iZombie: 5.09 The Fresh Princess
Nostalgia abounds when, in an interesting twist, Liv eats the brain of a murder victim who has been in a coma for twenty years. She gets to channel her inner Miss Teen Seattle beauty pageant girl. Ravi and Peyton are hot on the trail of Beanpole Bob while Major is searching for General Mill’s daughter in a effort to stave off a possible nuclear strike. Dolly Durkin puts her plan into motion to up the anti-zombie rhetoric and start the final battle for Seattle.
With a similar feel to the last episode, iZombie once again sticks to it’s original formula whilst offering a few tidbits to start bringing together all the plot lines. The murder of the week is an interesting one as the victim has been in a coma for twenty years. When she finally dies, it lends a really interesting shift to the episode. After Liv has consumed the brain the visions she gets are from two decades ago. It’s a really cool idea and I don’t recall it being used before which in hindsight seems a missed opportunity. Essentially Liv is able to go back and look at cold cases with fresh eyes. In The Fresh Princess there is another interesting twist as someone has already spent three years in prison for causing the victim to fall into a coma. Now that the victim has died they face a new sentence as the charges are upped to murder. It’s a well thought out premise and a nice piece of writing.
The best part of the episode is the fact that the murder victim was a teen beauty pageant girl. In the ’90’s. We know what that means by now. Rose McIver gets to act like she’s just walked off the set of Clueless, mood rings, butterfly clips, the full works. This is where iZombie works best and this episode is no exception. McIver really embraces the part and the writers have really given her a lot to work with this time out; the personality is kept going for pretty much the whole episode.
There are also some really nice moments as Liv tries to help her long absent father kick his Utopium addiction. There’s a particularly bittersweet scene where he tells her that he hopes they’ll be together if everything goes to hell. Unknown to Liv, he’s been orchestrating a zombie uprising all along. There’s bound to be heartbreak when his betrayal is inevitably revealed.
Don E and Darcy continue their ill-fated romance and go against Major’s wishes in trying to find Sloane, General Mill’s missing daughter. It’s nice to see them having fun and also accidentally killing the one person that could lead them to Sloane. I hope a cure can be found and they can live happily ever after but I suspect this won’t be the case.
Meanwhile Durkins has been starving General Mill’s daughter and her boyfriend for several days and they have gone well and truly full on rager zombie. She releases them into a pie festival of all places and Major has no option but to put them both down. Robert Buckley puts in a solid performance as Major and you can almost feel his sense of resigned inevitability as he shoots Sloane in the head knowing full well that she is one of the only things keeping General Mills from nuking the entire city.
There is a sense that some of the dangling story threads are starting to be tied up now. In some very effective scenes, Liv’s estranged mother comes to her for help with smuggling her brother out of the city so he can get treatment for his cancer. Both Liv and her father offer to scratch him but he has decided he wants to live what’s left of his life as a human. There is a feeling of some closure finally between Liv and her mother.
With Ravi and Peyton on the case in tracking down Beanpole Bob and the last of the tainted Utopium, it would seem Liv’s father may get exposed sooner rather than later. By following the Utopium back to its source via Blaine, Don E and Don E’s twin brother Scott E, they eventually uncover the truth. By the episode's end they have discovered that Beanpole Bob and Liv’s father are one and the same, and also the creator of the whole zombie epidemic in the first place. Add to this Dolly Durkins plan to start a human/zombie war and it would seem the next few episodes are going to be explosive.