iZombie: Season 2, Episode 13 – “The Whopper”

It’s a clever device to use an episode where Liv tells lie upon lie as one in which several truths are revealed.

Last week’s episode ended with a pretty big bombshell when Liv (Rose McIver) learned that Blaine (David Anders) is the new player on the Utopium drug scene; this week’s episode, “The Whopper”, runs full steam ahead with that story. Blaine’s at the center of much of this week’s action, but because this is iZombie, there are no shortage of revelations and discoveries that are sure to play out over the rest of the season.

Major (Robert Buckley) and Ravi (Rahul Kohli) have continued their search for the dead bodies buried with the tainted Utopium. The Utopium is necessary for Ravi to continue his search for a zombie cure, but they’ve had no luck so far. As the episode opens, they stumble upon a dead body, but it’s too fresh to be one of the ones they’re looking for, so they’re forced to call it in. Bringing Clive’s (Malcolm Goodwin) attention to the area requires an explanation, and their nerdy treasure hunting excuse is the perfect cover, particularly as Clive seems to be perpetually perplexed by the two. The body is identified as Corey “Big Fish” Carp, a compulsive liar with a connection to Mr. Boss (Eddie Jemison).

Complicating things further, Major is discovered by Blaine’s flunkies to be the Chaos Killer. Blaine intends to kill Major until he learns that Major’s being forced to systematically get rid of the zombies by someone else (who he doesn’t reveal), but he’s not really killing the zombies. Blaine’s just found out that his abusive nanny is getting the entirety of his father’s inheritance because of his father’s murder, so he makes a deal with Major to bring back his father so that he can make a new video will. In addition, he employs Major to get rid of the zombies he chooses (starting with the increasingly threatening reporter, Jeremy Chu [Patrick Gallagher]). Major’s secret may now be revealed to someone, but all it’s done is make things more difficult for him, answering to two separate bosses with their own agendas.

Adding to the already high stakes in the search for the tainted Utopium is the depressing development that New Hope, the rat that Ravi was experimenting on with the same cure that cured Major and Blaine, has died. It not only puts pressure on him to find a cure faster, but it means Major and Blaine’s non-zombie days are numbered. The pressure’s been building all season, but now time is even more of the essence, making the episode’s final scene especially satisfying. Scored to “One Day More” from Les Miserables, Liv, Major, and Ravi finally finding the right dead bodies with the tainted Utopium takes on an epic quality that feels earned and appropriately jubilant. iZombie has consistently made creative use of music cues, but this moment is certainly one of its finest.

The return of Blaine’s father, Angus (Robert Knepper), brings up the many wrongs committed in Blaine’s childhood by a man with little concern for the well-being of his son. Anders is unsurprisingly excellent in his scenes with Knepper, even as he disguises himself as an old man in an elaborate attempt to trick his father into thinking he’s been frozen for decades. Blaine’s anger is palpable even when it’s wrapped up in his theatrics, and Anders plays it with a fury that is alternately funny and scary, a balance that’s difficult to achieve, but one that Anders effortlessly conveys.

The secrets that come to light in “The Whopper” only scratch the surface of the many others still left to be revealed. Clive finally has a moment of realization about Liv’s personality changes, even though he attributes them to part of her psychic process, and it’s a welcome moment that confirms Clive isn’t oblivious, but also signals that this is another secret close to being discovered. It’s a clever device to use an episode where Liv tells lie upon lie as one in which several truths are revealed. iZombie never misses an opportunity to play with expectations, and smartly keeps enough threads going to keep its twisty story moving forward. “The Whopper” is another great episode in an excellent season, and the final six episodes (added after the initial season order) are sure to ramp up the action even further.

RATING 8 / 10
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