TV Review/Recap: iZombie Episode 201 “Cranky Old Liv

The start of this season feels a bit darker and dryer to me than the previous season. Almost like the show lost it’s sense of humor. Well, not lost it but like it’s turned more sarcastic and less witty. Which isn’t a complaint. It would make sense for it to be a bit darker at this point. It’s just an observation. It may not even last. It could have just been this episode. Let’s get started…

We left Liv last season after she has given Blaine the cure, turned Major into a zombie then also cured him, her roommate Peyton left without explanation (but most likely it had something to do with finding out Liv is a zombie) and her brother got caught in an explosion while trying to look for a job. It wasn’t a good place for Liv at all. Three month have passed since the finale, according to Liv in voiceover.

Liv couldn’t donate blood to her brother because of the whole being a zombie thing. Her mother and brother aren’t speaking to her because of her refusal to donate blood. Liv tries to visit her brother in the hospital and it leads to an altercation with her mother. Her mom asks if she is on drugs. She says no. Her mother repeatedly asks her to leave. Then her brother wakes up and asks her to leave as well.

Seriously, Liv has the worst family and friends…I talked about this in my recaps of the first season as well but since I haven’t posted those no one has read it yet so I’ll elaborate. She hid being a zombie from everyone because she was afraid of their reactions. That alone shows they weren’t very good friends to her but also that she probably wouldn’t have been a good friend to them if they were in her place. Still..we only see what’s happening with them and they all acted horrible about her being different when they didn’t know why. Then it turned out she was correct.. Her roommate who is also her best friend runs away from her after finding out. Then her family behave like this….she is allowed to not donate blood. They should trust her and believe she has good reasons. Instead they get angry because she wouldn’t do something for them and don’t even consider that maybe she couldn’t do it for a good reason. What a bunch of selfish assholes.

In voiceover as she leaves the hospital Liv talks about how she couldn’t have helped her brother even if she had been willing to turn him into a zombie. As soon as any doctor examined her she would have beeb quarantined. She also says maybe it’s better that she repels the people she loves. It’s better for her to be alone. It keeps things simple. “Harden yourself Liv,” she says, “You’re a monster. Act like one.”

Seriously, what selfish assholes! Poor Liv.

A woman wearing headphones jogs down the street at night. She runs past several people staring at her; a man working under a car leering and a kid in hockey gear and to other kids playing hockey. She hears a scream and stops and takes off her headphones.

Ravi and Liv walk down the street during the day. She is talking about everyone hating her. Ravi tells her to not give up on her family or Peyton. Liv asks about Major. Ravi doesn’t say anything. She comments on how he forgave Ravi but not her. Ravi makes a “bros before hoes” joke. Well, he almost makes it but stops before he says “hoes” and changes it to “ex fiances”. He also says he isn’t completely forgiven and that things are still weird between them. Major has been having a hard time finding work since losing her last job. With no good reference from that past job he can’t get hired anywhere. Then reach the murder scene. A man is squished under a car. Ravi says, “This is why I pay someone to fix my car.”

Okay so I guess there is still humor in the show like the last season but it does feel darker to me. Different somehow.

Half Man-Half Machine: Clive tells them the details of the deceased. Wendell Gordon Gale is his name. He was 77 years old. He died around 10:32PM. There were several people that heard the man scream. The jack is fully functional someone had to have kicked it. They find foot prints and a mark on the ground in blood that looks like someone rode through it on a bike…or, as Liv points out as the man’s sister in law rides up, a medical scooter. The sister in law found the body. When she is asked if anyone wanted her brother in law dead she says everyone in a 3 mile radius is probably happy that he is gone. For the past 30 years since his fibromyalgia started acting up he has been cranky and angry with everyone and not fun to be around, says the sister in law. He hates everyone and everything. She says she took pity on him.

FYI Fibromyalgia doesn’t make everyone assholes. So, the guy probably was just kind of an asshole. Although, I doubt fibromyalgia helped.

Liv makes meatballs out of Wendell’s brains and puts them on spaghetti. As she eats she talks about the rat, Final Hope, hating her. Final Hope is the rat they turned into a zombie and then cured. Ravi corrects him and says the rat’s name is New Hope not Final Hope. He says he wanted to give her a depressing name he would have called her Phantom Menace.

Ha. Star Wars joke. I didn’t get it at first. I mean I got the Phantom Menace thing (although I didn’t hate that movie….I hated episode 2 and 3 but 1 found episode 1 to be okay, it did lack some of the heart and organic feel of the original trilogy but it was still watchable) but I didn’t get that the rats actual name is a Star Wars reference, too. I forget the first movie was subtitled A New Hope.

Ravi says the rat doesn’t hate her. She insists it does. New Hope freaks out whenever she is near her. Ravi suggests that he cannibalism may gross her out. Liv isn’t happy about grossing out a rat. She says no interpersonal relationships until she is cured. Ravi asks about her new roommate. Liv says she is fine. She works for the IRS. Ravi then asks her to get more tainted utopium so they can make more of the cure. Ravi is also worried about the cure wearing off (or Major growing horns). Liv defends her decision to give Blaine and Major the cure. Then admits that Blaine is the place to go to find more tainted utopium. He was the dealer after all. Ravi asks where Blaine is. Liv doesn’t know.

I also think giving Blaine the cure was a stupid decision. I mean Ravi didn’t call it a stupid decision but I think it was one was. I understand and agree with her choice to turn Major into a zombie (although it was a selfish choice it was an understandable one) and to cure him (although she also never really told him that as a zombie they could have been together. but maybe he wouldn’t have cared…..he should have and he should have realized that wasn’t why she turned him if it was she could have done way before he was dying but this whole show is full of selfish illogical people so…who know what he would have thought). I don’t understand or agree with curing Blaine. She should have killed him. She should have killed him ages ago. She should have shot him in the head. Then he wouldn’t have killed Lowell. I mean Its not that I’m bitter about the character leaving but his death was sad and it was preventable. That is annoying. It isn’t just Lowell that he killed. He killed people to sell their brains. He turned random (rich or powerful) people into zombies. He needed to die. Anyway…

Blaine (with blonde hair still and wearing bronzer still..for some reason) now runs a funeral home. We see him talking to a couple about funeral arrangements.

Why is Blaine still trying to look like a zombie that is trying to look human? That’s…..odd. I mean other zombies would smell him. They’d know he was human,

Officer sare presenting LT Suzuki’s wife a medal of honor of some kind. Her husband died saving people, they say.

Clive wakes up Liv. Liv is cranky and snippy with him. He tells her he is in running down a tip line call. He asks her if she has had any visions. She makes a snarky remark and he goes to leave but she stops him.

Clive and Liv arrive in the neighborhood where the tip line caller lives. Liv yells at some skater kids riding down the sidewalk. Clive gives her a look. She snarks at him.

The things Liv says while having the persona of the cranky old man are often funny but without the voice and inflections and seeing them come out of Liv’s mouth and the contradiction of her look and her words….they just don’t translate. Which is why I’m not transcribing many of them.

Clive tells Liv about Suzuki getting the medal of honor. Liv says he deserves it. Clive asks. “Did he?”. Clive then mentions her and Major being back together. Liv says they’re not. But she is his alibi for the Meat Cute murders. He spent the night at her place, Liv says. Clive says that is how he got the impression that they were back together. Liv says they already talked about this. She told him Major slept on the couch. He didn’t like being alone after he got out of the mental hospital. Clive says so at the time of the murders she was in her room and he was on the couch? So he could have left? Liv says no they talked for most of the night and she points out that Major passed the gun residue test. Clive says it was 24 hours later before they found him. He could have scrubbed his hands and clothes clean by then. The evidence they found just doesn’t make sense, Clive says. The wound in Suzuki’s thigh looked self inflicted and Julian, the man Major had said he previously shot 3 times was one of the victims and the kid found in the deep freezer was a kid from the youth shelter Major formally worked at. Liv says it’s closed case so someone was satisfied with the investigation. Clive says they like  making one of their own a hero.

Wow that was some pretty efficient writing. They gave us a LOT of information we didn’t have about the investigation of the case that happened during the 3 months time between the season 1 finale and season 2 premiere. Usually that kind of exposition feels clunky but that was fast and flowed well and didn’t feel forced. I’m impressed.

Liv and Clive ring the doorbell at the house they were walking to, the man who called the tip line. His name is Byron. Clive asks if he called the tip line. The man says yes and asks isn’t the line for anonymous tips. Clive points out they have never claimed it was anonymous. The man says the implication is there, he didn’t leave his name or number. Clive says they have a caller ID (duh!). Liv makes fun of the guy’s hipster T shirt (it says “T-Shirts are Passe”).

Sitting inside the man’s house they play him his tip line call. It’s hard to hear and sounds like nonsense but there is something said about eggs (dammit…now I want scrambled eggs….) and threats. The man says he didn’t want to get involved but there is a teenager that is a thug that goes around terrorizing the neighborhood.  The kid and his friends were egging Wendell’s house the other night and Wendell comes out and shoots the guy with a taser. He then kicks the kid while he is down. When the kid recovered he threatened Wendell. Liv sets on a chew toy on Byron’s couch and then comments on his horrible paintings of dogs.

Walking into the morgue Liv apologizes for not being there sooner. She says they got stuck behind an asian driver. Ravi calls her Archie Bunker and points out he is of Asian decent. Liv tells him to tell his people how to use a blinker. Then she looks at the funeral home and notes the new owner’s name is John Deaux, one of Blaine’s aliases.

Blaine is looking at caskets on his tablet when his eyes widen and the hair on his neck stands up. Liv is standing behind him. He asks her if she sees anything she likes. He points out he has one with  breakaway lid. He tells her that she was an inspiration for him buying the funeral home. It’s an easy and….closer to legal…and less murderous way to procure brains. Liv says she is proud of him (both sincerely and snarkily…it is possible to be both apparently). Blaine asks why she is still a zombie. He accuses her of liking it. She tells him it isn’t by choice. He makes jokes then shows her around the place…ish. Blaine mentions that he didn’t see Major among the victims on the coverage. He makes fun of Major’s name (says Major Lilywhite is the most depressingly named zombie of all time). She finally tells him that she needs the utopium to make more of the cure. He blows her off but then she tells him his cure may not be permanent. The first batch killed the test rat in 2 days. He asks which batch she gave him. She tells him the second batch. He says he will make some inquiries into the boat night utopium. She also points out that she doesn’t believe that he is gone straight. He insists he has.

After Liv is gone Blaine goes down stairs and opens a casket full of what one can only assume is utopium. It’s little vials with a U on them. He calls it “pure and uncut”.

Hm….New utopium? More of the boat night utopium?

Major is at the park. He meets up with a guy as he gets a call from Liv. He ignores the call. The man says he has to come clean with him, he is a stress eater and the night before he ate stuffed crust pizza. Major tells him he is trainer not his priest. He asks if he is ready and then they run. Major leads the guy through exercises after the run. Then his attention is drawn by a guy riding a skateboard by. He gets a call from Liv as he leaves and answers. Liv tells him Clive is grilling her about Major and the meat cute murders.

why would you say that on the phone to someone who is a suspect in a murder? I mean I know the case is closed but still. Not on the phone. WTF?

Liv is in the precinct waiting on Clive. When he arrives she asks where has he been? The kid that Wendell tasered is being questioned about the murder. Liv calls him “the kid that killed Wendell” and Clive asks if she had a vision. Liv says no but the kid screams guilty because of how he looks….Clive takes a second then shrugs off her comments and tells her he went to see her brother to have him talk to sketch artist to describe the man who hired him. He also shows her a sketch created by someone else about the owner of Meat Cute. Both look similar. Both look like Blaine. A name clive also knows because Suzuki had written it in his own blood on the wall. Clive asks Liv if she ever seen him, maybe with Major. Liv says nope.

The punk looking guy is being questioned. The guy admits the old man used a taser on him. He also tells them they use to toss bird seed into his yard to draw squirrels but the guy kills them all and stacked them up and burned them. Clive asks to see his shoe. They compare the print. The guy is drinking a Max Rager. Clive says it will rot his brain and Liv says it’s already to late.

The “kid” looks 30…….is he supposed to look 30? I thought he was supposed to be a teenager?

The Max Rager CEO guy is in his office talking to a guy on speaker phone while playing tennis on what I guess is an XBOX Kinect. His secretary comes in and turns off the game. Someone else on the phone call mentions the reports of violent episodes triggered by Max Rager and the lawsuits. The CEO points out the money the company made. He says they’ll make more when Super Max comes out. The man on the phone asks how they’ll be sure that Super Max doesn’t have the same side effects. He says they can be sure they’ll all be to rich to care. He hangs up the call. He makes a comment to the secretary about the zombie apocalypse but she assures him that isn’t going to happen. The surveillance paid. off. They located the key to the zombies destruction.

Dead Giveaway: Major arrives at a new clients house. The clients daughter says her Dad’s job is killing him. She points out her brother on the couch playing a video game and says he won’t notice him unless he is a zombie he can kill. She leads him to the back yard where her Dad is. As her Dad walks up the hair on Major’s arms stand up. The client talks to him. Major shakes his hand.

Major is in his room doing chin ups. Ravi wants to talk. He tries to talk about the household issues but Major tells him his new client is a zombie. Ravi asks how he knew. Major says his hair stood on end and his pulse raced. Ravi compares it to a wild animal instinct telling him to run. Major points out that Liv doesn’t set off the feeling. Ravi says it’s because she domesticated him.

Liv walks into the precinct and a black man in handcuffs makes remarks at her. She responds by calling him Tupac and tells him to “dream on”. She sits down to talk to Clive and asks what he wanted. As they talk about how Wendell had filed an insurance claim for someone keying his car the man keeps making comments to her. Liv turns back to him Clive tells threatens to put him in a cell with the Aryan Confederacy. Liv makes a racist compliment to him and Clive says he’s going to get coffee and try to forget she said that.

Liv gets a call from Ravi. She asks if he is enjoying his day off but he launches into telling her about Major being able to detect zombies. Liv remarks that that is why New Hope hates her. The cure makes people get anxious around zombies.

Interesting side effect…..odd one, too. What would cause that?

After hanging up Liz bumps into the sketch artist guy she pissed off awhile ago and he starts yelling at her which triggers a vision, Wendell’s sister in law threatens him because she can’t sell her house and then keys his car. Clive comes up as she is snarking at the sketch artist and after sending the artist guy off he asks if she needs some “lady aspirin” (never been married obviously…….). She tells him about her vision.

Blaine knocks on a door. He talks to a guy through a door. He says he was sorry to hear about his brother (one of the drug dealers he killed I assume) he asks if he cut the utopiam for the boat party and if he can tell him what it was cut with. He offers money for information. The kid, Donnie, answers the door and says he didn’t cut it but he knows who did.

I feel like I’m supposed to know who this kid is but I don’t remember him.

Also, I guess it was pure utopium that Blaine had. He now wants to know what it was cut with so he can make more…the question being will he give it to Liv when he makes it or use it to make zombies? I’m not sure how a full on zombie apocalypse would benefit Blaine, though. So, I don’t know why he would sell that.

Clive and Liv arrive to question the sister in law. She is having a bridge night or something. She boasts and the other women insist she was with them when Wendell was killed. One of the women offer Liv food and triggers another vision of Wendell feeding a dog and threatening it.

The women also comment on Liv’s looks. They say she looks pale but she really doesn’t. She looks like she wears more makeup to hide the zombie traits now. Which makes me wonder why she wouldn’t die her hair.

When they leave, Liv tells Clive about the vision. She thinks he was poisoning the dog. She points out the paintings and dog toys at the tipsters house. Lots of dog stuff but no dog. They decide to go visit the tipster again. Liv demands to see the mans dog. He calls his dog and the spaniel runs in. Clive asks where the man was the night of the murder. He says at a pub watching a football. Clive asks him what teams played and he names two soccer teams causing Liv to scoff.

Clive shows Ravi and Liv a video of the tipster, Byron,walking into the pub before the murder and not leaving until an hour after the murder. He tells them there is a second exit out back and he also shows them a flyer for a missing spaniel. He thinks that Byron thought Wendell had killed his dog. So, after he had gotten drunk at the pub he went to confront him. He also points out that the shoes Byron is wearing in the video match the blood print shoe type.

They go to search Byron’s house. Clive questions him about why he didn’t mention that he lost his dog. Clive also questions him about a particular event in the soccer game that happened at the time of the murder. As they’re talking a tech walks up to show them that Byron’s boot print matches the blood print. Byron admits that he thought the man killed his dog. He had threatened to and so he goes to talk to Wendell, to confront him. The man is working on his car and when he asks about the dog Wendell says “that’s one mutt that won’t be crapping in anyone’s yard” and the tipster gets mad and kicks the car causing it to fall on Wendell.

Liv thinks it’s unfair that because of a momentary lapse in reasoning Byron will now spend the rest of his life in prison. She tells Ravi this. She laments in voiceover that she won’t spend her life hating everything. She says she will eat another brain and get new traits. She wishes for a person with a great personality to die. Then she feels bad about that wish.

Speaking of which….why did Liv get THAT much of the guy’s personality? It was like her entire personality was replaced (with the brief exception of when she spoke to Major). Did that happen because she is losing herself so much as she loses her loved ones? Or was it random occurrence? I guess we will see when she eats another brain and we see how much of their personality she takes on.

The CEO guy is talking about zombies not deserving mercy. He talks about Navy battle movies. It’s very rambly. He is making a point about zombies needing to be killed for the good of others. We see the client of Major’s as the man talks. Someone stabs him in the neck with something as he walks into his kitchen. We see that the CEO is talking to Major. Major tells him he has the wrong man for the job. We see Major driving a car down the road looking anxious. The CEO plays him a audio clip of Ravi saying Major is a zombie detector. He tells Major that they know things about zombies – they like spicy food, they buy hair dye and tanner – and that it’s his job to track them down and determine who is really a zombie. Major says no but they play a clip of Liv talking about Major being a suspect in the Meat Cute murders. They threaten to turn him in. Major says they can do what they have to do. They then threaten Liv, they say she doesn’t have to be the first zombie they kill but they do have to start somewhere. Major stays. We see him dumping the clients body over a bridge.

Major is always seeming to get roped into things. Is he supposed to be kind of dumb? I mean, I get he is kind of protecting Liv but he could also have still refused and told her what was going on. He could also not be pissed at her for saving his life by doing something he didn’t like since he is doing the same damn thing.

Also, as I said….don’t say shit about a murder on the phone. Just…don’t.

Liv talks in voiceover about things…her brother and mother not speaking to her, Major gone, Peyton gone etc etc etc. Her roommate comes and asks her to watch Zombie High. She goes out and sit on the couch. The new roommate is the secretary from Max Rager. She tells Liv about the Magic Mike hot guy they just hired…

Interesting premiere. It isn’t as good as the series premiere but even with it’s darker tone it was still a good episode. I don’t like the Max Rager CEO guy (which is why I don’t know his name) and I don’t just mean don’t like him because he is a bad guy I don’t find his character interesting to watch. It’s hard for me to focus on his scenes even to write about them. I just find him irritating. So, I don’t love the storyline with his secretary being Liv’s new roommate but some of the other storylines, like Blaine and his new scheme(s) and Major….whatever is going on with Major are more intriguing.

In short, not my favorite episode ever but not a bad start to the season. I look forward to next week (which is at this point probably this week….I’m staying a week behind posting recaps…I guess that’s fine to do with shows…it’s like a refresher before the new episode airs….or something).

Well….looks like I’m over a week behind posting this one…Oh well….Better late than never? I guess.



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