iZombie: 5.08 Death of a Car Salesman
Liv and Ravi get to eat the brain of a murdered car salesman and consequently both become insanely competitive in ,what on the surface, appears to be a much more traditional episode of iZombie. Liv also decides to get know her real father better, the duplicitous Martin Roberts. Major meets a delegation from the US government in the hopes of staving off the nuclear threat against Seattle and Don E starts a relationship with Blaine’s Freylich brain donor.
On first viewing Death of a Car Salesman seems like a throwback to early episodes of iZombie with a standard murder investigation that takes up almost all the running time. This seems a slightly odd thing to do when you consider that there are only five episodes left before the show wraps up for good. However, on reflection, there is an awful lot going on in the side stories that inevitably is going to be important before we are done.
The main bulk of the episode deals with the investigation into the death of a dislikable car salesman. As it’s Ravi’s time of the month, he gets to eat some of the victims brains as does Liv. This bodes well for Clive who is getting them to sell raffle tickets for a fundraiser. Trying to one up each other using sleazy sales techniques gives us a lot of funny moments and reminds us that when iZombie sticks to what it does best it is incredibly entertaining. Rose McIver and Rahul Kohl put in fantastic performances and really bounce off each other well.
Interestingly, there are several flashbacks in this episode which again seemed like a slightly strange thing to do as you’re hurtling towards the shows climax. They do however reveal a lot of pertinent information including the fact that Liv’s father is the Beanpole Bob that everyone has been trying to track down. Even more crucial is the fact that he is responsible for creating the utopium that started the zombie crisis in the first place. In one flashback we return right to the beginning of the show as Blaine is buying utopium to take to the Max Rager boat party. This is of course where everything started and Liv gets bitten. This was a great idea and it was fantastic to see Blaine and Don E as they were back then.
Speaking of Don E, he’s being run ragged trying to singlehandedly keep The Scratching Post (now renamed Don E Be Good’s) in business. Blaine has taken to hanging out in Don E’s mums basement which he has kitted out in style thanks to the payments he’s received in advance for the Freylich brain zombie cure. Things are complicated when Darcy, the terminally ill owner of said brain, meets up with Don E and they hit it off. It’s nice to see Don E finally having something good happen in his life, although ultimately a relationship with someone dying who owes their brain to Blaine, probably isn’t going to end well.
The emotional core of the episode comes from Liv and her attempts to get to know her father. This is another relationship destined for disaster as he’s been the shadowy figure pulling the strings all along. Working with the freshly defrosted Fillmore Graves soldiers, including Enzo, his plan takes a major step forward in Death of a Car Salesman. Successfully implementing a plan to scratch and thereby zombify several of the government delegates Martin Roberts, aka Beanpole Bob aka New Boss, has now potentially started a fresh zombie outbreak in Washington.
This presumably is to make the idea of nuking Seattle seem less appealing although not every part of the plan has been laid out yet. This has been an issue with this final season of iZombie in that there are lots of people working against each other with secret agendas and it has become somewhat confusing at times. With time running out, I hope that everything is revealed sooner rather than later although I suspect the secrets of Liv’s father may be kept from her for a little while yet, as it makes for good drama.
One thing is for sure, when iZombie finishes its run it certainly won’t be replaced by Hi, Zombie, the show Ravi and Peyton have been making to spread the good word on the undead. It is finally revealed and it is excruciatingly bad. One episode of its canned laughter and I’d be out practising my headshots. Sorry zombie neighbours.