Review: iZombie ‘Abra Cadaver’ – Imperfect Fun

iZombie‘s Abra Cadaver is a wonderful episode. Fun, different, and fully entertaining, but, when compared to last week’s episode, it doesn’t quite stack up.

Review of iZombie Season 2 ‘Abra Cadaver’

This shouldn’t remove the value of this episode at all. ‘Abra Cadaver’ a fantastic episode, but last week was more fantastic episode. But enough comparison between episodes, let’s discuss this one.

This episode was the first in a while to really focus on the murder at hand, Season 2 seems to enjoy spending more time with our season long arcs than the individual stories, so to see the focus, at least temporarily, shifted back to crime was a nice change of pace. iZombie also picked the right episode to do it, the mystery behind ‘Abra Cadaver’ was full of both twists and interesting characters.

But, let’s cover our major plots first. In an unexpected twist (though in hindsight it seems obvious), Liv and Blaine have teamed up to hunt the zombie-hunter, in order to save both their lives and Blaine’s business. Their investigations significantly affected both sides of this plot. First Liv and Blaine were led to Dale’s house, first revealing the progress of Clive’s ‘relations’ with Dale, and letting us know just how much Dale knows about the whole situation.

We also have a bit of interaction between the two, with Liv falsifying the brain report and all. The really scary moment for any fan paying attention though, was when Blaine saw the missing dog report. It is almost certain that this is what will reveal the true nature of Major’s job, and if Liv had seen it, that moment would have arrived a lot sooner. Major has also found out that Liv is on to him, unknowingly of course, this is sure to cause some tension in the newly resurrected (Heh, zombie puns) relationship between Liv and Major.

We also have the ‘pleasure’ of seeing Ravi and Steph’s relationship wither out, fizzle down, just die. It wasn’t a fun moment at all, but you can’t blame Ravi, Peyton’s back, Peyton’s hot, and Steph never really seemed that interesting to begin with.

Speaking of Peyton, she was, rightfully, on edge throughout the entire episode, but the creepiest moment of the episode was not related to Mr. Boss. Instead it was when Peyton and Blaine seemed to almost… flirt with each other. No, no thank you, we don’t need anything like that.

But the real meat of the episode was definitely Mr. Sid Wicked and his rivals. The magician brain was lots of fun, watching Liv become obsessed with magic while surrounded by it was nothing short of entertaining.

The premise was nothing short of brilliant. It perfectly set up a scene, lots of suspects, and an easy reason why all these people are gathered there, although, you could argue that a death due to the Prestofest should have had some sort of reaction (postponement, cancellation, ETC).

What is really interesting though, was that of the three suspects, the one (or two) with the least amount of history with Sid Wicked was the most guilty. Houdina was his ex-fiance, but was guilty of nothing other than a pretty boring magic show. I mean come on, throwing cards at celery? I’ve seen ten-year-olds do that! Magicus was his kind of his mentor, but the only thing he could be charged with is naiveté. Come on, you should have known that hot girl didn’t really want, as Clive would say, “Do the nasty” with you.

iZombie Abra Cadaver Body 1
Don’t worry, your dissapearing was still (kinda) impressive.

Instead, it was Smoak and Meers. They were great, in particular their name and the fact that they were obviously a rip on Penn and Teller. However, one thing didn’t really make all that much sense. It’s revealed that Meers is actually a woman and temporarily worked as a maid for the hotel in order to kill Sid (so he doesn’t reveal their big trick). However, Meers pretending to be a man has no real benefit whatsoever. The only reason Meers pretends to be a man is so the reveal at the end of the episode is more surprising. But Smoak and Meers have been in the magic business for a while now, so why did Meers hide her gender then? To what benefit? Why did Meers decide, “You know what? I think I’ll pretend to be a man from now on, Mulan style.” It just doesn’t add up.

There a couple other things that bugged me about this episode. The first being everyone’s reluctance to accept Wicked’s death. I can understand a bit, being in that industry and all, but it was brought up just a few too many times for nothing to come of it. The episode is called ‘Abra Cadaver’ for a reason after all.

It’s also pretty obvious that Clive has a history with magic… and not a good one. Multiple times he expressed his disinterest, and even hatred, in magic. He saw through that card game every time, and seemed familiar with sleight-of-hand. But this also had no relevance to the episode, and thus felt like a waste of time.

Additionally, in spite of just how much fun Liv’s persona was this week, it felt like almost a waste. We’re dealing with a goth magician here, it could have easily been split into two separate personas for two separate episodes. Don’t get me wrong, Wicked was a fun brain, but if iZombie ever tries a goth teen, or a more traditional magician, it’ll feel too similar.

All in all,  ‘Abra Cadaver’ is just a plain enjoyable episode. It may have had a few more plotholes and unfinished ideas than usual, but the sheer amount of fun more than makes up for it. So while it might not compare to ‘Max Wager’, I still love this episode.

Also, “Zombie-wan Kenobi”, that was the best line… ever.


GJ Corban
GJ Corban
Hi there, I'm GJ Corban, that stands for Gregory Jr., but I've been accidentally called CJ, DJ, JJ, and even Jesus... thrice. Other than that I'm just a guy obsessed with storytelling and the culture and news that surround it.