[Warning: The following contains spoilers for iZombie's latest episode.]
iZombie giveth, and iZombie taketh away.
On Monday's episode, The CW zom-com-rom-dram revealed that Major (Robert Buckley) and Liv (Rose McIver) have been sleeping together since the former turned back into a zombie. Coming two episodes into the new season and four months after Major decided to side with Fillmore-Graves, the news of a Major-Liv romantic reunion understandably caught fans off-guard. Yet without any foreshadowing of this revelation, the reveal didn't feel like a bomb going off — it felt inevitable.
Seeing Major and Liv back together, even in such a casual manner, was such a welcome relief that prior to witnessing them cuddling up again in Monday's episode, we hadn't even been so naïve as to believe we'd get to experience that joy so early on in the season. Unfortunately, our original instincts to not hope for the best soon proved correct. By the episode's end, Major and Liv were broken up again, giving us only 30 minutes of happiness before it was cruelly snatched away.
Will-they, won't-they couples are a cornerstone of TV drama, but there's only so much our hearts can take of the incessant back-and-forth. Up until now, iZombie has masterfully succeeded in creating love triangles that feel natural to the characters and story, rather than there to simply drive the plot forward. With the introduction of Peyton's (Aly Michalka) already forgotten new beau last week and this game of monkey in the middle with Liv and Major's relationship, we're not invigorated to see what happens in our heroes' romantic lives next. We just feel exhausted. And a little bit betrayed.
Initially, Liv and Major getting back together felt like a well-earned moment of victory, particularly given how dark things are getting in New Seattle. With the anti-zombie population growing restless, Angus' radicalized zombie cult gaining power and sick children being cut off from the medical care they need, Chase Grave's (Jason Dohring) brave new world is looking pretty grim. That, in conjunction with the fact that we've waited over two years for Liv and Major to reunite, is why our favorite couple getting back together felt so sweetly necessary. To take that away from us before we even got an opportunity to sit in that happiness was an unfair bait-and-switch to the viewers who have waited seasons for Liv and Major to be in a physical state where the potential for a relationship was even possible again.
Don't get us wrong: The fact that Liv and Major's socio-political views are what ultimately broke them apart — Major being one of Chase's right-hand men and Liv slowly taking steps to fight against Fillmore-Graves' dictatorship — felt 100 percent in course with these characters. The gap between their differing views on how to handle zombie-human relationships has only grown wider since the Max Rager massacre. But it felt insincere to set up a relationship in which these differences already existed yet were easy to overcome only to reveal that the differences were too much to look past a mere half-hour later.
Having known where Liv and Major both stand regarding Fillmore-Graves going into this season, it would have been far more interesting (and far less emotionally manipulative) to have allowed us time to explore how Liv and Major struggled to maintain their own James Carville and Mary Matalin relationship in the increasingly polarizing political climate — an issue that likely speaks to many people today.
If the series had given us that time with Liv and Major, their breakup would have been bittersweet, but we would have understood. As it stands, we had barely gotten over the surprise of their romantic reconciliation when we then had to start processing their breakup. The quick turn of events allowed viewers no time to process either reveal, thus dampening the impact of both.
It's unfortunate to see the reunion and breakup of the series' central couple handled so poorly, especially in a show that typically does these things so well. But with only 13 episodes a season, it's probable this was some necessary, albeit messy, groundwork for a truly satisfying arc to come. Because if there's one thing that iZombie has proven time and time again, nothing is done without a reason and everything always comes together — typically in spectacular and mind-blowing fashion — in the end.
iZombie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)