Culture of Pop

iZombie Review: 2.8: The Hurt Stalker

This week’s iZombie was mostly another solid episode, but there was one moment so jarring and uncomfortable that I have to mention it. Liv’s sleuthing activities land her in jail for a night and while she’s there, there’s a black woman screaming about unfair treatment who starts chanting “Ferguson.” As horrible as this is to think, it felt like this moment was meant to be played for laughs. I hope that’s not the case, but at best this character’s only purpose in the story was to annoy Liv. The writers could’ve easily come up with a better annoyance than someone’s legitimate fears. It was a very strange and upsetting moment.

As for the rest of the episode, this week Liv ate the brains of a woman who was obsessed with Clive, giving her stalker traits. This was a brilliant move on the show’s part because it served a double purpose: we learned much more about Clive and Liv’s obsessive, jealous traits meant she was snooping around asking questions about Major, who we know is in fact hiding huge secrets.

This episode was also emotionally resonant as a metaphor for mental illness in a way that I haven’t seen from this show since the pilot. Watching Liv tell herself that this obsessive behavior isn’t her and it was just the brains was truly painful. And it was upsetting seeing Major use her conflicted feelings to protect himself, saying that she should fight this as a way to hide his double life. It sadly mirrored how people will use mental illness to invalidate your feelings.

This episode also saw Clive as a suspect. Of course we as the audience knew there was no way that Clive was the murderer, but it added some personal stakes that he was suspended and there was extra pressure on Liv and Ravi to clear his name.

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