Season 3, Episode 6 - "Some Like It Hot Mess"
Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley
Regular airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm
US: 9 May 2107
Major: I’m human again!
Liv: Thanks for giving these past couple of years meaning, Clive.
Clive: You did that yourself. I just took advantage of it.
Almost halfway through the season, “Some Like It Hot Mess” answers one big question while offering up even more, and establishing the direction of the remainder of the season. It’s a smart pacing decision that moves story and reveals answers without making it feel as though things have dragged on too long, frustrating the audience. Plus, this episode features an especially entertaining Liv (Rose McIver) on drama queen brain.
Last week’s episode ended on a cliffhanger of sorts as Major (Robert Buckley) finally took the zombie cure, although we didn’t see the results until this week. Things have been pointing to the likelihood that Major wouldn’t lose his memory, despite Blaine’s (David Anders) insistence to the opposite. The immediate results are promising as Major gorges on ice cream, reveling in tasting real food again, and guesses correctly on flashcards of those closest to him (“Minor. Low blow.”). The glee with which he embraces being human again is both amusing and satisfying to watch if also bittersweet given the limited amount of cures we know are available.
Major’s happiness is cut short, however, when he eventually does start to lose his memory, and Liv’s happiness at becoming human again is also stalled when the few cures left are stolen. It’s a heartbreaking moment that’s extra affecting because of just how excited they all were to have her back to her human self. There’s an especially nice moment between Liv and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) that cements how much their relationship has grown over the years.
Meanwhile, Blaine and Peyton (Aly Michalka) seem to be an item, albeit short-lived; although Peyton maintains that she’d still be with Blaine even if he was faking his memory loss, the opposite proves true. As Ravi (Rahul Kohli) has tried to convince her again and again that Blaine was lying, and Don E (Bryce Hodgson) concurs, Peyton has remained firmly in Blaine’s corner. It’s only after she reveals that Major has taken the cure that Blaine is forced to admit that the memory loss is temporary, lasting only a day or two. Peyton’s horrified and embarrassed to learn that she’s been duped; to her credit, however, she makes it a point to clarify that she’s most upset that Liv and Major could’ve already been cured had he been honest. It’s a good characterization for Peyton that she puts her friends before her pride—although that’s obviously wounded as well—and offers hope Peyton will get a more meaningful storyline that doesn’t involve being the center of a love triangle soon. There’s a hint that something may be fishy with the dominatrix case from last week, but at this point there’s only a small hint that that may lead to a bigger story.
Apart from all the progress made with the cure, Ravi’s still experimenting with his blue serum for much of the episode before it’s revealed that there’s no lasting memory loss as a result of the cure. He repeatedly asks Liv to pick up several ingredients he needs for the serum, but she’s too caught up in her own dramas to remember. It’s a funny bit, partly because Ravi rivals Clive this episode in terms of exasperation with one of her personalities, but this one has real consequences. At one point Liv’s forgetfulness leads the ingredient list to fall into Blaine’s hands, a potentially dangerous development now that Blaine has been rejected and may be planning a return to his old ways. It’s one of the only times that Liv’s temporary personality has had dire ramifications for the larger ongoing story, and one that may result in further zombie self-loathing for Liv down the road.
One of the only aspects of iZombie that I’ve found fault with in the past is the disappearance of Liv’s family from the story. Although the show’s universe has certainly expanded over the seasons, Rob Thomas has shown a special gift for presenting family relationships, so the decision to pull back on that aspect of Liv’s life was disappointing. Thus, the fact that this episode offers a glimpse into Major’s family life is a welcome addition to the series, at least potentially. When he starts losing his memory, he writes letters to those most important in his life (the tearstained Ravi letter is the best), but we meet his mother and her girlfriend. It may just be a passing appearance, but Thomas could definitely turn it into more.
The mystery of the week revolves around the murder of drama queen, Yvette (Alexia Fast), by her frustrated roommate, Barb (Joy Osmanski). It’s a fun case, mainly because Yvonne was such a colorful character—her foray into amateur DJ’ing is a particular highlight—and McIver throws herself into the role, prompting what may be the biggest Clive eye roll to date. Still, it’s not the most engaging mystery of the season, and at times in the episode it was easy to forget about altogether.
“Some Like It Hot Mess” juggled a great deal for one week, although that’s nothing new in iZombie, and leaves the viewer in a good place for the midpoint of the season. It was recently announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth season, and it’s obvious that there’s plenty of story to explore and directions to go in. Another solid episode; it may not be as excellent as a couple others from this season, but iZombie always remains highly watchable.