iZombie Season 2 Episode 2 Review: “Zombie Bro”


From a pure entertainment level, iZombie delivered its best episode yet last night. “Zombie Bro” was a wonderful mixture of comedy, drama, and straight-up heartbreak. While it may not have been as thematically resonant as the Season 2 premiere, this week’s iZombie showed yet again how well this show can balance different types of stories and genres and blend them together into something truly special.

For the most part, “Zombie Bro” is an incredibly fun case-of-the-week episode of iZombie. Liv eats the brains of a dead frat bro and starts drinking a ton, pranking her friends, and saying “brah” nonstop. This leads to some of the funniest lines and moments the show has ever given us, and Rose McIver nails every single one of them, doing a terrific job of selling all of Liv’s ridiculous dialogue and amusement over the simplest of things (her enthusiasm over discovering the couple she and Clive were interviewing were furries was nothing short of amazing), while also maintaining the balance between Real Liv and Bro Liv. Look no further than the scene near the middle of the episode with Liv and Major sitting on his bathroom floor: McIver subtly shows the differences between the frat bro personality that Liv is emitting and the authentic version of herself that wants to connect with Major, illustrating it all through the placement of her hands or a slightly different expression–it’s marvelous acting.

And really, Liv and Major are what this episode of iZombie is about, even if it’s not clear from the get-go. Similar to the fraternity brother that killed the wrong Chad, a mistake that will now cause him to spend the rest of his life in prison, both characters are dealing with tough choices that they have had to make in vastly different ways.

After Major tells Liv that he won’t let anything happen to her, she believes there can be a second chance for the two of them, that perhaps their friendship, at the very least, can be regained. Liv may have made a mistake in lying to Major about being a zombie, but she still has time to make it right; it doesn’t have to be permanent like what happened with the fraternity brothers.

However, Major doesn’t see any type of light or redemption for himself after what he’s done. He may have been forced into working for Max Rager, but it’s clear that his actions are weighing heavily on him, so much so that the escape that Utopium promises is a better offer than any type of real connection with Liv. While he’ll still do his best to protect her (Major throws Liv’s phone out of the cab window because he knows that Vaughn has it bugged), Major now sees Liv as a constant reminder of the murder he’s committing and of the reason he’s being coerced into doing them to begin with (remember, he only agreed to work for Max Rager after Vaughn threatened Liv). For Major, there’s no way that he can start over with Liv, no matter how much either of them may want to, because her presence causes him to remember and reflect on his actions–the drugs allow all that thinking to go away.

The final scene of “Zombie Bro,” with Liv knocking on Major’s door and being turned away while he snorts Utopium, is a dark ending to one of the funniest and most entertaining episodes of TV I’ve watched in 2015. More importantly, though, it reinforces iZombie‘s central ideas of reinvention and recovery (and the struggles we go through to achieve them), while also signaling the heartbreaking path that Major seems to be heading down in this second season.

Other thoughts:

  • I tweeted last night that this whole episode could have just been Rose McIver saying “brah,” and I still would have loved it. I stand by that claim.
  • I knew this was going to be an amazing episode as soon as frat bro Brody yelled “Daaaaaaaamn!” as we went into commercial break.
  • Maybe I’m immature, but I couldn’t stop laughing at the position that Liv had placed the medical skeletons in.
  • Robert Knepper is terrific as Blaine’s father. He and David Anders were dynamite in their scene together. Also, am I the only one thinking that Angus might be Boss, too?
  • Blaine becoming a drug lord and the re-appearance of Utopium this season has been a really smart way to keep him as an integral part of the show, even though he’s off doing his own things away from Liv, Ravi, and the rest of the gang.
  • So, is high Ravi the greatest thing iZombie has ever given us? And which moment did you enjoy more: Ravi dancing at the club, or Ravi listening to his voice-mails the next day? His rapping was wonderfully hilarious.
  • Major wanted to call Ravi’s beard “Princess Sparkles,” which means that Major must be a fan of The O.C., and that makes me like his character even more.
  • A Dylan McDermott/Dermot Mulroney joke, and a New Girl reference: yet another reason why this is probably my favorite iZombie episode yet.
  • “You’re like that box of chocolates in Forrest Gump, I never know what I’m going to get.” “You’re getting chocolate, brah.”
  • “Well I hope you like Jager bombs and homoerotic subtext.”
  • “You bought a grenade out of the trunk of a car. How can you not figure out how to buy drugs at a nightclub?”

What did everyone else think of this week’s iZombie? Did you love it as much as I did? Comment below and let me know.

[Photo via The CW]

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