TV

iZombie: Season 2, Episode 8 - "The Hurt Stalker"

J.M. Suarez

Eight episodes in and iZombie shows no signs of slipping.


iZombie

Airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm
Cast: Rose McIver, Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley, Steven Weber, Leanne Lapp
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 8 - "The Hurt Stalker"
Network: CW
Air date: 2015-12-01
Amazon

At this point, it’s getting redundant to say that iZombie has put out another great episode in a season of great episodes. But it doesn’t make it untrue. Even after taking a week off (despite my wish to see Liv’s [Rose McIver]] Thanksgiving brain recipes, and subsequent cooking scenes), "The Hurt Stalker" is further proof of the show’s continued growth, so much so that it was recently granted an expanded episode order.

The episode centers on the murder of wedding planner, Regina Sumner (Natasha Burnett), who also happens to be an ex-girlfriend of Clive’s. A season and a half into the series, and this episode’s the first to give us a real glimpse into the world of the seemingly grumpy, humorless Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin); it’s used to great comedic effect. Every time a new detail about Clive is revealed (he’s a Game of Thrones super fan, love Cajun cooking, and plays the piano), it’s met with equal parts amusement and disbelief. Ravi (Rahul Kohli) is especially delighted to learn each new tidbit, and takes great pleasure in confirming these newly discovered facts (“Clive, what’s George R.R. Martin up to right now?” “Not writing.”).

Clive has always been the straight man for both all of Liv’s personality changes and all of Ravi’s quips, but in “The Hurt Stalker”, we learn not only about his personal life, but also that he genuinely cares about and pays attention to Liv and Ravi. His homemade Cajun po’boys prepared with care to make sure Liv’s is extra spicy (a;though he initially tries to pawn them off as takeout) is proof that, even though he’s previously treated them as strictly colleagues, he feels genuine affection for them. In turn, we find ourselves more invested in Clive and his relationships. Unsurprisingly, because of Clive’s history with the victim, he is taken off the investigation and instead Detective Cavanaugh (Robert Salvador) is put in charge.

As the previous episode, "Abra Cadaver", alluded to, Liv’s personality changes are starting to have an effect on her recently rekindled relationship with Major (Robert Buckley), and this week’s personality is further evidence of the strain the shifts put on their interactions. Regina was an obsessed stalker whose brains turn Liv into a jealous and suspicious girlfriend. She questions Major about the women he saw when they were broken up, reads his text messages, and tries to break into the safe he keeps hidden in his closet. What complicates matters, and makes them much more compelling, is the fact that Major does have a great deal to hide.

Major’s fling with Gilda (or Rita [Leanne Lapp], as she’s also known) hangs over his relationship with Liv, not only because she’s Vaughn Du Clark’s (Steven Weber) daughter, but because she’s also Liv’s roommate. Though Liv and Major are unaware of Gilda/Rita’s overlapping roles in their lives, she’s clearly interested in stirring things up between the two, as she attempts to revive her relationship with Major with suggestive texts intercepted by Liv.

"The Hurt Stalker" also marks the return of Vaughn Du Clark, who’s not been seen since episode three. Weber plays Vaughn as a greedy egomaniac, with little regard for anyone who doesn’t help further his agenda. His attempts to introduce an exceedingly potent version of Max Rager -- SuperMax -- leads to extensive testing on zombies, and by the end of the episode, he’s become its first human test subject. Vaughn on SuperMax makes for an extremely strong and short-tempered version of himself, and Weber comes off as genuinely scary. Between Stacy Boss (Eddie Jemison) and Vaughn Du Clark, iZombie has no shortage of unambiguous villains, and they serve to maintain the menacing tone that has been such an integral part of this season.

As iZombie’s season-long storyline continues to engrossingly develop and unfold, the self-contained mysteries-of-the-week offer an opportunity to change gears, at least for a short while. They’re always engaging in various ways, and this week’s no exception. Regina’s killer is revealed to be the brother of one of her ex-clients, who’d discovered that her fiancé had been having an affair with Regina. It’s a satisfying resolution, but it also provides a direct contrast to the show’s twistier and more complex larger story.

"The Hurt Stalker" is a standout episode for many reasons -- Vaughn Du Clark being crazier than usual, stalker Liv -- but mainly because of Clive. He’s finally getting fleshed out as a character and it’s great to see how others, Liv and Ravi for now, react to learning more about him. It’s also a wonderful showcase for Goodwin to show some other sides of Clive and to loosen up a little. Eight episodes in and iZombie shows no signs of slipping.

8

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image