iZombie: Return of the Dead Guy

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This isn’t what it looks like… well, it sort of is… I guess you had to be there.

The side-effects from the various brains Liv eats are often entertaining, and sometimes cringe-worthy. This week they kick in strong and get more disruptive than usual. But at least we get to see a cast member I kind of liked come back in “Return of the Dead Guy.”

The show opens with a humorous scene. A woman complains on the phone to a friend of hers, ranting about her husband who left her. What we gradually find out is that the missing man in question is crime lord Mr. Boss. During her diatribe, Boss sneaks in behind her, creeps down to the basement, finds a very cleverly hidden case of money and documents, and slips away without her ever noticing. He’s despicable, Boss, but he’s slick. I really expected him to kill her, but he couldn’t be bothered apparently.

Major and his new girlfriend Shauna are apparently getting on spectacularly well, since they’re in bed when Ravi calls with a lame excuse about him being out of town for a few days. Since Major’s in bed with an attractive woman, he doesn’t question this, which I don’t blame him for. We then see that Ravi is actually off with Harley Johns and his band of anti-zombie fanatics. After Johns and company take Ravi’s phone, they explain they have web cams set up on Don E, and will up their game when they hit 100,000 views. Ravi isn’t happy but can’t do much. If he blows his undercover role, he’ll probably get killed and not help Don E at all.

Liv is trying to enjoy her day off, but things keep getting in the way. First is the news about zombie mayoral candidate Barachus, which likely brings up mixed emotions for her. Then Peyton starts prodding her about the Wexler case, the man with the mysterious confession about the murder of the Dominatrix. Peyton finally persuades Liv to eat Wexler’s brain. This is going to be bad both because the brain’s been soaking in Ravi’s memory goo and because Wexler had mental problems.

Blaine is having some supply problems with the brains for The Scratching Post, and is impressively multi-lingual. Tanner, in the background, has an amusing revelation involving Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas. Blaine’s day gets worse when Tanner tells him about Don E disappearing, tripped out on World War II gunner brains.

Speaking of, Don E is still having visions from World War II. Johns’ band of idiots wonder if he’s been around since the war, and if zombies are immortal like vampires. The idiots’ reactions to Don E’s rantings are amusing, even if they leave Ravi rolling his eyes.

I admit I’m impressed with the lengths Peyton will go to in order to work on the case. Not only did she get Liv to eat the brain, but, to jar a vision, Peyton dressed up like a dominatrix (kind of). In a weird change from normal, Liv goes blank for her visions but we don’t see them. When she comes back, Liv tells Peyton Wexler actually did the murder. Then things get weirder when Liv starts seeing her dead ex-boyfriend, Drake. Liv had to shoot Drake during the Max Rager party when he went into what used to be called Full On Zombie mode, but now seems to be changed to “Romero,” as in George Romero, director of Night of The Living Dead.

Major and Shauna have built a blanket fort in the living room for no apparent reason (Ravi might be happier being semi-kidnapped) and are being very… energetic. They also apparently went to the same camp years ago. Don E, meanwhile, is losing his tenuous grip on his self-control, even after Ravi reveals he’s there to help him.

Liv, not liking Drake’s return visit, tries to find another brain to eat. I’m not sure if a fresh one overwrites an older one. I don’t know that they’ve ever gone into that aspect of things. Instead of a new brain, she finds Drake’s ghost again, and actually squeaks in surprise. Clive comes in and Liv explains her conversation with an empty morgue tray. Then, just as Peyton comes in, Liv takes off for vision land again, and once again we don’t see it, just Clive and Peyton waiting it out. When she gets back, Liv tells them Wexler didn’t kill himself. They figure out it was a guard, with Drake adding dramatic commentary that only Liv can hear. After a discussion that ranges from Wexler’s daughter to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Clive and Peyton go out to dinner. I get they’re kind of friends, but both their love lives recently fell apart… hmm.

Liv is supposed to be having a very special date with Justin while Peyton’s out. Unfortunately, Drake comes by again for some really awkwardly funny scenes. At least Justin gets the brain issue. It’s nice dating someone who really does know what you’re going through.
After Drake makes a joke about the movie Ghost, Mr. Boss tries to get his revenge on Blaine, and gets an ugly surprise. To his credit, Boss’ plan would have worked fine if Blaine were human.

Liv briefly meets Shauna, then flees from the awkwardness and Drake’s ghost yet again. Eventually, she and Clive have a discussion with a prisoner who saw Wexler get killed. Unfortunately, he has met Liv before in Romero mode, and calls her a mutant, which Peyton uses to make him look ridiculous to even his own lawyer. They follow up on that lead, and learn the guard they want to talk to is dead.

A worried Ravi watches Don E degenerating and hit counter on the zombie hunters’ website growing. One of the idiots explains his theory about the origin of zombies and you can feel your IQ drop as you listen. Ravi finally gets a chance to tranq the guard and then plot with Don E, leaving a desperate voice mail for Blaine after a commentary about technology’s effect on people remembering phone numbers.

Mr. Boss wakes up in dire straits, and gets an offer he shouldn’t refuse from Blaine. Let’s say Boss is a slow learner, although his attempts to guess what Blaine actually is are amusing. While that chaos goes on, the hunters bring back Rachel the photographer who Ravi was getting friendly with last episode.

After Boss finally agrees to Blaine’s terms, Clive and Liv find Wexler’s daughter. It’s an odd interview that doesn’t go as expected. What happens after Clive and Liv leave is even more surprising. This city is getting as weird as Grimm’s Portland. Later on at home, Liv gets some closure with the Ghost of Drake’s Past. The episode ends with an unlikely rescue squad coming to free Ravi and Don E. Although really, maybe Don E should just be put out of his misery.

What I liked: It was an interesting change, being outside Liv’s visions. Clive and Peyton were especially funny while waiting. I liked Drake, so it was good to sort of see him again. Boss’ escapades were well thought out, and you almost had to feel sorry for him as things spun away from him. Almost. I’m intrigued by Wexler’s daughter, and looking forward to the rescue squad hopefully putting away the Johns crew.

What I didn’t: Really, not a lot. This show continues to entertain me. The zombie hunters are a bit stereotypically stupid, which they could improve on. Everyone seems to have forgotten the chopper explosion they really should be looking into. But that’s about it.

Once again, a very entertaining show. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5.

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