iZombie: Eat, Pray, Liv



So, about the new cure…

A lot of odd things happen on iZombie this week. Arguably, odder than normal, which says something in this world. I also want to strangle one of the characters by the end of the episode, but I’m getting ahead of things. There’s weird events and bad choices all over the place.

The episode opens with Major training at Fillmore-Graves. He’s not that good at it, and gets “killed” during the exercise, bringing the wrath of the drill instructor down on the whole team. In fairness, the others have military backgrounds and Major was a sort of social worker when all this craziness descended on him. Major also isn’t happy about the brain-paste the others eat. Later, Major has gaming night with Ravi, complaining about the food and his lack of results finding Natalie the missing zombie-hooker. Liv comes in with Chinese food, acting oddly. For that matter, that’s a LOT of food for just Ravi, since Liv and Major are on the brain diet.

Blaine now has a new job as a lounge singer. He seems to be enjoying himself and he’s a talented piano player and singer. His story about how he got the job is amusing, and makes sense. Peyton has come by to see him, and they have a chat about, among other things, a letter from Blaine’s father’s lawyer.

The murder of the week is pretty much custom designed to drive Clive nuts. The teacher (I’m sure they have a special title but I don’t know what it is) of a “mindfulness class” instructs his students with various new age, zen sounding platitudes. Later, he’s meditating alone when someone comes in and violently introduces him to a new plane of reality.

Clive starts getting surprised from the very beginning of the case, when the assistant from the school proves that her odd sounding name is actually real. Clive’s usual questions don’t get him much by way of answers, or at least not useful ones. They end up with one witness; a homeless guy who isn’t hugely useful. Later, Clive proves what kind of man he is when he has to retrieve some evidence from a really nasty place.

There’s a weird scene with Liv getting the brain ready to eat. The new-age outlook kicks in amazingly quickly, leading Liv to be a bit weird with Ravi’s former boss, Dr. Kupps. Kupps is finding out enough from her investigations that she’s becoming a threat to the zombie world.

Ravi goes to visit Peyton and they have a very tense scene. I’ll give him points for trying to reach out to her, but I understand her point of view here. Before things get even worse, Peyton rushes off for an appointment, which proves to be with Blaine, the lawyer, and Blaine’s father Angus. Blaine’s amnesia is complete enough that he doesn’t recognize his father until Peyton gets there and tells him. Angus is a very unpleasant man, and says some cruel things to Blaine before leaving. Actually, before Peyton kicks them out.

Clive, taking advantage of his new-found knowledge about Liv’s condition to ask her for insight on Topher, the murder victim. She affirms he really believed what he was teaching, and starts getting on Clive’s nerves already. More conventional police work turns up that one of Topher’s former partners was arrested for drug dealing. They also find out their homeless witness bolted before giving a police sketch.

Major is still doing horribly at his training, and gets shot again. He befriends one of his fellow trainees. While everyone else used to be soldiers, this guy was the DJ at the party that turned the mercs to zombies. The former DJ offers Major some encouragement about being an outsider.

After a nasty coughing spell, Major goes to see Blaine. Major asks Blaine about Natalie. Blaine at least recognizes the name, and agrees to help. They talk about Blaine’s memory loss, and Blaine finally comes up with a lead for Major. While this goes on, Angus and Don E start working on a new business. I don’t see that partnership going well.

Liv comes in to the morgue to find Major being examined by Ravi. The fluid is starting to build up in Major’s lungs, and he’s running low on time. If they don’t come up with something soon, he’s going to have to take the cure version 2.0, complete with amnesia. Ravi may have a way to restore memories, but they need a test subject. The only real candidate is Blaine, and that presents its own difficulties.

Topher’s former partner, Mitch Davis, comes in, the very picture of the annoying executive who won’t hang up his phone. The interview doesn’t go wonderfully well, but they do get a new lead. Devon, the spacey guy at the studio, is also a former partner of Topher’s. The evidence that Clive found implicates Devon, exonerates Mitch, and tilts the investigation in a new direction.

Ravi fails to make progress on his memory serum, and then has a disturbing talk with Dr. Kupps. She really is learning too much too quickly. Clive and Liv the guru bicker a bit while on stakeout. They find a new witness, who is unpleasant, but helpful. They get a new lead to pursue.

Major runs through another training exercise and somehow suddenly aces it. There’s no real explanation, no training montage, and he doesn’t seem like he ate a new kind of brain. He and J-Dog, the DJ, bond over real brains. Major and J-Dog have a party at Major’s place, and Liv shows up and joins in.

Liv and Clive finally solve the case. Unlike many in the past, the real killer doesn’t confess and spell out what the plan was, just insists on a lawyer. It’s less satisfying than many other conclusions, but a lot more realistic.

Most of the people who know what’s going on meet up back at the morgue and the idea about using Blaine for a test subject is discussed. Tempers run high, and it’s the most I’ve seen the group argue. Finally, Blaine agrees to be their test subject.

Later, Angus and Don E come up with a clever way to screen their customers, separating humans from zombies. Don E starts to realize where he is in the pecking order, and I almost feel bad for the cockroach. Ravi does something amazingly stupid to foul things up with Peyton.

What I liked: David Anders is fantastic as Blaine, and Robert Knepper is good, although far less likable, as Angus. Dr. Kupps in the background is making a lot of things difficult. Rose McIver did her usual fun job of picking up Liv’s new quirks. I have said before, and will again, that I really like the fact that the cases get solved by Clive’s police work as much as Liv’s visions. Se actually doesn’t have any this week.

What I didn’t: I like Ravi and Peyton together, and they’re really screwing with that a lot. I don’t get how Major suddenly got so good in the training exercises. I’m not wild about Angus’ new business.

This was a really entertaining episode. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5. I’m glad the show is back.