Thursday, October 15, 2015

iZombie 2x02 "Zombie Bro" (Brotastic) [Contributor: Isabella]

"Zombie Bro"
Original Airdate: October 13, 2015

The only two cases we’ve seen this season definitely have not been the highlights of their respective episodes. In large part, that has to do with the brains Liv’s eating. Last week it was the racist old man (yikes) and this time it’s the typical frat boy.

And by typical I mean that you could literally create a list of stereotypical frat boy qualities, actions, and phrases and put a check mark by all of them because they were covered during the course of this episode.

Degrading jokes about women? Check. Saying “bro” whenever possible? Check. Speaking with that drawl that makes you sound high? Check. Drawing on people when they’re asleep? Check. Although that last one was pretty entertaining. Ravi still looks really good with over-the-top make-up and the word “fart” written on his forehead.

The sad part is that these characters are lost on Rose McIver. She’s such a great actress. She has to be to essentially play a different character in every episode of the show. And that is why I think it’s so important to not just give her copies of characters we’ve seen before or stereotypes or archetypes. Give her new things to work with. What’s going to happen when they run out of the same overused tropes of characters that we’ve seen before?

I’m just waiting for the moment that Clive confronts Liv about her weird behavior. He’s had so much patience with her, especially after last week’s racist remarks. You would think he would’ve said something by now, but all he’s been doing has been hinting at it:

“You’re like that box of chocolates of Forrest Gump. I never know what I’m gonna get.” “You’re getting chocolate, bro!”

Until then, I’m going to be waiting for some more substantial and creative characters whose brains Liv can eat.


As for the actual case, it was pretty interesting that the show went down the route of having the murderer mistake their victim for someone else. The past two cases, though, haven't been too interesting to follow. What makes the case interesting tends to be when the team finds out "whodunnit."

A frat boy was killed at a party by someone in a Captain Wazzle (a giant blue bear) costume. It ends up being a very distraught boy who wanted to murder Chad Wolcott for killing his father in a drunk driving accident. He killed the wrong Chad with the same name.

Maybe the reason that the endings are my favorite part of the case is because Liv's sobered up from whatever zombie brain she's eaten that week and learns something from the murderers, and maybe reflects on her own life as they explain their regrets.

This realization led her back to Major...


I feel like from now on, I’m going to have to dedicate a large portion of these reviews to Major, who –– I feel –– has the best storyline this season already.

I’m really pleased that they writers have decided to not shy away from evoking Major’s heightened emotions, especially after he’s taken up the zombie-killing job. Last week’s episode didn’t give us time to see the repercussions that killing people would leave Major with, but now we do.

A majority of the time, in other shows that are very action-packed and have little time to slow down and dwell on emotions, these slight character nuances and developments are lost. I felt that most with The 100 this past season. Yes, we were given small moments in which we could see the characters come to terms with what they’d done, but it happened very fast in order to keep the action moving.

It’s a little different with iZombie. The episode begins with Major watching the two children of the missing man –– that he killed –– on the news, begging for information on where their father is. This is where I have to give it up to Robert Buckley. No matter how short the scene is in which he’s thinking about what he’s done and who he’s become, Buckley sells it. You can instantly see on his face the shame and regret, but also the silent resignation that killing that zombie had to be done.

It’s no wonder he turned to Utopium as a release, which brought one of the most heart-wrenching scenes so far on the show.

Since the beginning of the series, I had felt nothing for the Major and Liv relationship. That usually tends to happen with shows that start off with already established canon couples. We don’t get to see their relationship progress and understand why they make either a good or bad couple. We’re just supposed to take them at face value and expect to understand why they work or don’t work. Those tend to be the couples I can’t get behind. I need to see build-up and tension in order for a couple to be believable.

Another issue I have with them is the way season one ended. I ranted a little bit about how I didn’t appreciate Liv turning Major into a zombie and then back into a human –– both times without his consent –– in my last review. In fact, I don’t think anyone enjoyed that. Most of us sided with Major.
Despite ending their engagement ending roughly and having their disagreements in the past, Major still wants Liv to help him when he needs it. He still wants her to stay when he’s feeling bad.

After taking Utopium and passing out in the restroom, Liv gets called on by a random stranger to pick him up. She takes him home and, after giving him some aspirin and water to drink, sits on the floor of the restroom next to Major. As soon as she does, he lies down and puts his head in her lap.

We never see moments like this between the two. They started off the series newly broken up, so we never got a hint of what they were like as a couple, not even in flashbacks. It’s nice to see even a bit of intimacy.

Major relaxes a bit and says, “I won’t let anything happen to you.” Liv has no idea that he’s being very serious –– so serious that he became a zombie hunter to keep her safe. If he hadn’t, du Clark would’ve killed her. All of the zombies he hunts and kills are for her.

It seems like the roles are now reversed. Last season, Liv did everything in her power to keep Major from learning the truth about zombies. This season, Major’s doing the best he can to keep her safe from du Clark. It’d be interesting to see how Liv would react to finding out that Major’s been killing zombies that they could actually be saving if they had the cure. I’d expect she’d act in very much the same way he did last season: shock and hurt.

Liv and Major might be getting closer this season... only to lose that connection again later on. Not to mention that Liv might react negatively when hearing that he’s addicted to Utopium. Then again, she might want to be closer to him and he could push her away, like he did at the end of the episode. Anything can happen on iZombie.

Brainy Quotes and Undead Notes:
  • “He came, he saw, he was stabbed several times in quick succession with a sharp cylindrical object.” – Ravi
  • “You know what I fear more than death?” “Love?”
  • If I took a shot every time someone said “bro” in this episode, I’d be dead.
  • If I was Clive, I would have already sat Liv down and asked what her deal was. The amount of patience he has for her while she’s under the influence of different brains is incredible.
  • Rose McIver is so adorable throughout this episode. It sort of makes me appreciate the frat boy brains a tiny bit because she always looks so amused at whatever anyone says. Maybe I just like seeing Liv happy for once.
  • Rajor feel! I was happy to hear that Major had immediately forgiven Ravi for lying to him about the existence of zombies (not sure I would’ve been so quick to do that), but calling Ravi’s beard “Princess Sparkles” has definitely topped the list of favorite Rajor moments of season two already. 
  • Scratch that. This moment is gold: “Sorry, I didn’t realize there were limits to our friendship.” “Don’t bat those big brown eyes at me, you manipulative bastard.” It instantly made me think of Jeff and Annie’s “It’s those doe eyes. Disappointing you is like choking the Little Mermaid with a bike chain.” And that just makes me think of how much I miss them…oh no. Dan Harmon, write the movie!
  • “'I’m on frat boy brains. No big whoop.' Just like you’re doing a cleanse, eating dead people brains.” – Major
  • Who wants to play Do, Date, Delete?
  • “I was wrong about the bathroom being a place to score drugs. There’s definitely some transactions going on in there, but not the kind we’re looking for.” – Major
  • That dog fight championship is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.
  • Very ironic that Major threw Liv’s phone out the window and said, “They’re always listening,” as she was texting Gilda (du Clark’s spy!). It’s like he knew.

1 comment:

  1. This episode was like the absolute perfect mix of darkness and was definitely the funniest episode of the scene with some great one liners - "I hope you like the Jagerbombs and homoerotic subtext" lol. The frat boy jokes/puns were great, but the relationship and interactions of of Liv and Major really stole the show as usual.

    At first I was laughing at the scene where Major and Ravi hit up the club and do opium, but then they did a great job of really paralleling a real drug come down as it went from being on top of the world at the club so quickly to Major laying in bed, in full PZTSD state getting blitzed on opium while Liv knocks on the door.