Season 3, Episode 4 - "Wag the Tongue Slowly"
Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley
Regular airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm
US: 25 Apr 2017
Situated at nearly one-thid of the way through the season, “Wag the Tongue Slowly” continues to move the larger story forward while devoting plenty of time to Liv (Rose McIver) on gossip brain. It’s not an especially jam-packed episode, revelation-wise, but iZombie always manages to keep its plot going and dedicate enough of the episode to its standalone mystery without missing a beat.
The Blaine (David Anders)/Peyton (Aly Michalka)/Ravi (Rahul Kohli) situation that came to a head last episode continues to be a focus here. Blaine and Peyton are conveniently forced into close proximity as Blaine stays with her and Liv while waiting to find out the results of Ravi’s latest serum. The serum, designed to reverse the memory loss caused by the cure, doesn’t appear to work on Blaine, complicating the situation with Peyton. While it still remains unclear whether Blaine truly lost his memories, Peyton has decided to move forward with this new Blaine despite all the horrific things he’s done in the past.
It sometimes appears as if Peyton deals with Blaine in a vacuum, or rather, that’s how she’d prefer it. When it’s just the two of them, it’s easy for her to forget how he used to be, but otherwise, she’s constantly reminded of Blaine’s past. While it’s often been Ravi playing the role of the reminder, this week Liv steps in and makes it a point to repeat the potential consequences for Major (Robert Buckley) losing his memory. Because Major is someone they both love and know is a genuinely good person, Peyton can’t just focus on the positive outcome of Blaine not reverting to his former self. That reminder is important for Peyton for obvious reasons, but it also serves as a reminder to the audience. Anders’ charisma has always been an integral part of Blaine, even when he was at his most despicable, but this new helpful, crooner version could easily make his past sins forgivable, if not for the fact that Blaine has truly committed some of the worst crimes on the show.
While Blaine remains unaffected by the serum, Major continues to get worse. Ravi gives him one of only 17 doses of the cure he has, for Major to use when the time is right. At this point, it appears that he’ll have to use the cure, and potentially lose his memory, in the very near future. Regardless, though Major’s symptoms may be worsening, he’s still working at Fillmore Graves, where his unit is now on call, as well as on his search for Natalie (Brooke Lyons).
The one discovery this episode, that has been brewing since the beginning of the season, is the return of Natalie. Major, enlisting the help of a depressed yet hilarious Ravi, finally finds her. They go on a stakeout where Major manages to deliver a great zinger (“And we know you’re good at waiting in cars”) and put a tracking device on Osborne Oates (Steve James) (last seen taking Natalie out of Max Rager) who eventually leads him to Natalie. Major’s determined search and ultimate success is brilliantly scored to “I, Don Quixote” from Man of La Mancha, another winning music choice for iZombie. It not only mirrors much of Major’s hero complex, but it’s also the right choice to reunite the two. Rather than a sweeping, romantic song, “I, Don Quixote” offers humor in a moment that might traditionally be presented differently; it’s a wholly iZombie choice.
Liv’s personality changes the last couple of episodes haven’t exactly been some of her more memorable, but Liv as an unabashed gossip is plenty of fun, especially during her wild speculation on the possibility of a work romance between Cavanaugh (Robert Salvadore) and Devore (Marci T. House) to a confused Clive (Malcolm Goodwin). In fact, the moment when they realize their murder victim, Cheryl (Fiona Hogan), was a “huge gossip” during an interrogation is one of the episode’s funniest (Clive: “There it is”) scenes. The murder is eventually tied to three of Cheryl’s coworkers who were particularly negatively affected by her gossip, and thankfully, Liv’s visions have returned.
“Wag the Tongue Slowly” is another great iZombie episode. It’s not a total standout like “Zombie Knows Best”, but the show is always a pleasure to watch. There’s continuous steady progression, plot-wise, and characters never get short shrift at the expense of a showy reveal or twist. Three seasons in, and iZombie has mastered how to tell a season-long story, as well as its mysteries of the week, all the while continually developing its characters with both humor and feeling. It’s a series that’s easy to look forward to; it rarely disappoints, and it doesn’t appear it will start to anytime soon.