NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “iZombie” are present in this review
After a seasonal high point with, “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter” last week, iZombie continued to do very well with another standout episode this week. “Physician, Heal Thy Selfie” was one of the most creatively ambitious episodes of the show to come along in a while, with an especially interesting case-of-the-week that was deeply tied to the ongoing conflict with Stacey Boss, and continued to move towards what seems to be a Season Two climax, hopefully uniting the Mr. Boss, Blaine and Max Rager conflicts together.
The big angle this week started the episode strong, as Liv wakes up from her night with Drake, and Ravi starts drinking with Peyton, in response to Peyton regretting her night with Blaine. The next day however, Liv is in for an especially nasty shock, when Babineaux calls her and Ravi to the scene of a triple homicide, right as Liv starves herself to avoid kinky librarian brain from last week, only to see that the victims are all missing their heads! That means no brains for Liv this week, at least not from the victims, and that’s naturally going to make solving this latest case extra complicated!
… Or so you’d think. Liv is instead fed the brain of an oblivious young woman who was addicted to social media, and ended up being hit by a bus and killed after failing to look up from her phone one night. This leads to Liv getting a comical addiction to social media herself, and naturally, lends itself to plenty of great comedy. Given the amount of secrets that Liv has to keep, it was very funny to see her suddenly inclined to blab about everything possible, no matter how inane, on her various social media accounts, even going as far as to post unboxing videos of morgue equipment! Good thing she at least had the sense to keep her zombie condition under wraps!
Even then though, Liv was forced to try and solve the latest murder with Babineaux, without the aid of visions that would help to identify the culprit. This made the case extra memorable, probably one of the most memorable all season so far, especially when it comes out that the men were hired by Mr. Boss, and were sent to kill the district attorney that was originally set to go after him, with the help of Peyton. How do three trained killers end up killed and beheaded by the D.A.? Well, it turns out that the D.A. is a zombie. Who knew? Now, the guy is driven into hiding, and when he ends up as a target of Major’s from the Max Rager list, Seattle PD believes that he killed himself, after Major stores him with the other ‘victims’, and the case is closed. It was a novel way to end a novel case, while continuing to keep Major’s seasonal storyline nicely in the mix.
Speaking of Major and Max Rager, that story element once again came into play this week, after being pretty much entirely absent for the show’s 2016 run so far. Turns out that Vaughn du Clark has been noticing that Major’s been slacking on taking out more zombies, and makes an interesting show of intimidation, when he has Major look at a list of internet trolls that badmouth Max Rager projects, and pick one at random for, “Punishment.” Turns out that Vaughn’s idea of punishment was orchestrating the guy’s death, which he shows to Major the following day from a YouTube video, reminding Major that Max Rager is a global brand, and Vaughn has eyes everywhere. It was a nicely scary display, and gave Vaughn one of his most chilling scenes to date, on top of freshly putting Major under his thumb again.
As for the Drake relationship, which also served a sizable part of the episode, Liv starts to doubt her night with Drake, and initially tries to blow him off, particularly after Liv and Ravi dig up some info that proves that Drake was thrown in prison for a violent assault. When Drake explains himself however, he reveals that the assault was on his abusive stepfather, whom he attacked in reprisal for injuring his mother. This leads to Liv giving Drake another chance, even going as far as to meet his mother, in one of the episode’s funniest and cutest scenes. At the end of the episode though, Liv sees that Drake is in bed with a new drug operation for, “Lucky U”, an improved brand of Utopium that is being pushed as a play against Mr. Boss, by none other than Blaine!
Speaking of Blaine and Mr. Boss, Mr. Boss visits Blaine during the funeral of his nephew, who was one of the hit men originally sent after the zombie D.A., and Mr. Boss threatens Blaine, ordering that he pay up for $4,000 worth of stolen product from when Blaine left Mr. Boss’s ranks, only with interest, that now comes to $80,000. Blaine responds by having a zombie reporter continue to further a press vendetta against Mr. Boss, thoroughly escalating the Blaine/Boss war to a whole new level, one that is sure to create plenty of intensity for the remainder of Season Two!
The sense of escalating stakes was felt throughout iZombie this week, as the show begins to gradually move towards a seasonal climax. The way that the case-of-the-week played out was exceptionally creative, and the new developments with Liv and Peyton, who nearly quits her job before the D.A. goes into hiding, were especially satisfying. The developing battle between Blaine and Mr. Boss also appears to be reaching a violent new level, and Liv’s new romance with Drake is bound to get her swept into it in a bad way, and that’s before Max Rager properly turns their sights on the battle for Seattle’s zombie underworld!
iZombie continues to impress this week, with a very creative and memorable case-of-the-week that superbly tied itself into the escalating Blaine/Mr. Boss battle, along with continuing to develop the true menace of Vaughn du Clark and Max Rager!