Written By: Mathew “JJ” Simoes

iZombie’s third episode doesn’t offer much in terms of this episode’s plot, but it does bring a few character arcs forward.  A great thing about shows like iZombie is that even when a weak episode comes along (this one wasn’t too bad), the bond between viewer and character can carry even the frailest of stories.

Major was the real standout this episode, with an engaging sub-plot and excellent character work.  Despite going through rough times over the course of the series, Major has always remained the good guy, and this episode reminds viewers of this fact.  His quest to find Natalie is not forgotten, and he even has a lead in the case.  Hopefully this will mean that she will actually return to the show sooner rather than later instead of existing mainly in the dialogue of other characters.  Two other moving character moments for Major came near the end of the episode.  While Blaine taking Ravi’s new cure seems practical in every possible way, Major is too good a person to let him do that.  Him not letting Blaine test the new formula was a great moment for Major.  The ending scene with Major watching his new friend dance with Liv, while also taking in his possible death, was a touching moment.  Also, speaking of Major’s new friend, as I suspect, Stoll will prove to be an antagonist this season, I’m curious how this friendship will play into later plotlines.

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The Payton/Blaine/Ravi triangle is proving to be a mixed result for the show.  While I enjoy, memoryless Blaine becoming a new person, and than having Payton fall for that person, Ravi’s role in the story is a let down.  I expected more from him than to be the spiraling distraught and vindictive quasi-boyfriend (though he was right about Blaine).  Blaine’s relationship with Payton will be complicated by the return of his memories if that happens, so I hope the writers are building them up for a tragic pay-off later this season.

The case of the week, and the brain of the week, were disappointing when compared to the previous episode.  There were some fun moments as Liv dispensed her Zen wisdom, though not much was done with that aspect of the episode. Liv’s new brain was also a little too similar to the Zen coffee shop owner brain from the previous season.  Liv and Clive’s case was also a bit of a let down, as it lacked the twists and suspense from previous seasons.  The week-by-week structure works best when the brain is connected to the larger thematic threads of the longer season arcs.  With Major’s arc being so strong and the primary focus of this episode it makes me question why a case was needed at all.

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A few other notes.  The Pimp and Hooker line was pretty damn funny.  The return of Blaine’s father was a nice touch and I look forward to Angus building up his own zombie organization, especially now that there seem to be a few of them.  There wasn’t much in terms of the ongoing zombie exposure story-line, with Katy coming closer to learning the truth about zombies.  Her response to Ravi’s answers to her questions about the massacres seemed a little too convenient for our leads (though it made for a funny scene), so hopefully she’ll prove more cunning in later episodes.

This episode provided excellent character work to make up for a less than stellar case of the week story, but all-in-all it makes for an enjoyable episode.

Mathew’s Rating: 8.2/10

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