iZombie has been one of my surprise favourite shows since it first premièred three years ago, consistently well-written, funny and incredibly charming. Featuring a murder-solving zombie (seriously, just watch it), the idea of a cure for Liv Moore and the other zombies of Seattle has always been the series’ most prominent driving force and always promised to be a game changing discovery. But is there really any room in the series for them to succeed?
The most important arc so far this season has been the slow deterioration of Major (ex-boyfriend and long-time zombie) due to the imperfect cure he took all the way back in Season 1, and the fact that the latest cure supposedly rendered previous villain Blaine permanently cured but with amnesia. The emotional conundrum was obvious and made for some interesting story meat: how long can Major put off taking the new cure before he dies for good?
Last week’s “Spanking the Zombie”, capitalized strongly on this inevitable moment, featuring a genuinely eye-welling potentially final night spent between Liv and Major before he potentially loses his memories. It might be one of the most soap-y storylines in history, but iZombie has always had a talent at making this kind of material work and Rose McIver and Robert Buckley effortlessly elevate it.
But after this week’s “Some Like It Hot Mess”, we know that Blaine was faking the amnesia, as most viewers assumed. It’s hardly a twist, but the show has been dropping enough hints that the writers were certainly aware that most of their audience had guessed it long ago. So after three seasons, we finally appear to have a viable cure with no side effects. What next?
The problem is that without Liv being a zombie, there is no show. It’s literally in the title. The visions that come with Liv’s brain-eating are vital to the fabric of iZombie and without them the procedural aspect would completely vanish, along with the charm of Liv taking on a new personality every week. With the show just renewed for a fourth season and creator Rob Thomas being open about his confidence in renewal, there’s just no way for Liv to succeed here.
It’s definitely possible that Liv could temporarily become human and end up turning back into a zombie for whatever reason, but there’s no way she can be human by the end of the season. We have the obvious wrench in “Hot Mess” with the cures being stolen by an unknown party, but how long can that obstacle last? It’s also possible that Liv decides she doesn’t want to be human just yet. Solving murders with Clive has given her a purpose and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her want to hold onto that.
Major’s story has been linked with being a zombie for a long while now and the effective cure offers huge questions going forwards, especially considering his membership as part of a zombie paramilitary group with Filmore Graves. Graves are already preparing for an inevitable war with humans and it’s hard to predict how leader Vivian Stoll will react to the similarly inevitable discovery of Ravi’s cure. Will they want it or want to destroy it? The series has been coy about whether Stoll will ultimately be an ally or an enemy and the cure is certainly going to be key.
A sad part of Major becoming cured is that being a zombie revealed just how hilarious Robert Buckley can be. The personality change has and always will be Liv’s thing, but some of the brains they put Major on were amazing. A particular highlight was this season’s “Zombie Knows Best”, which featured Major on teenage girl brains and Liv on the over-supportive father’s. Certainly low-hanging fruit, but once again the writing, McIver and Buckley knock it out of the park.
The cure storyline also forced the love triangle upon us and I’m struggling to forgive iZombie for that. Ravi has always been The Best in this show, but the triangle made him the worst. Aly Michalka’s Peyton was finally made a series regular this year, but instead of the compelling lawyer we’ve seen before, she was reduced to nothing more than part of the triange. David Anders as Blaine has always been fantastically charming to watch and a character we love to hate, but he is still a child murderer and amnesia (especially faked amnesia) doesn’t erase that.
Every participant in this triangle was made worse for it and it was infuriating to watch. Fortunately, the reveal that Blaine was faking it all finally puts this triangle out of its fucking misery and we get Peyton being awesome again, for the first time all season. The scene where she coaxes the truth out of Blaine is pretty great and a reminder of why we wanted Michalka full time in the first place.
Because iZombie is still great at tying plots together, Blaine’s reveal leads right back into Ravi’s attempts to cure the supposed memory loss. The show has made it very obvious that the blue fluid he was developing is going to be important going forwards, with “Spanking the Zombie” showing it giving Liv enhanced visions and Blaine deciding to recreate it at the end of this week’s episode. Blaine certainly seemed genuine about wanting to be a better man, so now that the truth is out we’ll see whether they can continue to justify his continued presence on the show.
The resolution of the amnesia storyline is already making the show more interesting, even if we know Liv can’t be cured for the time being. For instance, who stole the cures: Blaine, Don. E or even Filmore Graves? And what will be the ultimate consequences of the cures getting out into the world? I have a lot of well-earned faith in iZombie and will continue to do so, but it’s simply unfortunate that the amnesia storyline forced the love triangle upon on us for too much of the season’s first half.
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