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IZOMBIE’s Season 2 Finale Gets Big, Gory, and Game-Changing

Warning: Spoilers, undead and otherwise, follow for the iZombie two-part season two finale, “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army.”

iZombie executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright promised a big season two finale, and they weren’t exaggerating. The two-parter, including “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army,” was a nonstop ride with loops you couldn’t see coming. They wrapped up more than few hanging threads and introduced a game-changing twist. This was definitely the closest the show’s come to a zombie movie. When you’re in the middle of a case watching Liv do something like magic tricks or singing country music, it can be easy to forget about the stakes and that being a zombie isn’t all fun and games and delicious looking meals. The events of the finale were a wake up call.

Where to start? The dominoes all started to tilt when Major was put in jail for being the Chaos Killer, then freed, and finally put back in jail because of the Meat Cute investigation. And of course, all of this happened when he was hungry for brains and not in a position to get any in the nontraditional method. Major’s arrest caused Ravi to come clean to Peyton and Liv about how Major actually was the Chaos Killer. I appreciate how it didn’t take any poking and prodding for him to do so.

Liv took the news better than I thought she would, and I admit I was a little disappointed at first. However, the dire circumstances of the situation–Major potentially going full Romero zombie in prison and starting the apocalypse–meant she had other problems to address. She didn’t have the luxury of taking the time to process Major’s actions and be angry with him for lying because the stakes were more important. I actually would have been annoyed if she would have paused in the middle of things for the sake of a dramatic and ultimately unimportant argument.

Instead, Liv had to make a hard decision and tell the truth to Clive. In some ways, bringing Clive into the inner circle of trust has been a long time coming. He’s a smart guy and though he’s picked up and commented on Liv’s mood swings, he had to start asking more questions soon. But, after waiting a couple seasons to clue him in, it had to be earned. It would have been a let down to watch Clive find out about the existence of zombies in some casual way. He’s also a rather grounded, rational guy so it would take something extreme to convince him. The set-up they concocted filled every requirement and was perfect.

Liv went to Clive in order to get Major out of jail and out of an incredibly risky situation. Clive, predictably, didn’t believe Liv’s wild story about the undead until she stabbed herself and flipped into full zombie rage mode. I imagine there will still be some fallout over Liv keeping the secret for so long, but again, it had to be put aside because of what was happening. Plus, poor Clive had his world turned upside down in multiple ways–learning zombies were real, the consequences his actions will have on his career, and ticking off/losing his girlfriend. It wasn’t the best day for him.

In fact, no one had the best day as the finale progressed. With the imminent threat of Major’s hunger dealt with, the team turned their attention to finding the thawed members of the undead who were on Major’s kill list. The search meant sneaking into Max Rager, and coincidentally, Vaughn Du Clark had just sealed a deal to hand over the company to a private military contractor. They couldn’t resist the results of Super Max. The celebration party provided an opportunity to sneak into the labs to search for the missing zombies.

If you thought their plan was too simple, you would be correct. My eyebrows raised as soon as I found out about the maximum security incorporated into the themed party. I couldn’t help but think of Admiral Ackbar saying, “It’s a trap!” Whatever you want to say about Vaughn–and there are many, many colorful adjectives to choose from–he’s a calculating, smart man. His ruthlessness has got him far. Steven Weber has been delightful in the villainous role all season, but he was especially on fire in the finale. From introducing Rob Thomas to the stage (yes, as in the singer Rob Thomas) to his mustache-twisting talk in the basement, he was on point and entertaining.

Major and Liv gained access to the shindig as part of the wait staff, but they didn’t have to go it alone. Clive is very much a by the book sort of guy so it meant the world for him to show up at the Max Rager party to check on his friends. He didn’t realize he’d be making himself a target. I was impressed and a little surprised he’d rather take a bullet to the brain than become the functional variety of zombie–I was also thankful because we need to make sure there are plenty of non-zombies in the primary cast.

And speaking of Clive becoming a target, the party became a scene right out of a zombie film. iZombie might feature brains as food and murders every week, but it’s rarely what I would call gory. They went for the gold here, and because they don’t pull out blood and guts all the time, it was more effective. The same applies to the zombies. We’re used to the kind of zombie Liv is. Seeing the others act like the typical undead we see in media was horrifying and had me on the edge of my seat. I was genuinely scared and nervous for Clive and shocked by the party turning into a massacre.

It was also kind of fun? I’m not sure I should have that reaction, but the humor was woven in so well (as usual) and those lighter moments balanced out the grossness.

Major, Clive, and Liv escaped the horde to find the missing, nice zombies, and the discovery led to another shock. Liv was forced to kill Drake–Vaughn’s team gave him an experimental cure and it didn’t work. I can’t believe Liv had to lose someone else she cared deeply about and that she was indirectly responsible for it. Doesn’t she already have enough to deal with?

She doesn’t, apparently, because after having to face vicious zombies and killing Drake, she was faced with a new problem. The purchasers of Max Rager weren’t private government contractors, they were zombies (or maybe they’re both?). They have a plan to make Seattle the capital of the zombie homeland. What. I can’t even imagine what this means for the existing zombies and humans in Seattle and beyond, and I was too distracted by watching the zombies eat Rob Thomas’ brain to figure it out.

The finale didn’t quite put a bow on the Mr. Boss subplot, but I’m not getting greedy. More than a few doors were closed in supremely clever ways. iZombie is a smart series and unafraid of taking risks. With the changed landscape, I don’t know if it will be possible to go back to the brain-of-the-week format next season– I hope not–and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Liv and co.

Favorite quotes:

  • “I drink liquor that comes out of a barrel, the way god intended.”
  • “His music is ripped from the headlines of my soul.” – Vaughn Du Clark
  • “This is how a skull breaks.” – Liv

Is your brain reeling? They went huge, and I can’t imagine how next season will kick off. My heart is breaking for Liv. Share your iZombie feelings with me in the comments or come chat with me on Twitter.


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