Robert Knepper
Photo: Katie Yu (The CW)

A lot happens in “Chivalry Is Dead,” but iZombie saves the biggest surprise for the very end: Liv tries to turn a sick girl into a zombie, and it doesn’t work. This seems to imply that some people might be immune to the zombie virus, which is a potentially a huge development. What this means for Liv and her smuggling operation going forward is unclear, but the existence of an immune human does hint that there is a real possibility for Ravi to develop a workable cure or at least a vaccine to prevent transmission in the future, which would be a complete game changer for the city of New Seattle.

The other big news of the episode is the return of Mr. Boss, who busts out of a crate of chilled brains in Blaine’s kitchen ready to steal the episode right out from under everyone else. Things must be hard up outside the walls of Seattle if Mr. Boss is willing to smuggle himself back in just to retrieve some money from his former accountant, but even if the circumstances of Mr. Boss’ return are a bit shaky, the result of his return—and subsequent team-up with Blaine and Don E—is nothing less than delightful. After spending most of the season without a lot of overt bad guy behavior, it’s entertaining to see the show re-enter the world of despicable-but-snarky criminals so easily. Tying in Angus and his followers to do their evil bidding is also just twisted enough to work.

The most intriguing part of Mr. Boss’ return is how his story is set to intersect with Peyton’s yet again, since the money he came back to retrieve was already taken by Peyton to help Liv in her smuggling operations. As much as I love Peyton immediately deciding to help Liv in her endeavors (instead of getting self-righteous and angry, which is honestly what I expected to happen), there is no way her thievery isn’t discovered, especially since Blaine already ate the accountant’s brains and will probably see a vision of their meeting. All season long the show has hinted at Blaine’s residual affection for Peyton. That affection might be the thing that saves her here, because Mr. Boss certainly isn’t a forgiving man.

As for the LARPer brain of the week, this was one of the more pleasant ones in pure entertainment value, even if the murder case itself was shaky at best (with a side of being a bit too on-the-nose with Clive’s personal life). There is literally no reason that this brain should have made Liv speak solely in medieval language and meter, but speak that way she did. Verily. Luckily, Rose McIver is genuinely great at it and squeezes an enormous amount of goodwill and levity out of a fairly one-note joke. The murder itself ends up being a typical scorned lover trope, but gets a little bit groan-worthy as the writers twist it a bit to make it mirror what Clive and Dale are going through almost exactly. The murder victim was a human sleeping with his zombie friend’s human wife, and the only difference between this and what Clive is going through with Dale is that everything Clive and Dale do is “allowed,” through virtue of their open relationship. There is a way to deftly mirror cases of the week with the problems in detectives’ lives, as evidenced by years and years of television procedurals, but this wasn’t the most subtle rendering of that narrative.

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Even without the somewhat clunky tie to the case of the week, the Clive and Dale subplot still would not quite have landed in this episode, and it hasn’t quite landed for a few weeks now. When the story was introduced, it looked like an interesting way for the show to explore how the zombie outbreak ripped apart relationships in this new reality, but instead of examining that in depth it feels like the writers are hitting the same story beats over and over again without really advancing anything between Dale and Clive, or even giving them many meaningful conversations about their situation. At this point it feels like they’ve hit a wall and either need to advance the story and move the couple into a break up, or have the characters embrace it. The never-ending limbo that is Clive’s sadness about it isn’t quite working.

Stray observations

  • While Blaine and Don E teaming up with Mr. Boss was extremely entertaining to watch, the actual crime they committed was extremely horrifying—especially because they did it while narrating their awfulness like it was an episode of Zombie Murder Sportscenter. Yikes.
  • The highlight of the episode was when Clive thought a live-action Dungeons & Dragons sounded cool, then immediately changed his mind upon seeing the actual LARPer group.
  • Another week, another Major storyline that I’m not very interested in. It seems like every week Major is doing something different with Fillmore Graves and none of it is quite landing for me. Remember when it seemed like Major would have a crisis of conscience over who he’s become by working for Chase? What happened to that?
  • Liv’s brain roast is ridiculous, mostly because she staged it with fully baked pie. Who has the time?
  • “That’s what I was thinking, but in a less annoying way.”

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