Episode Title: Cape Town
Original Airdate: 12-8-15
This week Liv rides the recent superhero wave as she dons a mask to fight crime in Seattle. Not that she doesn’t already fight crime in Seattle, but she’s not normally as theatrical about it. The brain-of-the-week was a high school shop teacher by day, masked crime fighter by night. He ended up in a dumpster, bludgeoned to death after trying to help a mugging victim. When Liv and Babineaux find out that he was also putting together a team of other self-proclaimed superheroes to stop crime lord Stacy Boss (the one Peyton’s been investigating) from importing illegal firearms, Liv joins the fight but causes far more trouble than expected. Babineaux has had enough of her antics and says she can no longer work cases with him. She then goes home and breaks up with Major, because he doesn’t understand that the wacky traits she takes on from eating brains is now a part of who she is.
As for everything else, Blaine brings Liv a dying man he wants her to turn, because he is the only person left who might be able to find the tainted Utopium to aid in Ravi’s cure. Of course, finding the drug is not as easy as one would hope. Major stakes out his next victim, whom he barely stops from killing herself. Turns out she was a prostitute in her human life, but was turned zombie and is now prostituted out to male zombies in exchange for brains, a lifestyle she can no longer take. The two talk at length and Major convinces her to get in his freezer of doom, with a promise of a cure someday. Unfortunately, his promise may be worthless, as at the very end of the episode Ravi’s test subject rat that was once cured has reverted to Team Z with no warning.
So a bit of a downer for a mid-season finale. I’ve been complaining for the past ten weeks that Liv’s assumed personalities have led her to some extreme over-the-top behavior this season, so of course things were at peak insanity this week. At least it had severe lasting consequences, so it wasn’t just for laughs. The thing that’s really bothering me is that the writers seem to be making up the rules as they go along. Just this season they have dropped in (more than once) that Liv only takes on the brain’s most dominant trait. However, if you go back to Season 1, that simply isn’t true. She picked up a few habits or skills from her meals, but didn’t really change who she was. And that’s where the problem is for me. This new set of rules seems to change the character of Liv, and I don’t want her personality to be washed away for the sake of the story or just cheap laughs. Unfortunately, I’m afraid they’ve now committed to this way of story telling with the brains, and thus will stick to it.
I’m also a bit leery of how much is happening outside the case-of-the-week. The two biggest forces are Max Rager and Stacy Boss, and everyone and everything that branches off from each, so we’re only getting pieces here and there every few weeks. I feel like Gilda/Rita and Peyton should be on much more than they are, but there isn’t room for them a lot of the time. I just hope they’re not stretching themselves too thin.
I’m still very much enjoying the basic concept of the show, and of course all the characters and actors, so I don’t want to see any of what Season 1 built wasted. Here’s hoping they come back with a stronger second half to this sophomore season.