Wednesday, March 18, 2015

iZombie 1.01: "Pilot"

“I have no idea who I am anymore, what purpose, if any, I serve. But the real question is why do I suddenly, desperately need a handful of plastic eyeballs?”
- Liv

So you may have gathered that Jen and I were very excited by Rob Thomas’s latest TV offering (we were lucky enough to sit in on the panel for the show at San Diego Comic Con in 2014). We will be sharing blogging duties for the show and without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the pilot of “iZombie”. Before we really dive in to Liv as she is now, we get a brief glimpse of her as a super competitive surgical resident at a local hospital. She gets persuaded to go to a boat party where there was a freak zombie attack. Next thing she knows, she’s platinum blond, pasty and has a hankering for brains. She’s also lost her drive to do pretty much anything and her roommate, mother, brother and ex fiancé stage an intervention. She’s not really interested in their theory that she has PTSD as she heads off to the morgue—her new gig—to find a Jane Doe case waiting for her. Her boss, Ravi, gets called to a potential suicide and so Liv is tasked with sewing up Jane and she ends up snacking on some of the woman’s grains with some ramen while watching a zombie flick. So of course her boss has to show up right at the moment and go “I know you’re a zombie, tell me all about it!”

Liv fills Ravi in on the night on the boat where we briefly meet Blaine (so nice to see Dr. Whale and Tinker Bell spending time together) before he scratches Liv and infects her with the zombie parasite or whatever. Ravi admits that he suspected pretty early on that Liv was a zombie and he’s totally not freaked out by it. In fact, he wants to understand it. Unfortunately, just as Liv is trying to make her friends and family think she’s normal, Detective Clive Babineaux enters the scene to ask about the Jane Doe. We witness first-hand one of the side effects of brain-eating; Liv gets flashes of memory from the people she eats. Ravi manages to pass Liv off as a psychic. Fun times.

Liv heads over the children’s hospital haunted house (she promised her mom) but then has a flash of who killed the dead woman (who totally gave Lady Gaga’s real name as her own to Vancouver PD 7 years ago). It’s the local weather man. When Liv goes to tell Clive about the latest vision, she starts stealing stuff off his desk (I’m guessing Stephanie…or whatever her real name is) was a kleptomaniac. Instead of just taking the tip and running with it, Clive makes Liv go with him to ask some questions. Turns out Stephanie was an escort named Tatiana and the weather man didn’t kill her (by the way, say hi to Cliff from Veronica Mars). So the next stop is to check out Tatiana’s friend Tess. It takes a little prompting from Ravi for Liv to go visit Tess with Clive but it’s a good thing she does. Apparently, in addition to turning into a klepto she can also now speak Romanian. Helpful in getting Tess to share Tatiana’s last name at least. Our new dynamic duo head to Tatiana’s place and Liv has a vision of Tatiana dying. It shakes her up pretty badly but she’s determined to find whoever killed the girl and make them pay.

They head back to Tess’s apartment but she’s taken off and her neighbor fills them in on a possible third call girl who might be in trouble. I have to say I like the way they intersperse the voiceovers. It definitely reminds me of Veronica Mars, even if it’s more death and dreariness. I think the slight noir feeling to the show really works and Rob Thomas is good at what he does. Liv heads back to the morgue and gets a bit of a shock from Ravi. The reason he’s been taking samples of Liv’s blood and everything is to try and find a cure for her condition. Liv is kind of floored by this because she just assumed she was going to be a zombie forever. The possibility that it could end one day and she could be normal again spurs her to go see her ex fiancé but he’s busy playing (ironically) a zombie video game with some other girl. Poor Liv.

While Liv is being a bit mopey (and putting back all the stuff she stole), Clive is getting taken off the case. A more senior office has a confidential informant who has given him a lead. Clive is told to keep following up on some of his interviews, though. Liv shows up at the station but runs into the other detective who gets the location of the two call girls and he heads off to find them. Back at the morgue, Liv and Clive put together something the weather man said about Tatiana having a “hairy pig”. The cop is the killer and he’s got the girls in a house all covered in plastic so he can do some killing without making a mess. Apparently he lost his wedding ring and he needs it back before his wife gets home or else he’s going to be divorced living in a one room apartment and he can’t handle that. Clive goes in to try and stop the guy but he gets away and attacks Liv. It looks like she’s shot (she actually is but she later plays it off that he missed) and she goes after him all rage zombie and nearly rips his head off and eats his brains before Clive catches up to them. So, they make a pretty badass team and they both seem content to keep the relationship going, though I’m assuming that Liv will have to fill him in on the zombie bit at some point.

By episode’s end, Ravi is providing Liv with brains for later and she is making good on her haunted house promise. She gets to play a zombie which is pretty appropriate and kind of hilarious. And for the first time in five months, she’s able to sleep. Too bad the brains he ate were from another murder victim and this time it’s a very blond, zombified Blaine. I can’t wait for them to meet u again and for Liv to realize their connection. Overall I thought this was a very strong pilot. It had laughs and some interesting mythology set up. Plus it was so very Rob Thomas. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!

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