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TV Review: iZombie (Season 4, Episode 4)

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This week's iZombie is the second half of a two parter - an unusual move for the show so early in the season, departing slightly from the serialized, case of the week format.

Whilst this week's case perhaps didn't really need two episodes to be resolved, what this two parter does do, is give the characters room to breathe. Some of the side stories which are not possible to explore in a single episode also come to the fore, and that is where this second part of our double episode really shines.

I have to admit, Liv's hopeless romantic addled brain did get a little on my nerves. One episode of it was fine, but coming into a second episode, it was a little tiresome. The format of the hopeless romantic, desperate for love, works in rom-coms because there is a level of earnestness behind it - the person really does want to find love. It doesn't work so well here, because we know that Liv is only like this because of the brain she's on, so instead of being endearing, it's just irritating. However, the fantasy romantic moment with Liv coming down the stairs to a classic romantic tune and dancing with her "love interest" was well done. 

The case of the week comes to a rather dull and unsatisfying finish, as it didn't really need two parts to be told. I did like that Ravi had a chance to be in the spotlight with this case, as he isn't usually, but the way everything unfolded just bored me. There's a lot of discussions between Liv, Clive and Ravi in cars, only to end up with Ravi trapping the guy by posing as a posh British businessman before a SWAT team swoops in to catch him. The most entertaining thing about the whole subplot is Ravi putting on a Royal-style posh British accent and that's about it. And I swear, if everyone doesn't call Ravi "Pickles" from now on, I will be supremely disappointed! 

Blaine's storyline was definitely the most satisfying - his role in the hour ties into developing Renegade's story as well, as after eating the brain of someone who was helped by Renegade, he has visions which lead him to capturing her for Chase Graves. This feels like a real turning point for this season and hopefully will lead to more drama in the weeks to come. Dave Anders also gets to show off his comic chops this week, as Blaine is on a loose lips brain, which leads to some of the best one-liners he's had in a while!

We also get a much needed insight into Renegade this week, whose real name we learn is Mama Leone, and her heart to heart with Liv was definitely the highlight of the hour for me. It shows us how similar their motivations are, having both ended up in their current roles out of a desire to do something useful with their new zombie abilties. 

Liv and Clive's interactions this episode, mostly revolve around Liv's hilarious attempts to set him up with the cute new cop at the station and Clive's jibes at her antics whilst on hopeless romantic brain, but it ends up in a much more serious and heartfelt place. Liv finally reveals to Clive that she saw Bozzio kissing someone else, and whilst at first Clive gets justifiably annoyed at Liv for her meddling (can I just say how happy I am that someone finally called Liv on her BS! For so long it has seemed like everyone has allowed her to get away with anything because of whatever brain she is on, so I was so happy when Clive pointed out this week that her meddling was all her fault and she couldn't keep blaming it on brains...) but it ends in a really good place.

Clive and Liv have a heart to heart, where Clive reveals he and Bozzio are in an open relationship and he's not entirely happy about it and both Malcolm Goodwin and Rose McIver's acting in this scene is on point. I love Liv and Clive's friendly back and forth banter, but I definitely hope they have more of these deeper moments in future episodes as well.

The Angus preacher subplot is still the weakest part of the ongoing storylines this season. It still feels out of place (aside from acting as a catalyst to break Liv out of her romantic stupor) in this episode, and I'm really not sure what iZombie's endgame is with this plot. As far as we're aware, Blaine still doesn't know that his father is doing this and the whole Zombie cult hasn't exactly done anything yet. I hope that this storyline picks up soon, because it's dragging otherwise stellar episodes down for me.

The conclusion of this episode sees Liv realizing how important her friends are to her, in a classic (and very satisfying) Liv voiceover - a gimmick that has been sorely missed (Liv's voiceovers were a much more prominent feature of the first two seasons and allowed us more insight into her thoughts). I hope this is a sign that iZombie is going to continue giving us more of Liv, Major, Clive, Ravi and Peyton together, because the four of them together, with Major on intense Wrestler brain and them all just dancing and having fun together in the club, is one of the best iZombie moments for a while!

iZombie is available to watch on Netflix, with new episodes arriving weekly.




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