iZombie: Love and Basketball

Major and Liv

We waste no time this episode to come back to Liv and poor, broken Major in the middle of a makeout session. Dude’s just as much a hot mess as ever, but he’s good at pretending he’s not and hopes that somehow Liv will fix him. Nice try buddy, but she’s too concerned with transferring the zombie virus back to him (which raises a lot of questions, actually. Assuming this is a virus that they cured, shouldn’t his immune system develop antibodies to stop it? Or is it more like a bacterial infection? Is there a zombie antibiotic on the horizon? And I’ve thought too hard about a zombie virus).

Liv makes Major sleep on her couch while she checks him for signs of undeath and lays out all her fears for transferring the zombie virus, from sex to her transforming into a rom-com heroine, gaining super clumsy powers, and scratching Major.

“So far, all our problems could be solved with condoms and rock salt.”

But she runs off to our brain of the week, leaving Major with the “Let’s just be friends” ultimatum that worked so great in season one. He doesn’t need friends, he needs ten month stay with a psychologist in another country. Liv never could see much beyond her own problems, so she’s happy to entertain Major needing her, but not what would actually help him.

Our brain of the week starts off as random security guard, killed out of nowhere. Someone took the time to shut the cameras off so you couldn’t see the murderer, but the only one who could do that was our security guy. Mystery! There is a fun scene of Clive swinging by the morgue with pictures of our whodunnit challenge before Liv eats any brains. She needs to watch more Psych to get better at her bullshitting.

We cut to a quick scene of Rita watching a full zombie restrained by every bicycle chain Max Rager could find trying to take a swipe at some brains. It also introduces us to the craziest R&D lady I’ve ever met. Seems that she really wants some blood from a zombie not in full-on brain-lust mode, and is happy to take it from anywhere possible. I’ll be very happy if it turns out that she’s some kind of evil vampire who just likes drinking zombie blood for the exotic flavor. Supposedly this all has to do with that mysterious Super Max Rager – so either the company wants to make better zombies or…nope, that’s all I got from it: make bigger, faster, bionic zombies.

Back with Liv, now full of basketball trivia courtesy of her breakfast, we learn that our brain of the week was in fact Coach Mike, who taught the local underprivileged kids basketball and how to point the finger at murderers. Seems the kids all got on a bus and swung by the police station (that must have an open door policy) to tell Clive they know who the murderer is.

Our first red herring is RJs Dad (if he had a name I missed it), who tried to choke Coach Mike during practice. Liv gets a couple quick succession visions of Abusive Dad choking our brain of the week, and then smacking the shit out of his son. All pretty pedestrian things that mean he’s not the murderer (because in cop shows, it’s always the last one you’d expect), but the look in Clive’s eyes changes when he learns the truth about Abusive Dad. Are we going to get some actual backstory for Clive?

Jesus Gabe has returned from his sabbatical in the desert and is willing to make a deal. He says he’ll cut the utopium the same way as at the boat party as long as Blaine promises him the cure. Anyone else want an episode that just follows Blaine as he works in his mortuary? The panicked looks on grieving faces as zombies shuffle in and out, carrying coffins loaded down with drugs/dead bodies/undead bodies/all of the above. Blaine filling out paperwork or trying to hire a hearse and not having his zombie henchmen fill it with beer. Just me?

Major’s still broken, always broken. This show should be called Breaking Major. He’s also stuck training some guy in Max Rager’s gym because Seattle is now owned by Von the way Luthor owned all of Metropolis. Rita’s sniffing around him, pissed at his missing her booty call, but Major uses it to demand a stronger tranquilizer because the last guy he killed woke up in his trunk. Evil R&D lady, Dr. Irving to her accountants, is curious and asking about a dozen questions about lucid zombies. I’m not sure why she’s so surprised that zombies could keep walking and talking and begging to not be killed. Sure, you studied a feral one, but obviously there are others out there. If you ask nicely, Rita and her cages of flying monkeys could provide video footage of a living zombie before Major offs one. I think Ravi, who tested drugs on himself for science, has a more vigorous grasp of the scientific method than R&D lady.

I still hope she’s a vampire though.

Now to the possible Clive backstory. *rubs hands* After checking a few sources, Clive returns to Abusive Dad and threatens him that if he ever lays a finger on his kid again, he’s coming for him. Of course, Abusive Dad tries for Clive, but he gets soundly beaten. So, did that seem really personal to anyone else? Not in a cops see bad shit kind of way either. Well, I suppose we’ll just have to keep waiting for crumbs of Clive’s history, because he’s busy getting called into the office for not letting the Meat Cute investigation go. His boss, who got the job after Suzuki played with matches, is pissed that Clive is asking Suzuki’s widow questions and won’t let it just be chill.

For reasons I cannot fathom beyond her being 12, the new Blonde FBI agent is doing an old mime routine out the window to get Clive into even more trouble. Did she hit her head really hard, or is she also a zombie under the control of bro brains? After putting everyone’s staplers in Jell-O and saran wrapping the toilets, BlondeFBI reveals that she’s interested in Meat Cute because they discovered a single strand of the missing astronaut’s hair down a drain there. They must have been scrutinizing every inch of that place, given that it was also coated in blood from Lenny, Mrs. Lovett, Random Zombie #3, Blaine, and Major as well as all the corpses that had been hanging in the freezer. Really? The cops just covered that part up as well? No one bothered to point out pieces of frozen corpse shrapnel? Or how the bandsaws were coated in human blood and DNA? Just that one hair. Okay, FBI, you just keep doing you.

In trying to prove she’s not really selfish, Liv’s set Major up with coaching the kids who lost their coach. Except she’s doing it so she can indulge her basketball craving brains. It’s sweet, but there’s always this navel gazing that comes with every choice Liv makes. I wonder if we’ll ever see her do a truly selfless act.

Back at the lab, in one of the few scenes he gets, Ravi watches as Don E drops off a massive bottle of tainted utopium to make the zombie cure. But Ravi’s gonna do it right this time, by repeating his results and having more controls, eh Ravi? Or just an excuse to have more cute rats. That works too. Liv wants to name them after the ’86 Celtics, but Ravi’s having none of that. “We’ll just be standing here trying to remember why we called a rat ‘Bird.’ Isn’t that right, Boba Rat?”

Rita suddenly remembers that she’s supposed to be Liv’s roommate and stops by while Liv’s hosting a tapas party. Seriously, lady, for being a zombie who can’t taste shit, you sure devote a lot of your life to fancy food prep. Shish kabobs? Unaware that her roommate is evil, Liv drops the bomb that she’s been making out with Major, so Rita stabs Liv in the hand with a kabob. While Liv runs off to clean it up, there’s a single drop of blood on the cutting board which Rita dabs off, proving once again that you don’t send an evil MBA to do a scientist’s job. What the hell is anyone going to do with a dried drop of blood smeared across a napkin and contaminated from whatever was on the cutting board? Think, Rita, or we’re sending you back to nemesis school.

Back to Breaking Major. While coaching the kids who never go to school, another fight breaks out, and Major speaks to the kid, getting close to him and learning about his dad leaving. Later, when he’s out stalking zombies, he comes across one, but then the obligatory adorable child runs into his zombie dad’s arms. This is what’s made Major so interesting; out of all the characters, he’s the one constantly thrown in a dark pit and never allowed to escape. At the beginning of this series, the man’s a freaking saint to the point of Mary Suedom. Oh look, a college athlete who also works with disadvantaged youth so he can give back to the community and looks like a Ken Doll. So the show piles more and more dirt on that golden heart to see just how far one can taint something until it won’t snap back.

He plays the pretend happy boyfriend around Liv, but then they draw the bags under his eyes and redden them up the moment he’s by himself, forced to live only inside his shattered brain. Perhaps it’s already gone too far and he can never come back from being a zombie assassin killing people with happy families to protect his zombie girlfriend. Or he’ll go crazy at the end of the season and blow up the entire Max Rager building. He does know how to get a bazooka.

We had a brain of the week, didn’t we? I suppose we should get to solving that. Seems that Coach Mike had a Thunder (Finders?) Keeper, which is a fundraising site that had nothing whatsoever to do with Kickstarter. He wanted to send his kids to camp. On the day he died, it suddenly got a huge boost and was fully funded. Clive tries to trace the bid, but in the meantime, one of the three possible murderers winds up dead in Tacoma.

Ravi gets some great scenes arguing with the doc in charge there about quotas and fancy British accents. Of course, he also gets to show up that he’s 10X the dead body guy by noticing Telly died from blunt force trauma. Racist Mortician blames it on a hammer, but that seemed to be Telly’s weapon of choice as he worked in the “You don’t ask what I do” business.

What was a bookie doing on the 14th floor of the building Coach Mike was killed in? Why, visiting one of the lawyers, of course. First they stop by a guy named Thrunk(?). He’s just there quick to establish his existing so you might remember him later. Don’t worry, there will be a test. Clive does some real police work again by checking the copier codes to see who else was working late that night.

While interviewing our last random white guy lawyer (RWGL), Clive smells bleach on an autographed bat. Liv has a useless zombie vision just to prove that RWGL once got upset about a team losing, which means he must have been ten large in with Telly or something. Really, this is all Clive’s show now, as he tests out the reach of the bat and finds blood coating the blinds from the weapon smashing into Telly’s skull.

But now, this is the scene we were all waiting for. While Ravi’s getting the rats set up for dosing, Blaine swings by asking where the cure is. As Ravi’s trying to explain that this shit takes time, Jesus-Gabe sneaks up and snatches up the syringe filled with Max Rager + utopium = super zombie curse. He injects the stuff straight into her sternum, which had to hurt like shit. Rather than get cured, he turns into a double zombie and…no, that would have been cool. Instead, he flops over dead.

“Needs work, Doc,” Blaine jokes. Ravi screams that the tainted utopium wasn’t right and they’re back to square one. Blaine says that Ravi discovered the anti-cure, an instant zombie killer. Suddenly both realize the potential and, honest to God, roll across the morgue floor trying to get their hands on the bottle.

This isn’t some quick one minute fight either – they’re climbing over top each other, throwing elbows, and chasing after the thing while “Friday I’m In Love” plays over top. This was almost as good as zombie knife fight from season one. Ravi smashes the zombie anti-cure with another bottle. Blaine accepts his defeat gracefully by rising and says, “Well, that’s my cardio for the day.”

Back in the interrogation room, RWGL admits that he killed Telly after he pulled out a hammer to threaten him, but that he had nothing to do with Mike’s death. Seems lawyers have a guy they call “The Fixer,” because all lawyers are shady as shit, I guess. He claims that it was the fixer who shot Mike and is willing to cut a plea deal in exchange for the name, but Clive already knows who he is because Clive is the real psychic – he just keeps that fact hidden and relies on Liv’s weirdness as a smokescreen. Of course, it’s that guy we saw for blink and you miss it, and also the last guy in the pictures who couldn’t be identified. He’s already hopping the same private jet that Max Rager PR lady vanished on. I wonder if he took his shower curtain with him.

Major swings by Max Rager to drop off a list of zombies he’d checked off as being human. He also tries to dump Rita, but she’s not having any of that. Being at least fathered, if not raised by, Von the adult toddler, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t know the meaning of the word no. She also insinuates that Major best get to killing people because he can’t get his punch card filled until there are more bodies clogging up Dead Zombie River.

Poor Major’s still grasping at straws, trying to find some balance to his life, and tells Liv, again, that he doesn’t want to just be friends. He needs something stable in his life. Anything. Maybe a pet rock would help. It’s not like that could turn into a golem and try to break his legs in the middle of the night. Okay, yeah it would.

We end with Suzuki’s widow dropping by Clive’s desk (He lives there, right? Probably because Liv’s roommates keep scooping up all the available real estate in Seattle). She says that while going through her husband’s beer fridge she found this – and drops a Tupperware onto the desk, which we all know is full of brains.

Dun dun DUNN!!!

So, the cure is back to square one. Less than square one, now that Jesus-Gabe is dust to dust, Major’s in just as deep with Von and Rita as before, and Clive might finally be on the hunt for zombies. I have absolutely no idea where this season is going. But I’m still holding out hope for vampire R&D lady.

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