iZombie – A
What better way for the season finale of an undead program to round up an unmanageable number of storylines than with a good, old-fashioned mass outbreak. A bunch of Max Rager’s dopiest scientists find the tainted Utopium which fueled the boat party riot of the opening credit — the one that propelled us to where we are now. Like scientists do, they ingest it in a stairway during a locked-in office party, wash it down with a Supermax, zombie out, and devour everyone with a beating heart, including show creator’s namesake and former Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, who proves a good sport.
One of the few living survivors is Officer Babineaux, recently heartbroken and newly clued in to the supernatural goings on in Seattle proper, could have earned easy survival with a very willing scratch from Liv or Major, but demurred even at risk of grisly death. On the plus side, I can retire my hashtag (#tellbabsthetruth); less positively, it could hint at a spot of bigotry towards his best friend’s condition.
It’s a frenetic wrap-up to the second season, pulling together a pretty solid endpoint to the Max Rager arc while introducing a new, mysterious, more militarized villain, and doing it with no shortage of our Rob Thomas’ trademark quirky referential comedy (including snarky nods to his own former shows, Party Down and Veronica Mars).
– Jason Thurston
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – A-
Incredibly, a heist performed to the soundtrack of a deadpan Andre Braugher describing plot points from Sex and the City (and how he’s “such a Samantha”), complete with one of the wackiest learning-the-ropes montages featuring Peralta struggling to do one pull-up as Gina teaches Holt the ins-and-outs of Carrie and the gang, is just the second most compellingly hilarious element of this episode. “Bureau” brings in Dennis Haysbert as FBI Agent Bob Anderson, Holt’s mentor and doppelganger, and the two veteran actors have endless fun out-stoic-ing one another as they team to hunt down the FBI agent targeting Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas).
The B-Plot also continues the attempts to ferret out the conspiracy against Pimento as Boyle, undercover as a prison doctor, has to fend off the advances of ruthless mob boss Figgis (a elightfully over-the-top tough turn by Aida Turturro). Meanwhile, a forgettable C-Plot which finds Terry and Gina trying to uncover a leak with very low stakes is just a tired excuse for more of Gina’s unrequited flirtation with/harassment of Terry. Both feel like unnecessary distractions from the marvelous main attraction.
– Jason Thurston
New Girl – B
– Navani Otero