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iZombie: Reflection and Speculation

© by Diyah Pera/The CW

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 5.53.24 PM

It’s that time of year once again. After a season of brain-chomping, corporate plotting, shady mob plots, zombies turning into people turning into zombies, and fighting crime, we’ve hit finale week, and things look dire indeed. iZombie’s two-hour finale is sure to be packed with game-changing twists and turns, so I feel like now is a good time to consider where we’ve been with the show recently, and where we may hopefully go with loose ends leading into season three.

  • Last week’s “Reflections of the Way Liv Used to Be” was a great episode, showcasing some of iZombie’s slickest humor and pacing while keeping viewers on their toes by way of strong suspense. And yet: I strangely found myself wanting more from its excellent premise. This season has been whip-smart and I’ve loved much about it, but I feel as if it needs a shot of thematic resonance to carry the stylistic cleverness all the way home. Season one was all about Liv finding her identity and giving considerable thought to how she fits into the world; season two has had some strong drama in a similar vein, such as that painful breakup with Major, but there’s not quite the same consistency and philosophical depth. And, in an episode about the protagonist inheriting a personality closer to who she was when she was alive, I think the writing passed on an opportunity for some rich backstory and classic Liv-style observations on life. I am also unsure why, after initially focusing on Liv’s upsetting estrangement from her family due to the zombie secret, we haven’t gone back to that emotional thread at all. Maybe we’ll see it revisited somewhere in the undoubtedly complex plot shenanigans of the finale?
  • Rita’s undead transformation is one of my favorite late-in-the-game surprises. You have to wonder what the exact purpose of this is — will she join up with the good guys to spite her dad’s plan somehow? Will she kill him and take over Max Rager, upgrading her status into a major villain for season three? Will Liv punch her in the face again? I have no idea about any of this, but man is it ever fun to think about all the ways she could go. Every show needs a wildcard, and Rita’s one of the wildest.
  • On that note: Blaine’s character has some fascinating implications lately, huh? I don’t know what it means that his memory loss has also resulted in a total personality reversal, and I’m also not sure of what to make of the whole “is he faking/not faking?” debate. All the characters think he’s faking, which seems like a setup for his condition to be genuine, but this is also the kind of show that would play on those expectations to yank the rug out from under everyone with everything being an act. Plus, Blaine’s specific brand of fabulously villainous snark seems too enjoyable for the series to toss it permanently. Hmmm.
  • All of this other business aside, the actual item at the very top of my wish list right now reads, in big bold letters: SOMEONE TELL CLIVE WHAT’S GOING ON. I have never been a fan of the “one main character is continually kept in the dark as the very last person to not know what’s going on” trope, and I feel like it’s hurting Clive as a character lately. He’s been infuriatingly on the verge of learning the truth forever and I need it to end. It’s a tossup as to whether he’ll find out at the worst moment or if Liv will get to willingly explain what’s going on, but I hope it’s the latter. The first might have more dramatically complicated consequences, but we already did that arc with Peyton and Major. There’s something to be said for what could happen if Liv gets to learn from her mistakes and fill Clive in without a serious disaster forcing her hand: maybe, after an initial period of hurt and anger, Clive becomes an asset in fighting the series’ major villains. I’d love for him to be instrumental in taking down Max Rager, or figuring out how to deal with the complications of serving and protecting a city full of zombies. He’s been part of the story’s DNA since day one, and he deserves a chance at real character development.

So: that’s what I’ve got as we head into season two’s remaining hours. The promo also has me concerned about the fates of Ravi and Major (Ravi, in particular, is a character I do not think I could bear to live without). How do you feel about the storylines that have led up to this point, and where are you hoping this installment ends up? Sound off in the comments below.

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