Saturday, May 16, 2015

iZombie 1.07: "Maternity Liv"

“Please let this conversation end with you cutting the crust off a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

“Maternity Liv” wasn’t really my favorite episode of iZombie. I thought that Liv’s personality change of the week from eating brains was a bit obvious, as was Lowell’s come to think of it. I also wasn’t really all that invested in the case of the week. It involved a spoiled rich girl, and it was kind of hard to follow. We learned more about Liv’s relationship with her mother, but her mother is mostly just really annoying. Liv could only get along with her when she went to annoying helicopter mom mode after eating brains. Which doesn’t say much for Liv’s mother. I guess one interesting aspect of this episode was that it hinted at how deeply Zombies may be embedded in Seattle (and the world at large, no doubt). There’s Zombie-ness going on way beyond Liv and Lowell, and some of it is quite sinister and conspiracy-like.

This episode begins with some teens around a campfire at night, which is obviously going to result in some horrific shenanigans. The drunken festivities are interrupted by a pale, pregnant teen collapsing in the middle of the bonfire circle. The teens know her, and her name is Emily Sparrow. They recognize her because she has apparently been the subject of a high-profile, Nancy Grace-style missing persons case. Emily dies, but her baby is saved, and the media hype only grows. The Seattle Police give a press conference, and an especially feisty reporter questions why the police are devoting a whole task force to a white girl like Emily while there are no resources assigned to the case of all the missing kids from the skate park. She does have a good point, although Lieutenant Suzuki doesn’t appreciate it at all.

As she does, Liv starts to eat Emily’s brain. The side effect of this particular brain is the most obvious of the series thus far. Liv’s maternal instinct kicks in. She starts acting awkwardly protective of Ravi, wanting to make him a sandwich and such. She also goes to visit Emily’s baby in the NICU several times throughout the episode. During her first visit, Liv runs into her own mother, Eva, who is also a doctor. Eva is initially excited, because she thinks Liv has stopped by the hospital to have lunch for her, but she is very disappointed when she figures out that Liv is really just at the hospital for work. While arguing with her mom, Liv sees a flashback of Emily’s parents trying to lock her in a room in a kind of remote cabin. She also at one point sees a flashback to a bunch of girls on a truck with the sound of dogs barking.

Lieutenant Suzuki and Babineaux interview Dylan, Emily’s baby daddy. It is definitely not the first time Dylan has been interviewed by the Seattle Police, because until now, he had been the prime suspect in Emily’s disappearance. Dylan is kind of enjoying not being the prime suspect anymore, and he acts quite cheeky. He mentions hearing dogs around the time Emily disappeared, which gels with Liv’s vision. He also, however, smarmily says he wants custody of the baby, which greatly upsets Liv. Later, Babineaux gets a call from Major, who wants to know if any progress has been made on the missing kids case. Babineaux says he can't look into it right now because the Emily Sparrow case has to be the priority. Until there are victim names up on the board, he can’t devote time to it. Unfortunately for Babineaux, the reporter from the press conference earlier in the episode is also listening to the phone call. When she makes her presence known, Babineaux knows he’s in trouble.

Back at the morgue, Ravi is doing a very elaborate zombie experiment to see which combination of utopium and something in Max Rager energy drink turns rats into zombies. Lowell is also stopping by to donate blood for some of Ravi’s other experiments. Lowell is dropping science knowledge all over the place, so he gets along well with Ravi. The chemistry between Lowell and Liv isn’t what it was, though, which upsets Liv. After Lowell’s visit, Liv goes back to the hospital (to legit see her mom this time). Liv’s brother is in Eva’s office, too, and Liv acts all maternal to him, like she was with Ravi earlier in the episode. It completely freaks her brother out, which is pretty funny. Oh, by the way, Liv’s brother now has a job at Meat Cute, the cover for Blaine’s brain-selling business. That won’t end well. Also, Liv has a date with Lowell later that evening, and it explains why the chemistry is off. Liv tries to kiss Lowell and he’s grossed out by it. At that points, he admits that he just ate the brain of someone who was gay. They decide to just have fun girly time, dancing around and drinking wine. I wish this had been treated with more nuance, but it’s interesting to see how much joy it brings Liv.

Babineaux’s quote to Major’s reporter friend about names on the board makes the papers, and he’s in trouble for it. He’s placed on desk duty and has to go through a huge pile of deeds to properties around where Emily Sparrow was found. His fellow detectives don’t really want to talk to him much, either. Babineaux does, however, finally make a breakthrough. He finds the deed to a cottage owned by a company called “Sparrow’s Song” (related to Emily’s family). He and Liv decide to pay a visit, and it turns out that the cottage is the location of Liv’s vision of Emily being locked away. Babineaux fabricates some week probably cause to go inside (there was some noise from the basement). Inside the house, they find a finely (but creepily) carved crib. The Sparrow parents show up at the cottage, and they have a perfectly normal conversation with Babineaux and Liv that make the latter two rethink their suspicions.

Babineaux and Liv give some more thought to the clues they have about barking dogs, so they decide to consult animal control. They talk to a rather nervous woman who mentions a particular problem employee. That line of investigation goes nowhere, though, because the problem employee is already in jail and couldn’t have had anything to do with Emily’s disappearance and death. Later, Babineaux goes back to the piles of deeds and maps on his desk, and he realizes that a river in the search area means he should widen the search radius (Emily could have floated down the river a bit, I guess). The widened search radius now includes property owned by the husband of the nervous animal control lady they talked to.

Meanwhile, Major continues to do stupid things in pursuit of answers about the kids who have gone missing from the skate park. He’s trailing Blaine’s henchman who has been identified as the “Candyman” who has been luring kids away from the skate park. The Candyman leaves his car and goes inside a building. Major’s reporter friend tells him she can’t do anything to help him without a name, so Major, in another brilliant move, decides to break into the Candyman’s car to see if he can find some identifying information. He finally finds some papers that give him a name, Julian DuPont, put the victory is short-lived. Major is caught by the police. Major shows the police officers the full human brain he found in a cooler in DuPont’s car, but Dupont says it’s a calf brain that he is carrying because he works for a specialty butcher. The cops believe him and Major is arrested.

Babineaux and Liv decide to stake out the house of the animal control lady and her husband. Babineaux thinks it’s going to be uneventful, and he’s prepared to be bored, but of course that doesn’t happen. The animal control lady starts shooting at their vehicle from an upper floor window. Babineaux immediately calls for back-up, and the back-up, including Lieutenant Suzuki, arrive quickly. They basically plan to storm the house. There’s quite a firefight, and even though she’s told to stay back, Liv ends up helping some of the many girls who have been imprisoned at the property. Ultimately, Suzuki ends up alone in the house with the animal control lady and her husband. He kills them, and after the deed, his eyes glow zombie red. After everything calms down, we learn from a press conference that the animal control lady and her husband were basically sick and pseudo-religious and were holding these girls as sort of sister wives. Given the zombie angle, though, I’m not so sure that’s all true. Are we seeing the edges of a bigger zombie conspiracy?

No comments:

Post a Comment