This week’s episode of iZombie gave us masked vigilante Liv, after she eats the brains of ‘The Fog,’ an amateur crimefighter. It also had some very emotional moments, culminating in Liv and Major’s break up. Often times when shows force the main couple apart so soon after they get together, it feels forced to drag out the conflict. But, in this case, I thought their break up was very organic. As adorable as Liv and Major can be at times, they don’t understand each other on a fundamental level. I think this could change, but for now, the show sold me on the break up being necessary.
The idea of the vigilante allowed iZombie to make fun of its own genre. It’s always been a superhero show– Liv uses her powers to fight crime and help people. But, somehow when you add a mask and super-serious statements about saving the city, it all becomes silly. The way the episode explored that line was very fun.
The vigilante set up actually brilliant allowed the episode to move into much more serious territory, when Liv starts poking around and discovers that Mr. Boss and his minions are putting everyone in danger. When Clive reminds her that she has to follow procedures– and again when Major suggests she should start eating synthetic brains, which wouldn’t give her the visions that allow her to solve crimes– Liv is full of crimefighting spirit, but it’s not just the brains talking. Although many of the characters, even Liv herself, laugh at the idea of a self-proclaimed superhero in this episode, it’s clear by the end that this is exactly what Liv has become and she has no plans to stop.
The two biggest elements of this episode– defining Liv as a hero and her relationship with Major deteriorating– came to a head beautifully in the understated moment when Major assures her that Ravi will find a cure. Liv simply replies, “Maybe.” Rose McIver’s acting shines in this scene and we see so much in this moment: Liv’s sadness at how little Major understands her anymore, her uncertainty about whether she can ever go back to being a normal person without special abilities and the pain that comes from someone assuming that you want to change who you are.