Season 2, Episode 15 - "He Blinded Me... With Science"
Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Steven Weber, Leanne Lapp, Eddie Jemison, Greg Finley, Jessica Harmon, Ali Liebert
Regular airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm
US: 22 Mar 2016
“Yep. Back on the brain gang. Dang.”
And we’re back. After another short hiatus, iZombie returns for the last run of episodes of the season. “He Blinded Me… With Science” picks up very quickly from the last episode, and it’s confirmed that Blaine (David Anders) has reverted back to his zombie form after Mr. Boss (Eddie Jemison) tried to kill him in “Eternal Sunshine of the Caffeinated Mind”. As with all dramatic opportunities for Blaine, he revels in his reverted state, at least until Ravi (Rahul Kohli) tells him that death is most likely imminent unless he can manufacture a new cure (“Enjoy! I’ll just be here. Alone. Gazing unblinkingly into the face of death that inevitably awaits us all!”). The Ravi/Blaine dynamic is a gem that never fails to delight.
Blaine’s fear of death leads to his many preparations for continuing the brain business in the case of his untimely demise. The scenes in which he professes his gratitude to Chief (Andre Tricoteux) and Don E (Bryce Hodgson), and explains his plans, are especially amusing for several reasons. Chief and Don E’s reactions are priceless—they’re confused and unsure how to interact with this version of Blaine—and as always, Anders is wonderful in his delivery, as he takes particular joy in Blaine’s distress.
Tying in nicely is this week’s mystery plot of a murdered scientist, Dr. Eleanor Cash. Not only does it give Liv the opportunity to approach things much more logically in a way that many of her previous brains haven’t allowed her to do, but her new scientific mind also helps Ravi to brainstorm possible reasons why his attempts at a cure have failed so far, and offers possible solutions. The show does a fine job of visually representing Liv’s (Rose McIver) scientific analysis while in progress, and Ravi’s mixture of annoyance and reluctant acknowledgement of her currently impressive scientific mind is a treat.
In addition, Dr. Cash’s death is also directly tied to Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber) and Max Rager when it’s discovered that she worked in his lab, albeit under the name Dr. Erving. This connection leads Liv to pose as a potential new employee (in a pre-zombie Liv disguise) and discover the existence of a secret basement lab only accessible to the Super Max team. She tries to access it and is caught by Du Clark, but it only furthers her interest in discovering what’s in the lab.
Du Clark’s increasing obsession with Super Max leads to his own overuse (“This is what boundless energy looks like, Major! This!”), and his willful ignorance to its potential disastrous fallout should it go public. The show slyly references a classic pro-gun argument when Du Clark states that the only way to stop an aggressive Super Max drinker is through another Super Max drinker.
As with all things Du Clark, things in the basement lab are extreme, aggressive, and quickly out of control. While monitoring a zombie subject on Super Max, Du Clark provokes her enough that she attacks his current scientist as well as his daughter Rita (Leanne Lapp). It’s a moment of real reckoning for Du Clark, in that he unapologetically saves himself and leaves his daughter to the zombie. She’s eventually able to escape the lab, and the scene in which Rita pounds on Du Clark’s office door, begging to be let in, while he ignores her, is both expected and telling. Du Clark is clearly shell shocked, but he’s lost any chance at gaining sympathy, and ultimately, it’s a moment that reinforces how self-serving he really is.
Liv’s curiosity this episode also extends to Drake (Greg Finley) and how he spends his time when she’s not with him. She puts a tracking device on his phone and eventually discovers that he’s working for Mr. Boss. Of course, the viewer knows that he’s undercover in Boss’ operation, but Liv now feels betrayed, and the eventual fallout of that knowledge could potentially put Drake’s investigation, and Drake himself, in jeopardy.
For an episode this packed full of revelations, it still makes room for one more when Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) and Agent Bozzio (Jessica Harmon) finally learn that the brain they previously thought was bovine (as the doctored report showed) was actually human. The pieces are slowly coming together in their investigation, although how they eventually uncover the truth remains to be seen, as it requires either a huge investigative leap or actually witnessing a zombie in action.
“He Blinded Me… With Science” manages to work in a great deal of plot movement, as it consistently does episode after episode, while it also continues to set things up for a larger reveal at the end of the season. Thankfully, iZombie has been renewed for a third season, making any potential cliffhanger feel less final. Even as the series covers so much information in the episode, it never feels rushed and it always makes room for the lighter moments to come through, such as Ravi’s revulsion at Liv’s “disguise” (“Literally the stuff of nightmares”), the brilliant comic transition bumpers, and Liv’s brain recipes. iZombie understands the balance that makes it so watchable, and this episode is an excellent example.