iZombie: Cape Town Review

Liv takes on a superhero identity as iZombie tries to convince us that being a zombie is the worst.

This iZombie review contains spoilers.

iZombie: Season 2, Episode 9

iZombie‘s midseason finale leaves a lot riding on one, imperfect conclusion: no one in this world, save for the bad guys, wants to be a zombie. Liv’s zombie-ism causes her to break up with Major. (Again.) Natalie, the zombie Major is tasked with fake-killing this week, dislikes her current predicament so much (which is, granted, loathsome for more reasons than just her zombie-ism) she is ready to kill herself. Everyone is desperate for the cure. 

Zombie-ism as the ultimate burden.

Like CW sister show The Vampire DiariesiZombie has done an inconsistent job convincing us (or at least me) that, within these fictional parameters, being a “monster” is so bad. Sure, there are the brain-personalities to deal with, but it is only recently that we have seen their effect on Liv’s personal life explored more thoroughly. And, even then, they are treated as an inconvenience to her romantic life just as often as they are treated as a hindrance to Liv’s mental health.

In its early episodes, iZombie toyed with this balance between the new, good things that zombie-ism brought to Liv’s life and the terrible. More recently, it has been less complex with zombie-ism as the ultimate burden, and iZombiehas lost something in that over-simplification.

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Because, for all of the ways in which Liv’s zombie-ism has made her life more complicated and more terrible, it has also made possible some amazing things. It has allowed her to experience the world in different ways, through different skills and from different perspectives. And, through her “psychic” flashes, she is able to help bring justice to the world. This episode, she gets to be a not-entirely-ineffective vigilante.

In episode 2, Liv voiceovered: “There were parts of me that were dead even before I became a zombie. So maybe that means it’s possible for parts of me to spring to life, even now that I’m dead.” What happened to that woman? Has she been beaten down by the loss of people she loves? Is a life returned to humanity the only “best” thing she can hope for? Or will iZombiedare to offer a more complicated option?

Clive kicks Liv out of detective club.

Clive’s frankly long overdue dismissal of Liv as his detective assistant was so tough to watch. For Liv, solving these people’s murders is what makes her zombie-ism, in part, worth it. Without it, she doesn’t know what she’s good for. She can’t turn her zombie narrative into a success story.

Regardless of where you fall on The Great Does iZombie Have A Problem Clarifying Its Zombie-ism Debate (debated below), this is a major blow to Liv’s identity. I wish I could also say that it’s a major blow to Liv’s friendship with Clive, but the show has been relatively woeful in developing their dynamic past friendly co-worker-types who solve mysteries together. Perhaps this division will serve to give this dynamic more development.

Major and Liv break up.

Though watching Liv and Major pine after one another had me begging to get together, I have to admit that the brief period in which they got back together was exhausting. He was lying to her. She was mostly on stalker!brain. To be honest, maybe the break-up isn’t such a bad idea. 

But not for the reasons presented. As long as Major is lying to Liv, it’s hard to watch these two together. Though Major was given a chance to outline his motivations a bit more clearly in his conversation with Natalie, his choice to keep Liv in the dark is a dangerous one. And one that, especially as his significant other, she did not deserve.

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Ravi has a very lonely secret.

Poor Ravi. While everyone else is off having their domestic and detective drama, he is left to monitor the rats. And the truth is out, folks: the zombie cure he developed from the first batch of tainted Utopium is not permanent. Will it work if the zombies keep taking doses? Is there a modified version of the cure that could be permanent? Will Ravi tell everyone the truth or will he angst by himself, alone in a field?

Whatever the answers to these questions, this certainly makes the future more interesting. This not only means that both Blaine and Major will presumably be turning back into zombies sometime soon, but that there is potentially no cure to zombie-ism. This is a cure that (almost) everyone, including our new friend Natalie, have been counting on. Though I may not be entirely convinced as a viewer of this show that being a zombie is so bad, that’s how a majority of our protagonists currently see it. And that disconnect could make for some heartbreaking drama when iZombiereturns from its winter break.


3 out of 5