Monday, October 26, 2015

iZombie 2.02: "Zombie Bro"

“So you know I’m referring to your beard as Princess Sparkles from now on, though, right?”

“iZombie” delivered a solid offering for the second episode of its sophomore season. While I think the creative team sometimes stretches a bit with how the brains she eats affect her each week, this week’s choice helps Liv solve the case in a very interesting way. When there’s a death at a frat party at a local university, Liv ends up becoming a stereotypical bro. It gives her an in with the guys that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. There are also some interesting developments between Liv and Major. I am by no means a Liv and Major shipper (there’s just too much water under the bridge there), but it would be nice to see them be able to interact with each other as friends again, since they did really care about each other at one time. Major is seriously entering a downward spiral, and hopefully Liv will be able to pull him out of it.

Anyway, like I said, the murder victim in this episode is a frat brother. He is stabbed repeatedly in the middle of a party by a person in a blue bear costume. At first, the other brothers don’t notice what happened, but when they do, chaos ensues. The body comes into the morgue, obviously, and Liv and Babineaux get the privilege of interviewing the deceased’s frat brothers. By this point, Liv has had some bro brains, so she can speak bro speak. The guys warm to her immediately, which makes Babineaux a little nervous. In the middle of the interview, Liv has a vision of one of the brothers telling the deceased, Chad, that he ruined his life. When pressed on this in private, the frat brother describes a hazing incident (streaking by an elementary school) required by Chad that resulted in him being registered as a sex offender. The frat brother is helpful though, because he shows Liv and Babineaux the party Instagram feed. One of the pictures shows a person in a blue bear costume who is likely the murderer.

Indulging in her temporary inner frat bro, Live writes “fart” on Ravi’s head while he’s asleep at his desk. When Ravi wakes up, he gives Liv quite the lecture, and the lecture gives Liv another vision. This time the vision is of a college disciplinary hearing. She and Babineaux interview the guy, also named Chad, who brought the grievance against the deceased Chad. Still alive Chad regularly speaks at anti-drunk driving seminars, and one time an invitation went to the deceased chad, and deceased Chad decided to show up to the seminar drunk and tell a bunch of high school kids how cool drinking and driving is.

Back at the morgue, Ravi is examining Major for side-effects from the zombie cure. His blood pressure is up, but everything else looks good. The blood pressure is probably from guilt, because Major took the Max Rager CEO’s offer to become a zombie hunter and has made his first kill. Anyway, Ravi tells Major that he wants to try taking Utopium for research purposes, and he wants Major to keep an eye on him while he’s under the influence. After a lot of convincing, Major agrees. He then wants to rush out of the morgue before Liv arrives, but he is too late. It’s a rather awkward confrontation.

We then get a sequence of scenes that I can only describe as “dueling parties.” Liv takes her new (incognito Max Rager employee) roommate to a frat party so she can better get to know Chad’s friends. Ravi and Major go to a club and try to score some Utopium. Liv completely owns the frat party and the beer pong table, much to her roommate’s chagrin. In a moment of clarity, Liv notices a “dog fight” trophy belonging to Chad in a back room and asks about it. It turns out that the trophy is not for a literal dog fight. It’s a party where all the brothers bring the ugliest girls they can find as their dates, and the brother who brings the ugliest date wins the trophy. This development just made me sad. Meanwhile, at the club, Ravi eventually is able to score two doses of Utopium (one is for control research later). When Ravi is good and high, Major takes that other dose. Liv gets a call at the frat party from someone who found Major passed out in the club bathroom because she is still his ICE contact. When Liv arrives to collect Major, she sees Ravi dancing shirtless on stage, which is hilarious. Liv gets Major situated by the toilet in his house with hangover supplies nearby, but he asks her to stay with him a little while longer. Liv has hope this means their relationship is going to change for the better. This won’t be the case, though. Major is headed for a big, Utopium-fueled downward spiral.

Paulette, the woman who helped Chad win the dog fight, shows up at the station for questioning. Babineaux is confident going into the interrogation room, but it is quickly apparent that Paulette didn’t realize the true theme of the party. Babineaux is more successful (although it doesn’t seem so at first) with his next lead. He finally finds a man who bought the only costume of this particular blue bear that Babineaux could find in the city. The man and his wife show up at the station, and the woman says her husband was wearing the costume because she’s a furry and it turned her on. The real break in the case comes from Ravi and Liv playing Do, Date, Delete, a game created by Chad’s fraternity. When Babineaux joins in and Liv complains about deleting the “wrong Dermott,” the trio get an idea. What if the killer targeted the wrong Chad? Turns out that the killer actually was the guy who rented the costume, after all. He wanted to kill the Chad who killed his father (the anti-drunk driving advocate). This ending is doubly sad. First was the realization on the murderer’s face that he killed the wrong guy, and next was his face after realizing that the “real” Chad had been trying to atone for what he did ever since.

There’s also quite a bit of drama with Blaine happening in this episode. We learn that Blaine wants to overthrow a guy called Mr. Boss to take over the Seattle drug trade. As his opening shot, four dead drug dealers show up at the morgue, one of which is the dealer who sold Ravi his Utopium at the club. Blaine then goes to visit the Seattle DA’s office, where the DA just happens to be his father, Angus DeBeers. It is strongly implied that the elder DeBeers is a zombie, and Blaine offers him a steady supply of brains in exchange for helping him take down Mr. Boss. Some money would be helpful, too. David Anders really gets to chew a lot of scenery in this sequence, as Blaine outlines all the horrible things Angus has done to the family. Angus is still thoroughly disappointed in his son.

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