Liv and Major’s relationship may not be Liv’s zombie-ism, but the fact that Major shot up a zombie butchers shop. I have no idea whether or not Clive can prove it, but we know he’s a good detective, which could mean more trouble for Major now that he no longer seems to be using utopium.

Other thoughts:

  • Ravi tried to tell Liv how cricket works. Liv doesn’t care because she is the best and cricket is the worst (being a Kiwi, Rose McIver probably already knows).
  • When I wrote this on Tuesday it was originally published as a page, and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t find it, and it’s only now that I’m doing some other admin stuff for this blog that I realised what happened.

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