iZombie Season 2 Episode 5 Review: “Love & Basketball”


Over the course of its first season and a half, iZombie has developed a terrific protagonist in Liv Moore. Despite the fact that she adopts different personality traits every week, the sharp and smart writing, along with Rose McIver’s performance, always keeps us in touch with the true side of our heroine. There’s no debating that one of the main reasons that iZombie has been so successful so far is because of the strength of Liv as a character.

However, what iZombie hasn’t gotten as much credit for is fleshing out its supporting cast. While Clive still needs a little more development (although “Love & Basketball” appears to signal that it’s coming), characters like Ravi, Blaine, and even Peyton truly come to life as real people on the screen. But where iZombie has been most successful in crafting a solid secondary lead is with Robert Buckley’s Major, whose personal struggles and reconnection with Liv work so well in “Love & Basketball” because of how we’ve seen him grow and evolve throughout the past dozen or so episodes.

And really, it’s because iZombie has kept Liv and Major apart for so long and showcased them as individuals first and foremost, rather than some type of forced “will they/won’t they” couple, that allows their scenes together in “Love & Basketball” to be so dynamic. By getting to know each of them on their own, we as viewers can see how well Liv and Major fit together, as both friends and as more; he brings out the brighter, more alive (no pun intended) side of her, while she encourages him to be the best person he can be, which is essentially what Major tells Liv near the end of the episode.

This isn’t about Liv saving Major from all of his pain or sins; she’s not a cure for his crimes or his depression over them. However, just as Liv’s job of working with Clive and solving cases helped serve as the newfound purpose in her life back at the beginning of iZombie‘s run, propelling her from the dregs of her hopeless zombie life and giving her a glimpse of something better, her words of encouragement to Major and her actions (which bring him back to the work he loves: helping and teaching kids) function in the same way.

Similar to how Liv continues to struggle with her current state as a zombie, I doubt that Major will immediately stop feeling guilt over the murders he has committed, although him flushing the Utopium he had down the toilet is a promising sign. There will be repercussions for his actions, whether they’re purely mental, legal (Clive is still looking into the Meat Cute massacre), or worse, given that Gilda is already suspecting that Major is lying to her, but Liv will be there by his side for it. And after watching the two of them spend 18 episodes facing these challenges by themselves, I, for one, cannot wait to see how they tackle what comes next together, even though, with Max Rager obtaining Liv’s blood and Clive being given that brain from Suzuki’s fridge in the episode’s final moments, whatever lies ahead certainly doesn’t seem to be good for either of them.

Other thoughts:

  • Sporty Liv/Coach Liv is, as expected, adorable and awesome.
  • As I mentioned above, we get some hints at Clive’s history, as he pays TJ, the abusive father, a personal visit and beats the crap out of him, telling him to never touch his son again. While this could have just been Clive being a cop who doesn’t want to see a kid get hurt again (a pretty natural and understandable impulse), I’m definitely getting the feeling that there’s more to it than that, and I hope iZombie digs into what exactly caused his actions in the weeks to come.
  • Also, while that scene hinted at a darker past for Clive, his future seems pretty bright, as his new FBI co-worker isn’t only flirting with him but also sharing new details about the Meat Cute case.
  • Ravi’s back and forth with the doctor from Tacoma was hilarious. Also great: his naming one of the rats “Boba Rat.” Maybe some of them will get named after new Star Wars characters once The Force Awakens comes out.
  • However, nothing can beat Ravi and Blaine’s brawl in the lab over the zombie-killing serum Ravi creates, especially since the whole sequence was set to The Cure’s “Friday, I’m in Love” and ends with this fantastic line from Blaine: “Well, if that’s not cardio for the day….”
  • “Clears eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose.”

What did everyone else think about this week’s episode of iZombie? Comment below and let me know.

[Photo credit: Cate Cameron/The CW]

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