iZombie: Eat A Knievel


whacked out brains and lawn darts–what could go wrong?

There’s a lot going on in “Eat A Knievel,” the most recent iZombie episode. Blaine, badly wounded last time, shows up somewhere unexpected with some demands. Justin and Major are in trouble at work over the mess with Harley Johns last time. Vivian leans heavily on Liv and Clive, also at the meeting, and encourages them to go catch the bad guys in the recent zombie family slaying. Vivian has Major stay after the meeting and asks him, point blank, how he managed to turn human again. Not a lot gets by Vivian. She and a few of the others who run Fillmore-Graves depart to check on their “Zombie Island” stronghold, but their chopper flight develops some complications. Liv and Ravi end up deciding they should go to a big meeting at Harley’s place this coming Saturday, to do some undercover and very unofficial investigating.

The murder of the week clearly draws its inspiration from the “Jackass” style of shows and movies. The head idiot, Finn Vincible, tries to do some big complicated stunt to win a woman he once dated but is now married to someone else. He ends up burning to death when his flame-proof suit proves not to be. When the team got there, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn Clive didn’t know who they were. I was a bit startled that Ravi is a fan. That man has really incomprehensible tastes. The film crew turns up evidence that this was murder, not an accident, and so Liv is going to end up eating Finn’s brain. Oh, this is going to be bad.

Blaine gets a brief check in scene as he spies on the Scratching Post, and we also see Angus continuing to be unpleasantly abusive to Don E. While Don tells Angus about Fillmore-Graves, Finn’s film crew shows up at the station, being jackasses and frustrating Clive. It doesn’t get any better when she starts acting like them from the Finn brain. The only lead they get is a cameraman named Kong. Whatever the problem with him was, they can’t discuss it because of an NDA they all had to sign.

In a weird case of small world, Kong the cameraman is filming a commercial for Baracus, the mayoral candidate that the zombies are backing. They try and bluff but Kong, too, doesn’t budge about the NDA. There are a few more short scenes that emphasize Angus being a dick and Blaine being on edge.

Liv and Ravi watch videos of Finn’s show, and Clive shakes his head, surprised it took this jerk as long as it did to get murdered. Liv gets a vision that points them at crew assistant Rudy. One of the film crew slips them a hint about what happened, and, I gotta admit, I’d be tempted to kill Finn myself. Rudy dismisses the incident as a prank, and tells them a bit about the NDA.

Liv goes on a date with DJ Justin, which is a weird zombie mix of sweet and insane. Both of them on Finn brain is a disaster waiting to happen, but fortunately, they both have the zombie mostly indestructible bit going for them. The date also kicks off another vision for the case, which has to be disconcerting.

Don E’s game of celebrity zombie with his idiot sidekick gets interrupted when Blaine calls. Blaine tells them he’s coming for them, and to finish anything on his bucket list. It’s a decent threat, and Blaine delivers it well. Angus and his thugs are surprised to learn Blaine’s still alive, and Angus sends everyone out searching for him.

Clive and Liv go to Rudy’s workshop, where his mother-in-law lets them search. After Liv does a few annoyingly stupid pranks with the props in there, they make a discovery that might give Rudy a lot more motive to kill Finn. I expect that might be a long line. They have a scene that wraps up the murder and gives Clive another good collar, so that bit is good.

Blaine pulls a surprise at the Scratching Post and manages to set up a really nice ambush. This also lets him get some nice payback on his dad, including a great snarky parting line. I’m a bit worried that Blaine wasn’t as thorough as he needed to be, though. Blaine goes back to the bar to establish the new rules, and meets absolutely no resistance from Don E. Angus’ management style doesn’t create a lot of loyalty.

The last two scenes are ominous in different ways. Fillmore-Graves has a big wake as part of dealing with some of their recent losses. It’s a wild party that ends by establishing that, as the cliche goes, there’s a new sheriff in town. Ravi and Liv go for their undercover work at Harley’s anti-zombie gathering, with Liv in disguise. It doesn’t go well, in part because either they underestimated Harley, or Vivian from Fillmore didn’t share her intel. That ends with some potentially serious peril for at least one of the characters.

What I liked: As always, the banter on this show is entertaining. I’m not sure I blame the murderer this week. This show is good at subverting your sympathies in unexpected ways– after all, I mentioned “anti-zombie” people earlier and they’re the bad guys. There were some big surprises throughout the episode, and it seems Fillmore-Graves has at least one big enemy we didn’t know about. I liked Blaine’s attack on his father’s empire, and the lengths he went to in order to succeed were impressive. Liv and Justin’s date was entertaining. I really feel bad for Clive dealing with Liv and the idiots this week.

What I didn’t: Finn and his minions were just plain annoying. I don’t think I’ve ever been more eager for a brain to wear off than this week. I don’t like how the Fillmore party ended. I’m worried about the last scene. I’m trying, but I still can’t square the rest of what we know about Ravi with liking this show. What happened to the big mystery about the missing camera data card? I guess maybe Peyton’s working on that off screen this week?

As always, this was a really entertaining episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. I really wonder how some of this is going to spin out.