iZombie, Season 2, Episode 6: “Max Wager”
Written by Graham Norris
Directed by John Kretchmer
iZombie, Season 2, Episode 7: “Abra Cadaver”
Written by Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker
Directed by Viet Nguyen
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
With Vaughn and various Max Rager associates under his employ have revealed over the course of the season, the existence of zombies is no longer a secret. Working with both Agent Bozzio and looking into Suzuki’s death meant that Detective Babineaux has also been getting closer to that realisation. The last two episodes have put both Bozzio and Babineaux’s investigation on the radar of Liv and Blaine, while the latter has begun dealing with a number of threats to his business, while Major’s real plan has been revealed, in an entertaining pair of episodes that bring into sharper focus the various forces converging on Liv and her allies.
The reveal that Major isn’t killing the zombies, but faking their deaths, changes the entire dynamic of his story this season. While the fact that he was under Vaughn’s thumb due to his attempt to protect Liv made Major appear helpless at the start, his preservation of the bodies suggests several things. Most importantly, Major seems to have learned from the Meat Cute and his subsequent time with Liv, and clearly sees the zombies as humans as well, people to be treated with a degree of compassion. Faking their deaths allows him to buy time with Vaughn without having to commit murder and putting him in the clear with the FBI investigation as well. Major’s strategy also explains his choice of victims. The fact that, after the first abduction, Major has targeted individuals with no apparent family who are influential in the business world suggests that he may be trying to get into their favour and build an alliance that will allow him to combat Vaughn in the one place where Vaughn is truly vulnerable; in the business field. It will be interesting to see how Major’s storyline progresses with this revelation. While the zombies may form an alliance with Major, it’s equally likely they’ll be angry enough with him for freezing them to enact revenge before taking on Vaughn and Max Rager on their own. How Major appeals to the group will be key in deciding if they’ll be friend or foe. However, that’s not the only factor; as Angus’ dealings with Blaine prove, he’s untrustworthy even as an ally, which means Major will have to deal with him very carefully. However it progresses, it will be exciting to watch Major’s plan unfold, especially with Liv and Blaine now unwittingly on his tail, and Major himself aware of that.
Speaking of Liv and Blaine, their uneasy partnership will be promising to watch. Blaine’s antagonism with Angus exposes a major flaw, proving that he is vulnerable now that he’s human, a fact that is bound to affect Blaine from both ends, as he points out to Liv. With Angus figuring it out shortly before exiting the picture, it’s only a matter of time before others find this out as well, but Blaine is now aware of this flaw and is bound to take steps accordingly. The biggest potential threat to Blaine, with Angus gone, is undoubtedly Stacey Boss. As Boss indicates, he is just as ruthless, if not more, than Angus, with significant power to boot, as well as the confidence that comes with knowing he’s untouchable. In addition, Blaine now has to worry about Agent Bozzio and Detective Babineaux being on his tail, not only for being a zombie, but for the Meat Cute massacre and prior deaths as well. How Blaine combats all these threats will be promising to watch. Now that Blaine is aware of his weakness, he’ll be more careful in all regards. It’s still unclear if Boss knows about zombies. If he does, then he might look to eliminate Blaine and take over this operation in the same way Angus did. Likewise, now that Blaine is aware that the FBI and an unseen killer is after him, even if he’s not clear on how close they are, he’s sure to be more careful with his operations. How that manifests itself, however, will be intriguing, as Blaine is unlikely to give up either his Utopium trade or his brain trade. Also worth keeping an eye on is Blaine’s budding relationship with Peyton. Much like Gilda with Liv, it’s apparent that Blaine’s simply using Peyton to ensure that Boss doesn’t remain a threat to him, but the fact that Peyton is close to both Ravi and Liv is a blind spot that Blaine hasn’t accounted for. Learning that Blaine has been using Peyton to benefit himself is likely to be enough to make Liv focus on eliminating him once again, especially given what happened to Lowell.
Overall, this has been a strong pair of episodes. Ravi’s unrequited attraction for Peyton, however, is a weak point, especially in how it undermines the character of Steph, who’d already gotten a short shrift from the show, and whose potential will now go unrealised. Unlike Major, Peyton has also done precious little with the knowledge of the existence of zombies, and hopefully the show explores why, as Peyton’s friendship was as important to Liv as her relationship with Major, and while the latter has gotten some attention over the show’s two seasons, Liv and Peyton have yet to have significant interactions after the latter’s arrival back into town, something that Liv clearly wanted. The relationship between Major and Liv, however, is interesting to watch, to see what kind of hurdles a zombie-human romance runs into. Ravi’s discovery that the zombie virus is transmitted even through the most stringent of condoms also opens up some new storytelling possibilities, particularly relating to how married individuals and those in a relationship who suddenly become zombies try to hide this fact from their spouses and partners. Lieutenant Suzuki’s wife was clearly unaware of his true nature, which means she wasn’t a zombie herself, but others may not be aware or careful with this types of things, which may in turn lead to unwitting zombie couples. The character of Sid Wicked is once again a strong one to watch Liv live through, and it’s good to see Rose McIver get another strong personality and character to portray after the real housewife and frat boy. The season’s storylines are beginning to take shape nicely, and how all the various forces interact and collide will be fun to watch as the show continues.