“iZombie”, Season 3, Episode 5, “Spanking the Zombie”

[Image via The CW]

Well, last week was a special episode of iZombie, and if you’re good and pay attention I’ll tell you all about it. However… If you’re bad, I don’t know what I might do. I may have to punish you—which I’m assuming you want anyway.

Here’s the recap! Now read!


  •   Let’s get the side news out of the way. There was no Blaine (David Anders), there was no Peyton (Aly Michalka). Although they’ll both be front and center next week, so we can expect more of their BS.
  •   Also, there wasn’t much to the story involving Don E (Bryce Hodgson) and The Scratching Post. He hired a stoner he used to know to help them run the place, and it was the extent of his story. Oh, and he got one of the coolest of the comic panel drop ins—but we’ll talk about that later.
  •   Major (Robert Buckley) was out on his first military excursion and learn the hard way that these aren’t easy, even if you’re a zombie. His group leader was shot in the head and he manage to get a number of nasty stab wounds to his stomach in the process of taking out the bad guys. On the other hand, raging up on Max Rager gives you some wicked ass parkour skills. Who knew zombies were that flexible?
  •   Oh, and we discovered that when Filmore Graves goes out on operation, they do a bit a headhunting during the cleanup. And I do mean headhunting: they came back with coolers full of severed heads because zombies gotta eat brains, and why leave a good brain to waste out on the battlefield?
  •   The bad part of all this is Majors health is worsening. His coughing grew worse throughout the entire episode until—well, you’ll see at the end.
  •   And now we come to the main event of the evening: The Murder of the Week. Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) is looking into a murder that actually occurred a few weeks before: that of a dominatrix known professionally as Sweet Lady Pain. He like Liv (Rose McIver) to help out but there’s a slight problem: the body was cremated which means the brain is gone. Ah, but all is not lost, because guess who’s brain Ravi (Rahul Kohli) has been keeping in the vat the test is new serum?
  •   Liv is not too thrilled to eat this brain. For one, she doesn’t seem all that cool with consuming the brain of a dominatrix. Ravi tells her that should be that big of a deal as she is already kinda bossy, which is another check mark for me in the “Let’s Make Ravi An Asshole” column. I don’t know what it is, but the last few episodes Ravi has really started to become something of a snide pain in the ass.
  •   The other thing Liv doesn’t like is that the brain is blue, due to the juice it’s soaking in. Ravi and Clive pretty much tell her to suck it up and do it she can to chow it down, which leads to making some southern fried brain for lunch.
  •   And before you know it Liv is dressin’ sexy and cracking the whip—literally. In the dungeon they discover that Sweet Lady Pain was videotaping her sessions, which Clive the deuces that someone discovered and decided to get rid of her so they could take the recordings. And that’s when Liv has the first one of her naughty visions: along with one where she’s having a session with Payton’s boss, DA Floyd Baracus (Kurt Evans), who just happens to be running for mayor. Clive makes the comment that this is the first time he ever saw Liv get sucked so deep into a vision; from his point of view she was under over twenty seconds, making him comment that he thought for a moment she was going full warg.
  •   Liv has plenty of visions, enough that she’s seen nine clients whose name she doesn’t know—which is why her little sketchpad bitch Jimmy(Ryan Beil)  is there to help her out and get slightly turned on—and two she does know: news anchor Johnny Frost (Daran Norris) and lawyer Floyd Baracus (Kurt Evans). Frost and Stone have good excuses as to where they were the night of the murders, but they’re somewhat weirded out by the implication that their sessions were being taped—and even a bit more weirded out by the attitude a leather-and-boots wearing Liv is using on them. Which makes me kinda wonder: did Liv happen to have all these leather skirts, lacy tops, and knee-high boots in her wardrobe before eating this brain, or is there a place she can go and just pick shit up to match her emulated mood? They should do an episode on this.
  •   Baracus and Frost come back later with some news that could be construed as maybe possibly breaking the law, though Mr. Frost refuses to say if any law was broken, and if it were, Mr. Baracus indicates his client is unaware if he may have broken the law and therefore cannot be held liable for the possibility that said law was broken… Clive doesn’t give a shit about the legal double talk, he just wants to know what’s happening. It’s like this: someone contacted Johnny and told him he had video of his session with Sweet Lady Pain, and if he didn’t want that video released on YouTube he needed to pony up ten thousand dollars. So Mr. Frost did just that—only now he’s being blackmailed again for even more money. This leaves Clive and Liv to use Johnny to set up a sting, because her certain her blackmailer is also their murderer.
  •   In the meantime, Liv gets word to Fillmore Graves about her meeting with the redneck at the pistol range. Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage) is interested in bringing this person in so she can give them some cold hard cash and possibly pick up some information from him in the process. And just to play it safe, while Mr. MAGA is upstairs speaking with Vivian and her brain trust—no pun intended—her goons are down at the dude’s truck installing a bug. Now FG can keep a discrete eye on the zombie-hating dude.
  •   Clive’s sting works as expected in the capture the perp, who quickly confesses to having broken into Sweet Lady Pain’s dungeon and killed her in the process of taking her videos. The bitch of it is, the dude folds so fast we never get a chance to see Clive and Liv play Good Cop/Bad Dominatrix on the dude. Maybe next time.
  •   With all this murder shit out of the way we come to the final act, and that’s the one that involves Major quickly heading on his way to the Big Checkout. This situation has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer continue, but without his wounds being sufficiently healed it’s impossible to give him the cure as turning human could actually kill him. Liv uses a syringe to drain as much fluid as they can from Major’s lungs and they take them home to recuperate.  And here we get all the feels and the sadness coming in this Major is remembering, perhaps for the last time, that he and Liv had something going on. It’s a quite tender moment with a bit of touching in a bit of holding in a bit of kissing–and yes, probably a bit of zombie sex, but were only going to assume that because we didn’t see the undead deed go down.  But as the sun comes up on another Seattle day, Liv and Ravi say their last goodbyes as Major is given the cure that will save his life and erase his memories…


Personal Notes: Anyone watching this episode for the story and not for the opportunity to see Rose McIver play a stern, whip-wielding, take-no-shit dominatrix definitely had a wrong set of priorities going into the show. This is the sort of role that is usually played for laughs and/or way the hell over the top, but as she usually does, Rose found a nice balance and slayed the part. There were a couple of scenes where she would rip off a line and it would make you wonder just how long she’d been practicing in the mirror to get the tone and the look just right. On a show that is sometimes considered to be little more than pop culture fluff, when given the chance Rose brings a new level of intensity to her character. And as Rachel said, let’s hope we see her pop into this persona again, because it was fun to watch Liv play this out.

Oh, and getting a chance to see her walking around in those leather skirts, though slightly revealing tops, and those over the knee leather boots was a nice change of pace for those of us who enjoy seeing women—and particularly Liv—dressed that way. I mean, just because a, oh, you know, lesbian blogger who recaps his show happened to like how Liv looked doesn’t mean iZombie should dress Liv that way again soon—said no lesbian blogger who recaps this show ever…

Also the revelation that the “blue brain” induced longer and more intense visions was a nice touch. I particularly enjoyed the scene at Fillmore Graves were we actually see Liv go into a vision, but were seeing it from the perspective of the people looking at her. I can’t remember if this is ever been shown before and it was another nice touch for the show’s zombie world building. I think it’s highly likely were going to see blue braining used again in the future.

And lastly, the comic panel drop ins used to start a new act were especially excellent this week. The teaser panel was “Zombie Apocalypse Now”, and the other two that were additional standouts were “No Trucks Given”—used when Mr. MAGA pulled up into the Fillmore Graves parking lot—and my favorite, used when Don E was filling the liquor shelf behind the bar, “The Stocking Dead”. Thrown a bit a shade there, aren’t we, Rob?



As always, leave a comment below and tell us how we did!


Liv (Rose McIver)
Ravi (Rahul Kohli)
Major (Robert Buckley)
Clive (Malcolm Goodwin)
Peyton (Aly Michalka)

Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage)

Floyd Baracus (Kurt Evans)
Johnny Frost (Daran Norris)
Brandt Stone (Ken Marino)
Jimmy (Ryan Beil)
Don E (Bryce Hodgson)

0 thoughts on ““iZombie”, Season 3, Episode 5, “Spanking the Zombie”

  1. Okay, right off the bat, I’m going to say this was my fave episode yet of iZombie, for Liv’s dominatrix role alone! Seriously, the CW Network needs to make sure Ravi has a whole secret stash of this brain laying around so Liv can dom out every now and again 🙂

    Also, Cassidy, thanks for pointing out hte significance of the blue brain, I totally missed that when watching ti first time around.

    • It’s my favorite so far due to the things mentioned in the Personal Notes. We never got to find out if Ravi dug her like that–so maybe the brain is still around.

      I will say that brain seemed to wear off after about a day and a half. Maybe it was long. They’re not good with time on the show. 🙂

      I would like to have seen her interacting with Payton like that. Could have been interesting.

  2. Pingback: ‘iZombie,’ Season 3, Episode 9, “Twenty Sided, Die” | The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

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