Sunday, April 23, 2017

iZombie 3.03: "Eat, Pray, Liv"

“I’m not afraid of dying, Liv. I’m afraid of remembering.”

There was a lot going on in this particular episode of “iZombie.” There was more drama in the Ravi/Peyton/Blaine triangle, which was complicated by the return of Ravi’s kind of heinous old boss from the CDC. Major’s health is declining, as he’s trying to wait as long as possible before taking the second zombie “cure” that has the unfortunate side effect of amnesia. Blaine’s dad is back and has plenty of dastardly plans of his own. On top of all that, there’s a case of the week for Liv and Babineaux to solve, this time involving a meditation/mindfulness guru with an investment banker past. Most shows that go head-on into mythology like “iZombie” has this season abandon their former weekly paradigm. I am intrigued that Rob Thomas and crew have not gone that direction, however it’s becoming increasingly difficult to serve both the very complicated greater mythology and the cases of the week. We’ll see if the show settles into a better balance as the season progresses.

The episode opens with Major not doing especially well at mercenary training. It makes sense considering he used to be a social worker – he’s not exactly the solve problems by violence type when he doesn’t have to be. He’s also not adjusting well to the go-gurt version of pureed brains, and he complains about it when he, Ravi, and Liv hang out later that evening. Major and Ravi are happily playing a first person shooter, but Liv says that since she brought the Chinese food, they’re going to play her dance game instead. Major reveals to Ravi that he’s still looking for Natalie, the zombie hooker he froze who disappeared. Ravi says that, even though he pretty much hates Blaine right now, Blaine is the person Major needs to talk to for a lead. Speaking of Blaine, he’s got a side hustle singing and playing at a piano bar, and Peyton is definitely enjoying watching him. David Anders has a great voice, so I kind of don’t blame her, other than the small fact that Blaine used to zombify and kill people for profit. Blaine says his lawyer called him to set up a meeting about a problem with his father’s will, and Peyton agrees to accompany Blaine to the meeting as his lawyer.

We then meet the victim in this week’s case of the week, a mindfulness guru named Topher. We see him leading meditation, but he’s not long for this world. After class, he is brutally stabbed (is there any other way to be stabbed, really?). At the scene, our team discovers size twelve bloody shoe prints, and they also talk to a homeless man who apparently saw the killer run from the scene. He says he saw a man run to a dumpster and throw a bag in the dumpster. Babineaux, of course, has the honor of climbing in said dumpster, which is next door to a seafood restaurant. He is able to retrieve a bag from among all the lobster shells, and the bag contains the bloody shoes that made the footprint. Back at the lab, Liv takes some of Topher’s brains in chai tea form (and almost gives Ravi the brains version instead of the almond milk version) when Katty, Ravi’s old boss, arrives on the scene. The latest dead person with brains in her digestive system was on a flight from Seattle, so she’s (rightfully) convinced, that Seattle is the center of whatever is going on. Later she tells Ravi a theory that the work party and the boat party (where her latest victim had been) are connected, but Ravi lies and says none of the autopsies he did from the boat party had brains in the digestive system.

Ravi goes to have a chat with Peyton about the whole Blaine situation, and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Ravi makes it all about himself, and he reveals that whenever he’s not distracted, he can’t get the image of Blaine and Peyton having sex out of his head. Peyton is pretty offended by all this, accusing Ravi of wanting an apology from her when she didn’t do anything wrong. I’m kind of torn on this one. It’s not cool that Ravi was being possessive of Peyton when they weren’t even together, and he’s kind of borderline slut shaming her, but on the other hand, I think it’s very human to not enjoy seeing an ex with someone else. Especially when that someone else is Blaine. Speaking of Blaine, he’s got his meeting with the lawyer, and Peyton is running a bit late thanks to the Ravi waylay. Blaine sits down at his desk, and we see that along with the lawyer is none other than Blaine’s father, Angus. When Peyton arrives, she tells Blaine who Angus is. At first, Blaine is excited, thinking his dad will have some stories to tell to fill in the gaps in his memory. Instead, he just tells a story about what a horrible, horrible person Blaine is.

At the precinct, Babineaux shares his latest break in the case with Liv. He has figured out that Topher was a venture capitalist at a firm that engaged in some shady business. In fact, one of the other partners at the firm, Mitch, even did some time in prison. Topher took over Mitch’s accounts and made a ton of money off that situation before finding mindfulness. Also, the homeless guy they were trying to talk to disappeared. Major, meanwhile, continues to try and fail at mercenary training. He bonds with another merc named Jason, who was the DJ at the employee appreciation party where the zombification happened. After training, Major then plays a visit to Blaine. He wants Blaine’s help in finding Natalie. When he finds out who Natalie was (a hooker Blaine zombified so she could service his clients), he agrees to look up the phone number Major has (the number belongs to a former client who may be holding Natalie now). He is able to give Major an address, and he warns Major that the client ordered extra brains and may be out of town. This makes Major start worrying that he’s running out of time, given he’s been having some pretty bad coughing fits lately.

Angus and Don-E, who has become his toady, scope out a potential location for a zombie club. The two definitely have creative differences, to put it mildly, on everything from what should be served at the club (Don-E wants to do hot pepper shooters while Angus just wants to serve custom order brains) to décor (Don-E wants a pinball machine while Angus wants leather banquettes). Don-E is tasked with figuring out how to confirm all guests are zombies. At first he wants to shoot a nail through everyone’s hand, but Angus tells him to keep working on it. He decides to serve potential customers a ghost pepper instead, and Angus approves. The club’s specialty will be “acquisitions,” but for those who can’t afford a bespoke brain, Angus has purchased a hospital in Bangaldesh. He wants Don-E to go to clubs, find big spenders, and turn them into zombies.

Babineaux and Liv talk to Mitch, who mentions that another former investment banker was involved in Topher’s mindfulness studio – his name is Devon. Liv and Babineaux then head back to the studio for another chat. Devon has size twelve feet, and he’s tall with dark hair, matching the description they got from the homeless guy. Liv is skeptical that Devon could have committed such a crime, though (he’s peacefully raking a rock garden), so she and Babineaux decide to do a stakeout to try and find the homeless guy so they can ask him some more questions. The stakeout doesn’t go all that well, since Babineaux can’t stand Liv on guru brain. It gets so bad that a busybody neighbor calls the cops, thinking she saw a pimp berating one of his hookers. Babineaux and Liv go talk to the lady, who insists that no homeless man would sleep in “her” alley. However, she did see the homeless guy run down the alley and throw a bag in the dumpster. That’s when Liv and Babineaux realize for sure that the whole thing was a frame job. They confront Mitch with his DNA on the “homeless guy’s” wine bottle and a letter Topher wrote him while he was in prison. Mitch lawyers up.

Major finally has a successful training where he doesn’t get mock shot in the head. He and Justin celebrate by having some Zumba instructor brain instead of the usual go-gurt rations. Major invites Liv over, and she shows up right away because she thinks it’s an emergency. She is pleasantly surprised to see Major and Justin dancing to her favorite video game. Major makes up some snacks while Liv plays the game with Justin. He smiles to watch his two friends happily dancing, but then he has a coughing fit. When he recovers, the smile becomes wistful. No doubt he’s thinking about how soon he’s going to have to wipe all his memories. I get he impression he organized this Zumba night to give himself one final happy memory with Liv.

Ravi thinks he may have figured out a serum that could restore the memories of anyone who has taken the second cure. It’s never been tried on a human before, and the ideal candidate is Blaine. Using Peyton as a go-between, a meeting is set. At first, Blaine doesn’t want to take the serum because he doesn’t want to remember all the horrible things he’s done. Ravi starts berating Blaine, and Peyton asks him why he’s being such a dick. Ravi says he’s still in love with Peyton, and that prompts Blaine to finally take the serum. Later, Peyton stops by Ravi’s house to talk through what happened. She’s pissed that he hasn’t been there for her if he’s so in love with her. Ravi wants to change, and they kiss. It’s all ruined pretty quickly, though, when Peyton discovers a half-dressed Katty in the kitchen.

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