iZombie Television

iZombie “The Scratchmaker” Review

*Spoiler warning for iZombie season 5, episode 6.

Blaine on iZombie
Blaine is finally wearing an orange jumpsuit on iZombie. Photo courtesy of the CW, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

Last episode, Blaine’s villainy was exposed, and New Seattle’s brain supply was cut off. This episode, we get the pleasure of seeing Blaine in jail, but also of watching Major try to figure out how to get more brains into the city. The case this episode – one of a murdered matchmaker, matters so little that I have to wonder why they bothered to put it in the episode at all, unless it’s going to pay off later.

Major’s first step is to go to Don E. and ask him to take over the business, since as Blaine’s right hand man he’s bound to know all of the details about the operation. Don E. however, remains loyal to Blaine and claims that he has no idea how to do it without him. Of course, that bluff is blown when Mr. Boss walks through the door. I know, we haven’t seen Mr. Boss in a while, so just as a reminder, he’s been Blaine’s partner on the outside in the brain smuggling operation. Mr. Boss says that he and Don E. basically do all the work anyway, and they’ll be willing to cut Blaine out and continue that work, but for double the price. Reluctant to pay such a high price, Major says he’ll take it under advisement, but leaves a pen that is secretly a recorder behind in the office.

Major’s second step is to go on a video call with the US government and beg them to start sending brains again, saying that if zombies start going hungry and they get out of the city, it won’t just be Seattle’s problem anymore. The government seems unmoved by this argument.

Blaine has moves of his own to make. He gets an expensive lawyer, but to be able to keep paying him after the police freezes all of his assets, he convinces Don E. to lend him so of the last of their cash, which also allows him to make bail. Of course the first thing Blaine does after getting out of jail is to threaten Al Bronson (from Bluster magazine), but she remains unafraid of him and pulls a gun on him. After being bested by Al, Blaine sneaks back into his office and tells Don E. about his plan for some quick cash. It turns out they still have some zombie cures left, so all they have to do is sell them immediately. Blaine also starts to tell Don E. about the connection he figured out between the Freylich brain cures and Lieutenant Bozzio being pregnant, but gets distracted – i.e. Dale couldn’t be pregnant if she was a zombie, so she must have been cured.

Blaine’s plans get shot to hell almost immediately when it turns out Don E. sent their most idiotic employee, Tanner, to get the stuff from the safe. When Tanner got stopped on the bridge by some cops, he figured that the syringes were drugs, and threw them off the bridge so that he wouldn’t get caught with them. Blaine gets so angry, that he immediately kills Tanner, which you can see pisses Don E. off. So the last of the cures are gone, and Don E.’s so angry at Blaine, that he flips on him and agrees with Mr. Boss to cut Blaine out of the deal. Things are not looking good for Blaine.

Major is getting major backlash from the media about the lack of brains, and Dolly Durkins goes on TV claiming that there’s only about a two-day supply left of brains in the city. When Major goes down there to intimidate her, he finds out that she’s actually the mother of one of his young soldiers. Apparently she disowned her son when he turned into a zombie. He warns Major not to underestimate her, which I would like to second. She’s definitely big trouble.

There is some good news for Major – he has an idea to fix his brain problems. He goes to a billionaire philanthropist, Ty Griss (David Stuart), who lives in the city, and owns a shipping company. Major asks him to help deliver brains. Griss says that he would love to help, but he doesn’t know anything about smuggling. No worries, it’s all a bluff. Major has billboards printed up and put all over the city that name Griss as the city’s new brain supplier. He then goes to Mr. Boss and Don E. and says that Griss is their new supplier and he’s doing it at 90% of the price he used to pay Blaine. This makes Mr. Boss and Don E. cave, and do it for 80%. They decide to leave Ty Griss as the face of the operation since making it well known that they were working with criminals didn’t work out so well last time.

So, Major pulls off a big win this episode, while Mr. Boss really loses out. It turns out that Al Bronson is his niece, and he convinced her to expose Blaine so that he could cut Blaine out, squeeze Major for twice the money, and come out even more rich than before. With it now being only 80% of the money, Mr. Boss takes a major loss.

Blaine took major losses too, including Don E. lying to him about still being in the brain business, but being Blaine, he has a new plan. He makes his Freylich brains his new source of income, and convinces a girl to sell her brain in advance of her dying from the disease for half a million in cash up front from a buyer. Being a facilitator, Blaine gets a cut. He offers to kill the girl so that the buyer doesn’t have to wait for her to die, but the buyer turns him down. I’m sure there will be buyers that don’t and this girl is only the first.

In a separate subplot this episode, Mr. Voss, the teacher Liv hired to tutor the orphans living in her house (who we see surprisingly little of), is still being blackmailed by the New Boss. Voss coaches a zombie who follows the New Boss on how to ace an interview to be a coyote for Renegade. She pretends she’s a human, and passes with flying colors, so now the New Boss has a mole on the inside of Renegade’s operation.

Other things that happen this episode are: Dale gets put on bed rest until the baby is born, so she puts Clive in charge while she’s out. The matchmaker who died was going to set Don E. up with someone before she was murdered, and watching him run around trying to figure out who the mystery girl is, is adorable. The matchmaker was killed by a woman who claims she set her son up with a zombie. Honestly most of the detective work happens off-screen this episode. Blaine also has his associates torch his house so that the police can’t find any evidence there. All in all, it’s a pretty good episode.

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