iZombie Season 3 Episode 10 Review: “Return of the Dead Guy”

iZombie Season 3 Episode 10

The main conflict driving iZombie Season 3 has been the battle between humans and zombies, as the impending arrival of Discovery Day for the zombie race gets closer and closer. After “Return of the Dead Guy,” though, there really is no turning back for iZombie or its characters; it’s clear that the show is setting up this major reveal to the public by letting Stacy Boss in on the secret this week (as Blaine recruits his former rival to his business team so that he can acquire brains from all over the world) and by having Harley Johns and his fellow zombie truthers starve out Don E. to (almost) the point of no return for 100,000 viewers to watch via live stream. These are huge, finale-like moments, and yet we still have three episodes remaining in iZombie Season 3.

But that’s the pace that this show has been going at since about the midway point of its second season. Some early episodes in Season 3 hit the pause button on the the zombie/human conflict, turning their attention to frustrating love triangles and underwhelming brains. However, for the most part, this season has done a terrific job at pushing the main story forward and finding every single character a place in it, whether their connection has been through Fillmore-Graves (Liv, Clive, and Major), the zombie truthers (Ravi and, by this episode’s end, Blaine), or other zombies like Baracus (Peyton’s investigation into the Wekler case has tied her up with him and, by extension, Fillmore-Graves).

As I mentioned above, “Return of the Dead Guy” continues to push iZombie‘s characters towards that uncertain future of humans knowing the truth about zombies, and for Ravi, the future truly is uncertain, as he winds up with a gun pointed at his head in the final moments of tonight’s episode after he stands between Harley’s cronies and Don E. Given the fast-paced nature of this season, I shouldn’t be too surprised by how quickly Ravi’s undercover storyline has unfolded over the past two weeks, and while I would have liked to have seen him work within Harley’s group for a little bit longer, I also can’t deny how satisfying it is to see him stand up to these despicable humans during the last scene of the hour.

As I’ve mentioned before in my reviews, this undercover mission is a way for Ravi to redeem himself after failing to rescue Peyton in the Season 2 finale; each action he takes against Harley and his goons is a way for him to get out of the proverbial car and head into the building guns blazing. He’s saving lives in a way he never has before, and it shows a great, heroic evolution for him from the final episode of last season to now. Will that evolution be cut short because of a bullet from Harley’s gun? I highly doubt it, not only because I don’t think iZombie would kick off next week’s episode by killing Ravi but also because Rachel (the photographer that Ravi met in last week’s episode) is there and I bet she’ll help save him if necessary.

Ravi, Rachel, and Don E. will all need some help, though, when it comes to escaping the clutches of the zombie truthers, and fortunately, it looks like they’re going to get some from the unlikely duo of Liv and Blaine, who cause each other to go into full-on zombie mode when we last see them in “Return of the Dead Guy” so that they can fight against their heavily armed enemies. Before the two of them team up, though, both Liv and Blaine must confront figures from their past. For Liv, it’s entirely psychological, as visions of Drake haunt her mind after she eats Wekler’s blue juice-soaked brain to help Peyton with her case; meanwhile, Blaine has to deal with the very real and very angry presence of Stacy Boss, who greets Blaine with a knock on his door and multiple gun shots before the crime boss learns of his enemy’s true zombie identity.

While both storylines are certainly entertaining, Liv’s is the more emotionally satisfying of the two, not only because it provides closure for her and Drake in a sweet, funny scene near the end of the hour in which she literally kisses him goodbye (while Peyton and Justin hilariously watch, unbeknownst to her), but also because it gives viewers a very solid, believable reason for why the brains in Season 3 seemed to have affected Liv in a more dramatic way. Liv admits to Drake (thereby admitting to herself) that she has allowed the recent brains she’s been eating to consume her personality because she hasn’t been able to fully handle the grief and guilt she felt after having to shoot Drake at the end of Season 2. Thankfully, though, the hallucinations caused by Wekler’s brain give her the opportunity to not only bid farewell to Drake but also forgive herself for what happened, allowing her to move on in her romantic relationship with Justin and also, more importantly, get back to being a healthier, more complete version of Liv Moore.

Turning back to Blaine, his new business arrangement with Stacy Boss is definitely interesting because of how it’s handled in this episode (with Boss not believing Blaine’s story about zombies until he watches him go into full-on zombie mode after Boss stabs him in the neck). However, it’s also compelling because of the implications it has for future storylines. As I mentioned above, Boss now being in-the-know about zombies and becoming Blaine’s new brain supplier signals a major change for the zombie world within iZombie, and it’s one I’m excited to see play out in these final three episodes and into Season 4.

But Blaine and Stacy Boss better be careful about the next person they bring into the zombie circle of trust, because there are Fillmore-Graves spies everywhere, as we learn when Liv and Clive go to visit Wekler’s daughter, Tatum, and her friend to try to get some information on who exactly was behind Wekler’s staged suicide. After Liv and Clive walk away, the two girls reveal themselves to be members of the undead, sucking brains out of the same tubes that Major and his fellow mercenaries would use on missions for Fillmore-Graves, and they definitely take notice of Liv and her connection to the police.

So what does all this mean? Is Fillmore-Graves behind what happened to Wekler and the guard that apparently killed him, Gary Obberman? Is Chase Graves creating more and more zombie spies in order to have complete control over Seattle? Could what Baracus is trying to hide from Peyton be something sinister that he and the organization are cooking up for the city?

It’s all unclear at the moment, but one thing is for certain: iZombie Season 3’s final stretch of episodes has been spectacular so far. If the final three hours can maintain this level of quality, we’re in for one hell of a conclusion to the season.

Other thoughts:

  • All I have to say about Major and Shawna in this episode is that she’s acting extremely sketchy by posting so much about him online. Do you think she’s just using Major as some type of publicity stunt? Because I sure do. Nothing about Shawna seems authentic, and that’s a bummer for Major since things between Liv and Justin appear to be going well.
  • You have to love how jealous Liv gets after meeting Shawna, though. Her conversation with the rats is fantastic, especially since Clive overhears her talking about “Fort Lust.”
  • Speaking of Clive, there’s plenty of hilarious moments between him and Liv and him and Peyton in this episode. He walks into the morgue to see Liv hallucinating Drake and calling him a “sex fantasy” during one of the funniest scenes of the episode, and his exchange with Peyton afterwards, as the two of them watch Liv having a particularly long vision, is some subtle but stellar comedy from Malcolm Goodwin.
  • Much broader on the comedy scale but just as funny is Liv and Peyton trying to trigger a vision by acting out one of Wekler’s dominatrix fantasies. It’s only made better by Drake’s reaction to the whole thing. This episode made me really miss Greg Finley’s presence on this show.
  • Blaine’s voicemail is so perfectly Blaine, and I absolutely love it.
  • Also perfectly Blaine: his first words to Liv when he shows up at her door near the end of the episode are “Hey, is Peyton around?”
  • My two favorite title cards this week are “I Wanna Don E Sedated” and “Cannibal Lecter.”
  • When Peyton and Liv talk about Justin, she reminds her roommate that she’s been overly critical of potential boyfriends in the past: “You once broke up with a guy because his O-face made you laugh.” “If you had seen it…”
  • “Oh, watching my zombie roommate talk to a ghost? That’s just what I call a Tuesday.”

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

[Photo credit: Robert Falconer/The CW]

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