iZombie, Season 2, Episode 2: “Zombie Bro”
Written by Diane Ruggiero-Wright
Directed by John Kretchmer
iZombie, Season 2, Episode 3: “Real Dead Housewife of Seattle”
Written by Kit Boss
Directed by Jason Bloom
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
Liv and Blaine spent much of the first season trying to fly under the radar of the public because of their zombie afflictions, but despite their best efforts, the second season premiere established that not only did they attract attention from the wrong people, but Vaughn and company were willing to do whatever it took to eliminate the zombie threat and regain power. The past two episodes have worked to deepen Blaine’s backstory while examining how Major is coping with being Vaughn’s designated hitman, in a series of highly entertaining episodes that promise an exciting set of storylines.
Watching Major deal with the ramifications of his new job has been a fascinating aspect of the season. Vaughn’s grip on Major has been well-documented, and as long as Major cares for Liv’s well-being, there’s no way he’s going to be able to quit killing zombies, no matter how much it takes a toll on him. The addiction to Utopium that Major develops to cope with it, however, opens the door to him ending up in the crosshairs of both Blaine and Peyton. With Blaine taking steps to end up as the supreme dealer of Utopium, it won’t be long until he and Major cross paths, which is bound to be intriguing. Not only do the duo share the distinction of being the only ones cured of the zombie affliction, Blaine already blames Major for disrupting his Meat Cute operation. Keeping him addicted to Utopium could be a way for Blaine to exact revenge on Major for his earlier actions, as well as shrinking his current market by killing zombies at Vaughn’s behest. At the same time, however, Blaine might prove to be Major’s biggest ally, as he’s the one person who can help break Vaughn’s hold on Major, with both the power and the personal investment to do so. Whether or not he actually chooses to do so, and what price he makes Major pay in return, as well as what depths Major will fall to before agreeing to a Faustian pact with Blaine, are bound to be compelling aspects of the season.
Another compelling aspect of the past two episodes has been Gilda. While she is definitely onboard with Vaughn’s plans and his attempts to take over the company, she’s clearly not devoted to him, and the fact that he’s her father has not swayed her completely in his direction. With Gilda witnessing firsthand both Liv’s personality changes from the brains and her crime-solving flashbacks and partnership with Detective Babineaux, her opinion of Liv, and zombies in general, still has the potential to be swayed. Add to that the fact that she’s aware Vaughn is not the most loyal person, and that he craves power more than anything else, and Gilda remains the wild card in the fight between zombies and Max Rager. Her open willingness to go with Vaughn’s plan, and seduce and toy with Major, suggests one of two possible roads for the character; either she ends up seeing the zombies as real people with an affliction and becomes a powerful ally for Liv, Major, and the rest of the zombies and their friends, or she turns out to be just as, if not more, ruthless than her father, becoming an even more formidable foe for zombies. The knowledge of a cure may also affect these decisions, as it’ll provide an alternative to the killing. While tapping Liv’s phone gave Vaughn and Gilda knowledge of Major’s abilities, the fact that a cure exists, or could exist, might still be news to them.
Overall, the past few episodes have effectively escalated things. It’s good to see Peyton return, and be on the same page as Ravi and Major. Having a valuable ally in a high-ranking position in law enforcement could be valuable, and it’ll be intriguing to see if Peyton and Gilda clash about Liv down the line. Learning more about Blaine is also eye-opening. While his plan to infiltrate the city’s power structure by strategically turning people into zombies was made clear last season, Blaine’s interaction with his father, and the fact that the latter became a zombie at Blaine’s hand, explains a lot about the latter’s hunger for power. Knowing that his father is a zombie also explains Blaine’s insistence on keeping up appearances, as even the brief scene proves that ruthlessness runs in the family. Rose McIver’s strong performance continues to anchor the series, and she remains a delight to watch, playing both fratboys and materialistic women with equal aplomb. The nod to Veronica Mars that was present in Liv’s declaration that, with regards to Peyton, “a long time ago, we used to be friends”, is nicely done, not distracting from the story but still providing a recognisable tie-in to Thomas’ earlier series. The pieces are set for a fascinating showdown among various entities, and unlike the first season, Liv is the least powerful part of the equation among several entities this time around. Her role will still be crucial, but what it will entail will be worth keeping an eye on.