iZombie S03E06 “Some Like It Hot Mess” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Yvonne is a drama queen, who is only just rescued from getting fired by long suffering colleague Joel. She swears there’ll be no more drama in her life, takes her spot as a cashier and is immediately slapped by a customer.
- And we’re off!
- Major is human again! And fine! And still has his memories! AND REALLY LOVES ICE CREAM.
- Liv visits Payton and Blaine and gives them the news about Major. They are…very couply.
- Liv, Ravi and Clive are called to the crime scene. Yvonne has been found electrocuted in the bath in her shared house and it was definitely murder. Her roommate is nice, quiet and cheerfully open about how much of a hot mess Yvonne was.
- Cue the brain food montage! In this case, it’s some fairly nasty looking stir fry.
- The brain kicks in pretty instantly, as Ravi finds out when Liv inadvertently sews her phone into a corpse.
- They visit Yvonne’s workplace and learn she DJ’ed at Ice Ship. Liv basically whines them into going to the club for “clues… and stuff”.
- Major and Ravi are gaming and Major… forgets a manoeuvre they’ve pulled off many times before. Ravi tries to break it subtly to Liv and it goes as bluntly as you’d expect.
- Worst still, Liv forgets the ingredients for the memory solution he asked her to pick up.
- At the bar, Don E is offered an interesting proposition from a depressed zombie; a million dollars in exchange for a cure…
- At the club, Liv and Clive begin investigating. For Clive this involves asking the boss some questions. For Liv, it involves pepper vodka and DJing. Bad DJing. Which apparently was Yvonne’s trademark…
- Liv goes searching for pepper vodka backstage and finds the woman who slapped Yvonne checking her phone.
- It turns out Patricia, the woman, is the club owner’s wife and Yvonne had slept with her hubbie. But both she and her husband have alibis. Just…
- Liv arrives at Major’s place. He’s writing letters to everyone who mattered to him just in case his memory does fade. He tells her the letter to her says he loved her more than anyone. She leaves, zombie drama queen brain in full effect. Complete with selfie.
- She goes to see Payton and Blaine. Payton is working the dominatrix case from last episode and there’s something a little odd about it…
- Liv has a vision of Joel, Yvonne’s workmate, yelling at her for sleeping with a man called Sage.
- She leaves, leaving a printout of the blue juice ingredients behind. Which Blaine picks up.
- Don E visits Ravi at the lab and makes him an offer; $100,000 for a dose of the cure. Ravi’s having none of it because of the side effects.
- But Don E’s convinced Blaine is faking his memory loss, to get Mr Boss off his back, to keep his business viable (it would collapse if the cure worked) and to woo Payton by pretending he’s not the man he used to be.
- Ravi isn’t buying it. Or selling. Don E leaves.
- Payton arrives and asks for a summary of the autopsy on the dominatrix case. Ravi tries very hard to not pass the new information about Blaine along. He fails.
- Payton isn’t buying it. And isn’t happy. And leaves.
- Liv has a vision of Happy Days Pawn Shop where Yvonne was selling a baseball for a thousand dollars…
- Liv forgets both the ingredients for the blue fluid again. And her voicemail is full. And she was supposed to be watching Major. He’s gone walkabout.
- As they search for him, we cut to Walla Walla. Major, his memory completely gone, is in the back of a police car.
- At the funeral home, Payton brings dinner and, like Ravi, can’t help herself. She tells Blaine what Ravi told her.
- Don E was right.
- Blaine tells her the truth. Way too late. And very sweetly and you can see Payton’s heart break as he tells her.
- Major wakes up in Walla Walla. He heads downstairs and is reunited with his mom, who he recognises. And it’s adorable.
- Liv and Ravi arrive at her place. Payton levels with them and gives them the “good” news. She apologises to Ravi and Liv gets a phone call from Major. He’s fine and human and normal. Ravi, actually a little tearful, asks Liv if she’s ready to be human again.
- They get to the lab and… the cure has been stolen. All of it.
- At the station, Clive cracks the case. A baseball the cops found in the trash turned out to be a replacement for a $10,000 dollar Yvonne stole from her roommate. So the roommate killed Yvonne.
- In the lab, Liv isn’t taking it well. Until Ravi remembers Major never used the extra syringe he gave him.
- Clive arrives and she tells him that she won’t be providing him with zombie visions any longer. She thanks Clive for giving the last couple of years meaning and in one of the sweetest moments the show has ever had, he tells her she did that all by herself.
- Blaine is making a dose of the memory serum…
- Major arrives home and comes clean; he gave the cure he was given to Natalie…
Another absolute corker of an episode and one that marks some really interesting changes for the show. We’re nearly at the halfway mark through the season now and every single stake is raised. Payton and Ravi are back on the same page; the cure is in play and inaccessible; F-G is circling; and Blaine is a bad guy again.
Or is he?
David Anders is one of those performers who is so effortlessly good that you sometimes pass him over. Here he’s flat-out great and gives you just enough of a shadow of doubt to believe that maybe, just maybe, Blaine really does want to be a better man. If so, the tragedy is that the very insecurity that stopped him coming clean will take that away from him forever. Aly Michalka is fantastic too, nailing the exact torn sense of betrayal that this weirdly awful good news brings with it. Her brief moments with Rahul Kohli are great too, Payton and Ravi effortlessly dropping into adult mode around the zombies, with their own issues to be sorted out later.
Because the big thing here is the cure. We know hope’ll be taken from Liv at the last minute but it still feels heart-wrenching when it is. Like the Blaine reveal, the cruellest element is the kindest element. Major giving his syringe away is an act of absolute kindness. It also shows there’s someone more important to him than Liv. And if there was ever a week for that not to become apparent, it’s Zombie Drama Queen week.
That in turn shows us the other truly great thing about this season; the brains have consequences. Whether it’s the unusually clear visions from the blue fluid (also clearly a vital part of the season’s plot) or the emotional consequences, the burden of being a zombie has never felt more real than it does this year. Or more dangerous given the ongoing murder case and the imminent problems with the dominatrix case.
All of this is ambitious, complicated, fun stuff that gives a great cast a ton to do and sets yet another top class episode on the books for iZombie. Bring on next week.
- The performances. Robert Buckley is especially great this episode and it’s nice to see Major have something nice happen. It’ll go wrong – it’s Major, that’s what happens – but still.
- The reveal on Major’s mom was lovely.
- Ravi actually getting a little teary at the possibility of curing Liv was adorable. Likewise Clive’s reaction.
- The format change. The lingering consequences of the dominatrix case, the constant way the show is playing with its usual beats. This is just great.
- We want to know what the guy walked past in cuffs and a bear suit did SO BADLY.
- “I’m glad you’re human and again are able toe experience the concept of flavour but can we AT LEAST DIAL DOWN THE NOISES.”
- “Ah, Minor. Low blow.” NO MAJOR, NO IT IS NOT. YOU ARE NOT FORGIVEN.
- “I prefer non-alive guests here to remain quietly on their shelves.”
- “Dear God, is this Ravi envelope tear stained?”
- “…Alright you can’t shame me.” BROMANCE GOALS.
- Not a thing. This is a belter of an episode.
And The Random:
- John Enborn has written for Veronica Mars, Party Down (which he created), The Sarah Conner Chronicles and more.
- Enrico Colantoni is not only the best dad in TV history on Veronica Mars but also had major roles in Person Of Interest, Flashpoint and will shortly be seen in Travelers season two. His first film as director, Vacuums And The Whistling Pig, is in pre-production.
Review by Alasdair Stuart