iZombie S3:E2 Zombie Knows Best

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Malcolm Goodwin as Detective Clive Babineaux


For old people like myself, or students of early television, you might recognize the title as a take-off of “Father Knows Best”, the series with Robert Young.


This episode deals with “fatherhood”. Well…kinda…

Most of it deals with Clive and his relationship with Wally and his Mother.

Much of the episode is based on flashbacks attached to questions asked by Detective Callahan, who is the lead on the murder case. (Clive was Wally’s emergency contact, so he is being interviewed.)

The story begins with Clive still in Vice and undercover, living across the hall from Wally and his parents. Things come to a head when Wally’s Father abuses the mother, Anna, and Clive intervenes. He takes a hit from the father and then arrests the man for assaulting an officer.

Clive helped out Anna on several occasions after that. One time of note is the first time he plays babysitter for Wally. Wally dupes Clive into watching “Game of Thrones,” and learns that Wally will suggest things that his mom wouldn’t allow.

Soon, Wally and his mom become fixtures at Clive’s apartment, with Wally learning how to cook. At this time, Anna’s husband’s release from prison is coming closer. She has decided to go live with her brother and start a new life, much to Clive’s sorrow.

Clive ends up going into deep cover.

By the time he came back, Anna and Wally are gone, with no forwarding address.

When Clive saw Wally at Fillmore Graves, that was the first time in over 22 months that he had seen them.

“Did you ever think about how things might have worked out if you had been around when her husband had gotten out?” Callahan asks.

“Yeah. Once or twice,” Clive answers.

As he walks away from the detective, his face betrays that he thinks about it, a lot.

The most impressive part of this is how well Malcolm Goodwin, who plays Clive, carries the whole thing off. His character is believable, showing a great range of emotions, some of which are obviously displayed, while others are seen in a flash. You can see his happiness and you can feel his pain.

This is one of the few times where Mr. Goodwin gets to stretch his character. He is an excellent actor.

Anna, her brother, and Wally were known to be zombies by the next-door neighbor and people on a message board. Vivian, the CEO of Fillmore Graves, is upset as she figured that she had three years before the public knew about zombies. It has only been 21 months and 21 days.

There is also panic around the company that “the humans are coming to kill them.”

Yes, there is a double murder as well.

It is a father and daughter. Using brain chili dogs, Liv becomes the father, spouting platitudes and giving fatherly advice, while Major ends up as the 14-year-old daughter, with all the issues. Robert Buckley really steals this part of the show, playing the adolescent to the hilt. He spouts all the OMG’s, takes all the selfies, rolls all the eyes! In short, you really believe he’s a teenage girl! It is wonderful to watch.


It’s also nice to see an episode where an actor other than Rose McIver is the full focus, and someone else gets to have the mood swings and visions.

It is impressive to see just how good the whole cast of a show can be. Many television shows rely on one person to carry the show. iZombie has taken a big step in a better direction. I continue to look forward to what comes next.

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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