Thursday, October 8, 2015

iZombie 2x01 "Grumpy Old Liv" (Zombie Detectors) [Contributor: Isabella]

"Grumpy Old Liv"
Original Airdate: October 7, 2015

Coming back after their dramatic and shock-filled season one finale, iZombie began their new season off with as much twists and turns as there were moments that made your hair stand on end (in very much the same way Blaine and Major’s now do, in fact).

The episode begins about three months after the season one finale, in which Liv chose to not donate blood to her dying brother because she didn’t want him to take after her and her zombie likeness. Her mother and brother both believe that Liv didn’t save his life because she simply didn’t want to, when it’s obviously a lot more complex than that. I really haven’t agreed with many of Liv’s actions in the past. For one, lying to Major and encouraging thoughts that he might be going crazy for believing in zombies. And secondly, turning him into a zombie and then giving him the cure –– both done without his knowledge or permission.

Despite this, it still hurt me to see her brother reject her so adamantly. He may not know she really did save him from what she believes is a far worse fate than death. Luckily, his doctor's blood type is also O- so her brother was still able to get blood and surgeries to remove the shrapnel from his body after the bombing.


Clive and Liv are back at it again trying to solve a “grumpy old” man’s murder. By eating the brains of racist, curmudgeonly Wendle, Liv gets to peek into his last moments before he was very graphically killed underneath his car while fixing it. I, for one, really could have done without the racist comments. I understand that Liv has no control in what she’s saying while under the influence of other people’s thoughts, but at the same time, Clive is clearly offended. But because he doesn’t know she’s acting under someone else’s brain, he thinks that’s just the way she is.

Despite this, their dynamic didn’t change, although it should have. It made me want some sort of apology from Liv. Season one did a good job of employing the same personality throughout the entirety of the episode, but this episode had “grumpy old Liv” react sporadically. In one scene, she’d be completely Wendle, but in the next, she’d be back to just Liv and then revert once again to Wendle again. It was a little off and too reminiscent of Archie Bunker at times for her old-person-racist-comments to be seen as simply funny and not even a little bit offensive.

The case was definitely not the most exciting part of the episode, but the arrest of the murderer was much more emotional than I had thought it would be. Bryson, Wendle’s neighbor, was drunk when he dropped the car on top of Wendle. He had done it out of rage because he thought Wendle had killed his dog for barking too much, but Wendle had really just taken the dog and kept her in his garage. Despite doing all of this for his dog, Bryson won’t get the chance to see his dog for a very long time.

While working together, Clive’s become more and more suspicious of Liv and how her constantly-switching personalities. I know Ravi and Liv want to get rid of zombies once and for all by themselves, but to not even have a cop on your side seems pretty foolish. They should want someone who can cover up any tracks they might leave behind. Granted, Clive most definitely won’t take the news as well as Ravi when he finds out that zombies are among them, but at least he’d be a huge help to them. Clive doesn’t ask questions about why Liv always acts so weird, but he does ask about Major. Even though Major passed the gun residue test after the bombing, he’s still not off the hook in Clive’s eyes. His questions spark Liv to tell Major that Clive’s on his case, but Clive doesn’t continue his search into it in this episode.


After injecting all of the maybe-zombie cure into Blaine and Major in the season finale, Ravi and Liv are completely out of whatever was in the Max Rager drugs that turned people into zombies... which they need more of to make more serum. We still quite don’t know whether the cure will last for very long or if it might even kill those injected with it, which is why it’s crucial for Ravi to start cooking up another batch. The only side effect that we know of: the ability to recognize zombies. When New Hope (Ravi’s experimental rat), Blaine, and Major are all around zombies, their hair stands on end. Or as Ravi puts it, they act as “zombie detectors.”

Liv turns to Blaine, who now has a business of preparing bodies for funerals and taking brains for harvesting, to see if he might have more of whatever was put into the Max Rager drugs people took at the boat party in the pilot. He doesn’t... or does he? By the end of the episode, we see a large shipment of small bottles of zombie drugs make their way to Blaine via a casket. It seems like Blaine still wants to rule all of Seattle by making more zombies.

Another thing that happened during Blaine’s talk with Liv is that he tells her:

“You get off on being a hero, don’t you?”

And the thing is, she sort of does, whether she realizes it or not. Liv started off immaturely dealing with being a zombie by pushing her loved ones away and keeping to herself. It wasn’t until she realized that she couldn’t spend the rest of her undead life this way that she chose to turn being into a zombie a positive thing. And she has! She’s definitely been doing some good by helping Clive solve crimes and even through trying to find the cure for zombie-ism.

Liv’s downfall is that she gets too wrapped up in being the hero that she doesn’t realize that she might be doing something other people don’t want. Think Oedipus without all the mommy issues. Both get too ahead of themselves, thinking they can save the day, but don’t take into consideration that some people don’t want to be saved. For example, I talked a bit about Major and his discomfort with Liv supporting his belief that he needed to be admitted into a mental hospital, with her lying to his face about zombies, then turning him into a zombie (which is the exact thing he despises), and then turning him back into a human without any consent. Liv sometimes gets too wrapped up in trying to please and possibly bring some order back into her life that she doesn’t realize she’s only pushing people away –– like she did before –– in the process.


Since the beginning of this series, the best storyline has been Major’s. He started off a little boring as a character, and I really had no idea where the writers were going with him, but I’m so glad they developed him in the way that they did.

Last season, Major was a self-recruited zombie hunter and now, he’s officially a zombie hunter working for Vaughn du Clark, the creator of the Max Rager drug. If this was a year ago, Major probably would’ve agreed to the opportunity immediately. But this season, there’s a lot more at risk for him. It’s gotten personal. His ex-fiance is a zombie and du Clark knows it.

du Clark threatens Major, and so Major agrees to become a zombie-hunter in order to save Liv. His first kill isn’t easy for him at all. It’s evident on his face. It was easier for him to deal with when he was attacking Blaine and his thugs because those were clearly bad people. The people he has to kill now are most likely just innocent people who happened to be turned into zombies. And the hurt is evident on Major's face. How ironic: this is all he wanted in season one, but when he’s actually forced to participate in it, he wants out. Be careful what you wish for, Major.


The shocker of the episode turned out to be the reveal of Liv's new roommate. If you remember, Peyton ran off when she saw Liv turn into a zombie last season, so now Liv’s got a new live-in buddy who –– throughout the episode –– has said she’s boring because she works for the IRS. Much to our surprise, this new roomie is du Clark’s co-worker (I’m not exactly sure what her title is, but what’s important is that she knows Liv’s a zombie and helped hire Major). This explains how du Clark could’ve gotten the audio and sound bites he used to threaten Major into doing the job in the first place.

Overall, the first episode back did a really great job of balancing all the storylines by answering questions left behind after the season one finale, and also setting up new questions for the rest of the season to unravel.

Now, my most important question is... what is going to happen to Major?

Brainy Quotes and Undead Notes:
  • Okay, so Liv’s brother’s been stuck in the hospital for three months and has repeatedly undergone surgery to get shrapnel out of his body. I don’t even want to think about how much they’re supposedly having to pay for this.
  • FYI: That really awesome song that played at the beginning of the episode is called “All You Zombies” by The Hooters
  • “Bros before h — ex-fiances.” – Ravi
  •  I miss Peyton. Where could she have run off to for three months?!
  • “’T-shirts are passé.’ I don’t get it. You’re wearing a t-shirt.” “It’s meant to be ironic. It’s a joke.” “Good one. Your t-shirt’s stupid. That’s meant to be literal.” Sometimes I wonder what Liv’s actual humor is like. Because we mainly see her acting as a different persona every episode, we still haven’t gotten a true taste of her quirks.
  • I am so here for Clive being absolutely done with Liv’s attitude.
  • “Are you eating that or impregnating it?” – Liv to Blaine
  • “I’ve got a thriving business. I just learned I’ve been pre-approved for a Best Buy card. I’ve gone legit.” – Blaine
  • Bless this episode for giving us Major working out in a tank top.
  • “His pants are hanging so low, they look like a bra for his ass.” – Liv
  • Can Clive hold onto Liv’s hand more often? Please? Oh, and more matching outfits too!
  • “Did they find the guy who did that to your hair or is he still at large?” – Liv
  • Major knows that there’s a cure for zombies somewhere out there in the world, so why doesn’t he tell du Clark this instead of killing a bunch of zombies? It’d be a lot easier for them to band together, use du Clark’s money and science labs for the cure, and go after zombies and change them back to human, instead of killing them all. But, whatever, it’s a TV show.
  • Hey, why doesn’t Liv have white eyebrows? I just realized this and now it’s all I’m thinking about.
Wow, this is crazy! I’m truly honored to be writing about one of my favorite shows for Just About Write. I can’t thank Jenn enough. Hopefully you all like my writing too and if you do, please leave comments about what you liked/didn’t like about the episode!


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