Sorry I was MIA with last week’s post. If you caught up on this week’s (late) TWD review yesterday, then you know I was laptop free on The Strip all last week. So now you get a two-for-one deal on your brains-of-the-week. (I just typed “week” way too many times in such a short paragraph.)
Episode Title: Max Wager
Original Airdate: 11-10-15
The case-of-the-week offered something new, as it was a direct continuation of the previous episode’s case-of-the-week. The attorney with the gambling problem that was the cause of the security guard’s death in “Love and Basketball” (though not the actual killer) is murdered on the courthouse steps after taking a plea deal as an accessory and being handed a very light, minimum security prison sentence, much to Babineaux’s chagrin. Of course the murder of a gambling addict who would have been the star witness in a murder case leads to a number of suspects for Babineaux and Liv to vet.
As for all that other drama, as usual there is plenty. Liv and Major are officially back together, but Ravi begs them to hold off on having sex until he can run tests to see if zombism also works STD style. After testing 100+ brands of condoms (could there really be that many?), he comes to the conclusion that Major would in fact start craving brains again if he and Liv become physical.
Peyton gets a visit from the Utopium drug lord she’s been trying to take down. Boss (that name’s a little on the nose, no?) politely threatens her and her informant. Speaking of Blaine, he gets a visit from his extremely menacing father, who now knows his son is no longer cracking skulls for food. Daddy DeBeers threatens to bring Blaine back to Team Z if he doesn’t start working for him, namely killing the son of a rival businessman to learn trade secrets through a round of brain kabobs. Blaine has a far more twisted plan, but his father goes missing (thanks Major) before he can complete it. Which leads us to Major’s new way of doing business. He pretends to kill his zombie prey and dump them in the water, but really it’s just mannequins, and the zombies are drugged and then hidden in a deep freezer. No way things can go wrong here.
Though I didn’t really care for the mystery of the security guard’s death, I thought the attorney’s murder was much more intriguing. I was surprised, and fully appreciated, the continuation of the case, which blossomed a new case. Everything fit together much more smoothly than with the security guard’s death. And gambling Liv wasn’t too much. I liked the little bets between her and Babineaux, and her bigger moments with the bookie weren’t intolerable.
The real draw in this episode was everything with Blaine. He is really coming into his own as more than a stereotypical arch nemesis this season, and this episode pushed that forward even more. His plan to upend his father’s plans actually broke my heart a little. But I’m glad his father’s not gone for good at the hands of Major, because he is clearly a great villain and needs to come back for more scenery chewing. However, really Major? Really? I thought you were smarter than that. I really want to like the guy (and sometimes I do) but his poor decision making skills don’t always allow for it. It’s only a matter of time before everything blows up in his face…again.
Episode Title: Abra Cadaver
Original Airdate: 11-17-15
Now it’s time for some slight-of-hand. Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a magician with a tendency to lean toward the goth side. He pissed off a lot of fellow magicians when he rose to fame by exposing their tricks, so the duo are not short on suspects (like they ever are), while Liv insists everyone “pick a card.”
Meanwhile, Ravi breaks things off with his girlfriend because he clearly still has feelings for Peyton, but gets shut down when he tries to make a move. Peyton however seems a little too flirty when she meets up with Blaine to warn him of Boss’s late night visit to her office. Then Blaine convinces Liv to help him find out who has been taking his clients out of commission, so the two stake out FBI agent Bozzio’s place, who has now gotten quite cozy with Babineaux. The results of Susuki’s frozen leftovers are dropped off while Liv and Blaine snoop through Bozzio’s files to find out what she knows, but Liv doctors them to show “BOVINE BRAINS” instead. However, Bozzio’s house is being watched by a mysterious woman (at least I don’t think I’ve seen her before), who sees Liv drop off the doctored results, but leaves her own envelope for Bozzio in the end.
I liked the case-of-the-week until the end. The magic was fun and cheesy, as the show was clearly playfully mocking some real life performers, but I had the murderer figured out too early, because either the casting department or makeup department didn’t do their job well enough, and the killer’s disguise was a little too obvious. Also, I feel like the reveal didn’t fit the actual murder. The timing would have been a bit of a reach, but what do I know about dead bodies? As for Liv, I didn’t mind her card tricks, but I was not down with her embracing the “death loving” of her meal. It was just plain silly, and ending the episode with her performing a séance as a confused Major looks on was weak. In fact I disliked it so much I had to think really hard on the episode’s ending, because I sort of blocked its ridiculousness.
There wasn’t a lot of world building either, so nothing really covered for the lackluster murder reveal and Liv’s turn to Queen of the Dead, EXCEPT for Blaine and Liv on stakeout together. I love their hate-hate relationship. Their one-liner exchanges are so on point and their chemistry as rivals-with-necessary-acceptance is so much fun to watch. The show needs more of that.
So one pretty good episode overall and one silly, uneven episode with a few really great moments. Nothing new next Tuesday, so I’ll see you back for more Liv & Friends after Decembers starts. (Wondering what the Christmas episode will be like…)