It opens with a bunch of teens who were about to get slashed apart in a horror film have a girl from the bizarro set of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fall into their laps. Apparently, she’s Emily Sparrow, super pregnant, kidnapped for months, and dying. Judging by the number of kidnappings in the area, I’m starting to think that an overabundance of Starbucks makes absconding with people seem a cool thing to do. Maybe we need to get Seattle those day lights to combat SAD. Seattle, kidnapping won’t solve all your problems.
Because we need a red herring, Liv has a flashback to Emily’s parents, who are mad that she went through a stringy-EDM-skateboarder phase and got pregnant. Of course, that must mean that the parents are guilty in Liv’s mind, because we need this to stretch out for an hour.
On top of the flashbacks, Emily’s brain also gives Liv “maternal instincts.” Not the ones you’d expect from a new mother — exhaustion, inability to put up with bullshit, and the capability to rip the arms off a grizzly bear. It’s more like Liv swallowed a Pinterest board and every mother character in a sitcom from an actress of a certain age who’s probably ten years older than the one playing her son. She licks faces, adjusts ties, and goes on rants about kids getting jobs.
I get that they were going for cute, but it just screamed “We don’t know anything about Moms, so let’s use every stereotype in the creaking wheelhouse.” Whenever Liv went into Mommy mode, I groaned and waited until it snapped or someone else popped up. Thankfully, everyone else was on point this episode.
Lowell swings by to hang out at the morgue, because in Seattle, that’s the hottest place to chill. Ravi and Lowell go super Britishy with pithy comments but wind up bonding over football (not soccer; pretty sure calling it soccer will get your brains eaten). Ravi is like the best friend of the cast, everyone loves him. This weird scene gives Liv the obligatory, “Oh no, maybe he doesn’t like me?!” romance moment when Lowell half kisses her and runs out.
In his ever-increasing attempts to be relevant, Major Ken Doll calls up a reporter and sets her on the fact there’s like 10,000 missing people in Seattle. I’m not sure why she keeps harassing homicide instead of calling up missing persons, unless missing persons is run like animal control on Parks & Rec – it’s just easier to ask homicide than to deal with them. Major uses that connection to con Clive into giving a statement over the phone about how homicide doesn’t give a shit. This gets him the obligatory demotion every cop friend of our plucky hero/heroine goes through. (I think this episode should have been called Obligatory Scene: Getting it Out of the Way).
Liv can’t stop visiting Emily’s giant baby in the ICU. I was impressed that the kid could even fit inside that incubator for how huge he was. I figured later she’d come back to find him smoking and voting. Her mom thinks Liv’s there to visit her, but it’s really so Liv can super-mom out over her brother, Evan, and tell him to get a job. But, dun dun DUN! It’s at Meat Cute (seriously zombies, sigh) — Blaine’s brain business. But the zombie mafia is interesting, so we have to save that for better episodes.
Because the entire Seattle PD is putzing around until a zombie solves all their cases, as punishment, Clive’s boss sends him to check out property the Sparrows own – which was seriously lacking in angel statuary. While sort of breaking and entering, Liv and Clive find a bassinet. Liv says: “This is what Rumpelstiltskin carves for you after you promise him your first born.”
It was to prove that the parents didn’t kidnap their own daughter, which you’d think that missing persons would have checked out months back, but they’re too busy figuring out how string works. This also gives Liv a chance to have a vision of a truck, a guy lighting a cigarette, and barking (dogs barking, not the cigarette man – sadly). Somehow, this means Animal Control is involved (oh my God, it’s all come full circle!).
The case was moving too quickly, so we need to have another date of Lowell swinging by, still being just weird enough that you’re not sure if he’s a good zombie or a bad zombie. Liv snogs all over him, but Lowell’s got a confession: he’s gay. He ate a gay brain, which made him momentarily gay. Yeah, we got it. It was pretty obvious. Sorry, I mean a gay biologist’s brain. Though it does raise some interesting canon questions. Can brains always affect sexuality? Will they also alter gender for a time as well?
Aside from some mild drama, I suspect the main reason they dug up that plot point was for Lowell, after seeing a picture of Idris Elba, to say, “I’m mildly afraid of heights but I’m not afraid to climb that mountain.” (Ignoring the fact they met because he jumped out of a plane, unless the biologist’s brain was also afraid of heights. So many questions!)
Because Major always wanted to be a GI Joe, he’s stalking the CandyMan (who I’ll forever call Lenny), the man that beat the tar out of him a few episodes back. Apparently, one can register the plates on a car through a dummy corporation. You’d think that the government would seriously frown on that, as everyone would do it to avoid paying tickets, but I guess it’s a thing in Seattle – the land of kidnapping!
GI Ken is impatient and uses his tire iron to smash open Lenny’s window. He digs around in his car to find the zombie starter pack: hair dye, hot sauce, and braaaaiiiiins! We also learn that the CandyMan’s real name is Julian Dupont. Yes, our gym/tan/butcher rat has the frenchiest french name. I expect clove cigarettes to dribble out of the D. I refuse to believe that’s real and am calling him Lenny forever.
Since GI Ken never got Special Ops training, he’s instantly caught by the cops, who are busy avoiding solving kidnappings. Lenny runs out in the middle of this, and Major tries to get his ass saved by pointing out the brains in the Tupperware. While a curious throw of the dice, it’s a fail, as Lenny says they’re calf brains and the cops buy it. Good job, Major, now the zombie mafia know all about you. But you never seemed to be in mint condition.
Back to the Sparrow case, Clive did real detective work and found that creepy mountain guy Mark Sheppard (when not fighting Reapers) lives out in a proto-commune and is married to an animal control lady. Clive must not have many friends, because he invites Liv with him on the stakeout. He tells her the best food to take on one, but disparages donuts saying: “FYI, if you’re waiting to bust a coke den, it’s best to not be on a sugar high and covered in white powder.” Shots ricochet through the car. Damn it! Only Ravi’s allowed to have the best one liners of the show!
Clive once again shows his competency and rather than rush in their guns ablazing, he actually calls for backup and waits for it. His boss and a few other background cops show up (I’m guessing the SWAT guys in Seattle are getting baked with Missing Persons).
Boss Lieutenant Nameless leaves Clive and his backup behind as he bursts into the house alone. Clone Shep shoots the Lieutenant, causing him to go full zombie (in case you weren’t certain of the hot sauce from a few weeks back). He rips off the fridge door to use as a shield and fills Mark Mountain Man with enough ammo to make the NRA weep tears of joy.
While everyone else is milling around outside, Liv takes the opportunity to find the other two missing women. (Seriously, Seattle. Do you have object permanence issues? Once someone vanishes, they’re just gone forever?) While she’s climbing up a tree house ladder, she’s shot in the leg, which causes her to go full zombie and rip the trap door off its hinges (or maybe that was latent mother brains). She discovers the two girls hiding under the bed.
Back in the house, the Lieutenant finds Margot animal control lady and she surrenders. But, in keeping with new police protocols, he unloads his clip into her to make sure her surrender wasn’t deadly. Okay, we were probably supposed to be surprised by that instead of thinking “Yup, sounds right.”
Turns out Margot and Mark Sheppard couldn’t wait for the second season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and decided to reenact it in their backyard. Then the Lieutenant drops the bomb that they also found bodies of other missing teenagers in the backyard and says their cult included human sacrifice. Oh, so Blaine was using them for brains and his Lieutenant zombie had to get rid of the evidence. Or he didn’t want to deal with all the paperwork of having a living suspect. Six of one, half dozen of another.
Since we want to end on a happy note instead of dirty zombie cops who are less terrifying than what’s happening in the news, Liv goes full mommy on the father of Emily Sparrow’s baby who was shopping a reality show around. I’m guessing to one of the lesser channels. Is Hulu Plus really that hard up for content? Oh, I bet Yahoo! bought it.
Instead, he turns Emily’s and his baby over to her parents, since he has a rave to DJ. All is right with the world, except for Ken Doll, who’s still in jail despite looking like an ex-Abercrombie and Fitch model. He’s really committed to being a part of this plot.
Our next episode has Liv eating Dear Abby’s brains and diagnosing everyone around her. Fingers crossed for more zombie mafia and Blaine, the zombie you love to hate.