Thursday, November 12, 2015

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 6: Max Wager

Major is very very energised and may as well have “just had sex” tattooed on his forehead – Ravi and Peyton (eating breakfast and good people who don’t deserve jolly post-sex people inflicted on them at that time in a morning) definitely notice

Then Liv comes down stairs (though Ravi’s “if that’s Rhianna coming down stairs that would explain so much” is pretty on point) equally bouncy and happy. Ugh happy people in the morning. Peyton is happy for them, Ravi objects to the morning nausea.

Meanwhile we’re actually getting a continuation for last week’s case – with the murderer from last week, Harry Cole, getting a huge plea deal and bail. He’s so smug about it that I can’t be that sad when two people on a bike zoom past and gun him down (missing Clive just)

Back in the morgue Ravi and Liv address important issues - whether Liv and Major had sex and whether zombieness is transmitted and whether a condom can really make a difference.

Clive joins them to be hailed as a hero by the others (though he objects to “not being shot” being considered heroic. He also thinks that Harry was getting his plea deal by testifying against someone else who probably paid for the convenient death. To prove this he wants Liv’s psychic help in an interview. Now – before she has eaten brains because Clive is still on the dark about where her visions come from. She can’t, of course, tell him to wait while she eats brains

So they go to question Roger Thrunk, the “fixer” of the company. And a lawyer so is not that easily shaken.

It doesn’t help much and they can’t even assume he’s guilty because, as Clive points out, Harry was a gambler who owed a lot of people money. Which means Liv has to look forward to gambler brains.

This show needs to stop making brainy recipes that look kind of yummy

Liv begins gambling on just about anything and has a vision about who the guy who attacked Harry was collecting debts for – a book keeper called “The barber.” Because he’s a barber. Total waste of a cool criminal name.

They go to interview The barber who is just damn good at police interviews (and points for the whole room joining in). The Barber also points to another possible suspect – Harry’s widow. So, to the man’s funeral (happening at Blaine’s undertakers).

Over to evil Blaine – and a less- than fun family reunion as his evil dad has his goon kill Blaine’s zombie goon. He’s also learned that Blaine is not a zombie – and has been following Blaine and knows his client list. Daddy zombie, Angus is the new boss under threat of zombiedom. And his first act as new boss is to find and kill the son of a business rival.

Unlike Blaine, evil daddy doesn’t want to be cured – being immortal and evil trumps the sensations of humanity to him.

Anyway, while visiting Liv drops in on Blaine so he can snark at her and so she can tell him to stay out of sight since Clive has a sketch of him connected to the big scary case of missing rich people. Blaine is also realising there’s a downside to not being a zombie any more, especially since he was so successful and damn good at what he does. He also claims Liv experienced the same, becoming much more successful and unique and important since becoming a zombie. Liv counters with terrifying heart wrenching visions.

Back at the funeral, Clive is very impressed by a famous sportsman, Calvin, attending the service – and notices that Liv, who was an expert on sport last episode, is now clueless. Clive fandpoodles. Liv has a vision – Harry begging Calvin for money and Calvin refuses.

More research on the case points to the killers being Serbian hired hit men – who are now out the country.

Liv also makes a bet with the Barber beyond being a pretty standard Liv’s-brain-is-controlling her moment we also run into a guy who as a really creepy ruthless idea of the perfect murder which is sure to be relevant later.

Especially when said creepy ruthless guy goes to Peyton’s office… because he’s Stacey Boss, the mobster she’s trying to bring down. He’s there to offer her bribes and threats against her – and her one witness. He’s also clear that the DA picking the very inexperienced Peyton is clearly being set up as a sacrificial lamb.

Liv keeps winning at The Barbers – and keeps betting her winnings until she uses a tip from Calvin which raises eyebrows. She does some research and suspects Calvin of fixing matches. They bring him in and suggest that Harry was blackmailing him for money –and reveal those Serbian assassins were actually the sons of a team mate of his. Peyton is there to add on the pressure and get a confession.

Back to Blaine – who is visiting his bed ridden grandfather and seems to genuinely care about him (and they mutually loathe his dad). It even seems so when he murders his grandfather, suffocating him with a pillow while looking deeply sad about it. Very clearly mourning he takes his granddad to his mortuary and removes his brain – clearly intending to feed it to Angus.

Only for a minion to report that Angus has been kidnapped. Yes, Evil Daddy Angus has become Major’s newest victim. Major dressing up the crime as an “anti-corporate radical group.” He’s also now storing the bodies in a freezer.

Ravi does continue to the zombie-safe-sex research and makes a balloon animal out of condoms. Because why not?

While waiting, Liv and Major indulge in internet stripping and sexy memories.

Over-eager they skip the testing and rely on condoms – until Ravi hurries home and stops them brief brief moments before they do. It seems that the zombie virus is super-duper-duper-teeny-tiny and the condom does not stop it. Major will become a zombie if they have sex. Damn, buzzkill – though Major does point out there are other things they can do – just being creative.

To one of the meta-plots, Clive shares with fun FBI Agent Dale that Mrs. Suzuki gave him a chunk of human brain which he can’t test since he’s already in trouble for investigating the Suzuki case. Which is all odd especially since Major also ranted on about brains and was connected to the case. And this gets awkward when Liv and Major walk past and now have to say hello because MANNERS. However Liv and Dale combine together and (despite that terrible “Native American name” joke which is not funny) make Clive squirm extremely effectively. Also squirm worthy is Major learning why Dale is there – to investigate all the rich guy murders/abductions. Some of which was Blaine acquiring special brains – and some of which are Blaine’s former clients that Major has killed.

I never expected to feel sorry for Blaine… but his grief over his grandfather was excellently depicted. I don’t like how he was completely portrayed as disposable – not a character but a tool to use and that’s not excused. I do praise the acting and emotion there though (and, yes, it would have been a truly awful and terrible revenge)

The whole downside of being a zombie – I think it works well because last season, especially with Lowell, really was perfect at bringing home the pain of eating brains for a living. It’s surprising how we can have a show which is generally so light and so fun and then it will turn round and hit a powerful emotional punch (not over it).

I think it’s also interesting how Liv and Blaine approach zombiedom. Part of it is, of course, because Liv has a lot more compassion – but we also have to look at where they were before they became zombies. Blaine pretty much sees himself as a failure – not helped by evil daddy Angus. While Liv had a supportive family and an excellent career ahead of her – sure, eating brains has made her excellent at solving crimes, but she was already on her way to becoming excellent at saving lives. She has lost a lot – he hasn’t.

I did expect Liv’s brain-of-the-week to be much much worse than it was which was a relief.

I think/hope that Clive continuing to see hints of Liv’s psychic story fraying may result in him joining the in group