[Content warning: discussion of sucicide.]
I take notes during an episode to help with my recaps, and my very first one for this episode is: “Someone watched too much One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” I’m shocked Nurse Ratched didn’t pop up in a giant goofy hat. I was waiting to find out that Major got stuck in a tiny room with an exploding roommate. Getting away from parody country and stock photo caricature, Major’s waiting to play chess with Scott E, the big fan of zombies from last week (and they never once make a Star Trek joke – wasted potential).
Because Major’s job in life is to get himself into mortal danger at every opportunity, he abandons the common room to look for Scott E and finds his corpse in a bathtub. The wrists were slit, but as Ravi points out, the water’s not bloody enough. Someone did it after he was already dead to make it look like a suicide. But our poor dead Scott E (not even one red shirt crack? Fine) was on that famous boat party massacre, and he got video of zombies not dancing to “Thriller.” Major tells Liv that Scott E sent this zombie video off to a guy he knew in the news, and then winds up dead.
Liv’s finally realizing that maybe letting Major check himself in wasn’t the smartest move after all: “Turns out it’s a great place to get murdered and learn about zombies.” Almost like a zombie mafia with ties to the police might be watching mental institutions as well.
Ravi’s concerned about Liv noshing on Scott E’s brains because he has a date with Peyton. Who? Oh, right. That other woman who’s added almost nothing to the plot, had any character development, or had more than five lines. Weird that I keep forgetting about her. It’s so bad that last week, when Liv was in a “I watched Blaine shoot my sort of zombie boyfriend” state and she got a text from Peyton, I fully forgot who the hell that was and expected it to be part of the brain of the week investigation. I’m taking notes and jotting down names and I forgot about her roommate who must have another three homes for how little she’s in the apartment. Pretty sure we’ve seen the Lieutenant more times than Peyton. My point is, if she’s your, “Look, we’ve got another woman in the cast” checkmate, you’re failing miserably at it.
Anyway, to the date that feels less like one and more like Peyton’s having some friends over to watch an old Hitchcock movie. Sorry Ravi, it’s not a date when she insists her roommate stays. Though, since they never see each other, maybe Peyton needed to remind herself Liv still existed and wanted to streamline the whole thing.
Since it wasn’t awkward enough, Major stops by and gets invited on this romantic date. They’re set to watch Vertigo, which Ravi hasn’t seen (along with most of the viewing audience), when Liv gives a concerned glance towards the man who just got out of a mental institution from 1985 and suggests they try a different movie. Major quips, “So I’m guessing no one’s gonna let me watch Harvey either. Some real Jimmy Stewart haters here.” During college, could this group only get TCM? Are they all secret hipsters? What’s with the name dropping of, sorry, very old movies. I’m older than the actors by a few years (I think I’m in Generation Robot Apocalypse), and I only know of Harvey because I was a weird as hell kid. Sorry writers, your quips are great, but you might want to update them by a few decades.
Liv glances at a bag of devil-themed Cheetos and has a CGI delusion of it talking to her. This was a real note I took while watching the show: “Liv’s suffering from Loony Tunes dementia.” I expected to hear the old sound effects and maybe have Major smash into a false painted door or something. The devil is bad, not evil bad, just bad bad. I get that it was going for laughs, but it made me squirm, especially when the obligatory sexual innuendo (as subtle as a neon hammer) started up. For the sake of not making everyone feel super awkward, I’m gonna stop mentioning it.
After the movie and delusions we’re not mentioning happen, Major decides it’s time to head home (also, way to make your roomie feel great by changing the locks and not telling him, Ravi. Real friendly there). He steps out the door, then Liv hears a knocking and sees him decide to stay. I’m including this boring bit because it will be important later. Like Bruce Willis sitting quietly not saying anything to Haley Joel Osment’s mother important.
Okay, enough of that stuff *rubs hands* we’ve got to check in our zombie mafia! Blaine’s bundling up a set of brains for our favorite Lieutenant (I wonder if he got a package deal on those yellow lunchboxes? Costco?). Because he takes pride in his work, Blaine says, “Here’s a pack of cutlery in case you can’t wait until you get home.” You just don’t see that kind of dedication to the small stuff in other monster mafias. Vampires never include wet wipes after their feeding frenzies.
Our Lieutenant is ratting out Liv to Blaine the brain dealer about her knowing Lowell. Blaine is concerned, but still takes the news well. At least he refrains from stuffing people in a freezer. Actually, since they’ve shown how damn competent and intelligent our Godzombie is, I’m starting to wonder what kind of deus ex machina will be necessary to finally take him down.
Liv gets her first zombie vision from Scott E, and it’s confusing as shit (actual note – confusing as shit); it shows a woman’s legs in the air. But Liv knows that’s the pose a woman uses to get pregnant. From the 1800s, sure. American sex ed at its finest, there. We’d already been pointed to Bree (The Prancing Pony) before, and now it’s her time to take center stage as red herring number one! That stuff doesn’t matter; what’s important is that Liv also finds out (because Clive’s heart isn’t into this murder investigating anymore) that Blaine visited Scott E. Of course, she rips out the page so the detective won’t know or have a record tying this killer zombie to all the other murders. That would be smart.
Back at the morgue, we finally get the promo shot of Blaine stopping by, but very little happens. Ravi’s stalling for time talking about trying to come up with a cure, which I’m sure Blaine is watching very carefully now that he knows that. Ravi’s plan is to have Blaine drink some Max Rager, giving Liv the opportunity to poison it. Though, since bullets don’t stop zombies, what are the chances a few random chemicals would? That’s the excuse she gives for not trying it, which works out since Blaine studied all the classic assassination moves and foils it by having her drink as well. What I want to know is what the hell a morgue is doing with botulinum. Giving the corpses a little shot of botox before cremation, Ravi?
There must be something about Blaine that causes people to confess their deepest, darkest secrets, because Liv tells him about Scott E and the zombie video. He gets his whole, “Right, I’m off to solve all the problems” look and runs off. While Liv’s alone in the morgue (IMPORTANT!) TV weatherman Johnny Frost (who better become a super villain with escaped PR lady or I’m gonna be so pissed) shows up to identify the body of Scott E. He claims he was his pot dealer and knew nothing about the phone, but knows where he kept his stash.
Of course, Liv has to break into Scott E’s apartment and finds his laptop. While Johnny Frost tries to go full Saul from Breaking Bad, Liv traces the missing cell phone to another apartment, giving Major ample opportunity to also break into Scott E’s place. And, while he’s there looking majorly out of his depth, Blaine and Lenny appear. This is the most happening place in Seattle all of a sudden.
Rather than waste time with searching, Blaine’s plan is to burn the apartment down, showing his rather ingenious approach to problems once again. Amazingly, Major Fridge got out the window and only knocked something over. Blaine chocks it up to the wind and goes back to gasoline dousing. But Major isn’t done being stupid; he climbs into the trunk of Blaine’s car and winds up at Meat Cute.
Liv traces the phone to an orderly’s apartment with enough drugs inside to take down a small bunga bunga party. She calls Clive first, who says they can’t do anything without an arrest warrant. Then she cranks up the stereo, scatters the pills like Johnny Drugseed, and calls the cops for a noise disturbance. Back in the interrogation room, our orderly confesses that he knew that Dr. Larson was trying to get pregnant with Scott E (Anna Draper, no! I thought better of you!). Sometimes it’s too much work to fill out all that sperm bank paperwork and it’s best to just use the crazy guy down the hall. Anna Draper admits she killed Scott E because he was going to tell everyone about her super duper illegal breach of ethics. There was also something about her driving him crazy with her coffee mug which…I guess it was a pretty bad piece of clip-art. With the cul-de-sac brain of the week out of the way, we’ve still got another ten minutes to go.
Liv’s alone in her kitchen (because Peyton is off fighting super powered alien invaders in Nepal, or whatever she does) when Major walks in and she confesses everything about the boat party, the zombies, and her being a zombie, and Fridge takes it in stride. I was calling bullshit at that point and for someone to get in there to save poor Major, but it was all for naught.
Back at Meat Cute (seriously? Blaine, you’re doing amazing, with everything else but your name needs work.) our Godzombie’s crowing about his astronaut brains that he’s charging $200,000 a piece for. Suddenly, one of his stooges runs in and says all the brains were stolen! Sigh. You can already guess who did it, because the man has the self preservation instincts of a lemming approaching a Disney film crew. Perturbed, Blaine stabs his stooge in the neck, then orders him back to work. He’s about to send his zombie horde into the city to find the missing brains.
Here come the big dun dun DUNS! and “Of courses!” Ravi’s zombie rat is back to normal. The next step is to repeat his results and DO IT IN TRIPLICATE! God, didn’t they teach you anything in doctor laboratory school? And why didn’t you start in vitro? Jumping straight to model organism seems like a waste of funding and limited resources. I’m sorry, I’m going to have to reject your Zombie Rat paper.
Liv’s still being visited by Johnny Frost when she spots him on the news offering his condolences for the missing astronaut (who must have had no loved ones who gave a shit). Our specter of Johnny Frost vanishes, and she realizes that on top of the devil thing we’re not going to talk about, she imagined up the weatherman the whole time to guide her through Scott E’s brain.
It’s funny how the crazy brain approach actually strikes me as more how the zombie vision should go. One wouldn’t get video clips of a person’s life, but see phantom images, smells, sounds from their world. But going full Fight Club would be a lot of work and confuse the hell out of the viewer, so it’s probably best to stick with the YouTube clip version.
Realizing that 63˚ F is not the same as 17˚ C, Liv gets into Scott E’s phone and watches the video. It’s her cracking open a skull and noshing on her first brains after turning. But, since that trauma’s not enough, Major bursts into her apartment carrying the stolen astronaut brains. He waves his treasure around and shouts to the heavens, “I CAN PROVE ZOMBIES ARE REAL!”
I’m glad that Liv telling Major was all her supper playing tricks on her (there’s more gravy than grave about you, Major Ken doll!), Poor guy deserves to get far far away from her, Seattle, and possibly society in general after all the shit he’s had heaped on him. It’s funny how the brain of the week murder mystery is meaning less and less with each passing episode. The only way to make it important is to have it tied in with Blaine’s mafia or give Liv some useful skills she can mostly forget about.
All the pieces seem to be in place for a major shit storm a-coming, and there are still two episodes left in this season. Sit tight, and don’t go breaking into any zombie mafia’s trunks. It never ends well.