iZombie, Season 2, Episode 8: “The Hurt Stalker”
Written by Sara Saedi
Directed by Michael Wale
iZombie, Season 2, Episode 9: “Cape Town”
Written by Diane Ruggiero-Wright
Directed by Mairzee Almas
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
Throughout the second season of iZombie, Major has been maintaining a very delicate balance in trying to hide all his secrets from Liv, Vaughn, Ravi, and Gilda, and the effect has clearly taken a toll on him, as evidenced by the Utopium addiction. His relationship with Liv, however, has worked towards stabilising him somewhat, but that relationship crumbles and falls once again in a fun pair of episodes leading into the midseason break.
Learning more about Clive is a long overdue aspect of the show, and it’s good to see the focus turn to knowing more about him. While it comes during a case, it’s still fun to find out more about Babineaux’s personal life, and the reveal that he’s fond of cooking Cajun food and is mad at George RR Martin for not writing helps add more dimensions to what is now the least developed main character on the show. Hopefully this will lead to the integration of Clive into the core group down the line, as listening to him and Ravi discuss Game of Thrones is likely to be highly entertaining. Finding out more about Babineaux also gives a better idea of how he’ll react to the news that Liv is a zombie. The fact that Clive went out of his way to cook something for Ravi and Liv during his suspension means that he does care for them to an extent, and his insistence that Liv no longer work with him, while undoubtedly partly spurred by his frustration at being unable to arrest Boss, surely also stems from concern over her well-being. This might make him sympathetic to Liv when he does find out, as he’ll see her as a friend who’s been afflicted by a condition that she’s done her best to deal with. Knowing that she’s used the brains to help solve crimes may also make Clive see things Liv’s way, while also giving him context for her wild personality swings. On the other hand, the knowledge that Liv eats human brains may cause Babineaux to react in much the same way as Major did, coupled with the knowledge that Liv has eaten the brains of people Clive himself knew and were close to. Much of Clive’s reaction will hinge on how he finds out about zombies, and how he feels about the first zombie he encounters. Hopefully he will be pro-Liv, as being in the field with her will ensure that he can act as a voice of reason and work with Ravi and Major to possibly counteract the brain’s personality in any given week.
Liv inching closer to the truth about Gilda’s role in her life is also a promising development. While the influence of Regina’s brains, and the associated stalker tendencies, have now worn off, Liv has definitive proof of Major’s fling with “Rita”. Liv is a very capable investigator in her own right, as she demonstrates in both her investigation of Regina’s death and Boss’ gun-running operation, which means it’ll be only a matter of time before she finds out about Gilda if she decides to pursue who Major is sleeping with. Whether or not she does will thus rely on how Liv feels about this now that she and Major are no longer seeing each other. If she feels that Major’s trust should not be violated and that whom he sleeps with is no longer her concern, that may give Gilda more room to operate and continue to manipulate both Major and Liv. If, on the other hand, Liv does pursue the identity of Rita for whatever reason, the potential for Vaughn and Gilda’s plan to unravel becomes much more probable. Gilda’s motivations at this point are also likely to play a key role in events. While Gilda’s concern about Major and Liv being together was well-founded, her true reasoning is in doubt. If she is being truthful and looking out for only the company’s well-being, she’s much more likely to poison Liv against Major to ensure the two don’t get back together, especially as the former has no idea of her association with Vaughn. Her chasing of Major, however, suggests something different at play, and an attempt to use Major for her own pleasure, rather than simply to keep an eye on him. The latter may make her sloppy, and thus easier to catch, thus making her true motivation worth watching out for.
iZombie goes into its midseason break on an entertaining note, if a somewhat weak one, as the midseason finale doesn’t quite pack the punch that the show has proven capable of delivering in prior episodes. Vaughn’s continued research of Max Rager’s new formula remains an interesting idea, particularly in how it affects zombies, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye on not only how it affects zombies like Liv, but those who’ve taken the cure, such as Blaine or Major. If the drink has a similar effect on coherent zombies, Vaughn and Max Rager may likely have found a niche market, one that is sure to irk the Utopium-dealing Blaine. Seeing Major’s true motivations with regards to the zombie abductions also sheds a clearer light on his overall plan. Major’s interactions with Natalie in “Cape Town” open up a new possibility, that of talking to zombies and bringing them in as part of the plan. While his first two victims might not have agreed to leaving their family and pet behind, Angus might have been amenable to the plan, or atleast laying somewhat low until Ravi came up with a cure. Speaking of Ravi, his discovery of the reversal of the cure casts an ominous note on the season moving forward. While Blaine would certainly welcome the chance to become a zombie again and re-establish control over his empire without having to hide the fact that he’s been cured, Major reverting to his zombie state would not only be unwelcome on his part, but would throw a wrench into his current arrangement with Vaughn. On the other hand, if Major were to become a zombie once again, he might be able to force Gilda’s hand by turning her into a zombie as well, much like Blaine did to build a clientele in the first season. Whether or not Major takes a drastic step like that, as well as how he, Blaine, and Liv react to the news that the cure is not permanent, and how Liv copes with no longer being allowed to be part of official police investigations, will be worth watching the season for when it returns from hiatus.