iZombie, Ep. 1.11: “Astroburger” introduces new variables to the mix

Rose McIver
Rose McIver

iZombie, Season 1, Episode 11: “Astroburger”
Written by Kit Boss
Directed by Michael Fields
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW

Major’s constant run-ins with Julien came to a head two weeks ago, as the two faced off in a confrontation that left Major questioning his sanity after Julien walked away from three gunshots without spilling a drop of blood. While Liv guessed this would keep Major free of Blaine in particular and zombies in general for a while, the truth turned out to be the opposite, as another patient opened the possibility to Major for the first time. This week’s episode sees Major delve further into exploring the likelihood of zombies following his friend’s murder, while Liv’s hallucinations skew her sense of what’s real and what’s in her head, in another entertaining outing that opens up a few new plot threads that have potential.

Major finally coming to terms with the existence of zombies, complete with proof, is an exciting development. Despite continued threats from Julien, and the fact that Major has alienated the police by aligning with Rebecca Hinton, he has persevered and continued to be a thorn in Blaine’s side. His increasing recklessness and the fact that he now has proof makes Major a definite wild card, and it’ll be intriguing to see what role he plays from here on out. Unlike Lowell or possibly Suzuki, Blaine has no leverage over Major, and unlike the other humans Blaine has gone after, Major knows what Blaine is. How Major, and Blaine, deal with this situation is going to affect things in a big way. The one thing Blaine has that Major doesn’t is influence. While Blaine has had a tendency to take care of threats to his operation personally and swiftly, the killing and distribution of Alan York shows that his business ventures are on the rise. While this means Blaine has more to lose, which may make him even more ruthless than before, it also means that he will do more to avoid exposure, which may require a stealthier strategy than Blaine has used so far. With Alan York’s disappearance clearly drawing more attention than the missing Skate Park kids, Blaine will have to step more carefully, even with his connections, and that may give Major the edge as the two circle each other.

Robert Buckley, Malcolm Goodwin
Robert Buckley, Malcolm Goodwin

The presence of Scott’s video, as well as his press contact, opens up another potentially compelling story thread. The fact that the video shows Liv eating her first brain means that there’s a strong possibility that she’ll become the unwitting face of the zombie population for the public. If Major’s reaction this week is anything to go by, this could put Liv in a very bad situation, especially if the public also gets wind of Blaine’s activities surrounding the killing of the Skate Park kids and Alan York. It’s unlikely that people will separate the “good” zombies from the “bad” ones, and the fact that Liv is the only known zombie so far who isn’t part of Blaine’s operations in some way makes her situation even worse, and that doesn’t account for how the average person will look upon the eating of brains. With Lowell now gone, Liv has no ally left in the zombie world, and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone else steps up to stand by her side if the video is released. While Liv may become the face of zombies, the public turning aggressive against zombies is bad news for everyone. With many of them already unhappy with Blaine but still part of his business due to having no other option, Liv may present a viable alternative for some zombies, which would help both weaken Blaine and strengthen Liv’s position.

Overall, this is a solid episode, though it does little to advance the main story. The paranoia and hallucinations Liv sees after consuming Scott’s brain allow Rose McIver to shine once again, and her excellent performance week-in week-out is a key aspect of why the show works as well as it does. Ravi finding the cure for zombification is also an exciting development, and the character who stands to win and lose the most from this is Blaine. On one hand, taking the cure would turn Blaine human again, with human pleasures such as being able to taste food again, and no more dependence on brains. On the other hand, the cure, if made widely available, would also open up the door for Blaine’s victims and clients to take it, freeing themselves from under his thumb and crumbling his empire. Ravi and Liv will have to move very carefully around Blaine, as they’re aware, but the cure represents a way for them to take the control that Blaine now has, especially if they administer it to the right people first. How things play out with the video and the cure over the next couple of weeks has a lot of promise, and will be worth tuning in for.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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