Last week I worried that Liv absorbing the personalities of the brains she devours might get old eventually; this week I began to see the larger potential in the idea. It wasn’t entirely a joke this time — this week’s brain resulted in changes that could have hurt Liv or her friends. Essentially, this means we get a different Liv in every episode and that could lead to some very unpredictable variety, unbecoming of your average “cop show.”
This one opens with two boys goofing around at an abandoned boating dock at night. One of them believes there’s a “ghost” trapped under the dock and snaps a cell phone picture as proof. The image goes viral and looks ghostly enough, but when Liv sees it, she guesses (correctly) that it’s actually a zombie — and not only that, a zombie she used to know.
It’s a monster that used to be her friend Marcy, who was also at the boat party that evening. While Liv got help immediately and has been eating a steady diet of brains since, Marcy hasn’t eaten a thing and has been stuck there, undead, for weeks. The last ounce of her humanity seems to be lost, but Ravi wants to test his theory that full-on zombification can be reversed. He dumps a few morgue brains down the hatch and they leave Marcy there until later in the episode.
Today’s murder mystery involves a body that was the victim of a hit-and-run. Liv eats his brain and gets….a vision of him shooting a man. The guy was a hitman for hire and the hit-and-run was meant as revenge! Liv has the horrible realization that she just ate the brains of a sociopath and could become sociopathic herself. Not a concept with a lot of laughs, but they try (and surprisingly succeed): with the cold emotionless empathy that comes with a killer’s mind also comes some cold calculating….calculation, meaning at random times Liv will just robotically state some random fact, articulated precisely.
“Didyouknow thatDecember11th isthemostcommonday togetdumpedonFacebook?”
A stunted emotional response also came in handy when Liv had to watch a video of Major and his new girlfriend passionately kissing during a game of Jenga. She soon comes to find a weird sense of comfort in being able to shut her feelings off and not experience the pain normal people do, and saves pieces of the brain for later so she can drag it out as long as possible.
Liv’s not dumb, even when numb, and she knew it was a bit dangerous, but its effects prevented her from thinking about the consequences much. When she and Ravi returned to Marcy, though, the consequences became very apparent. Ravi was disappointed to see Marcy hadn’t changed. Liv’s immediate response: “Welp, guess we gotta kill her.” Ravi remarked that was very unlike Liv and insisted Marcy be sedated with a syringe-on-a-stick, but the plan fell through when Ravi fell through and was in immediate danger of zombification — or death.
And Liv just stood there and watched while Ravi screamed. Until she suddenly realized, “Oh, right!” She leapt down, turned full-zombie and smashed Marcy’s noggin into paste. Then Liv realizes Marcy was once her friend, and when the possibility came for Marcy to die, she didn’t even hesitate before killing her. That gets her off the brain for good and the remainder sees the trash compactor.
Once Liv found out who today’s corpse actually was, the case of the week changed from finding the hitman’s killer to finding out who paid for the hitman in the first place. It turned out to be Frank Smith, one of those smarmy rich-guy suspects that think they’re untouchable and always come with a high-end lawyer or three. Liv’s final vision was of the hitman and Frank having the argument that led to Frank deciding to off him — and they were interrupted in the middle by a construction worker. So Frank is about to walk out when he suddenly sees, in the window, someone in bright flagger clothes talking to a policeman. Everyone watching the show knew it was a ruse, but he sure didn’t, and took a plea deal immediately.
Liv may be dead, but she feels more alive than most TV characters tend to. So far I’ve seen more depth and three-dimensional character in iZombie than in every episode of The Flash and Arrow combined (especially Arrow, where everyone except Felicity feels like a zombie). This doesn’t apply to everyone, mind you — Major is still a walking sheet of cardboard — but the characters the show has spent serious time with now feel like I’ve known them for years.
Notes worth noting: Liv’s name for her team on trivia night (which she aced thanks to her laser-focused psychopathy) was “Piggy and the Brain.”
Oh yeah….and what the heck is Blaine up to? We didn’t see much of him this week, but what we did see raised some questions. He’s volunteering at a halfway house, but he seems interested in pushing its residents halfway somewhere else…