The thing about iZombie that I love is just how deep we get to know the characters and seem to know their motives, even if they surprise us with their actions. “The Scratchmaker” and “Filleted to Rest” were great mid-season episodes because they were focused on completely different things, had completely different tones, moved the overall season arc forward, and gave us some serious insight into the inner-workings of the show’s core characters.
Unsurprisingly, “The Scratchmaker” spent most of its time focused on Blaine and Don-E, the self-professed enemies of season five. Blaine was really feeling the repercussions of the exposé in which he was the subject, and most of the episode seemed to find everyone picking on up. Even Stacey Boss showed back up (which was an excellent surprise), and it turns out that his niece was the one behind the explosive article. Beyond Blaine, he really is the series big bad. After making an offer that Don-E couldn’t refuse, he and Boss ended up finishing last after Major ended up going with someone else. It all worked out in the end, though, by completely cutting Blaine out of the picture.
After reviewing the series from the very first episode, you should know that my love for Blaine and Don-E will never fade, and so “The Scratchmaker”, although relatively slow, ended up being an extremely fun episode based on the over-the-top villain acting by David Anders, and the hilarious one-liners with deadpan delivery by Bryce Hodgson.
There were a couple of pretty important bombshells that dropped in the episode, and one is that is that Dolly’s own son is a zombie. I wonder how that relationship dynamic impacted her feelings toward zombies (it obviously is super important). The other is that Blaine put two and two together and realized that Dale was cured of being a zombie…somehow. And also that Blaine’s reserve zombie cures are all gone (great job, Tanner–and also RIP, Tanner).
“Filleted to Rest” backed off a lot from Blaine’s story and focused much more on the brain-of-the-week, an egomaniac chef. I like the procedural episodes of iZombie the best, so this definitely filled the void left by the previous episode.
Although I hated re-introducing Michelle recently to cause angst between Clive and Dale (and especially making her pregnant), I found the hospital scene between her and Clive to be especially sweet. Clive doesn’t get enough love on this show, and even though he is one of my favorite characters (I mean, we both have an insatiable love for eye-rolling), it was satisfying to hear a tertiary character put into words how great he is.
If we thought that “The Scratchmaker” had some bombshells, that was nothing compared to Liv finding out that the man she thought was her bio dad was wrong, and her actual father is none other than Martin Roberts (the dude with the metal plate who appears to be behind the zombie resistance). I wasn’t a fan of Liv’s reunion with her mom, though–that was painful to watch, and I was really surprised at how Liv’s entire family completely abandoned her. It is understandable for them to be upset with her, but once they found out that she was a zombie, I would have thought that all would be forgiven regarding her refusing to save her brother’s life. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and neither her mother or her brother want anything to do with her. It’s pretty sad.
We also learned that Justin is working with the resistance and was shot dead after being found out by Major (and being shot by Major). RIP to another (ex)boyfriend of Liv’s. I still am a bit unclear as to what the endgame is for the resistance, particularly since so many zombies are involved, but being fuzzy on the details of the villains of the season are pretty par for the course in this series. I trust the writers of this show incredibly, and anticipate a great payoff.
Overall, “The Scratchmaker” and “Filleted to Rest” were pretty solid episodes. I would like some clarification on the overall story, but it was nice to get some time with our core characters. I am also looking forward to learning more about Martin Roberts and what his intentions are. Season five is moving right along!
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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