iZombie: ‘Spank the Zombie’ Review
Written By: Mathew ‘JJ’ Simoes
This week’s episode of iZombie had a few flaws, but was still an enjoyable morsel (there’s a zombie pun there somewhere) of an other-wise great show.
My biggest gripe with this episode is that it felt like the writers were attempting to pull a series of fragments together into a coherent episode. The results were iffy, but there were enough standout moments in this episode that made it a worthy entry in the iZombie saga. I am a big proponent of the brain/case of the week formula, but these last few episodes have begun to make me change my mind. This week’s case had all the makings a great story, with the victim being connected to several important individuals in Seattle. Instead it ended on a rather dull note, though I will admit that Liv being on dominatrix brain was pretty funny, with Ravi’s comment on her already being bossy ringing true throughout the episode. Sexual intimidation aside, Liv seemed fairly similar to her normal self. Her two scenes with the police sketch artist were the comedic standouts of the episode, though Liv playing bad cop was a close second. iZombie’s use of continuity was great this episode, as the victim turned out to be the brain that Ravi has been experimenting on since the premiere. It also featured the return of two characters that had previously been on the show, and seeing the two Rob Thomas series veterans together brought all sorts of Veronica Mars nostalgia. The case usually takes center stage in terms of story per episode until the end of the season, but that didn’t quite happen. This resulted in an episode that felt like a collection of scenes strung together, with sub-plots like Donn-E’s feeling out of place.
Some significant steps were made in the season’s larger arc which continues to prove intriguing, though I’d wish the writers would push it into a higher gear. I have theorized since episode one that Filmore Graves would turn out to be major antagonists over the course of this season, and I may be proven correct. While not all members of the paramilitary group were in favor of killing our anti-zombie conspiracy theorist, some of them were. They will go to great lengths to protect zombies, and at some point, Liv’s ideas won’t be enough for them. I’m particularly interested in how they will react to the existence of a cure. While only one character has discovered it and he seems an ally at the moment, that may change in the coming weeks. Filmore Graves may not take kindly you the existence of a cure, or the person who created it (Ravi). An interrogation scene also revealed that the chaos killer victims are all targets of the growing anti-zombie movement. This could prove to be the conflict that splits Team Z and Graves over their different methods of dealing with situations.
Liv and major had a great moment between near the end of the episode. Now that Major’s illness has progressed too far, he has to take the cure, and the moments leading up to it were heartwarming and heartbreaking. Seeing Liv and Ravi stay up to watch over Major was touching, as was the tender moment between Liv and Major near the end of the night. Mclver and Buckley’s performances, and the dialogue written for them showed the deep relationship the characters share, which made Major taking the cure even more suspenseful. Though the episode was structurally weak, it had a great cliff-hanger ending.
iZombie provides a good fifth episode in their third season filled with nostalgia, great character moments and some good comedy.
Mathew’s Rating – 7.7/10
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