iZombie: Season 2: a review

iZombie

The second season of iZombie was a lot of fun to watch. This post is full of SPOILERS. You have been warned.

The season opens with the fallout from the freshman season. Liv’s mother and brother are both upset with her because she wouldn’t donate her Type O-Negative blood to save her brother after the Meat Cute explosion. Well, she couldn’t give her blood, could she? She’s Type Z now and her family doesn’t know that. It seems like mother and brother are really no longer a part of the cast after the first episode.

Liv Moore still has her friends, though, doesn’t she? No. Not really. Peyton has bailed on Liv, unable to handle the zombie-ness of it all. Liv has a new roommate who says she works for the IRS. Major is still mad at Liv for turning him into a zombie, even though she used the last of Ravi’s experimental cure on both him and Blaine, turning them both human again. Ravi is a bit miffed because he has no more of the tainted Utopium drug that reacted with the Max Rager energy drink to produce zombies in the first place. Liv is still a zombie. Without the real support of family or friends, she’s just not in a good place when the season opens.

Things get better, somewhat. Not for Major, who as a cured zombie now has a preternatural zombie-sense that tells him when zombies are near. He ends up being blackmailed by Max Rager CEO Vaughn du Clark into hunting down zombies from a list that Max Rager scientists have generated based on hotsauce purchases, hair dye jobs and fake tanning. Du Clark is attempting damage control, eliminating the zombies he was responsible for creating. Unbeknownst to du Clark (and the viewer for a while), Major isn’t killing these zombies. Instead, he’s knocking them out and freezing them until Ravi can come up with another cure.

Blaine de Beers, also human again, is now running a mortuary called Shady Plots, and he’s still supplying brains to zombie customers. He’s also trying to pass himself off as still a zombie, even though he’s not. He’s also still in the Utopium trade, which is pissing off his former gangster boss, Stacey Boss, whom we finally get to meet on-screen. He is a nebbishy little guy who still manages to be menacing. Mr. Boss takes Blaine’s place as the Big Bad for the season, along with Vaughn du Clark.

Meanwhile, Detective Clive Babineaux doesn’t really accept the official story of the Meat Cute explosion. But, he doesn’t know about the zombies either. At least not until the last episodes of the season. Det. Babineaux gets a little romantic subplot for the season with a female FBI agent. Romances on CW shows seldom run smoothly.

This all sets up the overarching plots for the season. Max Rager is coming out with a new product called Super Max, all the while keeping zombies locked up in their super secret basement laboratory. Liv’s roomate, Gilda, is really Rita, who is spying on Liv for Max Rager. We find out late in the season that she is actually Vaughn du Clark’s daughter. She has a brief relationship with Major as well. Ravi and Liv are leveraging their relationship with Blaine to locate more tainted Utopium to create more of the cure. Stacey Boss is cutting a lot of throats to increase his stranglehold on Seattle. Clive is working with the FBI to track down the Chaos Killer, who is really Major, even though he’s not really killing his victims.

Meanwhile, each individual episode is Liv eats new brains of murder victims and takes on their personalities and some of their talents throughout at least one episode. During the course of the season, Liv is a grumpy old man, a frat boy, a country singer, a magician, a basketball coach, an erotic novelist, a social media star, and a stripper. I’m sure I’ve missed a few of the personae she adopts. This part of the series is a bit formulaic, but it’s still fun.

Liv also becomes romantically involved with someone who turns out to be a cop in deep undercover. That doesn’t go exactly smooth either. He’s one of the zombies that Major takes out.

Good news. Peyton returns and becomes all-right with the zombie thing. She is trying to take down Stacey Boss. Liv and Major eventually make up, though their relationship is hampered by Major’s return to humanity. Blaine eventually becomes a zombie again after getting his throat cut by Mr. Boss and left for dead. He ends up injecting himself with another of Ravi’s untested cures. It works; he’s human once again but has lost his memory.

At the end of the season, all of the individual plotlines begin to converge and come to a head. A Max Rager party in the final episode includes Rob Thomas (the Matchbox-20 guy, not the creator of the show) and his band. Rob Thomas is killed during the zombie massacre that takes place. Clive Babineaux is finally let in on the zombie secret. Major is arrested for the Chaos Killer crimes and the Meat Cute massacre, but he manages to get let off scotfree. Vaughn du Clark and his lovely daughter meet their respective makers. Blaine seems to be one of the good guys at the end, but we know that can’t last. As the final episode ends, a paramilitary group that seems to be formed of zombies has bought out Max Rager and tell Liv that Seattle will soon become the zombie homeland as they take over. They want to know if she’s with them or against them.

I like this show a lot, and, as I’ve said, it’s a lot of fun. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously. The fantastical elements often defy logic and don’t really want you to think too hard about them. I don’t. You just have to accept that zombies in this universe are created by a bad energy-drink-and-rave-drug combo, and that there are different levels of zombieism. Liv’s kind of zombie is the sort that is nearly normal except for frequent ingesting of human brains. The more advanced zombies—called Romeros for the obvious reason—are what happens when a zombie doesn’t get their brains.

The various romantic subplots and character interactions are typical CW fare. If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Veronica Mars, you’ll find things to like about this show as well.

I’m beginning Season 3 next week.

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