In Review: iZombie, Episode 18 “Love & Basketball”

I was really 50-50 on this episode, but I loved Liv and Major's scenes.

iZombie, Episode 18 “Love & Basketball” Broadcast on November 3, 2015

Written by Bob Dearden

Directed by Michael Fields

“Previously on iZombie,” Blaine turns the dealer who created the bad batch of Utopium into a zombie to get him to create a similar batch, FBI Agent Bozzio and Clive are assigned to work together to look for all the missing persons, and Major goes to Liv’s to admit he needs help and they end up in each other’s arms passionately kissing. “Make Out the Zombie,” Liv stops the make out session fearing any intimate interactions between them could end with Major turning into a zombie. Elsewhere, A security guard is shot while watching a basketball game. Cue opening title sequence.

Major wakes up on his former fiancee’s sofa, with Liv taking his pulse. He wants to resume their relationship, but she knows it can’t work unless there’s a cure, so she wants to go back to being friends. This disappoints him. Ravi calls with a body call, and she leaves. At the scene of the crime, Clive tells her and Ravi that the security cameras were disabled and the last page of the day’s entry log is gone. Clive tells the pair, “We have to earn our paychecks.” At Blaine’s business, a discussion with a client is interrupted by the return of the turned dealer, who says he’ll cut more batches of the bad Utopium so that he can be cured. In the morgue, Clive shows up before Liv can eat some brains. He wants her to use her “third eye” to get a lead on three photos that have turned up from the crime scene. She can’t and he leaves, allowing her to eat some breakfast. At a laboratory of Max Rager’s, Dr. Irving tells Gilda she needs some zombie blood where the subject hasn’t gone mad. Gilda says she knows a zombie hunter who can do the job. Back at police headquarters, Liv shows up at Clive’s desk to look at the photos again, but with the same results. She surprisingly harangues him for being a Nicks fan, which shocks Babineaux that she wants to talk basketball. Their comments are interrupted by a group of young teens who say the dead man was their basketball coach and they know who killed him. Cue first commercial break.

This had strong character moments, with Clive showing a side of himself not seen before, and it’s not pretty, and a very slick solution to the mystery, but some aspects of the story just didn’t ring true. Top among them were all the sports talk and skills, which I just couldn’t believe. McIver seemed really forcing herself to be sporty/coachy and they weren’t working. How and why the murder occurred was very cool, but the lead up to the reveal was hollow. The high point of the episode was Rose McIver and Robert Buckley. Their chemistry clicked and their dialogue was like the classic Hepburn-Tracy films. Also strong was Rahul Kohli who had a spectacular scene with David Anders, which will forever taint a Cure song. Missing was Jessica Harmon who was spectacular in every scene with Malcolm Goodwin last week, and is reduced to a silent cameo. Nope, sorry, iZombie writers, you did such a good job with her last week, I’ve got to have Dale and Clive together more often. The last scene was a super cliffhanger, leaving me wondering how long it will be before he finds out the truth.

The good: Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, scenes with Liv and Major, and a Cure song.

Fun lines: “Sexy,” “Oh my god, horny boys are the worst,” “God, you’re so weird,” “I’ve read about it,” “I’m shameless,” and “That was unwise.”

The bad: All the sports scenes seemed forced with Rose McIver just not selling them. Gilda has a countdown clock above her head and I’m just waiting for her to be taken out violently. The best thing that could happen to her is if Blaine turns her.

The final line: I was really 50-50 on this episode, but I loved Liv and Major’s scenes so much, I’m going to give it a tick up. Overall grade: B-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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