This review contains spoilers.
1.4 Liv And Let Clive
Of all the wonderful things iZombie has given us over the last four episodes, putting Ravi and Major in the same house might be the best.
Really, the decision to make Liv’s ex-fiancé and new accomplice friends and roommates instantly changes the show from being one about Liv and the various people in her life to one about all of these characters existing in a topsy-turvy zombie-invested world. Liv’s great, of course, but one of the best things about iZombie is its collection of A+ supporting characters.
Now, Major has a reason to exist outside of being Liv’s ex – a vital part of crafting a romantic interest that so many shows completely forget about.
Really, this whole episode was about solidifying some of the less prominent characters introduced to us during the first three weeks, most notably Clive but also extending to Liv’s brother. The latter still feels completely unnecessary, especially when the episode went out of its way to paint him as an annoying, pervy teenager who wouldn’t be able to handle the truth about his sister’s situation anyway.
Clive, on the other hand, has great potential as the third wheel to Liv and Ravi’s amateur crime-solving club. It was obvious from the start that he wasn’t really a dirty cop, mainly because we as an audience are fully aware he is a major cast member and so will be sticking around, but watching him taken through Liv’s suspicion humanised him in a way that might not have been possible any other way.
We like watching underdogs, and ones that have fallen from grace are Rob Thomas’ specialty. Ravi’s a slightly anti-social nerd who was fired from the CDC, Liv’s retreated from her old life as an overachieving doctor-to-be and Clive’s a cop who burnt a lot of bridges after getting in too deep while undercover.
That’s a trio we can all get behind, and it now only needs a tiny little push to become the sort of team we’re used to seeing on these kinds of series. We’ll have to think of a Scoobies-esque name for them.
Over on the shady side of town, we have Blaine building his enterprise of evil, and it’s frankly surprising that the show is still keeping him so separate from Liv and the case of the week. It’s surprising, but not necessarily unwelcome. Really, Blaine has become such a fan-favourite in such a short space of time that developing him away from the main action is going to make the time when those two worlds collide all the more satisfying.
Right now, it’s clear that his little deal with the woman from the bar wasn’t a one-time thing, and he’s created an entire business model out of providing fresh brains to those he turns. It’s genius really, and is one of the most refreshing, unique things iZombie is currently doing. We’ve all seen a young girl afflicted with powers going out and helping people, but we haven’t seen anything quite like Blaine.
That opening montage was a great way of establishing this deviation from our expectations, but where the episode got really interesting was in the amount of time we spent with his two lackies/rivals, planning to start their own brains business, only to see them killed before the hour was done. It could easily have felt like a waste of time but, instead, it just reasserted Blaine’s authority and introduced us to his freezer of flunkies.
The kid we saw him take is now definitely dead, for reasons unknown, and their connection to Major will probably prove to be Blaine’s eventual undoing. Right now, he’s the protagonist on his own show, but that can’t go on forever.
So, after four episodes, there’s still a lot more going for iZombie than there is going against it, and it’s those flaws that have proven to be its driving force in a weird way. Perfect shows are impossible to come by, no matter what people tell you, and there’s a lot to be said for a series that works hard to overcome those little problems as it finds its footing.
This episode did more of that than ever – Major and Ravi’s living arrangements; Liv’s Veronica-style undercover skills; Blaine’s ongoing paralleled storyline – and I feel confident now that, before long, the show could become something really special.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Exterminator, here.
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