iZombie Review: “Salivation Army”

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Kyle’s Thoughts

iZombie has proven time and time again that it’s not afraid to shake up things. “Salivation Army” started off slow but several story arcs were closed out in satisfying ways. I don’t know how to explain this without spoilers, so I’ll make a spoiler section. Let’s just say that fans of the show were treated to some old fashioned zombie goodness.

I’m liking the new dynamic of Detective Babineaux knowing about Liv, Major, and zombies. We didn’t get much detective work this episode, but you can see how he’s been doing his job with one hand tied behind his back up until this point. He needed to know, but I liked how iZombie took its time to let Babineaux know. The show waited until an opportune time to tell him. And the moment felt right.

The first half of this week’s episode showed the newly formed Zombie Mystery Team create a plan to free Max Rager’s zombie prisoners, and they worked well off each other. I hadn’t noticed how disjointed iZombie—in regards to its main cast—until saw Liv, Ravi, Babineaux, Major, and Peyton in the same space. Throw in an amnesic Blaine and you’ve got a party.

***Spoiler Zone***

Max Rager threw its own party this week. Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20, not the show’s producer) was the headliner, and the Zombie Mystery Team used the manic energy to crash Max Rager headquarters. Oh, they found the surviving zombies, but not before all heck broke loose with Super Max. Utopium mixed with Super Max causes crazed zombies, and some teens learned that the hard way. It might get buried with weekly mysteries, comedy, and a web of backstabbing, but “Salivation Army” reminded us that iZombie is a zombie show. Several characters die. And not the undead kind of die.

Vaughn and his daughter are dead, and they died in satisfying fashion. Vaughn suffered and Gilda was put out of her misery. The big tear jerker—of sorts—was Drake’s death. He turned into a Romero zombie. He lost his mind, thought only of brains, and Liv had to put him down. Liv and Drake’s relationship was developed well and the two actors had okay chemistry, but he was a stand-in for Major, so I wasn’t too choked up about his end. iZombie has done a better than CW job of building romantic relationships, but Drake was more of a plot device.

The biggest reveal was that the defense contractors buying Super Max from Vaughn were turned into zombies. Liv zombies, not Romeros. We’re not sure if they knew what Super Max did before the party but they’re going to take advantage of it and that allowed the episode to end with a great chill.

“Salivation Army” is the perfect example of how iZombie can be goofy one moment and creepy the next. Rob Thomas was more than your standard musical guest. He died during the zombie attack and when Liv finds his corpse, she says, “This is how a skull breaks.” It’s okay to share an uncomfortable laugh with this play on a Matchbox 20 lyric. Vaughn also mentioned how Rob Thomas’s death would affect his company’s stock. And there was something unsettling hearing someone other than Rob Thomas singing “Unwell” at the end of episode. Viewers knew a zombie had eaten his brains and gained his memories and talent. Turns out the zombie feeding on Rob Thomas was one of the defense contractors. Creepy.

***End of Spoilers***

No one but Blaine returns from the dead, so I don’t expect any of the characters who died this week to return. It says something when a CW show about zombies resurrects fewer characters than non-zombie CW shows. I won’t get into any details there. Let’s just say that I’m enjoying iZombie and can’t wait to see the season finale.

Thanks for reading.

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