iZombie’s “Death of a Car Salesman” Review

*Spoiler warning forĀ iZombie season 5, episode 8.

Ravi and Liv on iZombie
Ravi and Liv are on car salesman brain on iZombie. Photo courtesy of the CW, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

This episode was monumental for one simple reason – we finally learn how the zombie virus got created at spread to the public. If you’ll recall, we learned last episode that Martin Roberts (Bill Wise) aka the New Boss is Liv’s dad. Liv never knew her father because he was a junkie. 5 years ago he was working for Mr. Boss, trying to create the perfect batch of Utopium. A year later he believed that he finally achieved it, but it turned out to be affect the brain in such a way that the zombie virus was created. And so, when Martin tried it he became the world’s first zombie.

The zombie batch of Utopium had been left on his desk, and while he was out Don E., Blaine, and apparently Don E.’s twin (did anyone else know he had a twin?!) went to pick up a batch of Utopium to sell at the boat party. You know the one: the party that first started the zombie virus and turned Liv into a zombie. Well since Martin was out (accidentally turning himself into a zombie) Don E. picked up the Utopium and left, having no idea there was something wrong with it. Tada, the zombie breakout was born.

Additionally, Ravi has been looking for a “Beanpole Bob,” who he believes has more tainted Utopium that Ravi can use to make more of his cure. The flashbacks reveals that Beanpole Bob used to be Martin’s nickname. Martin can contribute to the cure and he doesn’t even know it, or maybe he doesn’t want a cure out there at all. I have a feeling though, that Liv being his daughter is going to lead to her figuring out who he really is. Perhaps a cure for everyone is the endgame this show is heading towards since this is the final season.

Okay that’s it for the flashbacks. Fast-forward to the present, and Liv’s trying to get to know her father, though she has no idea that he’s the one running the new gang of zombies that want dominion over the humans. Their catching up session is cut short when Liv realizes that her father is still on drugs all these years later. I find it hard to believe that a person who’s capable of running an operation as complex as Martin’s is also totally off the wagon.

The murder victim this week is a car salesman, which prompts Liv and Ravi (it’s his time of the month) to become competition obsessed, especially since it’s that time of the year when the police force sells raffle tickets. Who can sell the most raffle tickets becomes their top priority, as well as who can solve the case first. There are a number of suspects, but Clive believes he’s solved it when he realizes that the daughter of one of the salesman’s rivals, a guy who got fired because of the salesman, had the computer skills to hack the guy’s car and drive it off the road. It turns out, it was her father, who promptly confesses when he realizes she’s been arrested.

Meanwhile, Major’s mission this week is to impress the government delegate that Peyton convinced to come to New Seattle so that they can decide whether or not to nuke the city. Major wants to convince the government to help move all zombies to an island where they will be isolated from the rest of humanity but brains will be shipped to them regularly, which has been Filmore Graves’ mission from the start, although it’s taken some interesting turns at times. Nobody seems very convinced. Problems arise since General Mills’ daughter, the one who was kidnapped and made a zombie to keep her father in line, got kidnapped again last week, possibly by the New Boss. When Major is unable to produce to the General his daughter, Mills says that he’ll nuke Seattle for sure.

Martin, however, is playing a different game. He has one of his followers scratch a doctor, so that the doctor will scratch certain members of the delegations. Those government officials are then told that they work for Martin now, and better fight for zombies when they get back to Washington. This is either a very smart plan – they need government officials on their side, or a very stupid plan – having the virus spread beyond the city into the outside world could be disastrous. Who knows what this could start? But, I guess if you’re Martin and you’re trying to make zombies the dominant species, you don’t really mind.

Blaine is back this episode, and after getting paid for the Freylich brain (in advance, the girl is still alive) he wants to cash in on some more. He reaches out to his old smuggling contacts and pays them to get out of Seattle, and smuggle the rest of the country’s Freylich kids into the city so that Blaine can get them to sell their brains and he can get rich again.

Speaking of that girl who’s brain he already sold, Yasmine (Stephi Chin-Salvo), Blaine tells her to hole up in the Scratching Post so that other people coming looking for her brain don’t get to her – although he’s actually just trying to hide her from Ravi, afraid that Ravi will find out what he’s done. Yasmine arrives at the bar and meets Don E. who immediately falls for her. When he realizes she’s got a skull tattoo, he believes her to be the perfect girl the matchmaker was trying to set him up with, and she’s pretty interested in him too. I have a feeling that Don E. falling for a Freylich girl is going to mess up Blaine’s plans at some point.

Liv goes back to see her father and they discuss different rehabs that he can go to, although there’s no way he’s really considering it since he has an mission to carry out. At the end of the episode, however, Martin watches Renegade’s documentary and he has tears in his eyes. Maybe watching his daughter’s brave and selfless work has softened his heart. I certainly hope so.

Lastly, the first season of “Hi Zombie” – the TV show to promote good PR for zombies that Peyton and Ravi helped create – finally drops online. It’s about a zombie couple living next to a human couple. We only get to see a couple of minutes of it, but it’s actually pretty funny.

It’s a merely okay episode, but the revelation of how the zombie virus got started, and that it was Liv’s father who created it is huge, especially after all of these seasons of not knowing. I can only imagine what the show is going to reveal next. It’s the final season, so all of the secrets have to come out now.

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Author: Linda Maleh

Entertainment writer, feminist, and New York City native. Personal blog is tvtotalkabout.com.

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