iZombie: Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1

Conspiracy Weary

Two forces of evil meet, with Liv literally in the middle

Liv and her friends started this season after all the other hero shows, so it makes sense they’d be wrapping up later. The two part season finale of iZombie, “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part One,” starts tightening up a lot of the various dangling plot threads that have been lurking around all season and in recent episodes. Things are getting interesting for the zombies of Seattle and their friends.

The show opens with the zombified Harley Johns, chained up and raging about being a monster while Liv and Clive look on. Finally, Major shows up with a variation on his “Chaos Killer” kidnapping kit and they manage to tranq the zombie-hater (now, I guess, a self-hater?) and put him on ice. Maybe they could toss him in the well with Blaine’s dad?

Liv goes to work, and she and Ravi catch each other up. He’s surprised to learn they caught Johns, and she’s stunned to see she’s on the cover of the paper in zombie mode, even if it is just an Enquirer type local piece. Just as Liv says it can’t get worse, Ravi’s former boss/lover, Dr. Katty Kupps comes in (I still think that sounds like a porn star name). Liv hides, being worried about her recognizing her as the zombie cover girl, while Kupps goes on about Ravi being the source for the zombie story and being worried he’s going to damage his career again. After the good doctor leaves, Liv lets Ravi know what she thinks about him talking to the press.

Chase Graves, now head of Fillmore-Graves since his much more likable sister died in an as yet unexplained helicopter explosion, calls Major in to his office. After a few feints, Chase reveals that he knows Major is now human and fires him. His reasoning is somewhat sound, but he also proves he’s as heartless as he is smart and observant. Major has been having a bad few episodes of late. When he’s on the way out, Major finds out that not everyone shares Chase’s sentiments, and he gets invited to a going away party.

Liv and Peyton are both actually home at the same time, a rarity these days. They talk about Liv being on the cover, and Peyton calls her a cute monster, which is entertaining. Peyton’s also really worried about the possibility that newly-elected zombie mayor Floyd Baracus is part of the conspiracy behind Weckler’s murder, cover up, and dominatrix video files panic.

Ravi is placing a coffee order with Liv which gets him rightfully teased, when Rachel the reporter shows up. I really don’t know what the girl is thinking. She’s partially apologetic, partially defiant, and thinks Ravi is going to answer more questions from her. Rachel is some version of driven or sociopathic. Just as Liv shows up, they get called to another body. Rachel says she’ll call Ravi later, and he gives the simple but cutting response of “Please, don’t.” It sounds even meaner with that accent of his.

Understandably nervous now, Liv has gone the spray-tan route she’s been avoiding for so long to put more distance between her and the newspaper cover. Ironically, this means the actress, Rose McIver, gets to look like herself finally. The murder of the week is revealed with a big twist, as Ravi ID’s the body for Clive– his former boss Katty Kupps. Ravi shares that Kupps had been working on an outbreak of the Aleutian Flu, and was worried about possible bio-terrorism, which completely freaks out Clive for the rest of the episode.

As the team starts retracing Kupps’ last day of investigating the flight where the outbreak started, they meet with some interesting characters. Liv starts getting visions from Kupps’ brain, and she’ll never look at Ravi the same way again. Or maybe never look at him again, period.

Peyton goes to her office and gets a surprise visit from mayor-elect Baracus. He reveals he knows a lot more about her than she thought. I admit, I’m not sure how he worked all that out. At any rate, he makes her a surprising offer, and then admits something to her about the Weckler case.

Major is at home, unpacking his gear from Fillmore, when he gets a surprise phone call. This time, it’s actually good news, as Natalie, the former zombie call-girl he gave the cure to has come back to town. I guess even Major gets some decent luck sometimes.

Continuing the return of characters from the past, the ever-entertaining Johnny Frost is on the news, talking about the election, the flu, and the rumors of a zombie outbreak. Liv hears this while she’s hanging out in a hotel bar, apparently being guided by Kupps’ brain. She almost does something very out of character before she realizes what’s going on and flees. Elsewhere, bad things are afoot at Harley Johns’ bunker.

Liv and Ravi tease each other about her visions, and then Peyton comes in. She brings them up to date on Baracus’ offer, and Liv gives some clever advice. Then she goes back to the bar again and pretty much repeats what she did before. I felt really bad for the guy involved in this one.

Possibly trying to counter all this, Liv invites Justin over. They have a serious talk, in between jokes, about their relationship. Liv finally mentions her bad luck with boyfriends, but doesn’t go into anywhere near enough detail. I really think she needs to tell him what he’s up against, here. How many of her exes are dead? And look at Major’s train wreck of a life…

Major’s night gets even better after he does a good deed, and he gets a surprising offer. Two of Johns’ idiot friends have a really bad night, which is no great loss in my book. Liv and Clive go to the hotel bar, where she’s clearly uncomfortable given her recent actions. She also finally realizes what’s been going on with her being there, which is really uncharacteristically slow. Liv’s smarter than that.

Clive, working alone, finally gets a good lead, in between attacks of germophobia. Major and Natalie go to Major’s going-away party with the guys from Fillmore-Graves. Justin is a bit worried about Liv being late. He should be, because she’s up to no good with a really poor choice of company. The series of surprises to leave us waiting for the finale include Clive discovering something about the mysterious passenger on the flight Kupps was investigating, Liv getting a clue and not realizing it, and a really big ending to Major’s party that’s going to be ugly next time around.

What I liked: Even when he’s playing it more or less serious, Johnny Frost is always going to make me smile because of the insane first episode he was in. I can’t say I’ll miss Dr. Kupps much. Clive was hysterical this episode. Liv’s visions were weird even for her. It was nice seeing Natalie come back. I was surprised by Baracus’ offer to Peyton, but it makes sense. I’m glad Ravi told Rachel to go away.

What I didn’t: Liv was uncharacteristically slow and weak this episode. She gave in to the brain way too easily and was really acting oddly. The incident at the party was just bad news for everyone. I really don’t trust Chase Graves.

It was a fun episode, but maybe not quite as good as this show usually is. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.

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