It’s time to bid goodbye to iZombie until fall, but first we have to figure out who lives and who dies in the season finale.
Let’s bitch it out…
I’ve spent the better part of the week between last week’s cliffhanger-happy penultimate episode and this finale trying to figure out whether series creators Diane Ruggiero and Rob Thomas had the gumption to kill off Major (Robert Buckley). I hadn’t realized before the last few episodes that there is a large continent of Major haters among the show’s fans, which I find a little surprising considering the work that has been put into the character to transform him into more than the bland, pretty boy that Liv (Rose McIver) pines for.
The finale puts Major’s plight front and center…or at least it does when it’s not busy setting up S2 (more on that below). From the opening scene, Major is in mortal danger from Blaine (David Anders) and his Meat Cute henchmen; the show’s most inquisitive character is tossed in the freezer and left to freeze to death unless he reveals the location of the stolen astronaut brains.When Major finally escapes – thanks to his own ingenuity, a lighter from a dead friend and an implied stream of urine – he goes on a frenzy worthy of any zombie rampage. Obviously there are clear Taxi Driver parallels as Major slowly and methodically executes all of the Meat Cute employees except Blaine (naturally the grenade is saved for Aleks Paunovic’s Julien). Only when Major thinks that he has the upper hand is he stabbed by Blaine, at which time he learns the truth about Liv and nearly expires.
Or at least he would have, if Liv hadn’t “played God” and made the life or death decision to scratch and turn Major into a zombie. It has seemed inevitable that at least one major human character would be transformed over the course of the season and Major’s downward spiral marked him for death early on. What’s disappointing is that this massive development is almost immediately undercut: Major reams Liv out (appropriately) for acting on her own behalf rather than his, rolls over and awakens to find her administering Ravi’s (Rahul Kohli) cure. Sure Major’s got a tuff of white hair that will now require Buckley to spend an extra twenty minutes in hair and make-up for the duration of his run on the show, but that’s hardly the long-lasting effects I was anticipating when Blaine dealt him a mortal stab wound with an angel blade.
Despite my frustration that it is introduced and then take away so quickly, it makes sense for Liv (and by extension iZombie) to exercise the “get out of jail free” cure* now. Not only does it neatly side-step the delicate issue that Liv violated Major without his consent, but it keeps the zombie focus on her. While I don’t doubt that Liv’s actions will affect their relationship moving forward, part of the will they/won’t they tension only works because Liv and Major can’t have what they want. Whether or not a future sexual relationship is possible now that Major has been cured is uncertain (can he get infected again? Or is he immune?); regardless this new twist will undoubtedly keep fueling their interactions for a decent number of episodes to come.
*The other dose notably goes to Blaine, thereby allowing the writers to keep David Anders around without allowing Blaine to act on his threat to create more zombies and continue his thriving zombie catering business.
This leaves a number of other surprising cliffhangers, including the possibility that Liv will allow her brother Evan (Nick Purcha) to die rather than provide a blood transfusion (let’s just go along with the suggestion that a hospital doesn’t have any other O- blood on hand for a moment, shall we?). It’s a nice moral quandry that is guaranteed to drive a thick wedge between Liv and her mom should Evan die. It also pays off Major’s claim about making a life-altering decision on someone else’s behalf because of what she desires. Clearly she has learned her lesson, which is important in light of her claims to Ravi that she hates what her life has become (I found Liv surprisingly open to forcing those terrible conditions on someone else she loves, though contrary to what Major implies, it isn’t a decision she enters into lightly).
I suppose that this is the burden of being a zombie (something Blaine never understood, which is why he was so dangerous). As we close out season one, Liv has been forced to make the decision to live a solitary, but ethically moral life. The question going into S2 is what will it cost her?
- With Major in so much danger, I definitely grated my teeth through most of the case of the week, despite the fact that it ultimately sets up the main S2 conflict. I don’t fully buy the idea of Cameron (Rhys Ward) as a snooker ball wielding murderer, but his apprehension ultimately yields the discovery of the Max Rager files and the front-page flame-out of the company. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that Cameron’s extensive screen time mostly feels like a distraction from Major’s storyline. Throw in red herrings like the trip to the scrap yard and much of ‘Blaine’s World’ case of the week feels like dead weight that’s dragging the finale down.
- There’s no word yet on Steve Weber’s return in S2 as Vaughan, but his threat to eliminate the zombie evidence and the introduction of a new scientist (played by Brian Markinson) suggests where iZombie is headed. I’d be shocked if we don’t hear that he’s been brought on as a featured guest star like Anders or a series regular sometime this summer.
- No sign of Peyton (Aly Michalka), though she does get a shout-out. Apparently Michalka was in the Chevy Chase pilot that wasn’t picked up, so it’s probably safe to assume that we will see more of Peyton in some capacity next year.
- Interestingly Ravi stresses to Liv that the effects of the cure are uncertain and that they have are limited supplies. Expect both of these points to take precedent when the series returns in the fall.
- I knew that Bex Taylor-Klaus is a lead on MTV’s forthcoming Scream series (debuting two weeks tonight), but part of me still hoped that Theresa would stick around iZombie as more than a corpse.
- Shockingly enough, aside from the henchmen and Theresa, the only other death of note in the finale is Lieutenant Suzuki ( Hiro Kanagawa) who sacrifices himself to eliminate the evidence at Meat Cute. Unfortunately he doesn’t realize that Evan is outside when he sets the place to explode, or that Julien’s Converse wearing corpse is safely protected in the freezer, ready to be identified by Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) as a clue that Major was behind / involved in the attack.
- Most pressing question: what prevents Blaine’s threat to Liv of a zombie uprising that consumes the city without his services? Presumably he kept records of some kind, but those would have been burned in the fire.
- Second most pressing question: did the astronaut brains ultimately end up being eaten? Blaine steals them from Liv well before she tracks him back down with a gun to Meat Cute. Does this mean hordes of zombies around Seattle are experiencing what it is like to walk on the moon?
- Liv (to the new scientist at Max Rager): “Hey Creepy-Stares-A-Lot. I’m not on a sex cam, I can see you.”
- Liv (when Ravi pulls out the snooker balls): “Nice bag of balls.” Ravi (to Clive): “She can’t help herself.”
- Liv (after curing Blaine): “You’re our guinea pig now.”
- Liv (when her mother insists Liv go with the doctor to give Evan blood): “No.”
What did you think of the finale? Surprised that Liv turns Major into a zombie or that she immediately turns around and gives him the cure? Glad that Blaine has lived to fight another day (and enjoy human food again)? Do you think Evan will live? What effects will the cure have on Blaine and Major? How will Max Rager retaliate? Sound off below.
iZombie has finished airing its first season on The CW. The series returns on Tuesdays in October. Thanks for reading!