The iZombie season two finale was just about perfect. There were many reasons the two part-finale were great– the mix of humor, relationship drama and action was incredibly effective– but on thing stood out to me the most: how prominently Clive Babineaux was featured.
Clive has always been the one main character left out of the zombie plots and the finale brought him into the fold in a major way. Within the world of the show, this meant Liv letting him in on her secret, which made for one of the best scenes of the entire two hours. On the meta level it meant more. Clive making major career and personal sacrifices after Liv let him in on what’s going on made for the biggest emotional turning point before the finale’s action-packed ending. His choice to join the team in busting in on the Max Rager party turned him from the law to part of the vigilante team. Even little things like the fact that we saw him wearing a t-shirt brought attention to this episode being the culmination of Clive becoming much more than the police officer Liv works with.
This all paid off in the biggest moment of the episode. When Drake Holloway attacked Clive, there was real tension. Especially in the wake of how many main characters have been killed off on TV lately, I was really on the edge of my seat wondering if all this focus on Clive was just a big send off. Instead, Liv made a heroic sacrifice and forced herself to shoot Drake to protect Clive. Everything in the two-part episode– and, really, in the season as a whole– had led up to this moment and it was perfect. While all the action made this episode exciting and fun, the emotional thread of Liv and Clive’s relationship gave it the emotional backbone it needed.
Of course, I’ll miss Drake, just like I miss Lowell. I do think that while many shows kill characters off purely for shock value and/or to push the main relationship, there is a case to be made for these deaths actually being necessary. It’s a zombie show and we wouldn’t necessarily feel the impact of that if it weren’t for the deaths. That’s why this finale was something off a bloodbath. Aside from Drake, we also got the beautifully staged deaths of Gilda and Vaughn Du Clark, as well as the hilarious death of musician Rob Thomas in a cameo as himself. I have mixed feelings about putting the emotional toll of losing two boyfriends in two seasons on Liv, but I have to admit that as painful as it is, it makes the show’s premise feel more real.
I did appreciate that Drake’s death wasn’t random or just one more body in the chaos. Aside from the importance of Liv choosing to shoot him in her development, Drake also had personal agency when it came to his death. He was in the position of being a full-on zombie with little chance of going by because he’d volunteered for the experiment to save everyone else in the group of zombies.
What made this finale so effective was how much we saw the main characters making choices and really driving the action. Too many shows let things happen to their heroes. Here everything that happens to them, the good and the bad, was the result of the choices they made and the sacrifices they were willing to make.