iZombie, Season 2, Episode 4: “Even Cowgirls Get The Black and Blues”
Written by Dierdre Mangan
Directed by Matt Barber
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
The first few episodes of the second season have proven that while Blaine may not be a zombie, his appetite for power remains as large as ever, as do his zombie connections, which he set upon his enemies to establish a monopoly on the Utopium trade in the city. This week’s episode sees Blaine take further steps to cement his place in the city’s drug trade, putting him on a collision course with Liv once again, though neither are aware of it. The result is an entertaining episode that sets up numerous imminent character confrontations in addition to Blaine and Liv.
Peyton’s return is a welcome one, and it’s good to see that a reconciliation between her and Liv happens fairly quickly. Putting Peyton in the midst of the Utopium shutdown campaign is a good way to add stakes to the storyline, as it’s clear that Peyton isn’t aware that the DA is a zombie or that the task force was put together at the behest of Blaine. Blaine coming in as a witness and giving Peyton the details of the operation, however, establish that he’s not going to take a hands-off approach. This, however, means that not only is Liv’s discovery of Blaine’s deceit inevitable, Peyton is also likely to discover that not only is her boss a zombie, but that Blaine has control over most of the city’s zombie population. How this affects Peyton will be intriguing to see. Her capability in matters of the law has been well established during iZombie‘s run, and while Liv and Major have tried to stop Blaine, none of them have attempted the legal route. Peyton may provide the key to stopping Blaine in a way he can’t counteract. On the other hand, both Major and Liv are aware of how dangerous Blaine is, and this week’s episode establishes that Blaine doesn’t need to still be a zombie to be dangerous. Whether or not Liv and Major try to stop Peyton from going on the warpath against Blaine, and how she reacts if they do, are also promising ideas.
Major’s return to Liv also opens up some interesting possibilities. In many ways, Major’s actions over the past few episodes have mirrored Liv’s actions at the beginning of the series, which Liv herself indirectly points out this week. Major’s insistence on keeping Liv in the dark about the true nature of his business with Vaughn, as well as taking Utopium to deal with the guilt instead of opening up, is quite similar to Liv’s rationale about not telling anyone after turning into a zombie to keep those around her safe. In light of this, how much Major tells Liv will be very telling. Not killing zombies is not an option for Major, especially when he discovers Gilda is Liv’s roommate. At the same time, he is at the point now where not telling Liv the whole story will make her suspicious, and none of this factors in how she’ll react to the news that he’s been a zombie killer for hire, all to ostensibly keep her safe. How Liv deals with the full revelation should make for a compelling watch. The overriding question is whom Liv will direct her wrath towards. While Major is sure to get some flack for his behaviour, if he gets the brunt of the blame, that might be the final straw for their friendship. On the other hand, if Liv decides Vaughn and Max Rager is to blame, she might find herself in over her head, especially as Blaine proved a formidable foe for her, and Vaughn has already indicated he’s much more ruthless and knowledgeable.
Overall, while a somewhat light episode, this is nonetheless an entertaining outing. Major’s recovery from Utopium seems somewhat rushed, especially given that he fell into the habit only two episodes ago, but it’s in line with the character, who’s always been responsible and did spend significant time helping disenfranchised youth. Blaine’s ruthlessness is in full display this week as well, and seeing how he deals with things now makes him more dangerous, as he has a level of deniability. The combination of both the zombie trade and Utopium trade makes Blaine financially successful as well, giving him new resources to toy around with. It’s also interesting to finally meet Ravi’s new girlfriend, and her personality might suggest that she can be a valuable ally for Liv, Ravi, and the team going forward. If Ravi is able to find the cure, how Vaughn and Gilda react will say a lot. If their purpose is to ensure the zombies don’t hurt SuperMax’s market entry, mass-producing the cure is just as viable an option as killing the zombies. On the other hand, however, if Vaughn’s purpose is to simply gain control and eliminate all obstacles, which may very well be the case based on his actions to date, a cure will simply prove to be another hindrance. How Vaughn deals with the cure when it re-emerges, as well as how Peyton deals with Blaine, will be worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.