iZombie: Peyton is back, but Blaine is conspicuously absent

Peyton is back! Finally! And it looks like she might be getting a good amount of screen time, as she’s already getting embroiled in some of the show’s bigger plots (though she doesn’t know it yet).

This week’s murder mystery was only moderately interesting, functioning largely as a vehicle for advancing other plots. It just never quite got off the ground under its own steam, and even watching Liv strut around in rich bitch mode wasn’t that entertaining. The writing seemed torn between trying to take the stance of “trophy wives are people too” and joking too gently at these women’s expense, which is just unfortunate as it means the episode flounders a bit and doesn’t manage to be either funny or insightful. The one redeeming feature of this week’s whodunnit might have been the revelation of the murderer, except by the time that happened I didn’t even care anymore and it was quickly overshadowed by Peyton stuff.

It seems that Major is going to figure larger in this season than in the first one, but he continues to be a bore. It looks like he won’t be hitting rock bottom with his burgeoning addiction anytime soon, and in fact he seems almost too functional, all things considered. He’s certainly functional enough to bang Gilda (who it turns out is Vaughn’s illegitimate daughter?!). I’m not sure who of that pair I feel more sorry for, to be honest. That sounds like it would be the saddest, most vanilla sex ever. Also, is Major Lilywhite really the guy you run to in a fit of post-adolescent youthful rebellion? Poor Gilda.

Ravi was excellent this week. I like Rahul Kohli best when he’s less funny, to be honest, and Ravi is an excellent voice of reason, with good insights. That said, it was a little disappointing to see him so completely oblivious to Liv’s pain this week. So was Clive, but Clive has the excuse of having limited exposure to Liv–basically he sees her just often enough to think she’s probably insane. Speaking of Clive, though, he’s been kind of tragically underused this season so far. It seemed like he and Liv were becoming something like friends last year, but now he seems to exist only to react to her bizarre behavior.

With Blaine missing in action after the reveal of his zombie dad last week, this episode’s big villain was Vaughn du Clark, who was really wonderfully wicked. His interactions with Liv were particularly fun to watch for his part, although Liv’s strange behavior was a bit much. It mostly worked, but this week it was all due to Steven Weber’s excellence as Vaughn.

The most important part of “Real Dead Housewife of Seattle,” however, really is Peyton’s return. With Liv having so few female characters to interact with, Peyton is a pretty vital part of the show that has been missing far too often and, this time, for far too long. Her return was handled nicely, and I thought I might cry when Liv opened her fridge and found that cake. Now I just need for Peyton and Liv to find themselves in the same room. You know, talking and stuff, because I can’t imagine that Peyton has really, fully wrapped her head around the zombie thing yet.

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