Thursday, November 12, 2015

iZombie 2x06 "Max Wager" (Bet On It) [Contributor: Isabella]

"Max Wager"
Original Airdate: November 10, 2015

This week, Liv's pulling a Troy Bolton and betting on practically everything.

Ha, funny.

Really though, what makes iZombie stands out to me is the fact that there has been no such thing as a "filler episode" in their past two seasons. Every episode, every line, every action is important to the larger narrative. Everything throughout the seasons is interwoven in order to connect to the big finale. It's happening in this season, too. You can feel it. We've been preparing for how great the finale's going to be since season two began.

And I seem to say it in every review, but the cases throughout this show are boring. The only highlight that comes out of them is Liv getting the chance to act like a different person every episode. (That is, of course, unless the person whose brains she ate is racist or overly stereotypical. Then that's not fun.) If we're lucky, we get to see Rose McIver act adorable. This case was, like the others, forgettable. Even Liv didn't take on an outlandish personality. Her persona was basically just her with a sudden interest in betting on everything she could see.

What was interesting, however, was that this case brought Liv face-to-face with Stacey Boss, the head honcho of the drug industry. They meet as he's finishing up getting a haircut at a barbershop she was investigating which involved her case. Boss seems innocent at first, until the men in the barbershop start talking about what the "perfect crime" would be. That is when he chimes in with:

"The perfect murder? You get the guy you want to get rid of to kill himself. Hypothetically, you just Skype the guy you want done. He answers. Near a camera, he sees his wife, his family, his dog, whoever, with guns to their heads. You make it clear that it's him or them. Believe me, he'll do it."

And if you think that isn't creepy enough already, when asked about having the wife and family as witnesses to the crime, he responds with: "Guess you gotta get rid of them too." He says this all with such confidence, seemingly no malice, and rather flippantly –– as if it's just something he'd do any day. And that is what makes him all the more terrifying. Blaine and Vaughn du Clark don't even seem to compare to this kind of villain. At least they're funny and self-absorbed. This man? Well, he is downright creepy and sadistic.

We don't even discover who he is until he drops by Peyton's office and rearranges her board of links and suspects connected to the drug case. His face and name are at the top. He gets her to think about why they really chose her for the case. He then mentions that her information is out-of-date. Her source needs to work on that.

Which leads me to...


This is a major understatement, but Blaine has daddy issues. His dad, played by Robert Knepper, learns that Blaine isn't a zombie anymore and takes over his slowly growing business. Blaine's dad threatens Blaine with turning him back into a zombie. I'm still not entirely sure if Blaine would be up for that or not, if he doesn't kill his rival's son. 

Instead, Blaine suffocates his sick grandfather –– his dad's father. We also learn that his grandfather is the only person that Blaine truly seemed to care about. We see him vulnerable for the first time this entire series. Blaine plays the classical music they both enjoy as he's killing him and then cries as he's packaging up his grandfather's brains to give to his father. An emotional moment is made even worse when we find out that he's doing all of this for meaningless reasons. (I'll get to this in a little bit.)

All of this is clear evidence that at least Blaine does have a heart. But the true showstopper of a scene is when Blaine is talking to Liv about being a zombie.

"Before I became a zombie, I was wasting my life. Human Blaine was a nobody –– an underachiever, a joke. Zombie Blaine was the man." 

At this point, in a moment when he truly believes his father will turn him back into a zombie, it's as if he wants to become a zombie again. And the sad truth is that he's right. He was "the man." In a horrible way, sure, but he had power. When he asks Liv if she feels more important as a zombie than a human, it's pretty odd to see her respond the way she does. She neither confirms nor denies, but immediately calls attention to how horrible it is to experience people's dying thoughts. This sobers Blaine up a bit. But I know for a fact that she once thought like he did, back in season one. As horrible as it is for her, and especially now that she's with Major, Liv's still embraced this new life. She once thought the way he did. It just took Blaine becoming a human to realize it. 

I'm not sure whether it'd be best for Blaine to turn back into a zombie. I want to see Blaine succeed as a human and not continue to believe that he was at his best when he was a zombie. This is probably the empathy talking.


The reason Blaine killing his grandfather was entirely meaningless was because at the same time he was doing the deed, Major was getting rid of Blaine's dad. He's turned away from killing the zombies on his list altogether, but now Major is storing them in a giant, locked-up freezer. This seems like a better alternative in his mind, but I can't imagine he'll end up better off with angry zombies that will awaken when they're inevitably going to be found. Also, he's taken to throwing mannequins into the river instead of the bodies of real zombies. I'm not entirely sure the purpose of this at all since it's not like Rita or du Clark are looking to see if he's throwing bodies into the river, but whatever.

It's sort of crazy to me that Major can be hiding this major problem and the fear and anxiety that comes with it from Liv. When he's with her, it's like he's a completely different person. They're finally happy together. It seems like nothing can go wrong... that is until they're told by Ravi that the zombie gene can be passed through sex. It's sort of like they knew that was coming. Major and Liv didn't allow themselves to get their hopes up too much, but they'll find a way to work around their issues. They could keep playing that cute strip poker game via webcam. But it's just sad to see them so happy at the beginning of the episode and then let down at the end.

Thinking in the larger scheme of things though, this is truly the least of their worries.

Brainy Quotes and Undead Notes:
  • Liv and Major are so cute, I'm just waiting for them to crash and burn. Ha, get it? Like the song? Oh god, I'm not looking forward to that. I just want this happiness to last.
  • "Well, did you soil yourself?" "No!" "Then it's heroic in my book." –– Ravi and Major
  • Native American name? Yikes. Nope. Don't say that.
  • "I'd hoped your first visit here would be more... horizontal." –– Blaine
  • Whoa, Blaine's dad. No wonder Blaine's the way he is.
  • What happened with Major's drug addiction? There was little-to-no time jump so I don't understand why the writers can't deal with his drug addiction in a realistic way? It doesn't just go away that easily.
  • Whoa, that shot of Peyton walking up the stairs is gorgeous. I mean:
  • Peyton is probably beating out Major for the title of my favorite character. The fact that they're using her more is incredible.
  • So instead of killing the zombies, Major's just storing them in a freezer now. Can't imagine they'll be too happy when they wake up.
  • Was Blaine's hair always that white color or is it just never going to change back now?


  1. Please what was the music theme when Blaine is killing hes grandfather...its so beautiful

  2. Please what was the music theme when Blaine is killing hes grandfather...its so beautiful