In Review: iZombie, Episode 21 “The Hurt Stalker”

Some fun moments overshadowed by tepid drama.

iZombie, Episode 21 “The Hurt Stalker” Broadcast on December 1, 2015

Written by Sara Saedi

Directed by Michael Wale

“Previously on iZombie,” Major breaks up with Gilda because he’s seeing Liv again, Gilda (going by the name of Rita as Liv’s roommate) gets some DNA from Liv to help with the recipe of SuperMax, Liv and Major discover that Clive is seeing Dale, and someone leaves an envelope on Dale’s doorstep.

“Shamble of Shame”: Liv takes off her shoes to enter her place after a night at Major’s and is discovered by (evil) roommate Rita. Liv shares she’s seeing her ex-fiancee, while Rita shares she and her boyfriend recently broke up. Our protagonist has no idea that Rita is taking about Major. Elsewhere, the mysterious woman who left an envelope on Dale’s doorstep is accosted in a parking garage. “Regina! You brought this upon yourself!” A man punches her. On the ground, Regina picks up an odd shaped knife that flew out of her purse, because the gun that fell out is too far away. She fights back, and is ready to give the killing blow when she’s shot from behind by an unseen assailant. Later, the police, including Ravi and Liv, are on the scene. Clive shows up tired and disheveled, causing some teasing from the medical experts. The humor stops when Clive says he knows the victim. “We used to date.” The gun recovered, the murder weapon, is Clive’s. Cue opening title sequence.

“Calling the Shots”: At Max Rager Headquarters, Gilda is giving Vaughn an update on Liv and Major, while he’s trying to get her to taste test two new flavors of Max. He says he’s not worried about Liv, since she can’t exactly go to the police and tell that he’s paying Major to kill zombies as that would expose her. A call has them going to the secret basement lab after Vaughn quotes some Pet Shop Boys. In the lab they see the speedy effects of SuperMax on a zombie. Vaughn gets an idea about whom their first human subject for the drink should be. In the morgue, Lt. Cavanaugh arrives to get the details on Regina, since Clive is off the case and is a suspect. It’s not looking good for Babineaux, since there’s a recording of him or her phone threatening Regina to leave him alone, recorded an hour before she was murdered. Cue first commercial break.

There was a lot of drama in this episode, and it was so heavy it made the mystery of Regina’s death seem pale. Because of the brain involved, Rose McIver gets to act paranoid and weepy. She played it as she should, but it was a downer. Not helping were her scenes with Major, and Robert Buckley is just as depressing. It was a very maudlin episode, and there was so much of it that it didn’t feel real like other emotional episodes. Brightening things up considerably was Rahul Kohli who had every funny line of the episode, with the reactions from Malcolm Goodwin the highlights. There’s a line about an author that had me laughing for a good five minutes. Leanne Lapp and Steven Weber have two great scenes together, with each trying to out-evil the other well. Vaughn and Major have a telling scene that will lead to bigger things in future episodes. Making a brief, but welcome, appearance was Jessica Harmon as Dale Bozzio, who provides a big clue for the team and provides the impetus for much of the episode’s laughs.

The good: Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin, Leanne Lapp, Steven Weber, and scenes in jail.

Fun lines: “They’re like drummers for Spinal Tap,” “If this case were any easier, I would have slept with it in college,” “Really? That’s where your mind goes,” “Yes, please!”, “Like Rob Stark,” “He knows,” and “They can’t help themselves.”

The bad: This was the first episode where I wasn’t wowed by Rose McIver and Robert Buckley. The script had them being depressing and their scenes together seemed phoned in.

The final line: Some fun moments overshadowed by tepid drama. Overall grade: C+

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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