iZombie: Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat

iZombie Dead Rat

Holy brainballs! We’re one away from the season finale, and they didn’t just kick a hornet’s nest, they threw in some radioactive wasp lichs for good measure.

But to the penultimate episode.

We open with a failed sequel of Timehop: What You Did Last Summer. As our friendly psychopath zombie Sebastian (still looking pretty good despite the boat propeller scars) stumbles across the road, a car smashes into him. A quartet of our horror movie castings roll out of the car screaming about how they’re not going to jail. “I watched Orange is the New Black, I’m not taking a shower wearing tampon sandals.”

In true horror movie fashion, they decide to bury the body and never ever talk about it again. Of course, our peppy and obligatory cheerleader has to stand beside the body talking about how they should all hold hands and sing a few hymns. This gives Sebastian plenty of time to stagger out of his power nap, brush off the grave dirt, and snap Kimber’s neck. It was one of the best send ups of the horror movie genre since Cabin in the Woods. We’ve got the ditzy cheerleader, the stoner, the cool goth chick, and the creepy guy who was the killer the whole time. The rest of the episode could have been Liv sitting in her underwear trolling Yelp reviews and I’d have been happy. But we still have a zombie knife fight! Sorry, getting ahead of myself.

A jogger discovers Kimber’s foot still inside a shoe. Sebastian’s a voracious eater. Seeing as how he licked a girl’s blood off when he was alive, I’m guessing this switch over to undeath isn’t that big of a change. While poking at the mostly brainless body of Kimber, Liv updates Ravi on what stupid thing Major’s done lately. (Do they not have phones? I mean, you’re already gabbing about eating brains and zombies with cops five feet away from you. What’s it matter if the NSA finds out?)

Liv swears that she has “to figure out how to kill Blaine before Major puts himself in anymore danger.” Yeah, good luck with that Liv. Unless you wrap the man in bubble wrap and ship him off to Antarctica to commune with penguins, I think that’s a lost cause. Just accept that soon, you’ll be chowing down on the brains of your ex-fiance.

As a throwback to the graphic novel origins, commercial fade-ins begin with a comic book sketch of the scene and a pithy one-liner. The one leading to Liv noshing on Kimber’s brain was “But I’m A Cheerleader.” I bring it up to show how esoteric the writers can get when it comes to references.

Anyway, back to brain eating. While Liv’s stirring up brain goo in lab beakers (which is frankly disgusting. The brain eating is fine, but you do not use lab equipment that had God-knows-what in it to eat or drink from. Use some zombie common sense!) Ravi’s unboxing a toy wheel he got for Hope – their unzombied rat. Except, because a cure would basically cancel the show right now, Hope’s dead. Still, Ravi says he can make another one. Which he was planning on anyway, because what are you going to do with one result? Triplicate man! At least.

Back to our Brain of the Week and the case, Liv and another twenty-something girl pretend to be teenagers in the interrogation room. This exchange of likes and “no, you’re a-MAZ-ings!” point towards Kimber ditching youth group (those still exist? Huh) for a bar and a band called The Asshats.

Clive tracks down The Asshats, yanks open the door on their storage facility/apartment, and flashes his badge. Our stoner bassist tries to run for it, but forgets he’s still plugged in, yanking him to the ground. After dealing with Liv and her weirdness, Clive has perfected the, “I can’t believe I have to put up with this shit” face. It’s a thing of beauty.

Our little horror movie band aren’t saying anything about Kimber or the man with the hook for a hand they sort of buried and left for near-dead. But that’s okay, it’s Major’s turn to get himself fridged now. Putting on a way-too-tight shirt, Major poses as a health inspector at Meat Cute. He even took the time to memorize the health code AND print and laminate a badge. Maybe if he survives this whole zombie thing, he could get a real job as one. At least something good will come of all this.

We get to see Mrs. Lovett for a few more seconds, but it’s not enough. I have so many questions. Is she also a zombie, or just someone who likes making brain food? What was her connection to Blaine? Did this used to be her store before Blaine went all scratchy scratchy? How good are her meat pies? Blaine’s also there, not buying most of Major’s bullshit, but he plays along. He’s got his own damn problems with a trio of big beefy zombies trolling Seattle’s underworld looking for missing astronaut brains. Every time they come back, hat in hand, dejected face, I expect Blaine to yell at them to get to bed with no supper.

I have no idea how they’re going to take down our zombie Godfather. Whenever we see Blaine, he’s cold, ruthless, and highly intelligent. He’s the Lex Luthor of zombies. Without an overpowered and dickish alien, how do you stop Lex Luthor?

Hey, it turns out that brunette chick is back for this episode. What’s her name? Penny? Payson? I want to say Eli for some reason, but that sounds wrong. Papa John’s commercial? Well, whoever this mysterious woman who’s been Liv’s roommate for forever despite us seeing her maybe four times is, she’s asking for romantic advice about Ravi. Because we kinda forgot to do any character development for Eli, the writers have her glom on through the already established characters. We learn she loves the movie Vertigo (okay?) and she had a best friend once (fine?) and she enjoys spin class. That’s about it for Eli.

Having run out of girly things for Cheerleader Liv and Eli to do, Clive’s doing more of that detective work he’s known for and figures out the kids stole a car despite having one parked right beside their storage unit. Is that a teenage thing now? Car theft to raise awareness for robot cancer or something. I don’t know. Teenagers are having enough trouble after their demon friend Charlie Charlie turned out to be a marketing hoax. Give their car thieving some space.

Inside the storage unit (that had to be 10,000 degrees) they find our stoner friend’s dead body. I’m normally good about noting names, but this guy was such a caricature I called him Shaggy and figured that was the real name. What’s strange is that no one’s cracked open his skull and eaten the juicy brains. He just had his skull cracked in twain. So it’s probably not a zombie, or perhaps one who’s on a new diet. Do brains count on the paleo diet? Liv has a little zombie vision (one of only two in this episode) of Shaggy and creepy Cameron fighting (probably about stealing his dad’s car and wrecking it after hijacking a Chicago parade).

It’s a bit weird how we get not one but two Brains of the Week this episode, but almost no zombie visions. At best, Liv gets a bit perky and then stony. As time goes on, the special zombie stuff matters less and less. If they ever do make a cure, I assume Liv will finish her transformation into Veronica Mars and be voicing a Disney princess in five years.

After teasing us for a few weeks, Clive finally ate Liv’s brain food. I guess he’s the type to spy pizza sitting on a plate, snatch it up, and chow down without asking what the weird pink globules are. That’s just the guy our secretive detective is, apparently.

Our goth chick, Teresa, finally giving up on ever seeing Sarah Lance again, goes to the cops. She confesses that they ran over a dude and buried him. It seemed like a good plan at the time as after stealing the car, they swiped two shovels as well. And it’s not like you’re not going to use some ditch digging shovels when you’ve got a dead body sitting right there.

But she’s seen I Know What You Did Last Summer, because Seattle’s Netflix is blocked to only show movies before 2005, and she knows that the undead body is coming to kill her or Cameron next. Red herring alert! Red herring alert!

We know that Sebastian was full on psychopath before joining the six feet under club, but no one chowed down on Shaggy’s brain except for Liv. Something’s up. Despite Clive promising her a police escort (which is what Teresa seemed to want in the first place), she books it out of the station alone after getting a text from Cameron. Is there something in the water that makes people either hulk rage out, go full zombie, or lose all sense of self preservation? Major’s drunk deep of the last one, and it seems Teresa has as well.

To drive home the point that something’s rotten in the state of Starbucks, another body rolls into the morgue,   completely missing her brains. Liv also gets a text of the undead car guy image, who looks more like a cartoonist’s sketch of The Mummy, but somehow she knows it’s Sebastian. I’m guessing she had a nagging feeling it was the boat propeller guy from the start, because that picture had more in common with Frankenstein (the doctor) after a shaving accident then it did our crazy zombie.

Back at the apartment that Eli shares with Liv, I guess, we spy Sebastian creeping around in bathroom mirrors. He’s learned well from both hook hand guy and Bloody Mary. Liv comes home to find Peyton (oh right! That’s it!) tossed to the floor but not dead.

Sebastian’s cracked. He’s frying up a bunch of peppers and breaks down talking about his aunt Edna — the woman in the morgue missing her brains. She wasn’t just some random kill; she raised Sebastian. But after gashing her head, she asked the recently albino man to assist, and the hunger drove him to kill her. It’s a touching bit of pathos that would have fit for other zombies if we hadn’t seen Sebastian mercilessly kill women when he was alive. I wished they’d have saved the “my hunger overpowered my morality” speech for someone a bit less comically evil.

But, to hell with all that emotion stuff, we have a zombie knife fight! I have no idea why Liv and Peyton need ten thousand knives scattered around their kitchen,but it makes for a great scene. After she smashes Sebastian with the frying pan, he stabs Liv in the gut. Of course, that doesn’t stop her, so he stabs her through the hand with another knife (are they secret ninjas, knife throwers? Why so many blades?) Liv finally slips into red-eye zombie mode and jams her be-knifed hand into Sebastian’s skull, killing him.

The 80lb wisp of a girl beating up 250lb guys trope can get old fast, but they’ve used it so sparingly in iZombie so far that it works. When Liv goes full zombie, it seems a last resort so she can chew apart a ninja, brain a guy with a cinder block, and jam her stabbed hand through the same guy’s skull. It’s just novel enough to not become, “Oh, of course she can get out of this because zombie hulk rage. Boring!” Also knife fight. Zombie knife fight forever!

As Liv’s zombie rage wears off, she spots Peyton standing there seeming more concerned about her roommate stabbing the intruder than the guy who  beat her up. Liv finally confesses about everything – the boat party, the zombie stuff, the brain eating – and Peyton buggers off as soon as Liv’s back is turned. It’s understandable; I mean, Peyton barely knows Liv. You wouldn’t want to get involved in all that police paperwork for someone who’s  a passing acquaintance.

I assume that’s what the writers wanted, because they sure did a terrible job of trying to get us to care about Peyton at all. We knew more about blood drinking, brain eating psychopath Sebastian. The episode ends with vignettes: Clive telling Liv to buck up about killing a guy, Ravi sad in a suit, Teresa heading into a creepy hotel room.

And now, after spending months getting his ass beaten up, Blaine finds Major trussed up in the back of his restaurant. Come on Major, you went and bought a grenade, but you never thought to be on the lookout for Lenny? He’s the one guy who’s been on your ass the whole zombie brain time! Buy a pair of binoculars. But, dun dun DUN! As Blaine’s about to start the torture, someone wanders into Meat Cute, and it’s Liv’s brother – who I bet you all forgot about.

At the end of summer, his mom must have finally rode his ass enough that he filled out the job application. Because Blaine is Lex Luthor, he recognizes Liv’s name on the application (Blaine must have super speed reading skills as well) and gets super chummy with brother boy. Of course, trussed up Major hears it all, but he’s so far gone off the deep end that it was probably all white noise.

The last scene is of a bloodied Teresa calling 911.

What will happen next week? How will Liv stop Blaine? What new serial killer (is it werewolves? Did we jump to a new monster?) stalks the streets? Will anyone remember Peyton enough to bother finding her?

And Major. Poor Major. He actually spends the entirety of the next episode’s preview inside a fridge. He did it. He achieved the main goal of this season and fridged himself. Round of applause!

‘Til the season finale next week. Keep watching the shallow graves!

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