Episode Title: Grumpy Old Liv
Original Airdate: 10/6/15
Liv Moore is back for more brain-snacking fun and I’ll be taking over the recaps this season, because apparently I can’t get enough of the undead. I really enjoyed the first season, though it was a bit rocky at first, at least from the case-of-the-week angle, but quickly found its stride all around and went out with a bang (literally) by the finale. So I’m very psyched to see what Mr. Thomas has in store for the show this season. Let’s begin…
It’s been three months since Meat Cute blew up, leaving Liv’s brother on death’s door, with Liv refusing to donate their rare blood type to save him, so as not to turn him. Apparently another doctor in the hospital shared their blood type and was able to save Evan. Unfortunately, Evan and their mother want nothing to do with Liv. Aside from being shunned by her family, our heroine must also endure being ignored by Major, who hasn’t spoken to her since learning the truth, and finding a new roommate, since Peyton seems to be gone for good, also after learning the truth. Ravi is determined to make more of the cure and pressures her to find out what the tainted Utopium was cut with, which leads her to an old enemy. A now cured Blaine, who has opened his own funeral home where he can harvest brains from his clients before embalming, hasn’t gone totally straight and still has a plan to make a massive zombie population out of Seattle. Also, he and Major both have a survival instinct triggered when a zombie is near them, which will lead Major down an even darker path. And Babineaux is suspicious that Major had something to do with the death and destruction of Meat Cute, though Liv is swearing as his alibi.
The case of the week revolves around the murder of a crotchety old man, whom nobody liked. Suspects include his sister-in-law, the punk kid of the neighborhood, and the guy across the street. After turning the old man’s brains into spicy spaghetti and meatballs, Liv becomes, well, Grumpy Old Liv. She offends just about everyone she encounters with light references to racism and homophobia. She also holds her lower back a lot while doing a bit of a shuffle walk at times.
I really enjoyed the world building of the premiere. It answered some questions from last season’s finale, but did not resolve anything happily. I assumed they wouldn’t let Liv’s little brother die, but I didn’t expect her family to completely write her off. That was pretty harsh. Add that to her abandonment from Peyton and Major, and I have never felt sorrier for Liv. Well maybe a close second after Lowell’s death. Sigh, I really miss Lowell.
Blaine’s new found profession seems simply perfect for him. And the way he’s relishing life again, particularly in front of Liv, is funny. I’m not entirely sure about this new zombie detection instinct he and Major share, but I will wait to see where they take things with the post-cured life. However, I am LOVING that Vaughn du Clark of Max Rager wants to rid Seattle of the undead, and has enlisted Major to do the dirty work due to this new detection system. Major has had the absolute best character growth and it looks as though he has more dark corners to explore. And I honestly wasn’t expecting du Clark’s assistant, Gilda, to be Liv’s new roommate (for spying purposes, obviously). I thought this new roommate would just be mentioned but never seen. I was very wrong, and I appreciated this twist.
However, I wasn’t a fan of the premiere’s case. The case itself wasn’t terrible, but not exactly enthralling. What bothered me most was Liv on old man brains. It was too over the top, and I prefer Liv taking on more subtle characteristics of her dinner. Instances like this (and in Maternity Liv from last season) seem to be done just for laughs, and it wears thin very quickly. I can understand a few hateful comments sprinkled throughout the episode, but almost all of her dialogue was the old man’s thoughts. Of course Babineaux’s reactions to her crass behavior were the best thing that could have come from such on-the-nose writing, so I have to appreciate Malcolm Goodwin even more here for saving the day. And I didn’t understand her physical behavior. Her body was still Liv’s, so the holding the lower back with a slight crouch and bit of a shuffle walk felt unnecessary. Here’s hoping for more subtlety in the future, but with next week’s dead frat bro brains, I’m doubting it, at least for now.
I can’t stress how happy I am to have iZombie back in my weekly rotation. It was definitely a bright spot for thirteen weeks earlier this year. Despite some of the more somber themes, the tone always has a playful side. And that kind of balance is rare, which is why I keep coming back for more.