Episode Title: Liv and Let Clive
Original Airdate: 4-8-15
Once again Liv finds herself with another brain and another set of personality traits that also happen to help tie in with her relationship with ex-fiance Major. I have yet to talk about the naming conventions of this show yet, and while it’s not entirely prevalent with the entire cast, it’s a little bit on the nose to have an undead main character be named Liv Moore aka “live more” when she is technically living less, while her ex-fiance is Major Lilywhite and if that doesn’t scream white bread WASP-y, I don’t know what does. As for this specific episode, there’s some backstory on Detective Babineaux, some front story on Blaine, and a budding bromance between Major and Ravi. Not to mention a kung fu brawl with Liv and an Asian gang leader. All in all another fun episode with some darker subplots.
While the main story is decent, what this episode really does well is start to expand on Blaine’s operation. He has a full blown business going now, so much so that it seems like he should be drawing some attention to himself by now. He apparently has a growing list of nouveau deceased who are paying a premium for gourmet brains cooked up in his own little back alley restaurant. He even has a couple muscleheads reminiscent of the ones from Pain and Gain who are sent to collect for him. There’s also a subtle connection to the A-story when we find out that one of the members of the Blue Cobra gang are coming back from Hong Kong with a fresh shipment of Utopium, the same drug that Blaine initially tampered with to create the zombie process in the first place. And while Blaine is becoming a very formidable crime boss throughout these little snippets that we get to see, it all just feels a little bit too easy for him. He is in absolute control of everything in his little world except for Liv so far, and that just irks me a little bit. Not enough to fully detract from the show overall, but I’m not sure I’ll like where his arc ends up.
As for the actual A-story, it’s a fun one involving an Asian gang called the Blue Cobras who apparently are based out of a video store that likely is actually a perfect front because I imagine there are no real customers that go in there anymore. The victim of the week was a snitch who gave information to some undercover cops including Clive before he got transferred into homicide. But as a snitch, he brought along plenty of paranoia which easily transferred over to Liv’s perception of Major’s relationship with somebody new. Rose McIver plays the comedic paranoia very well both with the gang members and with Major. It bears repeating that she is wonderfully able to balance showing the personality seepage of the brain food while still keeping Liv’s personality intact. There’s also the odd appearance of who I think was her brother who has a crush on her roommate who I thought was her sister but that would make that crush extremely weird. In other words, I think I’m right about the fact that he was Liv’s brother, but wrong about Aly Michalka being her sister. One of the other fun moments was the end of the episode which brought together Major and Ravi who will now be roommates themselves. I think it’s a nice way to have Major play a, well major part in the show without having to find these odd reasons to bring them together time and time again, and the chemistry between Major and Ravi was truly delightful.
And before I wrap things up, I haven’t even mentioned the added backstory to our friendly detective Clive Babineaux. While Liv’s paranoia-fueled brain food and misleading visions led her to think that Clive was a dirty cop, we eventually find out that he was actually a deep undercover cop getting in with the Blue Cobras. Though there was no explanation about how it appeared to be an almost entirely Asian gang, and yet Babineaux was considered a part of the gang, or possibly just someone they worked with closely as we didn’t get to see if he go the matching Blue Cobra tattoo. But it was a very nice way to let his walls break down just a little to help get some more insight into his character. Which is another reason why I enjoy this show so much, every main character feels like a fully fleshed out person rather than just a one-dimensional character or caricature like Gotham tends to go for. It also appears to be doing well enough in the ratings that a season two is already being predicted and I couldn’t be happier. I just hope that the show continues on this great path and doesn’t stray off course.