Friday, May 29, 2015

iZombie 1.08: "Dead Air"

“I don't even need to be this attractive. It's just icing.”

So Comcast On Demand screwed up and numbered this episode of “iZombie” as episode nine while they numbered the next episode, where some major shit goes down, episode 8. So I saw said major shit go down, then I had to backtrack and figure out how we got there. It has probably skewed my perspective on this episode a bit. This episode was much lighter and more of a typical (thus far) “iZombie” episode than its successor. It was a pretty straightforward murder mystery. The special zombie power of the episode is pretty straightforward, too (Liv basically becomes a relationship/sex expert and starts overanalyzing everyone’s relationships, including hers), although the effects of the special zombie power are more interesting in this episode than the last.

Our victim this week is a radio talk show sex therapist named Sasha who hosts a morning show called Good.Morning.Sex. Liv happens to be listening to it on the way to work (she’s not a regular listener), and she is continuing to listen to it at work when something crazy happens. A crazy caller called Cheated on in Chattanooga accuses Sasha of having an affair with her husband, and she threatens to kill her. Sasha grabs her microphone, and within seconds, she is electrocuted to death. Liv and Ravi, naturally, are on the case. The other main personalities attached to the case are Jane, the radio show producer who is convinced she is destined for bigger things, and Callie, Sasha’s put-upon personal assistant. Liv, who is kind of at a relationship crossroads and just ate Sasha’s brain, volunteers to listen to about 30 hours of audio from Sasha’s show for clues.

As I said, Liv is kind of at a relationship crossroads. We learn early in the episode that Liv and Lowell have been having quite a lot of sex. Liv is excited that she is finally able to have physical contact with someone else again. It’s not something she ever expected after becoming a zombie. The influence of Sasha’s brain, however, seems to make her overanalyze the relationship. She’s upset by the fact that if they hadn’t both become zombies, she and Lowell probably never would have met yet alone become lovers. They have nothing in common. There are other aspects of Sasha’s personality that are helpful to Liv in the relationship department, though. Lowell definitely seems to appreciate the sex expert part of it, for sure.

Liv also decides to try analyzing her friends’ relationships. Both Ravi and Major experience big relationship status changes in this episode. Ravi is waiting at the police station to pick Major up after Major’s arrest (and subsequent beat-down in the holding cell), and he’s been waiting for quite a while when Peyton saves him by lawyering the desk officer. According to Ravi, it was a “moment” between them, and he spends most of the episode trying to get Liv to set them up. Liv says that Peyton is pretty much perpetually dating someone, and never guys like Ravi, so he shouldn’t get his hopes up. Liv does talk to Peyton, though, and she finds out that even though she’s being pursued by three guys who aren’t Ravi, she considers herself single. Ravi eventually gets up the courage to call Peyton and ask her out, and Liv encourages her to go for it. In other relationship news, Major’s annoying girlfriend breaks up with him after the jail stint. Thank goodness (even though I really don’t want Liv and Major to get back together).

There are, as per usual, a couple red herrings to deal with before Liv and Babineaux crack the case of the week. The first suspect is Chuck, a rival morning show shock jock who mostly focuses on sports and saying horrible things about women. He’s so horrible that he’s a caricature, really. Liv has a flashback of Chuck’s wife throwing a drink in Sasha’s face, and she realizes that Sasha and Chuck were sleeping together. Which is pretty gross, even if all the misogyny of Chuck’s show was just for entertainment effect. Chuck says his wife couldn’t have possibly been “Cheated on in Chattanooga” because she was a mail order bride and couldn’t possibly have gotten the accent write. Chuck is nothing if not always classy. Liv and Clive also figured out that Sasha once slept with her assistant, Callie’s, husband, too. For someone who plays a relationship expert on the radio, her relationships in real life sure are messed up. I believe awesome TV critic Dan Fienberg would call that vocational irony.

The actual culprit turns out to be producer Jane. Jane has ambitions for a career behind the mic herself, and when Sasha found out that Jane was trying to leave the show, she blacklisted her with every radio station on the West Coast. Jane was devastated by this, so she murdered Sasha. Liv figured it out when she realized a commercial on one of the archived shows she was listening to had been doctored. Anyway, Jane is caught when in the middle of broadcasting Sasha’s memorial episode. She’s not the world’s best DJ, for sure, and fans start calling in and berating her. Babineaux arrests her on the air, as well, which makes her first show even more of a smashing success. Jane is, as you’d probably expect, given her history, unrepentant.

There’s some interesting stuff happening in the zombie underworld in this episode, too. Liv pays a visit to Major after finding out about the break-up, and he’s more freaked out about the Candyman than he is about the break-up. He’s been researching brains on the Internet, and when Liv (understandably) asks why, he mentions the brain in the cooler he found in the Candyman’s car. Liv tries to be supportive but also warn Major off of investigating further. Major is determined, however, to figure out what happened to his kids. Elsewhere in Seattle, Blaine and Lieutenant Suzuki have a meeting. We learn that the bodies of all the missing kids were moved to the farm in the last episode to serve as a distraction from Blaine’s business. Lieutenant Suzuki, however, wants nothing more to do with Blaine’s business. Blaine doesn’t approve of this, though, of course. At the end of the episode, Liv makes a horrifying discovery. She is eating some of Lowell’s breakfast when she has a vision of Blaine killing one of the shelter kids. She also sees Blaine outside carrying a cooler. Lowell is one of Blaine’s customers, and he’s been eating Major’s kids.

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