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iZombie - Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother/Zombie Knows Best - Double Review


After a very, very long time off, iZombie has finally returned for it's much anticipated Season 3 and following the events of the season 2 finale, nothing is the same as before. Sadly, in addition to being pushed out for almost a year, we also only get 13 episodes of the show this year, but I'm choosing to believe this could be a blessing in disguise and we get a solid and stellar story arc this year. I wish the show had started in the fall when my life was a little less hectic and I wasn't having to start the season with a double review where I can't dig in as deep as I want to. But that small gripe aside, I'm just happy we got the show back, no matter how late and little we got it, and if the show continues to deliver like it did in Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother and Zombie Knows Best, then I know we are in for one exciting and emotional ride for season 3.

Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother: For me, I like that season premiere decided to forgo having a case of the week and simply focused on the aftermath of the season two finale. I think it was important to take a moment and let the characters process what just happened. For most of the first two seasons , iZombie has very much been about how miserable life has been for Liv since she became a zombie and her struggle to make the most of it. I think the season two finale and the defeat of Max Rager seemed to put a cap on that storyline and now season 3 is moving into a new direction and is going to give Liv a new purpose. I'm already taken with Vivian Stoll of Fillmore Graves, and I'm loving how I can't really gather whether she's a friend or foe to team Z. iZombie's take on zombies, for me, has always been something unique and I don't recall there ever being a show about zombies, where you felt sympathy and fear for zombies until now. I think the show is taking a huge risk, by tackling such a big concept this season, with the discovery of zombies and the impending war with humanity, but I trust that iZombie can handle it. My theory is that Liv is going to take the more Professor X approach to humanity, while Vivian will be more Magneto and this will put them at odds eventually. Liv was still on merc brain and that played a huge role in her why she was so able to keep pushing after having to shoot Drake(ugh) and she even pondered staying on for a while in an attempt to forgo feeling what she knew was to come, but she finally let it hit her, and I think she need that emotional catharsis to really prepare for what's coming next. Also, we got to see Ravi's old boss form the CDC show up and I'm wondering how long until she's on the zombie scent or in the sack with Ravi.

For me, the star of the show was Clive. I had waited so long for Clive to find out the truth about Liv, Major and the rest of team Z and While I am disappointed that Wally and the Fillmore Graves kids felt like a bit of cheap plot device to put Clive on board, I do love some of his reactions to the truth. I think Malcolm Goodwin did some of his best work across the first two episodes of the season and I'm really excited that he's been given an emotional stake in the War on Zombies. Team Z is on board with Vivian for now, especially since poor Wally and his family were killed and it seems like they were killed to send a message, but we know it's just a matter of time before the boat starts rocking. Major, indeed, got a job as a merc for Fillmore Graves, because why not? Major can do anything(and no one would hire him...or give him coffee with his name on it). #Pavi is still a no-go so far, as Ravi has some really conflicted feelings about everything once he learns that Blaine and Peyton slept together which makes Blaine going all hero and saving her a harder pill for Ravi to swallow. Peyton is just conflicted because she obviously feels close to Ravi, but something is drawing her to Blaine. As for Blaine, I'm still not sold on this whole lost memories storyline but I felt like there were some doubts cast in the premiere. Blaine singing Rob Thomas while handling brains, and Don E's suspicion kinda implied there's more to the story. The premiere carried emotional weight, dealt with the aftermath of max rager and introduced a conspiracy plot against zombies and it didn't even flinch. A-

Moment That Slayed Me: Clive when he left Wally's room. Sure, we didn't know the kid very long, but once all the pieces clicked in to place as to whose house this was and who was murdered, once Clive left the room, I just wanted to reach through the room and give him a hug.

Character of the Week:Clive. As someone who is always felt a bit more introverted than the rest of the mains, and that could just be because he wasn't in on the secret, I think this week Clive really got a chance to shine as we watched him grapple with the reality of zombies and what this meant for not just his partner but for everyone.
Zombie Knows Best: I probably should like this episode a lot more than I did, but in retrospect, I kinda just liked it and didn't quite love it. The brain felt very one-note for Liv and while Major got to have a little fun on teen girl brain, it felt as if the joke wore thin as the episode went on. I noted how it felt like Wally was initially included to only give Clive an emotional stake in the game, and i would've been severely disappointed if he was only shown in the premiere and we never got an understanding of why Clive cared for him, so I truly appreciated this episode for shedding some light on their connection. I was really ecstatic that this was a Clive heavy episode and that we got to see Clive back before he knew Liv and the rest of Team Z. It really helped to shed light on why Clive might have instantly switched to team z once he saw Wally at Fillmore Graves. I loved the use of the flashbacks and the show really felt like it was trying something different this episode, in the sense these were actual flashbacks and not brain-trips. Ravi doesn't have much to do, but he does have a nice scene with Liv on Dad brain where he confesses how conflicted he is about the Peyton of it all.

The case of the week is a little bit blah, as a teen girl and her dad were murdered in hit and run because she knew the truth about her best friend sleeping with her stepdad and her best friend's mom couldn't handle the truth getting out there. Once the mom was introduced, it wasn't hard to know where the case was headed and by that point I was kinda over the brains of the week. I am patiently twiddling my thumbs to see when the "Brain Tubes" that Fillmore Graves is providing come back into play. It's interesting that it contains all the nutrition without the side effects, which could just be a way to keep the whole Liv uses visions to solve crimes a unique plot point. Ravi does track down a caller for Liv and Clive who called into the radio talking about how he found these brain tubes in his neighbors trash, and it leads to a reddit like website that seems to be a kill list for suspected zombies. I can't wait to see how Vivian decides to handle this. B

Moment that Slayed Me: Clive watching Game of Thrones with Wally who has fallen asleep. Malcolm has some of the best reactionary faces and it was so great watching him so into GoT.

Character of the Week: Clive, of course. From his disgust at the brain prep, his sexy mustache and his emotional woes, Clive just needs all the love and hugs and I just love that he's fully apart of the team this year.

iZombie's next episode, "Eat, Pray, Liv" airs 4/18 on the CW!

What did you think of these episodes? What are your theories as for where the season is headed? Did you enjoy the brains and more Clive? Sound off below.

About the Author - Winston Mize
I always have the most trouble coming up with a blurb to describe me. Which is really weird for someone who wants to make a career out of writing. If you think I'm awkward online, it's just because you haven't met me in person. I'd like to think I have other interests outside of TV, and maybe I do, but TV is the one that gets me most excited. I live a pretty boring life so TV's the way I get my fix, and I'd love to chat about it with you. I'm also always looking to guest on podcasts and become a podcasting sensation, so if you've got the opportunity, I'm in there like swimwear. You can check me out with different previews of various shows or read my reviews of iZombie, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Legends Of Tomorrow here on the site. If you're a fan of One Tree Hill you can check out my podcast about as well by checking out our twitter page @OnlyOthPod.
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