iZombie: Yippie Ki Brain


When church goes awry…

Liv and company get kept very busy with murders, smuggling, research and conspiracies, in “Yippie Ki Brain, Motherscratcher,” a nod to a great line from the movie Die-Hard. They open with Major at Fillmore-Graves, getting teased mercilessly by his fellow soldiers, and getting ganged up on by Roche and then Chase as well. Chase pushes Major to find the new Renegade and makes a geek reference that surprised me from him, and Major tries to move things along with his Roche assignment, too. Major seems to have become Chase’s troubleshooter, and things are falling apart fast enough that I expect this will keep him busy for quite a while.

Liv and Ravi listen as Isobel argues with her mother about staying in Seattle and helping with research. Realistically, even if Mother didn’t approve, there’s no way for her to come get Isobel. Mom ends up demanding to speak with Ravi, and lays the charge of keeping her safe on him. Then Isobel mentions Zombie High, a tv show that played a big part in an earlier investigation, and Liv and Ravi both devolve into fan-boys over it. It’s very entertaining and a nice nod to the show’s past. In a new trick that I really enjoyed, Ravi describes the villain, and makes him sound a lot like…

Blaine, who is handling questions from Dale Bazzio, who is using her own zombie powers much like Liv to work the Mayor’s murder with Detective Cavanaugh. Blaine feigns ignorance of the murder and the zombie cure being sold online. Dale pushes, but has nothing to work with, and Blaine and Don both clearly know that.

The Underground Railroad crew is having a party, as two of their own are getting married. It’s a nice little happy moment, and everyone gets in on the good feelings for Curtis and his bride to be. Suki pulls Liv aside and asks if she’s ready to make the organization bigger. Liv is always looking for good new recruits and tells her this. There’s a montage of scenes of Isobel getting tested by Ravi and her, him, Liv, and her new beau Levon watching Zombie High. There are some great little moments in several of these collections, and using seasons of a show being loaded into a player for binge watching is a great update on the old spinning clock or flipping calendar standby. I thought that was pretty clever.

Next up we see Detective Benedetto, a cop Liv has crossed paths with a few times before. He goes to church, makes a really twisted kind of confession, and then becomes our murder of the week in fairly spectacular fashion. He ends up in the morgue where there are a lot of action movie/cop jokes since that’s the kind of cop Benedetto was. Clive looks annoyed and gets in a decent but not as good one on the way out. Benedetto had several active cases and some big ones in his past, so there are a lot of leads to possibly pursue. This scene ends with a great twist on how Liv deals with the brain.

Vampire Steve explains to Dale why he can’t trace the auction. He builds the rival hacker up as some kind of genius and in another great cut, we got to Don E acting even dumber than usual. I do like these new dissolves. They are very well done. Blaine has dinner upstairs with his father and his flock. Angus has some surprising things to say about Blaine’s future.

Liv is now very much under Benedetto’s brain’s influence, and that’s fun to watch, although, as usual, less so for Clive. He actually talks about his relationships with both Dale and Michelle before things go off the rails. Liv’s 80’s action homage ends with a more realistic touch (yes, even in a world with zombies), and Dale suspends her from field work. We’ve never learned how Dale went from FBI to running Seatlle PD; I presume it was part of the changes when the great zombie outbreak happened. Later, there’s another night of Zombie High, and Isobel laments about the things she’s going to miss out on from her fatal disease. Ravi complains about an episode of Zombie High where they ran out of budget and talked about cool stuff happening off screen…

Which leads to Clive doing just that with some of recent antics without Liv. It’s almost like he’s on 80’s hero brain, too. They question a suspect named AJ, who they’ve also met before, and Liv pushes the edge again. AJ gives them a few leads and a really unique alibi. Ravi calls Liv, not pleased about some arrangement Liv made for Isobel.

Blaine, Don E, and Crybaby Carl go the zombie church. Blaine is definitely not impressed until Angus does something that surprises him, making up for something from Blaine’s childhood. Even Blaine looked a bit surprised by what happened. Ravi waits up for Isobel to come home, and she shows she knows how to play him really, really well. Ravi is so out of his depth.

Remember Curtis, who was about to get married? Well, Chase managed to catch him and gives the poor man very few choices, none of them good. And in this world, killing someone doesn’t mean you can’t find out what they know. Credit where it’s due: under a lot of pressure, Curtis comes up with a great story and spins it well. Ravi and Liv go over Isobel’s test results and can’t figure out why they are getting the results they are. Levon tells them about Curtis being captured, and they walk a very fine line to figure out where he is. Clive comes in with another off screen action story.

The weird French inspector from Fillmore goes to the zombie church to check things out and has a very unexpected reaction. Liv tries to rescue Curtis, but Fillmore is prepared for such a thing. Out of options, Liv does something drastic to protect the network. Chase is very displeased when he later learns about all this. Roche visits one of his suppliers to check in on operations. And it ends with a really nasty fight between Major and Liv that’s going to be another of these “everything changes” moments. I can actually see at least some of both sides on this one, which makes it worse.

What I liked: As always, the banter and dialogue are great on this show. I really liked the new way they were going from scene to scene. The several references to things in the show’s past really make it feel like a fleshed out world. The scenes with Curtis as prisoner were sad, but really well done, and the man was a hero to the end. Isobel is a great character who I’m really enjoying. The scene with Isobel’s off-screen mom and Ravi were great, as were Clive’s stories about what we didn’t see. I’m not sure what to make of Angus’ ideas for the future.

What I didn’t: I get it, but I don’t like what they’re doing with Major. He’s drifted the farthest from who he was when the show started, and I don’t think the changes are for the better.

Another great episode of a great show. I was very relieved to hear they got another season, even if that’s supposed to be the last. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5.