iZombie: Max Wager Review
Major isn't a killer, but Blaine definitely still is in the latest compelling installment of iZombie.
This iZombie review contains spoilers.
iZombie: Season 2, Episode 6
Oh, thank god. Major (Robert Buckley) hasn’t actually been killing zombies on iZombie. As the final moments of “Max Wager” revealed, Major has been swapping the bodies out for manikkans, then deep-freezing the zombies until he can figure out what to do with them.
I have to admit: this was a surprise. iZombie really committed to the long-ish con on this one, then dropped the twist not in a mid-season episode, but in a random one about Major and Liv’s burgeoning relationship reunion, Blaine’s murder of his grandfather, and a crime-of-the-week that actually had to do with a larger serialzed plot. Be still, my beating heart. Is iZombie finally committing to a more serialized formula? Here’s everything that went down in “Max Wager.”
Major is not a zombie assassin.
The reveal that Major is a fake zombie assassin not only restores my faith in television humanity (because this show was starting to get seriously depressing), but casts previous developments in a new, different light. For example: when Major decided to get back together with Liv, I originally read it as a desire to return to his humanity as much as it was a desire to return to Liv. (In the least cynical way possible.)
Now that we know Major isn’t actually killing people, his decision to get back together with Liv is even sweeter. Sure, she helped him see past the drug addict he had become to the person he used to be, but, more than that, she reminded him how much better it is not to be alone.
Now that the audience is in the know about (presumably) all of Major’s off-book shenanigans, I hope he confides in Liv soon. The FBI might not be able to arrest him for murder if the presumed dead pop back up, but it’s a complicated, impossible explanation in the mean time. Mark my words: that dog is going to be the clue that topples this whole house of cards for Major. But you can’t freeze a dog, so…
Blaine makes the most painful choices.
It says a lot about the complex characterization and empathy of this show that I am able to feel so bad for Blaine (David Anders), even as he is killing his own grandfather. But his grandfather is the only person we’ve ever seen Blaine speak about with love. The decision to murder him just to spite his own father proves that hate and revenge are stronger motivators for Blaine than anything else — even love. That is dark.
This is the most emotional we’ve ever seen Blaine and, I have to admit, relatable human emotion looks good on him. What also looks good on him? Questioning Liv about whether some part of her prefers being a zombie — if she likes who she is better than she was before.
This is a cool question that hasn’t really gotten a lot of play since the early episodes of this show. In Liv’s early monologues, there was a lot of talk about the wonder of living — even when you’re technically, you know, undead. Liv has really grown into her zombie-ism since then and, apart from the occasional brain-induced memories of dying and the fact that she can’t have sex with the man that she loves, zombie-ism isn’t so bad.
Of course, those are both major bummers — especially the Major one. When Ravi (god bless him) tells the star-crossed couple that, if they have sex, Major will definitely become a zombie again, Major and Liv try to convince themselves that they will be fine. But, even in the giddy early days of their reunion, there is an undercurrent of uncertainty.
Meet Stacey Boss.
It’s probably not a coincidence that, as Blaine becomes more (for want of a better word) human, we meet new big bad Stacey Boss — a stone cold killer who makes casual conversation about how he would go about convincing someone to kill him or herself. It’s not just the fact that Boss has obviously done these things that makes him so creepy (though, yeah, super creepy), but the fact that he is completely comfortable expressing them because he feels (and maybe is?) that untouchable.
Peyton is a total badass, but she’s right to be scared with Boss waltzes into her office and casually bribes her to stop building a case against him and his drug empire. If she continues, there will be consequences. Let’s just hope that, if he does go after Peyton’s loved ones, he goes after Liv first. If anyone can bounch back from assassination attempts, it’s that one.
All in all, this was another gripping episode of iZombie — the latest in a string of character-building, plot-twisting, hilarious installments.