Episode Title: Virtual Reality Bites
Original Airdate: 4-21-15
When we last left Liv and co, she had discovered yet another friendly neighborhood zombie with a British accent and Major had been knocked around at the skate park. This week Liv gets a taste of week old brains from an agoraphobic hacker WoW troll while she decides that she finally needs to start living her life, or unlife. We also start to get a little bit of the walls beginning to close in on Blaine and his operation, but he isn’t quite feeling the heat yet. It was another fun episode that reminded me a little bit of my own World of Warcraft and City of Heroes days while also making me wonder if anyone on the show had ever actually played any of these games since they rarely get them even close to being right.
The brain of this week turns Liv into a shut in, stereotypical gaming nerd. And while it was fun to see her slum around in her sweatpants covered with a fine orange haze of cheese puffs and drinking can after can of (nonbranded) Mountain Dew from a straw, it felt like a largely negative gaming stereotype with all the death threats coming from thirteen year old boys. And while I myself used to be one of those online gamer types, I still continue to be a bit of an online nerd, only instead of going on end game raids, I watch movies and TV shows and then write about them on websites. And I also have a lovely wife and daughter. And on top of that, there’s the whole Gamergate situation going on with gaming currently which this could have played into, but instead makes it very much a non-issue while still unknowingly still playing into some of those GG concerns. Like how the hacker completely destroys the life of a woman who merely posted a customer service phone call with him. Gamer tropes aside, as the actual stand-alone mystery it was handled very well with a nice final payoff.
As for the other ongoing threads, there was some decent movement on several fronts. We get to see one of the dangers of running a brain delivery service for zombies when the brains come up missing from an order as well as the consequences for that. Blaine’s first client decides to take matters into her own hands with the delivery boy. But since she isn’t as practiced at it, his body leads Detective Babineaux to Blaine’s Meat Cute restaurant. And on the other side of things, Major continues his research by looking at videos taken at the skate park and also comes to Blaine as a conclusion. So things are starting to close in on Blaine from multiple sides, but it’s still too early to tell how wide his operation has grown as it’s still a bit of a hidden epidemic. The episode ends with a bit of unintentional leverage as Liv’s mom just happens to make her way to Meat Cute herself and offers up Liv’s brother as the new delivery boy.
And of course, there’s always a relationship angle to these episodes and this one is no different. We get to see a little bit more of Lowell who pops in for an impromptu date while Liv is still in gamer geek mode. But while she knows that she still isn’t over her feelings for Major, she makes the decision that it’s something that shouldn’t hold her back anymore from the possibility of being happy in her new unlife. And she makes the next step with zombie Lowell. It is a bit of an obvious step, but Lowell is quite a charming character at the moment, and I do hope that the show isn’t playing a slow reveal that Lowell is somehow working with Blaine on the inside. Based on Lowell’s story, it could be that he got a scratch from one of Blaine’s high society clients accidentally. But most of the zombies are connected to him in some way so I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out badly for the Liv/Lowell relationship.