iZombie: Mr. Berserk Review

Knowledge of the zombie conspiracy expands in tonight's episode of iZombie -- unfortunately, Major is still not a part of it.

Can we call for a moratorium on the trope that sees protagonists keeping their secret identity (in this case, zombie-ism) from their loved ones? The fact that iZombie’s Liv and Ravi continue to lie to Major about the existence of zombies is not only a bad idea within the context of the story, but a lazy structure at the narrative level. If this cliche weren’t so overdone, Season 1, Episode 10 (“Mr. Berserk”) might just be able to pull it off given Liv’s current state of mind. At the end of last week’s episode, another man Liv cares deeply for was murdered for his involvement in Seattle’s little “zombie problem,” so it’s understandable that Liv is sensitive to the subject. When Ravi insists that they tell Major, Liv’s rationale is that — if Major checks himself into a mental health facility — at least he will be safe. Though Liv’s decision to lie to Major might be at least partially in an effort to protect him, it’s easy to infer that she also doesn’t want to lose Major. She fears that, if Major sees her for who she really is (i.e. a zombie), then there will be no more complementary back rubs.

Despite the continued lack of honesty, this episode actually did a lot to cement the Liv/Major relationship. When Liv gets drunk at a bar, Major is the one she calls to pick her up and tuck her into bed. For his part, Major is happy to be there for his ex-fiance — which says a lot about how much he still loves Liv given that she dumped him with little to no explanation not so long ago. The character of Major continues to be highly likable, despite how much he doesn’t know. While Liv, Ravi, and Clive are all actively (if not unknowingly, in Clive’s case) cracking down on Blaine’s brain business at least partially because it is their job, Major’s sense of justice runs much deeper. Even after getting fired from his job, he continues to fight to see Jerome’s kidnappers/murderers brought to justice. It makes for a dangerous hobby, but it also makes for a compellingly good character. It’s also one of the chief reasons why Liv and Ravi should tell him the truth!

In other news, we have a few new pieces to the zombie puzzle. After the newspaper reporter investigating Max Rager turns up murdered, Liv realizes that the memo uncovered in a previous episode detailing concerns that the soft drink could lead to fits of psychotic rage has even more evidence to support it. The journalist was working on a story that linked several Max Rager-related incidents, resulting in a dozen deaths. That we know of. Liv also has a very personal connection to the scandal, given that the boat party where she was turned zombie was sponsored by Max Rager and was filled with partygoers in psychotic rages. It seems highly likely that this sports drink is tied to the zombie outbreak in some major ways.

Hallmark moment: Liv has created her first ever zombie. When a Max Rager hitman knocks Liv out and boats her to the middle of a lake in order to dump her body, the creeper helps himself to a lick of Liv’s blood before completing the job. Because why not? Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know that a) Liv is a super-strong zombie badass who manages to knock him over the side of the boat and tear him up in the boat’s propellers and b) ingesting Liv’s blood will turn his dead self into a zombie. The plot thickens! Maybe now that the hitman is hip to the zombie jive, he will consider turning over the zip drive filled with evidence against Max Rager in exchange for a brain-snack?

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Perhaps the episode’s strongest moments came in Liv’s grief over Lowell’s death. Though Liv used her latest brain and murder mystery to try to distract herself, it was only a matter of time before she would have to face the fact that Lowell is gone and in a terribly tragic way. The episode ends with Liv’s declaration to Ravi that she will kill Blaine for all that he is done. Something tells me it will be more complicated than that — and that Liv is still not a killer (self-defense murders-by-propeller notwithstanding). With hints that Max Rager is tied to this larger zombie problem, Blaine might not even be Liv’s biggest problem right now. Sure, his brains business is grotesque and needs to be shut down, but — if Max Rager is knowingly or unknowingly creating zombies — Liv may have to turn her attention elsewhere.


3 out of 5