iZombie: Brainless in Seattle, Part One

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Ya know, Liv might be a bit short for that trick…

Taking a break from their usual (highly enjoyable) formula, Liv and her merry band of crimefighters embark on a rare two part story in “Brainless in Seattle, Part One.” The title is, of course, a play on the romantic movie Sleepless in Seattle, but Brainless works well when Liv comes under the sway of a flighty, hopelessly romantic brain. Clive is going to need a lot of patience this time around.

The show opens with the reverse of something we’ve seen them touch on, when a young woman has payed a coyote to smuggle her into the walled off New Seattle. Thing seem a bit off, and, considering how the show works, it’s not a major shock when she turns out to be the victim of the week for Clive, Liv, and Ravi. After seeing a surprising poster for a new event at Blaine’s Scratching Post, the three meet up and we learn not only is the woman from the opening dead, but there are a few twists this time around.

The victim, Annie Wallace, went missing from Kansas City, and apparently paid a lot to get inside the wall. Liv’s culinary turn this time around (where did she learn how to cook all these different dishes, anyway?) takes the form of small candies. In interview, Annie’s boyfriend, Alan, goes from amused to worried to shocked. They’d been flirting online for some time, and he warned her not to come to Seattle. Liv, under the influence, makes a lot of really inappropriate comments to the grieving boyfriend. As he leaves to deal with all this, Liv invites him to the Scratching Post, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. She was appalled by the event earlier and a romantic would like this one? I don’t see that at all. Liv tries to get a lead on a coyote for Clive.

Major has to go way outside normal channels to see Chase Graves, but then, the man has a lot on his plate besides brain paste. Major tells him about the accidental scratching by his recruit, Jordan Caldwell. Chase sets Major on a nearly impossible task to clean up the situation. Chase goes on to lecture his troops about a weird group called the Darwin Project, and hears some grim news about the state of their supplies.

Chase then goes to pay a visit on Blaine, dealing with Don E’s incompetence along the way. After some banter, Chase offers Blaine a deal that would be very good for the club owner/killer/businessman. This leads to a scene with one of Blaine’s suppliers, and a strong hint that he’s tied into this week’s case. Blaine leans on the supplier for info, and we learn of another way Blaine and Fillmore-Graves are competing.

Peyton summons Ravi under somewhat deceptive circumstances to ask for help that isn’t as important as she made it sound. Ravi is understandably annoyed, and tries to bow out, leading in to a makeover montage before Ravi, Liv, and Peyton head out for the Scratching Post. Major comes in on the end of this, is less than impressed with Liv’s newest personality, and goes to get dinner.

Once at the Post, Liv keeps acting ditzy and Ravi runs off, leaving behind a displeased Peyton. I hate to agree with Liv’s romance persona, but I do wish those two would get back together. Peyton tries to talk some sense into Liv, which is next to impossible, and then gets annoyed when she sees Ravi dancing with a bridal party. Liv sees something surprising involving a minor cast member, and then fixates on a new man, to Peyton and Ravi’s discomfort.

After another scene with drama queen Liv and long-suffering Peyton, Clive gets his own dose of weirdness from the whacked out Medical Examiner. She’s determined to change a few things about Clive’s life, and isn’t being remotely subtle. Liv has left messages for Renegade, with no responses so far, and things look worse for Annie’s boyfriend Alan. Liv finally gets a useful vision, although her follow-through leaves a bit to be desired.

At home watching a movie and musing on fate, Liv gets a visitor. Renegade comes in, and helps Liv ID the coyote who dealt with Annie: Bruce, who “runs with a bad crew.” Renegade talks about the differences between her operation and Bruce’s. She does sound like she’s a good person, doing her best in a bad situation. All this jars loose another vision for Liv/Annie.

Blaine is nothing if not efficient when he’s properly motivated. He manages to track down a man called Anthony, who is a link to Renegade. Anthony owes the coyote a huge debt and isn’t going to betray her, even to an intimidating operator like Blaine. Blaine has a nasty plan for Anthony that sounds like it will work no matter which road it goes down. The episode ends with Clive and Liv following up clues that lead to a disturbing crime scene.

What I liked: Again, kudos to Rose McIver for her portrayal of the ever-shifting Liv. She really does a good job of being someone different every week. As usual, the banter among the friends is some of the most entertaining parts of the show. All of the main cast consistently does a good job with their roles. David Anders, as always, did a fine job as the amusing but menacing Blaine. I like Renegade the more we learn of her. Anthony was a good guy trying to do the right thing.

What I didn’t: This was another one of Liv’s new personalities that was hard to take, and they chose that for a two-parter? I don’t like what they seem to be doing with Clive and his relationship. Personally, I’d like both Peyton and Ravi to get back together and Major and Liv to bury the hatchet at least. Liv needs a boyfriend who will manage to either not die or just be a source of drama and/or regret.

It was a fun outing for the Seattle crew. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5. The saga of New Seattle is an interesting one, and I’m very curious to see where it goes and how it fails, as I believe it eventually will.

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