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In the recent iZombie episode "Method Head", the episode starts as Christmas-themed and concerns the murder of a man dressed as Santa Clause. A quarter of the way through the episode, that investigation is abruptly concluded and we are clumsily transitioned forward a few weeks into a new case no longer set during the holidays. Key personal issues left over from the previous episode "Cape Town" are glossed over or unaddressed.

Was the Santa Clause segment originally a full episode that ended up on the cutting-room floor, or was "Method Head" aired as scripted?

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  • I sort of wondered about this... I doubt that's the case but this would be one of very few examples where they've had more than one brain in a show... and all of the previous ones were connected somehow. – Catija Jan 22 '16 at 20:40
  • It would also be the only time Liv has a vision that isn't shown to the audience, if I'm not mistaken. I'm wondering if they filmed an episode where she wasn't working with Clive and realized after all was said and done that it wasn't very good. If it was a holiday episode, they wouldn't have been able to get away with airing it out of order, so maybe they had to crunch production? – user45623 Jan 23 '16 at 1:37
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The Nerdist remarks:

The episode opened with a weird time jump. We leapt back to the holidays, landing right after Ravi found out that his zombie cure had failed. The show then glossed over New Year’s and jumped into the present. It was a weird narrative choice, [...] The only real positive to the clunky flashback was seeing an oddball holiday scene in the basement of Shady Plots.

TV.com's recap also discusses the time jump:

There was a brief time jump to open the episode, complete with title cards to show the passing of time, and during these short vignettes we saw in the most superficial sense what it was like for Liv to be on the outside of an investigation and unable to help Clive by supplying him with information she'd gained from visions. [...] The short jump forward in time was an easy way to gloss over the fracture in their relationship and return to the status quo, but it didn't allow for adequately portraying the longing and sadness that Liv must have been feeling from the time that Clive put an end to their partnership in "Cape Town" to when he brought her back on this week.

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  • This is still speculation. I found several reviews that speculated as I do that they chopped two episodes together, e.g. tvfanatic.com/2016/01/… Most reviews I've looked at describe the cut as clunky or awkward – user45623 Jan 26 '16 at 23:34
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I guess I didn't use good search terms the first time I researched this. According to this article iZombie's second season was effectively cut by three-episodes mid season. That could be a very good reason to chop two episodes together.

The sophomore drama iZombie, from Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), received an order for six additional episodes, which takes Season 2 to 19 episodes, three short of a full season.

But iZombie's short order could have more immediate problems than whether or not it will be back next season. Earlier this fall, Rob Thomas told the Hollywood Reporter that the arc he was crafting for Season 2 was built to span a full 22 episodes and now the writers will likely have to rework the story to fit the shortened episode order [of 19 episodes]. Three episodes doesn't feel like a lot until you don't have it. So while it's okay to celebrate the fact we'll be getting to spend six more hours with David Anders' Blaine, remember that we're still getting short changed.

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  • You don't understand the article you link to. The show wasn't cut by three episodes at all, it "received an order for six additional episodes". Shows don't film episodes and then combine parts from multiple when they get a shortened season, because the cost of filming one episode is far too large; there simply is no budget for that. – BCdotWEB Jan 23 '16 at 19:54
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    @BCdotWEB The article states towards the end that they had content for a full 22 episodes but then they were only given 19... hence "they lost three episodes". – Catija Jan 23 '16 at 20:39
  • @Catija I doubt those plans were so specific that they now had to severely "butcher" one episode. Also, considering this announcement dates back to late November, I wouldn't be surprised if "Method Head" was already written and possibly even filmed. – BCdotWEB Jan 24 '16 at 9:16
  • @BCdotWEB Read the quote; they claimed to have enough material for a full 22 episodes. And if they had already filmed the Santa episode and Method Head when the announcement was made, then they could have decided to combine the two episodes into one in order to make room for everything they have left. – user45623 Jan 25 '16 at 5:51
  • @user45623 At that point in time that material amounts to a bunch of ideas, certainly nothing set in stone. And no, they wouldn't combine two filmed episodes into a single one because that would be an enormous waste of time and money. Please go read up on the process of how TV series are written, it is not like you imagine it works. – BCdotWEB Jan 25 '16 at 9:29

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