Ravi, Liv, and Major are in the morgue as this week’s show opens. A lot of the tainted Utopium they recovered is useless, but Ravi managed to salvage enough for a test dose. A somewhat disappointed Major watches as Ravi injects one of the rats. That’s probably safer than using Major for a test subject, however much Major might prefer it the other way.
This week’s murder mystery starts off with my least favorite cop/action/hero cliche. Ravi is getting his usual cup of coffee when the store’s owner is killed in a freak air conditioning mishap (no, really). Ravi goes to check, but the woman is really, most sincerely dead. I’ve never liked the “Oh, we just happened to be here and something happened” story opening. I’ve been in law enforcement for just about 14 years and I’ve never walked into a bank being robbed, car bursting into flame, terrorist attack, etc. I really think that opening shows a lack of creativity. Being set in a coffee shop, the title is The Eternal Sunshine of the Caffeinated Mind.
The owner, Leslie Morgan, was a relentless optimist. That explains the name of the coffee shop (Positivity) and Liv’s quirk of the week. The various suspects include Pam, a rather unpleasant woman Liv met in jail, Cher, Leslie’s daughter, Stan, Leslie’s ex-husband, and Gilbert, Cher’s boyfriend. Liv’s usually sharp mind is somewhat dulled by Leslie’s Polyanna attitude. There are the usual array of blind leads and misleading circumstances along the way.
The gathering tension in the subplots really drove the episode. Blaine and his crew are crossing paths with Boss’ group, and Boss is a vicious and unforgiving foe. One of Boss’ thugs, Kenny Kilmore (really, they have some odd names on this show), makes an offhand comment that lets Boss put together the pieces and realize Blaine is the one feeding his men to the DA’s office. Boss is his usual, understanding self, and takes action that speeds up something that might have happened to Blaine anyway.
Drake, Liv’s boyfriend and Boss’ hitman, has a few major surprises this episode. There’s a lot more going on with Drake than has been shown so far, and I didn’t see any of this coming. It’s a really interesting twist that, if she ever learns about it, is going to have a major impact on Liv. It’s a great reveal. Ravi’s search for a cure also gets a nasty development.
Near the end of the episode, Liv gets a nasty shock. Major comes over to talk to her, worried about leaving things undone in case of his sudden death. Major’s confession is interrupted, however, when someone comes in to the apartment. One of the major secrets is revealed, and Liv is amazingly pissed off, rightfully so.
I’m going very light on detail this episode, but that’s a deliberate choice. There were a lot of major surprises this week. Even the murder had a few more twists than normal. I think it was one of their better shows, but, because of the reveals, I’m skipping a lot to not do spoilers.
What I liked: Just about everything. This was a great episode with some big surprises and twists. The dialogue, as usual, was fantastic. Blaine steals every scene he’s in, and Boss is a subtle, low-key menacing that works really well. Clive’s droll delivery dealing with Liv’s new quirks is always entertaining.
What I didn’t: I can’t think of much. I could have done without Pam returning, but that’s a personal dislike, not a problem with show quality. I don’t like the “just happened to be there” opening, but that’s nothing major.
I’m giving this one a 4.5 out of 5. It was a great episode, making the upcoming several-week hiatus even harder to deal with.