iZombie Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
Liv gets to have a couple of Veronica Mars moments this episode, actually.
I’ll take what I can get.
TL;DR Liv is suspicious of Babineaux when a case-of-the-week points in his direction; she ultimately learns to trust him, of course; Ravi moves in with Ex-Fiancé for sitcom proximity purposes; Blaine builds his empire.
Never discount the importance of trustworthy goons.
I’ve decided I’m going to start calling the case-of-the-week by the acronym COW. Because “case-of-the-week” is kind of a pain in the butt to type. So the COW this episode is some dead, Asian gangster. It turns out he was a police informant, and Liv’s memory flashes indicate Babineaux was dirty and in league with the gangsters. Babineaux’s urgings for Liv to stay away from the case only compound her suspicions. Naturally, Babineaux is actually just trying to protect Liv, and everything comes out okay. Including Liv using inherited-from-brain kung fu against the gang leader. Meanwhile, Liv is none too pleased with Major (Ex-Fiancé’s name upgrade has been approved) moving on with some new girl (the brain also makes her anxious and paranoid), so she pressures Ravi to become his new roommate. Which he does. Meanwhile, Blaine now has employees (whom he zombified to force their help, obviously) for his business. Two of his goons try to go rogue, but Blaine intercepts them with a bullet to the brain. And Liv’s brother visits for no reason other than to introduce higher stakes for when the gang leader attacks her at home.
He does have a lecherous crush on a not-in-this-episode Aly, though.
These kind of procedural-lite shows always get juicier when the COW involves a major character. Castle’s best episodes are the ones about 3XK, and things on SVU are always better when they hit close to home for Olivia.
Babineaux’s backstory may be a little too predictable, but the trust building between him and Liv as the result of this episode’s events bodes well.
Now let’s just hope they don’t fuck it up by fucking.
Why I hate this episode:
The reason for Babineaux’s secrecy towards Liv is pathetically obvious the whole time. Of course he’s telling her to stay out of things to protect her from homicidal Asian gangsters. Liv’s inability to even consider this, and her extremist conclusion jump to “he must be undoubtedly dirty,” is dumb as hell. She may have her Veronica moments, but she’s clearly no Veronica.
Ravi’s moving in with Major is kind of forced, too. I don’t think iZombie was even trying to be coy about it: they just had to make it happen so Liv would have a reason to interact with Major. Which, on a mechanical level, I can understand. But Liv is like “Yo Ravi ‘chu wanna move for little to no reason?” And Ravi’s like “Okay?” And that’s it. What?
Liv’s willingness to go fucking around with homicidal gangsters is pretty reckless.
Blaine’s goons are a lot of fun. They actually have personality (see, Eye Candy? Minor characters can have personality, too. Also, major characters can have personality, too. Oh, Eye Candy…). It’s a shame that Jackie, Blaine’s cougar zombie, rats them out when they offer her their business over Blaine’s. What the hell, girl? Shouldn’t you be doing what you can to get back at Blaine?
Oh, and the episode’s finale has Liv relying on the kung fu she inherited from the COW victim’s brain to fight off the gang leader. She has to resort to rabid mode to finish him off, though. Couldn’t she have just gone rabid mode to beat his ass from the beginning? The kung fu was cute, but redundant.
But it’s not all bad:
The fight choreography for their battle is almost on par with Arrow. No tight, leather costumes, sadly.
And the gang leader survives, and raves about how Liv ain’t right. What with the zombie eyes he saw. I wonder if we’ll see him again?
The major push in the right direction this episode is for the relationship between Babineaux and Liv. After all is said and done, Babineaux admits he didn’t want her involved in the case because he wanted to protect her, and because he didn’t want her to have visions of his past. Because he’s ashamed and scarred from his time working undercover. He didn’t want her to see how he used to be. Aww.
And their trust mutually grows, too. Babineaux has already been a believer in Liv’s “psychic” abilities, so I hope this is more reason for him to continue to trust her visions. Because we don’t need an arc about how he starts doubting her. Please.
Liv, herself, is no slouch this episode. She may be a pale comparison to Veronica, but she tries. The little tracking device on the car trick is cute, but the better moment is when she pretends to be a slutty, Yellow Fever-having college girl when trying to track down a guy from her visions. It reminded me of Veronica Mars’ peppy co-ed routine.
Blaine nips his goon mutiny in the bud by executing his two traitors. Luckily, Blaine appears to have a freezer stuffed with other zombie goons ready to serve when he needs them.
Blaine ends the episode by getting his saw into Jackie’s reward for her tip-off: the brain of that kid Major was with last episode. The one who was looking for his other missing friend. iZombie cheaps out with a Gory Discretion Shot, but the dissection of street youths is an inspiring notch in Blaine’s villainy belt.
Jackie, like the now-dead goons, has more personality to her than simply “inert rich woman who is now a reluctant zombie.” She’s lazy, she’s a bit of a bitch for ratting out the goons, and she’s still having sex with Blaine. She makes a comment about how it should earn her a discount for the brains, but Blaine denies it.
Which is the episode’s best line: “Oh, Jackie. I made you a zombie, but I would never make you a whore.” Extra delicious because it’s blatant that he’s only interested in avoiding the discount, not her dignity.
Ravi accepts what little light shines on him as Liv’s sidekick. He does manage to bond quickly with Major, though. Which kind of annoys Liv. She only wanted Ravi in Major’s house so he can secretly undermine/spy on Major’s new girl (who Liv awkwardly meets this episode). But the boys bond over Diablo 3 and big TVs. Fucking dudebros. At least it wasn’t Fifa.
Oh, and iZombie is now entering itself into the CW beefcake stakes. As, thankfully, expected.