We stand at the brink. Thirteen episodes, the rise of a zombie empire, a cracking of a man’s psyche, adorable zombie rats, and — at the middle of the storm — is the battle of the undead: Liv vs Blaine. Only one can rise the victor.
Let’s get to it!
Still searching for those astronaut brains, Lenny’s digging through Major’s shit. While Blaine, showing his Lex Luthor skills, figured out that Major’s interest in them is his connection to the kids he knew from his job, somehow they all miss the Grand Theft Auto arsenal in Major’s car.
Not that any of that will help Major (for now), as he finally achieved his season-long goal of getting himself fridged. Blaine’s preserving Major to torture him for information, but Major’s smart enough to know that if he gives away his only card, he’s dead. After Major refused to divulge his brain storage, Blaine sighs and says: “I love the moxie, but I’m the Mick Jagger here. Time is on my side.” (Which sadly didn’t lead to a duet of them singing “I’m so hot for you, I’m so cold!”)
To fill in from the cliffhanger of the last episode, the crew stands around Teresa’s bludgeoned body. Our only remaining suspect left a bit of blood on the bed, which somehow means that there’s another killer out there and not that Cameron (who Liv already saw threatening Shaggy last episode) is behind it all. Your conclusion jumping makes no sense sometimes, Liv.
Thankfully, aside from some barely noticeable increase in snark, there’s almost no brain bleed this episode. There’s only one zombie vision of a dark hand grabbing another dark thing and doing something with it. I’m glad that Liv promptly explains whatever the hell she just saw, because most of the zombie vision I’m nodding along going, “Okay, that was a bunch of what the hell was that?” Apparently, in this quick vision of a hand grabbing onto something green and red, Teresa got her hands on the flashdrive that had the infamous Max Rager memo. We’re back to hunting our Richard Branson-like CEO – Von (I have no idea if that’s his first or last name. He could be the Madonna of CEOs).
In a twist, we find Von sitting on a couch calmly interviewing his new head scientist who thought he hit the jackpot after leaving his job with Hydra before getting fired upon. They’re watching a video of Sebastian sitting in a Max Rager interrogation room (always a great sign when your place of employment has one of those. Benefits include dental, vision, and a golf cart battery + nipple clamps.) While Von tells his new nerd about how Sebastian survived the boat accident and getting run over by a car, Sebastian goes full rage and bashes in the previous lead scientist’s skull.
I’m guessing that no one thought to run in and stop him because they wanted to get into the snuff film business. Max Rager knows about not only the rage issues (what with it being in their name) but the zombie side effects as well. Von claims that he wants the zombie bits removed while all the good stuff is kept in, but I’m wondering if that’s true. Sure, you don’t want it in the product you ship commercially, but the ability to sell undying stooges to all those super villains sounds like a great money maker. “Tired of your hired hands succumbing to a few arrows in the gut or an eye blast to the face? Give them Super Max and you’ll never have to deal with the time and money waste of thug high turnover again.”
Unbeknownst to our possible future super villain CEO, Ravi’s got something of a cure going. Once again, he reminds Liv that there’s only two doses in the whole world. But Liv’s always made everything about her, and after Eli stormed out of their apartment (and our collective memory), she just wants to be cured. To hell with the rest of humanity and the zombies walking amongst them! Liv deserves the cure. Ravi mentioning the fact that the first zombie rat died died after 48 hours stops her from injecting right then and there.
Using her zombie vision, Liv somehow convinces Clive that Max Rager is behind all the kids’ deaths. Clive sure puts up with a lot of hearsay and general shit from her. Still, because he’ll chase any lead, they confront Von, who’s still showing his new scientist the ropes of eviling. Before Liv and Clive pop in, Von’s monologuing his plans to kill off all the remaining zombies to hide any evidence of his wrongdoing. Though…it would also solve the looming zombie apocalypse problem. Before Von can get any further in his plans to take over the world, Liv and Clive get called away to keep following the brains of the week.
At this midway point, I kept wondering where the hell this was all going. We seemed to be marking time pursuing a killer (*cough*Cameron*cough*) who beat Teresa to death with billiard balls, and tracking Cameron’s phone to a junkyard. Mercifully, Clive used his actual detective skills and smelled a rat in finding the missing kid’s phone conveniently tossed into a tire. He checks the traffic camera and dun dun DUN, Cameron was driving himself. Unless his clone kidnapped and kept him in the trunk, he’s the killer. A-doy, Liv.
Back in the freezer, Blaine’s still taunting Major, this time with some Nazi research into how long a human can survive fridging. Major sputters out the obligatory question all heroines must ask their captors, “Why are you doing this?”
“Daddy issues, megalomania, greed. Wow, that felt really good to get off my chest.” Oh Blaine, you’ve quickly moved high to my list of favorite villains. I love a good monster who knows what it is and isn’t apologetic. None of this “I’m trying to make the world better by burning it down” stuff. Just straight up, “Yup, I’m a monster, I don’t care. Give me my brains!”
To show just how evil Blaine is, he gives Major some hot soup. Since Major’s been missing for a good two days in the freezer (and neither Ravi or Liv seem to care much), he greedily noshes the soup until he comes across a water chestnut. Totally understandable; those things are disgusting.
Nope, I’m sorry. It’s brains. Those things just get everywhere. As Major’s trying to puke up his barely nibbled bit, Blaine wheels in one of the missing kids with a cracked open and hollow skull. Forgive me as I practice my halloween prop nerddom, but that was some damn good makeup/prop/effects to create that carved out skull on a dead kid.
Blaine’s smug, thinking he’s destroyed Major, but in the face of everyone trying to gaslight him Major always doubled down on his beliefs and then got his ass kicked. But he’d get back up and try again. Major’s not about to go down without a fight.
Back in the world of detectiving, because the only way to sell a show is if police work is involved, Clive’s got the cops chasing down Cameron’s white impala. Our little murderer stops at an old diner to turn over the thumb drive for a giant bag of cash to Von’s new assistant (after the last one got fired posthumously). She slides over a milkshake, which I was screaming at the idiot for drinking. Dude, if you had half a brain you read that damn thumb drive and know that Max Rager fucks people up, but you drink a milkshake from the people you’re blackmailing?! Turns out she wasn’t drugging him, she was keeping him busy while someone planted a bomb on his car.
Except, while Cameron steps out of the diner, a few cops doing real police work approach the car and boom! Cameron hightails it out of there and tries to catch a train to Canada. Any other show probably would have had him escape, or spent the rest of the time chasing after this barely important dangling thread. Instead, a random cop shows actual police skills and calls in asking for clarification of who they’re looking for. Cameron’s busted.
He tries to play “let’s make a deal,” but Clive ain’t falling for that bullshit. As we know, after Sebastian climbed out of his grave and got a little cheerleader killing out of his system, he ran to Von and Max Rager, but the kid’s swiped his wallet and the thumb drive. So the text on Kimber’s (the dead cheerleader) phone was from Von’s assistant (who gets as much characterization as Mycroft’s assistant on Sherlock. Is that a trope now? Pretty lady without a name who checks her phone while doing her vaguely evil boss’s bidding?). She offered up $300K for the kids to fork over the pendrive. Of course, Cameron got greedy and offed the other two so he could keep it all for himself, never once thinking that’d make him, the last thread, much easier to snip off.
Despite passing over the thumb drive, of course Cameron made a copy. Finally Clive, and the cops get the memo, Rachel’s (the reporter Sebastian killed) article and research, and a video of plans for Super Max Rager. But enough about that stuff, it’s time to get to the real juicy grey matter.
Finally, after he’s been missing for a half a week, Ravi’s getting a bit concerned about where the hell Major is. It’s not like him to vanish, break into a zombie’s car, steal brains and get arrested. Since Liv is still in full on Narcissus mode, she figures Major will pop up (in a body bag), and she’d rather ignore all of Ravi’s advice and inject herself with the cure. She’s mid-intravenous injection when she gets a call from Major’s phone, but it’s Blaine on the end, saying to bring the brains and you can have Major back. Of course, Liv falls for it. She hasn’t been in this mafia business long enough to get the ins and outs. Out at some distant parking lot, in the dark of night, Liv brings Blaine the missing brains while a guy hidden in Blaine’s coat poses as Major. Of course it’s not him. Come on Liv, this is hostage 101. You don’t blink blindly into the headlights, you ask Major a question. But she also didn’t bring any backup against Blaine or his goons, so she seems to be phoning all this in. Of course, once Blaine gets his MacGuffin brains, he jumps in the car and speeds off, revealing that Major was actually a stunt double all along.
The real Major’s been busy. After digging through the dead kid’s pocket, he finds a lighter and proceeds to set the freezer on fire. Our slashed neck zombie spots the flames and rushes in, but slides on some frozen piss, giving Major the opportunity to smash his face in with a side of beef. Most other people would run off and call the cops, but not Major. He’s gone full commando. Breaking into his hidden armory, he shoots up Meat Cute’s front and blasts first one zombie thug in the head, then another.
Mrs. Lovett tries to pull that whole, “Oh no, I’m just some poor old lady who may or may not be a zombie that Blaine seduced,” but he spots her knife in a reflection and she goes into the oven – I mean, she gets a face full of bandsaw.
But we’re not done yet! Lenny gets back and runs through the damage, but once he’s in the freezer, Major Rambo throws the grenade in, closes the door, and boom goes Lenny. Just as Major’s about to gloat, Blaine stabs him in the gut.
Blaine leaves him to bleed to death as he tries to mop up the mess. While hunting for his insurance agent’s number, Liv shoots him in about the same spot he stabbed Major. I guess zombies do feel pain, at least while they’re not in zombie mode. Blaine slinks to the floor as Liv aims for his head, finally ready to pull the trigger. But then Blaine uses his trump card. He’s the only person who knows where all the zombies are. If she kills him, she cuts off the food supply, and dooms them all to a zombie apocalypse.
She wavers, but then Major cries out from the back. Rushing to his side, she practically throws the gun aside to save him. For whatever reason, Blaine doesn’t think to grab his continual ready supply of weapons and watches his handywork. What’s the point of being a bad guy if you can’t twist that knife? He tells Major the truth about zombie Liv. Finally! Liv’s all quivering lip and “but Major!” though you could have avoided this problem months ago by confessing yourself.
As Major hangs on death’s door, Blaine starts to monologue about how they just set him back and he can make new zombie thugs to do his bidding, but Liv stabs him in the thigh with the cure. He rightly asks her what the hell she was thinking as the cure operates at lightning speed, fading his red eye and making that bullet wound gush blood. Blaine staggers out of the room, off to still be a future villain. Major’s keeping up with his fridge act, a few seconds away from dying because no one thinks to call 911. Liv makes the decision we all knew was coming and, with her jagged nails, cuts Major.
Now swaddled in the obligatory male chest exposing blankets, Major’s coming to terms with his zombie-hood and isn’t taking it well. Liv’s all lovey dovey, I did this for us, now we can be together, but Major isn’t having any of this shit. He rightly points out that she lied to him, lied so much that he checked himself into a mental institution. And then she decided to make him a zombie not to save him, but to save herself. She condemned him to an unlife of eating human brains because she didn’t want to be alone.
It may have taken 13 episodes, but Major’s finally gotten a spine! Not telling a character important information is one of the laziest instant drama tropes and it’s almost exclusively done to women characters (Flash‘s Iris, I’m looking at you). Seeing it thrust not only upon a male character, but one whose reaction is that, “This is all bullshit” is wonderful. Usually the woman is a bit upset but has to forgive our titular character, because otherwise she’d be labelled a bitch and kicked off the show. Having it be Major means that he gets to show his teeth and how fucking damaging lying to a person can be. When we first met our Ken Doll, I never thought I’d come to like him as much as I have. Keep twisting those expectations and tropes, Major.
Our Lieutenant Suzuki is the first and only one on the scene at Meat Cute and phones it in as fireworks; loud, bloody fireworks. But he knows when he’s licked. After shooting himself in the thigh, he writes “Blaine” in his blood and kicks on the gas. But right then, Liv’s brother shows up for his restaurant job at six in the morning (it’s not a paper route, kid). He’s peering into the window as the light finally takes, exploding Meat Cute for the final time.
Later, while the rest of the real cops are investigating Meat Cute, Clive notices the shoes on Lenny and says they have to bring Major in for a gun residue test. But he’s a bit busy, with a dab of white toothpaste in his hair, as Liv wastes the last of the “only hope for humanity” cure. She injects Major to wipe away her own blame (still without knowing if either he, Blaine, or the damn rat will survive) and doom humanity to a coming zombie apocalypse. Great job, Liv.
She thinks she can fix all of her mistakes, but she gets a call and rushes to the hospital where her brother’s bleeding to death. And, of course, he’s O- and only Liv has the same blood type (hospitals are always out of blood. Maybe a vampire’s breaking into their supply). Finally, staring at her brother on death’s door, with her mother and doctor begging her to donate blood, she refuses. She’s not playing God anymore.