iZombie: Abra Cadaver

"Abra Cadaver" was a return to iZombie's season 1 lackluster procedural structure.

This iZombie review contains spoilers.

iZombie: Season 2, Episode 7

iZombie has never strictly been a procedural show, but it has definitely vacilated extensively on the spectrum between procedural and serialized. Now, depending on what kind of television viewer you are, tonight’s episode might have been exactly the kind of episode of television — and iZombie — that you like. It was a fun, fast, quippy procedural about an emo magician’s murder.

For me, however, as someone who tends to skew towards the serialized side of that television narrative spectrum, it was less than exciting to see iZombie return to such a heavily procedural episode after what has been a string of episodes interested in the deeper, darker elements of this zombie world. Especially with last episode’s reveal that Major hasn’t really been offing zombies; he’s just been freezing.

The backing off from major storyline developments is one of the things I like least about iZombie — and I like iZombie  Last season, Lowell’s unexpected death ended one episode. The next episode, the murder was addressed, but was arguably the “B” plot of the ep. It’s hard to get too invested in these storylines when the show pumps the break so often. Perhaps this rant is a bit of a downer, but it continues to be one of the worst things about this generally delightful zombie drama. At least for this TV watcher. That being said, “Abra Cadaver” wasn’t without its interesting plot developments…

Ad – content continues below

Death by playing card.

Didn’t we just have this on on Arrow? Sadly, this assassin was less interesting than Double Down, particularly because of the bad disguise. (Meers obviously modeled her disguise after She’s The Man— great movie, bad for disguise inspiration.) It was entertaining to see Liv try her magic tricks out on Ravi, but I would have liked to see Sid Wicked’s obsession with death used for some serious philosophizing on undeath. But maybe that’s just me?

Liv and Major struggle with zombie relationships.

Though Liv and Major are excited to be back together, their relationship is not without its obstacles. Because of Liv’s zombie-ism, they can’t have sex and, now, Major is finally getting a good look of what being with Liv can be like when she’s “on a brain.” For me, this is an interesting story to tell, but one that suffers from the somewhat wobbly internal logic of the zombie world within this show. iZombie has never done a particularly good job at exploring or defining the limits of how a brain affects a zombie.

Is being on a brain like hypnosis, in the sense that Liv would never do something under the influence of a brain that she wouldn’t do normally? How long do the effects last? Is Liv ever completely herself? That last question is, for me, the most interesting, and one that iZombie has not yet raised in any real way.

Of course Liv’s zombie-ism isn’t the only thing causing problems in this relationship. There is also Major’s lies. Though Liv and Major have discussed multiple times that the key to their relationship working out this time is to being completely honest with one another, Major still hasn’t spilled the beans about his fake zombie assassin work — and I can’t handle it. Rationally, Major has no reason not to tell Liv the truth. In fact, it could probably help her. Emotionally, he might be ashamed to admit that he has fallen so far into the Max Rager machinations. But, come on, Major. Get over it.

Blaine insinuates himself onto Team Liv.

It’s always great to see Blaine, but it was disappointing to see nothing mentioned about the fact that he recently up-and-killed his grandfather. (This is exactly the kind of sporadic interest in serialized storytelling I was talking about earlier. Not cool, show.) Anyway, Liv and Blaine spend the episode gathering information about Agent Bozzio’s case. She knows about as much about the mysterious “murders” as Team Zombie, though less than us audience members or, you know, Major. Presumably, this is all going to come to a head in the midseason finale. For now, though, it feels like the show is treading water. 

Blaine also popped back into Peyton’s orbit when she went to warn Blaine that he might be in danger from his former boss. Somehow, these two have kind of amazing chemistry — which could explain why Peyton dodged Ravi’s advances elsewhere in the episode. Or maybe she just wants to stay single. You do you, Peyton.

Ad – content continues below


2 out of 5