Mind. Totally. Blown. Who's with me?
So Blaine DeBeers, the best-worst villain ever, is no longer a zombie. Major Lilywhite is a zombie. No, wait. He isn't. Liv Moore's little brother is on his deathbed because she refuses to turn him into a zombie. Meat Cute is littered with the bodies of dead zombies. And Liv, tragically, is still a zombie.
Got all that?
The season finale of the CW's "iZombie" packs a wallop, fulfilling the promise from creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero, the skillful team behind "Veronica Mars." Not that the dozen episodes that have come before weren't tight, insane, shocking and, often, hilarious, but No. 13 is a definite high-water mark for the dram-rom-zom-com.
The sad part? Liv Moore (Rose McIver) looks like she'll be kicking off season 2 just as alienated and estranged from her near and dear ones as she was at the very beginning of this DC Comics-based series.
Major (Robert Buckley) is hacked off because she played God and, before that, broke his heart and lied to him repeatedly. Her bestie, Peyton (Aly Michalka), is MIA because of those same deceptions but also on account of seeing Liv stab a rampaging zombie to death in their kitchen. Liv's mom has to be none too pleased about Liv's refusal to donate blood to her mortally wounded brother.
What a mess.
Actions have consequences, the moral of the story goes, but it's bothering me that Liv has to shoulder the weight of this burden all by her lonesome. Not fair! She didn't want to go on that stupid booze cruise to begin with, and being attacked and zombiefied was just beyond the pale, so to speak. Not her fault!
It's been rough going ever since, with our undead heroine finding her "greater good" as a brain-ingesting, crime-solving colleague to one of Seattle PD's finest, Det. Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin).
At least she may still have a job as honorary cop and morgue attendant when we see her next. As for being surrounded by loving friends and family? Not so sure about that.
On to the nitty-gritty of this hour, dubbed "Blaine's World," because the resident baddie really does hold the keys to the zombie kingdom and far beyond.
Information is power, and there's a thumb drive on the loose that's worth $300,000. This diminutive device contains a heaping pile of dirty corporate laundry in the form of Max Rager's internal memo admitting that its energy drink has psychosis-inducing properties and that heavy users have turned murderous.
The drive also stores an expose from Rebecca the Reporter — remember: problem drinker but damn fine investigator while she lived — and a video teaser for a new product called Super Max. Suffice to say, that's not a simple caffeinated beverage.
The joyriding teens from the previous week's episode have the valuable data, after mowing down Max Rager enforcer Sebastian, burying him "alive" and stealing his wallet. They disagree on how to handle the situation, with "go to the police" losing out to "murder friends and keep Max Rager's payoff."
The sociopathic Cameron makes that call, offing his fellow Asshats and trying to run away to Canada with the ill-gotten gains. He doesn't count on a car bomb, a tracking device and a medical examiner versed in snooker balls. Dr. Ravi, does your knowledge know no bounds?
Steven Weber makes another guest appearance as Vaughn Du Clark, the ethically bankrupt CEO of Max Rager. He brings in a new researcher — Sebastian beat the last one to death — to develop even more potent, addictive elixirs. He doesn't plan to create more zombies with his non-FDA-approved drinks, or so he says, but what to do with the existing ones? Mass extermination, of course. If he had a moustache, he'd be twirling it here. He's unrepentant even after the press rips the company to shreds, courtesy of Liv's anonymous tip, which sets him up for a later return.
While Liv and Clive are untangling the homicidal teenage web, Major is cooling his heels, quite literally, in the freezer at Meat Cute. He refuses to give up the million-dollar astronaut brains he stole from Blaine (David Anders), even under extreme duress.
Blaine, it should be noted, sinks to vicious new lows by parading a corpse in front of Major — a homeless teen/friend — and serving him cerebellum consommé. Why? Why does Blaine do any of the terrible things he does? "Daddy issues, megalomania, greed," he says.
Still, Major holds his tongue, adding to his long-suffering story arc but fueling his internal anti-zombie fire.
He makes that flame real, smoking the walk-in cooler and going full Charles Bronson on Evil HQ. Is this not the moment that most fans have been waiting for? Hear you roar, Major! And no matter if you see it coming or not, it's mighty satisfying to watch Major gun down a bunch of the walking undead. That illegal stash in his trunk — grenade! — comes in handy after all.
This is after Blaine pulls a switch on Liv, saying he'll trade Major for the purloined Alan York brains. Liv hands them over, but Blaine tricks her with a hoodie-wearing body double.
Reconvene at the charcuterie, where Major hasn't finished his bloody job in time to avoid a knife to the gut from Blaine. Liv arrives to shoot Blaine in his sculpted oblique but doesn't kill him because, he argues, he keeps the local zombies in check by keeping them fat and happy. What would become of the place if zombies roamed free, without benefit of his overpriced Meals on Wheels?
Liv doesn't want to find out, but she plays her ace. She jabs Blaine with a hypodermic of zombie "cure," a concoction that Ravi (Rahul Kohli) has formulated but tested only on lab rats. Results: glass half-empty.
She had planned to take it herself, tired of being "a monster," but sees a chance to bring Blaine down a peg. At the very least, he's impotent now, as far as his zombie-creating skills go. He's human again. But will the meds work for longer than 48 hours? (R.I.P. Hope!) Sure they will because Blaine's not going anywhere.
Nor is Major, who's bleeding out when Liv scratches him with her infectious nails, turning him into a zombie. As soon as he wakes up, in her bed, she confesses everything about their scuttled wedding, her fears of sexually transmitted zombiedom. She explains her visions and her bite-out-of-crime heroics. She tells him his altered state was his only survival.
Major is not grateful. Major is not relieved or understanding or supportive like he had been in that hallucination a few episodes ago. He claims she doesn't know him at all if she thinks he'd choose undeath over death. The rift between the two former lovers widens to a chasm.
She's probably intended to dose him all along, and she doesn't give him any details yet. But Liv uses the only remaining cure on him, though it's far from clear if that means he'll return permanently to his former self.
That's not his only problem because he's not off the hook for the Meat Cute melee. Lt. Suzuki tried to stage the scene to make it look like he gunned it out with Blaine's crew, but Clive might not buy it, especially when he realizes Julien "Candy Man" DuPont is among the victims.
Clive is the only major figure close to Liv who still doesn't know about her true self, but he may be finally putting pieces together thanks, in part, to those distinctive American flag sneakers.