iZombie, Season 2 Episode 6: “Max Wager”

This week on iZombie we had our first two part case. We’ve had a case where Liv has eaten multiple brains before, but I can’t remember having a victim who was the previous week’s killer. More importantly, many of our serialised arcs made significant progress this week. Liv and Major are back together, which was always going to happen – when is Peyton going to move back into Liv’s place? Also, when are Major and Gilda going to run into each other? I’m not expecting that for a little while, but it was nice to not focus on the Max Rager storyline this week, despite the episode title. The highlight of this episode was Blaine, but I’ll start with the case of the week.

iZombie has its roots in Veronica Mars, so the case of the week is something they’re pretty good at. Liv having the visions takes most of the detective work out of the case, so we can focus on the more character based stuff. All of this is a preface to say that I liked this week’s storyline and Rose McIver plays a gambler very well, but the cases of the week work much better when they’re thematically linked to the themes of the show, which was the same in Veronica Mars. This week, the man Clive arrested for one of last week’s murders was shot in front of the courthouse after his bail hearing. They go to the wife and his bookie, whose lawyer told Liv how he would ‘hypothetically’ murder someone. The murder was related to the victim’s gambling addiction, but through his basketball playing friend with whom he fixed matches in college. It was fine, but it had nothing on the first two episodes of the season.

Clive is doing much more interesting work as he investigates Lieutenant Suzuki, with his FBI partner. He had no idea what to do with the human brains Suzuki’s wife gave him, so he took them home and put it in the freezer, which could damage the chain of custody, but it’s so ludicrous that I don’t care. But it could be Chekhov’s chain of custody, given that our FBI Agent has now met both Liv and Major, and the consequences are very real for both of them. Not to mention that Liv is now protecting a drunk Blaine as well as Major; she and Clive head to Blaine’s funeral home to interview the victim’s wife, and the first thing Liv does is warn Blaine that her partner is upstairs and looking for him. Everything is coming together, and I have no idea how it’s going to play out. Blaine drunkenly asks Liv if she likes being a zombie, and she says she doesn’t, but he knows she feels special because of those visions. It’s an interesting footnote to the first season finale, as Blaine is driven to drink by his father.

David Anders is a fantastic actor, and he’s obviously having a lot of fun with Blaine, so it’s nice to see the writers give the character some depth. We learned earlier in the season that Blaine doesn’t have a great relationship with his father, but this week we get closer to knowing the extent of Angus DeBeers’ cruelty. Angus had his son followed after their last visit, so he was able to determine that Blaine is no longer a zombie, and then he murdered Blaine’s bodyguard and took over the business. He’s ruthless, and Blaine hides his hurt pretty well most of the time, but he’s also very hurt, which is why he’s doing something he absolutely hates. I’ve never wondered if Blaine ever loved anyone, but it’s clear he loved his grandfather, who he killed so that he could feed the brains to his own father. That’s some complicated stuff, and killing his grandfather to hurt his father is the first sign we’ve had that Blaine is more than just a smart talking criminal mastermind. The tragedy is that he may have killed his grandfather for nothing.

Blaine’s story was the highlight of the week, while the most predictable was Liv and Major’s. They decided to get back together, which made both of them very happy, except Ravi told them not to have sex until he could figure out whether or not condoms work, because he is the best friend anyone could want. Spoiler alert: they don’t, so that’s something they’ll have to figure out. Although I’m not entirely clear on the pathology of this virus – if you get scratched by a zombie you become one, but kissing is okay? The sex thing makes sense based on what we know about other diseases, but when put in context of the other ways in which it does and doesn’t spread, it’s quite confusing. I would watch an episode of this show in which Ravi was making a presentation to the CDC and WHO. Anyway. Peyton is happy to see Liv and Major back together, but all the signs are pointing towards this being a terrible idea, especially since Clive and the FBI Agent whose name I need to learn are getting closer to the truth of the whole Meat Cute situation. Also Major learned this week that the Agent is looking into his work for Max Rager. Oh well, at least he got Blaine’s dad out of the way for now. From the looks of things it seems that our disappeared zombies may not actually be dead.

Other thoughts:

  • I didn’t have enough time to touch on Peyton this week, who has now been bribed/threatened by the man she’s investigating. He switches up some things on her whiteboard, so we know that some of Blaine’s information is out of date.
  • The interaction between Liv, Major, Clive and Agent Dale was great, as Clive talks himself into a corner about whether or not he was on a date with Agent Dale. Clive is so cool most of the time, so it’s nice to see him flustered.
  • Then again, when it came to talking to the basketball player, he totally lost his cool.
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