iZombie Season 2 Finale Review: Dead Beat & Salivation Army

iZombie pulls the trigger on the beginnings of a corporate-fueled zombie apocalypse in its two-part season finale.

This iZombie review contains spoilers.

iZombie Season 2, Episodes 18 and 19

The CW delivered us a double helping of iZombiethis week with a two-part season finale. “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army.” Much like last season’s season-ending story, this two-parter benefitted from the steady build of the season’s more serialized elements. Without any murders-of-the-week to deal with, iZombiewas a non-stop exercise in suspense, action, and (most importantly) character pay-offs.

The first hour of tonight’s iZombieextravaganza picked up where last week’s episode left off: With Major arrested as the Chaos Killer, and Liv just finding out about his role in the serialised disappearances. I would have liked to see this play out over the course of a few episodes — there was enough here to do it (especially with the rushed wrap-up of the Meat Cute massacre storyline) — but iZombiestill managed to make this storyline work, despite the fast-paced ending. The stakes may have been frustratingly similar to That Time Liv Was in Jail — i.e. that Major needed brains — but this story worked best when we got to see the emotional fallout of Major’s Chaos Killer reveal — particularly in the Major/Liv relationship.

Though iZombiereally tried to get us on the Drake/Liv train (R.I.P., Drake), it’s always been kind of obvious that these two are endgame — especially because, as I have made the argument before, Major, not Liv, has had the true protagonist’s arc on this show. When Major asks Liv he believes that he didn’t kill those people? When she tells Clive the truth to get Major out of jail? When she first hugs him (rather than immediately give him the damn brain smoothie) upon his release? Yeah, these two are still totally in love. Too bad Major might have to lose his memory next season…

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In watching this episode in particular, I was struck by how well-rendered iZombie‘s supporting cast is. Agent Dale Bozzio is not someone we’ve spent that much time with, nor a character who always gets the best material, but Jessica Harmon imbued this character with an intense likeability. It also didn’t hurt that Bozzio is the one character on this show who hasn’t been lying to poor Clive.

While Major and Liv managed to wake away from this situation with relative little consequence, Clive wad the one who truly took the hit by having to betray Bozzio by releasing Major and sabotaging her case. The icing on the cake? He couldn’t tell her why. Apparently. This is actual a major TV frustration for me across the drama landscape. TV series need to do a better job of explaining why secrets must be kept. Otherwise, it comes off as convoluted and cheap. Here, I’m not quite sure why Clive can’t let Bozzio in on the zombie secret. After all, if the zombie apocalype is imminent (which it kind of feels like it is), the wouldn’t Clive want to warn Bozzio? 

Speaking of secrets, I am so beyond joyous that Clive was finally let in on the zombie conspiracy. This has been an unnecessary hold-up for the Liv/Clive friendship for awhile. When this show first started, the Liv/Clive friendship was one of the dynamics I was most excited about. Unfortunately, it has been amongst the least developed dynamics of the show. Hopefully, with Clive in the know, that will change in season 3.

With Major out of the slammer and the Chaos Killer case seemingly wrapped up (for now), “Salivation Army” dove into the larger drama of Max Rager. Can I pause here for a moment of silence for Steven Weber’s Vaugh Du Clark? Now that his daughter has eaten his brains, we will no longer have the most delightful villain on TV. The television landscape is the poorer for it.

But, before Du Clark quipped his last quip (is you were wondering, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome Jason Priestly type?” was my favorite), he had to cause some trouble — namely, launching Super Max and bringing the greater Seattle area one step closer to the zombie apocalypse. Watching Major, Liv, and Clive fight off the zombie hordes within Max Rager reminded me how little this show has fallen back on zombie tropes to keep the story going. It’s impressive, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more zombie gore come next season. iZombiereally knows how to throw a massacre. Good band.

And what of the mysterious new Vivian Stone? She claimed to be working for a private military contractor, but that seems like a front for the new zombie empire. I’m trying not to get my hopes up here, but I am all in for that particular storyline. The season ended with Liv being given a choice: join or die. OK, maybe it wasn’t that dire, but Vivian’s “Are you with us or are you against us?” certainly paints a black-and-white picture. Liv will no doubt choose to side with her (mostly human) friends, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get pulled into the new zombie empire next season. This zombie really can’t catch a break, can she?

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You know who did survive this season? Mr. Boss. Though Du Clark may have been taken out, this show’s other most delightful villain on TV continues his evil reign of the Seattle utopium business. Kidnapping Peyton to lure Blaine out was only the latest of Mr. Boss’ shenanigans, proving that, in this city, he can still do whatever he wants.

The only character who seems poised to challenge that power is Blaine (sorry, Peyton). Debate rages amongst the Twitter-sphere on if the former zombie legitimately has amnesia or not. After all, he did seem pretty frakking competent when he rescued Peyton. If he doesn’t have amnesia, he’s certainly playing the long con. Might Blaine come between Peyton and Ravi next season? 

All in all, “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” demonstrated how badass iZombiecan be when it’s not throwing unrelated murders-of-the-week at our glorious zombie conspiracy. I’m not saying I want this show to completely lose its police procedural element, but it can often lead to an uneven exploration of the crazy zombie drama that you think these characters would be mostly caring about. Well, it’s time to head into a sad, iZombie-lesshiatus for the next at least five-ish months. It will be a dark time, my friends, but let us rejoice in the knowledge that his quirky zom-com will be getting a third season. In the mean time, I leave you with these choice quotes from tonight’s episodes…

Memorable quotes:

“Brooding expressions don’t show up on tape. Use your words.”

“This case is Oscar the Grouch’s dreamhouse. Pile of garbage.”

“Brains brains the magical food, the more you eat, the more you brood.”

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“It’s not brain friends. It’s brains business.”

“I need to find the frozen zombies to beat the level, but I don’t know how to get there.”

“I don’t know where it came from, but it seems like an any-brain-in-a-storm situation.”

“Here’s my theory: There’s some kind of weird brain cult out there…”

“This is Seattle. Not Sleepy Hollow.”

“Are all the zombies being dangled over a shark tank?”

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“A prison theme… white people.”

“His music is ripped from the headlines of my soul.”

“Massive zombie outbreak means never having to say you’re sorry.”

“Sorry, if I go out, it’s going to be in a blaze of glory, not friendly fire.”

“I’m considering using you as a human shield.”

“Well if it isn’t the poster child for poetic justice.”

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“We’re all on the same side: We all hate my dad. We all surrvived the ngiht. We’ve all seen Major naked.”

“Goodbye, sweet zombie.”

“One hundred dead employees, 1 dead Rob Thomas. You think Twitter’s gonna be kind?”

“Heeeeere’s Major.”

“You ready for the new world order, Olivia Moore? Someday soon, Seattle’s gonna be the capital of the zombie homeland. So are you with us or against us?”


4 out of 5