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iZombie - Physician, Heal Thy Selfie - Review: "No Troll Left Behind"

16 Feb 2016

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I'm going to just come out and say it. Physician, Heal Thy Selfie is probably my least favorite episode of iZombie season 2. It's not that this week's iZombie was bad per se, it was just a whole lot of exposition heavy plot that really got us nowhere by the time the hour ended. Sure, there were some things to enjoy like the Payton/Ravi bonding and the caring way Major looked at his latest "kill' but tell me what really happened this week that warranted 42 minutes? Even this week's millennial social media obsessed brain was nothing but filler. I'm confident that iZombie can deliver, because it needs to consistently delivering at this point. When you're fighting for your renewal, you have got to bring your A-game and unfortunately this week was more zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-game with a few nice kinks. For the first time, I finished an episode and wasn't all too thrilled to watch it again. The thing is, iZombie season 2 was originally planned to span across 13 episodes because that was the initial order. Once the show got a back order, and plans changed, I think some last minute adjustments were made and they probably removed some details and added some filler from what should have been the penultimate episode this week. I think the development across the episode was supposed to be leading us to the finale of season 2 but when plans changed with six more episodes, the quick rewrite made an episode that could have been great just sort of fall flat. Let's recap, shall we?

“Of course I ’grammed it. That fish was on fleek.”
This week we would have been a great comedic opportunity to see Liv work to solve a case when she hasn't eaten brains of the victim and would have probably produced some great side-eye Clive moments and lots of Ravi disapproving-ness but unfortunately the show squanders that opportunity. The task of solving this week's case seems to get resolved in a way that makes it seem like the visions would have been inconsequential anyway. Which is a shame, because the Liv-trying to be a real detective- plot would have been a really good chance to drive the plot-forward on Clive discovering the truth about Liv and her "visions" and the repercussions that could come with him knowing. This week, after her recent deep dive into the land of horny bored housewife brain, Liv is starving herself and waiting for a new brain to eat as to avoid eating more sex-brains,(Which is pretty dark when you think about it. She's waiting for someone to be murdered so she can have her next meal) so imagine her surprise when she and a post-hangover Ravi arrive at a scene to find not one but three dead bodies all without their heads. To make things worse, Clive is ready for Liv to get her psychic on and help him solve this one. Rather than starve, Liv eats the brains of a social media obsessed millennial who walked right into her own death because she couldn't be bothered to look up from social media at Ravi's suggestion because it's better to be vapid and basically brain dead than full on undead.(#firstworldproblems)

This brain wasn't exactly my favorite, but it did provide some pretty cute moments such as the brain-food instagramming and the unboxing video. The biggest thing this brain provided though was the sense of wanting to open up and share within Liv, specifically with a not so open Drake.(I'm all for the bad boys and the female heroine. In fact, I champion such ships as Sookie/Eric, Veronica/Logan, Buffy/Spike but this whole Drake/Liv pairing does nothing for me. It's not even because of my bitter feelings over Lowell, but just that she was so strung up on Major this season, now she's ready to delve deep with Drake?) Let me back up a bit though and explain a few things before touching on the whole Liv-Drake debacle. As we know Peyton finally learned the truth about Blaine last week after she had already given him her cookies which led to some shame filled crying on her end.
This week, when Blaine arrives for his next session with our sexy ADA, Peyton reveals that she is resigning from her job and admitting to her boss, Floyd Baracus, she had a relationship with Blaine. While revealing all this Peyton is also mixing a drink with a lot of fire to it, and just as Blaine is about to question it, in comes Liv who reveals to Blaine that now Peyton knows everything. (Poor Blaine, he might have actually liked Peyton, but that's gone now. that's what happens when you're evil.) Liv then notices that her and Clive's three victims are on Peyton's Board of Boss and that one of the victims was actually Mr. Boss' nephew. Clive and Liv pay Mr. Boss a visit, but determine that he isn't a suspect given his reaction to hearing of his nephew's demise, so they are back at square one. (This would have been a great time for some dialogue about Liv's visions and how she's not having any, but instead the opportunity goes by wasted) Clive takes to the streets and manages to find out there is a new player in town selling raw, uncut utopium who plans on challenging Mr. Boss for position as head boss.

Peyton (Aka suspect number 1 on this season's death watch) heads to Baracus' home in order to turn in her resignation only to find his home ram-shackled and a note on the wall that makes it look like it was the chaos killer striking again. Agent Bozzio(Suspect number 2 on this season's death watch)determines that this couldn't have been the Chaos Killer and that it had been set up to look like it was. Though the idea that the Chaos Killer has killed someone that the Max Rager League of Doom suspected of being of zombie but were told otherwise is concerning to Vaughn who summons Major aka the Chaos killer for an explanation. Major tries to lie, but the Team already has done some digging into Baracus and all signs point to him being a zombie. Thus Vaughn makes it simple for Major, he doesn't just get even, he gets even with interest (Vaughn is clearly the far superior threat this season, but more on that later) and he makes Major choose a troll for Vaughn to get even with just to show Major how Vaughn deals with the little insignificant ones who do him wrong.

Meanwhile Liv is dealing with some communication issues thanks her new found social media obsessiveness. She searches for Drake's online profiles and can't find any, and then happens to look into the SPD database to find out that Drake spent two years in prison. After he shows up to the morgue when he feels she had been avoiding him all day, she confronts him with the knowledge about his incarceration. He offers up his side, he was 19 and he beat up the guy beating on his sweet ol' mother who happens to conveniently call and needs Drake to fix her sink. Liv tags along and sure his mom is cute, but this is moving way too fast. Liv still knows almost next to nothing about Drake, yet she's meeting his mom. It's weird and feels almost too OOC for Liv, even with the brains she's on. At the same time Blaine comes face to face with Mr. Boss at his nephew's funeral is being held at the home Blaine uses as a front. Blaine thinks he's gotten away smoothly from Boss, but Boss confronts him and let's him know that he does in fact remember Blaine and that he also knows that with interest Blaine owes him about $80,000.
Clive and Liv investigate a lead in the triple homicide that takes them to a marina where a boat was found covered in blood. The deckhand manages to tell our duo that he saw the guy who got out of the boat get into a green and white taxi. The taxi tip leads them to a cabin which is owned by the DA Baracus! After deducing that Baracus had been in the cabin recently, Clive comes to the conclusion that Boss must have sent those three guys after Baracus as payback, but somehow Baracus got the better of them. The question on Clive's mind now though is how? Liv notices the hot sauce on the counter and the realization spreads across her face like butter on toast, Baracus is a zombie. Clive notices her spacing out and thinks she must've had a vision and when she says she didn't he cracks one little joke about it before Liv opens the fridge and finds the heads of the three victims inside. Also inside is Baracus in the crawl space, which prompts Liv to return later with some brains for the poor chap seeing as his are getting charted away as evidence. She finds him and he confides in her that there is no going back after this, he killed three goons sent after him by Boss who will surely be after him and he's wanted for murder. All this unspools as Major lurks outside in his vehicle.

“Before you moved in, I just assumed you were a fembot that plugged into a charging station at night."
The next day as Peyton is about to pack her things at work, she gets a visit from the Mayor who tells her she refuses to accept her resignation. She shows Peyton the article the Blaine had a his planted journalist write. Thanks to that article stating that Mr. Boss ordered a hit against the DA, she is going full force after Mr. Boss, just like Blaine wanted. Not part of Blaine's plan however is Vaughn reading the article and putting the pieces together that the doughboy DA was in fact a zombie and not a normal ol' human like Major swore. Major admits to letting Baracus, and Baracus only, slip by because he saw him with his kid. Vaughn then shows Major a video of a news report from Bangkok where the troll Major had picked out was apparently killed in an automobile accident and then assures him that he will kill one of these trolls everyday until he has proof that Baracus is dead and subtly threatens Liv in the process. Cut to Major doing his whole Chaos Killer thing and putting Baracus in the freezer. The suicide note left by Baracus is good enough for the cops Clive explains when walks in on Liv and Ravi receiving a new body in the morgue. The body in question, was that of a dealer who seemed to be working for the new competition of Mr. Boss and was slinging Lucky U across Seattle when he met his grisly end via a slit throat. Later, when Liv and Drake are hanging out, Don E. shows up looking for Drake at Liv's place. Liv flashes and sees a vision of our good friend Don E. selling the dead millennial Lucky U and after Drake exits with him, Liv realizes not that her beau is bad dude, but that Blaine is the new player.

Oh, and Ravi spent most the episode hungover thanks to the fact that he was partaking in Peyton's pity drinking. Once he finds out she isn't quitting he tries to convince her to stay with him and Major and not move out, but Peyton decides she's got to leave and she's got to take on Mr. Boss solidifying that she is about to be six feet under before all this plays out to it's conclusion.

Overall Thoughts: Let me just get this out of the way. I don't get Liv's blindspot when it comes to bad boys. As much as I loved Lowell, she found out he knew about Blaine's operation and forgave him. Judging by the promos it looks as if she doesn't drop Drake next week either after discovering he has a mutual friend of Blaine's in Don E. Liv needs to hook up with TV'S other Olivia and gladiator up and check her gut. She seems to be going all in with someone she barely knows. Is it because her romance experience is limited? Or is it because she made Drake into what he is and therefore feels responsible for him? I'm just not liking how quickly Liv transitioned from Major, I guess. I get that Liv needs to feel as close to normal as possible and relationship gives her that, but when you have to go digging for answers on someone that is never a good sign.

This week was an opportunity wasted for me because I really thought we'd see something different with Liv and her case solving skills, but in the grand scheme of things it also made sense. This episode basically set the course for the big showdown of all the major plot points. Finally, after 11 episodes, we start to see the story arcs start to converge. I appreciate that the writers took their time to get us here, but it still feels like it's all falling short. There are two big bads in play and only one of them feels like a real threat. I liked that this episode showed us just a little bit more of how duplicitous and just all out ridiculously evil Vaughn could be. I liken Vaughn to a mixture of Aaron Echols from Veronica Mars and The Mayor from Buffy. He is so charismatic and charming even when he's being intimidating. I hate that he's not on anyone but Major's radar right now and only gets to really play with Major. I am longing for the day Liv and Vaughn really get into each other's crosshairs. As for Mr. Boss, he ends up just falling short because of Vaughn and Team Rager. I hate to say it but Mr. Boss is about as scary as the Trio in the first half of Season Six of Buffy. He just seems like the guy who does all the talking for the guy who is really in charge, and so far is a pretty lame and annoying villain.

The big issue with Physician, Heal Thy Selfie for me is that most of the episode just was more of the same, with no real changed outcome. Major is still at the mercy of Vaughn, Liv is still in the dark about Major, Blaine is still struggling for power, Clive is still as clueless as ever and Ravi did nothing but drink with Peyton who is on the short list to bite the dust or be significantly injured before the season finale. You could take the last 5-6 minutes and tack it onto the beginning of the next episode and it would flow all the same. iZombie has to really fire on all cylinders if it wants to keep people watching. Drake and Liv is basically LivWell 2.0 and Major is still stuck in some weird 80's action hero storyline limbo. It's weird how he's all just capable of doing all things for the sake of plot. (I'll never accept his whole parkour bit from the previous episode because that was just wtf. Does Major just like get skill points and levels up accordingly?)I hope that the explosive episode we were promised in 2.13 really delivers because then this episode would have been worth it to sit through. C'mon iZombie show us that you've got heart to go with these brains! oh and ss always there should be more #RaviOli.

What did you think of Physician, Heal thy Selfie? Are you excited about Liv-Drake? Do you think Peyton will be a casualty of the Blaine- Mr. Boss war? How do you feel about our odds for season 3? Sound off Below and vote in my poll!

iZombie's 13th episode of Season 2, The Whopper airs Tuesday 2/16 on the CW after the Flash at 8pm ct.

Check out these glorious podcasts @iZombieNation and @iZombiePodcast
Follow these cool iZombie individuals: @iZombieFans_CW / @iZombieObsessed / @morales_ej

Remember that if you miss first airing and the live tweeting @NeptuneRising orchestrates a #iZombieRewatch #iZombieHorde #iZombie #iZombieRewatch

And if you guys aren't doing anything Monday's or Fridays, follow on @AuthorChrisVale twitter and join in on periscope #GameNightwithTheVales.

Or you could just follow me.... @CapesideRdmptn

About the Author - Winston Mize
Winston is a 25 year old goofball, born in the north, and currently living in the south. He loves TV.... for some it's coffee, for him it's TV talk that gets his day going. He wants to be a screenwriter, and watches some of everything. You name it, he's probably checked it out. And he would like you to know that it is okay for a 25 year old to play with action figures... well, he does anyway. He's semi-active on twitter (so do him a favor and help him get 500 followers) and has quite a lot of nothing to say. Get to know him and learn he is just randomness personified. You can check him out with previews/reviews of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and iZombie this fall.
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