iZombie “Salvation Army” Review (Season 2 Finale)

In its first season, iZombie quickly managed to develop a unique voice and tone, one that set it apart from just about every other procedural on television. A big part of that was its willingness to devote so much time to world-building, expanding the scope of the show beyond the simple story of a zombie using the brains she eats to help solve murders. In season two, the show took things even further, with a whole web of narrative threads that somehow always manage to peacefully coexist. The show has never felt overstuffed, and that remains true of “Salvation Army,” a finale that brings this year’s numerous plot threads to satisfying conclusions or pauses while also setting up a number of intriguing ideas for season three.

The main focus of this episode was all about bringing the Max Rager arc to a close. With Major outed, and then helpfully acquitted, of being both the Chaos and Meat Cute Killer, Vaughn was ready to sell the company off and put Major and Liv six feet under. This left the gang with no choice but to finally take the fight to Vaughn; one thing led to another, and all of sudden, Max Rager was ground zero for a potential zombie outbreak.

The action in this finale was stellar, with the show coming closer than ever to a full-on zombie movie. There were plenty of great moments here, from the meta-appearance of musician Rob Thomas – who shares his name with the showrunner – to Clive’s constant shocked reactions to suddenly being knee-deep in the zombie side of Liv’s world.
Speaking of Clive, how great is it for him to finally be let in on Liv’s secret? He’s filled an important role as Liv’s connection to the case-of-the-week side of the series, but the character’s always felt left out of the moments that really matter as a result. Yes, learning the truth has left him in a potentially ruinous position – Dale leaves him for torpedoing the case against Major, and his career is likely to follow – but now he can be a more active, aware participant in the show’s larger world.

And that’s a world that shows no signs of slowing as it moves forward into season three. Though Vaughn and Rita are dead by the end of the episode, the threat of Max Rager and Super Max remain. Not only is new company owner Vivian a private military contractor, but she’s also leader of a group of high-minded zombies looking to exert her zombie influence over all of Seattle. Throw in the still-present threat of Mr. Boss, and there’s plenty of chaos in store for the gang at the medical examiner’s office.

There’s just too much to fully get into in this short review, but needless to say, this finale was a stellar finish to an astonishingly strong second season for the show. It brought all of the various arcs to at least a solid pause, introduced numerous intriguing new ones – it seems Blaine may truly be a good guy for the foreseeable future, and something happened to the girl Major promised to save – and served as a high water mark for one of the best shows going on TV.

What did you think of this week’s finale? Let me know in the comments!